Tag Archives: Maryland Fall Festivals

From City Streets to Country Farms, Celebrate at these Fall Festivals

Jump for joy...fall festivals are in season!

Jump for joy…fall festivals are in season!



Fall is just about here and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it. They celebrate everything from the season to communities to cuisine to medieval times. Enjoy local art and culture, pick pumpkins and take a hayride on the farm, get a taste of local eats, time trip back to the 16th century… some of the fun has already begun, and even more will start over the next few weeks. This list of fall festivals, ordered by start date, will help you plan for it all.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 25
Admission: Thru 9/13: $19/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/21: $24/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under

This time trip back to medieval times began in late August with a big endorsement from me as one of my very favorite annual events in the area. But it’s a must-go among fall fests, so it’s getting a plug again. You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, even a flea circus. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy. Get a glimpse of and a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Weekends September 5 – November 1
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12 (look for a deal here)

Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, and more. A tip based on our experience there: Do not, I repeat, do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, MD
When: Ongoing; Pumpkin patch open September 19 – October 31
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free

This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds spattered with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: Weekends September 12 – October 31
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under

Hartland’s long list of opportunities for amusement include hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). On September 19, be sure to don your coolest accessory for “Cape Day” — everyone who wears a cape, superhero or not, gets $2 off admission. And FYI: The apple picking comes highly recommended.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: 11th Street NW, from Park to Kenyon, WDC
When: September 12, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The neighborhood’s 9th annual festival will celebrate the start of the new season and the community. Columbia Heights’ food vendors, a beer garden, and live music will be there to enjoy all day. Get to know some of the great causes organizing right in the neighborhood. Themed tent areas will invite guests to explore the world in a cultural section, check-out the beautiful work of local artisans, and take a moment to focus on health and wellness. The truly adventurous can run through their version of an adult warrior obstacle course, including a moon bounce! Families can also enjoy the festival together at the Bloom Bar Fun Tent and the Fun Field located on Harriet Tubman Elementary School yard.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 17th Street NW, from Riggs Place to P Street, WDC
When: September 12, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

This free event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor and surrounding community with musical performances throughout the afternoon, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone, exposure for non-profit groups, and appearances by city officials to celebrate the community and businesses.

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: September 19-20
Admission: $17/adults, $8/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free

At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts and entertainment. More than forty juried artisans from across the nation will demonstrate their trades and sell their wares, while two stages of family entertainment delight audiences with 18th-century amusements. Try your hand at 18th century cricket — demonstrations and cricket games will be played throughout the weekend. General Washington will preside many festivities. And fair fare will be available from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant concession stands.

Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farm, Chantilly, VA
When: September 19 – November 8
Admission: $9.95/weekdays, $16.95/holiday and weekends

This festival at one of my favorite farms in the area has all the trappings for a fun on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more (seriously, see the entire list here). The Cow Pow Train, Jump and Bounce Pillow, face painting, and some children’s games are available weekends only, but there’s obviously plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 19 – November 8
Admission: $9/weekdays, $14/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up

This festival is HUGE. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains seven slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd! September 19-20 is a preview weekend, then it opens daily September 26.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE, WDC
When: September 19, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is always huge If you don’t mind crowds, there is tons to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Wayside Farm Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, VA
When: September 19 – November 1
Admission: $10

The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, watch piggies race, pick a pumpkin, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slide, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more.

Fall Festival & Corn Maze
Where: Greenstreet Gardens, Lothian, MD
When: Weekends September 19 – November 1
Admission: $13.95 (look for a deal here)

This seasonal celebration in Anne Arundel County boasts all one could want for a day of fall fun, including some unique features. Little ones can play in a corn pit, like a sand pit but with corn kernels. And the slide, it goes underground. There’s also a jumping pillow, cow train, hayrides, a straw bale maze, tire tower, and even more.

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
Where: Middletown, MD
When: September 19 – October 31
Admission: Free

Pick out and pumpkin and enjoy other fun activities for little ones at this 131-acre farm. A 14-acre corn maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and wagon rides will delight young farm-goers. Concessions and craft shopping are part of the offerings, too.

Fall Adventures at Summers Farm
Where: Frederick, MD
When: September 26 – November 1
Admission: $7.95/weekdays, $11.95/weekends (look for a deal here)

Word has it there’s a sprawling corn maze shaped like Taylor Swift’s face at Summers Farm. But if that doesn’t excite your kids (Team Katy, perhaps?) then pretty much everything else will — a pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, and more. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill, WDC
When: September 27, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo, back for another here of musical amusement. And a Beer Garden for grown-ups is a bonus.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, MD
When: Weekends September 26 – October 31
Admission: $11, free for children 2 and under

Enjoy a country outing and join Butler’s in celebrating the harvest with traditional autumn activities. An area favorite, kids love jumping in the hayloft, heading out on hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food cost extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms, Bluemont, VA
When: September 26 – October 31
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkin Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a schedule of activities here.

