There’s hardly anything more satisfying than laying your eyes on a field full of strawberries (or any produce) ripe for picking…especially if you’re a kid. Luckily for your entire fruit/veggie-loving crew, there are dozens of farms and fields across the DMV where the picking party can commence. We’ve listed 17 of the best PYO (pick-your-own) farms below, many of which boast bonus features—from precious play areas to stocked farmers markets.
Photo: Ben Garrison via flickr
Butler’s is one of the most popular farms in the DMV. Located right off I-270 in Germantown, MD., they are well known for their fun festivals and ample play areas for little ones. It’s also a super awesome place for a field trip! Their pick-your-own summer options include strawberries, sugar snap peas, English peas, black raspberries, blueberries, tart cherries, flowers, blackberries, potatoes, and red raspberries They also have a big farmers market where they sell their own baked goods, honey, syrups, decorations and kitchen accessories.
22200 Davis Mill Rd. (Gemantown, MD)
Cherries, blueberries, raspberries…oh my! This fam-favorite hosts “U-Pick Adventures” starting mid-June. After, (or maybe before) you go picking, check out the farm’s Big Back Yard! The fun group of attractions is a great place for children to get the wiggles out! And don’t miss out on making new furry critter friends at BarnYard Buddies! They have Harvest Parties planned all summer and even a few Pancake Breakfasts. Make sure to check their website for all the latest information on these and other events.
1495 Appleton Rd. (Elkton, MD)
Catocin Mountain Orchard
Best known for its apple picking, in recent years, Catocin has also added PYO summer fruits! Starting in mid-June, they offer PYO black raspberries, dark sweet cherries and blueberries that last through August. You’ll likely smell this charming orchard before you see it. Catocin whips up fresh apple cider, pies, and jam in it’s on site kitchen and bakery, even in summer!
15036 N. Franklinville Rd. (Thurmont, MD)
Baugher’s Orchard has been a family owned, working fruit and vegetable farm since 1904. It started out as a 60 acre piece of land and has expanded to become a 600 acre operation, and one of the largest orchards in Maryland. Enjoy a wagon ride from the market to berries where you’ll find field workers that will help guide you on your berry picking journey! Kids can run around at the playground and even picnic!
1015 Baugher Rd. (Westminster, MD)
Located in Queen Anne’s County on the eastern shore of Maryland, Godfrey’s Farm is an easy 45-minute drive from the Bay Bridge. They are open every day from mid-April through Labor Day, growing and harvesting the best produce the Eastern Shore has to offer! Head out to the family farm for a day of u-pick fun featuring the freshest and tastiest strawberries, tart cherries, peaches, and blueberries! The farm also has a beautiful field of PYO flowers for hand-picked bouquets!
302 Leager Rd. (Sudlersville, MD)
Mackintosh Fruit Farm
Located in beautiful Berryville (hint, hint!), Mackintosh, Mackintosh Fruit Farm is a family owned PYO farm nestled in the beautiful Northern Shenandoah Valley in Clarke County, VA. Their produce is first-rate, and the pick-your-own crops are well known as some of the best throughout the area. Their assortment of fruit selections allows their PYO customers early, mid, and late season varieties. Peach picking starts in early July and various varieties will pop up through early September. They have over twenty varieties of peaches! By peak season (mid-August), they will also have berries, peaches, pluots, as well as an expanded vegetable acreage. Enjoy a picnic with the whole family and get a great tour of the farm by taking a walk on the new hiking trail that weaves through the woods and fields.
1608 Russell Road (Berryville, VA)
This four-generation family farm is a short drive from the Beltway, in beautiful and picturesque, Delaplane, VA. They offer a wide variety of spring/summer PYO veggies and fruits from strawberries and raspberries to Japanese plums and Asian pears.
1436 Snowden Road (Delaplane,VA)
If you’re looking for an authentic picking experience, not to mention, fresh, juicy, strawberries, hit up one of three Wegmeyer locations in Northern Virginia! Whether it’s Leesburg, Hamilton or Aldie, you’ll get an intimate experience, in a historic venue, with picturesque views. Need a little help in the field? They also offer pre-picked berries. And don’t leave without picking up a jar of Wegmeyer Farms strawberry preserves that do something special to toast, crackers or yogurt.
