Apple picking is one of my favorite fall activities. Every year, however, I somehow miss my opportunity to go apple/pumpkin picking. I always think it is way later than it actually is. Come the middle of October I want to go apple picking and there are no apples being harvested! I am writing this article to save you guys from this dilemma and get you ahead of the curve when it's the perfect fall day and you're looking for something to do. I have researched the top 5 places around Boston to go apple picking!
1. Belkin Family Lookout Farm
Hours: 10 am - 5 pm daily
Location: 89 Pleasant St., South Natick, MA (508)-745-3697
Price: Admission is $20 per person (ages 2 and above) and includes a half peck fruit picking bag.
This family-run farm is the perfect spot to spend your Saturday or Sunday (or any day of the week for that matter since they are open daily). This was the closest apple farm I found to Boston. On their website, the detail in which apples are in harvest. For example from 9/19-9/20, "what's picking" is Honeycrisp apples. You can know going into your visit which apples you can get, which is great! Also, this farm has a market and outdoor dining. I glanced at their many and let me tell you the truffle grilled cheese with apple butter was calling my name.
Note: reservations are required for picking apples.
2. Russell Orchards
Hours: Open 9:30 am - 6pm daily, CLOSED Mondays.
Seniors only: 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Price: $4 admission; $20 for a small bag
Location: 143 Argilla Rd., Ipswich MA. 978-356-5366
Russell Orchards is a little bit farther outside Boston but would make for the perfect weekend trip. The farm is 120-acre and is family-run. The farm is also a one-stop-shop where you can pick over 10 varieties of apples, you can buy the freshly baked apple cider donuts from their exquisite bakery, wine taste, and even visit their barnyard.
3. Boston Hill Farm
Hours: Open 9am - 5 pm, daily. The store stays open until 6pm.
Price: $20 for 1 peck-bag
Location: 1370 Turnpike St., North Andover, Massachusetts, 978-681-8556
Boston Hill Farm is a 12 generation family-owned and operating farm in North Andover, Massachusetts. They offer a variety of apples and you can even pick pumpkins. The varieties of apples we grow on our farm are McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Ginger Gold, Paula Red, and Red Delicious. They also have a farmstand that has freshly baked pies, homemade ice cream, apple cider donuts, caramel apples (just to name a few). The farm also has festivals every weekend in September and runs through the end of October. During the festivals, we offer apple and pumpkin picking, our own homemade apple cider donuts, live music from Ronnie Chase and Russ Bennett, BBQ, petting zoo, ice cream. During the picking season, they are dog friendly, as long as your dog is on a leash.
4. HoneyPot Hill
Hours: Open 9am - 6m, daily.
Price: $18 for a 10-pound bag
Location: 138 Sudbury Road, Stow, Massachusetts, 978-562-5666
Honeypot Hill is another great spot located in Stow, MA. They are known for their honey and jams, as well as their fresh-pressed apple cider. Their hayrides are still active but are transportation only. They are currently only taking reservations so make sure you book ahead! Visit their website for more information because their operations have changed since the pandemic.
5. Smolak Farms
Hours: Open 8am - 5m, daily.
Price: $25 – peck; $40 – 1/2 bushel bag; $45 – 1/2 bushel basket (you keep the basket!); A $2 COVID fee applies for all over the age of 2
Location: 315 South Bradford St., North Andover, Massachusetts, 978-682-6332
Smolak Farms has been running for 40 years! Their farm stand is open daily from 7am - 6 pm so you could grab breakfast before picking your own apples! They also feature homemade flavor ice cream of the week and have weekly bakery specials. In addition to picking apples, you can pick raspberries and potatoes.
Note: All of these orchards/farms have taken specific precautions due to COVID so please check out their website for their updates!