Fall is undoubtedly one of the best seasons in the DMV with its crisp air, beautiful leaves, and tons of fun fall activities! There is something for everyone (even fido) this fall in the DMV, so grab your coziest sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes and get ready to hit the town. From fun cocktails and art shows to pumpkins, ghouls, and fall foliage, it’s sure to be an exciting fall in the DC area. Below is a list of events we’re looking forward to throughout Alexandria and the DC area.
Some of the best parks to enjoy the changing leaves in the DMV are Mount Vernon, Great Falls, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Rock Creek Park, Theodore Rosevelt Island, The National Arboretum, and if you’re up for a drive be sure to head to Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah.
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Located on 300 acres in Germantown, MD, Butler’s Orchard offers pick-your-own apples during September and October. Click to reserve a time on their website here. Walk-ins are allowed based on availability or if you have a season pass. While you’re here be sure to fill up on home-made fruit pies, seasonal produce, local cheeses, and festive fall decor at the orchard’s market. For more fun, don’t miss their pumpkin festival, September 24 – October 30 which features hayrides, corn hole, live music, and pony rides.
Great Country Farms
From late August to October at Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Virginia you can pick apples and check out the farm play area. Be on the lookout for their numerous weekend festivals, but we recommend purchasing tickets in advance on weekends. In September you can attend the Corn Maze and Apple Harvest Festival, and if you miss apple season, you can pick pumpkins and roast marshmallows at the Fall Pumpkin Farm Festival. Adults will love the fact that there is a brewery and a winery right across the street!
Take in views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while you pick apples at Hartland Orchard in Markham, Virginia from September – October. Pumpkin picking is also available, and don’t miss out on the fresh cider and honey from the orchard market!
While you’re in Markham, make a day out of it and stop by Stribling Orchard as well! This family-run orchard features more than 23 types of apples. The bakery is only open on the weekends, but you won’t want to miss the Apple Raisin Bread, Apple Pie, Apple Cake, Apple Sticks, Apple Turnovers, Cinnamon Sugar Donuts, and Pumpkin Pie! Starting on Saturday, September 23rd, they’ll also have a snack shop on weekends with several vendors here including Whistle Pop Kettle Corn, Chateau O’Brien Winery, Naked Mountain Winery, live music and more!
Carter Mountain Orchard
If you’re up for a trip with your pup, head to Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia for a dog-friendly orchard. Pick-your-own apple season lasts until mid-November here, but we’d recommend checking their website for the latest fruit availability. Adults will enjoy visiting this orchard because the owners also harvest their own wine grapes and sell nine wine varietals as well as wine slushies. Before you head out, stop by the market and bakery to pick up the fresh-baked apple cider donuts, produce, pies and ice cream.
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FALL FESTIVALS/PUMPKIN PATCHES
Back Home on the Farm Sept 1 – Oct 31 (pumpkin patch opens Sept 15)
You’ll want to make this trek to the Shenandoah Valley for fall fun and optimal leaf peeping! The family will enjoy a petting zoo, pig races, a carousel, games, and a huge corn maze + a hayride to the pumpkin patch. Tickets are $12 daily.
Oktoberfest on the Wharf Sept 15 – 17
Enjoy German food, costumes, and Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer + special events like polka dancing and a stein hoisting competition on the Wharf in DC. This event is free!
Cox Farm Sept 16 – 17, Sept 23 – Nov 6
This massive fall festival in Centreville, VA features live music, farm animals, hayrides, pumpkins, a corn maze, slides, food, an interactive nature walk, and more! Tickets are $25 for peak days near Halloween but discounted during the week and earlier in the season. For more information and tickets click here.
Belvedere Plantation Sept 16 – Nov 4 Thursday – Sunday
Head to Fredericksburg for a petting zoo, giant slide, corn maze, zipline, pig races, pedal tractor rides, and of course a hayride to the pumpkin patch. For an additional cost enjoy pumpkin painting, a super slide, and pick-your-own flowers. Stop by the market on your way out for homemade jams, pies, and cider. For more information click here.
Blue Ridge Mountain Maze Sept 23 – Nov 5 Fridays & Saturdays (closed September 22 and 29)
Previously known as Corn Maze in the Plains, this event has moved to a new location in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Blue Toad Hard Cider in Nelson County, at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Wintergreen Resort. Enjoy pumpkin picking, slides, farm animals, hayrides and fall snacks. Tickets are $13 for adults and $12 for children under 12. Check the website for discount days.
Reston Fall Festival and Market late Sept – Oct 31st
From the maze, to the train ride, balloon animals, and much more the whole family will enjoy this fall festival. All children’s tickets include a free pumpkin. The festival runs for 90 minute time slots. For more information and to book a slot click here.
Pumpkinpalooza in NoMa Oct 26
Alethia Tanner Park in NoMa hosts a family-friendly afternoon of fall fun starting at 4pm on the 26th. This event is free! Plus, enjoy movies at Alethia Tanner Park every Wednesday from Sept 13 to Oct 11.
Greenstreet Gardens Sept 16 – Oct 18
Head to Lothian, MD for a fun fall festival featuring hayrides and a 5-acre corn maze designed to look like the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus. Admission is $16.
Cox Farms Sept 16 – Nov 7
Cox Farms in Centerville, VA offers a “Cornundrum,” a huge maze filled with pirates, jungles and more. The fall festival also includes numerous slides and farm animals. The farm transforms into spooky Fields of Fear on Friday and Saturday nights from September 22 to November 4 (as well as Sunday, October 8), and the corn maze becomes a “Cornightmare.” Daytime ticket prices range from $10 to $25, and Fields of Fear prices range from $30 to $40.
Wayside Farm Sept 23 – Oct 29
If you love Star Wars, you won’t want to miss this 10-acre Baby Yoda-themed maze in Berryville, VA. You’ll also be able to enjoy quintessential fall activities such as hayrides and pumpkin picking. Tickets available between $14 and $27 per person.
Liberty Mills Farm Sept 9 – Nov 11
This 34-acre maze in Somerset, VA is shaped like musical instruments offers 4 different paths to choose from. Routes include the Story Maze, the Trivia Maze, the Hole Punch Maze (the farm’s longest maze), and the Mystery Maze, where you won’t have any maps to guide you around. Tickets range from $12 to $20.
Butler’s Orchard Sept 23 – Oct 29
Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, MD is hosting their 43rd annual Pumpkin Festival which will feature their twisted corn maze, as well as live music, corn hole games, a corn box, and premium activities like face painting and pony rides for an additional cost. The festival goes from September 23 to October 29 with tickets ranging from $10 to $17. Purchase tickets ahead of time for a $2 discount.
Blue Ridge Mountain Maze Sept 23 – Nov 6
The Blue Ridge Mountain Maze at Blue Toad Hard Cider in Roseland, VA offers both a daytime corn maze and a nighttime one, with public campfire spaces and s’mores! Adults will enjoy tasting seasonal sips straight from the orchard at the cidery. Tickets are $13 and under and $12 on Fridays from 12 PM to 5 PM.
MD Corn Maze Sept 16 – Nov 5
This superhero-themed maze in MD is sure to be a blast. And superheros will love visiting the general store, going on a hayride, or giving the zip line a try after the maze. Tickets start at $16. The kids can meet their favorite superheroes on opening weekend (September 16th), and bring your pooch on designated dog-friendly days (November 4 and November 5) for an autumnal adventure.
Montpelier Farms Sept 16 – Nov 5
Be prepared to be spooked at this 7-acre “Alien Invasion” themed maze in Upper Marlboro, MD. Young ones can also try out the property’s smaller corn maze. The farm also features hayrides, playgrounds, a giant slide, and pumpkin bowling. General admission ranges from $14 to $19.
Confusion Corn Maze Sept 16 – Oct 29
Confusion Corn Maze in Manchester, MD features a maze paying homage to real and fictitious scientists. Here you’ll also find an obstacle course, giant pumpkin corral, and straw jump. Don’t miss the flashlight maze on Fridays and Saturdays if you want to be spooked! Regular admission is $18.
Old Town Cocktail Week Sept 8 – 15
If you’re a cocktail aficionado or an aspiring mixologist you don’t want to miss Old Town Cocktail Week! This boozy celebration will feature specialty cocktails, seminars with local bartenders, and other themed events.
Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour Oct 6 – 8
Experience George Washington’s historic estate by sunset and toast with local Virginia wines available for sampling. Fruit and cheese boxes to accompany your wine are available for purchase in advance. For more on the event and to purchase tickets click here! Also don’t miss Whiskey Tastings at Mount Vernon on Saturdays in September.
Snallygaster Oct 14
Head to Pennsylvania Ave in DC from 2 to 6 pm and get unlimited tastings of beer, wine, and cocktails for $65. Plus, enjoy food trucks and live music. Get your tickets early – this event usually sells out.
