Another fall is upon us. With the weather cooling off and the tree leaves changing, now is the perfect time to get outside and visit our beautiful local New England farms. Whether you are looking for pick-your-own-apples or pumpkins, hayrides or cider donuts, these farms have all that and more! This is not a complete list of all the farms in the area; just a few of the ones I’ve visited and would like to share!
Full Day New England Farms
(4+ hours of possible activities)
New England Farm #1: Smolak Farms
Location: 315 S Bradford St, North Andover, MA 01845
Highlights: Cider donuts, pick your own fruit, hayrides, farm animals, pumpkins, flowers, playground, farm store.
Smolak Farms is a part of almost every local family’s fall ritual and for good reason! This historic farm has family-friendly fun and some the best pick your own fruit the region has to offer! As a working farm, there is an extensive selection of fresh fruits and vegetables available throughout the year at the farm stand.
Smolak Farms isn’t just all work and no play. This family-oriented farm has an extensive kids’ area that includes a playground, and plenty of animals to look at and feed. They even have exotic animals like peacocks!
During fall weekends there is almost always something going on at the farm. You can find live music, games for the kids, drinks for the adults, and hayrides for everyone. While Smolak is always busy on the weekends, it’s rarely overcrowded, which means short lines and fun times! Below is a photo of my younger daughter on a recent visit through the pumpkin patch. Both girls had a fun time picking out their pumpkin.
New England Farm #2: Cider Hill Farm
Location: 45 Fern Avenue Amesbury, MA 01913
Highlights: Pick your own fruit, hayrides, corn maze, large farm store, onsite hard cider tasting, cider donuts, pumpkins, farm animals.
You could easily make a day of your adventures at Cider Hill Farm. Check out the post about my visit here! One of the larger and perhaps one of the most beautiful farms in the region, Cider Hill Farm has it all. There are extensive apple orchards that climb the slopes of the farm rewarding you with a gorgeous view as you pick your apples. If walking isn’t your thing, catch the hayride that runs up and down from the orchards.
Back at the entrance to the farm, you’ll find plenty of pumpkins and mums ready for purchase. There’s also a massive chicken pen that provides farm-fresh eggs, and a food truck with hearty farm-based meals. Inside the main barn is well-stocked store with produce and meat from Cider Hill and other local farms. You’ll also find Cider Hill’s Legendary donuts inside, along with their hard cider tasting area.
Cider Hill farm is a must for fall fun, but at a farm as large as this be prepared for weekend crowds.
New England Farm #3: Ingalsby Farm
Location: 14 Washington St West Boxford, MA, MA 01885
Highlights: Pick your own fruit, pumpkins, playground, farm animals, bakery, cider donuts, farm store.
Ingaldsby Farm is located in rural West Boxford which may be a little off the beaten path for some people, but the adventure is well worth it! Like the other farms we’ve mentioned it has fantastic pick-your-own fruit (especially apples) and is very beautiful. Unlike the other farms, Ingaldsby is a little more rustic, intimate, and even cozy. The kid’s area is tucked between the farm animals and the farm stand. The farm store itself is rustic on the outside and warm and welcoming within.
The apple fields are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen and fall in West Boxford is breathtaking. After you’re done picking fruit or pumpkins, be sure to stop by the bakery in the farm stand. Ingaldsby makes many delicious pastries right onsite, and the cider donuts alone are worth the trip!
Half Day New England Farms
(Less Than 4 Hours of Possible Activities)
The New England farms we’ve talked about so far are fairly large and have plenty of family fun activities that could occupy your entire day. If you’re looking for a quicker excursion? The following farms are just as unique and beautiful as their larger counterparts but can be done relatively quickly. They are perfect for stopping by on the way home from Newburyport, or for visiting on a multi-farm day adventure!
New England Farm #4: Tendercrop Farm
Location: 108 High Road Newbury, MA
Highlights: Large farm store, large selection of fresh produce and meat, plants and flowers, dried flower room, farm animals (including a bison!).
Tendercrop Farm is actually a group of several farms located throughout the region, but we will be talking about the one in Newbury MA. Located conveniently next to the town of Newburyport, it’s a perfect stop during a fall coastal adventure. The farm has a large selection of live plants and fresh-cut flowers, along with a farm animal area that has even had a bison at times!
Because this location pulls from several local farms, you’ll find a large selection of local produce, fresh-cut flowers, meats, and co-op products in the main barn. In the loft of the antique New England barn, you will find a scene that can only be described as enchanting. Bundles of dried flowers and herbs are hung from all the rafters, bathing the loft in smells and colors making you feel like you stepped into a fairy tale. It’s worth stopping at Tendercrop just for this!
New England Farm #5: Pettengill Farm
Location: 45 Ferry Rd, Salisbury, MA 01952
Highlights: Live plants, farm animals, greenhouses, beautiful gardens.
Pettengill Farm is a unique farm that is worth including on this list because of its incredible beauty. The farm sells a huge selection of plants and shrubs, including many unique varieties you won’t find at big garden centers. What makes this farm truly stand out is the incredible beauty of its gardens. At Pettengill, the sales area is a work of art, with merchandise blending in seamlessly with the gardens and sculptures that cover the farm.
This beauty should come as no surprise, as this farm sells professional garden services, and their skill is shown clearly on every inch of the farm. You’ll also find all kinds of interesting animals on the farm. While the cast is always changing, Pettengill Farm has had goats, pigs, chickens, and even emus at one time or another! If you are headed towards the coast or looking for gardening inspiration, Pettengill Farm is definitely worth the visit.
All the New England farms on this list are beautiful, fun, and unique in their own way. They are by no means the only ones. Essex county is blessed with many historical, and contemporary family farms, each with their own charms waiting to be discovered. The most important thing to do this fall is get out there and explore the amazing region we call home!