Anne Arundel County

DOEPKENS FARM - pumpkins
2657 Davidsonville Rd. (Routes 424 and 50), Davidsonville, MD. Phone: 410-721-2739. Open: Tuesday through Sunday 10 to 6 in October; other hours vary seasonally. Closes December 24 and reopens July 10. This three-generation farm, dating to 1906, specializes in cut flowers, including 93 varieties of field-grown mums. The farm's 10th annual mum mural, covering about three-tenths of an acre, blooms in about a week and features a surprise design planted by owner William J. Doepkens.

743 W. Central Ave. (Routes 424 and 214), Davidsonville, MD. Phone: 301-261-4550 or 410-798-5000. (includes directions). Open: year-round. October hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 8, Saturdays 8 to 8 and Sundays 9 to 6. The 22nd annual Fall Festival, Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 4 through October 23, has free admission and parking. Purchase tickets, $1 each or $20 for 25, for activities such as hayrides, pony rides, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling and concessions. New highlights include the Pumpkin Patch Express barrel train ride and noncompetitive games for kids. Daily, visit a free straw maze from 9 to 7 and a barn with nearly 60 llamas from 10 to 4.

3924 Solomons Island Rd., (Routes 2 and 424), Harwood, MD. Phone: 443-871-1073. Open: Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through October 30. Free highlights at this 90-acre working farm - pumpkins
known as "Home of the Spiders" for its hay-bale arachnids - pumpkins
include farm animals, pedal tractors and a sandbox filled with kernel corn. A six-acre patch holds pumpkins on the vine. Other activities, each requiring a $3 fee, include a three-acre corn maze, hayrides and pony rides.

PUMPHREY'S FARM - pumpkins
8220 Veterans Hwy., Millersville. Take Route 50 east to Interstate 97 north to Exit 10, Veterans Highway. Go north for about 21/2 miles; farm is on the left, MD. Phone: 410-987-4290. Open: daily 9 to 6 in October; other hours vary seasonally. The farm closes from Thanksgiving until June. Pick pumpkins, all you can carry for $15.

Baltimore County

11898 Philadelphia Rd. (Route 7 and Raphel Road), Bradshaw, MD. Phone: 410-679-1948 or 410-679-1941. . Produce stand hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 to 6:30, Saturdays and Sundays 8:30 to 5. Hours for the farm's mazes and pumpkin patch are daily 10 to 5 through October 31, with the last tickets for the large maze sold at 3:30. Admission to both mazes is $6 for adults, $3 for children younger than 13. The pick-your-own pumpkin farm's five-acre corn maze, designed for ages 10 and older, features a crab design. A mini maze in the shape of Farmer SpongeBob SquarePants caters to young children. A Fun Activity Area, $5, offers an inflatable haunted house, a bounce house and mini straw maze.

NORTH RUN FARM - pumpkins
1701 Greenspring Valley Rd., Stevenson, MD. Phone: 410-241-3392. . Open: Fridays 2 to 10, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to dark through October 30; abbreviated hours October 31. $7 ages 13 and older, $6 seniors, $5 children ages 4 to 12 and free for children younger than 4. Last maze tickets are sold an hour before dark. This Black Angus farm's fourth annual maze, designed by Shawn Stolworthy of MazePlay Inc., pays tribute to the Baltimore Ravens with a design shaped like a football helmet bearing a raven large enough to build a stadium-size nest. Kids also can navigate a mini-maze constructed with straw bales.

ROHA FARMS - pumpkins
6009 Church Lane, Hydes, MD. Phone: 410-592-8040. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through October 30, weekdays by appointment year-round. Free farm admission and parking. Fall highlights at this 60-acre farm owned by Ron and Hanne Chason include a six-acre corn maze, $5, and free, wheelchair-accessible hayrides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Other highlights, most of which cost $2 each, include horse and pony rides, pumpkin and face painting, a straw climb and a bean-bag toss.

15513 Hanover Pike (Route 30), Upperco, MD. Phone: 410-239-8505. . Produce market and garden center open Monday through Thursday 9 to 7, Friday through Sunday 9 to 8. Closes October 31; reopens mid-March. The Fall Harvest Festival is weekends through October 30. Pumpkin Playland, Open: Saturdays and Sundays 10 to dusk and geared toward ages 5 to 12, features a straw maze, straw piles for jumping and more.

WEBER'S FARM - pumpkins
2526 Proctor Lane, Baltimore, MD. Phone: 410-668-4488. . Market hours daily 9 to 8 through October 30, 9 to 6 starting October 31; other hours vary seasonally. Saturdays and Sundays in October and October 21 and 24 from 10 to 6, take a hayride, $1; navigate a giant hay maze, $2 all day; walk through a Boo Barn filled with friendly characters, $1; see nursery rhyme characters and other pumpkin folks in Pumpkinland, $1; look at farm animals; and play in a free mini hay maze and straw crawl.

