Upon returning from a trip, I always look at my home with fresh eyes. Everything seems just a little more interesting and unique. As such, I have decided to start spotlighting local places and businesses, in a series of Hometown Tourist posts. If you are a local, you may know these “hot spots” or you may find something to do with your kids next weekend. And if you aren’t local, perhaps I can persuade you to visit my little corner of New England.
The Big Apple
If you live in this area, going to The Big Apple is a Fall tradition. This lovely farm is located in Wrentham, Massachusetts. This family-owned farm has been in operation since the 1800’s! It is currently operated by the Morse Family. You can view a detailed list of the previous owners on their website, dating back to the 1840’s. I can only imagine that, even then, this would have been a favorite spot to while away a Fall afternoon. I have personally been coming here since I was a small child, to pick apples, blueberries, and even to get pumpkins to carve for Halloween! No matter how old you are, this is a great place to spend an afternoon.
When you drive up here, you immediately see the blueberry bushes, and a big white barn, which is the main building and farmstand. If you keep driving past this, you will find the entry to the Orchard where you can pick your own apples, of which there are several varieties. The apples you can pick depends upon availability and when in the season you visit. Since this is such a popular local spot, keep an eye on their facebook and website for picking information! However, if the apples you are looking for are not available to be picked, never fear! They will most likely be available inside the main building, where they boast 26 different apple varieties and 28 types of vegetables! Stepping inside the barn, you are assaulted by the smell of fresh apples and baked goods, which is just as lovely and charming as it sounds. To me, the smell inside this old barn is the smell of Autumn. It is also filled with the steady thrum of conversation, and a never-ending supply of smiling patrons lining up to purchase their assorted wares. Behind the counters, you usually see local teens working steadily. I have almost always had great experiences with the people working here, though I can imagine things must be very hectic on some of the busier days. They always seem to be smiling!
Also available inside is their absolutely delicious apple cider, pies, and my personal favorite treat–the homemade donuts! You can look through to the kitchen where the donuts are being made fresh every day! I remember pushing my nose against the window as a little kid, watching the gobs of dough being fried in this big machine, and that was always my favorite part of our visits here. It was like magic, seeing how the machine knew just the precise moment to flip the morsels in the oil, so that they were never undercooked or burnt. Well, that and the “Free Apple” bin. My siblings and I would munch on those free-for-snacking-apples while we explored the store, and begged our parents to buy the ooey-gooey-delicious caramel apples on display. We rarely received those, but we always got cider and donuts, a tradition I still carry on anytime I visit. Another unique favorite is the ginormous Apple Shiner Machine (I haven’t a clue the technical name of this beasty) which has a viewing platform next to it. You can watch the process of the apples being washed, de-leafed, dried, and shined. This is magical to a child, and fascinating to adults as well. Even well into my twenties, I still make it a point to stand there and watch for a few minutes every time I stop in.
Behind the barn, you will also find hayrides and pony rides available! The hayride is a great time to snack on your donuts, apples, and cider, while you get a beautiful view of the orchard and fields. You really can spend hours here with your family or friends. A stop by the Big Apple is an absolute must for me every single Fall, so sometimes I take for granted what a unique place this is. Compared to many other farms, this place is very interactive, has plenty to entertain, and has a rich local history. Not to mention all the absolutely scrumptious treats available!!
Do you have any fun stories from the Big Apple or think I missed anything? Let me know in the comments!
***The Big Apple has not paid me for this review, it is entirely written from my own experiences. All photos used in this post are used with permission from the Big Apple***