Russell Orchards, Ipswich
You can pick Honey Crisp, Ginger Gold, Gala or McIntosh apples at Russell Orchards. Weekend picking is $20 (cash only) for a 10-pound bag which includes a hay wagon ride to and from the picking site. There is a store with a bakery that sells cider donuts made from scratch daily. While you’re there, you can visit with, and feed, a variety of classic barnyard animals. If all that isn’t enough, there’s even a winery where you can do wine tasting in a cozy room with an enormous fireplace. The winery is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12-5:30. There’s something to keep everyone happy at Russell Orchards.
Connors Farm, Danvers
Besides apple picking and pumpkin picking, there’s a LOT to do at Connors Farm. There’s a corn maze, train, apple cannons, a mechanical bull, pedal carts, a giant pipe slide, and climbing structure. There’s also farm animals, giant “pillows” to jump on, and corn cob “beach” which is like a sandbox except it’s filled with corn kernels instead of sand. In the country store, you will find fresh fruits and veggies, ice cream, and of course cider donuts. Food stands are also spread throughout the farm. Kids will have a blast at Connors Farm.
Parlee Farms, Tyngsboro
There are over twenty varieties of apples at Parlee Farms, and the orchards are open through October. A hay maze and a children’s tractor ride will keep the little ones happy. Plus there are farm animals that you can feed, including goats, chickens, rabbits, and sheep.
Smolak Farms, North Andover
There’s a large variety of apples available to pick at Smolak Farms. For $25 you get a 10-12 pound bag. You will also find a pumpkin patch, bakery (with cider donuts), ice-cream stand, and country store. For an extra ticket, you can take a hayride around the farm. Every weekend this fall, the Fall Children’s Festival will be in full swing. The festival will include lawn games, a playground and an animal area at no extra charge. For an additional $10 at the festival, you get unlimited access to the cow train, bounce house, face-painting, and crafts.
Honey Pot Hill Orchards, Stowe
With a wide selection of apples, Honey Pot Hill Orchards provides pick-your-own apples until late October. They have three exciting mazes, a farm store, and farm animals, including sheep, goats, bunnies, and baby chicks. There are also hayrides available on weekends. The most exciting part, for the 21+ crowd, is Honey Pot Hill’s new Cider Garden which is a hard cider tent open on weekends from 11-4:30 until October 20th.
Before you head out to your orchard of choice, throw on a Chowdaheadz sweatshirt and hat to keep cozy while you pick apples and eat those warm cider donuts. Or, if it's a warm fall day, throw on a cute "how d'ya like them apples?" tee.