If you’ve already decked your halls with fall everything, it’s time to get the perfect accessory: a pumpkin! Patches open as early as this weekend, so get ready for autumn fun! From Montpelier Farms in MD to Wegmeyer Farms in VA, here are the best places to pick a pumpkin this weekend and a go-to guide for the rest of this season. Happy pumpkin picking!

MARYLAND

Sharp's at Waterford Farm
This 530-acre working farm offers nine pumpkin-punctuated open house events in Oct. Admission includes a hayride, pumpkin picking and feeding the animals. From Mon.-Fri., the farm also offers educational tours for groups of 20. On the Day In The Life Of a Farmer tour (Oct. 11, 15 & 20), kids 2-10 will learn about beekeeping and how crops are grown, feed goats, navigate a mini corn maze, and take a hayride.

Where: 4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville, MD
Cost: $9/child, $5/adult
Open: Oct. 8, Oct. 11, Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Oct. 19, Oct. 20, Oct. 22 & Oct. 27
Online: sharpfarm.com

Butler's Orchard Festival 
The Fairy Godmother may have turned a pumpkin into Cinderella’s carriage, but here pumpkins become fairytale characters who populate the orchard’s popular Pumpkinland. The farm also features hayrides. This farm often sells out, so purchasing your ticket online prior to arriving is recommended (bonus: you score a savings).

Where: 22222 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, MD
Cost: $10/weekday, $15/weekend
Open:  Sept. 25-Oct. 31, Wed.-Fri. 1-6 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Online: butlersorchard.com

Homestead Farm 
Looking for something a little more straightforward? Skip the extracurriculars and head here for some simple pumpkin picking. On weekends through Halloween, the farm offers hayrides to the patch, where shoppers can take their time deciding on their favorite member of the cucurbitaceae family, to which pumpkins, squash and gourds belong.

Where: 15604 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville, MD
Cost: $2/person age 2 & up
Open: daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Late Sept.-Oct. 31
Online: homestead-farm.net

Clark’s Elioak Farm
Known for its Enchanted Forest, this petting zoo farm has hayrides, cow trains, pony rides and more (note: tickets for these activities are sold separately and range from $2.50-5). If your pint-sized princess loves Cinderella, this is the perfect place to take a stroll through fairy tales and castles and leave with a pumpkin of your own.

Where: 10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD
Cost: $8/person; free/12 mo. & under
Open: Sep. 18-Oct 31
Online: clarklandfarm.com

Montpelier Farms
If you're looking for a pumpkin patch with all the bells and whistles, head here where admission includes corn mazes, hayrides, hill slides and an area for tikes 48 inches and smaller. Extra fees apply for duck races, pumpkin chunkin’ and a scarecrow workshop. Stop at the pumpkin patch for an orange orb of fall goodness. Pumpkins 5 pounds and under cost $3, while heavier ones are $.60/pound.

Where: 1720 Crain Hwy. North, Upper Marlboro, MD
Cost: $12/person; 2 and under free; $40/ person season pass or $150/family of four
Open: Sep. 18-Oct. 31
Online: montpelierfarms.com

Fall Fun Festival at Gaver Farm
Before you pick a pumpkin to schlep around, cover the 45-plus attractions such as the jumping pillow, a petting zoo, giant slides, mini mazes, duck races and photo centers. When the sun goes down, Fall Fun Nights get started with a Moonlight Corn Maze, campfires and s’mores.

Where: 5501 Detrick Rd., Mount Airy, MD
Cost: $10/person weekdays, $14/person weekends, $35 for a season pass; Kids 2 and younger free
Open: Now-Oct. 31
Online: gaverfarm.com

Larriland Farms
Get into the spirit with ghost and goblin decorations at the farm, which offers 20-minute weekend hayrides through woods (please note: these no reservation tours are open to the public and do not include a stop in the pumpkin patch. If you would like to include a trip to the pumpkin patch, you must reserve a private hayride this year. You can also enjoy sunflower and apple picking on this farm!

Where: 2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine, MD
Cost: $4/person for hayrides
Open: Late Sep.-Oct. 31
Online: pickyourown.com

Summers Farm
This farm boasts over 45 family activities and attractions. Check out Summer’s 12-acre cornfield maze, slides, farmer golf, and pumpkin and apple cannons. Candy lovers take note: the pumpkin cannon blasts out wrapped goodies one day a weekend. Fireworks can be viewed Fri. and Sat. starting on Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: 5620 Butterfly Ln., Frederick, MD
Cost: $12/50/person weekdays, $17.50/person weekends, kids 2 and under free
Open: Sept. 18-Oct. 31
Online: summersfarm.com

Shlagel Farms
Put your thinking caps on for this one. Kids and adults alike can get a better sense of the path food takes from the farm to the table while also enjoying a wagon ride, petting zoo and, of course, the pumpkins.

Where: 12850 Shlagel Rd., Waldorf, MD
Cost: $9/person 25 months and up, free under 2
Open: Weekends in Oct. 
Online: shlagelfarms.com

Queen Anne Farm
A tractor-pulled hay wagon will give your crew a ride to a pumpkin patch, which has squashes ranging in size from two ounces to more than 200 pounds. You can also make a free stop at the Insta-worthy Pumpkin House.

Where: 18102 Central Ave., Mitchellville, MD
Cost: free, $4/person for the hayride
Open: Late Sep.-Oct. 31, daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Online: queenannefarm.com

VIRGINIA

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms
There’s a giant jumping pillow, slides and putt-putt. Take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and get picturesque views of the mountains. Don't forget to head back on weekends in Nov. for Pumpkin Chunkin'

Where: 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont, VA
Cost: $12/adult, $10/child weekdays, $16/adult, $14/child weekends
Open: Oct.1-31
Online: greatcountryfarms.com

Wegmeyer Farms
You can choose from over 50 different varieties at this u-pick field in Hamilton.  These pumpkins are grown with a no-till process, so these fields don't get muddy! There is plenty of space to socially distance while picking your pumpkin off a vine. 

Editor's Note: Reservations are required.

Where: 38299 Hughesville Rd, Hamilton, VA
Cost: Starting at $25
Open:  Sept.18-Oct. 31` Thurs.-Mon., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Online: wegmeyerfarms.com/pumpkins

Wayside Farm
During the fall, the 120-acre working farm hosts pig races, pumpkin drops and a corn maze. In the patch you'll find gladiator, full moon, fairytale and Cinderella varieties; reservations include up a $20 credit towards your pumpkin purchase .

Where: 5273 Harry Byrd Hgwy., Berryville, VA
Cost: starting at $20
When: Sep. 25-Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., weekends and Columbus Day
Online: waysidefarmfun.com

 

—Meghan Yudes Meyers with Ayren Jackson-Cannady and Sarah Vogel

featured photo: Maddy Baker via Unsplash

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