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Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
6521 Holter Road
Middletown, MD 21769
jumbos.org
 

I had never heard of Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch until I saw a deal posted for it on Certifikid. After I looked it up online, I found that it was named one of America’s top ten pumpkin patches by msn.com in 2012. So when we had an afternoon free on a beautiful fall day I decided to take the girls to go check it out.

The Huffer family owns the 131 acre working farm and first purchased it in 1870. Jumbo’s was established in 1994 with a roadside wagon and 1-1/2 acres of pumpkins. They now have 30 acres of pick-your-own pumpkins, a 14 acre corn maze, and many other activities.

When we first arrived, we walked up to the big white barn, where I was excited to find out that there is no admission fee to get in. That just makes this place even better!

Jumbosbarn1

The girls spotted the animals and headed in that direction. Jumbo’s has sheep, pigs, calves, cows, goats, chickens, horses, and a very friendly dog.

Jumbosheep         Jumbosdog Jumbocalf         Jumbopig

Jumbo’s has all the festive fall decorations and has fun little signs sprinkled throughout.

Jumboshorsecarriage                     Jumbosmeasuresign

They also have a playground area with a few spring toys, a tractor structure with a slide, and some hay bales for climbing and jumping.

Jumboshay                                               Jumbosspringtoy Jumbosplayground

Near the playground area is a concession stand where you can get meals, drinks, and snacks. There is a large picnic pavilion where you can sit to eat and enjoy the view. This lovely rustic barn is just beyond the picnic area.

Jumbosrusticbarn

Jumbo’s normally doesn’t offer hayrides to the pumpkin patch on weekdays (except for Friday). However, there were several people who were all heading out to the patch at the same time, so a nice employee said he would give us a ride on the tractor. My girls were excited to get to go for a ride and I was happy not to have to lug a cart and two little ones all the way out to the pumpkin patch.

Jumbostractor

It’s a nice ride out to the pumpkin patch as you pass the 14 acre corn maze and some fun decorations like this hay stack chicken. The man who drove the tractor was so nice and offered to stop so Clara could sit on top of the chicken for a photo.

Jumboshaystack

Clara and Mae were very excited about looking for the perfect pumpkin.

Jumbosclara                                                       JumbosMae

The views at Jumbo’s are so spectacular, definitely the prettiest pumpkin patch we have been to so far. I mean, look at this view, so peaceful.

Jumbosview

We stopped at the big white barn before leaving to pay for our pumpkins and also picked up a few Halloween decorations and snacks for the drive home. We had a delightful afternoon at Jumbo’s and will definitely make it a yearly tradition to visit.

Good to Know:

•Admission is free.
•Open 10am-6pm through October 31.
•Corn maze is $5/person (ages 3 & up).
•Additional activities on the weekends include: face painting, pony rides, mini wagon rides, and horse-drawn wagon rides.
•Portable restrooms only.



Burke Nursery’s Pumpkin Playground

Burke Nursery’s Pumpkin Playground
9401 Burke Road
Burke, VA 22015
www.pumpkinplayground.com
 

Tuesday was such a beautiful day that I wanted to take the girls to do something outdoors, especially since I saw rain in the forecast for the following day. I was looking to find somewhere new and not too far away. So I did a little research during nap time and came up with Burke Nursery’s Pumpkin Playground for the afternoon outing. This was just a quick 25 minute drive from the Maryland suburbs.

The entrance is perfectly adorned with every type of fall decoration including mums, pumpkins, and corn stalks.

Burkeentrance

The entrance takes you through the market, which sells a lot of cute fall decorations, local jams, jellies, dressings and pumpkin carving supplies.

Burkemarket

Clara has been really into decorating our house for Halloween. We’ve been on the look out for some ghosts to hang on our front porch and were excited to find them at Burke’s.

Burkeghosts

After paying for admission in the market, we headed out to the playground area. There are several fun playground structures including a castle, monster truck, pirate ship, train, and a few more. Lots of various slides, swings, and old school merry-go-rounds.

Burketruck         Burketrain Burkepirateship         Burkecastle

There are also a bunch of those riding toys you see at malls or supermarkets that you normally have to put a quarter in to start but here you just press a button and the kids can ride as many times as they want.

Burkehorse Burkecarousel

There are a couple sets of giant slides; one set that is bigger and a smaller set that has a cute Wizard of Oz theme for the younger children.

Burkewizardofoz                                   Burkeslide

Included in admission is a hayride through a haunted forest where there are different spooky scenes with ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. The ride lasts about 10 minutes.

Burkehayride

There isn’t a pumpkin patch at Burke’s, but there are lots of little pumpkins to choose from before you leave and its also included in the admission price. They also have bigger carving pumpkins available to purchase.

Burkepumpkins

This is a really fun fall activity, especially great for toddlers and preschoolers. I would say Burke’s would be best enjoyed by children up to age 8. Its on the smaller scale for fall festivals so its much easier to manage if you have multiple little ones. It wasn’t too busy when we were there, which is always nice so try to go on a weekday if you can. My girls had a lot of fun and were entertained for a couple hours but could have stayed longer if we had the time. Hurry, it’s only open through October 31st.

Good to Know:

•Admission on weekdays is $9/person, weekends is $13/person, age 2 & under are free.
•Open from October 1 through October 31st.
•Hours: Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm, 9am-9pm Fri-Sat, 9am-8pm Sun
•Food and snacks are available to purchase and there are a couple of picnic pavilions.
•Pony rides and face painting are additional activities available on the weekends.
•Portable restrooms only.
•Diaper changing area available.



Great Country Farms

Great Country Farms
18780 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, VA 20135
http://www.greatcountryfarms.com
 

Great Country Farms is a 200 acre working farm located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains outside the village of Bluemont, Virginia. It is about an hour drive from Washington, DC. The girls and I ventured out there last week to meet our friends at the farm for an afternoon of fun.

GCFentrance

After mentioning to Clara that they have a giant jumping pillow, she insisted that we go there first. We spent a good amount of time here bouncing, running, and giggling.

GCFpillow1          GCFpillow2

Next, Clara asked to see the animals. My girls both LOVE animals and will have a great time when we go anywhere that has animals. Great Country Farms has turkeys, pigs, goats, mini horses, rabbits, peacocks, ducks, chickens, and sheep. There is animal feed available to purchase for feeding the goats.

GCFrabbit GCFchickens GCFhorse GCFturkeys

Then we took the kids over to the playground area. There are a few different structures to play on including a ship, tractor, and a monster truck. There is also a corn bin, a giant chess board, and tube slides.

GCFplayground2                    GCFplayground1                    GCFcornbin

Then it was time to go apple picking. I purchased a Certifikid deal for admission and it also included 2 lbs of apples. The wagon for apple picking leaves at the top of every hour. It takes guests across the street and into the Bluemont Vineyard property, which is owned by the same family.

GCFwagon   GCFbluemont

The view is absolutely stunning with the orchards at the base of the hill and the vineyard towards the top.

GCForchard

There were a few different varieties of apples available to pick including Fuji, Ruby John, Honey Crisp, and Jonafree. We decided to pick the Fuji and they were delicious.

GCFapples

As usual, Clara did all the picking while Mae munched on an apple.

GCFapple1

The wagon waits until everyone has returned from picking and then takes all the guests back to the entrance of Great Country Farms.

GCFwagon2

On our way out, we stopped at the farm market to pay for our apples and get a few other goodies. The market offers seasonally fresh produce, local honey, jams, gifts, and snacks.

Of course we had to get the obligatory photo with the giant cow before leaving.

GCFcow

I definitely recommend a trip to Great Country Farms. It is well worth the drive from the city. There are enough activities to keep children busy for several hours. You could also make it a day trip and visit some of the family friendly vineyards in the area.

