Pumpkin patch passion

Oct. 27, 2006, midnight | By Priyanka Gokhale | 14 years, 1 month ago

Your guide to a fun fall pastime

Crisp weather, lovely foliage and the sweet scent of apples and pumpkins are all signs that fall is here in full swing. And what better way to celebrate the signs of autumn than by heading out to a pumpkin patch? Besides patches of pumpkins, these area farms have hayrides, festivals, corn mazes and more to satisfy your fall cravings. Whether you want to find the perfect Halloween pumpkin or share cider around a bonfire, these four farms will have you covered.

Pumpkin Patch: Butler's Orchard

Photo: Enjoy the pumpkin festival at Butler's Orchard on weekends in October. Photo courtesy of Butler's Farm

Website: http://www.butlersorchard.com

Phone Number: (301) 972-3299

Address: 22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, MD, 20876

Timings: Tuesday-Sunday, call for opening/closing times

Admission/Fee(s): No admission fees, hayrides for 30 at $250/wagon, Pumpkin Festival for $9/person

Patch Features: On the weekends, enjoy fall at the Butler's Pumpkin Festival. Activities free with admission include a hayride, a straw maze and a jump in the orchard's hayloft. Paid activities include pony rides and a pumpkin cannon on select weekends. On weekdays, rent a hayride for a group or go pumpkin picking or pick pumpkins ranging in size up to 80 pounds.

Pumpkin Patch: Homestead Farm

Photo: Celebrate fall by going for a hayride at Homestead farm. Photo courtesy of Homestead Farm

Website: http://www.homestead-farm.net

Phone Number: (301) 977-3761

Address: 15600 Sugarland Road, Poolesville, Maryland 20837

Timings: Daily 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission/Fee(s): No admission fees, call for hayride pricing

Patch Features: At Homestead, look for the wide variety of fruits and vegetables for picking. During October, there are some red raspberries and assorted vegetables, along with apples and pumpkins, which are abundant until November. Also, check out the animals the farm is, from goats and sheep to calves and chicks. Private hayrides and campfires can also be arranged.

Pumpkin Patch: Sharp's at Waterford Farm

Photo: These decorations are all a part of the Halloween celebration at Sharp's farm. Photo courtesy of Sharps Farm

Website: http://www.sharpfarm.com

Phone Number: (410) 489-2572

Address: 4003 Jennings Chapel Road, Brookeville, MD, 20833

Timings: Weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (no hayrides), weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission/Fee(s): No admission fees, call for hayride pricing, $7 admission to corn maze

Patch Features: One of Sharp's biggest draws is the 5-acre corn maze. For $7, you get unlimited entries into the maze. The farm also offers nightly hayrides and campfires, and hayride frequenters get a reduced rate of $.38/lb on you-pick pumpkins (from $.45/lb).

Pumpkin Patch: Rock Hill Orchard

Website: http://www.rockhillorchard.com

Phone Number: (301) 831-7427

Address: 28600 Ridge Road Mount Airy, MD 21771

Timings: Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission/Fee(s): No admission fees, free hayrides on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in October

Patch Features: At Rock Hill, enjoy free hayrides on weekends, but make sure to call ahead for availability. Try the pick-your-own produce, October features red raspberries, apples, pumpkins and flowers. If picking isn't your thing, head to the farmer's market there, where you'll find lots of fresh produce, as well as hot apple cider, jams, freshly baked bread and other treats.

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