The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Brookfield Orchards, the Amazing Apple Dumpling and Quaint Country Store

Photo of Brookfield Orchards in the winter, North Brookfield, Mass.

Brookfield Orchards, North Brookfield, Mass. (photo by Eric)

“Hey, it’s the dead of winter in New England, let’s go to the apple picking farm!”

Hold on before you start to consider that our brains have become a little “thrifty,” too…Many think of Brookfield Orchards in North Brookfield, Mass., as strictly a fall destination, given its thriving apple picking business. We include, however, its amazingly fresh apple dumpling and quaint country store as part of the  “core” of this apple farm that is open year-round.

We’ve traveled to Brookfield Orchards in the coldest of winters to warm up with this amazing homemade apple dumpling, accompanied by a rich scoop of vanilla ice cream…

photo of apple dumpling, Brookfield Orchards

Apple dumpling from Brookfield Orchards, North Brookfield, Mass. (photo by Eric)

You can also order a slice of Vermont cheddar cheese with the dumpling and


vanilla ice cream. That might sound odd and possibly putrid, but somehow the combination of tastes is really fantastic. This time, however, I opted for just the dumpling and ice cream knowing that I had already consumed quite a few calories at the historic Salem Cross Inn restaurant in neighboring West Brookfield, Mass.

After savoring this sweet dish, we always make it a point to shop the country store at Brookfield Orchards. This is not your afterthought standard gift shop attached to a tourist attraction. The feel is pure New England country store with an imperfect look, old-fashioned feeling and merchandise requisite for a real country store, That includes, but is not limited to candles, antiques, collectibles, candies, jams, maple products, a book area, crafts, maps, toys, Vermont Cheddar Cheese and a whole lot more in the nooks and crannies areas of this large shop.

Photo of country store at Brookfield Orchards, North Brookfield, Mass.

Country store at Brookfield Orchards (photo by Eric)

We’re quite confident that Brookfield Orchards isn’t on people’s “A’ list during the ski and snow winter seasons of New England, but for us, it’s a fun, little day trip that always joyously lingers on our mind, long after visiting this gem of a business tucked away in the hills of scenic central Massachusetts.

Brookfield Orchards, 12 Lincoln Rd., North Brookfield, MA. Tel. 508-867-6858 – 877-622-7555

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