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Apple Trees Tots Can Reach

Three local orchards welcome little ones

Picking apples isn't all that fun when you can't actually reach the apples. So bring your toddler to Russell Orchards Farm Store & Winery (143 Argilla Rd., Ipswich), where dwarf trees are short enough for tiny outstretched arms. Take a hayride from the entrance to the orchard and pick your own peck for $20 (cash only on the weekends). On the way out, stop in the donut factory to watch hot cider donuts being made (they taste pretty amazing, too). Natick’s Belkin Family Lookout Farm (89 Pleasant St. S., Natick) also has apples within reach, plus a playground, hayrides, face painting on weekends, and a train ride throughout the orchard. New this year: house-made caramel apples as a take-home treat. Yum. Admission, not counting apple bags, is $8 on weekdays and $14 on weekends (kids under 12 are $12, and babies under 2 are free). And at Shelburne Farm (106 W. Acton Rd. Stow), toddlers can also pick apples from dwarf trees, ride on new John Deere pedal tractors, run through a large hay maze, and pet goats, ponies, and ridiculously adorable mini donkeys. All-day fun passes are $5 per kid, adults are free; pecks cost $18.