Alexandria Colonial Ghost and Graveyard Tours
Walk through the charming streets of historic Old Town while following a colonial-costumed guide by lantern for an engaging history tour and hear ghost stories, legends, folklore, and mysteries. Tours are available year-round but dates vary seasonally. In October, tours run every day at 7:30 pm with additional times on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids. For tour times and tickets, visit their website here. and free for children under 6. For more information and tickets click here.
Field of Fear Fridays and Saturdays Sept 22 – Nov 4
While you’re at Cox Farm don’t miss the haunted after-hours version on Friday and Saturday evenings from Sept 22 to Nov 4 + Sunday, Oct 8. Brave the haunted corn maze, hayride, and forest and then enjoy the fairgrounds music, karaoke, dancing, and slides. Access to the fairgrounds is included with admission. Not recommended for young children. For tickets click here.
Haunted Hallow Sept 29 – Oct 29 Fridays & Saturdays
Follow the trail through this haunted farm in Warrenton if you dare! Find spooky surprises and unexpected characters. We’d suggest 13 and up only! Tickets are $20/person and we’d suggest purchasing your tickets early– available for purchase Sept 1. All visitors must be in groups of at least 2 people.
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ADULT HALLOWEEN PARTIES
Dia de los Muertos on the Wharf Oct 22
Celebrate with live music, face painting, and a beer garden. This event is free!
Nightmare in Navy Yard Oct 28
DC’s largest Halloween party returns on Saturday, Oct 28 at 8:30 PM for a night of dancing, drinks, and costumes. For $45 you’ll enjoy 2 DJs, a 5-hour open bar, spooky decorations, and a costume contest. Food trucks will also be on site. Get tickets early – the price goes up after September 30th.
TRICK OR TREATING
Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon Oct 28
History buffs, take your kids trick-or-treating on October 28 from 2 – 6 pm at Mount Vernon and enjoy music, candy, and photo opps. Tickets (general public) are $15/child and $25/adults.
Del Ray Halloween Parade Oct 30
One of Del Ray’s favorite traditions is the annual Halloween parade. Kids, pets, and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their best and scariest Halloween costumes. Awards are given for best pet costume, best-decorated business, best-decorated home, and best-decorated stroller. The parade is free to both attend and march in.
Trick or Treat on South Lee Street in Old Town Oct 31
Head to South Lee Street around 5 pm as neighbors wait outside to greet trick-or-treaters until about 10 pm. You can read our full feature on Halloween on South Lee Street here. Pro Tip – Stroll down Captains Row, the 100 block of Prince Street throughout October to see spooky Halloween decorations throughout the month of October!
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ART & CULTURE
81st Annual Historic Alexandria Homes Tour Sept 23 10am – 3pm
This Historic Homes Tour raises money for Inova Alexandria Hospital. Home highlights often include original and preserved structures, curated artwork, and historical collections. New this year is a Tour Book which will guide you through the homes and is accessible to ticket holders via your mobile device. Hard copies of the Tour Book are available for purchase, in advance, for $5 each. Purchase your tickets here.
Art on the Avenue Oct 8th
Head to Del Ray for the annual Art on the Avenue. This art fair features artists from quilters to card-makers to cartographers, displaying their one-of-a-kind wares. You can also grab a bite from 20+ food vendors along Mount Vernon Avenue. Visit www.artontheavenue.org for more information on this free event.
FUN FOR FIDO
Paws in the Park Oct 15th
Head to Old Town’s Oronoco Bay Park for this FREE fun-filled day for the whole family featuring entertainment, activities, animal-themed vendors and, of course, a whole lot of adorable adoptables! Proceeds from this event benefit animals across the community though Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie – Sept 5th The Anthem
Corinne Bailey Rae – Sept 6th Lincoln Theatre
Billy Idol – Sept 8th The Anthem
Greta Van Fleet – Sept 11th Capital One Arena
Odesza – Sept 12th Jiffy Lube Live
The Postal Service & Death Cab for Cutie – Sept 14th Merriweather Post Pavillion
Tove Lo – Sept 14th The Anthem
Macklemore – Sept 19th The Anthem
The Chicks – Sept 20th Merriweather Post Pavillion
Peter Gabriel – Sept 20th Capital One Arena
Bastille – Sept 21st The Atlantis
Jonas Brothers – Sept 23rd Capital One Arena
Janelle Monae – Sept 24th The Anthem
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Sept 29th Nationals Park
Maggie Rogers – Sept 29th The Atlantis
Zac Brown Band – Oct 6th Merriweather Post Pavillion
Lady A – Oct 28th The Anthem
Did we miss anything? Let us know what your favorite fall activity in the DMV is!