Fall is here, and with that come pumpkins, beloved holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween, and seasonal treats. But there’s a fun family-friendly activity that you can also enjoy with the little ones this time of the year: apple picking!
Whether you live in the Boston area or are just visiting, visiting an apple orchard is a must that you will want to add to your list for this season!
There are many apple farms in and near Boston, so we’ve created a list of the best ones for apple picking with kids. Some of these places also offer other fun outdoor activities for the whole family, including mazes and inflatables.
In Massachusetts, the initial apple harvest typically occurs in the middle to later parts of August, while the majority of other apple varieties ripen from September to October. Be sure to mark your calendar and savor the experience of exploring Massachusetts’ vibrant apple orchards during this fruitful season.
Where: 54 Felton St. Peabody, MA. 01960
Brooksby Farm is filled with opportunities for family-friendly activities, which include picking your seasonal fruits, a play yard, barnyard animals, the unique Fall Fairytale Trail, fall hayrides, and more activities to enjoy with your loved ones.
After picking your apples, you can indulge in local treats that are as delicious as the juicy, sweet apples you can take home!
The farm also hosts campfires and smores on various Fall weekends, as well as pop-up events, and field trips (Fall only).
Where: 145 REDSTONE HILL, STERLING, MA 01564
For families with little kids, this is a world of adventures!
The Apple Orchard has the largest, mouthwatering, and juicy McIntosh and Cortland apples—perfect for apple pies! Besides u-pick apples, visitors can also enjoy u-pick pumpkins!
The year was 1990 when the Davis Family built a simple petting zoo. Today, it has grown to be the largest sanctuary of endangered or heritage livestock in North America and houses over 100 breeds of farm animals, including Highland Cattle, Poitou donkeys, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, alpacas, camels, and many more!
There are a plethora of activities for the little ones, which include over 20 acres of children’s play, pony rides, hayrides, sand and water play, Dig for Dino’s Bones, play structures, the largest zero-depth water spray park in New England, an 80-foot slide, and so much more!
Where: 89 Pleasant St Ste E, Natick, MA
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday 4 PM- 9 PM | Friday 12 PM- 9 PM | Saturday 10 AM 9 PM | Sunday 10 AM- 8 PM
Lookout Farm is located about 20 miles from Boston, and the road trip is totally worth it!
The whole family will have a unique experience at this farm, starting with a train that escorts you to the orchard where you can pick your own apples, peaches, or pumpkins! Kids will have a blast at the children’s play area, which features climbing structures, a maze, and face painting. Adults can sample some of the farm’s hard cider, and everyone can have a meal at the restaurant, which offers sandwiches, flatbread, and lovely views.
Where: 101 Brookside Ave, Stow, MA
Hours: Open July-November. Early McIntosh apples come in during late August, with several varieties rolling out over the course of September.
Carver Hill Orchard is a family-run orchard located in the heart of Apple Country.
This is a perfect destination to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Families will be surrounded by peace and nature. There are low trees for the little apple pickers, and visitors can also pick squash, corn, pumpkins, and peppers!
After picking your fruits, you can indulge in some delicious options at the farm store, including cooking, chicken pies, fresh cider, peanut brittle, and more!
Where: 95 Farwell Rd, Tyngsboro, MA
Hours:Late August to Late October.
Parlee Farms’ apple orchard covers over 19 acres and is filled with dwarf apple trees that produce large and delicious apples!
Over 20 varieties of apples grow from late August through October, including Honey Crisp, MacIntosh, Gala, Early Fuji, Macoun, Cortland, Royal Empire, Decoster Jonagold, Cameo, and Golden Delicious. If you visit the farm on weekends and fall holidays, there are hayrides available to take you to the orchard! After picking, families can enjoy different food options, meet the farm animals, and have a blast at the Hay Play Area, a maze made of almost 150 bales of hay.
Where: 138 Sudbury Rd, Stow, MA
The farm features 186 acres of apples, peaches, blueberries, and a few other small crops.
This popular apple-picking spot is a favorite for families in the area. A tractor-drawn hay ride will take you to the apples, and after picking up your fruit, you can enjoy a meal on the picnic tables or photo ops at the old tractor. Families can enjoy many activities, such as an indoor tunnel maze, a large hedge maze, a mini hedge maze, and more!
