Photo courtesy of Shuttershock.
Photo courtesy of Shuttershock.

By Jae O’Connor

Life is hectic, but that shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your chance to have the best jack-o-lantern on the block. Big-name stores and strip mall parking lots offer easy access to pumpkins, but who knows how long they have been off the vine? Your best bet for getting a perfect pumpkin is by visiting a patch yourself, and thankfully, Northern Virginia offers a myriad of locations to find your holiday gourd.


Wayside Farm
Weekends in October, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. // Wayside Farm is home to a giant corn maze, exciting pig races and pumpkin picking. Activities promote American pride and educate children about anti-bullying with Spookley the Square Pumpkin. / 5273 Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7), Berryville; 540-539-3276; $10

Cox Farms
Daily throughout October, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. // The Fall Festival at Cox Farms is a Northern Virginia standard. The farm is loaded with slides, animals, games, rides, and plenty of pumpkins. If your little ones are feeling brave, walk with them through the Cornundrum, a winding path filled with family-friendly surprises. / 15621 Braddock Road, Centreville; 703-830-4121; $5-$17

Belvedere Plantation
Open Tuesday-Sunday in October, hours vary // The Belvedere Plantation sits on 645 acres of land and was founded in the 1760s. Still a working farm today, the plantation offers a plethora of pumpkins to decorate your Halloween doorstep. There are also other fun activities like hayrides, corn mazes, slides, swings and plenty of friendly animals. / 1410 Belvedere Drive, Fredericksburg; 540-373-4478; $9-$30

The Corn Maze in the Plains
Weekends in October, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. // As their name suggests, this venue has a huge 5-acre corn maze. In addition to the pumpkins, this farm also offers a farmers market that features up to 20 different farm vendors, all located in a historic racehorse barn on the property. / 4501 Old Tavern Road, The Plains; 540-456-7339; $9-$10

Hollin Farms
Open Wednesday-Sunday in October, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. // If you want to skip the games and focus on your fall produce needs, then this is the place for you. Hollin Farms offers pick-your-own apples, potatoes, peanuts, pumpkins and much more. See their website or call for a full list of available produce. / 1410 Snowden Road, Delaplane; 540-592-3574; Free admission

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Buckland Farm Market
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. // This market specializes in organic products. In addition to pumpkins, they also offer all kinds of fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, eggs and freshly baked goods. / 4484 Lee Highway, Warrenton; 540-341-4739

Burnside Farms
Open daily in October, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. // Burnside offers more than 50 varieties of pumpkins and gourds. Take your time sifting through them all to find your ideal Halloween pick. / 4905 James Madison Highway, Haymarket; 703-753-5002; Free admission

Crooked Run Orchard
Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. // This is a natural, production-only farm. If you want to avoid all of the mazes, rides and animals, then these green acres are for you. / 37883 E. Main St., Purcellville; 540-338-6642; Free admission

Sneads Farm
Open daily in October, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. // Although it is primarily an asparagus farm, Sneads also offers an annual Fall Festival with plenty of pumpkins. Attractions include swings, mazes and lots of animals like llamas and horses. Come on the weekends for hayrides at no additional charge. / 18294 Tidewater Trail, Fredericksburg; 540-371-9328; $5

Ticonderoga Farms
Open daily in October, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. // Ticonderoga offers plenty of playground fun, giant slides, nature walks and animals. Enjoy some hot apple cider while choosing your pumpkin. / 26469 Ticonderoga Road, Chantilly; 703-327-4424; $10-$17

Leesburg Animal Park’s Pumpkin Village
Open daily in October, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. // Let the kids roam free in the maze, spider web crawl, moon bounce and pumpkin playhouse village. There are plenty of animals for guests to pet and feed and even pony rides. / 19270 James Monroe Highway, Leesburg; 703-433-0002; $10-$15

Temple Hall Farm
Weekends throughout October, times vary // This farm offers pig races, pumpkin blasters, paintball, train rides, camel rides, bouncy horses and so much more. There’s even a country store that features cider, pies, fall treats and apparel. / 15855 Limestone School Rd, Leesburg; 703-779-9372; $8-$14


(October 2015)