Hayrides, kettle corn, searching the fields for a pumpkin shaped just so.
What would fall be without these rituals? I stay busy year-round here in the Fredericksburg region, but come fall, my calendar fills with trips to farms all over Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, and even within the city limits of Fredericksburg.
All of these farms are run by local families, and each offers a slightly different take on the classic fall festival. For a fall you won’t forget, why not visit them all?
Belvedere Plantation – If you’re looking for a more carnival-style atmosphere, you’ll want to visit Belvedere Plantation on U.S. 17 in Spotsylvania County. The folks at Belvedere pull out all the stops for their Harvest Festival, Which runs September 22 through Oct. 26, with a “Fall Finale Festival” November 2 and 3. Little kids will love the barrel train, jumping pillow and Pumpkin Mountain Slide. Pedal carts, ziplines and a giant Maize Maze will fascinate school-age kids. And everyone can enjoy pig races, pony rides, hayrides, campfires, a pumpkin cannon, flower cutting, animal exhibits…you name it. The Red Rooster Grill serves up grilled favorites and you can shop for all kinds of goodies at the Plantation Market and Bakery. With so much to do, you’ll want to plan your visit ahead of time. Belvedere offers a variety of different entry passes for its fall fun. Find a wealth of great information here.
Braehead Farm – The last remaining working farm within the city limits of Fredericksburg. Braehead Farm is just a couple minutes’ drive from the historic downtown. You’ll still experience all the peace and quiet of a visit to the country, especially if you hop on a hayride through the nooks and crannies of the Snead family’s beautiful property. Braehead’s Fall Harvest Festival runs through Oct. 28. The entrance fee to The Fall Harvest Festival is $9.00 per PERSON (plus tax), children and adults, age 2 and under are free! (Our everyday entrance fee to the Family Play-Grounds is $5.00 per person and the added event fee for the Fall Harvest Festival is $4.00 for a total of $9.00 for Fall Harvest Festival admission, plus tax.) The festival includes a pumpkin patch, corn maze and sunflower walk, a corn pit, hay barns for young people to explore, swings, sand piles, farm animals and a variety of games. The Braehead Farm Market sells seasonal treats including apple cider, pies, muffins, cakes, cookies, apple dumplings, fall produce, pickles and sauces, Braehead’s own honey and all kinds of items to decorate your house for the season. The Braehead Farm Kitchen is open weekends from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and sells barbecue, hot dogs, burgers and more, plus waffle cones with dairy-fresh ice cream to reward yourself for all that hard work tracking down the perfect pumpkin. Learn more here.
Miller Farms – Take Orange Plank Road from State Route 3 to get to this peaceful Spotsylvania County farm from State Route 3. If you ask me, the drive through farmland and protected battlefields is part of the experience of a visit here. The Millers used to run this as a dairy farm, but transitioned it years ago into a vegetable farm. They welcome the public to the farm for visits, hayrides, occasional classes and shopping in their market, which is stocked with a delicious array of artisan meats, baked goods, canned items, honey, dairy products, produce…really, every visit here is like a treasure hunt for what’s new. They run a popular CSA in the summer and fall months, and offer pick-your-own berries in the summer. But come October, it’s pumpkin time. The Millers grow 17 acres of pumpkins, gourds and winter squash, and they offer some heirloom varieties that can really make your fall décor stand out from the rest. During the month of October, the farm offers free hayrides from 4:30 – 5;45 pm on weekdays, and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day. Find full details here.
Snead Farms – Head down route 17 south and visit a working farm with 17 acres of pick-your-own multi-colored pumpkins and 4 acres of large white pumpkins. Snead’s Farm is for its 2018 Fall Festival Saturday, Sept. 29 through Oct. 31. The farm will be open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day. Admission is $5 per person on weekdays, $8 per person on weekends, when we offer free hayrides and a variety of food vendors. On weekends, The Well at Snead’s Farm will offer a range of dining options, from a hot dog stand for quick pickup, to boxed meals for enjoyment out on the farm, to its traditional sit-down experience. The Well will operate from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day during the Fall Festival. Get the full details here.