It’s Fall! Time To Visit A Pumpkin Patch

Posted October 18, 2016 by Brian Keaney in Downtown Boston
It is a great time of the year to hit a pumpkin patch.

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year not only in Boston, but in all of New England. The changing leaves provide a burst of late year color, but the thermometer has not yet dropped to its frigid wintery lows. It is the perfect weather to enjoy one of the quintessential New England traditions, visiting a pumpkin patch.

Fortunately, there are several within a short drive of downtown Boston. Located half an hour north of the city, Boston Hill Farm in North Andover has been run by the same family for 12 generations. In addition to picking apples, pumpkins, and other fruit, you can also stop by their farm stand for a quick bite to eat. Try the jams and jellies or ice cream, or get a sandwich and a cup of soup.

If there is simply too much there for you to transport home, or if you want to share the wealth with friends and family in other parts of the country, they will ship their products. While you’re there, though, be sure the kids get a chance to feed the sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits.

If you would rather zip up Rt. 95 instead, Connors Farm in Danvers will take you the same half hour to drive. The $10 admission price gains you access to not only apple picking, but a host of other fun fall activities as well. The seven acre corn maze will be sure to keep even the best navigator occupied, and the sling shots, pumpkin blaster, and mechanical bull are sure to please kids of all ages.

The farm has several options when you get hungry. Connors Country Kitchen makes apple cider donuts daily on the farm, but for a bigger meal Bob’s BBQ Pitt is open every weekend in the fall. Food options are rounded out at The Watering Hole and the Corn Crib where visitors enjoy roasted corn on the cob. While you are there, sign up for a share in their Community Supported Agriculture program, and enjoy produce fresh off the farm as soon as it is harvested. If you don’t want that much food, stop by the farm stand and pick up a couple items for supper tonight.

Back in North Andover, Smolak Farms is running their annual Scarecrow Contest. When you go up to enjoy their narrated storybook hay ride adventure–this year is Alice in Wonderland–be sure to bring a scarecrow with you. The winner will receive a $200 gift card to the farm. With a bakery, greenhouse, and ice cream stand in addition to their crops, there are plenty of delectable goodies to spend it on. You can even go back in December to cut down your own Christmas tree.

During September and October, weekends at Smolak are dedicated to the Harvest Festivals. In the children’s area, the Wee Wagon rides, cow train rides, mini hay bale maze, animal area, and more, are sure to keep the little ones entertained on a fine fall afternoon. If you are interested in how the whole operation runs, tractor drawn wagons will bring your around the farm, educating and entertaining patrons on the various aspects of the farm and farming.

Boston is beautiful in the fall, but so is the entire region.  This is a great time to get out and explore.