Farm visits, apple picking, and haunting experiences!
By Beth Luna
It is October and we are officially in full-on fall mode now! Let’s assume you have broken out the pumpkin spice in one way or another, sweaters and boots are at the ready, and that fall décor has taken its place on the porch and the mantel. Fall in Northern Virginia is prime season for farm visits, apple picking, corn mazes and haunts of all kinds. We’ve gathered a few ideas for you here; make sure you check websites and Facebook pages for the most current information.
Valley View Farm
1550 Leeds Manor Road, Delaplane
Thurs/Fri: 12-5, Saturday: 10pm – 6 pm, Sunday: 10 pm – 5 pm, Last entry is ½ hour before closing
Corn Maze: $5/kids, $10/adults
Kendra Cummings, farm market and events manager at Valley View Farm, is excited for fall. “My favorite part of the farm in the fall is the colors from the top of the property, where you can see the entire valley,” she said. “We are right next to Sky Meadows State Park, so it’s just the most gorgeous thing!”
Valley View Farm was recently voted Best Pick Your Own by readers of Northern Virginia Magazine, with fall offerings including a good variety of apples as well as pumpkins. Of particular note is the farm’s corn maze, which incorporates a treasure hunt for kids by placing six treasure chests in the maze. “We put stickers inside the treasure chests, and they match the stickers on the worksheet the kids carry with them,” Kendra said. “This offers a cognitive activity within the corn maze fun!” A returned sticker sheet gets the kids a set of honey straws, and adults can choose a glass of cider or sangria.
Valley View will host its second annual Halloween Party, featuring costume competition in different categories – including dogs! The farm’s fall festival runs through the end of October, closing with an end of season bon fire the second weekend of November. “We have sangria specials and select fresh meats on sale because we are closing for the season,” Kendra said. “We begin just before sunset and offer hot cider and usually a food truck.”
The property itself sits on an historical tract of land, stewarded by the Strother family for 100 years and hunted on by George Washington himself. Not only do they offer seasonal fruit picking from blueberries and cherries in June, peaches in July and August, and apples in the fall, but the onsite store Locavore Farm Market & Tasting Room carries wine from their sister property Philip Carter Winery and many regional items. “Everything we sell is local – Shawnee Canning Company jams and preserves, candles crafted from our wine bottles, local produce, and grass fed and finished humane meat from our neighbor farm Skyview Acres,” Kendra said. “We have the largest apiary in Northern Virginia, and we sell those honey products in the store – totally local because the bees pollinate right on the property!” The store also sells items to use during your visit like frisbees and kites. “We used to be more adult-oriented, but when COVID hit, people wanted to get out with their kids and have a place for them to run around. We offer more family focused activities and items to cater to that.”
The farm is closed November through March, and during the upcoming off season they are renovating to support staying open year-round with the addition of a new, full kitchen, indoor bathrooms, and more.
Buckland Haunted Farm
4484 Lee Highway, New Baltimore
Farm Market Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9am-6pm, Haunted house and corn maze – 7pm Fri and Sat night — $20
Kids corn maze, hayride, and little barrel train
Buckland Farm Market is a fixture on the Highway 29 corridor, and those in the know stop year-round for produce, home baked goods, local cheese, eggs, meat and more. Come October 1, the property shifts for fall activities, with apples, pumpkins, gourds, freshly-pressed apple cider and apple-cider donuts taking a starring role. The farm features the scary stuff, too – a haunted corn maze and house for the adults with a tame section for the younger ones.
“We send the adults through the corn maze at night, and there are scary things in there!” said farm and market owner Kris Gilbert. “There is a part of the maze specifically for kids during the day, along with the train made of barrels pulled by the lawn mower and our famous hayrides.” Along with the maze and haunted house, weekends in October feature food concessions, music, bon fires, and more.
“I love our apple cider from local apples – even though I am not an apple cider fan,” says Buckland’s Rashell Rinker. “I love fall, and I really love fall at Buckland. The farm is the most peaceful place – unless you are in the corn maze on a Friday or Saturday night!”
Kris and Danielle Gilbert have owned the farm – now named Gilbert and Sons Farm — for a while now, but only took over the market last May. “My 12 and 13 year old sons work next to me on the farm,” said Kris. His wife works at the family-owned Woody’s Ice Cream in Fairfax City, and helps out at the farm on weekends. Look for a new outdoor play area and new farm animals to visit shortly.
MAPLE TREE FARM/HAUNTED HOLLOW
The Haunted Hollow website taunts “Come if you dare!” with a list of reminders including “2 ticket minimum – someone needs to be able to report you missing” and “We recommend children under 13 have an adult to cling to!”The trail opens at dusk, running until 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights through October 30, and features a bonfire and snacks for purchase.
“They will travel the trail around the old abandoned farm for about 30-45 minutes, depending on how scared you are and how fast you run,” said owner Patty Leonard. “We stage a series of different scenes throughout the abandon barns – and we hope it leaves you breathless!”
Fall weekends at Maple Tree Farm include a corn maze, pumpkins for purchase, a play area, butter making demonstrations, puppet shows, a cow train, moo bounce and more geared toward the little ones. “It’s a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy the fall air,” Patty added. Check the website for upcoming photos with Santa on the farm.
Cox Farms Fall Festival/Fields of Fear
Sept 25-Nov 7
15621 Braddock Rd., Centreville
Admission fees vary, depending on dates/pre-purchase tickets on their website
Fields of Fear at Cox Farms Hours: Friday and Saturday nights Sept. 24 – Nov. 6 (plus Sundays Oct. 10 + 31) 7:30-11 p.m. (last entry 10 p.m.)
Cox Farms in Centreville goes full-out fall through right into the first week of November with every fall activity you can imagine and more! From kids attractions and live music to the Pumpkin Patch and the Festival Market, they’ve got you covered. If you dare, try the Fields of Fear on Friday and Saturday nights (with some Sunday).
3064 Hartland Lane, Markham
9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
Hartland Orchard is located in the scenic hills near Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Pick your own apples — $10 per peck or $20 per half bushel; containers are provided (note: they accept cash & check only). It is a good idea to call before you visit for daily changes in crop availability and schedule.
1524 Snowden Road, Delaplane
Pick your own season is May through October, with fall featuring pick your own Apples, including early Fuji, Empire, Golden Delicious, Shizuka, Idared, Grimes Golden, and Jonagold. Pumpkins, gourds, pick your own potatoes, and a corn maze are all fall features here. Check the website or call before you come for updated offerings and hours of operation.
Messick’s Farm Market
Fall Festival 2021, Princess and Friends
6025 Catlett Rd., Bealeton
Princess festival – Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm
$12 per person — 3 and under free — 55+ $6
While Messick’s offers a full menu of all things fall at their year-round market, this year’s weekend-only princess party is sure to add another layer of fun for the little ones. A meet-and-greet and story time with a princess and her friends plus the pumpkin patch, hayrides, corn maze, barrel train and much more will keep the family busy and provide those great photo ops. Don’t forget Messick’s homemade custard to top off the day!
Mountain Run Winery’s 2021 Fall Harvest Festival and Craft Fair
Saturday, October 16, 2021, 12pm-7pm
10753 Mountain Run Lake Rd., Culpeper
Parking $5 per car
Annual fall festival features over 40 local craft vendors, live music all day, kids activities, and food from Pepper’s Grill and Over the Top Chef Food Trucks. Home-baked, fall inspired treats like cider donuts, apple muffins, and pretzels, as well as Mountain Run’s award winning wines and ciders will be on hand, as well as Far Gohn Brewing’s beer trailer.
11587 Poverty Hollow Lane, Markham
Open Tuesdays-Sundays from 9-5, rain or shine.
Six generations of the Stribling family have worked this farm with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy pumpkins and apple picking (Macintosh, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious, and more). The farm also features farm animals, an array of local foods as well as Stribling beef, which you can also order from their website.
Warrenton Cemetery History Tour
Hosted by the Town of Warrenton with Fauquier County
Town Cemetery, 110 West Lee Street, Warrenton
The town will host several free one-hour tours highlighting headstone symbolism, local history, and landscaping. Check the Town of Warrenton Facebook for more information.