Experience the charm of autumn in Springfield with a classic family-friendly activity: apple picking! Immerse yourself in the crisp air, vibrant foliage, and bountiful orchards as you pick your own delicious apples and create cherished memories together.
With a variety of apples to choose from, apple picking in Springfield offers the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones while enjoying the simple pleasures of nature.
Apple Picking Season in Massachusetts
Apple picking season in Massachusetts generally starts in late August and continues through October, with different apple varieties ripening at various times during this period.
The specific dates for apple picking can vary depending on factors like weather conditions, location, and the apple variety.
Massachusetts is home to numerous apple orchards that offer an enjoyable apple picking experience for the whole family.
Some popular apple varieties grown in Massachusetts include McIntosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Macoun, among others. Each variety has its unique flavor profile, and their harvest times can vary slightly.
When planning your apple picking trip, it’s a good idea to call the orchard you plan to visit or check their website for up-to-date information on the availability of specific apple varieties and their operating hours.
Additionally, weekends tend to be busier at most orchards, so visiting on a weekday can provide a more relaxed experience.
Springfield, MA Apple Picking Farms
Here are several apple picking farms located in the vicinity of Springfield, Massachusetts. As with many cities, apple orchards are generally found in more rural areas, so some of these farms may be in nearby towns.
1. Echo Hill Orchards & Winery
- Website: echohillorchards.com
- Location: 101 Wilbraham Rd, Monson, MA 01057
- Distance: Approximately 14 miles east of Springfield’s city center.
2. Meadowbrook Farm
- Website: meadowbrookfarmeastlongmeadow.com
- Location: 295 Hampden Rd, East Longmeadow, MA 01028
- Distance: About 7 miles southeast of Springfield’s city center.
3. Atkins Farms Country Market
- Website: atkinsfarms.com
- Location: 1150 West St, Amherst, MA 01002
- Distance: Approximately 22 miles north of Springfield’s city center.
4. Cold Spring Orchard (UMass Amherst)
- Website: coldspringorchard.com
- Location: 391 Sabin St, Belchertown, MA 01007
- Distance: Around 20 miles northeast of Springfield’s city center.
5. Clarkdale Fruit Farms
- Website: clarkdalefruitfarms.com
- Location: 303 Upper Rd, Deerfield, MA 01342
- Distance: Approximately 45 miles north of Springfield’s city center.
These farms may offer apple picking during the season, but it’s always a good idea to visit their websites or call ahead to confirm availability and operating hours before planning your visit.
Apple Picking Festivals and events in Massachusetts
Massachusetts hosts a variety of apple-themed festivals and events during the apple picking season, which generally runs from late August through October.
These events often feature family-friendly activities, live entertainment, food vendors, and of course, apple picking. Some popular apple-themed events and festivals in Massachusetts include:
Applefest at Wachusett Mountain
Held at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Applefest typically takes place in early October. The event features live music, craft vendors, apple picking, and various apple-themed treats, along with a scenic chairlift ride to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage.
This annual event in Northborough typically occurs in mid-September. The festival includes a parade, live entertainment, food vendors, and various family-friendly activities. Local orchards, like Tougas Family Farm, may also have special apple picking hours during the event.
Harvard Apple Blossom Festival
The Harvard Apple Blossom Festival, held in May, celebrates the apple blossoms’ arrival and the beginning of the growing season. The event features a parade, road race, craft fair, and various family activities.
Franklin County CiderDays
This annual event takes place in early November across multiple locations in Franklin County. CiderDays celebrates all things related to apples and cider, with tastings, workshops, orchard tours, and other apple-themed events.
Bolton’s Annual Harvest Fair
Held in Bolton in late September or early October, this event features apple picking, hayrides, live entertainment, and various family-friendly activities.
When planning to attend an apple-themed festival or event in Massachusetts, always check the organizer’s website or call ahead to confirm dates, times, and activities, as details may change from year to year.
Remember to dress for the weather and bring comfortable shoes for walking and exploring the orchards.
Tips for a Successful Apple Picking Experience
Apple picking is a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family. However, it can quickly turn into a frustrating experience if you are not prepared. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your apple picking adventure:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
- Bring sunscreen and bug spray
- Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly
- Call ahead to confirm the orchard’s hours and availability
- Bring cash or check, as some orchards may not accept credit cards
- Bring your own bags or containers for the apples
- Be respectful of the orchard’s rules and regulations
- Don’t climb on the trees or damage the fruit
- Sample the apples before picking to make sure they are ripe and sweet
- Have fun and enjoy the experience!
By following these tips, you can ensure a successful apple picking experience that will create memories for years to come.
Benefits of Apple Picking
Apple picking is a fun activity that offers many benefits for individuals and families. Here are some of the benefits of apple picking:
- Fresh air and exercise: Apple picking is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while getting some exercise. Walking through the orchard and carrying a bag of apples can help burn calories and increase heart rate.
- Family fun: Apple picking is a great activity for families to enjoy together. It can be a fun way to bond and create memories. Parents can teach their children about the different types of apples and how they grow.
- Healthy snack: Apples are a nutritious snack that are high in fiber and low in calories. Picking your own apples ensures that they are fresh and free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
- Supporting local farms: By picking apples at a local farm, you are supporting the local economy and helping to sustain local agriculture. It’s a great way to give back to the community.
- Learning experience: Apple picking can be a great learning experience for children and adults alike. It can teach about agriculture, the environment, and the importance of supporting local farms.
Apple Picking FAQs
What should I wear when apple picking?
Wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes suitable for walking on uneven terrain. Dress in layers, as the temperature can change throughout the day. A hat and sunscreen are recommended for sun protection.
Do I need to bring my own bags or containers for apple picking?
Some orchards provide bags or containers for apple picking, while others may require you to bring your own. It’s a good idea to check with the orchard beforehand or bring your own reusable bags just in case.
How much does apple picking cost?
The cost of apple picking varies by the orchard and may be priced per pound, per bag, or as a flat rate for a specific container size. Some orchards may also charge an admission fee. Check with the specific orchard for their pricing structure.
Are apple orchards pet-friendly?
Policies regarding pets vary by orchard. Some orchards may allow pets on a leash, while others may not permit pets at all. It’s best to check with the individual orchard for their pet policy before visiting.