Fall is just about here and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it. And in the DC area, they celebrate everything from the season to communities to cuisine to historic times. Enjoy local art and culture, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and play on the farm, savor local and international food, take a time trip back a few centuries… Some of the fun has already begun, and even more will start over the next few weeks. This list of festivals, ordered by start date, will help you plan for it all. Happy Fall!
Corn Maze & Apple Harvest
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: Through September 30
Admission: $12-16/adult, $10-14/child, free/2 & under
September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and apple picking. You can celebrate it with apple picking, award-winning apple cider donuts, a romp in the 12-acre play area, and in the Stories from the Stars Corn Maze where you can learn about the constellations of the Zodiac. On weekends, there’s live music, marshmallow roasting, pig races, and cider pressing demos, too!
Fall at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, MD
When: Tuesday – Sunday through November 6
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 adorned 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 even more. Hours are 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Friday; 10am – 5:30pm Saturday & Sunday. Closed Mondays.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 23
Admission: Thru 9/11: $24/age 16+, $12/age 7-15
9/17-10/23: $30/age 16+, $15/age 7-15 | free/6 & under
It may not be your typical fall festival with hayrides and pumpkins, but this medieval time trip that began in late August and gets a huge endorsement from me as the best annual events of the season. 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, plus slides, play areas, and games. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century Tudor 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. Huzzah!
Fall Fun Fest
Where: Gaver Farm | Mt. Airy, MD
When: Through October 31
Admission: $12.50/weekdays, $17.50/Sept wknds 19.75/Oct wknds
Celebrate the arrival of fall in Frederick, MD, with farm activities for the whole family family and other great seasonal traditions. Conquer twists and turns of the corn maze, jump on the giant pillow, pet and feed farm animals, and cruise down giant slides. There are over 60 attractions appropriate for any age including mini mazes, playgrounds, duck races, ball games, photo centers, and much more.
Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 17-18, September 24 – November 7
Admission: $10-25 depending on dates
This festival is enormous! So big I recommend giving the website a good look to help prepare and navigate your way around the sprawling grounds that contain multiple slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and much 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, especially on weekends.
Falls Church Festival
Where: City Hall Campus | Falls Church, VA
When: September 17, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but tastes and rides are a fee
The 46th Annual Falls Church Festival returns to The Little City with plenty of family fun. It features The Taste of Falls Church, a beer garden, live music, children’s entertainment, plus booths of local crafters, businesses, and civic organizations.
Where: Belvedere Plantation | Fredericksburg, VA
When: September 17 – November 7
This heritage farm has loads to keep the whole gang entertained for hours. The Maize maze, slides, hayrides, ziplines, pumpkin patch, playground, flower picking, jumping pillow are just some of the attractions that little ones will love. Plan to eat there — the Red Rooster Grill offers a variety of grilled favorites to satisfy all appetites.
H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE, DC
When: September 17, 12-7pm
The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is returning! This one is always huge — so beware that there could be a crowd — and there is tons to see and do. In past years, the event has featured 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 children’s activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is highly recommended, as parking is always difficult.
Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: September 17-18
Admission: $28/adult, $15/age 6-11, free/5 & under
At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts, and entertainment. Take in the sights and sounds of it all on Mount Vernon’s 12-acre field and chat with colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares. Colonial music transports you back to the 18th century as experts demonstrate period crafting techniques. And you can see General Washington in the General’s Tent. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family! Read more about Mount Vernon here.
Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Weekends September 17 – November 6
Admission: $12, free/2 & under
Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, farm-themed games and rides, and much more. Some of the festivities are add-ons, so plan to spend extra. They also offer field trips and birthday parties, something to keep in mind for autumn-born children. And a tip based on our experience there: Do not miss the 7-acre corn maze. It’s EPIC.
Homecoming at Abe’s Place
Where: President Lincoln’s Cottage | Petworth, DC
When: September 17, 9am – 6pm
Admission: Free for Family Day, $40 for the 5k
Lincoln’s Cottage is once again combining their two popular events, the Freedom 5K and Family Day, into one full day of racing and family fun: Homecoming! During the Civil War the Lincoln family called the Cottage home. This year they welcome everyone back “home” to join in a full day of activities where you can run, walk, and play like Lincoln. There will be arts and crafts, pony rides and a petting zoo, hands-on activities for young learners, cottage tours, and picnic ops. Go for just the race, just Family Day activities, or stick around to enjoy both!
