Apple picking is one of the most traditional seasonal activities in the Northeastern United States. It basically consists of fruit harvesting (which can be paid as a method of purchasing apples or recreational as a social and family activity) which usually takes place around the end of September and during October as those are usually the most ideal months to go fruit picking.

As it is considered a recreational activity, people often go on dates, groups and with the whole family to go apple picking and have some fun. Since we at Hopkinton Country Club want everyone to have a good time, here is a list of the best places to go apple picking near Boston:

1. Belkin Family Lookout Farm

Location: South Natick (45-minute drive from Boston)

Considered one of the oldest farms in the United States, Lookout Farm has a plentiful selection of the crispiest and sweetest apples in the area. Even though, the farm keeps things modern with a taproom offering craft ciders and beers to relax after a long apple picking day.

Price of a small bag: $14; $15 admission.

2. Dowse Orchards

Location: Sherborn (45-minute drive)

With over 50 acres of land and more than 20 varieties of apples to choose from, Dowse Orchards is a must go if you’re looking to have some relaxing time while gathering some fruits to fill the pantry at home. Their roadside farmstand, which has operated for over 60 years, lets you stock up on all your seasonal favorites.

Price of a small bag: $16.

3. Brooksby Farm

Location: Peabody (45-minute drive)

Brooksby Farm’s wagon rides are one of the places’ best attractions, along with a perfect backdrop for fruit picking and their barnyard animals which will make you want to hit the road. Yes, there are plenty of apple orchards to explore, but encountering these friendly goats will bring you back to your petting zoo days.

Price of a small bag: $10.

4. Boston Hill Farm

Location: North Andover (45-minute drive)

This 12-generation family owned and operated farm offers quintessential New England sights and homegrown produce on-site. With freshly baked pies, apple cider donuts, ice cream, and handmade chocolates, you’ll get your sweet fix from more than a successful apple picking session.

Price of a small bag: $20.

5. Connors Farm

Location: Danvers (45-minute drive)

For maximum fall activities, head to Connors Farm for an endless amount of autumn-inspired attractions and prime apple picking views. If you’re into challenging yourself and others, maneuver your way through the farm’s themed-corn maze. This year’s “crazy train corn maze” opens Saturday, September 8, and starting Friday, September 28, the farm hosts flashlight nights to add to your experience and inevitable fear.

Price of a small bag: $11.

6. Parlee Farms

Location: Tyngsboro (50-minute drive)

This pick-your-own-farm not only has a wide variety of apples to choose from but an option to cut your own flowers through late September. Another plus to making the trip out? The farm’s Mary’s Country Kitchen and Bakery serves up homemade baked goods. A bag of donuts and fresh cut flowers? That’s one way to win someone’s heart.

Price of a small bag: $25.

7. Smolak Farms

Location: North Andover (55-minute drive)

Pick-your-own-fruit farm Smolak Farms is yet another ideal destination for animal lovers and avid apple pickers alike. A day spent meandering through an apple orchard sounds like an enjoyable time, but throw a couple alpacas into the mix and it sounds like heaven on earth to us.

Price of a small bag: $20.

8. Honey Pot Hill Orchards

Location: Stow (1-hour drive)

The beloved Honey Pot Hill Orchards has just about everything to meet your seasonal needs. For $18 per person, enjoy the farm’s fun pack, which includes a picking bag, hayride, cider donut, candy apple, hayride, and entrance to the farm’s hedge maze. We highly recommend this investment for your next family-fun outing.

Price of a small bag: $18.

9. Westward Orchards

Location: Harvard (1-hour & 10-minute drive)

Sticking with its fresh, homegrown and locally sourced produce, Westward Orchards provides a wide pick-your-own-fruit selection along with delectable pieces of bread and baked goods. But that’s not all – Westward Orchards will be hosting its fall farm-to-table dinner on Saturday, October 13 featuring seasonally-inspired dishes and desserts. The reservation is a bit pricey at $100 per ticket, but if you’re down to taste the freshest local ingredients with some newfound friends, this might be worth breaking the bank for.

Price of a small bag: $19

10. Nashoba Winery

Location: Bolton (1-hour & 10-minute drive)

For this weekend excursion, be sure to enlist in the help of a designated driver. Nashoba Winery offers both apple picking and daily wine tastings. Enjoy stunning views at the property’s J’s Restaurant and outdoor patio — because we all deserve to treat ourselves from time to time. Your DD will have their day.

Price of a small bag: $20.

11. Shelburne Farm

Location: Stow (45-minute drive)

If you’re looking for something outside of the standard Red Delicious and McIntosh, Shelburne Farm grows more than 80 different kinds of apples. If that isn’t tough enough of a decision, the farm’s Apple Shop, housed in an antique 19th-Century barn, has a selection of homemade goods from cider donuts to fudge for you to contemplate devouring.

Price of a small bag: $20.

12. Red Apple Farm

Phillipston (1-hour & 20-minute drive)

You’ve probably caught a whiff of Red Apple Farm’s apple cider donuts at the Boston Public Market, but now’s the time to take a trip to the source. With walking trails, farm animals, hay rides and of course, those fresh apple cider donuts, you won’t regret making the drive out — unless whoever in control of the aux cord had poor taste.

Price of a small bag: $22.

All these places have a lot to offer and they are close to the Boston area. We recommend calling to check on schedules or make a reservation in advance to avoid last minute issues.