Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Touring Boston - What to Know About Apple Picking at Lookout Farms

One of the first things my husband and I did after moving to Cambridge back in 2013 was going apple picking.  It sounded so New England and his school was planning a trip, renting a bus to haul all the students and families, and taking us out to the orchards.  How could we resist?

The place they chose, among the many Massachusetts Pick Your Own Apple Orchards was called Lookout Farm.

What to Know About Apple Picking at Lookout Farms

This was my first time apple picking so I wasn't sure what to expect, my initial thought was that we would be climbing small ladders and throwing apples down to each other to put into burlap bags... but that's not they way do things out here.

I soon found out that they grow dwarf/mini trees so that you can easily reach the apples from the ground and have no need for ladders. This is great (and much safer if you're toting along tots), and it was still a lot of fun.  Not to mention that you get a pretty good view of the fruit your picking so it's easier to get the good stuff.

Now that we've been in Cambridge for a few years I've had the chance to experience a handful of orchards and I've realized that they are all very different from each other, so I'd like to highlight the features you can expect at Lookout Farm.

Riding the train at Lookout Farm
1.  Price
I've found this to be one of the more expensive orchards, but with good reason because they really make it family affair that is amazing for kids, but I'll get to that later.   You pay a person by person admission, ($9-$15/person depending on the day of the week, kids under two are free) in addition to the price of a bag that you will be filling with fruit.

2. Train Ride
This farm is huge and the different varieties are fruit are really spread out.  To make reaching the fruit easier on their guests Lookout Farms has a train that comes around and you hope on and off as you like when you reach the fruit you want to pick.  If your kid/s likes trains, count this as a total win.  It also makes it really easy to get around without having to haul or push a stroller.

3. Shade
They have planted arches of grape vines near where the train drops off and picks up so even on super hot days you can have shade.  I was pregnant when we went the first time and the day was blistering, so this was a huge blessing.

Playing on the playground at Lookout Farm
4. Play Area
This play area is amazing!  It was fun as an adult (we went before our son was born) and it looked incredible for kids.  There were lots of animals to see, you could ride ponies or camels, there was a great playground, lots of space to run around, covered picnic tables, a climbing wall, a burlap canvas maze, a mini caterpillar ride for little kids, a learning area where they could build some structures related to bees, a bounce house, and a giant hay pyramid to climb.

*In addition to this on the weekends they have face painters and performers.

5. Food
They have a snack shack located in the play area where you can buy burgers and the like and they have a country store at the entrance where you can buy fruits, canned goods, honey and the like.  We bought some pumpkin butter there and it was amazing.

Playing on the playground at Lookout Farm
Summary and Rating: ★★★★☆

This farm was a blast to spend the day at.  They had so much to do that you could easily spend multiple days there and there were tons of fun fall actives for kids.   The fruit we picked was delicious and I liked having a guide to give us some insights and tips about what we were doing and how to do it.  The farm was clean, and play area was fun and the food was delicious.  The only draw back of this farm is that it's a bit more pricy than the others, but considering the kid play Mecca it is, I say it's certainly worth trying out at least once. Four starts, because this place was amazing, clean and fun, but it was also expensive.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below. 

Farm Address: 

Belkin Family Lookout Farm
89 Pleasant Street South
Natick, MA 01760

Phone: 508–653–0653