What to do first? Storm the castle, hop the train or batten the hatches? Oh wait, didn’t we come here to pick berries?! Your fam will almost forget about filling your buckets with berries when you see the array of climbing, playing and exploring equipment at Butler’s Farm. Plop down on a burlap bag and take a turn down two massive slides, tumbling into the grass at the bottom. Climb up a web of ropes. Run the circuit on the playground from castle, to train to ship. Or “drive” a fleet of painted riding lawn mowers. Do these folks know kid DNA or what? But the farm is actually a farm, with something for almost every season—apples! pumpkins! Christmas Trees! Strawberry season has passed, but blueberry season is in full swing. So pull out your buckets and head out to the farm.

All Aboardblueberry-picking-tractor

It’s great that there are so many activities, because the line for the ride to the field—a wagon pulled by a tractor, which may be the main event for many a toddler—can be long, especially on weekends. But once on the winding wagon shuttle, you’ll ride over gravel roads through fields to the picking.

Bucket Brigadeberry-field-kids

Speaking of picking: you do pick the blueberries, but you don’t get to pick which plants you pull from. This is a smooth and organized operation with attendants in the fields directing you to rows as if they were genial hosts at a family restaurant. With smeary blue rings around their mouths, the kids can pick and pick until they are all blueberried out. Most blueberry pie recipes call for six cups of blueberries, so make sure you have at least that many!

Pie Holefruit-pies

But if the blueberries seem to be mysteriously gone before you’re even out of the parking lot—or if your kids were having too much fun on the playgrounds to get out to the field to get berries—stop into the extensive general store at the farm. There, in addition to all manner of jams and jellies, already picked fruits and vegetables and canning supplies, you can also grab one of the farm’s homemade pies to go. Of course if that’s gone by the time you get home, you may just have to start all over. And there are things far worse than that!

Butler’s Orchard
22200 Davis Mill Road
Germantown, Md
Online: Butlersorchard.com

Hours:  Sat – Sun, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; Tue – Fri, 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $2.69/pound for what you pick. No admission fees.

Tell us about your experience at Butler’s Orchard. What’s your kids’ favorite things to do at the farm?

—Anna Bahney

Photos courtesy of  Butler’s Orchard Farm via Facebook