Pumpkin Village Fall Fest
Where: Leesburg Animal Park | Leesburg, VA
When: September 17 – November 6
Admission: $16.95-20.95/adult, $14.95-17.95/child, free/2 & under
The animals are usually the main draw at the park, but this time of year, there are activities galore that bring visitors to enjoy some seasonal fun. Year after year, families, groups, and schools spend a crisp fall day enjoying loads of great activities such as giant hill slides, hay rides, moon bounces, pedal carts, and more.
Fall Adventures at Summers Farm
Where: Frederick, MD
When: September 17 – October 31
With so much farm fun, there undoubtedly will be something to excite every kid. A pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, straw mountains, a mini obstacle course, even a campfire area if you want to “chill” out. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden | Lusby, MD
When: September 17-18
Admission: $10, free/age 11 & under
Celebrate the visual and performing arts at this event that brings together the country’s most accomplished artists for a fabulous weekend extravaganza of the arts! Set amidst the spectacular backdrop of the beautiful woods of Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Artsfest is a unique art experience with a multitude of artist booths, 35 performers on four stages, creative fun for kids, artist demos, and great food and drink. Read more about Annmarie Sculpture Garden here and here.
Where: The Boro | Tysons, VA
When: September 17
Celebrate Oktoberfest early at The Boro. Join an afternoon of fall-themed festivities, including outdoor games, crafts, and a special Polka concert by The TKO Band (dirndls and lederhosen optional!). Embroidered pins, a glitter tattoo station, pretzel necklace making, and plenty of IG-worthy photo ops will be part of the fun. Registration is encouraged.
Where: 800 block of Upshur St. NW | Petworth, DC
When: September 18, 11am – 5pm
This free neighborhood festival is organized by and for the residents of Petworth, but all are welcome to enjoy. Celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, and people of Petworth and its surrounding neighborhoods, festivities include Petworth history storytelling, live music and performers, kids activities, tasty food, and a dog show. View the schedule here.
Where: Pennsylvania Ave. 9th to 14th Streets | Downtown, DC
When: September 24-25
Celebrate Latino culture at the 50th Annual Fiesta DC. On both days of the weekend, Pennsylvania Avenue from the Navy Memorial Plaza to Freedom Plaza will be filled will lively festivities, including stages featuring a variety of performances, children’s activities, international cuisine, arts & crafts, and more!
Susquehanna Wine & Seafood Festival
Where: Concord Point Lighthouse | Havre de Grace, MD
When:September 24, 12-7pm
Experience some Maryland’s best seafood in a fun, casual, waterfront setting at the 2nd Annual Susquehanna Wine & Seafood Festival. The family-friendly event will feature 20+ local restaurants and food trucks, each serving signature seafood dishes. Along with the culinary offerings, the festival will feature live music, a family zone, cooking demos by local chefs, wine pairings, mixology demos, unique shopping, and more fun.
Mosaic’s Fall Festival
Where: Mosaic District | Fairfax, VA
When: September 24-25
The big shopping enter in Fairfax is hosting a fall event. Festivities include live entertainment and musical performances; the FRESHFARM Farmers Market with 50+ vendors; the URBNmarket with 90 handmade and vintage vendors; beer and wine gardens; kids activities like bouncy fun, balloons, and face painting; plus more special activities for all.
Farm Market Fall Fest
Where: Reston Farm Market | Reston, VA
When: September 24 – October 30
Admission: $28/child, $7/adult
Celebrate the season and have fun at the Reston Farm Market. Bring the whole fam for all kinds of activities, including train rides, a petting zoo, a learning maze, bouncy fun, and more. Get ready to pick a pumpkin, pansies, and mums as well. Seasonal produce will be available for purchase, and food trucks will be there with concessions on weekends. Visits will be offered in 90-minute sessions.
PYO Pumpkins & Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, VA
When: September 24 – November 7
The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, pick out a pumpkin, watch piggies race, bounce around, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slides, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more. Plan on lunch from the Feed Trough and stock up on fresh farm goods from the Food Stall.
