Lifestyle

6 places to pick the perfect pumpkin

A visit to a pumpkin patch makes for a pleasant fall afternoon.

Pumpkins on display at a local pumpkin patch in 2021
Pumpkins on display at a local pumpkin patch in 2021. John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe

There’s perhaps no autumn activity as quintessential as heading out to a farm and picking your own perfect, plump pumpkin to usher in the arrival of autumn.

Want a large gourd you can carve an elaborate design in? Or perhaps you prefer small gourds to build a gorgeous, seasonal entry display? Either way, a visit to a pumpkin patch means you get to choose. And, not only is it a fun day trip — friendly for all ages — but it’s also an excuse to take the scenic route and peep some fall foliage on your drive out.

Advertisement:

Here are six of our favorite pumpkin patches near Boston.

Boston Hill Farm
1390 Turnpike St., North Andover 

Family-owned and operated for 12 generations, Boston Hill Farm is a multigenerational outing, even including fur-children, thanks to their dog-friendly policies. Whether you want to pick a pumpkin or entrust the farmers to do it for you — they offer a curbside pickup for pumpkins — this North Andover-farm has you covered. There’s also a farm stand that serves up pizza and freshly baked pies filled with fruit from the property.

The Big Apple Farm
207 Arnold St., Wrentham 

Wrentham may be known for the outlets, but The Big Apple Farm provides a different type of shopping trip worth taking. The 200-acre farm offers pumpkin (and apple) picking, and you can pluck fall delicacies straight from the vine (or branch). There’s also a bakery churning out seasonal pastries, which pair nicely with a jar of local honey, jam, or maple syrup.

Connors Farm
30 Valley Road, Danvers

Connors Farm has become well known for its popular kid-friendly attractions, including hayrides, a corn maze, treehouse village, and mini railroad. Of course, the pumpkin plucking and apple picking abound for visitors of all ages. The farm is family-friendly during the day, but once night falls, things can get a little spooky due to the haunted offerings.

Advertisement:

Shelburne Farms
106 West Acton Road, Stow

While a stroll through the Shelburne Farms fields may feel like you’re in a meticulously painted still life, there are some more contemporary attractions at Shelburne, like the John Deere Gator, Harvester dump truck playgrounds, and hayrides to the pumpkin patch. A bonus: Their warm cider doughnuts melt in your mouth and offer a true taste of the season.

Oake Knoll Farms
70 North St., Foxborough 

An excursion to Oake Knoll Farms also brings the opportunity to score some dairy treats while also picking up a petite pumpkin. The farm produces an incredible selection of fresh cheese, milked from their own pasture-raised cows. It’s the perfect farm for those who want to take home a full bounty.

Smolak Farm 
315 S. Bradford St. North Andover

Though its farm stand operates year-round, selling homemade pies, stacked sandwiches, and ice cream, visitors come for its cider doughnuts in the fall — and stay for the festivals during September and October. The weekends bring a flurry of activity, with pumpkin and apple picking, music, carnival games, a cow train, hay rides, and a petting zoo. 

Fall in Love With New England:

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com