Where to Go Apple Picking Around Boston

Find your perfect fall at one of these 10 apple orchards‚ÄĒeach less than an hour away from the city.

By | Arts & Entertainment |
apple-picking farm orchard boston

Photos by Margaret Burdge

Fresh hot cider, crisp juicy apples, and¬†sugary cider doughnuts¬†are all some of the best parts of fall in New England. In the fairytale world of the pick-your-own apple orchard, time moves slower, and everything is a little brighter and happier‚ÄĒapple-picking season is truly the prime of R&R.

However, sometimes planning a trip seems to cost more time and effort than it’s worth.

No matter, find your perfect fall with our list of 10 apple orchards close to Boston. Measured from Government Center, all of these apple-picking spots are less than an hour’s drive away.¬†So break out those fuzzy sweaters and cobbler recipes, it’s time for a trip to apple-picking bliss.

Below, learn more about each of the 10 farms on our list. Use this Google map to plan your own trip.

Belkin Family Lookout Farm

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (Wednesdays until 6 p.m), 89 Pleasant St., South Natick, 508-653-0653, lookoutfarm.com

Distance: 16.9 miles
Price: Mondays-Fridays: $8, children under two always free; Saturdays & Sundays: $14 adults, $12 children; $9 for 5-pound bag, $16 for 10-pound bag, $28 for 25-pound bag

One of the oldest working farms in the country, Belkin Family Lookout is a staple in Boston, and the closest to the city. With Asian pears, apples, and pumpkins, your will find plenty to pick here. During the week, families can enjoy a hay pyramid, farm-themed play area, moon bounce, and more (all included in the admission fee). The weekends bring even more delights, with face painting, hayrides and (for an extra $5.00) pony and camel rides.

Brooksby Farm

9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, 54 Felton St., Peabody, 978-531-7456, brooksbyfarm.org

Distance: 17.9 miles
Price: $8 for 1/2-peck bag (approx. 5 pounds), $15 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $25 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)

In Brooksby’s farm-fresh store, the smell of cider fills the air, with doughnuts and fresh fudge abound. The store also takes on a heartwarming holiday theme throughout the seasons, with fresh pies and baked goods to fill gift baskets. Brooksby is perfect for a relaxing weekend, with barnyard animals and the perfect orchard for your apple-picking needs.

Dowse Orchards

1-5 p.m. on Thursdays & Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays, 98 North Main St., Sherborn, 508-653-2639, dowseorchards.com

Distance: 21.3 miles
Price: $14 for 1/2-peck bag and up, average price is $2 per pound

With 200 years of farm production and 60 years with a roadside farm stand, Dowse is definitely a safe bet for good fall fun. Fall at Dowse brings pumpkins, mums, and pick-your-own apples. In the beginning of October, many apple varieties reach their prime at Dowse, specifically Golden and Red Delicious. If your apples are going toward a sweet tooth, grab some Goldens for the perfect pie, or pick some Reds to slice for a salad.

Connors Farm

9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, 30 Valley Road, Danvers, 978-777-1245, connorsfarm.com

Distance: 22.4 miles
Price: Mondays-Fridays: $9.95, $8.95 seniors, children under two always free; Saturdays & Sundays: $12.95; $9.95 seniors, $8.95 for 1/2-peck bag (approx. 5 pounds), $16.95 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $28.95 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)

Though apple picking is available all week, on weekends Connors Farm can’t be beat for activities. With a corn maze, hayrides, bouncy houses, pumpkin tetherball, and more, the weekends have countless family activities available. This month, Connors is taking on Halloween, transforming into a haunted farm with Haunted Corn Fields and Zombie Safari Paintball on Friday and Saturday nights (each $20, or $35 for both, tickets include flashlight maze).

