Butler’s Orchard holds Family Friendly Holiday Festivities


An annual event for many local families, pumpkin picking at the Butler’s Orchard Fall Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the fall and winter seasons without spending too much money. Located about 30 minutes from RHS in Germantown, Maryland, the Butler’s Orchard Fall Festival has occurred annually since 1993.

During the festival, attendees can participate in various activities, including going on hayrides, pumpkin picking and riding down slides. Visitors are also able to choose from a wide variety of seasonal food and beverages. 

However, due to COVID-19, Butler’s Orchard requires customers to follow certain protocols to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors. Prior to the pandemic, visitors were able to mount hayrides to retrieve pumpkins, but protocols now require guests to drive to the pumpkin patch themselves. Customers could also previously enter stores at their leisure, but they no longer can as stores must limit capacity to practice social distancing.

In addition, customers must wear face masks at all times, covering both their mouth and nose. With ground markers in place to seperate visitors, Butler’s Orchard also encouraged attendees to stay six feet apart from others and to sanitize frequently.

“I feel like everyone was staying a good distance apart from each other,” sophomore Yanara Peralta said. 

At Butler’s Orchard, pumpkins are 69 cents per pound, a reasonable price compared to Walmart pumpkins, which are 24 cents per pound but of lesser quality. The pumpkin patch contains a variety of pumpkins to choose from, depending on your liking, though some can be found to be smashed or broken. 

“I really liked how they pre-picked the best ones and they had a lot of different kinds apart from just the standard round orange pumpkin,” sophomore Isabella Amador said. 

Furthermore, a 200 person limit was in place when pre-ordering tickets. 

To the left of the entrance is a mini restaurant that serves farmer’s porch food. The menu is quite vast with a variety of options. 

“My dad got a pumpkin loaf that was pretty good and he got my brother an oreo brownie that my brother said tasted great too,” Amador said. 

 Butler’s Orchard’s very own coffee and donut shop sits just past the entrance. Festival attendees can go there to enjoy Butler’s Orchard’s famous apple cider donuts, as well as hot coffee. 

Caramel apples were also sold at pop-up market tents. Though the line for the caramel apples and porch food was considerably long, the caramel was warm and cozy making the flavorful treats worth the wait. For more of a complete meal, there is a small cafe in the center-left of the festival grounds, which serves basic lunch items such as chicken fingers, quesadillas, hotdogs, etc. 

To the right of the entrance, students can visit a variety of farm animals ranging from pigs to sheep to chickens, an activity generally enjoyed by young children. 

The major playground in the festival is near the Farmer’s Porch Food, another area heavily populated by children and their parents. 

The festival also included various white giant slides, ranging in height and length, that remained crowded throughout the festival. 

 Another customer favorite is the corn maze, located right next to the giant slides. The corn maze is more private and relaxed compared to the rest of the festival. The maze is also immense, making it easy to get lost in. 

Hayrides are a classic fall activity for customers to enjoy. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the hayride was located near the back of the festival. 

“The hayride wasn’t socially distanced, so I was a little weary about getting on a packed hayride with people I didn’t know,” Amador said.  

Nonetheless, the hayrides are enjoyable and the scene of the giant orange leaves at the festival is beautiful to see.

While the Fall Festival is the most popular event Butler’s Orchard hosts, it is not the only one. Birthdays and parties are also held at Butler’s Orchard as well as private campfire party sites, strawberry blossom tours and apple picking. Their next major event revolves around Christmas Tree cutting for the winter season.  

Butler’s Orchard is a family-friendly and lovely place to hang out with friends and family during the pandemic. While the majority of events indoors are closed, Butler’s Orchard is an enjoyable place to spend your next family outing at. 

“It was a good pumpkin patch but I feel it’s really aimed more towards the younger kids than anything,” Peralta said.