It's that time of year. The leaves are starting to turn color and the first hint of fall chill is in the air. This means it's time to visit the pumpkin patch and pick the best pumpkins for decorating, cooking, and lighting on Halloween. Massachusetts is home to a wealth of pumpkin patches. The following 10 are the best in the state.
The pumpkin yard at Brooksby Farm is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until Oct. 14, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily after that, so families can pick out the perfect pumpkins for their fall needs. Known for their sustainable farming practices, the owners love it when community members take part in the activities they host. In addition to picking pumpkins, pick a bag of apples and some homemade cider, too.
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Pick your own pumpkins at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, where you can enjoy hayrides and hot cider every weekend during fall. The owners want visitors to feel like Cider Hill is their farm, too, and they like to treat everyone like visiting family. The produce grown there is farmed with an eco-conscious approach, with 15 beehives on the property to help protect their natural resources. All this is designed to provide quality farming for generations to come.
Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Boston Hill Farm in Andover has plenty of pick-your-own pumpkins from mid-September through the end of October. The farm stand is filled with jars of their own honey and other fruits and vegetables in season. Visit with the farm animals after your pick your pumpkins.
Pumpkins are plentiful at Fletcher Family Farm, the last remaining dairy farm in Southampton. The owners welcome the community-not just to pick their pumpkins-but also to learn about agriculture on their 100 acres. Visit the website for times of scheduled hayrides.
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Featuring a corn maze in addition to a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, Hanson's Farm in Framingham even hosts a haunted hayride in October. The fifth generation farmers have an ample farm stand open from May through November, and are well known in their community for their 180 varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Family owned and operated since 1926, Honey Pot Hill Orchard in Stow has pumpkins in their prime. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.-seven days a week-visitors will enjoy a family-friendly atmosphere on the 180-acre farm. Pick apples in addition to pumpkins, and enjoy caramel apples and cider donuts in their farm store.
Featuring an indoor café for some of the very best homemade ice cream around, visitors to West End Creamery in Whitinsville can spend the day when they go to procure their pumpkins. Get lost inside the corn maze and take part in a Barnyard Jump. Fall Festival is in full swing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday now through October.
Pick your own pumpkins from now until Thanksgiving at Kimball's Fruit Farm in Pepperell. Owned by members of the Kimball family since 1930, it was purchased as a burned out dairy farm. The family planted the acreage with apple and peach orchards, and it grew from there. They take great pride in their winter squash crop, which is just about ripe for the picking as well.
Dubbed the "Ultimate Children's Discovery Farm," Davis Farmland in Sterling has a pick-your-own pumpkin patch that's due to open on Sept. 15. In addition, there's a petting zoo, activities for the whole family, and a sanctuary for endangered farm animals. Imagine-Acres and MooTown USA offer opportunities for children to milk a goat and gather fresh eggs. Plan to pick your pumpkin and stay for the day.
In addition to pumpkin picking, Keith's Farm in Acushnet offers homemade baked goods, hayrides, and more. Open Saturdays and Sundays throughout the fall season, visitors can pick up a wide array of homemade prepared foods like pickled garlic and pepper spread from Keith's farm stand.