Apple Picking at Parlee Farms: A First Taste of Fall

21 Sep

Fall is my favorite season in New England. The multicolored leaves, rich flavors, and perfect weather (I love mild temperatures and clouds) make me look forward to these months every year.

Pumpkins and Apples at Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro Massachusetts

Last weekend I kicked off autumn with an apple picking trip up to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, MA. It was my first time there and, as Sunday was a gorgeous day to be outside, everyone in the state must have had the same idea.

The complex – fruit picking, country store, hay maze, pumpkins, and goats (!!) – are open at 10am Tuesday-Sunday. We arrived at 9:30 to find the entrance closed off, so we parked on the side of the road with four other cars to wait. By 10am there were 40 or 50 cars parked along the street (in a residential area, I felt terrible for everyone living in those houses). We drove in as the entrance opened and stood in line to purchase our apple picking bag.

There are two bag options at the farm. The first is a $20 bag, which holds ten pounds of apples, and the second is a larger $28 bag. Once you purchase a bag, board the hay ride to the apples and begin picking! The staff were very friendly and we arrived the morning a new section of the orchard opened, so we had first pick of Honey Crisp, Cortland, and Fuji apples.

Huge crowd at Parlee Farms on a Sunday waiting to pick apples and enter the farm stand

Crowd and picnic tables at Parlee Farms with parking lot full of cars

Once we were finished picking, we boarded the hay ride again and returned to the country store. By then it was so packed that it looked like Disney (okay, I haven’t been in a while, but look at those cars!). We bought two bags of five freshly-made little doughnuts, and half-gallon of apple cider, and found a free picnic table.

Five hot cider doughnuts in paper bag at Parlee Farms

My family had goats growing up, so I was very excited to see goats at Parlee Farms. I unfortunately couldn’t jump right into the pen, but I bought a little handful of feed so I could pet them. I may have been the only adult involved in this activity…but look how cute they are!

Feeding the goats at Parlee Farms

Adorable Black and White Goat at Parlee Farms

Apple picking at Parlee Farms was a different experience from what I’ve done in Upstate New York, but they have a good system considering how busy it gets (paying for the bag in advance, traveling by tractor-pulled hay ride to the orchard). If you decide to go, just remember: arrive early and don’t forget to try the doughnuts!

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6 Responses to “Apple Picking at Parlee Farms: A First Taste of Fall”

  1. Renee {Eat.Live.Blog.} September 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    I have never heard of Parlee. I go to Russell Orchard in Ipswich every year, and am disappointed any time I go anywhere else. At Russell you literally get your cider donuts straight out of the cooker. They are amazing!!

    • Liz September 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      That sounds amazing. I’ll have to try them out next time we go!

  2. Nicole @ The Girl Who Ate Boston September 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    I used to go to Parlee Farms when I was a little kid! I picked blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and apples. After I was done picking fruit, I’d hit my mom up for some ice cream and — equally important — quarters to feed the goats!

    I have been meaning to go back to Parlee Farms for years now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Must fix that soon!

    • Liz September 22, 2012 at 6:12 am #

      Hi Nicole, thanks for visiting! That sounds so nice. We were only there for the apples, but I’d love to go back in the summer for berries. There were so many families last weekend continuing the tradition – a great place!

  3. jloo60 September 21, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful day. Remember, you are never too old to pet/feed the goats! They look like French Alpine (the breed that we had).

    • Liz September 22, 2012 at 6:09 am #

      It was great. They do look like French Alpine – I forgot how cute and full of expression they are!

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