As summer fades and leaves start to take on vibrant autumn hues, Maryland welcomes the season with a wealth of fall festivals that capture the essence of this magical time of year. From Upper Marlboro to Frederick County, along the picturesque Potomac River, and beyond, these festivals offer a diverse range of activities and experiences for visitors of all ages.
Best Fall Festivals In The DMV 2023
As an expert here in the best experiences D.C. and surrounding areas have to offer, I’ll take you on a journey through some of the best fall festivals in Maryland. So, let’s start with one of my favorite farms to get you in that fall mood!
1. Summers Farm – Frederick County
Summers Farm in Frederick County is a picture-perfect fall destination and is a beloved destination for those seeking a quintessential fall experience. This festival is a testament to the beauty of the season, with acres of pumpkin patches that invite visitors to pick their pumpkins. The farm is packed with beautiful vibrant fall colors, making it the perfect backdrop for family photos.
Beyond the pumpkin patches, visitors can enjoy wagon rides that traverse the farm’s scenic landscape, creating lasting memories with family and friends. The mini mazes are a playful challenge for kids, while corn hole games provide friendly competition for the whole family. The farm market provides an opportunity to take home fresh produce, and food vendors ensure that you won’t go hungry.
Serving up delicious seasonal treats, from apple cider donuts to savory snacks.
“The farm is packed with beautiful vibrant fall colors, making it the perfect backdrop for family photos.”
2. Great Country Farms – Bluemont, Northern Virginia
A short drive from Maryland, Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Northern Virginia, hosts an annual fall festival that’s worth the trip. One of its standout features is the thrilling giant slides that send you zooming down with the crisp autumn air rushing past. These slides are not just for kids! They’re an exhilarating adventure for everyone.
The jumping pillows are another highlight, providing gravity-defying fun that brings smiles to the faces of young and old. It’s a unique experience that perfectly captures the carefree spirit of fall.
For those who appreciate a touch of competition, the pig races offer are a must-do. Watching these adorable pigs dash towards the finish line is a hilarious and memorable experience for all the family.
The craft show at Great Country Farms allows visitors to explore the talents of local artisans, making it a fantastic place to find one-of-a-kind treasures and unique gifts.
As you explore the farm, don’t miss the beer garden, where you can unwind and savor the flavors of fall while taking in the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. The beer garden is also a great place to relax and savor the flavors of fall while soaking in the picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.
The whole family can jump on the jumping pillows or delight in pig races, while the kids enjoy fun activities like face painting. The farm also features apple picking, perfect for making homemade apple pie.
3. Knightongale Farm – Harwood
Knightongale Farm is a 90-acre family owned working farm. During the fall months, this farm has a pumpkin patch and hosts a fall festival.
There are so many fun kids’ activities that will ensure your kids are not bored. In addition to a corn maze, there is also face painting and apple cannons. There’s also hay rides, a moonbounce, two 40 foot slides and many more fall festivities to enjoy here.
If you live in this area, this is a fun family annual event to check out.
4. Maryland Renaissance Festival – Annapolis
While it’s not your traditional fall festival, this event offers a unique and immersive experience. The Maryland Renaissance Festival, located in the utterly charming town of Annapolis, stands as a timeless and unique celebration that transports visitors to a bygone era.
This splendid event is not just one of the great fall festivals; it’s a journey back in time to the enchanting world of the Renaissance. Walking through the festival’s Main Street is like stepping into a living history book! Colorful characters in elaborate period costumes roam the village streets, engaging with visitors and adding to the immersive experience. From jesters to knights and noble dames, every encounter is an opportunity to be transported to a time of chivalry and merriment.
Hearty Renaissance food is available to try, offering a taste of the era’s culinary delights. Savoring a turkey leg or hearty stew while watching a live jousting tournament is an experience that combines history, entertainment, and delicious food.
In terms of entertainment, the festival’s live performances are a true highlight. Jugglers, acrobats, and minstrels entertain the crowds, while the thrilling jousting tournaments bring the excitement of the medieval battlefield to life. If you enjoy history and live entertainment this is a great place for you to check out in the fall months.
The festival’s commitment to historical accuracy extends to field trips, offering an educational extra where visitors can learn about the customs and traditions of the Renaissance era. The Maryland Renaissance Festival, running from late August through October, is a captivating and immersive celebration that’s much more than a fall festival. It’s a journey through time and a cherished tradition that captures the essence of a bygone era. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of history, family entertainment, and the magic of fall.
August 26 & 27
September 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30
October 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
10:00 am to 7:00 pm
5. Ocean City
While Ocean City, Maryland, is primarily known as a bustling summer beach destination, it transforms into a serene and enchanting locale during the fall season, making it a hidden gem among great fall festivals.
One of the most alluring aspects of Ocean City in autumn is the absence of summer crowds. This coastal town regains its peaceful charm, allowing visitors to stroll along the sandy shores and the iconic boardwalk without the bustling summer rush. It’s an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty of the Atlantic Ocean in a tranquil setting.
Saturday nights in Ocean City come alive with live music, creating a laid-back and enjoyable atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. The town’s local artisan markets offer unique coastal treasures, from handmade crafts to beach-inspired art, making it an excellent time for souvenir hunting and discovering unique gifts.
The fall foliage adds a special touch to Ocean City’s natural beauty. As the leaves turn various shades of red and gold, the coastal scenery takes on a magical quality that enhances the experience.
For those seeking a blend of coastal charm and autumn tranquility, Ocean City, Maryland, is the perfect place to savor the quieter side of fall while enjoying the stunning beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Maryland Zoo – Baltimore
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is not only a year-round destination for animal enthusiasts and families, but also a great fall festival experience that combines wildlife encounters with autumn festivities.
The ZooBOOO! festival, held annually, transforms this beloved zoo into a whimsical and family-friendly fall wonderland. At ZooBOOO!, pumpkin picking takes center stage, creating a festive atmosphere where visitors can select their perfect pumpkins. It’s an opportunity for families to engage in a timeless fall tradition while exploring the zoo’s picturesque setting.
For younger visitors, the petting zoo is a highlight, providing up-close encounters with friendly farm animals that spark wonder and delight. Pony rides add another layer of excitement for children, making the festival a memorable adventure for the whole family. The picturesque setting along the James Monroe Highway adds to the festival’s charm, creating a beautiful backdrop for enjoying the colors of fall.
Of course, no fall festival would be complete without indulging in seasonal treats. Sip on delicious apple cider and savor pumpkin spice treats that evoke the flavors of autumn.
The Maryland Zoo is the perfect mix of education, entertainment, and the magic of fall, making it a must-visit for families and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
7. Weber’s Cider Mill Farm – Parkville
Weber’s Cider Mill Farm, nestled near Parkville, Maryland, is a quintessential autumn destination and one of the region’s great fall festivals. This picturesque farm offers visitors an authentic and heartwarming fall experience that captures the essence of the season.
The farm is renowned for its exceptional apple cider and delectable apple pies, making it a must-visit for those seeking the taste of fall. Sipping on freshly pressed apple cider and savoring warm apple pie is an essential part of the Weber’s Cider Mill Farm experience.
For families, the farm offers a variety of classic fall activities. Take a hayride through the scenic countryside and immerse yourself in the beauty of the season. The corn pit is a hit with kids, allowing them to play and explore to their hearts’ content. Pedal tractors combine slides, and a car show provides different activities that cater to all ages.
The farm’s craft show is a treasure trove of handmade items, where visitors can discover unique and locally crafted treasures. Food vendors serve up an array of delicious options, from savory snacks to sweet treats. Weber’s Cider Mill Farm provides a perfect backdrop for creating cherished family memories and embracing the beauty of fall. It’s a place where the aroma of apple pie fills and the colors of autumn come to life in all their splendor.
8. Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival – Germantown
Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival in Germantown is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This family-friendly festival offers everything from cow trains to duck races, making it an ideal destination for families. Its an annual festival and has been going on for over 40 years.
Enjoy wagon rides and hay rides through the picturesque countryside, navigate through the straw maze, and let the kids expend their energy on the jump pad. A petting zoo with friendly farm animals provides opportunities for interaction, and delicious food vendors cater to all tastes. Don’t forget to explore the pumpkin patches and find the perfect pumpkin to take home as a souvenir.
September 23rd – October 29th
Wednesday – Sunday, Plus Columbus Day
Wednesday – Friday: 1 PM – 6 PM (Last entry 4:30 PM)
Saturday – Sunday, and Columbus Day: 9 AM – 6 PM (Last entry 4:30 PM)
9. Gaver Farm Fall Fun Festival – Mount Airy
For some of the best corn mazes in the area, head to the Gaver Farm Fall Fun Festival in Mount Airy. This festival boasts an impressive 15-acre corn maze, providing hours of fun and challenge for visitors of all ages.
The combined slide and cow trains are other highlights that add to the excitement. A craft show featuring local artisans is a great place to discover unique treasures, and the food vendors offer a range of delicious options. Enjoy a relaxing hayride and take in the beauty of the fall colors that surround the farm.
10. Autumn Glory Festival – Oakland, Western Maryland
The Autumn Glory Festival, situated in the stunning landscapes of Oakland, Western Maryland, is a beloved and iconic celebration that stands as one of Maryland’s great fall festivals. Taking place annually in late September, this festival is a vibrant tapestry of autumnal colors and community spirit.
The festival’s grand parade is a dazzling spectacle that winds its way through the charming streets of Oakland. Elaborate floats, marching bands, and local groups come together to showcase the best of the season. Live performances, including music and dance, entertain festivalgoers throughout the event.
For families, the festival offers a wealth of fun activities, from carnival rides to crafts and games. There’s something for everyone, making it a fantastic outing for all ages.
The Autumn Glory Festival is a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Western Maryland’s mountains, with crisp mountain air and the stunning backdrop of fall foliage.
It’s a celebration of community, tradition, and the enchanting colors of autumn that paints the region in a tapestry of red, gold, and orange, creating a picture-perfect setting for cherished memories.
11. Annual Autumn Festival In Upper Marlboro
In Upper Marlboro, the annual Autumn Festival is a delightful way to usher in the fall season. Featuring a variety of entertainment and activities for all ages, this festival is perfect for the entire family. It is held at Montpelier Farms. Some of the best activities here include a 7 acre corn maze that you can also go through at night. The maze is not meant to be scary so its a great option to explore even if you have young children.
Montpelier Farms also has a pumpkin patch where you can pick out your own pumpkins. Pumpkins that are 5 pounds and under cost $3.00 and all others are measured by weight at $.60 per pound. You can visit the Pumpkin Patch to purchase pumpkins without purchasing admission to our Fall Festival or Weekday Playdays. There is also a fun rope maze, a slide, as well as pumpkin bowling for kids to enjoy.
With live music, delicious food, and kid-friendly rides, it’s a great place to spend a day enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. The festival usually takes place in late September and is a fantastic way to embrace the autumn spirit. Avoid crowds by heading there for a Weekday Playday.
Dates & Times:
Saturdays: 10am – 9pm
Sundays: 10am – 6pm
Fridays: 5pm – 11pm
Saturdays: 10am – 11pm
Sundays: 10am – 7pm
Tuesday thru Thursday
10am – 3pm
Saturdays: 10am – 9pm
Sundays: 10am – 6pm
12. The Pumpkin Patch At Queen Anne Farm
Queen Anne Farm has a pumpkin patch in Maryland. This farm does not host a festival, but it does have a traditional pumpkin patch experience for your family. The farm is located in Mitchellville, Maryland which is under one hour from both Baltimore and Washington DC. You can also inquire about a ride on a tractor-pulled haywagon to the pumpkin patch when you are looking for the perfect pumpkin to take home.
13. Homestead Farm – Poolesville, Maryland
Homestead Farm is located in Poolesville, which is not too far from Rockville and Gaithersburg. There is not an organized fall festival here, but there is an opportunity to go apple and pumpkin picking. This is a great opportunity for enjoying the outdoors with less crowds. The apple season usually begins around late August and usually lasts until late October. The pumpkin season is very similar starting in September and lasting through late October.
Best Fall Festivals In Maryland – Wrap Up
Maryland’s fall festivals offer a rich tapestry of experiences that capture the essence of this magical season as we’ve discovered!
From the picturesque pumpkin patches of Summers Farm to the immersive journey back in time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and the tranquil beauty of Ocean City in autumn, there’s something for the whole family. The Maryland Zoo, Weber’s Cider Mill Farm, Butler’s Orchard, Gaver Farm Fall Fun Festival, and the Autumn Glory Festival all add their unique flavors to the festivities.
So whether you’re seeking pumpkin picking, family fun, delicious treats, or a celebration of community, Maryland’s fall festivals are a cherished tradition creating picture-perfect settings for cherished memories. Embrace the autumn spirit and make the most of this harvest of fun and family tradition in Maryland.To discover more about what D.C. and its surrounding areas have to offer, don’t forget to check back our regular weekly blog and head over to discover more activities for all the family to enjoy.