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October 13, 2006

Weekend Watch: Recap of Butler's Orchard & Georgetown Street Festival

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If you're thinking of doing the Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard in Maryland this weekend, I highly recommend it. We took Ava last Sunday, and it's perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

My main tip: To get in and park quickly without the traffic hassles, and to avoid the crowds that get heavier around noon-1 p.m., arrive when the gates open at 10:00. And do the tractor-pull hayride to the pumpkin patch first thing, before the line gets long.

They have plenty of staff working this event, and it's well-organized and safe. And if the weather is nice (like it was last Sunday), this place is heaven. Really beautiful, loads of space for little ones to run off energy, and no shortage of fun stuff to do for all ages:

Big slides for big kids, little slides for little kids, gentle farm animals (bring quarters to buy animal food from the machines), Halloween characters made out of pumpkins - lots of photo opps, a (stationary) wooden "pumpkin train," ride-on toys, a big hayloft for jumping and playing, a corn maze, pony rides, a moonbounce, and a Cinderella-esque pumpkin carriage. That's in addition to the hayride to the pumpkin patch (built into your admission cost) and the option to pick fresh apples and berries on the premises. There's live bluegrass music and food for purchase, too.

The Butler's Orchard website notes that children under age 2 get in free...but it seems that in practice, children under age 3 get in free. (At the gate, we told them Ava is 2 1/2 and they did not charge us for her entry.) Older kids and adults are $9.

If you've already "been there, done that" with Butler's Orchard, I also recommend the street festival in Georgetown on Saturday. The area will be blocked off on Wisconsin Ave. between M and South St. for "Taste of Georgetown," 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They have children's activities this year, as well as live jazz and blues. Not to mention the yummy restaurant tastings (about $5 each, or $20 for five tastings). Heads up, lushy mamas and daddies: Wine tastings this year, too.

Posted by Sarah at 10:28 AM.