Photo courtesy Air Force Media
The smell of fresh leaves, apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes can only mean one thing: fall is here! From carving pumpkins to picking apples, there are tons of exciting fall activities in the area to take on with friends and family.
Waters Orchard is a beautiful apple orchard in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Famous for their wide variety of apples and peaceful, quiet location with beautiful scenery and few buildings nearby, Waters Orchard is perfect for picking a variety of different apples; they have over eight types, ranging from Honeycrisp to Jonagold to Fuji. Waters makes an effort to farm with clean, natural sustainability — they use organic bug traps and provide buckets at the ends of tree rows for recycling apple cores and unwanted apples. Many other orchards don’t take this kind of environmental initiative, which makes Waters even more unique. It also has a walking path that leads to a hill with a gorgeous view, perfect for picnics and photos.
Waters Orchard is located at 22711 Wildcat Rd, Germantown, MD 20876, and is closed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, but open from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday, and 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
From personal experience, Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch is an amazing weekend excursion with the family. The employees at the patch are friendly and inviting, and the general store has all sorts of fall crafts, snack foods and eye-catching items. Jumbo’s is much more affordable than other patches, costing from $5 to $15 per person, depending on the activities you participate in. Pumpkins from the orchard cost only $0.59 per pound. Visitors also receive a free hay-ride to the pumpkin patch, which is a win in my book. Sometimes, there are even have pony rides and face-painting.
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch is located at 6521 Holter Rd, Middletown, MD 21769, and is open everyday from 10AM-6PM.
The Turkey Chase
The Turkey Chase, an annual Thanksgiving Day race in Bethesda, began in 1982. The Turkey Chase is the largest 10 kilometer race in Montgomery County and fundraises for the YMCA and the BCC Rotary — an organization of professional leaders that work on service projects and promote peace. Every year, this event brings over 10,000 people together for a chilly but fun morning of healthy competition, as well as other activities that can keep the children entertained. Runners can participate in the 50 meter tot trot, one kilometer challenge run, two mile fun run/walk or the 10 kilometer race. Each race starts at a different time and in a different location. The Turkey Chase website has all of the information regarding where to go and what time to arrive for your preferred activity. This race is a great opportunity to bond with other members of your community and appreciate each others’ company during the holiday season.
Baltimore’s inner harbor hosts a Christmas village on Nov. 23. Lights illuminate the harbor, along with shops and music to get an early start on spreading the spirit of the holiday season. The Christmas market has a strong showing of authentic German traditions and craftwork, and admission is typically free, although there are certain weekends throughout the month near Thanksgiving and Christmas where entry requires an admission fee. The Christmas village also offers delicious food and drinks; it has all of the German goodies you can think of, from Bratwurst with Sauerkraut, to Schnitzel with Potato Salad, to German meatloaf and gingerbread. You can also visit Santa whenever you like; he’s always available!
The Christmas Village is located at 501 Light Street, Baltimore MD 21230, and is open on Sundays to Thursdays at 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Fridays to Saturdays from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, and Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, but is closed on Nov 25th, 26th, 27th; Dec 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th.
If you’re eager to journey to a pumpkin patch or pick apples, Homestead Farm is the place to visit. The farm is family-friendly; there are many different kid-friendly activities, including hayrides, a petting zoo and pumpkin picking. You can even purchase post-carved pumpkins — the most popular has a pumpkin design on the actual pumpkin, so it looks like a pumpkin is inside of another pumpkin. Homestead Farm has a lot of land and is very spread out, so it’s also a great place to spend time in nature. In addition, Homestead offers an animal farm, where visitors can see and pet animals, ranging from chickens to llamas.
Homestead Farm is located at 15604 Sugarland Rd, Poolesville, MD 20837, and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday.