Apple Picking Near DC: Best Apple Orchards for Apple Picking with Kids

Kids of all ages enjoy apple picking and chomping on an apple right off the tree. Photo courtesy of Butler's Orchard
Kids of all ages enjoy apple picking and chomping on an apple right off the tree. Photo courtesy of Butler's Orchard
8/27/23 - By Christine Mooney

As late August and September arrive, so do thoughts of apple picking near DC. This favorite fall tradition is a must for families, and it often goes far beyond plucking ripe apples from a tree. Many of these Virginia and Maryland apple orchards host fall activities of all kinds, like hayrides, petting zoos, and playgrounds.

All of the apple orchards and farms listed below are within easy driving distance of DC. A few of them even made our lists of the best pumpkin patches near DC and fun fall festivals near DC. Remember that farm conditions and produce availability change throughout the season, so call or check the farms' websites before you visit.

Read on for our list of 14 great places to go apple picking near DC. Then check out our Fall Fun Guide for Washington, DC Families for even more great autumn activities.


Apple Picking Near DC: Great Country Farms
September is the month to go apple picking at Great Country Farms. Photo courtesy of the farm

Apple Picking Near DC in Northern Virginia

1. Great Country Farms — Bluemont

Apple picking season at Great Country Farms runs from late August through late September, with Honeycrisp apples available in August, followed by Gala, Jona Gold, Jona Free, Candy Crisp, Ruby Jon, and Fuji varieties in September. There is an entry fee, but a load of additional activities make it worth it. Be sure to try the famous apple cider donuts!

Extras for families: Activities at Great Country Farms include a ninja obstacle course, a corn maze, various play structures, giant slides, farm animals, and much more.

2. Crooked Run Orchard — Purcellville

This family-owned orchard, more than 250 years old, offers a variety of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, from cherries in early summer to apples and pumpkins in the fall. There is no entry fee, and pets are allowed. Call the orchard or check its Facebook page for operating days and hours. Note: Crooked Run Orchard does not accept credit cards, so be sure to bring cash with you.

Extras for families: Apple cider is available for purchase at certain times in the fall.

3. Mackintosh Fruit Farm — Berryville

With a variety of apples ready to pick as early as August, Mackintosh Fruit Farm is a great place for families to go apple picking near DC. The farm charges a small entry fee for everyone except infants who can't yet walk, plus the price of what you pick. Dogs are allowed on a leash, but not in areas where crops grow on the ground. Mackintosh's Apple Fest takes place this year on October 5, 2024.

Extras for families: Mackintosh Fruit Farm has a market, a full kitchen, and a playground.

4. Marker-Miller Orchards — Winchester

There are 325 acres of apples at Marker-Miller, with Ginger Gold and Gala apples available in August and about a dozen other varieties ready in September and October. You can purchase containers to fill on site. Dogs are allowed on a leash, and you can food is available for purchase to enjoy in the picnic areas, including the farm's famous apple cider donuts.

Extras for families: Kids can ride a cow train, take a weekend wagon ride for a small fee, and play on a playground with large wooden structures in the shape of a ship, castle, tractor, and more.

5. Hollin Farms — Delaplane

This family-run farm about a 90-minute drive from DC is perched high on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with stunning views of the Virginia countryside. Over 25 apple types are generally available for picking in September and October, starting with Honeycrisp and ending with Gold Rush.

Extras for families: While there, families can also visit the farm's pumpkin patch and dig their own peanuts and potatoes.

6. Stribling Orchard — Markham

While this farm may be no-frills, it is steeped in history. Some of Stribling Orchard's roughly 2,500 apple trees date back to the early 1930s, and its main house was used as officers' quarters during the Civil War. More than 20 varieties of apples are available for picking, starting with Lodi in August and ending with York in October.

Extras for families: Visit Stribling's Harvest House and Bakery on weekends to purchase jams and jellies, apple butter and cider, apple pie and cake, pastries, and more.

RELATED: Best Pumpkin Patches Near DC for Picking the Perfect Pumpkin

Apple Picking Near DC: Butler's Orchard
Enjoy lots of fall activities along with apple picking at Butler's Orchard.

