When that first cool day rolls around after a long summer, I’m all about apples. Apple cider, apple crisp, applesauce, APPLE CIDER DONUTS…whew (don’t worry, we’ll get back to those later)…
Fall Apple Picking in Northern Virginia // VA Family Photographer
Apples are my very favorite part of fall (or maybe one of many favorite parts of fall)…and family traditions are a thing I’m working on getting better at…so we’ve been apple picking almost every year for the past six or so, and I love it. This year was especially fun as both of my kids (20 months and almost 4) are old enough to really get into the picking (but mostly the eating while picking) of the apples!
We headed out to Hartland Orchard, just off 66 in Markham, Virginia, met up with Amanda and her crew, and spent the morning in the (heat of the sun and) orchard. We picked and ate until our bellies and our bags were full and hopped in our cars to head to the Apple House for lunch AND DONUTS. DID I MENTION DONUTS?
How pretty are these apple blossoms? A few of the apple trees had these gorgeous yellow blooms on them!
On our way out of the orchard we stopped at the farm stand and grabbed a bag of the most delicious tomatoes and zucchini, then hopped on 66 for the 13 minute (per google maps 🙂 drive to the Apple House.
The Apple House is like Cracker Barrel meets side of the road BBQ joint. It’s part shop and part restaurant, filled to the brim with local sauces, jams, marmelades, wines, cheesy dishtowels, trinkets, wall signs etc. It’s an experience you won’t wont to miss on your apple picking day. The line is usually long, parking is limited but the food…THE WARM, CRUMBLY, FRESHLY FRIED, SUGAR-COVERED apple cider donuts are unmatched. In fact, if you’re ever on 66 out west you should stop because they are a treat I look forward to all year (though I’m pretty sure they are actually there year round).
After our chaotic but delicious lunch, we piled back into our cars and headed home with sleepy kids, full bellies, and happy hearts.
You guys, I cannot encourage you enough to plan yourself a little day trip like this! An escape from the city to the rolling green hills of Virginia is a gift, and a bushel of apples to boot…what more could you ask for?
A few other fall favorite spots you should check out include:
Great Country Farms (lots of kid’s attractions, market for buying produce, you-pick produce, local CSA, DONUTS etc)
Marker-Miller Orchards (another lovely orchard with a great playground and market to boot)
Cox Farms (a NOVA favorite…expensive entry but SO much to do…apple cider stations, hayrides, oversized slides, farm animals, a hay maze, playgrounds, tractor rides, produce stand etc) pro tip: go on one of their family fun days in late September and early October for discounted admission!
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