Frolic into Fall

From corn mazes and pumpkin patches to cider and beer festivals, these 22 autumn events will be a bounty of fun.

By Lizzy Grap and Lauren Cohen - October 2015

Frolic into Fall

From corn mazes and pumpkin patches to cider and beer festivals, these 22 autumn events will be a bounty of fun.

By Lizzy Grap and Lauren Cohen - October 2015


As temperatures begin to dip below 70, there’s no denying that fall is officially here, and what better way to welcome the nip in the air than by handpicking a pumpkin or cracking open a craft beer on a crisp autumn afternoon. From apple picking and beer fests to leaf peeping and farm visits, the Baltimore region boasts plenty of ways to frolic into fall.

Apple and Pumpkin Picking

10/3: MILLSTONE APPLE HARVEST FESTIVAL Stroll around the woodsy grounds of Genesee Valley while sipping signature ciders, cysers, (fermented apples and honey) and mead from Monkton-based Millstone Cellars. The second annual fall fest also highlights hayrides, eats from The Local Oyster, Jinji’s Chocolates, and HEX Ferments, and a live bluegrass lineup. 1717 Rayville Road, Parkton, 410-343-0101

10/3: ALL THINGS APPLE As its name suggests, this afternoon event invites guests of all ages to celebrate the harvest by learning new ways to cook and craft with apples. Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, 300 Oella Ave., Catonsville, 410-887-1081

10/3: DARLINGTON APPLE FESTIVAL Harford County locals frequently flock to this annual get-together where apple-themed treats consistently reign supreme. Enjoy live music, browse the wares of local vendors, root for your favorites in the apple pie eating contest, and dig in to signature snacks like apple cake, candy apples, and the festival’s claim-to-fame ‘Apple Delight’ (a spiral sliced apple topped with warm caramel and whipped cream.) 1024 Fifth Ave., Darlington, 410-457-4189

10/10: PUMPKINFEST AT THE IRVINE NATURE CENTER Bundle up the little ones and enjoy painting pumpkins, shooting down hay bale slides, listening to live music, and petting alpacas at this community fête. 11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, 443-738-9200

10/10-11: MARYLAND PUMPKIN FESTIVAL With more than 30 seasonal activities, Summers Farm is a can’t-miss attraction all season long, but the Frederick mainstay throws extra fun into the mix for its annual Maryland Pumpkin Festival. In addition to pumpkin picking and corn mazes, attendees can enjoy a gourd hunt, pumpkin sculpture demonstrations, and watching candy blast out of a massive cannon. 5620 Butterfly Lane, Frederick, 301-620-9316

TO 10/31: 35th ANNUAL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL AT BUTLER’S ORCHARD Weekends through October, this Germantown orchard features classic attractions like corn mazes and pumpkin picking, while also putting a unique spin on farm fun with pony rides, an apple slingshot, and a pumpkin cannon. 22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, 301-972-3299

Beer Fests

10/3-10/4: FREDERICK OKTOBERFEST If you’re looking to get a little taste of Munich by way of Frederick, make your way to the Frederick Fairgrounds to chow down on bratwurst, strudel, soft pretzels, and German potato salad while sipping authentic brews. 797 E. Patrick St., Frederick, 301-663-5895

10/10: DAS BEST OKTOBERFEST The lots surrounding M&T Bank Stadium will serve as the venue for this massive beer bash that highlights German eats and drinks and beer belly competitions. For the price of admission, guests can sample more than 150 international, domestic, and local varieties of beer, wine, and schnapps. And, as an added bonus, the event will host the exclusive Baltimore Beer Week kick-off party for VIP ticketholders. 1101 Russell St., 410-261-7283

10/17: OKTOBEARFEST Live polka tunes, German-inspired eats, and plenty of beer will be featured at this highly-anticipated fall event at the Maryland Zoo. Guests can take advantage of unlimited beer sampling and all-day access to the zoo’s exhibits. 1876 Mansion House Drive, 410-396-7102

10/17-18: MARYLAND OKTOBERFEST This large-scale beer fest is taking over the Maryland State Fairgrounds with two days of German food, live entertainment, and even a wine and schnapps garden. 4-H Home Arts Building, 2200 York Road, Timonium, 410-252-0200

10/9-10/18: BALTIMORE BEER WEEK Back for its seventh year, this weeklong celebration boasts upwards of 300 events to honor Baltimore’s bounty of craft beer. The jam-packed schedule includes tap takeovers, pint nights, and happy hours at bars all over town.

10/24: BALTIMORE CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL The Brewer’s Association of Maryland is hosting this inaugural craft beer event, where more than 30 local breweries will pour their signature selections for guests to sample. Throw on some shades and take in the picturesque views of Canton Waterfront Park while sipping seasonal beers and digging in to eats from food truck favorites like Kooper’s Chowhound, The Smoking Swine, and Gypsy Queen Café. 3001 Boston St., 410-396-7931

10/17: CHESAPEAKE REAL ALE FESTIVAL Fifteen craft breweries from across the region are bringing their best booze to this party at Pratt Street Ale House. Pull up a barstool and sample beers from favorites like Union Craft Brewing, Southern Tier Brewing Company, and Handsome Beer Co., while nibbling on tasty hors d’oeuvres. 206 W. Pratt St., 410-244-8900

11/14: CARROLL COUNTY CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL If cold beer and pit beef sandwiches sound like a match made in heaven, this event at the Carroll County Agricultural Center is a must-try. Sip samples from more than 30 brew houses, get down to live music, and enjoy a top-notch list of fall food offerings. 706 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster, 410-848-6704

Family Fun

10/3-10/4: HONEY HARVEST FESTIVAL Pumpkins and apples might steal the show at most fall festivals, but this sweet soiree puts an emphasis on the bounty of the bees. Stroll around the Oregon Ridge Nature Center to watch open hive demonstrations, learn how to create your own mead and honey ice cream, and browse the work of local craft vendors. 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, 410-887-1815

10/18: HARBOR HARVEST This Inner Harbor fun fest offers tons of activities for kids to make the most of the season. Decorate pumpkins and cookies, visit the petting zoo to catch a glimpse of furry friends up close, and watch live performances by kid-friendly musical groups. West Shore Park, 401 Light Street, 410-752-8632

TO 11/8: CLARK’S ELIOAK FARM With a giant pumpkin patch, “Enchanted Dinosaur Forest,” hayrides, live animals, and guided tours of the grounds, this longtime Ellicott City attraction offers something for everyone. 10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, 410-730-4039

TO 11/1: WEBER’S CIDER MILL FALL HARVEST DAYS Through October, this Parkville farm features fall activities on a daily basis. Gather some friends and run around the straw maze, grab a seat on a hayride, stuff a scarecrow, or shoot down the farm’s new hillside slide. Food and drink offerings include Webers’ signature apple-cider donuts and cider slush. 2526 Proctor Lane, Parkville, 410-668-4488

Leaf Peeping

10/7-11: AUTUMN GLORY FESTIVAL Celebrate the spirit of the season with this huge community celebration that is habitually held in Garrett County. Now in its 48th year, the five-day-long itinerary features a farmer’s market, fine arts exhibits, a car show, daily crafts, and even an ice cream eating contest to close out the festival’s run. 15 Visitors Center Drive, McHenry, 301-387-6171

10/10-11: CATOCTIN COLORFEST This juried arts fest celebrates its 52nd season this year, featuring hundreds of art exhibits, demonstrations, and live music performances in the beautiful Catoctin Mountains. Thurmont, 301-271-7533

ONGOING: POTAPSCO VALLEY STATE PARK Nothing says fall like feeling the leaves crunch underneath your feet, so trek across one of the many trails at this bucolic park to get a good look at colorful foliage. 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, 410-461-5005

Corn Mazes

Getting lost in a crazy corn maze is one of the most iconic seasonal activities of all, so grab some friends and spend an afternoon navigating your way around the parting paths at these local farms.





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