U-Pick: Where to Pick Your Own Apples and Pumpkins
Fall has arrived in Washington, and with it comes a long list of autumn adventures. To get in the spirit, we rounded up the best farms and orchards to for pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Here’s a list of the best stops for keeping your autumn tables, pie crusts, and weekends filled.
At Homestead Farm, less than an hour from DC, visitors can pay $3 for a hayride to the pumpkin patch—the apple orchard is within walking distance—starting the last weekend in September and going through October. The wide selection of pick-your-own apples—which includes Empire, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Stayman, and Cameo varieties—is available throughout the fall. Apples are $1.29 a pound or $1.09 for every pound over 20. Pumpkins go for 59 cents a pound. Open daily from 9 to 7 through October 31; weekends only starting November 1.
About an hour from downtown DC, Stribling Orchard stretches 30 acres and grows more than 20 apple varieties, which will continue to ripen for the next two months. Apples are priced at $1.50 a pound, but the price goes down with larger orders, such as $15 for one bushel and $25 for two, $35 for three, and $40 for four bushels. At the Harvest House store, you can get jam, jelly, honey, fresh-baked breads, pies, cakes, and more. And with all those apples, fresh apple cider is always on hand for sipping while visitors take in views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Open through early November, 9 to 5 Tuesday through Sunday. School tours are available Thursdays and Fridays by appointment.
The family-owned-and-operated Hill High Farm in Winchester has been in business more than 100 years With more than 300 acres, pick-your-own apples are just the beginning: There are also farm animals (even peacocks!), straw and corn mazes, a picnic area with food service, hayrides ($6), and live bluegrass and country music on the weekends. New this year is the Creature, a spooky inflatable fun house. The farm is open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays starting September 19 through the end of October, with group visits available during the week. Hours vary by attraction, with activities such the Creature and the corn maze open later. There’s no entry fee for the farm, but there are fees for each attraction. Pick-your-own apples are $6 for a peck and $11 for a half bushel. Pumpkins generally sell for 55 to 60 cents a pound.
The 29th annual Pumpkin Festival at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown gets underway September 26. Included in the $10 admission price are hayrides, a hayloft-jumping barn, giant slides, corn and straw mazes, pedal tractors, farm animals, and live music. The festival runs every weekend in October—plus Columbus Day on October 12—from 10 to 5. The Orchard’s Farm Market, which sells country gifts, fall fruits and vegetables, homemade pies, jams, and jellies, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 to 5:30 through Christmas Eve. Pick-your-own apples are available for $1.39 a pound or $1.09 for every pound over 20. Pumpkins are 59 cents per pound.
September and October mean apples, pears, pumpkins, and gourds for Crooked Run Orchard. The pick-your-own produce at this family-run orchard varies by season with everything from Asian pears to gooseberries. Pick-your-own runs though the end of October with pumpkins available in late September. Pick-your-own produce is a bargain here with apples for $1 a pound and pumpkins for 45 cents a pound. Gourds are three for a dollar, and cider is available by the gallon or half-gallon for $8 or $5, respectively. Call 540-338-6642 for hours and an updated produce selection.
Starting October 3, Baugher’s Orchard & Farm will be open every weekend from 10 to 4. A free tractor ride takes visitors to pick apples, which are available for 79 cents a pound. To visit the pumpkin-picking area, you can jump on a separate tractor ride for $1. Pumpkins are 49 cents a pound. Baugher’s also has children’s activities ($3 to $5), including scarecrow making, face painting, and pony rides plus a free petting zoo.
Visit Larriland Farm for pumpkins at 59 cents a pound. There’s no fee to get into the patch, but you can take a scenic hayride for $3.75 to get a better look at the farm. The pumpkin patch will open starting September 26. Activities, such as the hayrides, are scheduled on weekends from 9 to 5. Weekdays, the farm is open for picking from 9 to 6. Apple picking is also available for $1.49 a pound, or 99 cents a pound if you buy over 20 pounds of apples. Veggies such as spinach, beets, and broccoli will also be available for picking.
Stop by Great Country Farms between September 26 and October 31 to snag a pumpkin for 59 cents a pound. You can join in on fall activities, which include the Pumpkin Pillow—a giant orange moon bounce. Mark your calendar for the annual Glow Nights—October 23 and 24—when the farm brings in thousands of pumpkins carved by local schoolchildren. The pumpkins are lit and arranged together at the farm for a jack-o-lantern spectacular. Open daily 9 to 6. Admission into the pumpkin patch is $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
There are 14 acres of pick-your-own pumpkins at Gaver Tree Farm, and the farm has one rule: No pumpkin is more than $10. The patch will be open daily September 19 through November 2 from 10 to 6. Free hayrides, which run continuously, are provided to and from the patch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you’re in the mood for additional entertainment, the farm has themed activities. This year’s theme celebrates the Gaver Tree dairy farm, so make sure to check out the Casey the Cow corn maze.
Between September 26 and November 1, you can visit Zekiah Farms to take home pumpkins from $4 to $12. The farm is open daily from 10 to dusk. If you’re there on a weekend, you can also enjoy hayrides, pumpkin painting, and face painting.