Oct 8, 2023 - Things to Do

Your fall fun bucket list for the D.C. area

A colorful pile of pumpkins

Butler's Orchard pumpkin patch. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/Getty Images

Fall is in full swing, and if you're extra-autumnal like us, your bucket list includes pick-your-own pumpkins and apples, corn mazes, hay rides, and prime foliage.

🎃 Pumpkin patches

Best places to pick your own, or hit up for a fall festival:

Butler's Orchard & Farm Market (Germantown, Md.): Not only can you pick pumpkins at the farm, but a huge pumpkin festival (now through Oct. 29) rolls out with hayrides, pumpkin cannons, corn mazes, and more (tickets start at $10).

Wegmeyer Farms (Hamilton, Va.): The Loudoun County farm grows more than 50 varieties of pumpkins for the gourd connoisseurs, both pick-your-own ($30 reservations) and at the farmstand.

Gaver Farm (Frederick, Md.): Pumpkins, apples, hayrides — it's all on the farm, plus a daily Fall Fun Fest with the area's largest corn maze (tickets start at $21).

Nalls Farm Market (Alexandria, Va.): Citybound? The Alexandria produce stand builds up Pumpkin Hill every fall, plus you can shop for apples, cider, and pumpkin spice treats.

A baby looks up at the camera from an apple orchard
Rock Hill Orchard. Photo: Katherine Frey/Getty Images

🍎 Apple orchards

Pick-your-own apples and sip hard cider here:

Rock Hill Orchard (Mt. Airy, Md.): Get the best of all fall worlds at this farm and creamery, which offers pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, plus a corn maze. Ticket prices for all (or a combo) vary.

Mackintosh Fruit Farm (Berryville, Va.): This one-stop-shop for adults and families offers pick-your-own apples, a 21+ bar area for sampling hard ciders, a café for farm fare and hand-dipped ice cream, and a produce stand.

Stribling Orchard (Markham, Va.): Visitors can pick 23 apple varieties — from trees or bins — at this farm, which also has a "Snack Shack" for weekend lunch, tastings of local wines and ciders, and a farm stand with their pasture beef, honey, and more.

Baugher's Orchards and Farms (Westminster, Md.): Pick-your-own apples and/or sunflowers at the farm (tickets start at $13). There's plenty of family fun beyond fruit, including a petting zoo and a nearby town market with a restaurant and bakery.

Fall foliage in the Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah fall foliage. Photo: Karen Bleier/Getty Images

🍂 Foliage

Peak leaves in the Mid-Atlantic are estimated around Oct. 23 and we have some favorite leaf-peeping spots.

Virginia: Shenandoah National Park, where outdoorsy leaf peepers can hike Old Rag and anyone can cruise up Skyline Drive for a beautiful view.

Maryland: Patapsco Valley State Park outside of Baltimore turns lovely hues and offers 200 miles of trails.

D.C. area: The Potomac Heritage Trail is an easy one to access from the city — whether you're biking, walking, or paddling a kayak. You can also catch some vibrant hues and fall gorgeousness at the U.S. National Arboretum.


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