Apple Picking Near DC in Maryland

7. Butler's Orchard — Germantown

Butler's Orchard is a great spot to pick your own fruits and veggies throughout the growing season. The apple picking season runs from September through October. You must make a reservation online, which costs a small fee for anyone 2 and over, and pay by the container for whatever you pick.

Extras for families: Butler's Orchard's Farm Park includes a petting zoo, giant slides, pedal tractors, a playground, and a combine tractor slide.

8. Homestead Farm — Poolesville

Apple picking season at Homestead Farm generally starts in late August and runs through late October, with different varieties ripening at different times. There's a small fee to enter the farm for anyone over age 1, and produce is sold separately by the pound.

Extras for families: Before or after you pick your apples, you can visit the farm animals. There's also a refreshment stand open on Saturdays and Sundays.

9. Larriland Farm — Woodbine

More than 20 varieties of apples are available at Larriland Farm, starting with Ginger Gold in mid August and ending with Pink Lady and Gold Rush in late October through early November. Check the farm's website before you leave to confirm availability. Admission is free, with apples sold by the container, which you can purchase when you arrive.

Extras for families: Larriland Farm offers tractor-drawn hayrides in the fall.

RELATED: Best Corn Mazes Near DC for Kids and Families

Apple Picking Near DC: Milburn Orchards
Pick over 15 varieties of apples at Milburn Orchards. Photo courtesy of Milburn Orchards

10. Milburn Orchards — Elkton

Apples are Milburn Orchards' specialty, with over 15 varieties available. Pick-your-own apples are available every Saturday and Sunday (plus Labor Day) in September and October. Pickers must register online ahead of time for a small fee, and there's a minimum picking requirement for anyone ages 10 and up.

Extras for families: Kids will love playing in the orchard's Big Backyard, which includes a playground, a giant sandpit, a petting zoo, and more for a separate fee. When hunger strikes, stop in for some lunch, apple cider donuts, or ice cream at the farm market.

11. Gaver Farm — Mount Airy

Gaver Farm's apple orchard—open on fall Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays—features shorter apple trees that allow families to pick without needing ladders. Varieties include Blondee, Buckeye, Empire, Ultra Gold, Crimson Crisp, Cameo, and Fuji. Bags must be pre-purchased with a maximum of four pickers per bag (not including kids under 2). The hayride to the orchard is free.

Extras for families: Gaver Farm's Fall Fun Fest features over 60 attractions including a corn maze, jumping pillows, giant slides, and a petting zoo. It costs an additional fee.

12. Catoctin Mountain Orchard — Thurmont

This orchard about 90 minutes from DC offers roughly 15 varieties of pick-your-own apples every Saturday and Sunday in September and October. A small entrance fee for everyone over age 2 includes a wagon ride to and from the apple field, and bags must be pre-purchased when you arrive. Note: Catoctin Mountain does not accept credit cards, so bring cash (an ATM is available on site).

Extras for families: In addition to a farm market, Catoctin Mountain Orchard has a bakery from which families can purchase a variety of delicious pies, pound and crumb cakes, cookies, and more.

13. Baugher's Orchard — Westminster

About 70 miles from DC, Baugher's Orchard  offers pick-your-own apples on Saturdays and Sundays in September and October. Wagon rides to the apple orchard cost a small fee for everyone age 3 and older, and then you pay per container of apples. Call the orchard's pick-you-own hotline at (410) 857-0111 before heading out to ensure crop availability.

Extras for families: At Baugher's Petting Zoo, families can purchase food to feed to the farm animals. There are also two playground sets for kids to enjoy. And if hunger strikes, enjoy a country-style meal at Baugher's Restaurant.

14. Rock Hill Orchard and Woodbourne Creamery — Mount Airy

Pick from several thousand apple trees in Rock Hill's orchard, which are pruned so no ladders are needed. Apple picking begins in late August with Honeycrisp apples and continues through early November, with 25 varieties of apples available. Pre-purchase bags online before heading to the orchard.

Extras for families: Starting in mid September, families can enjoy a corn maze, hayrides, a pumpkin cannon, and more fall fun every weekend at Rock Hill Orchard. Be sure to visit the on-site creamery for delicious homemade ice cream.

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