Rhode Island Row Fall Fest
Where: 2300 Washington Place, NE
When: October 3, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Leaves are turning, harvest time is here. Rhode Island Row has the perfect family-friendly way to celebrate the season – a Fall Fest with live music and free kids activities. Enjoy the sounds of The JoGo Project, while savoring scrumptious food and drink from the popular Carolina Kitchen and its Fall Fest Beer Garden. There’s something for all ages – face painting and balloon creations for the young and a vintage car show for the young at heart. A free shuttle offers an easy ride to even more entertainment — the annual Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Fall Fest nearby. The Rhode Island Row Fall Fest is free and open to the public.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds, MD
When: October 3-4
Admission: $5, free for ages 2 and under

The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of activities here.) This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Fall For Fairfax KidsFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center, VA
When: October 3-4
Admission: Free

This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. And be sure to check back on their website – the live entertainment has yet to be announced, and they usually have some pretty big-name acts perform.

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 3rd-7th Streets NW, WDC
When: October 10-11, 12-7pm
Admission: $10, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

Celebrate the food, wine, and culture of our the city during Columbus Day weekend. Along with the obvious — tastings from more than 50 area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, live entertainment, a beer garden, and a Worldwide Family Fun Stop with activities — dancing, games, storytelling, arts & crafts,and more — especially for kids.

Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in September and October
Admission: Free

There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with a couple of different festivals taking place. The Apple Harvest Festival is October 10-11, offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 24 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, MD
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities

While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! Of course, you still pay for pumpkins and cider. And can’t-miss caramel apples.


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Fancy a Butterfly Garden Giveaway and Fall Festivals from Montgomery Parks

WOF1-1

While many summer joys in the DC area come to an end on Labor Day, there’s one that will continue well into fall this year: Wings of Fancy, the wonderful butterfly and caterpillar exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. And one lucky KFDC reader can win a four-pack of tickets to experience it — and I can assure you, it’s pretty fantastic.

Nearly 20 different species of butterflies from North America, Central America, and Asia flutter around the garden full of colorful flowers and plants. There are also cases on display containing cocoons and opportunities for visitors to learn about their amazing metamorphosis. It’s about 10 degrees warmer inside the garden than it is outside, so autumn will be an ideal time to go.

Wings of Fancy will be on display at Brookside Gardens through October 25. Hours are 10am – 4pm daily. Tickets are $8/ages 13 and up, $5/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under — you can also try to win them through the giveaway below!

There’s even more to enjoy at Montgomery County Parks this fall! These festivals and programs happening in September and October are perfect for family outings:

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Giveaway: For a chance to win the four-pack of tickets to the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite activity this Labor Day weekend, either that you already experienced or are looking forward to doing. To be eligible, you must like KidFriendly DC on Facebook and be a blog subscriber (see the sign-up on the left sidebar). This giveaway will run through Wednesday, September 9, then a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Parks, however, I only promote activities, events, and programs that I sincerely enjoy and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under All ages, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Free, Giveaway, Maryland, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Weekdays, Weekend

Fall In: Festivals Galore to Celebrate this Season

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Fall is right around the corner and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it. They celebrate everything from the season to communities to cuisine to medieval times. Enjoy local art and culture, pick pumpkins and take a hayride on the farm, get a taste of local eats, time trip back to the 16th century… Most of the hoopla begins in a couple weeks, but some of the fun has started already. This list of fall festivals will help you plan for it all. And if there are any other good ones I’ve missed, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md.
When: Weekends through October 19
Admission: Thru 9/17: $17/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/21: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under

This day trip back to medieval times began in late August with a big endorsement from me as one of my very favorite annual events in the area. But it’s a must-go among fall fests, so it’s getting a plug again. You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, even a flea circus. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy. Get a glimpse of and a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, Md
When: September 6 – November 2, Saturdays 10am – 11pm, Sundays 11am – 7pm, Fridays (starting Oct 3) 5-11pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under

Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, and more. A tip based on our experience there: Do not, I repeat, do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, Md.
When: Ongoing; Pumpkin patch open September 20 – November 3, 10am – 5pm daily
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free

This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds spattered with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: September 6 – October 26
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under

The website promises a wonderful farm experience, and from the looks of it, they’ll make good on it. The long list of amusement includes hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). This year you can celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz by travelling through the maze of Dorothy and Toto – costumes encouraged! The apple picking also comes highly recommended.

Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farm
When: September 13 – November 2, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $9.95/weekdays, $14.95 or $16.95/holiday and weekends

This festival has all the trappings for a fun on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more (seriously, see the entire list here). The Cow Pow Train, Jump and Bounce Pillow, face painting, and some children’s games are available weekends only, but there’s obviously plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there last year.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 17th Street NW, from Riggs Place to P Street
When: September 13, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

This free event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor and surrounding community with musical performances throughout the afternoon, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone, exposure for non-profit groups, and appearances by city officials to celebrate the community and businesses.

Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: 18th Street NW, between Columbia and Florida Avenues
When: September 14, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse communities. The 36th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival offers a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. Arts on Belmont will feature original artisans and a variety of art mediums. And various stages throughout the neighborhood will showcase local live entertainment that all ages can enjoy. Details and the schedule of performances are available on the festival website.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE
When: September 20, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is a lot to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Fall Adventures
Where: Summers Farm
When: September 20 – November 4
Admission: $6.95/weekdays, $10.95/weekends

I have Certifikid to thank for finding out about this farm, as I read about it in a deal on admission that’s currently running. It sounds like Summers has everything one could want in autumn farm fun and then some — a pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, corn mazes, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, and more. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.

Wayside Farm Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, Va.
When: September 20 – November 4
Admission: $10

The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, watch piggies race, pick a pumpkin, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slide, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 28 – November 2, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $9/weekdays, $14/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up

This festival is huge. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains five slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slide that takes you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd!

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill
When: September 27, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo, back for another here of musical amusement. And a Beer Garden for grown-ups is a bonus.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, Md
When: Saturdays & Sundays September 27 – October 25, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10, free for children 2 and under

Enjoy a country outing and join Butler’s in celebrating the harvest with traditional autumn activities. Kids will love jumping in the hayloft, hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food cost extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

SW ArtsFest
Where: Southwest DC (several venues)
When: October 2-5
Admission: Varies by activity

This annual celebration will take place over several day this year, highlighting art and culture in Washington’s smallest quadrant, Southwest. The lineup of festivities will include the (e)merge art fair, music, theatrical performances, hand dancing, walking tours, and more. Find more details here.

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: September 27 – October 31, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkion Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a schedule of activities here.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds
When: September 27, 11am – 10pm & September 28, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $5, free for ages 2 and under

The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of kids activities here. This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Fall For Fairfax KidFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: October 4, 10am – 7pm & October 5, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free

This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. And be sure to check back on their website – the live entertainment has yet to be announced, and they usually have some pretty big-name acts perform.

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 9th – 14th Streets NW
When: October 11-12, 12-7pm
Admission: $10, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

The annual festival celebrating food, wine, and culture in the city will takes lace during Columbus Day weekend. Along with the obvious — tastings from more than 40 area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, a chili eating championship, live entertainment, and a Family Zone with fun especially for kids.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field
When: October 11, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The neighborhood’s 8th annual festival will celebrate the season and the community. There will be family activities, live entertainment, local artists and vendors, food, and fun. More details and the schedule of events are available here.

Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in September and October
Admission: Free

There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with a couple of different festivals taking place. The Apple Harvest Festival is October 11-12 offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 25 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, Md
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities

While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! Of course, you still pay for pumpkins and cider. And can’t-miss caramel apples.


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Fall for Festivals Throughout the DC Area

The corn maze at Montpelier Farm is, in a word, EPIC

The corn maze at Montpelier Farm is, in a word, EPIC



There are so many things to love about fall, crisp weather, the brilliant colors of foliage, and football (for many) among them. And then there are the festivals, celebrating everything from the season to city neighborhoods to farm harvests to medieval times. Here’s where you can join the autumn fun all throughout the area over the next couple of months. (And if this list looks familiar, that’s because it’s from last year, but with updated dates and details.) Happy Fall!

