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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

The Best Apple Orchards & Pumpkin Patches around Richmond

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

Growing up in Richmond, I've visited my fair share of apple orchards and pumpkin patches. In visiting new locations over the years, I've learned that not every farm works for us each season. I decided to round up the best apple orchards and pumpkin patches around Richmond and give each one a superlative, so you know exactly which one will work for your family this year.

Quick Tips & Facts:

1) Almost every pumpkin patch has uneven terrain - vines in the patches or hayrides to the field. Strollers just don't work. Bring a baby carrier.

2) These are working farms. Dress accordingly.

3) Most PYO farms do not allow backpacks in the fields. Because we use a backpack as a diaper bag and we need it all the time, I've had our backpack checked before.

4) Some farms only have porta potties. We always bring our car potty because it's just easier for little kids. Click here for the one we use and love.

5) Hayrides are bumpy! Keep this in mind with newborns and young children.

6) Prices have increased from last year. Children 2 and under are usually free at every venue.

7) If you have a baby or a child under 2, try the free pumpkin patches first before visiting one with an admission fee. When my son was 6 weeks old (yep, you read that correctly) we paid to visit a pumpkin patch. It wasn't the best use of money when there are so many fun pumpkin patches around Richmond with free admission. That same farm that we went to with our 6 week old was my children's favorite last year (at 14 months and 3 years old).

8) If it has rained recently, the farms, including the play areas will be very wet and muddy. We visited one patch after the rain, and the entire play area was covered in puddles & water, so we couldn't play.

Here are my superlatives for 5 apple orchards and 8 pumpkin patches around Richmond.

Central Virginia's Apple Orchards:

The Most Popular & The Most Expensive (tied): Carter Mountain

Owned by the Chiles family, Carter Mountain is one of the most popular orchards in central Virginia for apple picking. It’s easily a full day adventure - you can purchase food, like the famous apple cider donuts, eat on the lawn with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoy Bold Rock Brewery & pick your own apples. You can also take a hayride (additional cost).

Because Carter's Mountain is such a popular destination, they are requiring tickets for peak season visits, which are holidays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this fall. Ticket's are $8 and are required for everyone 12 and older.

I like Carter Mountain because of its location - the views from the mountain are gorgeous. Since they started requiring tickets last year, we only visit this orchard during the week. If you do this, you don't have to pay the ticket price, you can drop in when it fits your schedule, and the crowd is very small. We also visit at the beginning of the season because the picking rows are closest to the open air barn (shorter walk than other times!).

The Easiest with Kids & The Most Expensive (tied) : Chiles Peach Orchard

Located in Crozet, Chiles Peach Orchard is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Short Pump. There’s a treat shop, an outdoor patio and open air store. At the peach orchard, you can pick your own peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and apples. They also have pumpkins for purchase. During “normal times,” there are so many family friendly events, including Pancakes with Santa. The Chiles family also owns Carter Mountain and Spring Valley Orchard.⁣

While this orchard doesn't have a play area, I love it because it's so easy to walk with kids, and strollers/wagons work. There's also a large picnic area with a large covered picnic shelter - so much room to spread out! Their frozen lemonade is my favorite, too.

Similar to Carter Mountain, Chiles Peach Orchard is requiring tickets this year on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (9/25 to 10/31). It costs $8 per person and children under 12 are free. You only need a ticket if you are picking apples. You can visit the farm store and picnic area without a ticket/reservation.

The Least Amount of Walking & The Closest To Richmond (tied): Fruit Hill Orchard

Located in Palmyra, this family owned orchard has over 2,000 fruit trees & thousands of vegetables. Fruit Hill Orchard is currently open Monday through Saturday from 10-6. They are not required tickets or reservations this fall, making it an easy option to drop in when it fits your schedule. This orchard also has a LOVE sign that changes with the seasons.

I like this orchard because it is so close to Richmond. If you live in the Midlothian area, it is just about an hour away. It also has flat ground and very little walking - the parking lot is by store and the orchards, so it's very easy with little kids.

The Most Special Events: Henley's Orchard

The Henley family opened this farm in 1932, and they grow nectarines, peaches & apples. The farm is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10-7 and on Sundays from noon to 5. Every Saturday & Sunday in October, Henley's Orchard has Henley Fest with hayrides ($3), a petting zoo, pony rides, food trucks, and live music. They also have pumpkins!  

There are two parking lots, which can be confusing. We checked in at the main lot with the store and petting zoo. After visiting with the animals and eating, we drove across the street to the other lot with the orchard and hayride.

I like this orchard because they do not require tickets or reservations. They also have special events every weekend in October, so it works for most families to visit. Our all terrain stroller also worked from the parking lot to the orchard & the hayride field.

The Closet to Richmond & My Favorite Find in 2020: Market at Grelen

This 1000 acre tree nursery has PYO fields, a gift shop, 5 miles of trails + a casual cafe with outdoor seating. There is a beautiful living LOVE sign that changes with the seasons, too. Throughout the year, you can pick-your-own blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums & apples, and you can cut your own Christmas Tree. Market at Grelen is located in Orange County, about an hour from Richmond, making it a convenient day trip option for families!

Market at Grelen has the strictest health regulations of all the farms listed. No one is allowed in the store without a mask, regardless of age or vaccination status. This is where the bathroom is location, so make sure you have a car potty for the littlest family members.

I love the nursery because it is so beautiful and there's so many secret areas. The café is delicious and kid friendly. My littles love the grilled cheese and ice cream flights. They serve adult beverages, too. We have really enjoyed the hiking trails too.

Central Virginia's Pumpkin Patches

The Most Popular: Lloyd Family Farms

Located in Rockville, Lloyd Family Farms is a working farm run by 3rd & 4th generation Lloyd owners. It opened to the public in 2013 with their first pumpkin patch & now they grow 65 different types of pumpkins! They are open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday in October from 9-5pm. They have vendors & refreshments available for purchase, too!  

 It costs $10 per person (2 and under enter free). This includes unlimited hayrides, visiting with the horses and goats, and playing in the corn maze, straw castle, sand pile, giant pinball field, and visiting the pumpkin patch.

No reservations or appointments are required. You can buy tickets at the admissions booth.

During our last visit, we visited on a Friday morning and practically had the place to ourselves. Since it was empty, my 15 month old and 3 year old played for over 2 hours with every toy and in every area. This was my children's favorite place to play because they had pedal trucks, slides, and a sandpit with diggers and other trucks.

The Best Treats & A Budget Friendly Option: Skinquarter Farm Market

Skinquarter Farm Market has free admission, and it is open daily in September and October.

The pumpkin patch is open from September 19 through October 31. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 10-6, and Saturday & Sunday from 9-7. If you've visited Skinquarter before, you know that no visit is complete without a visit to Jimer's Frozen Custard, the food truck on property. Jimer's only accepts cash, and you can get a kid's cup for $2.75.

The free admission includes hayrides and access to the corn maze and pumpkin patch. Hayrides start on October 1, and they operate between 2-6 in the afternoon.

They are also offering a 10% off for PYO pumpkins if you bring a canned good for donation and your driver's license correlates with these locations:

September 25-26: Midlothian

October 2-3: Moseley

October 9-10: Powhatan

October 16-17: Chesterfield

October 23-24: Amelia

October 30-31: Anyone in a costume

The Best Place to Ride "Trucks" & The Most Expensive (Tied): Chesterfield Berry Farm

Chesterfield Berry Farm is open from September 7 through October 31. A general farm fun pass costs $12 and the Ultimate Farm Fun Pass costs $16. Children 2 and under are free. 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!

If you have children 2-6, the barrel train ride and the wagon train ride will be a hit. My kids love these!

The Best Festival Atmosphere & The Most Expensive (Tied): Hanover Vegetable Farm

Hanover Vegetable Farm will be open for picking on October 2nd. All of their activities are back this year too: tractor rides, corn maze, petting zoo, corn bins and moon bounces! The "entry only" ticket costs $5 (for the fun & not picking pumpkins) & "pumpkin and entry ticket" is $12 (all the activities plus one pumpkin you pick from the field). All tickets are purchased at the gate.

I like this farm because you can always visit the farm store that has pumpkins and snack without paying admission. This is a great spot to get harvest pictures, even with little ones. I also love this farm for its festival like atmosphere - there are pony ride, vendors, animals, and more. We are really excited that the corn pit is back this year! This was our favorite in 2019 because of all the activities.

