Belkin Family Lookout Farm Natick
I go by the Belkin Family Lookout Farm Natick almost on a daily basis. Many folks haven't given the love to the farm in recent years and find it is overpriced. Others find it to be a Metrowest gem. Thanks to the Blogger Event I attended, I walked onto the farm for the first time to see what it was about.
Belkin Family Lookout Farm Natick Massachusetts
Established in 1651, it is one of the oldest working farms in the country. It is also a family farm, and as many of you know, being a small farm is not an easy feat these days. It is very expensive and very time consuming to keep afloat. However, I find it a worthwhile venture to support these rare gems. Especially one like Belkin Lookout Farm with its amazing amount of acres (never knew all that land was back there) and the amount of Pick-Your-Own fruits available.
Belkin Lookout Farm in Natick has not just apples, but eleven varieties of apples, plus two varieties of Asian pears, peaches, nectarines, plums, strawberries, cherries and pumpkins. (They have a page on their website showing timeline of the picking or you can call their UPick Hotline at 508-653-0653.)
You can pick peaches in August or Strawberries in June. No need to wait until Autumn to pick local fruit off the trees. The price per pound is (check their website for accurate prices) competitive with other farms as well as some grocery stores! However, entrance to the farm is pricey per person and the price jumps in the fall. For a family of 4, that can be a pretty expensive Pick-Your-Own outing. (Note: kids under 2 yrs are free.) Yet, there are activities and amenities that are not found at other pick-your-own farms. You start your experience with a unique, environmentally friendly rubber–tire train ride around the farm and can get on/off at your leisure. (My toddler loved it and we could have ridden around on that train for hours and he would have been content.)
I finally convinced him to get off the train at the play area, which has a petting area with animals like sheep, goats, donkeys, llamas, cows, and rabbits from Southwick Zoo. (The types of animals arrive at different times of the year.) There is a bounce house, kid's Caterpillar ride (which all the kids loved - see the video), climbing structures, burlap maze, plus plenty of room to roam. There is also free face painting and performances included in the admission fee. Right now, through the summer, there is live children’s entertainment at select times. In the Fall, they have free 15 minute hayrides, and Pony/Camel rides for an extra fee.
Since many local playspaces cost money per child, Belkin's fee is not completely out-of-scope. However, if you want to just do 'Pick-Your-Own', you may not find the value. Otherwise, making it a family or playgroup outing by bringing a picnic (there are lots of covered picnic tables or you can buy food/gelato onsite) and alloting a full morning or afternoon to enjoy the amenities, makes it worth the price. If you live in surrounding towns, check with your local library for discount passes.
An extra to note. They do have corporate events and birthday party packages, as well as have a strong honeybee program to support the bee initiative. They have a store with local honey and yummy bakegoods in the fall too.
Check them out on Facebook to learn more, know what is happening and get notice of special admissions. In July, Belkin Lookout Farm is open on the weekends. Starting in early August, they are open daily until the end of October. In my opinion? It is a Metrowest gem that should be experienced at least once, but more so a yearly family outing opportunity.