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where:
Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md.
When:
Weekends through October 20
Admission:
Thru 9/17: $17/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/21: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under.
Take a day trip back to medieval times at Renn Fest. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead). Get a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, Md
When: September 7 – November 3, Fridays 5-11pm, Saturdays 10am – 11pm, Sundays 11am – 7pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under
Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, and more. A tip based on our experience last year: Do not, I repeat, do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: 18th Street NW, between Columbia and Florida Avenues
When: September 8
Admission: Free
Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse community. The 35th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival offers a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more. Arts on Belmont will feature original artisans and a variety of art mediums. And various stages throughout the neighborhood will showcase local live entertainment that all ages can enjoy. Details and the schedule of performances are available on the festival website.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: September 2 – October 22
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under
The website promises a wonderful farm experience, and from the looks of it, they’ll make good on it. The long list of amusement includes hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). The apple picking also comes highly recommended.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, Md.
When: Ongoing; Pumpkin patch open September 21 – November 3, 10am – 5pm daily
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free
This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds spattered with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, a reptile show, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Ticonderoga Farm Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Chantilly, VA
When: September 21 – November 3, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $8.95/weekdays, $14.95 or $16.95/holiday and weekends
This festival has all the trappings for a fun on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more (seriously, see the entire list here). The Cow Pow Train, Jump and Bounce Pillow, face painting, and some children’s games are available weekends only, but there’s obviously plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE
When: September 21, 12-7pm
Admission: Free
The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor is always a big one. If you don’t mind crowds, there is a lot to see and do. The event features lots of live entertainment, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 17th Street NW, from Riggs Place to P Street
When: September 14, 12-6pm
Admission: Free
This free event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor and surrounding community with musical performances throughout the afternoon, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone, exposure for non-profit groups, and appearances by city officials to celebrate the community and businesses.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 28 – November 5, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $9/weekdays, $14/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up
This festival is huge. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains five slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and more. It’s a blast, especially the giant slide that takes you swooping down several humps over a hillside. (I know firsthand because parents can enjoy many of the festival activities just as much as kids.) There is also a Kiddie Zone, especially for little ones aged 5 and under.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill
When: September 28, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids (clowns, magicians, face painting, and more). The DC State Fair joins Barracks Row Fall Festival again, this year showcasing unique categories: Funkiest-Looking Vegetable Grown in DC, Best Home Brew, Best Bike Accessory, Best Pie, and more.

Butler’s Orchards 32nd Annual Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, Md
When: Saturdays & Sundays September 28 – October 26, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10, free for children 2 and under
Kids will love jumping in the hayloft, hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food costs extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

SW ArtsFest
Where: Southwest DC (several venues)
When: September 28
Admission: Free
This annual celebration will highlight art and culture in Washington’s smallest quadrant, Southwest. The lineup of festivities will include a central art market, music, dance, film screenings, walking tours, and more. Find more details here.

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms
When: September 28 – October 31, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free
Great Country is known for it’s awesome festivals, and the Pumpkion Harvest is sure to be no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a schedule of activities here.

Marker-Miller Orchards – Multiple Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in September and October
Admission: Free
There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with three different festivals taking place. It starts with the Fall Farm Fun Festival September 28-29, which will include apple-picking, wagon rides, a cow train, and music. Next is the Apple Harvest Festival October 12-13 offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. Finally, October 26 is the Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

20th Annual Fall For Fairfax KidFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: October 5, 10am – 7pm & October 6, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds
When: September 28, 11am – 10pm & September 29, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $5, free for ages 2 and under
The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of kids activities here. This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field
When: October 5, 10am – 6pm
Admission: Free
The neighborhood’s 7th annual festival will celebrate the season and the community. There will family activities, live entertainment, local artists and vendors, food, and fun. More detailsand the schedule of events is available here.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, Md
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities
While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! Of course, you still pay for pumpkins and cider. And can’t-miss caramel apples.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, DC, Eats, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

2012 Fall Celebrations from City Streets to Country Farms

A scenic ride on the Clark's Elioak Farm cow train

 

Fall is right around the corner, and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it, celebrating everything from the season to neighborhoods to medieval times. Enjoy local art and culture, pick pumpkins and take a hayride on the farm, eat turkey legs with characters straight out of the 16th century. Most of the hoopla begins in a couple weeks, but you can start planning now with this list of fall festivals. (And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the National Book Festival — I’ll post details for that soon — but if there are any other good ones I’ve missed, feel free to let me know in the comments.)

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where:
Revel Grove in Crownsville, Md.
When:
Weekends through October 21
Admission:
Thru 9/16: $17/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/21: $22/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under.
Take a day trip back to medieval times at Renn Fest. Besides the amazing variety of entertainment — jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters and sword swallowers, juggling acts, Celtic music, and much more — walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in puffy shirts in a 16th-century village as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an interesting little jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy (well, maybe not the mead). Get a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, Md
When: September 1 – November 4, Fridays 5-11pm, Saturdays 10am – 11pm, Sundays 11am – 7pm
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under
Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, corn maze, animals, hill slides, and plenty more. And right now, you can get it all at a discount with this LivingSocial deal: Get four general admission tickets for $20!