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
Where: Middletown, MD
When: September 24 – October 31
Admission: Free/weekdays, $12/Saturday & Sunday
Pick out a pumpkin and enjoy other fun activities for little ones at this 131-acre farm. A 15-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. Some activities may cost extra, and note that only pumpkin picking and pony rides are available Monday – Friday.
Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: September 24-25
Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music and great food! The historic town will close its street and host over 200 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore! Located just 20 minutes south of DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.
Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, MD
When: Wednesday – Sunday, September 24 – October 30
Admission: $10-12/weekdays, $12-17/weekends
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!
Where: Larriland Farm | Woodbine, MD
When: Late September thru October
Admission: Free (fee for some activities)
Larriland is best known for their PYO fields, but in the fall, they offer a little more for farm-goers. Take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to find a potential jack-o-lantern, then play in the Boo Barn or make your way through the straw maze. Apple fritters and food trucks are available on Saturdays and Sundays.
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms | Bluemont, VA
When: October 1-31
Admission: $10-12/adult $8-10/child, free/2 & under
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; Oinkintucky Derby pig races; a cow train; wagon rides to pick pumpkins; five mazes; big slides; rope swings; tractor rides; and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, one of the largest u-pick patches in the area. See allllll of the many activities here.
Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, MD
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: $3 (extra fro 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. The good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is cheap! You still pay for pumpkins and cider – and their can’t-miss caramel apples.
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds, MD
When: October 1
Admission: $12/age 13+, $5/ages 3-12, free for 2 and under
The Frederick Fairgrounds once again will be 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, and musical entertainment. Note that Friday night is 21+ only.
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: September 30 – October 2
It’s that time of year… put on your dirndl or lederhosen, grab your Dachshund, and head to The Wharf for a weekend of free Oktoberfest festivities. Kick it off with Polka dance lessons on the pier and cheer on the dogs competing in the 10th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash to benefit Rural Dog Rescue. Throughout the weekend, enjoy German fare, Bavarian decor and costumes, and Sam Adam Octoberfest beer for adults. Hours are Friday 7-9pm, Saturday and Sunday: 2-5pm.
Adams Morgan PorchFest
Where: Adams Morgan, DC
When: October 1, 2-6pm
Get the best seats in the house (or on the sidewalk) as the front porches of homes and store fronts of local businesses are transformed into intimate performance spaces to be enjoyed by anyone who happens to stroll by. Enjoy a variety of music styles from over 60 bands playing on porches, patios, and stoops in the neighborhood. Music maps are usually available at the corner of Adams Mill and Columbia Road NW on Porchfest Day.
Art on the Avenue
Where: Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray | Alexandria, VA
When: October 1, 10am – 6pm
Celebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival. Numerous artists — jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians — will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival — there will be crafts especially for young festival-goers to enjoy and take home. Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.
Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: October 8-9-10 & 22
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 9-10, offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: multiple varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 23 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.
Bethesda Row Arts Festival
Where: Downtown Bethesda, MD
When: October 8-9
All ages are welcome to join one of the region’s most exciting and esteemed outdoor festivals. Bethesda Row’s Shopping and Entertainment District is transformed into an outdoor art gallery, featuring more than 200 juried fine arts and crafts from artists around the nation.
College Park Day
Where: College Park Aviation Museum | College Park, MD
When: October 15, 12-6pm
Join friends, neighbors, and the entire City of College Park community at the Annual College Park Day Festival. This FREE event is fun for the whole family. Details for 2022 are still to come, but past years have included live music and bands, awesome kids zones, delicious food and drink, a variety of performers, helicopter fly-ins, exhibitors, and much more.
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: October 16, 11am – 7pm
Celebrate Turkish heritage and culture on the streets of DC! The free event will include live music, folk dancing performances, kids games, arts & crafts, cultural events, and more. Enjoy authentic Turkish cuisines and shop Turkish ceramic bowls, carpets, and other cultural items from local vendors.
Where: Schlagel Farm | Waldorf, MD
When: Weekends in October
The farm known for its strawberry picking in spring also welcomes guests to pick out pumpkins in the fall. Hayrides, farm animals to visit, and small slides, and a straw maze give kids a little extra fun, too. More details available soon!
Have a favorite festival you don’t see listed here? Let us know about it in the comments!