Additional information:

•Admission is $8/child (ages3-10) & $10/adult on weekdays. $10/child (ages 3-10) & $12/adult on festival weekends. Children under 2 years, active & retired military, CSA, and Fan of the Farm season pass holders, do not pay admission.
•The farm is spread out, so bring a stroller for little ones. There are paths throughout making it stroller friendly.
•CSA memberships available.
•Pick-your-own produce includes cherries, black raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, plums, peaches, blackberries, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, potatoes, concord grapes, pumpkins, kale, swiss chard, & mustard greens.
•Follow Great Country Farms on Facebook & Twitter for updated pick-your-own availability.
•Roosteraunt is open on weekends and serves up cider donuts, kettle corn, hotdogs, pies and other snacks.
•The farm also offers weddings, corporate meetings, birthday parities, and field trips.



Butler’s Orchard

Butler’s Orchard
222000 Davis Mill Road
Germantown, MD 20876
http://www.butlersorchard.com/
 

This family owned and operated farm originated in the 1950s and now includes 300 acres where they grow over 25 kinds of fruits, veggies, and flowers. I started visiting the farm years before having children and now I enjoy taking my girls here several times a year. It is conveniently located off interstate 270 making it quicker to get to than other farms in the area. However, that also means that it is much more crowded, especially on the weekends or during their holiday festivals.

ButlerssignDuring the school year, the weekdays are not busy so I decided to take my girls last Friday. The pick your own crop throughout the year includes: strawberries, sugar snap and English peas, blueberries, tart cherries, flowers, blackberries, potatoes, red raspberries, tomatoes, apples, pumpkins, and Christmas trees. Last week, the apples were not yet ready to pick so we headed to the raspberry field first. The picking was plentiful.

ButlersraspfieldMae was eating the berries faster than Clara and I could pick them so we ended up not having many to take home. At least Mae had a tummy full of delicious raspberries.

ButlersClaraIt was close to 90 degrees that day so the girls did not last long out in the field where there was no shade. We got in the car and I turned up the air conditioning and we drove over to the Sunflower field. Clara has always loved picking flowers.

Butlersflowersign

Butlerssunflower

After picking a few gigantic sunflowers we drove up to the area where the holiday festivals take place. In this space is a playground with a few different wooden structures including a pirate ship, castle, and train.

Butlersplayground ButlersCastle

ButlersBarn

After burning off some energy at the playground, we drove down to the entrance and stopped at the farm market to pay for our raspberries and purchase a few more items. The market is stocked with the season’s fresh produce. They also have a dairy case with local cheese, milk, and eggs. Fresh baked pies and other baked goods, kitchen supplies, and home decorations are also for sale.

ButlersmarketButler’s is probably best known for their Halloween and Easter festivals. Their 34th annual Pumpkin festival is just around the corner: September 27 & 28, October 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 25, 26. 10am – 5:00pm. This festival has so many fun activities for children including: hayrides, giant slides, straw maze, pumpkinland, pedal tractors, corn hole, pumpkin coach, corn maze, hayloft, pony rides, pumpkin cannon, face painting, kids crafts, and pick your own pumpkins. There is also live music. The festival is $11 per person and children 2 and under are free. We have attended in years past on nice days and it is completely packed with people. We once had to wait over 45 minutes in line to purchase food. So it might be a good idea to pack a picnic if you are there during lunch time.

The Bunnyland Eggstravaganza has similar activities but with an Easter theme: hayride down the bunny trail, rubber duck derby, egg hunt, moon bounce, & bunnies, chicks, & lambs in the barn. Tickets are $8.75 per child and $6.75 per adult. When I have been in years past, the Bunnyland festival has been much less busy than the Pumpkin festival.

Good to know:

•Containers for pick your own are available for purchase in the market. If you bring your own, make sure to have them weighed first.
•For the festivals, it is cash only at the entrance gates. You can purchase tickets with a credit card at the farm market.
•Some of the activities at the festivals are at an additional cost so bring extra cash for face painting, pony rides, etc.
•Portable restrooms only.
•Sign up for the email newsletter to receive updated pick your own information and other news.