Where: 15 Stowe Road | Millbury, MA 01527
Hours:Apple harvest season starts the weekend after Labor Day.
At the Stowe Farm Orchard, kids love being able to pick their fruit, interact with barnyard animals, ride the festive cow train, and climb the 8-foot monster truck.
Adults can enjoy getting to take in the scenic view of horses out grazing while listening to live country music with a nice cold hard cider in hand.
There are many family-friendly activities to enjoy, including a petting zoo, mechanical bull rides, gemstone mining, and rock wall climbing.
Where: 30 Rockwood St, Sherborn, MA 01770
Dowse Orchards is located very near Lookout Farm, and it has over 200 years of history of family production in apples, veggies, flowers, pumpkins, Christmas trees, and more.
Families will find up to 20 varieties of pick-your-own apples that become available during the weekends starting in September.
There’s also a farmstand with stone fruits, corn, cider, and more, which is open daily.
Where: 30 Valley Road (Rt. 35), Danvers, Massachusetts
Hours:Fall Fun Dates: September 2, 2023, to October 31, 2023
Connors Farm is the perfect destination for Fall fun, especially for the little ones.
Besides apple picking, families with kids can enjoy inflatable jumping pillows, a corn maze, hay rides, a ropes course, Fort Connors, play areas, pedal carts, a farm stand, and more!
Where: 1370 Turnpike Street, North Andover, MA 01845
Hours:The apple season starts in early September.
Boston Hill Farm offers pick-your-own apples on fall weekends from early September through the end of October.
There are many apple varieties to pick from, including McIntosh, Ginger Gold, and Paula Red. Families can also enjoy cider doughnuts, live music, and ice cream.
Children love the petting farm with bunnies, goats, sheep, chickens, and geese.
Where: 45 Fern Ave, Amesbury, MA
Hours:Late August- Mid-October
Cider Hill Farm is located near the New Hampshire Border, which is over an hour’s drive from Boston, and it features five apple orchards and nearly 50 varieties for families to pick from late August to mid-October.
Other activities for kids include a giant sandbox, a bee observatory, and the “Farmer Glenn’s Trike Yard” playground!
Where: 178 Mass Ave.Harvard, Massachusetts
Hours:PYO Apples: September 9- October 15. Bags are sold daily, 10 AM- 4 PM. Orchards close at 5 PM.
Where: 115 Oak Hill Rd Harvard, MA 01451
Families can choose between 14 varieties of apples ready to pick up! These varieties include McIntosh, Granny Smith, Fuji, and others.
Carlson Orchards now grows fruit on 100 acres, producing 30,000 bushels of apples, 5,000 baskets of peaches and nectarines, 50-year-old blueberry patches, raspberries, and sweet cherries.
Where: 315 South Bradford Street, North Andover, MA 01845
North Andover’s Smolak Farms offers fun for everyone!
From late September on, pick up apples from the orchards and shop at the farm stand and bakery!
Kids will have a blast enjoying the different fun activities available, such as hayrides, meeting the animals, or simply running around exploring nature.
During fall weekends, kids are going to love the Children’s Festival Area; they will get to hop on a hay wagon ride or linger longer at a playground and petting farm.
Where: 143 Argilla Rd. Ipswich, MA
Apple picking opens in September and is available daily.
Hayrides are offered on weekends, and live cider pressing happens only on Saturdays. Kids will love seeing the farm animals in the barnyard!
Where: 234 Ball St, Northborough, MA 01532
Tougas Family Farm grows over thirty varieties of apples that are available for picking from mid-August to the end of October.
Families will find an extensive selection of apple varieties, many of which are not found at the supermarket.
Where: 455 Highland Ave, Phillipston, MA 01331
From rows of trees with a variety of different in-season apples, to beautiful sunflowers, you will have a unique u-pick experience at Red Apple Farm!
The farm also has a taproom and restaurant called Brew Barn on site.
Where: 252 Rowley Bridge Road in Topsfield, MA
Hours:The Orchard will be open to the public for picking on Saturdays and Sundays, and on Columbus Day from 9:30-4.
Connemara House offers a “Pick Your Own” Apple Picking experience in September and October.
The Orchard is not commercially picked, so visitors are free to wander the rows of trees at their leisure, selecting from over 10 varieties of apples. It’s a great way to spend the day with family and friends!