Fun Fall Farms for Kids Around Boston

Apple Picking, Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patches, Hay Rides, Cider Donuts, Visiting the farm animals….there is so much to do around the Boston area with kids during the fall. The air is getting crisp and it’s a great time to get them outside in the fresh air and explore new places near where you live! Along with the basics, so many local farms have really added some fun activities to keep everyone from the littlest of kids to the adults and grandparents filled with plenty to do, eat, see and enjoy! Here’s a few of our favorite farms and some activities to enjoy this fall:

Allandale Farm, Brookline MA

Located in Brookline, Allandale Farm is a quick way to visit a local farm if you’re in the Boston area. With weekly story times for kids on the farm and so many fresh fruits and veggies, Allendale is a cozy neighborhood farm with lots of space for kids to explore. Most years, they host all sorts of fall-themed events but check their calendar for the most updated information.

Photo Credit; Allandale Farm

Smolak Farms, North Andover

The super bowl of farms, Smolak Farms in North Andover has just about everything you could want. Petting Zoo. Pumpkin Patch. Pick your own Apples. Hayrides. Haunted Hayrides. Cider Donuts. Playground. Picnics. Fall Festival Weekends with live music.  Cow Train. Face Painting. Beer + Wine Garden. And we could go on and on. Point is, you could spend a full day here with plenty to do for kids and adults!

Photo Credit: Smolack Farms

Dowse Orchards, Sherborn, MA

If you’re looking for a no frills apple orchard, Dowse Orchards in Sherborn is your place! Simple, quaint little New England spot to enjoy the apples and browse their farm stand for more fruits and veggies. They also have pumpkins, apple cider, preserves and gift baskets, so make sure to support local with their family farm!

Photo Credit: Dowse Orchards

Hanson’s Farm, Framingham

Explore endless fruits and vegetables at their farm stand and enjoy pick  your own apples and pumpkins. They also have an amazing corn maze and a haunted hayride in October. Along with food, you can enjoy chickens, horses, a turkey and some sheep. Grab some fresh eggs while you’re there!

Photo Credit: Hanson’s Farm

Marini Farm, Ipswich MA

With an enormous  8 acre corn maze, Marini farm also has hayrides, jumping pillow, lawn games, duck races, play structure, giant slides and so much more. You can also enjoy farm animals. For October, they host a trick or treat hayride and Hallow-Marini, their Halloween party for kids. Make sure to grab a cider doughnut on the way out!

Photo Credit: Marini Farm

Lookout Farm, South Natick

Lookout Farm in South Natick is a cozy spot to enjoy real farm life with your little ones! This one has a little something extra for adults. Along with apple picking and some fun farm activities, this one has an outdoor restaurant and Brewing Company!

Photo Credit: Lookout Farm

Wilson Farm, Lexington, MA

Apple Cider Donuts, Caramel Apples, Hot Cider & Cold Cider. Wilson farms in Lexington is more of a farm stand rather then a Pick Your Own place, but you can enjoy all of your fall favorites without the extra effort. Pick up your produce from their large farm stand and also plants and flowers from their nursery! They also have fruit trees and mulch available.

Photo Credit: Wilson Farm

Russell Orchards, Ipswich, MA

More of a traditional apple picking farm, they have a few farm animals to enjoy but the emphasis is really on the apples themselves and small local farm stand. It’s cash only and you can really enjoy the trees in the fields as you walk through with your kids. 10 points for their cider donut – it’s a can’t miss here!

What other places would you add to this list?

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year

Dear Pine Village Families!
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year!
This year is our 20th anniversary! We opened the very first Pine Village Preschool in Brighton on September 4, 2001, with 21 children. Myself, Brid, and our good friend and teacher Alicia, all together in our little pine tree lined, brick, schoolhouse had no idea that 2001 would be such a life changing year in so many ways. What a journey these past twenty years have been! We have met and learned from the most amazing educators, trainers and professionals in the field, and our lives have been enriched by every family and child that has crossed our path. We could not be more grateful. Now, on to the next twenty!!
It is our mission to provide you and your children with a high-quality preschool experience, filled with joyous educational experiences in a culturally rich bilingual environment. This requires an abundance of excellent bilingual preschool teachers willing and able to join us at Pine Village. As you all must be aware, the labor market is in flux and there is an extreme shortage of available workers in the labor force; there is not one industry out there that is exempt from this shortage, but we believe the early childhood sector has been hit particularly hard due to several factors, including a women-dominated workforce now faced with caring for their own children as well as pre-pandemic wages that were lower than other industries to begin with. And as you have no doubt seen in the news of late, many programs have been forced to close classrooms or, worse, shut down completely due to the pandemic and all of the side effects of this insane current event.
Thankfully, we are in a wonderful position where we do not have to close any classrooms or retract offers of enrollment for any child at our schools. We have successfully hired ample staff to open our classrooms and serve all of the children enrolled. Our school directors and the admin teams have been working hard to train and prepare all newly hired staff as well as continue to search for and hire new staff to help support the schools.
In thinking back to September 2001, it is sometimes beyond comprehension to think how much has changed during these past twenty years and seeing some of those first PVP babies in pictures as the college students they now are gives us so much joy. We are so grateful to each and every one of you to be on this journey with us, whether you are continuing from previous terms of just joining us for the first time.

