September is the busiest time of the year for apple picking, and Massachusetts is home to over 50 different orchards. Are you a Macintosh fan? Maybe you prefer Gala apples? Or perhaps you secretly just want freshly made cider donuts?  You can try them while enjoying a nice (and healthy!) family activity. We rounded up some of our favorite picking places, all within driving distance of Boston.

Cider Hill Farm Family run for three generations, Cider Hill has kept up their value of making every customer feel at home. Every year, Cider Hill encourages families to come and create memories with their pick-your-own fruit offerings which include apples, peaches and pumpkins. Don’t forget a cider donut- the ones Cider Hill Farm’s were rated top donut by North Shore Magazine. http://www.ciderhill.com, 45 Fern Avenue, Amesbury MA

Courtesy of Cider Hill Farm

Courtesy of Cider Hill Farm

Honey Pot Hill Orchard Honey Pot Hill Orchards is located in Stow, MA and has 180 acres of delicious fruit just waiting to be picked. A family-owned farm since 1926, Honey Pot Hill Orchards also offers fun activities including farm animals, hedge mazes, and hayrides. Stop by their farm store for fresh picked fruit of the day or pick your own. http://www.honeypothill.com, 138 Sudbury Rd, Stow, MA

Shelburne Farm Coming in as the oldest pick-your-own orchard in Eastern Massachusetts, Shelburne Farm continues to be a popular destination for the young and old. Take advantage of those crisp fall days and pick your own pumpkins, peaches, and over twenty varieties of apples. On weekends and holidays, they have fresh baked apple pie, apple squares, and hot cider doughnuts to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you get there early, they might still have some of their famous caramel apples left. http://www.shelburnefarm.com, 106 West Acton Road, Stow, MA

Tougas Family Farm Tougas Family Farm prides itself on being one of the Northeast’s foremost family attractions Over the years, the apple stand, barnyard, playground, and kitchen were added to the popular existing orchard. Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and pumpkins are available for you to pick seasonally. Enjoy fresh fruit, fresh air, and family fun. http://www.tougasfamilyfarm.com, 234 Ball Street, Northborough, MA

Russell Orchards Located 35 miles north of Boston right near the beautiful Crane Beach is Russell Orchards, a family-owned farm perfect for apple picking. This organic farm offers a wide variety of apples to pick, including Cortland, Empire, Gala and Macintosh. The farm store sells other fruits and vegetables, picked daily to ensure freshness. The farm has a $3 entry fee which goes towards the cost of your apples if you choose to pick your own. http://russellorchards.com, 143 Argilla Rd Ipswich, MA

Smolak Farms It’s Fall Festival time at Smolak Farms! Every weekend in September and October you can enjoy fun family activities including hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple cider donuts, candy apples, and Halloween treats. Kids love visiting and feeding the animals, adults enjoy plucking the freshest apples, and everyone enjoys a warm cider donut from their farmstand. http://www.smolakfarms.com/about 315 South Bradford Street North Andover, MA 

Smolak Farm

Smolak Farms

Belkin Family Lookout Farm Belkin Family Lookout Farm is one of the oldest working farms in the country and with its close proximity to Boston, it’s also one of of the most convenient to visit. Pick your own apples, pumpkins, and even pears. Kids and families can enjoy bouncy houses, a farm play area, and much more included in the admission fee. On weekends, hayrides are popular as well as pony rides for the little ones. http://lookoutfarm.com, 89 Pleasant Street South, South Natick, MA 

Brooksby Farm At Brooksby’s, you can find much more than just apples. Their sweet smelling farm store welcomes you with the aroma of fresh apple cider, doughnuts, and chocolatey fudge. Throughout the season, pies and baked goods are available for purchase along with gift baskets perfect for the holidays. People come from all over Massachusetts for a nice weekend well spent at Brooksby’s. http://www.brooksbyfarm.org, 54 Felton St, Peabody, MA 

Dowse Orchards Dowse Orchards has been around for over 200 years and their farm stand for about 60 years. Want some good fall fun? Dowse Orchards will not disappoint. You can pick huge pumpkins, perfect for carving Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, as well as crisp and ripe apples in September and October. Dowse is known for their Golden and Red Delicious apples. http://www.dowseorchards.com, 98 N Main St, Sherborn, MA 

Boston Hill Farm Boston Hill Farm is the place to go if you love to pick apples (and eat a few along the way). September and October are prime time at Boston Hill for Macintosh, Cortland, and Macoun apples. Along with the standard apple cider doughnuts, Boston Hill’s farm store has uniquely flavored cinnamon doughnuts and you can pick your own sugar pumpkins too! http://www.bostonhillfarm.com, 1370 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA