Apples, Pumpkins & Hayrides!
Updated: Sep 19, 2020
When September breezes in, you can find us in the apple orchard, at fall festivals or picking pumpkins.
Here is a round up of some of our favorite fall places!
Tip: Bring your baby carrier & skip the stroller. Almost every orchard & pumpkin patch we have visited has uneven terrain, vines in the patches or hayrides to the field. Strollers just don't work.
1. Carter Mountain: If you want to go apple picking, there's a new ticket system to moderate to crowds on Carter Mountain. While there isn't a ticket fee on Mondays through Thursdays, it costs $8 per person (over 10) on Fridays-Sundays.
The 3 Times:
Morning: In any time after 9am and out by 12 (noon)
Midday: In any time after 12 (noon) and out by 3pm
Afternoon: In any time after 3pm and out by 6pm (closing time)
Here's my review from last year.
*There are also pre-picked pumpkins!
2. Chiles Peach Orchard: Chiles offers apple picking & it's not as crowded as Carter Mountain. We also like Chiles because the orchard is flat (it's not on a mountain like Carter Mountain). You do not need a ticket or reservation to visit. Picking condition change daily, so call ahead or check Facebook for the latest information. As of September 15, September Wonder (early Fuji) and Jonagold are available for picking. Here's the picking chart. Here are the safety guidelines.
Here's how peach picking went for us in June 2020.
3. Hanover Peaches: Put this local orchard on your "watch" list. They may be opening in October for pick your own Pink Lady apples. We visited the orchard in July to pick peaches & had a wonderful time. It's also when I learned that they are growing apples too! Their fruit is sold at Tom Leonard's.
Here's how peach picking went for us in July 2020.
1. Lloyd Family Farm: The Patch opens on Saturday, September 26 this year. It is open every Friday from 9 until 5, and Saturday & Sunday from 9am until 5pm through October 31st. Admission ($10 pp) includes hay rides around the farm, a corn maze , barnyard friends meet and greet, and a 50 acre pumpkin patch. There are also children’s activities and food trucks! Children 2 & under free.
Fun Fact: This was H's first pumpkin patch when he was 1 month old!
2. Hanover Vegetable Farm: The farm will be open for picking on October 3rd. They plan to open all activities (tractor rides, corn maze, petting zoo & more) except the corn bins and moon bounces. The "entry only" ticket costs $5 (for the fun & not picking pumpkins) & "pumpkin and entry ticket" is $10 (all the activities plus one pumpkin you pick from the field). All tickets are purchased at the gate.
We had the best time last year at this farm - click here for our trip. We even came to the festivals!
3. Gallmeyer Farm: The Pumpkin Patch is open daily from September 25-October 31 from 8am until dark. One of my favorite things about this pumpkin patch is that it's open during the week - this is perfect for toddlers & preschoolers to explore without a crowd. There will be free parking and FREE admission to the hayrides, straw bale maze, picnic and play area. They provide wagons for customers to put their pumpkins in, too. Customers are responsible for following COVID19 suggestions. Bonus: this patch is near Richmond International Airport!
4. Chesterfield Berry Farm: It's open the weekend of September 19 & 20 (They plant the pumpkins seeds in mid June & they are ready for picking in September). A general farm fun pass costs $12. This pass includes a hayride to & from pumpkin patch, barrel train ride, 1 round paintball target shoot, wagon train ride, corn cannons, 8 acre corn maze, fun hay mazes, & more!
5. Ashland Berry Farm: It's open from 10-6 from September 26 through October 31. There are a few weekdays it’s closed - check their website. They offer free parking & free hayrides to the patch, plus all you can carry pumpkins for $20!
Tip: When H was 1, I would take him during the week to explore the market for free! There are a bunch of pre-picked pumpkins, so it's perfect for pictures.
6. Swift Creek Berry Farm & Greenhouse: They will be open September 24 through October 31 for fall pansies, mums and pumpkins. They will be open Monday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sundays from 1-5. There will be no entrance fee for the pumpkin patch. They will not be offering any of the normal games and activities this year. They will have carts for the pumpkins - these will be rotated and sanitized.
7. Skinquarter Farm Market: The pumpkin patch and market opens on 9/26 through 10/31 from 10-6 (weekdays), 9-7 (Saturdays) and 9-6 (Sundays). They have a free corn maze, hay maze and hayrides! Jimer's Custard serves ice cream, too!
They are offering a 10% off for PYO pumpkins if your driver's license correlates with these locations:
September 26-27: Moseley
October 3-4: Powhatan
October 10-11: Chesterfield
October 17-18: Amelia
October 24-25: Midlothian
October 31: Everyone else
Easy Places for Pumpkin Pictures:
1. Any local nursery - They usually set up festive fall decor that's perfect for a picture.
2. Tom Leonard's: This local grocery store is located in Short Pump & they always have the most festive set-ups. Last year, they hosted Friday Night Movies at the Pumpkin Patch in October! The Pumpkin Patch opened on September 15, and they have pumpkins, gourds, squash & mums - it's really easy to visit and you can get great pictures!
3. Wegman's: They have hay bales & pumpkins set up outside of the store at the Short Pump location. We love to visit for a picture & then check out the boats & fish at Cabela's.
4. The Jefferson: It reopened on Friday, September 18, 2020. There is usually a festive display outside by the alligator.
There are definitely more fall places than the ones I've listed :) What's your favorite place to visit in the fall?