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Staycation: Apple-Picking Fun

September 23, 2011

There’s no more quintessential fall activity than going to the orchard to pick apples.

Here are a few orchards near Washington, DC that are an easy afternoon trip to pick apples, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes and anything else that happens to be in season:

  • Butler’s Orchard: In September, you can pick your own red raspberries, apples and pumpkins at this family farm. It gets a lot of school groups so is often crowded, but the farm is big enough that you can escape the madness and wander through apple trees undisturbed. Highlight: over a dozen flavors of pies for sale
  • Homestead Farm: Where I usually go. Pick the produce yourself or buy it pre-picked from the market. The farm has been in one family since 1763. Highlight (or lowlight?): a petting zoo. Be prepared.
  • Lewis Orchards: A much smaller operation, Lewis Orchards sells local dairy, jams and canned goods in addition to produce. I like their motto: ‘quality, not quantity.’ Highlight: pick-your-own flowers at select times of the year
  • Great Country Farms: This farm has a little bit of everything but charges an admission fee ($10/kids, $12/adults). Great Country is like the Disney World of orchards with a corn maze, pillow jumping, gem mining, a ‘cow train’ and fishing. Highlight: hosts special events throughout the year, including the Marshmallow Harvest, BBQ Bash and Cider Festival.
  • Temple Hall Farm: Paint balling, pumpkin chucking and a massive corn maze — all can be found at Temple Hall. It definitely feels more like a destination than a casual trip to the orchard, but that’s what makes it fun. Highlight: the corn maze designed differently each year to commemorate a special event, occasion or group. This year’s theme: The Battle of Balls Bluff

Do you pick apples in the fall? Where’s your favorite place to go?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    September 23, 2011 8:57 am

    I’m itching to pick apples, do a corn maze, go on a hayride or something, but I don’t have a car so it makes it hard to get far enough away from DC that there are farms to do those things. These farms sound amazing. I never thought that after moving to the city, I’d want to be back in the country!

    • September 23, 2011 9:11 am

      Hmmm… maybe I’ll update this post next week with Metro-accessible orchards… or at least bus-accessible? That would be a problem though, good call!

      • Sarah permalink
        September 23, 2011 11:54 am

        That would make my week! Anything that makes you feel like it is fall and accessible by public transportation would be awesome!

  2. September 23, 2011 11:05 am

    We have a place here in California called Apple Hill. It’s about 30 orchards that are all within walking distance. I LOVE going here every year and will be making way my there in a couple of weeks. They go all out in the Fall and have Halloween themes. There is lots of food, crafts, mazes and activities for kids, and lots of apple goodies as well as the chance to pick your own apples. I love this time of year!

  3. September 27, 2011 10:38 am

    This looks so fun! A friend and I are looking for someplace to take some family photos, maybe this would be a good place. Our other possibility is the pumpkin patch! 😉

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