The Budget Friendly Option & The One Open Daily: Gallmeyer Farm

Gallmeyer Farm is a 100 year old family farm is located in Varina. They have a veggie stand (June- October), berry patch (open spring & summer) & a pumpkin patch (open in the fall). This farm is also famous for their sweet corn - make sure you grab some next summer. The Pumpkin Patch is open daily from September 24-October 31 from 8am until dusk.

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 is 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!

Please note that when we visited on a weekday the hayrides were not in operation.

The One with the Largest Corn Maze in the Country: Liberty Mill Farm

Liberty Mills Farm is located in Orange, and it has the largest corn maze in the county at 34 acres. Besides exploring the four different trails in the corn maze, little ones can play in the outdoor play space that has a large wooden tractor play structure, a slide, natural stepping stones and more! They also have pick your own wildflowers and pumpkins in October. Don't forget to grab some tractor-made ice cream (yep - they make their own ice-cream with a tractor!) as a sweet treat to finish off your adventure.

Tickets cost $10 per person on week days and $14 per person of weekends (5 and up). The corn maze is open from September 11 - November 11, the PYO pumpkin patch is open from September 25 - October 31, 2021, and the you-pick flowers are open from June 25 thru October 31. During the fall you can rent your own campsite and a food truck will be there on weekends.

This farm is especially fun for elementary children and older because of the intricate corn mazes. There are 4 different mazes: the story maze takes about 30 minutes, the trivia maze takes about 45-60 minutes, the hole punch maze takes 2-3 hours, and the mystery maze takes as long as it takes you to figure it out. With that being said, my 2 year old and 4 year old loved picking wild flowers, exploring the play area that has a giant wooden tractor and slide, and running around.

The Budget Friendly Option: Swift Creek

Swift Creek Berry Farm is open from September17 through October 31 for fall pansies, mums and pumpkins. Their hours are Monday-Sunday from 10-5 There will be no entrance fee for the pumpkin patch! They have a corn hole set, building blocks, giant checkers, and footballs and frisbees. You can also reserve a fire pit for $35. They will have carts for the pumpkins - these will be rotated and sanitized.

The Most Unique Play Area & The Most Expensive (tied): Snead's Asparagus Farm

Snead's Asparagus Farm has whimsical, woodland play area plus PYO fields! This sustainable family farm is located in Caroline County, just over an hour from Short Pump. Snead's has pick your own sunflowers in late summer, pumpkins in the fall & cut your own Christmas trees in December.

Snead's opened September 11 with it's soft opening, and during the week of September 18-24, admission will be $9 per person. This price includes unlimited hayrides. There won't be any food trucks, so bring your own food.

Snead's Fall Festival fully opens on September 25 through October 31. It costs $9 per person on weekdays (children 2 & under are free), and this price includes unlimited hayrides and full use of the play areas. There will be a small amount of food vendors, so you can bring your own food. It costs $12 a person on the weekend, and this includes unlimited hayrides and full use of the play space. No outside food is allowed because there will be plenty of food vendors (BBQ, pizza, more).

This one is worth the admission and the trip! My children love this play area (even in the heat of summer). The play space is so unique and there are so many options for pretend play and exploration. We haven't been to another farm like it!

The One I Grew Up Visiting: Ashland Berry Farm

Ashland Berry Farm has 30 acres of pumpkins. Opening on September 25, this farm is open 10-5 on weekends and 10-6 on weekdays. 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 $25! The Donut Shop opens on October 2, and it will serve fresh donuts on weekends only. They will also have hot dogs, corndogs and fries on the weekends.

When my son was one, 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.

Easy Places for Pumpkin Pictures:

1. Any local nursery - They usually set up festive fall décor 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 14, 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 Great Big Greenhouse: This locally owned nursery is in Huguenot Village Shopping Center. We love The Great Big Greenhouse because they are so family-family & host many events throughout the year. They have Santa & model trains in December & January, festive seasonal displays throughout the year, petting zoos + bounce houses & a farmer’s market. 

Currently, they have a large seasonal display outside which is a great spot to get your harvest pictures without visiting a pumpkin patch. If you visit on a Thursday, you can try Mrs. Yoder's famous donuts too!

Don't forget to tag @thewestendmom and #thewestendmom in your adventures! I love seeing all the fun your family has!

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1 Comment

Oct 07, 2021

You should go to Belvedere Plantation. I’ve been to all of these on your list. But as far as activities for the kids, Belvedere is by far the best. can spend all day there.

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