Boston Hill Farm

9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (bags only sold until 5 p.m.), 1370 Turnpike St., North Andover, 978-681-8556, bostonhillfarm.com

Distance: 23 miles
Price: $18 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $36 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)

If you are the eat-as-you-go type of apple picker, Boston Hill Farm is the place for you. October is a prime time at Boston Hill for the Macintosh, Cortland, and Macoun apples, perfect for munching while picking. Along with the standard apple cider doughnuts, Boston Hill’s farm store has less traditional offerings like cinnamon doughnuts and sugar pumpkins (you can pick the real thing in their fields, too). After you’ve picked your fill, grab a scoop of Richardson’s ice cream and pet the bunnies and sheep.

apple-picking farm orchard boston

A full one-”peck” bag weighs approximately 10 pounds. How do you like them crisp fresh apples?

Highland Farm Orchard

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 635 Highland St., Holliston, 508-429-8370, highlandfarmorchard.net

Distance: 27.6 miles
Price: $5 for 1/4-peck bag (approx. 2.5 pounds), $10 for 1/2-peck bag (approx. 5 pounds), $18 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $28 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)

Though the apples are the only fruits available here for pick-your-own, Highland Farm Orchard is currently picking fresh yellow-and-white corn, Asian pears, and veggies daily to stock their store. With 11 different varieties in the orchard, Highland Farm keeps apple pickers around all season. If you can’t make it out before the end of October, Highland is the safest bet, as their Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Braeburn apples will be ready in early November.¬†Be careful‚ÄĒhayrides are reservation only, so be sure to call ahead to reserve one for your family.

Honeypot Hill

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 138 Sudbury Road, Stow, 978-562-5666, honeypothill.com

Distance: 28.8 miles
Price: $16.00 for 10-pound bag (allows a family of five, or three adults, into the orchard), $24 for 20-pound bag (allows family of three, or two adults, into the orchard)

One of Boston’s premier orchards, Honeypot Hill is known for hayrides, delicious fresh cider and cider doughnuts, caramel apples, and apple pies. The whole family can enjoy the new Big Green Monster Hedge maze ($11.95 ages 13 and older, $7.95 ages 5-12, and mini-monsters under 5 roaming for free. On the weekends, Bosc pears are available for pick-your-own as well.

Shelburne Farm

9 a.m.-6 p.m., 106 W. Acton Road,  Stow, 978-897-9287, shelburnefarm.com

Distance: 29 miles
Price: $18 for 10-pound bag, $26 for 20-pound bag

Make your apple-picking special with an antique cider press demonstration on Saturday, October 19, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Ready to start decorating for Halloween? Pick the perfect pumpkin at Shelburne for $0.60 per pound, or pick one up from the stand on your way out. On the weekends, a $5 pass gets parents and children into hay and tractor play areas for after-picking fun, or families can enjoy $2 hayride tours of the orchard for the full experience.

Carver Hill Orchard

10 a.m.-5 p.m., 101 Brookside Ave., Stow, 978-897-6117, carverhillorchard.com

Distance: 29.8 miles
Price: $12 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $20 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)

With summer squash, eggplant, corn, and beans, Carver Hill Orchard offers year-round picking, but comes to the height of its pick-your-own season with the fall apple and pumpkin selection. Macintosh, Macoun, Honey Crisp, Baldwin, and more apples line the rows at this farm.

Smolak Farms

9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, 315 South Bradford St., North Andover, 978-682-6332, smolakfarms.com

Distance: 30.5 miles
Price: $20 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $35 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds), $40 for 1/2-bushel basket (keep the basket)

With the most varieties of any farm near Boston, Smolak Farms is the best choice for varied picking. In the Antique Apple Orchard, Smolak Farms grows 20 types of apples, preserving some varieties that are no longer grown commercially, including the Pink Pearl and Sheepnose, which are ripe for the picking right now. The farm has four other orchards, with plenty of unique options for visitors. Check the up-to-date schedule to see which are open. Smolak Farms is also currently offering pick-your-own for yellow and red raspberries, and countless varieties of heirloom tomatoes. With hayrides, activities, animals, and more, Smolak Farms is an all-around winner.

apple-picking farm orchard boston

Apple picking is about more than juicy fruits. A lot of farms also offer fun activities for the whole family. Happy fall!

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