There is still plenty of outside time left in this year, even though school has started and the pools have closed. Take your family on a fall hike, visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard, enjoy a hay ride or attend a fall festival. September is a great month to savor the sunshine and take a break in nature.
Apples are aplenty at Baugher’s orchard and market. Pick your own times are offered each September and October weekend, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The farm’s Fall Harvest Weekends in October offer face painting, hayrides, pony rides, a petting zoo and plenty of homemade baked goods and, of course, homemade ice cream.
1015 Baugher Road, Westminster, see website for schedule and prices, baughers.com
Fall is a time that Butler’s Orchard likes to celebrate. Beginning in late September, the orchard hosts weekend pumpkin festivals through Nov. 5 when they say goodbye to the season with their Last Call for Fall Festival. What to expect? Corn hole, campfires, caramel apples, straw mazes, corn mazes, a hayloft jump and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins.
22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, see website for schedule and prices, butlersorchard.com
Every weekend in September and October, Larriland Farm offers 20-minute hayrides from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through the farm and Halloween-decorated woods. No reservations are required. The farm also offers evening hayrides for organized and chaperoned groups. Reservations are required for these rides. Find out about these and other offerings, including a wide variety of pick-your-own produce at their website.
2415 Woodbine Road, Woodbine, pickyourown.com
On Sept. 23-24, Weber’s Cider Mill Farm is once again hosting its Johnny Appleseed Festival to celebrate apple season with historic style—although you might want to include one of the farm’s famous cider donuts, too. Weber’s barnyard fun includes hayrides, a straw maze, a tire mountain and a hillside slide. Sip some fresh-pressed cider and enjoy the fun! Or travel to Weber’s PeachBerry Farm in Glen Arm to pick apples yourself. Check their website or Facebook page for more information.
2526 Proctor Lane, Parkville, Sept. 23-24, tickets required, weberscidermillfarm.com/
Maybe it’s not the flora that interests your family as much as the fauna. It’s time then to make a visit to the petting farm at Clark’s Elioak Farm. Rabbits, emus, chickens, sheep, ducks, cows, turkeys and more call the farm home. Sept. 16 is when the pumpkin patch opens, too.
500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, see website for full calendar, clarklandfarm.com
Located on a working 131-acre farm in Frederick County’s Middletown Valley, Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch offers a 15-acre corn maze, hayrides, pony rides, horse-drawn wagon rides and plenty of fall crafts from local artisans. The farm also has acres of pumpkin varieties to make this a pick-your-own paradise.
6521 Holter Road, Middletown, opens Sept. 23, see website for schedule and prices (admission is free), jumbos.org
Fall is about old-fashioned family fun, according to the folks at Harman’s Farm Market. Expect the usual, kid-pleasing choices—a pumpkin patch, straw maze and hayrides.
2633 Churchville Rd, Churchville, harmansfarmmarket.com
Got some true explorers who will want more than a hayride? Piney Run Park and Nature Center in Sykesville offers $1,000 for the biggest fish caught in its lake before the end of season on Oct. 31. Read more about the contest at their website.
30 Martz Road, Sykesville, ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/recpark/pineyrun/
And if something other than pumpkins pleases you, try the 31st annual Reistertown Festival (Sept. 9-10, reisterstownfest.com) Westminster Fall Fest, (Sept. 21-24, westminsterfallfest.com) or the Baltimore Book Festival (Sept. 22-24, baltimorebookfestival.com).