If you live in New England, apple picking is undoubtedly on your family calendar this autumn. (We’ll be honest — we’re thinking more about the apple cider doughnuts, but that’s just us!) Year after year, we find ourselves digging through countless options that pop up in a Google search of apple orchards in the Boston area.
This year, Boston Moms has done the work for you! Try one of these 12 favorite pick-your-own apple orchards with your family this fall — they’re all within an hour of Boston (ordered alphabetically by town). For MORE fall fun, make sure to check out the Boston Moms Guide to Fall in Greater Boston!
Cider Hill Farm (Amesbury)
Three generations of family work to make Cider Hill a place for you to create and share memories with the ones you love. Plus, they take an environmentally responsible approach to growing their apples, beets, corn, berries, plums, kale, tomatoes, and more.
PYO price: $10 a half peck (~5-6 pounds), $20 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $35 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Cider donuts, apple cider, pies, breads, muffins, pastries, honey, farm animals, tractor rides, hay maze, pumpkin picking
Nashoba Winery (Bolton)
Talk about variety — Nashoba Winery grows nearly 100 types of apples, including dozens of antique breeds. (And despite its name, the picturesque country setting is perfectly friendly to families with young children.)
PYO price: $20 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $30 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Wine tastings and tours, beers and spirits, full restaurant, peach picking
Connors Farm (Danvers)
USA Today touts Connors Farm as one of the 10 best corn mazes in the country, and the farm’s apples are just as notable.
PYO price: *$13.99/person admission on weekdays, *$18.99/person admission on weekends (children 2 and under are free); $9 a half peck (~5-6 pounds), $17 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $29 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds); *admission price not required if you’re only picking apples
Bonus fun: Corn maze, barnyard animals, campfires, cow milking, cow train, grain train, pipe slide, pedal carts, sandbox, duck races, pumpkin bowling
Carlson Orchards (Harvard)
In addition to the 60,000 bushels of apples Carlson Orchards grows on their 140 acres, they produce 500,000 gallons of apple cider annually. If you can’t make it to the farm to pick your own, look for Carlson goods at Whole Foods, Shaw’s, and Star Market.
PYO price: $15 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $25 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Apple cider, apple crisp (with whipped cream!), applesauce, jams/jellies, honey, frog pond, pumpkin patch
Belkin Family Lookout Farm (Natick)
Belkin calls itself one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country, and they’re dedicated to providing a destination for Boston families to find both fun and quality nutritious produce.
PYO price: $20 a half peck of apples (per person). Purchase of picking bag is required. All guests 4 years and older must purchase a picking bag to enter the orchard.
Bonus fun: Train rides, farm-themed play area, farm animals, moon bounce, children’s caterpillar rides, farm maze, hay pyramid, pony and camel rides, face painting, a snack shack (drinks and snacks), and pizza and barbecued meals on weekends
Boston Hill Farm (North Andover)
If you’re looking for a variety of tasty treats to compliment your apple eating and picking, Boston Hill Farm is your place. Apple picking is on through October.
PYO price: $20 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $38 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Bakery (with doughnuts, muffins, pastries, fudge, pies, and bread), ice cream, petting farm, hayrides, pumpkin picking
Smolak Farms (North Andover)
Smolak Farms aims to combine agriculture, education, and entertainment through their festivals, fruit picking, and tours. Smolak’s antique apple orchard boasts 20 different varieties planted 20 years ago to preserve apples that are no longer grown for commercial harvest
PYO price: $30 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $45 a half bushel bag (~21-24 pounds), $50 a half bushel basket (fits ~5-10 pounds more than the half-bushel bag)
Bonus fun: Hayrides, playground, animals, duck races, bouncy house, wagon rides, face painting, batting cages, huge slide, educational tours
Brooksby Farm (Peabody)
Minutes from the North Shore, this farm boasts strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and peaches during the summer, but the apples steal the show come fall.
PYO price: $8 a half peck (~5-6 pounds), $15 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $25 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Cider doughnuts, produce-filled farm store, honey, pumpkin yard, birthday parties, Christmas trees
Dowse Orchards (Sherborn)
Dowse Orchards and its roadside farmstand provide a classic New England apple-picking experience without the commotion of more commercialized farms.
PYO price: $8 a quarter peck (~3 pounds), $15 a half peck (~5-6 pounds). $25 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $40 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Fresh cider, vegetables, pumpkins, flowers, Christmas trees
Davis Farmland (Sterling)
Open weekends – Saturdays 11-5 PM + Sundays 11-5 PM
PYO price: Your paid admission to Davis Farmland or Davis Mega Maze gets you bushels of fun at a discount! With paid admission to Farmland or the Mega Maze: 1/2 peck is $7 and full peck is $13
Only Apple & Pumpkin Picking Fun
1/2 peck is $13 and full peck is $18
Bonus fun: bounce pillow, playgrounds, animal feeding area, and more!
Honey Pot Hill Orchards (Stow)
A family-owned and -operated farm for nearly a century, Honey Pot Hill offers two dozen varieties of pick-your-own apples throughout the season.
PYO price: $22 a peck, $33 a half bushel
Bonus fun: Hayrides, apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, farm animals, hedge mazes, and a farm store offering a variety of fruits, veggies, and baked goods
Shelburne Farm (Stow)
Shelburne Farm claims to be the oldest pick-your-own apple orchard in the area, and they offer everything from peaches to apples to pears to pumpkins.
PYO price: $29 a peck (~10-12 pounds), $41 a half bushel (~21-24 pounds)
Bonus fun: Cider doughnuts, hayrides, tractor playground, caramel apples, cider, moon bounce, tot hay maze, hay climbing mountain, farm animals