By Rheanna Christine, National Guard Spouse

Fall can be an exciting and fun time in Northern Virginia. In fact, it might be my favorite time of year here. Growing up in California I had the perks of wearing flip flops year round, and getting away with a light jacket in the coldest parts of winter. Moving to Virginia and experiencing all the seasons, separated out in all their glory has been a lot of fun. Even though you might run into some rain and some cold winds, there is never a shortage of indoor and outdoor activities to take part in. Don’t forget that you are a stone’s throw from Washington, D.C., which has its own wonderful adventures. Here is our list of Northern Virginia Fall events.

Fall Festivals and Funtober

The Northern Virginia area (to include Maryland and DC) in Fall is the place to be. Fall Festivals are our jam here! We like our food and our folk life, and there are festivals dedicated to just those two things in October in November.

  • Richmond Folk Life Festival – October 13 – 15th – This is a free, three-day event with over 30 performers, kids activities, folk art marketplace and regional and ethnic foods.
  • Cox Farms Festival – Opens September 16th! Cox Farms is our favorite place to go with the kids. Pick your pumpkins, taste some fresh cider, take a hayride and check out some of their amazing slides and fun activities for the kids. You might even see some baby animals. It’s a great day for the entire family.
  • Temple Hall Farm Festival – Opens September 29th in Loudoun County. Come to Temple Hall for their Corn Maize (Day or Night!), Pumpkin Blaster, Paint Ball Galley and pick your own pumpkin.
  • Fall for the Book Festival – October 11-14th, Fairfax, Virginia – Come meet some of your favorite authors, including Valerie Tripp (American Girl Author), with fun for all ages of readers at the Fall for the Book Festival.
  • Fall Foliage Tours in Maryland – You can officially be a “leafer” and head one state up to take a tour of the beautiful trees in Maryland. I would also recommend the drive from Virginia to West Virginia for some great foliage views.

Wine Tasting

  • Come visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, for a wine tasting and a sunset tour.
  • Haunted Wine Tasting at Bull Run Taste some amazing Wine on a Civil War Battlefield. Tours available every weekend in October.
  • Ten wineries offer samples and the opportunity to purchase more than 100 varieties of wine from Virginia at the Fredericksburg Area Wine Festival – Nov 4 and Nov 5. Beer garden, food vendors, live music, arts & crafts and more.

Craft Fairs

A list of Northern Virginia Fall events wouldn’t be complete without Craft Shows! Here are some of our favorites!

  • Craftsman’s Classic Fall Art and Crafts Show – Held at the Dulles Expo Center October 20-22 – A craft show for every budget, with over a hundred artisans and crafters.
  • Fredericksburg Fall Home and Craft Festival – Your one-stop shop for a home remodel, redecorating and getting that Christmas shopping done. With admission under $10, and kids free, it’s a fun day of food and holiday shopping for the whole family. October 21 – 22
  • The 28th Annual Holiday Craft Show at Fairfax High School is a great way to start your holiday shopping! Nov 18 to Nov 19.
  • Holiday Extravaganza Candy Cane Kids Fun Run & Craft Show– Kick off your holiday season with a Fun Run with Santa then enjoy a day of holiday shopping, entertainment, and food at South County High School in Lorton on Saturday, Dec 2 9a-3p. Military and Veteran families are admitted FREE!

October Fest

Head to Maryland for October Fest! Choose between Baltimore or Berlin, MD for a day’s event on the 14th. You can get free Admission to Fredrick, Maryland’s Octoberfest the 21st and 22nd. Ocean City, Maryland needs two weekends for their Fest events, the weekend of the 21st and the 29th.

Author: Rheanna Christine is a National Guard spouse currently based in Washington, DC. When she isn’t writing, she stays at home with her three children. She has been featured in Military Spouse Magazine, USA Today, and National Guard and Reserve Magazine. In 2016, she co-founded and launched SpouseTalks, an interactive forum targeted to all branches of the Guard and Reserves, with the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). She and her high school sweetheart hubby have been living this military life for almost fifteen years. Visit her blog at