Adams Morgan Day Festival
Where: 18th Street NW, between Columbia and Florida Avenues
When: September 9
Admission: Free
Celebrate one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods.  The 34th Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival offers a day full of music, art, culture, dancing, and more.  Arts on Belmont will feature original artisans and a variety of art mediums. The Green Pavilion will house eco-friendly wares and vendors. The Health & Fitness Pavilion will showcase clinic and hospital services, holistic and exercise regimens, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.  Little ones will love the Kids Fair at the Marie Reed School field with loads of games, bounces, face painting.  Details and the schedule of performances are available on the festival website.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: September 8 – October 28
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under
The website promises a wonderful farm experience, and from the looks of it, they’ll make good on it. The long list of amusement includes hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). The apple picking also comes highly recommended.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm

Where: Ellicott City, Md.
When: Ongoing, pumpkin patch is open September 24 – November 6, 10am – 5pm daily
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free
This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds scattered with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, a reptile show, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Ticonderoga Farm Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Chantilly, VA
When: September 15 – November 4, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $8.95/weekdays, $14.95/holiday and weekends
This festival has all the trappings for a fun on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more (seriously, see the entire list here). The Cow Pow Train, Jump and Bounce Pillow, face painting, and some children’s games are available weekends only, but there’s obviously plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE
When: September 15, 12-7pm
Admission: Free
The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving corridor has lots to celebrate this year — the completion of the streetscape project, the opening of many new businesses along the corridor, and the survival of the businesses that have been part of the community for years. The event will feature live entertainment on five stages, including a kids stage; art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 17th Street NW, from Riggs Place to P Street
When: September 22, 12-6pm
Admission: Free
This free event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor and surrounding community with musical performances throughout the afternoon, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone, exposure for non-profit groups and appearances by city officials to celebrate the community and businesses.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 22-23, September 29 – October 31, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $9/weekdays, $14/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up
This festival is huge. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains five slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and more. It’s a blast, especially the giant slide that takes you swooping down several humps over a hillside. (That’s right, I know firsthand because parents can enjoy many of the festival activities just as much as kids.) There is also a Kiddie Zone, especially for little ones aged 5 and under.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill
When: September 22, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free
Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. This years details will be available soon, but we can likely count on tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids (clowns, magicians, face painting, and more). And chefs from all branches of the military will be back again for a Military Culinary Competition. Check their website soon for updated info.

Butler’s Orchards 32nd Annual Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, Md
When: Saturdays & Sundays September 29 – October 28, 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10, free for children 2 and under
Kids will love jumping in the hayloft, hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food costs extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

SW ArtsFest
Where: Southwest DC (several venues)
When: September 29
Admission: Free
This annual celebration will highlight art and culture in Washington’s smallest quadrant, Southwest. The lineup of festivities will include a central art market, music, dance, film screenings, walking tours, and more. Find more details here.

Great Country Farms Fall Harvest Festival
Where: Bluemont, VA
When: September 29 – October 28, 9am – 6pm daily
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free
Great Country is known for it’s awesome festivals, and the Fall Harvest is sure to be no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a schedule of activities here.

Marker-Miller Orchards – Multiple Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in September and October
Admission: Free
There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with three different festivals taking place. It starts with the Fall Farm Fun Festival September 22-23, which will include apple-picking, wagon rides, a cow train, and music. Next is the Apple Harvest Festival October 6-7 offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. Finally, October 27 is the Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

20th Annual Fall For Fairfax KidFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center
When: September 29, 10am – 7pm & September 30, 10am – 5pm
Admission: Free
This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds
When: September 29, 11am – 10pm & September 30, 11am – 6pm
Admission: $5, free for ages 2 and under
The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of kids activities here.) This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: Harriet Tubman Elementary School Field
When: October 6, 11am – 3pm
Admission: Free
The neighborhood’s 6th annual festival will celebrates the season and the community. There will family activities, live entertainment, local artists and vendors, food, and fun.  Check back for more details soon.

Larriland Farm Fall Festival
Where: Woodbine, MD
When: All through October, Weekdays 9am – 6pm, Weekends 9am – 5pm,
Admission: Free, but there may be fees for some activities
Enjoy the changing colors of the season as you select a pumpkin, pick apples from the orchard, take a hayride (weekends only), and find your way through a straw maze. Kids ages 4-9 can play in the Boo Barn filled with animated (but not too scary) ghosts and goblins.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, Md
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities
While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! Of course, you still pay for pumpkins and cider. And caramel apples.

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Ongoing, Outdoor, Play, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend