Parlee Farms
Photograph: Courtesy Parlee Farms

The best pumpkin patches near Boston for fall fun

The patches at one of these charming local farms are chock-full of pumpkins and ripe for the picking this autumn near Boston.

JQ LouiseCheryl Fenton
Written by: Cheryl Fenton
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As the crisp autumn breeze is telling you, New England is heading full steam into fall – when the foliage becomes fiery and the apple cider pipes hot. There are countless activities to allow you to bask in the beauty of the season, and pumpkin picking is a must-do for locals and visitors alike. Ditch the pre-picked varieties at the grocery store checkout counter and head to one of these local farms near Boston, where you can hitch a ride on a wagon and choose your own stylish squash. For more seasonal activities, check out where to see the best fall foliage in Boston, where to go apple picking near Boston, and where to get the best hot chocolate in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Where to go pumpkin picking near Boston

Hop on the farm train and head out into the field for your pick of around 25,000 pumpkins each season. Work up an appetite? Stop in at The Lookout, an all-outdoor dining experience composed of picnic tables spread across this working farm in South Natick’s spacious acreage for harvest bites, locally brewed beer and their very own hard cider. For 2023, Belkin has a brand new Barnyard Play Area with an animal corral with goats and sheep, a playground, peddle tractors, and lawn games. There’s also a new two-acre Corn Maze, and a sunflower field. On the weekends, kids enjoy the Apple Bounce Pad and Busy Bee Express Ride.

Twelve generations of the same family have kept this North Andover farm going strong. Enjoy a quintessential New England autumn experience by grabbing a little red wagon and leading it out to the pumpkin field. After picking your own gourd, check out the petting zoo, enjoy live music (on the weekends) and try a fresh apple cider donut—or any of the other delicious homemade goods in the Farm Stand. It’s dog-friendly, too!

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3. Smolak Farms

Smolak Farms in North Andover has pumpkin picking—and then some. Before getting down to the business and grabbing your own gourd, you can enjoy hop-on hayrides around the farm. Plus, the farm hosts a fall festival for kids every weekend during peak season. Little ones are sure to enjoy cow train rides, a playground, face painting, carnival games and an animal petting area. For adults, live music and local beer and wine offerings are a popular draw. 

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Prefer to stay inside city limits? Allandale Farm in Brookline doesn’t offer a full picking experience, but the city farm has loads of pumpkins, perfect for pumpkin pie, decorations and of course, for carving into scary Jack-o’-lanterns. They also offer hayrides on Saturdays in October, which is pretty great considering you can get there via the MBTA!

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This Northborough farm promises a whole day of fall family fun with pumpkin picking, a playground, a barnyard full of friendly animals, and free wagon rides. The Pumpkin patch is now stocked full of specialty edible pumpkins, Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins (and carving kits, should you need one), sugar Pumpkins, and more. After a busy day, grab a farm fresh meal from The Farm Grill, or one of the pop-ups the farm is hosting all season, like East Coast Kettle Corn, which pops into on Sundays. 

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You’ll get the full fall experience at this South Shore farm, which  offers a day of fun that includes pumpkin picking,  hayrides, a small play area, and picnic tables. There’s also plenty of photo opportunities with the fiery fall colors. Grab a bucket of their hardy mums on your way out, but be sure to hit the bank first because Nihtila is cash only. They’re open weekends starting September 29, through the end of October. Nihtila also offers private tours on weekdays.

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This historic, family-run farm in Framingham grows big, beautiful pumpkins that you can pick right from the patch. There’s also a farm stand with more than 180 varieties of fruits and veggies. Plus, who doesn’t want to get lost in their 4.5-acre corn maze, hop on a hayride, or pick a bunch of sunflowers to bring home? Not to mention sneak a peek at some adorable farm animals.

You’ll find a full range of squash options among this Tyngsboro farm's 13 acres of close to 40,000 pumpkins—from minis to gigantic 40-pounders. Parlee Farms also has a farmstand, where you can watch hot apple cider donuts being made before devouring a few while they're still warm. There’s also a stunning sunflower field from early September through October.

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If you’re going north for some early leaf peeping, Shelburne Farm in Stow has your standard pumpkin varieties for picking, plus more posh varieties like Cinderella and Ghost. Pick up an ornamental gourd for your fall decor—or grab an edible pumpkin for baking. There’s a farm kitchen serving hot cider donuts, sweet treats and items from the grill. Don’t forget to say hi to the barnyard menagerie. Hop on a hay ride any day or listen to live music on the weekends.

For 104 years, Westward Orchards has been growing produce at their Harvard home. On fall weekends, a wagon will bring you to their pumpkin patch where you choose your own from their picturesque field. However, there’s also plenty of pumpkins to choose from in the farm’s store on a weekday. You’ll also find a diverse selection of Westward-grown vegetables in their store, along with local meats, cheeses, eggs, and baked goods.

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Just 30 minutes from Boston in the town of Littleton, Pickard Farm is an 150-acre farm with 15 acres dedicated to pumpkins. Bring your own wagon or grab one of theirs as you mosey through the fields to grab one right off the vine. Pickard is also less than a mile from Witch’s Woods in nearby Westford, and only 2 miles from Kimball Farm Ice Cream Stand, which are both perfect for a little spooky season fun. Bonus points: there’s no parking or admission fee.

Boasting one of the best pumpkin selections in the area, Concord’s Verrill Farm is the perfect spot to pick your own pumpkin on the weekends come September. Comb the rows of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes for the ideal jack o’ lantern, or stop by the farm store during the week to choose from a selection of decorating pumpkins. Word to the wise: check out their pies, with a bevy of flavors ranging from Kentucky Bourbon Pecan to classic apple, and of course pumpkin.

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A legacy farm with almost 250 years of growing fruit and vegetables, Dowse is located in Metrowest Boston on Route 27 in Sherborn. Starting in September, head to Dowse on weekends to pick your own pumpkin from their rolling acres. If you really want to get in the autumn spirit, check out their  hay bales, corn stalks and hardy mums. Dowse is particularly known for their onsite cider mill, so don’t skip taking a sip at their farm stand after you pick the perfect pumpkin.

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