Some Halloween activities may get nixed this year, but you can’t cancel the pumpkin patch! Get ready to create the perfect jack-o’-lantern;  whether you like to use  kid-friendly stickers or you prefer the flicker of a classic carve, these pick-your-own farms are the perfect place to grab a big orange gourd while spending a fall day with the family.

photo: Stephen Andrews via Unsplash

Maryland

Sharp’s at Waterford Farm
This 530-acre working farm offers three pumpkin-punctuated open house events on Wed. & Fri. Admission includes a hayride, pumpkin picking and feeding the animals. From Mon.-Fri., the farm also offers educational tours for groups of 20 or more for $7.50/person. On the Day In The Life Of a Farmer tour (Oct. 7-30), kids 2-10 will learn about beekeeping and how crops are grown, feed goats, navigate a mini corn maze, and take a hayride.

COVID-19 Update: Reservations are required. Masks must be worn on the hayride and indoors.

Where: 4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville, MD
Cost: $8/child
Open: Wed. & Fri.
Online: sharpfarm.com

photo: Annandale Play Care via Yelp

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. Further details on this event are still pending.

Where: 22222 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, MD
Cost: $13/person; free for children under 2 (Note: cash only)
Open:  10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sept. 26, 27, Oct. 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31, Nov. 1
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.
Online: homestead-farm.net

 

photo: Big Wave Dave via Yelp

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.

COVID-19 Update: Tickets are timed-entries.

Where: 10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD
Cost: $8/person; free/12 mo. & under
Open: Tues.-Sun. (hours vary by month & day)
Online: clarklandfarm.com

Montpelier Farms
If you’re looking for a pumpkin patch with all the bells and whistles, head here where all the fun fall activities are still open and operational. 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.

COVID-19 Update: There are a number of new safety precautions in place. You can read the full list here. It is recommended, but not required, to purchase tickets in advance due to the farm’s limited capacity due to COVID.

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: Sept. 21-Nov. 6
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.

COVID-19 Update: Expect a temperature check upon arrival. For a list of new rules and regulations, go here.

Where: 5501 Detrick Rd., Mount Airy, MD
Cost: $9/person weekdays, $13.50/person weekends, $35 for a season pass; Kids 2 and younger free
Open: daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (through Nov. 3)
Online: gaverfarm.com

photo: Ally R. via Yelp

Larriland Farms
Get into the spirit with ghost and goblin decorations at the farm, which offers 20-minute weekend rides through woods to the pumpkin patch. You can also enjoy sunflower and apple picking on this farm!

COVID-19 Update: Face masks must be worn for the duration of a farm visit.

Where: 2415 Woodbine Rd., Woodbine, MD
Cost: $4/person for hayrides
Open: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays (through Nov. 2)
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 Fridays and Saturdays starting on Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Update: Many safety measure are in place to ensure a safe visit to the farm. Anticipate a temperature check and timed ticket entries.

Where: 5620 Butterfly Ln., Frederick, MD
Cost: $10/50/person weekdays, $15.50/person weekends, kids 2 and under free
Open: Sept. 19-Nov. 8,
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: Sat. & Sun. in Oct, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends (Oct.5 to Oct. 27)
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.

COVID-19 Update: All guests must pre-purchase tickets. For a complete list of safety protocols, go here.

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

photo: PaHoua L. via Yelp

Virginia

The Self-Drive Hayride at Cox Farms
Sadly, this popular fall festival has been cancelled, but visitors can still take a contact-free “hayride” through the farm. Enjoy the comforts of your own vehicle while driving through a forest decorated with witches, skeletons and people dressed as aliens.

COVID-19 Update: Self-driven “hayrides” in your own vehicle have replaced this farm’s normal fall festival. For vehicle requirements, go here.

Where: 15621 Braddock Rd., Centreville, VA
Cost: : $20/vehicle
Open: Sept. 25-Nov. 2
Online: coxfarms.com

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms
There’s aa giant jumping pillow, slides and putt-putt. Take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and get picturesque views of the mountains. Go back Nov. 1-3 for the Pumpkin Chunkin’ festival.

COVID-19 Update: You learn more about the ways this farm is keeping you safe here.

Where: 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont, VA
Cost: $12/adult, $10/child weekdays, $16/adult, $14/child weekends
Open: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (through Oct. 31)
Online: greatcountryfarms.com

 

photo: Carolyn Bahm via Unsplash

Wegmeyer Farms
You can choose from over 50 different varieties at this u-pick field in Hamilton.  There is plenty of space to socially distance while picking your pumpkin off a vine. 

COVID-19 Update: Reservations are required.

Where: 38299 Hughesville Rd, Hamilton, VA
Cost: Starting at $25
Open: 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 .

COVID-19 Update: This farm is taking reservations and limiting capacity.

Where: 5273 Harry Byrd Hgwy., Berryville, VA
Cost: starting at $20
When: 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: Christian M. via Yelp

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