Fall is the perfect time for an outdoor celebration, and there’s no better place than a farm, where the harvest and happenings are plentiful. Whether your child is 2 or 12, a thrill-seeker or an animal lover, there’s a farm party package to fit almost every taste and budget. I’ve rounded up a few places just a short drive from Boston where your child can celebrate the big day with friends, family, and a whole lot of fun. Here are five farms that offer a range of options, including corn mazes, bouncy houses, hay rides, pumpkin decorating, apple picking, homemade gelato, and even a train ride to the party room!
Brooksby Farm, Peabody
At Brooksby Farm, you get options: A simple party, which includes a reserved area of 5 picnic tables and a handful of animal feed for each child (to feed the animals, not themselves!). Or choose a more elaborate package, with a hayride through the orchards and apple picking. Whether you pick a simple party or a more amped up version, kids still get to visit the barnyard animals and romp around a farm.
Location: 54 Felton Street, Peabody, MA 01960
Contact: (978) 531-7456 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What's Included: Two hours in reserved party area for up to 30 people. Hayride and apple picking packages also available.
Marini Farm, Ipswich
If your kid loves corn mazes and pumpkins, there’s a good chance that Marini Farm has the perfect party. You can choose the Corn Maze party package, which includes a party room, time to explore the farm's 10-acre maze park, and a hayride out to the maze. Marini Farm has a special Mini Maze Party for preschoolers that features a much less intimidating maze and a giant jumping pillow. If your kid is more interested in pumpkins than corn mazes, check out the pumpkin carving and pumpkin painting parties.
Location: 259 Linebrook Road, Ipswich, Massachusetts 01938
Dates & Times: Parties are usually booked for the weekends during the fall, when they are running hay rides. Parties for kids under age 5 can be scheduled for weekdays.
Belkin Family Lookout Farm, Natick
The parties at Belkin Family Lookout Farm sound like so much fun, I’m thinking of celebrating my next birthday there. The party starts with a train ride to a private birthday party room at the farmhouse. Woo woo! After cake and homemade gelato, the kids get to explore the Children’s Play Area, which features a caterpillar ride, hay pyramid, burlap maze, moon bounce, and farm animals.
Location: 89 Pleasant Street South, South Natick, MA 01760
Contact: Event manager at (508) 651–1539 x10
What's Included: Up to 20 guests, including children, adults and chaperones. For more info on what’s included, take a look at the Birthday Parties at the Farm page.
Dates: Offered May 11 - October 27 (except peak farm fall season for weekend parties).
Honeypot Hill Orchards, Stow
If piecing together a party isn’t how you like to plan your child’s birthday celebration, you may want to try Honeypot Hill Orchards. The almost all-inclusive packages include a private tent, 30 minutes in the bouncy castle for your party only, apple picking, a private hayride, hedge maze and tunnel maze exploration, visiting the animals, pumpkins for the kids, and – for an extreme sugar high – cider and caramel apples. During the summer, there's a blueberry party option. This place has all the bells and whistles, so it gets crazy crowded on the weekends. I recommend booking a weekday party if you can.
Location: 138 Sudbury Road, Stow, MA 01775
Contact: (978) 562-5666, ext. 2, Monday-Friday, 9am - 4pm.
What's Included: See their Birthdays page for more info.
Dates: Apple Party available August 24 thru November 3. Blueberry parties are offered during blueberry-picking season (around mid-July). Weekday parties are at 3:00 pm (or call for other scheduling).
Tangerini’s Spring Street Farm, Millis
Tangerini’s Spring Street Farm offers what I think of as a good-old-fashioned farm party. In the fall, parties include a party area, hayride, pumpkin picking and decorating, and a hay maze, which is made up of about 300 bales of hay that have been stacked into long, dark tunnels (perfect for kids who have birthdays on or near Halloween – but bring flashlights!). In the spring and summer, the only variation to the party package is a craft project instead of pumpkin picking and decorating.
Location: 139 Spring Street, Millis, Massachusetts 02054
Contact: (508) 376-5024
What's Included: Visit their Birthdays & Groups page for package info.
Dates & Times: May 1 through October 31. Weekend parties start at 10am, 12:30 pm and 3pm. Weekday parties can start at almost any time.
Originally published September 25, 2012