Make it a day of exploration while getting the greens for the holidays
By Michelle Scholtes Illustration by Mary DeStefano
Can you almost hear jingle bells in the air? Imagine a crisp snowflake on your cheek? Just thinking about the holiday season fills me with bubbling warmth, a sense of joy and nostalgia that only this time of year brings. Being with family, sitting around a fire, drinking eggnog and embracing the giving nature of this season—it all just makes me feel good inside. But best of all may be trimming the tree. The tradition of hunting for the perfect pine, warming up with hot cider and then carefully unpacking the ornaments, each with its own memory of a Christmas past, as we decorate the tree in our pajamas.
If a tree is part of your tradition, why not make a point of supporting Maryland or Virginia tree farmers this year? Not only are you buying local, you’ll lower the carbon footprint by avoiding trees that are shipped here from far away. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite tree farms and hope that you’ll make a plan to get your own local tree, while remembering it’s a time to be kind, give to those in need and support your local community charities and businesses.
22222 Davis Mill Rd. Germantown, MD 20876
November 24–December 23, 9:30am–5:30pm Tu–Su
This family-friendly sprawling farm offers cut-your-own trees and pick-your-own pre-cut options. The farm market features freshly baked pies, breads and donuts. Looking for something more to eat? Check out the historic Comus Inn located in an elegant farmhouse overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain, just 15 minutes away.
15604 Sugarland Rd. Poolesville, MD 20837
November 24–December 23, 9am–6pm M–F, 9am–5pm Sa–Su
Where to eat on your trip home? Cross the river and check out Roots 657 in Leesburg, VA. This café and serves up the chef’s locally sourced food, including housemade soups, salads, sandwiches and fresh-baked goods. The restaurant also has a market full of regional foods and local wine. Heading back to DC? Check out Taco Bar in Gaithersburg, MD. This hidden gem of a taco shop is located between a gas station and a liquor store, and has a following with locals and taco fans. Serving up authentic tacos, tortas and more. Or is this your chance to try Chef Tony Conte’s woodfired pizza? Find the top ranked pie in the DMV at Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana, just down the road.
11904 Old Marlboro Pike Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
November 24–December 23, 9am–5pm M–F
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Clagett Farm is the place to go for a day filled with activities surrounding your hunt for the perfect tree. Hay rides, marshmallow roasting, complimentary hot drinks and wood-fired pizza, you’ll be able to make a day of it with your family at this incredible local farm where trees of all sizes are all $40. Cut-your-own and pre-cut trees. Also offering wreaths.
6950 Old Solomons Island Rd. Friendship, MD 20758
November 24-Dec 23, 1pm-4:30 M-F, 9 – 4:30 Sa-Su
Leashed pets welcome.
You can create your own family tradition at Friendship Trees and Country Store. Offering cut-your-own trees or pre-cut, you’ll find everything you need to chop and trim the perfect tree for your household. Feeling hungry after the work of getting the perfect tree? Take a quick trip north to the Killarney House Pub for Irish coffee and some shepherd’s pie.
3400 Harney Rd. Taneytown, MD 21787
November 24–December 23, hours TBD
Grab a freshly baked cooked at the Sewell’s Christmas Gift Shop, while choose your cut-your-own, buy a pre-cut tree or a LIVE-dug trees ready to plant at home. Check their website for hours or call ahead. Wreaths, roping, window swags, table arrangements. In the mood for a meal? The quaint town of Taneytown features a charming historic inn, the Antrim 1844, which houses the famous Pickwick Pub—serving some of the finest cognacs and whiskeys in the world. For something a little more casual, head to the Country Kitchen Diner.
Clemsonville Christmas Tree Farm
10120 Clemsonville Rd. Union Bridge, MD 21791
November 24–December 24, 10am–5pm
This family-owned tree farm boasts the Guinness World Record for the largest wreath! Be sure to check it out and their “everlasting” tree while you browse the decorated Christmas barn and find a tree of your own. Cut-your-own trees and pre-cut are available and all trees are $20. Afterwards, head to Frederick, MD, for some great cuisine. Fine dining at Volt and The Tasting Room, or try a classic steakhouse, The Red Horse. Family-friendly dining favorites are found at Family Meal and Black Hog BBQ.
5501 Detrick Rd.
Mount Airy, MD 21771
November 24–December 23, 10am–6pm M–Su
Known for having tall trees, Gaver Farm features cut-your-own trees and pre-cut trees for sale on 60 acres. The farm provides free saws, baling and drilling. They also have a wreath shop. You don’t have to go far for food here: The Gavers have an on-site donut hut, barn grill and barn bakery. It’s a one-stop-shop for family fun and food.
225 Seventh St. SE Washington, DC 20003
November 24–December 23, 7am–7pm Tu–F, 7am–6pm Sa, 9am–5pm Su
Leashed pets allowed outside.
Don’t want to venture outside the District? Eastern Market will have pre-cut trees and a Christmas Market from Agora Farms, where you can find food from plenty of local vendors, festive holiday decorations and a historic food hall featuring all the meats and groceries you’ll need for holiday entertaining.
Dupont Circle Farm Market
1500 20th St. NW Washington, DC 20036
November 24–December 23, 8:30am–1:30pm Su
The Dupont Circle Farm Market will offer Christmas trees and wreaths throughout December. A favorite among local celebrity chefs, this market offers artisanal prepared foods, local produce and sustainably raised meats. So shop for a tree and pick up some local produce too. Need something more to eat? Walk a few blocks to enjoy a burger at Duke’s Grocery or a grab a sandwich and soup at DGS Delicatessen.
Dan and Bryan Christmas Trees
3810 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20016
November 26–December 23, 10am–9pm
This DC tree stand offers pre-cut trees in the upper NW area. Their claim to fame includes supplying the White House Christmas tree in 2009, and their trees are beautiful. Stop by to grab a tree and eat some of the best pizza in town at 2Amys while you are in the ’hood.
Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm
Christmas Tree Lane Round Hill, VA 20141
November 24–December 23, 1–5pm F, 9am–5pm Sa–Su
A BYO picnic? They’re highly encouraged at Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm, a popular place for an outdoor feast. You can also browse their handmade wreath and garland selection. And if you just want to gather greenery and visit Middleburg’s charming downtown, there are plenty of places to grab a bite. Why not a posh nosh with a glass of VA wine at Harriman’s Grill or the wonderful and historic Red Fox Inn in downtown Middleburg?
Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm
2696 Green Spring Rd. Winchester, VA 22603
November 24–December 18, 9am–5pm Th–Su
Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm started as a high school project in 1977. Local students asked if they could plant some trees on the family’s land and the rest is history! Offering cut-your-own and pre-cut trees, wreaths and greenery too. Fuel up nearby at Cider Press Deli & Grill, and marvel at your accomplishments of the day.
12230 Belle Meade Rd. Markham, VA 22643
15621 Braddock Rd. Centreville, VA 20120
November 24–December 23, 11am–8pm M–F, 9am–7pm Sa–Su
For the real deal, all-day-outing, main event of the Christmas tree farms experience, head to Cox Farms in Centreville, VA. You’ll find cut-your-own trees, pre-cut options, wreaths and more. But as important, you can spend the day roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, making s’mores, enjoying hot cider or chocolate, eating fresh hot donuts and even a visit from Santa. Come prepared for snow tubing and family photos, too.