You know the fall classics: leaf-peeping, eating cider doughnuts, hopping on hayrides, and picking apples. But this season, (pumpkin) spice up your autumn with these unconventional activities at farms in driving distance of DC.
Swan around a corn pool
In addition the maize maze, Butler’s Orchard (22222 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, Md.) has an even more immersive way to get up close and personal with some corn. Wade into the corn pool, a large sandbox-like structure filled with kernels at the farm’s Pumpkin Festival. The covered pool is open to “swimmers” from Wednesday to Sunday until October 29. Tickets range from $10 to $17.
Cheer for racing pigs
Pigs can’t fly, but they do run at Wayside Farm (5273 Harry Byrd Hwy., Berryville, Va.) Pick your favorite hog and watch them dash along the track at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM. Races occur every weekend through October 29. Beyond the curly-tailed competitors, the farm also has llamas, calves, and goats walking along a 20-foot-tall skywalk. Tickets to access fall activities (not including pumpkin picking) are $14 online and $17 at the door.
Fire apples out of a cannon
Send fall’s favorite fruit flying through the air at Summers Farm (7503 Hollow Road, Middletown, Md.). Visitors can load cannon-like launchers with apples, aiming for the targets. Blasters are located at the Fall Festival from Wednesday to Monday until October 31. Admission to the event ranges from $15.50 to $23.50, plus an additional fee to use the launchers ($5 for five shots and $7 for 10 shots).
Push pumpkins down a zipline
If you’re looking to get rid of decaying Jack-O-Lanterns after Halloween, Great Country Farms (34345 Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemont, Va.) offers several ways to destroy pumpkin remains. Watch a farmer drop gourds from a 40-foot platform or propel your pumpkin down a zipline, ending with a smash. Leftover pumpkin scraps become lunch for the farm’s pigs. The pumpkin destruction occurs on November 4 and 5, and entry costs $14 to $16.