Pursuant to my last post on upcoming apple festivals, here's a roundup of 19 places to pick your own apples in Massachusetts. Isn't it crazy awesome how many options we have? The list below is ordered alphabetically by town. Before you head out, be sure to check your location of interest about hours and picking conditions. Then start flexing your picking muscles, get your camera ready for cute family photo opps, and ENJOY! And here are 12 apple recipes to use once you've got your apple haul home!
1. Nashoba Valley Winery (Bolton). This winery is all about beauty; whether it's the lovely winery/restaurant setting to the many varieties of apples in color coded rows. Dogs are welcomed at this orchard!
2. Connors Farm (Danvers). This year at Connors, enjoy a "Wild, Wild West" corn maze, barnyard animals, games, campfires, cow milking, horse swings, giant rocking chair, gemstone mining, and so much more.
3. Farmer Dave’s (Dracut). In addition to pick your own apples and hayrides available at Farmer Dave's, enjoy a delicious variety of vegetables and herbs for sale. This spot also offers delicious local baked goods, locally roasted coffee, locally produced soaps, maple syrup, ice cream, and more.
4. Fairmount Fruit Farm (Franklin). Take a hayride, pick your own apples, and enjoy local farm stand products at this fifth generation apple farm.
5. Carlson Orchards (Harvard). Carlson Orchards offers a peaceful spot to pick apples (over 14 varieties!), plus a farm store stocked with cider and apple crisp.
6. Doe Orchards (Harvard). At Doe Orchards, if you're not tired after wandering 25 apple acres, there are 35 acres farm open to visitors. The farm store offers honey, cider, maple syrup, and more.
7. Westward Orchards (Harvard). This fourth generation orchard offers delicious lunches, a barn full of fresh fruits and vegetables for purchase, apple cider doughnuts, live bluegrass, and -- of course -- pick your own apples.
8. Russell Orchards (Ipswich). In addition to delicious apples, a winery, bakery, and store loaded with local produce and ice cream, Russell Orchards has a barnyard full of animals for your littles to visit.
9. Belkin Lookout Farm (Natick). In addition to traditional picking, Belkin has lots of entertainment for kids, including farm animals, a moon bounce, train rides, a maze, and weekend special events such as camel and pony rides, live children’s entertainment, hayrides, and children’s face painting.
10. Boston Hill Farm (North Andover). Boston Hill Farm offers a farm store with a deli and bakery, hop on hayrides, ice cream and a petting zoo where guests can feed the animals.
11. Smolak Farm (North Andover). Smolak is planning many harvest festivals this fall, in addition to their apple picking, tasty bakery treats, ice cream stand, and farm animal visits.
12. Brooksby Farm (Peabody). Enjoy apple picking, barnyard animal visits, and special events throughout the fall season at Brooksby. Their farm stand also offers flowers and vegetables.
13. Dowse Orchards (Sherborn). This orchard has been offering delicious apples since 1778. Maple syrup is available for sale, along with preserves, fresh sweet apple cider, and harvest vegetables.
14. Carver Hill Orchard (Stow). What with the delicious warm cider doughnuts and old-time orchard feel, Carver Hill provides a great respite from the city hustle and bustle. They also offer ice cream, cheese, cider, and jam.
15. Honeypot Hill Orchard (Stow). Honeypot offers a fun orchard atmosphere with apples to pick or to purchase at their farm store. There are also farm animals, hayrides, and hedge mazes.
16. Shelburne Farm (Stow). In addition to gorgeous apple picking conditions this year, enjoy cider doughnuts, hay rides, a tractor playground, pony rides, and lots of children's activities.
17. Parlee Farms (Tyngsboro). At Parlee, there are over 20 varieties of apples to pick, with a hayride into the orchard available on weekends. At the farm stand, watch apple cider doughnuts being made, pick up an apple crisp, play with farm animals, or enjoy the hay play area.
18. Long Hill Orchard and Farm (West Newbury). Enjoy apple picking and nosh on fall baked goods on this gorgeous property offering panoramic view of the Merrimack River. Children can even feed vegetable scraps to the resident farm animals.
19. Drew Farm Country Store (Westford). At Drew Farm, enjoy free tractor rides to the orchard, fireside s'mores, picnicking throughout the orchard, and a superlative apple crop.
Image credit: Pixabay