Locations in Hamilton, Aldie and Leesburg, VA
Nestled in the scenic hill country near Skyline Drive, even the journey to this farm is a quaint one. Make the drive to this family-run farm to pick your own strawberries; by mid- to late-June, cherry and blueberry season will have begun, with peach season soon to follow. Families rave about the orchard and farm’s produce quality, fair pricing, and attentive customer service. Naked Mountain Winery and Vineyards is nearby, as is Chateau Obrien at North Point (but put this winery on your “for later” list, as no kids are allowed). One more thing: This spot accepts cash and checks only.
3064 Hartland Ln. (Markham, VA)
Messick’s Farm Market
Strawberry picking is just part of the fun at Messick’s Farm. Every weekend families can take part in their Pickin’ Festival, which includes live music, a petting zoo, breakfast and lunch, sno cones, ice cream, and of course pick-your-own strawberries. Insider’s Tip: Produce isn’t the only food available at this farm. You can order a fresh batch of oysters!
6025 Catlett Rd. (Bealeton, VA)
photo: theloushe via flickr
Just 35 miles from D.C., this wholesale fruit and vegetable farm is just a hop, skip, and jump from the city. Make sure you pack a picnic for those hungry tummies! You can enjoy your home-packed meal at their waterfront picnic area and strawberry patch (on the Patuxent River) while your kiddos run around in their play area.
7740 Swan Ln. (Owings, MD)
Great Country Farms
With wagon ride farm tours, u-pick orchards, catch and release fishing, a barn yard, mazes, play area, and a giant jumping pillow, good luck leaving before closing time. Visit during the weekend of June 1-2 for the Strawberry Jubilee—a huge festival with live music, pie eating contests, time to pick your own strawberries, and tasty strawberry treats (don’t miss the Donut Strawberry Shortcake). Yum.
18780 Foggy Bottom Rd. (Bluemont, VA)
Fruit picking is only the beginning at low-key Homestead Farm. Kids will love ogling the goats, chickens, pigs, and sheep, and they can either ride a tractor out to the fields or enjoy a stroll (unless you’re feeling generous and want to push them in one of the wheelbarrows). The small market sells fresh, local honey, jam, and other treats.
15604 Sugarland Rd. (Poolesville, MD)
Crooked Run Orchard
You won’t find strawberries at this produce-only farm, but there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables for picking (e.g., blackberries, plums, gooseberries, and sweet and sour cherries). Hear your child gasp when he or she visits one of the nature tables displaying the owners’ interesting finds throughout the year, like snake skin, animal bones, nests, dried bats or frogs, or turtle shells.
37883 East Main St. (Purcellville, VA)
Strawberry season at Larriland will likely begin in late May, when you can also plan to pick kale, chard, turnips, spinach, and radishes (if you can find a way to get your kids to eat these that does NOT involve cheese, please share your genius). Adults are given a picking container, but children must either share with a parent or bring their own container. To grow the safest and most delicious produce possible, Larriland employs Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which only uses pesticides as a very last resort. Check out their website for a great collection of kid-friendly recipes using all of their produce!
2415 Woodbine Rd. (Woodbine, MD)
Westmoreland Berry Farm
Located on the banks of the Rappahannock River, visit this farm and market to pick berries and purchase fresh produce, homemade jams, and locally-made gifts. Hopefully the overhead goat walk won’t give your tiny furniture-climbers any ideas. Distract them with the farm’s play area and hay rides—and save room for a delicious pulled pork BBQ sandwich and fruit sundae. Voorhees Nature Preserve adjoins the farm, so be sure to check out its beautiful hiking trails and scenic overlooks. Also nearby are Ingleside Plantation Winery, Monroe Bay Winery, and George Washington’s birthplace.
1235 Berry Farm Ln. (Oak Grove, VA)
—Guiomar Ochoa and Katie Brown