Here’s to an amazing year full of Love, Laughter, Language, and Learning!
With love,
Emma, Brid, and the PVP Admin team

School Highlight: Needham

Another installment of our school highlight, we’re looking at our Needham location which has been around since 2010 and spoke with the Director, Lucy Codoceo. With large, light-filled rooms, this facility also has an open and airy toddler space for our kids to run around and play. Conveniently located on the Newton/Needham border, our Needham school is just off Highland Ave and Rte. 95. We are a short walk from the beautiful Charles River Walk and have our own on-site playground right outside the front door.

Read on to hear more about what makes this school so special from the Director, Lucy:

Meet the Pine Village Preschool Needham Director!

Hello All, my name is Lucy Codoceo and I was born and raised in Antofagasta Chile, all the way back to high school I started working with kids, this initial  experience led me on the path to study Educacion Parvularia (Early Childhood Education) at the Universidad De Antofagasta. Since graduating as an Early Childhood Educator I have been in field for 17 years. I came to the US in 2010 to follow my dreams and live and work in the United States. Pine Village granted me the opportunity in 2013 as one of the Toddler Teachers, then in 2015 I started to teach preschool. Teaching is my whole life, I even worked in the Saturday program at Pine Village for almost 4 years. I worked with amazing teachers from Pine Village and it has been a wonderful opportunity to teach and get to know all different kind of children.

Working with kids is an amazing experience. Knowing that you as an educator are helping them grow and be a crucial part of their life’s development is one of the most beautiful and magical feelings. In 2019, I became the director of the Pine Village Needham location, now almost two years, it has so far been a great adventure and learning experience, and feel I have grown as a person and as an educator.   

What makes the Needham school location special?

I would say that what makes Needham so special is that we have great community. This school is like a family, children have the opportunity to grow from toddler level to pre-kindergarten. A lot of our children have had their siblings graduate from our school, we have families that have been with us for generations. I would like to mention the amazing, dedicated, caring and creative teachers that we have here in Needham, which makes it the best part about this location.  

How has the school thrived during the pandemic?

What helps us thrive, despite the challenges of the pandemic, was the strong community cooperation and great teamwork to keep everybody happy and healthy. We work as a big family with teachers and parents all helping each other achieve a common cause. I had my own challenges having borders close on me while I stayed in Chile, I had to work remotely during the lockdowns and would like to personally give thanks, for support, the parents, teachers and the administrative staff at Pine Village.

What does a typical day at Pine Village Needham look like?

Here in Needham, our day starts for our preschoolers at the playground, here, children can start their day enjoying the weather and playing with their friends. Meanwhile, toddlers are inside playing with blocks, toy cars and listening to music with their educators. One of our favorite rituals is the “Friendship Fruit”, teachers and kids recite a poem and then they enjoy “La Fruta”, this is makes it a perfect opportunity to learn the vocabulary, math and colors among other things. We also do circle time, this gives children the opportunity to learn how to be patient and wait their turn to speak. The activity encourages them to listen to their friends/teachers and learn something new. Teachers also love to do open ended and sensory activities, playing with numbers and shapes. Projects time is a huge part of our daily routine.

Our location features our own playground. Weather permitted, we enjoy spending time outside in the playground, the green space or going for a walk around the neighborhood. After all these fun and exciting activities, the kids have lunch and are ready to rest from 1 pm to 3 pm. After nap, they have snack time. The 3:30pm children are ready to go home and our 5:30pm children get ready to go to the playground or do an fun indoor activity for the remainder of the day.

What are the kids favorite activities in class?

Without a doubt sensory activities, they enjoy the process of mixing materials and are eager to answer the question “what do you think is going to happen?” They have fun playing with slime, sensory sand, shaving cream, Oobleck Etc.  They also enjoy doing outside activities like completing an obstacle course, reading a book, painting, exploring and playing with the snow.

What are some of recent projects that the kids have been working on?

Our favorite event is Gallery Night, every year we have the opportunity to transform the school into an Art Gallery and the children show to their families their creativity using different techniques, showing off their painting sculptures, watercolors paintings and design. Due to COVID we had to change the setting but in previous years we did the gallery indoors, for 2021 we worked as a team to create a wonderful and safe art show experience, we hosted it outside, we did have had a little scare with the weather but we pulled it off. The families were happy to have the opportunity to see and be a part again to our favorite event. Pictures were taken and can be seen.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?

I am looking forward to starting a new adventure the newly enrolled and current families. We are so happy that we are opening again our Toddler 1 classroom. Having the school with more children under our care is vital to us but also important to build a strong relationship with the children as they move up their grades. It is really important to us, to keep everybody healthy, safe and happy. We will do our best to maintain and better the challenging task of keeping everyone safe and healthy during these uncertain times.

Tell us about your summer program!

This year for our summer program, we are working on the kids social and emotional skills, learning how to recognize and manage their emotions, being aware of their environment and being kind. We will keep doing social emotional activities, during the school year we also  focus on math, science, language, health education. With summer camp  we have a water play days and teamwork activities outside, we make more use of our green space and our playground. 

Do you have a favorite neighborhood spot nearby?

Our  favorite spot is “el Bosque” this is a trail like path close to the school. The teachers and children love to go for a walk here, enjoy the different seasons, pick leaves, explore, do scavenger hunt etc. You can see our adventures in the pictures bellow.