In Our Neighborhood

In Our Neighborhood ... Washington, DC 

Hello readers we are looking for fun/free place to go with our charges.  Do you know a place in either DC, Maryland or Virginia?  Please tell us about it.  We need you to include pictures, parking, bathrooms, address, website if one, age range it services and anything else that is unusual or important to know about the place. Please email me: so we can showcase it here on our site and in our newsletter.

Picking apples, pumpkins and making memories!

Fall is a wonderful time to go to farms with your own buckets and pick your own apples to bring home to make applesauce also great for hunting for that perfect pumpkin to carve and making pumpkin bread/pie.  Of course the picking might be free but you pay for the fruit. We have lots of places in the DC metro area.  Many of the places also have other fun things to do like hay rides, a corn maze, farm animals etc. Unfortunately most of the activities are not free however it is a once a year activity to do with your charges & families.
Got a great place to go? We need your contributions.  Please email with your wonderful places to go in the DC metro area.
Phillips Farm - pumpkin patch, free hayrides, petting zoo, weekend pony rides
13710 Schaeffer Road, Germantown. Phone: 301-540-2364.
Open weekdays from 3 pm to dark; weekends from 10 am to dark. Admission is free.
Butler's Orchard - pumpkin patch, 1-acre corn maze, straw maze, pumpkin coach, pony rides etc.
22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, MD. Phone  301-972-3299.
Tuesday - Sunday 9:30am - 5:30pm  Click here for the events calendar.
Directions and map.  Click here for current hours and crops that are ready!

Homestead Farm 15604 Sugarland Road, Poolesville, MD Phone: 301-977-3761         For updated picking conditions call:  301-977-3761 (recorded message).  They have pumpkins, Pick-your-own apples, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, tractor-pulled hay rides, Honey from hives on the farm, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, farm animals, school tours.                  Open 7 days a week: Pick-your-own hours: 9am - 5pm. Directions: Click here for a map and directions.Check website for approximate harvest dates and other information.

Cox Farms 15621 Braddock Road, Centreville, VA 20120. Phone: 703-830-4121.  - Fall festival, corn maze, haunted corn maze, kiddie (mini) corn maze, straw or hay bale maze, child-sized haybale maze, goat walk, we also have pie pumpkins, tractor-pulled hay rides, wagon rides, haunted house, haunted rides, haunted trail, Honey from hives on the farm, Fresh eggs, farm market.

Leesburg Animal Park19270 James Monroe Highway, Leesburg, VA (703) 433-0002 Pumpkinville is open September 21-November 5, 2013, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. (5 p.m. after Daylight Savings) The farm play area includes an Indian teepee, giant slides, a hay maze, unlimited hayrides, straw mountains, tot maze, rope swings, tractors to climb on, a large inflated fire truck slide, moon bounces, and much more.

Ticonderoga Farms
26469 Ticonderoga Road, Chantilly, Virginia (703) 327-4424
Mid September to first week of November, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival includes hands on pick your own pumpkins, spooky fun zones, hayrides, hillside slides and tunnels, giant jumping pillow, cow pow train ride, Noah’s Ark, petting animals, giant xylophone, bamboo panda puzzle maze, swinging bridge, antique tractors, fire pits, park-like log cabin play areas, picnic areas, weekend specials and more.

Burke Nursery and Garden Center
9401 Burke Road, Burke, Virginia (703) 323-1188
October 1-31, 2013. The annual Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground runs daily from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. through October. Highlights include pirate and western-themed activities, Native American storytellers, slides, tumbling tubes, rope swings, A Monster Truck, mechanical rides, farm animals, clowns, magicians, musicians, Wobble Wagon rides and much more.





Smithsonian National Zoo

1000 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC 20004

Phone:(202) 633-1000

Admission free.   Summer hours:  Grounds:  6 am – 8pm, Buildings: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Web page:  National Zoo                             


The best Metro is Cleveland Park because it is a straight walk left out of the elevator.  Woodley Park/Zoo is fine but you have to walk up a hill to get to the zoo.  Check Metro Accessibility and sign of for email alerts regarding elevator outages.

Parking: Arrive before 10 a.m. is ideal if you plan to park.  B lot or D lot are best. I prefer D since it is at the bottom of the hill, better to climb up when we first arrive, and go back down when everyone is tired.  Parking is about $22. A basic Fonz member pays 50% parking.  Premier & Premier Plus members get free parking.

Food:  There are plenty of restaurants however they are very expensive.  Bring a picnic, you can use tables at the restaurants or sit in the grassy areas at the bottom of the hill to eat.

Don’t forget the sun screen!  There is a water area near the sea lions to cool off.  The children’s farm at the bottom is a great area to wait while everyone arrives in your  group.  They have a pizza play area.

Check out the Smithsonian National Zoo app- $1.99 maps,  bathroom locations and more.

Thank you to Debra Phiri for your contribution to In our neighborhood.  If you know a free activity or a great place to play in your neighborhood please let me know all contributions welcome.  Email


Montgomery County, MD  

Cabin John Regional Park
7400 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, MD 20817
Cabin John Regional Park is a combination of nature, sports, and recreation. It has several athletic fields, a skating rink, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, picnic areas, trails, camp sites, a dog park and a tai-chi court. They have a miniature train that runs through the park. Many of the facilities are
handicapped accessible. From nature programs and hiking to playgrounds, sports and baseball.

Park Manager: 301-299-0024
Hours: Sunrise to sunset, year round. Operational hours of other facilities based within the park will vary; please check listings for each facility.  
Picnic and playground areas offer shelters, tables, drinking fountains, grills, restrooms, and playground equipment including Adventure Playland are available to the public.

Norwood Park
4700 Norwood Drive
Bethesda, MD 20815

There are two playgrounds they have a swaying bridge, swings, fire truck monkey bars, slides, seesaw/ teeter totter,  merry-go-round & trails through the trees for a nature walk.  It also has a softball field, lighted baseball field, five tennis courts, a picnic area & in a pinch a porta john. Parking is ample.