Carroll County

1236 Baugher Rd., off Route 140 west, Westminster, MD. Phone: 410-857-0111 or 410-848-5541. . The market is Open: daily 8 to 6, 8 to 5 when daylight saving time ends, through December 24; it reopens in late spring. Pick-your-own hours are Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 in October for apples and pumpkins. Hayrides to the pumpkin field at the 101-year-old family farm take place Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5. $1, free for ages 3 and younger.

4443 Grave Run Rd., Manchester, MD. Phone: 443-712-1010 or 800-285-0122. . Open: Saturday 10 to 6 and October 15, 22 and 29 from 10 to 9. Maze entry ends an hour before closing. $8, $6 ages 3 to 11, free for ages 2 and younger. This Western-themed, Christian camp facility boasts a six-acre maze shaped like a boot with a spur and the camp's "RVR" logo. Activities for additional fees include an 80-foot zip-line ride, $1 for one ride or $2 for three rides; pony rides, $3; a pick-your-own pumpkin patch; a moon bounce, $2; and a corn ear launcher, $1 for one shot, $3 for five shots.

2020 Garrett Rd., Manchester, MD. Phone: 410-374-1499. . Opens Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through October 30; reopens November 25 through December 22 for Christmas trees. The Christmas tree farm's second annual Cornfusion maze features an easily navigated three-acre "Down on the Farm" design cut in a barn shape. $7 ages 12 and older, $5 ages 3 to 11 and free for ages 2 and younger. Other activities include a pumpkin slingshot, hayride and barnyard zoo. Pick your own pumpkins from a one-acre patch.

Charles County

ZEKIAH FARMS - pumpkins
Booth Place, off Bryantown Road, off Route 5 (Leonardtown Road), Bryantown, MD. Phone: 240-216-4065. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 11 to dusk through November 6. $7 for two mazes, free for ages younger than 3. This farm, which opened to the public two years ago, boasts Charles County's only mazes. Designed and constructed by Missouri-based Precision Mazes, a four-acre maze features 1.7 miles of paths, cut in a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. Other farm highlights, covered by the maze admission price, include hayrides, animals, scarecrow making (bring your own clothes), face painting and a straw pit.

Frederick County

7612 Willow Rd., Frederick, MD. Phone: 301-845-8099. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays noon to dusk through October 30; also open Monday from noon to 4 and Thursday, October 14 and 21 from 10 to 3pm. $9 for ages 5 and older, free for ages 4 and younger. The former dairy farm's fifth annual cow-themed corn maze features an eight-acre design cut in the shape of a spacesuit-clad Maizy the bovine, the farm's mascot, in a space capsule. A hayride to a six- to eight-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch is free with the purchase of a pumpkin.
Frederick County Office of Economic Development, 5340 Spectrum Dr., Suite A, Frederick, MD. Phone: 301-694-1058 or 800-248-2296. . The Frederick County Office of Economic Development and the Agriculture Business Council Public Relations Committee sponsor this annual free, self-guided tour of 13 locations, including working farms, a vineyard, an orchard and a museum, October 15 from 10 to 4 and October 16 from noon to 4. Kid-pleasing highlights include petting zoos, hayrides, pony rides, horse shows, ice-cream making, storytelling, scarecrow making, guided nature hikes, face painting and more.

12270 Woodsboro Pike (Route 194), New Midway, MD. Phone: 301-898-7131. Open: daily 9 to 5 through early November. The farm has about three acres of pick-your-own pumpkins. Scarecrow making ($10 all materials provided, $7 if you bring your own clothes) takes place during October weekends; call for dates and times.

6521 Holter Rd., Middletown, MD. Phone: 301-371-6874. . Open: daily 10 to 6 through October 31. A new Crazy Corn Maze featuring intersecting circular designs costs $4 for ages 10 and older, $3 for ages 9 and younger; an online coupon offers two free kids' admissions with two paying adults. Take free hayrides to the 15-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5:45.

13001 Creagerstown Rd. (Route 550 south), Thurmont, MD. Phone: 301-271-4826. . Open: Fridays at dusk, last tickets sold at 10; Saturdays at noon, last tickets sold at 10; and Sundays at noon, last tickets sold at 5. $7 ages 13 and older, $5 ages 6 to 12, free for ages 5 and younger. The sixth annual Lawyer's Moonlight Maze, designed and built by Shawn Stolworthy of MazePlay, features a 35-acre complex of four connected mazes paying tribute to the "King of NASCAR," Richard Petty, and his racing buddies, Cale Yarborough and Rusty Wallace. The entire maze grouping contains eight miles of trails and 24 checkpoints. The farm does not sell pumpkins, but visitors can catapult provided pumpkins 2,000 feet.

3420 Buckeystown Pike (Route 85 south), Buckeystown, MD. Phone: 301-662-4320. (with directions). Open: October weekdays 10 to 6, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5; reopens in December for Christmas trees. A five-acre corn maze, designed and built by the Mayne family, includes five checkpoints featuring corn and pumpkin questions to answer to determine which way to turn. $5, $2 ages 4 through 12, free for ages 3 and younger. Other October highlights, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5, include free hayrides to the 15-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, geese, ducks and a straw jump geared toward young children.

16239 Sabillasville Rd. (Route 550 North), Sabillasville, MD. Phone: 301-271-2149. (includes directions). Open: daily 10 to 6 through November 23; reopens in May or June. Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 through October 30, weather permitting, visitors can take Belgian horse-drawn wagon rides to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch. $3 adults, $1 ages 12 and younger. Scenic View also offers free tractor-pulled wagon rides to the apple orchards for apple picking October 16 during Family Festival @ the Farm.

SUMMERS FARM - pumpkins
5614 Butterfly Lane, near Interstate 70 west, Frederick, MD. Phone: 301-620-9316. (includes directions). The farm holds its ninth annual Fall-for-All Festival Saturdays and Sundays and Columbus Day 10 to 5, and weekdays 2:30 to 6 through October. The five-acre mystery corn maze features two miles of trails cut through 250,000 corn stalks. A Kids Korral features a cattle slide, pedal tractors, a straw pile jump and a corn-filled sandbox. Additional activities, some requiring a fee, include pony rides from noon to 4, barrel rides and goat feeding. The Orchard Boys perform Saturday from 1 to 4. The Glade Valley Travelers perform October 15 and 22 from 1 to 4.

1619 Buckeystown Pike, Adamstown, MD. Phone: 301-662-1291. Take Interstate 270 to Route 85 south (Buckeystown Pike) and go seven miles to the farm on the left. Open: daily 9 to 5 through December 24; reopens about March 1. Educational activities take place on weekends at this pick-your-own apple orchard, which also offers a small pick-your-own pumpkin patch. The produce market-garden center also has limited supplies of pick-your-own fall vegetables.
Howard County

2415 Woodbine Rd. (Route 94), Woodbine, south of Lisbon, MD. Phone: 301-854-6110 and 410-489-7034 for group hayrides. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 9 to 5 and Monday through Friday 9 to 6 through October; also open Nov, MD. Phone: 4, 5 and 6 from 9 to 5. Reopens in late May. Hayrides travel through water and a field dotted with storybook characters Saturdays and Sundays 9:30 to 4 through November 6, $3, free for infants. Daily highlights include a straw maze, $2 all-day admission; and a Boo Barn, adults free, children $1.50 all day. Call for availability of pick-your-own pumpkins, apples, broccoli, spinach and beets.

4003 Jennings Chapel Rd., Brookeville, MD. Phone: 301-854-6275. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 through October 30. $7 ages 13 and older, $5 ages 5 to 12, free for ages 4 and younger with a paying adult. Chuck and Denise Sharp's farm and produce stand's five-acre maze features a "Bee-a-Mazed" design of a honeybee pollinating a pumpkin. The pumpkin section is designed for young children. Other farm highlights include a 30-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, free hayrides, animals, observation beehives, a small farm museum and face painting.

15155 Triadelphia Mill Rd., Glenelg. From Olney, take Route 97 north 8.5 miles and turn right on Roxbury Road. At end of road, turn right on Triadelphia Mill Road; farm is two miles on the right, MD. Phone: 410-489-4460. Open: Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 in October; reopens after Thanksgiving for Christmas-tree cutting. Take a hayride, $1, to the six-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch at this Christmas tree and vegetable farm, in the Brown family since 1896. Bring your own old clothes for scarecrow making, $2 per scarecrow.

Montgomery County

Route 27 and Skylark Road, Clarksburg, MD. Phone: 240-686-0206. (with directions). Arora Hills holds its third annual charity maze, sponsored by the new community's developers and homebuilders, through October 30, Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 5. Admission by suggested donation of $10 per family or $5 per person benefits Hospice Caring Inc., a nonprofit volunteer hospice organization in Montgomery County.

13101 Clopper Rd., Germantown, MD. Phone: 301-972-1010. Through October 20, Open: Monday through Saturday 9 to 7, Sundays 10 to 6; October 21-31, Open: Monday through Saturday 9 to 8, Sundays 10 to 7. Highlights include a free pumpkin patch play area with stuffed cartoon characters and a pumpkin and straw mountain.

15600 Sugarland Rd., Poolesville, MD. Phone: 301-977-3761. . Open: daily 9 to 6 through October 31; reopens Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 9 to 5 in December, then closes until mid-May. The pick-your-own apple orchard and pumpkin farm's six-acre maze, $3 per person, geared toward kids ages 4 through 13, includes accents such as plywood gravestones, a bridge, a tepee and other surprises.

PHILLIPS FARM - pumpkins
13710 Schaeffer Rd., Germantown, MD. Phone: 301-540-2364. (includes directions). Open: weekends 10 to dark, weekdays 3 to dark through October; reopens after Thanksgiving for Christmas trees, then closes before Christmas and reopens in July. Hayrides, $1, go around the farm and to the five- to six-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Other highlights include a three-level jungle gym for the resident goats, haystacks to climb, farm animals to pet and feed, a giant hay bale spider and harvest themes.
28600 Ridge Rd. (Route 27), Mount Airy, MD. Phone: 301-831-7427. Open: daily 9 to 5 until the apple supply is gone, probably in mid- to late October. Weather permitting, visitors can take free hayrides to the three- to 31/2-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch or 600-tree apple orchard Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4 in October.

Mid-Pike Shopping Center, 11800-B Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. Phone: 301-984-3565. Through October 20, Open: Monday through Saturday 9 to 7, Sundays 10 to 6; October 21-31, Open: Monday through Saturday 9 to 9, Sundays 10 to 7. The garden center's 13th annual free fall activities take place daily through October 31. Kids can play on a straw mountain and walk through a free, 300-foot Pumpkinville straw maze decorated with stuffed cartoon characters.

Prince George's County

6900 Green Landing Rd., Upper Marlboro, MD. Phone: 301-627-0730. . Open: Sundays noon to 4, with last house tour beginning one hour before closing. $3 adults, $2 seniors and groups, $1 ages 5 to 18, free ages 4 and younger. A corn maze on the grounds of this circa 1740 house features a mile of paths in a design cut to resemble a great blue heron in a marsh. Visitors also can take hayrides and visit a pumpkin patch with $1 pumpkins.

QUEEN ANNE FARM - pumpkins
18102 Central Ave. (Route 214 East), Mitchellville, MD. Phone: 301-249-2427. . Open: weekdays 10 to 5 and Saturdays and Sundays 10 to dusk through October 31. This farm and produce market, owned by Carl and Carol Brady, offers hayrides, $1, to the 12-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch on weekends from 10 to 6. The farm also boasts a new, small, child-friendly corn maze, $2 per person.

15800 Croom Rd., Brandywine, MD. Phone: 301-579-6844 or 301-888-1849. . Fall Pumpkin Harvest hours are Monday through Friday 9 to 5 and Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5 this Saturday through October 31. Visitors to this working wholesale tree farm can select pumpkins from a pick-your-own field and look at farm animals.

St. Mary's County

BOWLES FARMS - pumpkins
22880 Budd's Creek Rd., Clements, MD. Phone: 301-475-2139. . Open: Fridays 4 to 9, Saturdays 10 to 9 and Sundays 11 to 6 through October 30. $8, free for children 5 and younger accompanied by an adult. Now in its fifth year, the St. Mary's County Corn Maze & Pumpkin Harvest features a 15-acre corn maze cut in a design honoring Southern Maryland's fire and rescue squads. Designed by Leonardtown High School student Tony Garcia, the maze includes more than three miles of trails in two sections.

39136 Avie Lane, off Route 5, 11/2 miles from Route 235 (Three Notch Road), Mechanicsville, MD. Phone: 301-884-3086. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 11 to dusk through November 6. Also open dusk until 10 for evening maze walks October 29 and 30. $6, free for ages younger than 3. Haunted hayrides, offered during the maze's evening hours, are $3. The fifth annual, five-acre Crazy Corn Maze, designed and cut by the Wood family, which owns the farm, features a steamboat shape. Designed to be difficult, the maze includes six checkpoints.


Fairfax County

9401 Burke Rd., Burke, VA. Phone: 703-323-1188. . Nursery Open: daily 9 to 9 year-round. The nursery holds its 11th annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground daily 9 to 9, with additional weekend activities running Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5, through October 31. Admission - pumpkins
$10 on weekends and Columbus Day, $7 on weekdays, free for ages younger than 2 - pumpkins
includes a softball-size pumpkin and a surprise-filled hayride on a wheelchair-accessible wagon. Other daily highlights include a fort reached by tunnels, pirate- and Western-themed activities, mechanical rides, a Native American tepee, several slides, tumbling tubes and a rope swing.

8111 Ox Rd., Fairfax Station, a half-mile south of Lee Chapel Road, VA. Phone: 703-690-6060. Open: Monday through Friday 10 to 6:30, Saturdays 10 to 5:30 and Sundays 11 to 5:30 through October. Pony rides, $3, Saturdays 10 to 4 and Sundays 11 to 4. Other highlights, $3.50 per person, free for ages 2 and younger, include a small pumpkin, a pumpkin fort play area, farm animals and assorted children's activities.

KROP'S CROPS - pumpkins
11110 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA. Phone: 703-430-8955. Open: weekdays 11 to 6, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 6 through October; closed in November, reopens in December for Christmas trees. Closed December 24 until late March. Take a tractor-pulled hayride, $2, to the 19-year-old produce market's pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Features geared toward young children include farm animals and straw and corn play activities.

MEADOWS FARMS - pumpkins
10618 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA. Phone: 703-759-3900. . Open: Monday through Saturday 9 to 7, Sundays 9 to 6 through Wednesday; daily 9 to 6 Thursday through October 26; and daily 9 to 5:30 October 27 through November 17. Hours vary seasonally; open through December 24, reopens late February. A free Fall Festival, held during the garden center's business hours through October 31, includes slides, a moon bounce, giant scarecrows and crawling pipes. Activities also take place (same hours) at Meadows Farms locations at 5043 Plank Rd., Fredericksburg, 540-786-8171; 1360 E. Market St., Leesburg, 703-777-1900; 5074 Lee Hwy., Warrenton, 540-341-0020; and 5432 Old National Pike, Frederick, 301-473-5411.

MOUNT VERNON - pumpkins
Southern end of George Washington Memorial Parkway, VA. Phone: 703-780-2000. . Every child age 11 and younger receives a free pumpkin while supplies last during Fall Harvest Family Days October 22 and 23 9 to 5, at the "George Washington: Pioneer Farmer" site at Washington's home. $11 adults, $10.50 seniors, $5 ages 6 to 11 and free for ages 5 and younger; includes entry into the estate. Visitors can take wagon rides from 10 to 3pm, make cornhusk dolls, navigate a straw bale maze, roast apples and play 18th-century games.

NALLS PRODUCE - pumpkins
7310 Beulah St., Alexandria, VA. Phone: 703-971-4068. Open: this month Monday through Saturday 9 to 7, Sundays 9 to 6; hours change seasonally, closed January and February. Throughout October, children can visit a free pumpkin tunnel at this fruit and vegetable stand, which sells seasonal produce and specialty products such as hot roasted peanuts, apple butter and apple cider.

Fauquier County

Route 245 north, just off Interstate 66 west, adjacent to the Archwood Green Barns Farmers Market, The Plains, VA. Phone: 540-456-7339. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 6pm through November 6, plus Fridays in October and Columbus Day (Monday). New this year, the maze also will open for moonlight visits October 14, 21, 22, 28 and 29 and November 4 from 7am to 10pm, with last tickets sold at 8:30. $7, $6 ages 5 to 12 and free for ages 4 and younger. Carved in the shape of a farm scene, the five-acre, organically grown "Barn to Be Wild 2005" corn maze designed and built by owners Hub and Kate Knott offers 21/2 miles of trails.

COWS-N-CORN - pumpkins
5225 Catlett Rd., Midland, VA. Phone: 540-439-4806. . Open: Fridays 4am to 9pm, Saturdays 10am to 9pm and Sundays 12:30am to 8pm through October 30. $7, free for ages 3 and younger. Cut in a design featuring dancing farm animals and the logo of the sponsoring, 100-year-old Fauquier Times-Democrat newspaper, this dairy farm's fifth annual corn maze occupies 10 acres. Admission includes a narrated hayride tour of the farm, pedal-powered go-karts for all ages, a straw bale maze, farm animals and a farm-themed play area with a corn-filled sandbox. Warrenton Fauquier Jaycees Haunted Hayrides take place October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 and 30.

3064 Hartland Lane, Markham, VA. Phone: 540-364-2316. . Open: daily 8am to 6pm through the last week of October. Free, ongoing hayrides at this pick-your-own apple orchard run Saturdays and Sundays. The family-owned 1775 farm also features select-your-own pumpkins, farm animals and honey made in on-site hives.

11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane, VA. Phone: 540-592-3556. . The park is open daily dawn to dusk. $3 per car on weekdays, $4 on weekends. The October Fall Farm Fest, Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 6pm throughout October at the visitor center, features farm animals and a seven-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch grown by neighboring Hollin Farms. Musical performances and educational programs on some weekends.

11587 Poverty Hollow Lane on Route 688 south, Markham, VA. Phone: 540-364-3040. . Open: daily 9am to 6pm, with last entry at 5:30, through mid-November; reopens in June. Pick apples and choose pumpkins at this 200-year-old-plus, six-generation family farm. View farm animals and picnic at mountaintop tables. The Piedmont Artisan Shop at the Harvest House, open weekends and by appointment, features locally made crafts and artwork.

1881 N. Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA. Phone: 540-665-8000. In October, Open: Monday through Thursday 8am to 7pm:30, Fridays 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Open: April 1 to December 1. Hours vary seasonally. Pumpkinland features a pumpkin-lined path with little red wagons and a large pumpkin-filled wagon designed as a photo backdrop. Other free kid-pleasing highlights include a small, decorated wire-mesh maze; a play area with a sandbox and a mini pumpkin checkers game; and a wooden train for climbing.

Frederick County

3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, VA. Phone: 540-662-1391. (includes directions). Market hours are Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturdays 9am to 4pm and Sundays noon to 4 during October; other hours vary seasonally. Wagon rides, $2, are available on weekends at this pick-your-own apple orchard. A Kiddieland playground is new this year. Other features include a large patch of pick-your-own pumpkins, cider and an on-premises bakery. The market offers Peaks of Otter wine tasting, $2, Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 3pm. The annual free Marker-Miller Orchards Apple Harvest Festival takes place this Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm.

6410 Middle Rd., Middletown, VA. Phone: 540-869-1455. . Open: August through November, Monday through Saturday 8:30am to 6pm, Sundays until November 27 from 10am to 6pm; closed Thanksgiving day. This 52-year-old family pick-your-own apple orchard also offers pick-your-own pumpkins, pick-your-own flowers (until the first frost), a gift shop and specialty foods such as pies and ice cream. The 12th annual Apple Festival takes place October 15 and 16.

1156 Marlboro Rd., Stephens City, VA. Phone: 540-869-1499. Take Interstate 66 west to Interstate 81 north to Exit 307 (Stephens City). Turn left, go 21/2 to 3 miles, and look for the farm on the right. Open: daily 10am to 6pm through Columbus Day; after that, hours vary with apple availability. This 106-year-old family apple orchard also features pick-your-own pumpkins. The orchard produces and sells its own flash-pasteurized apple cider.

690 Shady Elm Rd., two miles south of Winchester, VA. Phone: 540-869-4100. . Open: Saturdays 10am to 4pm and Sundays noon to 4 through October 23. Highlights at this 98-year-old, pesticide-free working dairy farm include pick-your-own pumpkins, farm animals, a children's play area and Miss Kitty's Straw Rides, $4, featuring educational tours led by farm manager Kitty Nicholas. Rides run Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 3pm.

Loudoun County

37883 E. Main St., Purcellville, 10 miles west of Leesburg, VA. Phone: 540-338-6642. This pick-your-own apple orchard, Open: Saturdays and Sundays 9am to 6pm, offers free interpretive hayrides at noon, 2 and 4 during the Farm Color Tour of the Loudoun Valleys (see below) October 15 and 16. The market sells such specialty items as local honey.

Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, 1 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, VA. Phone: 703-777-0426 or 800-568-3686. . Plenty of family-friendly attractions highlight this annual free, self-guided driving tour of 17 farms, vineyards and historic sites, some of which seldom open to the public. The event takes place October 15 and 16 from 10am to 4pm.

23520 Evergreen Mill Rd., Aldie, VA. Phone: 703-327-0872. #. This family farm, which grows flowers and plants for retail and wholesale, holds its annual Fall Fest daily 10am to 6pm through November 6. $5 weekdays, $7 Saturdays and Sundays, free for ages 2 and younger. Highlights include hayrides, giant slides, tunnels, moon bounces, a hay maze, pumpkin painting, popcorn, tepees and a toddler play area. The farm also offers a fall country store and field of 20,000 mums.

Pioneer Gardens and Leesburg Animal Park, 19270 James Monroe Hwy. (Route 15 south), about 11/2 miles outside Leesburg, VA. Phone: 703-779-2332. . Open: daily 9am to 6pm through November 6; other hours vary seasonally. $10 Saturdays, Sundays and Columbus Day; $6.50 weekdays (with fewer activities) and free (without a pumpkin) for children younger than 2. Admission includes entry into Leesburg Animal Park, a small pumpkin, hayrides, a tot-size hay maze, moon bounces and all-you-can-eat apples, cider and, on weekends, popcorn.

15789 Temple Hall Lane, Leesburg, VA. Phone: 703-777-6732. . Open: Fridays 4am to 10pm, Saturdays 10am to 10pm and Sundays and Columbus Day 11am to 6pm through October 31. $7 for ages 12 and older, $5 for ages 6 to 11 and free for ages 5 and younger. The 11-acre Maize at Temple Hall Farm Park features a "Baseball Is Back" design, cut in the shape of a baseball diamond accented by a bat, ball and glove. To help determine how to turn along approximately four miles of pathways, participants answer posted trivia questions.

Orange County

DOUBLE B FARM - pumpkins
28200 Constitution Hwy. (Route 20), Rhoadesville, about 20 miles west of Fredericksburg, VA. Phone: 540-854-4277. Store Open: Monday through Saturday 8am to 5pmpm, Sundays 10am to 5pmpm through October; closes Christmas Eve and reopens Feb. 1. Hours change seasonally. Free activities offered through October 31 include hayrides to the four-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch Saturdays 10am to 5pmpm and Sundays 11am to 5pmpm, a petting zoo and a play area featuring a straw fort and haunted school bus geared toward children.

ROUND HILL FARM - pumpkins
6347 Everona Rd., off Route 522, 12 miles south of Culpeper, VA. Phone: 540-854-7398. Open: daily 10am to 5pmpm during October. $5, free for ages 3 and younger and 65 and older. The beef cattle and grain farm's ninth annual Harvest Festival activities include hayrides to the two- to three-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a two-acre round-bale hay maze and a petting zoo. Pony rides and face painting, available weekends only, for additional fees.

Prince William County

9473 Broadlands Ct., Nokesville, MD. Phone: 443-415-8572. . Open: Saturdays and Sundays 8am to dusk through October 30. Pick your own pumpkins from a four-acre patch at this new farm, which also offers a free toddler-size hay maze.

OLD MINE RANCH - pumpkins
17504 Mine Rd., Dumfries, near Potomac Mills mall, VA. Phone: 703-441-1382. . Open: daily 10am to 5pmpm through November 15; hours change seasonally. Admission - pumpkins
$6, free for ages younger than 2 - pumpkins
to the rustic, 40-acre pony ranch includes a little pumpkin, apple, hayride, barn moon bounce, petting farm, Western-themed play area, ghost town, guided riverside hikes, pumpkin and cookie decorating and three tall mine tunnel slides. New highlights include Harry Potter's Diagon Alley playhouse, a Wild West Pony Show Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and Monster Bash Kids' Karaoke.

PLANTLAND - pumpkins
8548 Sudley Rd., Manassas, VA. Phone: 703-369-1821. Store Open: daily 8:30am to 8pm:15. Plantland Playground, a fall play area Open: daily 9:30am to 8pm:15 through October 31 (closing at 6 on Halloween), features a 40-foot-high, 28-foot-long inflatable slide (two on weekends), as well as two moon bounces, a ball crawl, straw tunnels, a tepee, a wooden train, a castle with a small slide and swing and ride-on toys. $3 adults, $7 children ages 1 through 12. Popcorn and soft drinks are available for extra fees. The store has one picnic table.

Rappahannock County

20 Cedarbreak Lane, on Route 211, four miles west of Amissville, 15 miles west of Warrenton, VA. Phone: 540-937-5892 or 540-937-5191. Open: daily 9am to 5pmpm through October. The nine-acre pick-your-own apple orchard also offers raspberries for picking until the first frost and about five acres of pick-your-own pumpkins. The farm also sells fresh quail and rabbit.

Shenandoah County

Route 720, four-tenths of a mile off Route 11, Mount Jackson, VA. Phone: 540-477-4200. . Open: Fridays 4am to 10pm, Saturdays 11am to 10pm and Sundays 1pm to 7 through November 6. $6 ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 5 to 12 and free for ages 4 and younger. Tickets are sold up to an hour before closing. This farm adjacent to the historic Meems Bottom covered bridge features Maize Quest's dinosaur-themed, eight-acre corn maze, resembling a giant tyrannosaurus Rex from overhead and containing 21/2 miles of trails. Admission includes a castle-themed straw bale maze, a soybean maze and two new additions: a ribbon maze and "Chicken Out," a maze constructed from chicken wire.

Spotsylvania County

Route 17 south, seven miles southeast of Fredericksburg, VA. Phone: 540-371-8494 or 800-641-1212. . Through Nov, VA. Phone: 5, the maze is Open: Fridays 5pm to 10, Saturdays 10am to 10pm, and Sundays and Columbus Day 10am to 5pmpm. $8, $6 for ages 3 to 12, free for ages 2 and younger and older than 65. The last maze entry is an hour before closing. The historic, 1,000-acre farm features as its maze theme "Farmer Lostalot Searches for the Great Pumpkin in the East's Largest Corn Maze." The overhead view resembles two large pumpkins. Visitors to the 15-acre maze, now in its sixth year, travel 31/2 miles of paths with special features such as bridges and a mystery game. Lights-out Moonlight Mazes take place October 14 and 15. Through October 30, the Great Pumpkin Patch is open Fridays 5 to 10, Saturdays 10am to 10pm and Sundays and Columbus Day 10am to 5pmpm. Admission ($8, free for ages younger than 2 and older than 65) includes hayrides to the 40-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patches; a straw-filled fun barn with rope swings; pygmy goats and more.*

-- Mary Jane Solomon
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Travel; Features Desk
RARE RETREATS; In the heartland, getting back to the land; Agritourism gives city dwellers a taste of the farm life they no longer have access to in their daily lives.

Colleen Fliedner and Karen Hamlin

Special to The Times

745 words

21 August 2005
Los Angeles Times
Home Edition
Copyright 2005 The Los Angeles Times

ASK urban kids where peas and carrots come from, and they may answer "the supermarket."

"We've lost our connection with the land," said Bruce Wicks, director of graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign, one of the top U.S. agricultural schools.

Family farms used to be the backbone of the American economy. Today, some are making ends meet by turning to agritourism - pumpkins
opening up their farms to city dwellers interested in getting involved in the seeding, cultivation and harvest cycle.

"Sixty years ago, one in three people had family who owned a farm," Wicks said. "They could go for a visit, then go back to their home in the city."

That's no longer true. Still, Wicks said, "There's some sort of primal urge in most of us to be associated with the land. So today, people are experiencing farm life through agritourism."

What began years ago as "you-pick" farms has blossomed into an industry that includes vineyards with tasting rooms, farmers' markets, fruit orchards, Christmas tree ranches, corn mazes, tractor museums, pumpkin patches and dairy and reindeer farms.

Thousands of farms, orchards and ranches across the country are involved in some aspect of the agritourism industry, either as an activity or combining a place to stay with a back-to-the-land experience. For information across the United States, see or . For California agritourism, check out .

To get an idea of the diversity of offerings, we looked at three programs in Illinois, which has more than 1,200 agribusinesses. Here are a few of the state's most successful:

* Hardy's Reindeer Ranch and Linda's Oak Meadows Bed & Breakfast Resort. The reindeer ranch is in Rantoul, Ill., (217) 893-3407, . Mark and Julie Hardy brought in a herd of reindeer more than 10 years ago and added a Christmas tree farm. Although Christmas is the most popular season, tourists visit Hardy's year-round. They'll find a challenging 10-acre corn maze in a variety of shapes - pumpkins
dragons, basketball players, the Illinois state logo. Hardy's also offers hayrides, a pedal-cart race track, group cookouts, banquet facilities and farm tours. Guests gather around the old pot-bellied stove for homemade fudge or warm cookies.

About eight miles away, Julie Hardy's mom, Linda Kibler, runs Linda's Oak Meadows Bed & Breakfast Resort, (217) 897-1775, , a newer Victorian inn on 11 acres. It has a heated pool, golf and a fitness room, among other amenities. Rates begin at $150 a night ($200 for a three-room suite).

* Baxter's Vineyards & Winery, (217) 453-2528, . The winery was established in 1857 by Emile Baxter near Nauvoo, Ill. Five generations later, the founder's descendants have enhanced the winery operation by adding a gift shop, antiques store, wine-tasting room and home-baked pies. More than 50,000 visitors stop by Baxter's Vineyards each year.

* Eckert's country store and farms, (800) 745-0513, , owned and operated since 1837 by seven generations of the Eckert family. The main location, a 500-acre farm, is in Belleville near the Missouri border and has a large pick-your-own operation: strawberries, peaches, blackberries, apples, pumpkins and Christmas trees. Other offerings include a country-style restaurant, bakery, deli and wagon rides. This destination draws more than 375,000 visitors annually. Other locations are in Millstadt and Grafton.

GRAPHIC: MAP: Illinois;CREDIT: Los Angeles Times;PHOTO: MOTIF: Signs of Illinois' farming heritage, like this artfully placed John Deere tractor in a Kankakee County vineyard, can be seen statewide.;PHOTOGRAPHER: Colleen Fliedner;PHOTO: MORE INVENTIVE THAN A CROP CIRCLE: A dizzying dragon maze is cut into a cornfield at Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, Ill. Agritourism has provided Midwestern farmers a financial boost and visitors a means of getting back to nature.;PHOTOGRAPHER: Colleen Fliedner;PHOTO: MORE INVENTIVE THAN A CROP CIRCLE: A dizzying dragon maze is cut into a cornfield at Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul, Ill. Agritourism has provided Midwestern farmers a financial boost and visitors a means of getting back to nature.;PHOTOGRAPHER: Reindeer Ranch

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