Chestnut Hill Farm’s Fall Fun on the Farm Sundays in October – and other fall events

by beth on October 14, 2021

Post image for Chestnut Hill Farm’s Fall Fun on the Farm Sundays in October – and other fall events

Above: Events at the farm this fall include after school programs, special hikes, and Sunday fun. (images clockwise from TTOR’s website, cropped from pic on Unsplash by Clément Falize, and previously contributed)

The Trustees of Reservations asked me to help get spread the word on their Sunday afternoon programs this month – Fall Fun on the Farm at Chestnut Hill Farm. Fall Fun on the Farm

But there are so many new events coming up on the farm through December, that it’s time for an updated look at them all.

It’s worth noting that TTOR initially promoted beers at the farm as part of the Fall Fun events. That won’t be happening for that or any other event at the Southborough farm, and most descriptions have been updated to reflect that. This fall, the Board of Selectmen voted not to provide alcohol licenses to Chestnut Hill Farm events.*

The rationale was that the Conservation Restriction only allows educational programming. While TTOR is entitled to determine what is educational (and asserts that their events offer important “experiential education”) selectmen have the authority to grant or not grant the temporary alcohol licenses for events. The majority of selectmen opined that allowing alcohol veers too far from the intent they believe residents had when they voted to purchase the CR to preserve the property.

Most of the upcoming events at the farm require pre-registration and a fee. But TTOR is continuing to offer the free StoryWalk on the trails daily (scroll to the bottom of the list for that) and bringing back the Reindeer Quest in December. They are also hosting a free Tree Lighting ceremony in early December.

Below are event details in chronological order.** The costs cited for events below are per member/non-member. (You can find membership details here.)

(Note: If you have trouble with any of the event links below, click here to view all of the farm’s events.)

hay rides (photo by TTOR) Fall Fun on the Farm
All ages/family

Sundays in October, 90 minute windows from 12:00 – 4:30 pm

Celebrate all things autumn! Join us every Sunday to enjoy a classic New England fall day featuring apple cider, hayrides, a climbing haystack, live music, scenic walking trails, a Storywalk, and a visit to see the goats, chickens and sheep. Indulge in yummy food from The Grub Guru, apple cider, and other seasonal treats available for purchase. Our Farm Store will be open and full of autumn produce and local products for you to take home.

Cost: $9/$15 per child ages 2+, $12/$20 per adult (children under 2 years old are free)
(Click here to learn more/register)

Book Bugs from Event websiteBook Bugs: Farm Fun for Little Ones
For ages 2 to 6 years old, Adult supervision required

Tuesday, October 19, 10:00 – 11:00 am

Bring your little bug. . . to the farm for an interactive children’s story time. We’ll read a farm story, make a craft, and explore the farm! Each day will have a different theme such as “Goats and Sheep,” “What is a Seed,” or “How Veggies Grow.”

Cost: $9/15 per child (Accompanying adults and siblings under 1 yr old can attend for free.)
(Click here to learn more/register)

Boo in the Barnyard (from Chestnut Hill Farm Facebook evemt)Boo in the Barnyard
All ages/family

Friday, October 29th, 90 minute windows from 12:00 – 4:30 pm

It’s almost Halloween – show off your costumes! Our farm animals love to see you dressed up for Halloween! We will have many Halloween activities for children, such as ghost, pumpkin, and candy corn crafts, mask making, and our special take on trick-or-treating! Pumpkin bowling, themed scavenger hunts, and yard games will also be ready for you, and the Farm Store will be open with even more treats to take home.

Cost: $12/$20 per child ages 2+ (children under 2 years old are free)
(Click here to learn more/register)

Bats (from Unsplash by Clément Falize)Nocturnal Wild Walk: Bats!
All ages/family

Saturday, October 30, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Join us for a special evening hike, led by Tim Puopolo, a Trustees ranger and naturalist, and recipient of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Outstanding Park Interpreter” award. During our guided hike, Tim will teach us about bats and how different types of plants and animals cope with the universal changes the land undergoes as the seasons evolve. Keep your eyes open for animal tracks and other signs of wildlife on the farm and in the woods!

The hike will be about 30 minutes long and will follow some of Chestnut Hill Farm’s most beautiful trails. The campfire will be going and there will be lemonade and s’mores.

Cost: $15/$25 per adult, $12/$20 per child ages 4+ (children under 4 years old are free)
(Click here to learn more/register)

Autism Friendly Hike
All ages/family

Saturday, November 19, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Spend time learning about Chestnut Hill Farm, hiking the trails, and meeting other community members! Our educator will lead a walk on the trails where you can discover wild animal habitats, many species of trees, and ask questions about livestock, veggies, tractors, or any other farm topic. After the hike, our educator will be available to explore the farm itself and learn more about how we take care of the plants and animals.

This will be a safe, welcoming environment designed for elementary school children, but all ages are welcome to attend!

Cost: $9/$15 per child
(Click here to learn more/register)

Chestnut Hill Farm from event pageGreen Friday Hike
All ages/family

Saturday, November 26, 10:00 – 11:00 am

Stretch your legs after a day of Thanksgiving feasting! Join us the day after Thanksgiving (also known as Green Friday, a more eco-conscious take on Black Friday) for a hike led by Tim Puopolo, a Trustees ranger and naturalist, and recipient of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s “Outstanding Park Interpreter” award. During our guided hike, Tim will teach us how different types of plants and animals cope with the universal changes the land undergoes as the seasons evolve. Keep your eyes open for animal tracks and other signs of wildlife on the farm and in the woods!

The hike will be about 30 minutes long and will follow some of Chestnut Hill Farm’s most beautiful trails. The campfire will be going and there will be hot cocoa and s’mores.

Cost: $15/$25 per adult, $12/$20 per child ages 4+(children under 4 years old are free)
(Click here to learn more/register)

Preschool Farm Explorer FridaysPreschool Farm Explorer Fridays
For ages 2 years 9 months to 5 years old, Adult supervision required

Fridays, 9:30 – 10:30 am, most weeks in November and December (October is sold out)

Calling all preschoolers! Summer is here, and our farm is in full swing. Your little farm explorers will become fully immersed in what life is like here at Chestnut Hill. Each Friday morning will have a different theme including “What Plants Need to Grow” or “Meet the Barnyard Animals.” Activities may include brushing goats, planting seeds, and other age-appropriate hands-on farm “chores,” as well as art projects and stories. Little explorers are welcome to attend each week for new experiences!

Cost: $16/$20 per child, plus $4/$ per younger siblings 1 – 2.9 years old (Accompanying adults and siblings under 1 yr old can attend for free.)
(Click here to learn more/register)

After School Adventures (pics cropped TTOR photos on event pages)Afternoon Adventures
After school program (ages not specified)

Wednesdays 3:30 – 5:30 pm monthly through December, 3-4 sessions per monthly sign up

Visit Chestnut Hill Farm to breathe in fresh air, visit animals, and spend time on the farm! This after school program will be curriculum-driven, but so much fun that students will hardly realize they are learning! Experiential education is a great way to learn about the farm, increase outdoor time, and improve mental health. Students will participate in confidence building team activities, age-appropriate farm chores, animal care, multi-day farm art projects, and more! All activities will connect to the farm, outdoor space, and ecosystems.

Cost: Ranges from $108/$135 per child to $144/$180 depending on number of sessions that month.
(To learn more/register, click the following links for November and December )

Reindeer QuestReindeer Quest
All ages/family

Dawn-Dusk daily, December

Grab your snow boots and get everyone outside to discover our elusive herd of nine wooden reindeer, found throughout the farm trails! See how many you can find – along the way, snap some photos and share on social media with #reindeerquest and #chestnuthillfarm. Be sure to keep an eye out for Rudolph!

Free – no registration required
(Click here for more details and trail map)

Tree lightingFree – Holiday Tree Lighting
All ages/family

Sunday, December 5, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Get into the holiday spirit at Chestnut Hill Farm as we celebrate the season with our annual tree lighting! At this delightful event enjoy live music, check out the Solstice StoryWalk, wish our beloved goats and sheep a happy holidays, make a craft, nosh on delicious food, and sip on hot cider [or hot chocolate]. This event is rain, snow or shine, so please dress warmly.

Free to attend, pre-registration requested
(Click here to learn more/register)

Tin Can Lanterns cropped from pic by Elin B on flickrSolstice Celebration
All ages/family

Sunday, December 18, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Join us for our annual winter solstice celebration!

When you arrive, you’ll start welcoming winter by making upcycled tin can lanterns. At dusk we’ll light the lanterns and embark on a guided walk along the trails that will include presented passages from the story, “The Shortest Day,” by Wendy Pfeffer. After our hike, we’ll gather back in the orchard to warm up by a campfire and enjoy hot drinks, cookies, and s’mores as we welcome the new season under the stars.

Cost: $12/$15 per adult, $24/$30 per child
(Click here to learn more/register)

Preschool Farm Explorer Fridays
For grades K-5

Weekdays, 9:30 – 10:30 am, December 27 – 29

Hey kids! Dig into vacation at Chestnut Hill Farm and become a junior farmer for a day (or three)! You’ll help care for farm animals, learn to grow and eat farm fresh food, hike the trails, create natural crafts, and explore the farm from the eyes of its most important team member: the farmer!

Parents, your little farmers will come home with stories of adventure, a deeper understanding of where their food comes from, a sense of responsibility, and memories made with new friends (people and animals!).

Cost: $36/$45 per child
(Click here to learn more/register)

StoryWalk on the Trails
All ages/family

Dawn-Dusk daily

Join us for our StoryWalk® on the farm! StoryWalk is an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults! — to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Conceived as a way to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to take young children outside for physical activity and to learn, StoryWalk helps build children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for everyone.

Laminated pages from a children’s book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along one of our farm’s trails. As you stroll down the trail, you’re directed to the next page in the story. What a lovely way to enjoy the farm!

Free – no registration required
(Click here for more details and trail map)

*Selectmen initially denied licenses for events last fall. At the time, they referred to some issues between TTOR and the Conservation Commission about the Conservation Restriction. Although those were resolved, selectmen still wanted to hear from TTOR a justification for this fall’s license applications. TTOR representatives participated in the October 5th meeting, but failed to convince the Board to approve the licenses.

**For each of the programs:

  • Except the StoryWalk and Reindeer Quest, pre-registration is required, and online registration closes one or two days prior to the event.
  • For the most up-to-date information or weather cancellations for this and other programs, follow Chestnut Hill Farm’s Facebook page.
  • Participants will be asked to follow Covid-19 related guidelines.
  • Because it is a working farm, dogs aren’t permitted on the property.

(photos above right – Bats by Clément Falize on Unsplash, Tin Can Lantern cropped from pic by Elin B on flickr, and rest from TTOR website and CHF Facebook events)

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