With the air getting crisper, fall foliage taking over Boston, and Starbucks and Dunkin’ offering their pumpkin spice specialities, autumn is in full swing! This means it’s the perfect time to enjoy the fall weather with the classic New England activity of apple picking (AND stuffing your face with apple cider donuts of course).

Especially with COVID-19, outdoor activities are essential for social gatherings, allowing you to spend time with friends when starting school in the pandemic. Apple picking is the perfect solution for hanging out with your friends during these unprecedented times, as you are able to pick, and eat, this iconic fall fruit, while also taking cute fall Instagram pictures.

To join in on the fall festivities, here are 8 apple orchards and farms near Boston where you can enjoy a warm cup of apple cider and fill your dorm room with apples:

Note: Please check with all of the locations below to see what their COVID-19 policies and practices are to ensure a safe experience.

1. Honeypot Hill Orchards

Distance from Northeastern: 39 miles (45 min drive)        Pricing: $20 for a Medium Bag; $30 for a Large Bag

Located in Stowe, this orchard is a Massachusetts favorite, being the perfect spot to PYO apples (AND pears). Founded by Clifford Martin, this family-own business operates this 200 acre property, growing multiple varieties of apples for you to pick at your convenience. Not only are they known for their fresh produce, but Honeypot Hill's farm stand was voted #1 for the best apple cider donuts in the region according to Boston.com. Be sure to grab a bag of 6 for $5 on your way out!

2. Tougas Family Farm

Distance From Northeastern: 43 miles (55 min drive)        Pricing: $32 for a Peck of Apples; $45 for a Half Bushel

This Northborough family owned and operated farm has all of your apple picking essentials: over 18 apple varieties (including Evercrisp!) and a drive-thru farm store with seasonal treats, such as caramel apples, pies and cold apple cider. In addition to their apple orchards, Tougas also offers PYO pumpkins, as well barnyard animals and wagon rides to add to your experience. Make sure you make a "U-Pick reservation" before coming to this cute family farm!          

3. Russell Orchards

Distance From Northeastern: 34 miles (50 min drive) Pricing: Weekdays: $25 for a 10 lb bag; Weekends: $2.50/lb

Even though their PYO apple season just ended, that doesn't mean you still can't go to this orchard to get your apple fix! Generally, this orchard offers 10 varieties of apples at a time, and also has a winery, barn animals, bakery and farm store on the property. Although you have to wait until next September to pick your own apples, Russell Orchards' farm store says that their "own fresh apples and pears are abundant in the store," providing a full list of the 16 apples they are selling currently on their website. You can also still get their warm and fresh baked goods, such as their classic apple pie and unique apple rollups, to snap pictures of!

4. Red Apple Farm

Distance From Northeastern: 65 miles (1 hr 15 min drive)

Pricing: $10 for a 3 lb bag

In addition to Apples, Red Apple Farm offers PYO Pumpkins, Red Potatoes, Winter Squash, Gourds, Indian Corn, and Popping Corn during the fall months. Their country store offers the essential fall goodies including apple dumplings, cider donuts, fresh fudge, and hot cider. Can’t make the trip out? Be sure to visit their stall in Boston Public Market. They were named one of “Boston’s 13 Greatest Doughnut Shops by the Boston Globe Magazine (March 2016)” and are known for their hot mini cider donuts!

5. Shelburne Farm

Distance from Northeastern: 27.5 miles (45 min drive)

Pricing: $27 for a Regular Bag; $38 for a Large Bag

Throughout the season, Shelburne Farm in Stowe grows over 80 different varieties of apples and many different varieties of pumpkins. Visit for lunch on the weekends to have a meal from a local food truck and hear some amazing live music! After that, check out their bakery for something sweet, including the classic cider donut, apple squares, peach bars, and more! Try some of their caramel apples with your choice from an assortment of delicious toppings.

6. Smolak Farms

Distance From Northeastern: 30 miles (40 min drive)

Pricing: $45 for a Half Bushel

Take a drive into North Andover to find Smolak Farms. After you finish Apple picking, check out their farm stand that serves sandwiches, bakery goods (Apple Cider Donuts, Apple Crisp, Whoopie Pies, and more!), and over 20 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt. Try their Apple Crisp, Caramel Apple, and Pumpkin Chip flavors for the perfect, sweet fall treat. Head back in December to buy a freshly grown Christmas tree!

7. Carlson Orchards

Distance from Northeastern: 33 miles (45 minute drive)

Pricing: $25-$28 per 25 apples

In addition to being a very successful farm growing over 20 different kinds of apples on their 120 acres of land, Carlson’s is known for its hard cider. Get a pint and some pizza at the Cider Barn and Taproom while visiting the farm. Cans of cider are also available for sale at their store along with pies, apple crisp, merch, and grocery items. Ship their apples to anywhere in the US through their online shopping service.

8. Doe Orchards

Distance from Northeastern: 39 miles (45 min drive)                    Pricing: $18 for a Peck; $34 for a Half Bushel

If you want strictly produce, Doe Orchards is the place for you. Growing blueberries, peaches and raspberries in the summer, and a wide variety of apples in the fall, this orchard has fresh, delicious produce that you can pick yourself, or buy from their farm stand! On their website, you can find what varieties are still on the trees, and which apples they have ready to go in their store.

BONUS: Doe Orchards also keeps their own honeybees, which means they have FRESH HONEY available for you to purchase!