This weekend is the last chance to get a pumpkin and carve it before Halloween. The area's pumpkin patches range from small selection from local nurseries to full-on fall festivals with hay rides and corn mazes.
While driving out of the city to get a pumpkin, why not make a day of it and explore a new watering hole too? Most of these beer-focused bars and breweries are currently serving special seasonal fall beers. Many even have outdoor patios for enjoying this weekend's perfect sweater weather.
Fall is a great time to try some new beers, so here are five spots near a pumpkin patch:
4000 Town Center Blvd., Bowie, Md.
The deal: In keeping with the theme, order a pumpkin spiced lager or imperial pumpkin ale. There's also a full menu of indulgent pub fare like mac and cheese bombs and a chorizo burger. This particular outpost of the Baltimore-based brewery is just a 10 minute ride from Queen Anne Farm, which has tractor rides and a petting zoo in addition to the patch.
Suite K and L, 7000 Newington Rd, Lorton, Va.
The deal: Stop by the taproom (open at 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday) for one of Fair Winds' seven beers, ranging from the Quayside Kölsch to a Flemmish Stout. This kid-friendly facility also serves non-alcoholic drinks, and there are food trucks on weekends. It's only an eight minute drive from the pumpkin tunnel at Nalls Produce.
302 Poplar Alley, Occoquan, Va.
The deal: Drive just eight minutes from the orange and white pumpkins at Heather Hill Gardens to this Belgian restaurant (open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sunday). Choose from their selection of over 50 Belgian beers or order a full meal of mussels or steak frites.
800 West Diamond Ave., Gaithersburg, Md.
The deal: It just makes sense to stop in for a seasonal Punkin Ale at Dogfish Head's Maryland location. It's on the way back from the Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard. Tickets ($11) include hayrides, a corn maize and a giant slide.
202-B Harrison Street SE, Leesburg, Va.
The deal: After exploring the Pumpkin Village at Leesburg Animal Park (tickets are $13.95 and include a free pumpkin and several fall-themed activities), make the 10-minute drive into town. MacDowell Brew Kitchen tries to keep the summer feeling alive in the fall with its beach-themed patio (complete with sand) and huge selection of both draught and bottled beers. Alternate plan: consider the chill vibe at German beer garden Doner Bistro right next door.