– By Cristy Maldonado

Photo Credit: Cider Hill Farm

Nothing welcomes the Fall season better than a carved Jack O’ Lantern. While apple picking could be considered one of the more popular fall activities, nearly every orchard in Massachusetts also offers pumpkins perfect for the carving. If Halloween decorations, gourd based desserts, and a fall road trip are in your future, use this guide to pumpkin picking to help get you started.

Know Before You Go

There are an endless number of farms within driving distance of Boston that offer pumpkin patches and other seasonal goodies. If you’re interested in learning more about pumpkin events and locating a farm closer to home, visit the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources website to learn more about pick your own pumpkin patches across the state. Here are some of our favorites.

Photo Credit: Cider Hill Farm

Cider Hill Farm

45 Fern Avenue
Amesbury, MA 01913
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (May 5 through November 26)

Cider Hill Farm is well known for its apple picking and award winning cider. If you happen to stop by to pick apples this fall, don’t forget about the pumpkins. Pumpkins are in season starting September 1st and if you go early enough you may get the benefit of their other veggies like Winter Squash, Zucchini, Cukes and Swiss Chard.

Crescent Farm

140 Willow Avenue
Haverhill, MA 01835
Hours: Monday through Friday: noon to 9 p.m.;
Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fall is the perfect time to visit Crescent Farm located 30 minutes from Boston and 10 minutes from New Hampshire. They offers many pumpkin related activities perfect for families including hay rides to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkins, wind your way through a challenging corn maze, and closer to Halloween a terrifying haunted hay ride – if you dare.

Photo Credit: Smolak Farms.com

Smolak Farms

315 South Bradford Street
North Andover, MA 01845

Smolak Farms has a yearly Pumpkin Festival and Great Pumpkin Day. During the two-day festival, families can come in costume for hayrides, storytelling, and pumpkin carving demonstrations. In addition to pumpkins and other fall goods, Smolak Farms also has special fall treats perfect for snacking onsite and at home afterwards.

Smolak Anniversary Weekend: October 8th – 10th
Pumpkin Festival: October 15th & 16th

Photo Credit: Bill Gallery

Roger Williams Zoo Jack O’Lantern Spectacular

Address: 1000 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02907
October 6-31, 2011
Admission: Visit the website for rates.
Hours: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

These pumpkins are not for the picking, but if you’re up for something different head to the Roger Williams Park Zoon in Providence, Rhode Island. Located 50 minutes from Boston, the Zoo has a nationally acclaimed Jack O’Lantern Spectacular. Every October, thousands of glowing gourds are placed throughout the park. Expertly carved and dramatically arranged, rumor has it that this sight is truly something to behold. If you’re up for a short road trip, be sure to add this to your list of weekend adventures.

Cristy Maldonado is a Boston-based blogger in constant pursuit of fun activities in the city. Read more of her work at bostonurbansafari.blogspot.com

Comments (2)
  1. JohnB says:

    How is this a “guide” for picking pumpkins? I was expecting tips on pumpkin selection. How to judge quality etc. If I wanted a list of farms to go to I would read the yellow pages!

    1. Kizzy says:

      Do you actually NEED tips on pumpkin selection?
      Pick one you like with a firmly attached stem. There are so many out there to choose from. These are for carving, and it should be fun. Not brain science. Big or small, round or oddly shaped, they’re all great. Just find one you like the looks of, and buy it. Quality doesn’t count here, the size and shape is what counts. Have fun with it!

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