I have always had ambivalent feelings about Belkin Lookout Farm. On the one hand I want to support a local and historic farm. On the other hand the prices have been not only almost prohibitively expensive, but I find it ridiculous when a place markets itself as "family friendly" but yet charges so much per person. However, ironically due to the current economic situation, a restructuring at Belkin may make it worth a look, especially if you take advantage of the specials that they are offering.
The farm, at over 180 acres, grows and sells an enormous range of fruit: cherries, strawberries, peaches, apples, Asian pears, pumpkins, plums and nectarines. However, what the farm also offers is a range of fun activities for young children.A visit costs $8.00/person for kids over 3 ($10 for weekends), however, there are a number of 50% off options and discounts if you check out their website first. For that price, you are first entitled to a train ride through the orchards. For my three year old, this was more than a highlight, and for us, it was full of pretty views. You can pick apples, pears, peaches and other fruits for $2.50 a pound.After the trip through the orchards, we arrived at an enormous play area. To the dismay of many of my mommy and daddy friends, the petting zoo was eliminated for the summer, leaving a few goats to check out. However, in September and October, it will be back with emus, donkeys and rabbits.My sons loved the big inflatable castle and the caterpillar tram that took them in a big circle. (No parents are allowed on so you get a great work out running after it!) The toddler and I also got lost in the maze...until he crawled out from under the maze, leaving me to find my way out!Avoid the overpriced hotdogs, hamburgers and gelato (at $4.00/serving it also adds up!) and bring your own snacks.
If you plan accordingly you can also take advantage of the special events. My son adored Magician Dave (who not only did great magic but had the quirkiest sense of humor for the adults.) At other times there is face painting and music.
So, at the end of the day, I am not going to say that this is the greatest value. But for the convenience it is novel way to spend a few hours. And, as my three year old later said, "I had agreat time there, mommy."
Make sure you check the website first, to confirm hours, times and what is available for picking.
Belkin Lookout Farm, 89 Pleasant St Natick, MA 01760-5669 (508) 651-1539