There’s nothing that kicks your summer off to a sweet start like taking the kids berry picking. Strawberry season rolls out first, followed by raspberry and blueberry seasons. These nearby farms offer u-pick berry experiences for families that teach kids where their food comes from and lets you go home with a sweet treat. Find one near you!

North of Boston

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Parlee Farms
This farm plans to open in early June so sign up on the website to receive picking updates. You can pick your own strawberries here or grab some from the farmstand. They offer five varieties of strawberries for picking and even have late-summer varieties available at the farmstand. 

Location: 95 Farwell Rd., Tyngsboro
Online: parleefarms.com

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Smolak Farms
This spot opens for the 2021 season on June 5. There's a $2/person entrance fee and the cost to pick is $8/quart of strawberries. Check the website before heading over as picking conditions change frequently.

Locations: 2 North Andover locations and one at Small Oxx Farm in Boxford
Online: smolakfarms.com

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Cider Hill Farm 
Strawberry picking opens on June 5 and you'll love this spot to bring the kids. You can pre-order your baskets to save time at the farm or get yours when you arrive. Reservations are not required this year. Check the website for fruit availability before heading over. You can also pick blueberries here in July. 

Location: 45 Fern Ave., Amesbury
Online: ciderhill.com

photo: iStock

Marini Farm
Here you can pick strawberries along with veggies like lettuces and asparagus before you return in the fall for pumpkin season. Check the current picking conditions online. 

Location: 259 Linebrook Rd., Ipswich
Online: marinifarm.com

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Russell Orchards
Strawberry picking has begun and the fruit is slowly ripening. You can get your strawberries here at $5.75/lb. Raspberries and blueberries are also available for picking later in June and July. 

Location: 143 Argilla Rd., Ipswich
Online: russellorchards.com

West of Boston

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Sunshine Farm
Strawberry picking typically starts mid-June but check their Facebook page for current conditions. You'll definitely want to swing by the ice cream stand for a cold treat after picking. 

Location: 41 Kendall Ave., Sherborn
Online: facebook.com

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Tougas Family Farm
The whole family will love this spot for strawberry picking and the kids will especially enjoy the playground. Real fruit slushies and apple cider donuts are also a huge draw. U-pick reservations may be required as the season progresses. 

Location: 234 Ball St., Northborough
Online: tougasfamilyfarm.com

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Ward's Berry Farm
Pick-your-own is open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. unless the crops are picked out earlier in the day. Strawberries are the first to come in season, followed by raspberries and strawberries. This spot also sells great sandwiches.

Location: 614 S. Main St., Sharon 
Online: wardsberryfarm.com

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Verrill Farm
Concord is home to this lovely farm where you can pick strawberries in mid-June. They also have a farmstand where you can get homecooked meals in addition to fresh fruits and veggies. Come on Thursday and you can snag some BBQ!

Location: 11 Wheeler Rd., Concord
Online: verrillfarm.com

South of Boston

photo: iStock

The Blueberry Farm
This farm is open for blueberry picking from early July through August. Check their Facebook page for opening dates and current conditions. 

Location: 698 W. Washington St., Hanson
Online: facebook.com

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Tree-Berry Farm
Blueberry-picking season opens in late June. Kids are welcome and they can even accommodate larger groups of kids if you let them know you are coming in advance. 

Location: Rt. 123, Scituate
Online: treeberryfarm.com

Editor’s note: The availability of berries can vary from week to week. Check the website or call before you head out to ensure there is enough pick-able produce. Try to arrive first thing in the morning when the temps are low and the berries are most plentiful. 

—Kate Loweth

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