Chestnut Hill Farm Harvest Festival – Sunday, October 8 (Updated)

Above: TTOR is holding another Harvest Festival at Chestnut Hill Farm over the weekend, rain or shine. (images contributed from the 2015 & 2016 festivals)

[Editor’s Note: For more stories on Heritage Day 2017 and related activities, click here.]

The Trustees of Reservations is inviting the public back for its 3rd fall festival on the eve of Heritage Day. 

Celebrate with them from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 8. The partially tented event is rain or shine.

Chestnut Hill Farm Festival 2016 (photo by The Trustees of Reservations)
(click to enlarge)

Sunday’s forecast is spotty. But, last year there was still plenty of fun in the rain. (You can check out more of those pics here.)

There are a few changes this year. The entry fee is per car this time. ($25 per car for Trustees members, and $30 per car for nonmembers.) Once inside, almost all activities are free.

The farm is adding a tractor-pulled hay ride. (That will cost extra.)

The other change is to the pie contest. This year, instead of baking them, contestants are encourage to eat them. The rules and details are a bit different from the annual Heritage Day contest.

The farm will be offering up 10 inch chocolate and banana cream pies. Either one adult or two kids will vie to be the first to finish one. Contestants can use their hands.

The rest of the details are similar to last year’s festival: farm related fun, live music, farm animals, crafts and games, local vendors and food, face painting, and more family friendly activities.

As part of the festival, the first 100 families will get one free pumpkin. (After that, pumpkins will be for sale.) It’s perfect timing to carve and decorate pumpkins for Light Up Southborough downtown that night.

[Editor’s Note: I know. Last year, rain cancelled the lit pumpkin wall display. But that was pouring rain. So far, forecasts are just threatening showers. The Rotary Club promises the event will go on this year unless there is another downpour.

If that happens, Rotary has a backup date of October 15th. But, I’ll keep you posted.]

Here’s the schedule for Sunday’s Harvest Festival:

10:00am – 3:00pm – General Activities (all free unless otherwise noted)

  • Harvest Festival postcard (side 1)Farm game races, every hour on the half hour (potato sack and three-legged races)
  • Hay rides approx every 30 minutes ($5 pp or $12 for 3 people.)
  • Cider Press
  • Photo Booth
  • Hay Maze
  • Face Painting ($5 pp)
  • Harvest Festival postcard (side 2)Pop-up Barnyard with bunnies and goats
  • Pumpkin carving and painting (first 100 families get one free pumpkin)
  • Crafts (veggie stamping)
  • A beekeeper demo
  • Food and beverages for sale*

11:00 am – Music from Dave Garden with Hit the Bus

12:30 pm – Pie Eating Contest (Scroll back up for details)

1:00 pm – Music by the folk duo, The Brother’s Weir

1:30 pm – Goat Milking Contest (No, you won’t get to milk a goat. But you can cheer on the returning and local contestants who are facing off to see who can milk the most in a set amount of time.)

*Food and beverages will be available for purchase, including Trustees own farm-raised beef. There will also be some sweet treats for sale from Yummy Mummy Bakery and Anna Banana’s Chocolates. The farmstand will also be open for business.

Updated (10/6/17 1:02 pm): I got the scoop on what’s involved in the pie eating contest. I also clarified what the extra costs are. Everything else is free.

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4 years ago

I realize this is a better rant to be aimed directly at the Trustees, but I find myself increasingly frustrated by the costs associated with Trustees events. I am a member- mostly because I realize my membership supports the Trustees land preservation efforts, but purschasing family memberships is also done for the financial benefit to a family- of which there seems to be very little with a Trustees membership. I am also am Audubon member- admission to all Mass Audubon sanctuaries and almost all events the Audubon runs are free to members. Programs charge a fee, but it is significantly discounted for members. By comparison, The chestnut hill harvest fest event is $5 less per car for members, the pumpkins are no longer included in the admissions fee (unless you’re one of the first 100 families to arrive in which case your entire family gets ONE pumpkin) and hay ride and face painting are an additional $5 per peson after you pay your $25 (or $30 if you’re a non-member). This is different from years’ past- suggesting that it is doable to have the admission cover pumpkins, etc, since it was done previously. I have thoroughly enjoyed this event in the past- including last year when I stayed with my young children for almost the entire day despite the awful weather. The costs are unfortunate and detracting from my enjoyment and excitement.
Am I the only one bothered by this? I do not plan to renew my family membership because of the additional costs of everything the Trustees does.

4 years ago

I hear what Anon is saying. We’re Trustees members too and although I’ve been impressed with the variety and effort of the programming (across all Trustees properties), the high fees (or not-very-discounted member discount) has certainly limited our participation in many events, tours, and celebrations. Instead of being able to support many events more frequently all year long, we can only really afford to 1 or 2 “special” ones.

4 years ago

We agree. The cost prevented us from joining Saturday’s event. I find prices to be high.

Fayville Follower
4 years ago

I agree. We love Chestnut Hill and are happy to support them, and think they have added tremendous value to our community in recent years. We had fun, but felt a little nickled and dimed. I didn’t mind paying the admission fee for a family of 5, but for those attending solo or just an adult with a child, it was a little steep. And $5/pp for the hayride felt exorbitant as well, especially after the admission fee.

4 years ago

Completely agree with Anon. We did not participate in the event this year because of the cost. I find that most events at Chestnut Hill Farm are costly to both member and non-member. Story time would cost money just to have someone read a book or two to the kids. I would think that something like that would be free to the community so that the future donors (our children) would see the value of the land preservation and feel part of the Chestnut Hill Farm community. However, at $5 a child I’d rather go the library where it’s free.

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