Nothing says fall better than a September day spent picking apples in New England. Up here, September is such a great month for it’s cool mornings, warm afternoons, and comfortable evenings. This gives you ample time to fill your day with outdoors activities before the weather shifts again. One of my favorite fall activities is popping over to the local orchards to pick our own apples. It’s fun for the whole family, an outdoor physical activity, and there’s usually baked goods involved. Plus you’re enjoying yourself while supporting a local, small business. What could be better?! If you find yourself in New England in September, you’ll want to save a day for apple picking.
This year we decided to try an apple orchard new to me. Though you certainly can’t call this orchard new, as it was started in 1981. The Tougas Family Farm is a family owned and operated fruit farm with so much to offer. From varieties of apples, to pumpkins, to strawberries and blueberries, you could visit all summer long. They were recently named #6 in the USA TODAY 10 Best Reader’s Choice of 2020 for Best Apple Orchard in the country! How exciting for them and how lucky for us being so close by!
We started our visit in the afternoon, it just worked best for us with the kids’ nap times. I was worried we wouldn’t have much time but it actually worked out well because the crowd was dying down. Being a weekend, you have to expect it to be busy. So we kicked off our visit with a wagon ride to the apple orchard. Due to the current health crisis, masks were required. The farm did an excellent job of providing organized lines with space for distancing and several sinks set up with soap and water. They offered plenty of room on the wagon rides too! Not like the good old days when you had to squish in and rub legs with a stranger.
Tougas Family Farm has several varieties of apples. Just to name a few starting with our favorites; Honeycrisp, Cortland, MacIntosh, Gala, Fuji, Ginger Gold, Blondee, and more. Our daughter, almost 4, had a blast picking her own apples and reaching up from daddy’s shoulders. Such a good activity to give her a sense of independence and accomplishment.
After returning from the orchard by our wagon ride back, we headed over to the play area. Let me tell you, this place can offer hours of entertainment. There were so many options in the playground, a barnyard to see some animals, and a few stands to choose from.
Picnic tables are available to sit back and relax while enjoying some of their own homemade treats. The farm store and kitchen has so much to choose from. You can find ice cream, slushies, homemade pies, scones, jams, applesauce and my personal favorite… cider donuts!! We indulged on some FRESH hot apple cider and donuts before ending this fun family day at the farm. I’d highly recommend venturing over for some fall fun.