Every year it always seems like there is never enough time to fit in all the fun fall activities for the end of the season. And as we’re now at the start of the new season, it’s the perfect time to clear your calendar and plan for the 15 activities on our fall bucket list.
1. Drive Skyline Drive at peak foliage. This scenic drive gets 25 percent of its annual visitors in the month of October. And for good reason. Don’t miss the panoramic view of the changing trees at one of the many lookout points.
2. Enjoy a haunted wine tour. Visit the Winery at Bull Run and take in the Halloween spirit with one of their haunted wine tours. Tours take place weekly on select days from October 3rd to November 3rd.
3. Going to a concert. Don’t miss Alice in Chains and Breaking Benjamin at Jiffy Lube Live on October 5.
4. Decorate Halloween cookies. Sign up for a Halloween sugar cookie decorating class at Fran’s Cake and Candy Supplies. Learn how to make your own icing and how to fill/line your cookies. Classes are open to students aged 13 and over or aged 10-12 accompanied by an adult.
5. Go to a showing of Frankenstein. What could be more Halloween than Frankenstein? Watch Nextstop Theater Company in Herndon’s take on the iconic story Friday-Sunday from October 21.
6. Be ‘basic’ with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Come on. Is it really autumn if you haven’t given in to it? a Pumpkin spice latte? Try Commonwealth Joe’s version of the fall favorite in Arlington.
7. Support local vendors and artisans at a fall festival. Festivals just struck differently in early fall. And one thing’s for sure, there’s no shortage of fall festivals in the NoVA area to explore. For example, visit the City of Fairfax Fall Festival on October 8.
8. Conquer the fields of fear in Centerville. Looking for thrills this Halloween season? Visit Cox Farms from September 23 and dare to try not only the Fields of Fear, but also their Dark Side Hayride and Cornightmare. The fairgrounds also feature bonfires, a six-lane slide, music, tasty treats and more.
9. Visit the Pumpkin Pop-Up and Halloween Experience. Join Tysons Corner Center on October 15 and 16 for some wine tasting, live pumpkin carving demos, a farmers market, music, food and more.
10. Give back to the community. Celebrate the season and give back with the Costumes for Kids Fall Volunteer Festival hosted by Kids Give Back on October 15. Participants in this unique festival will help prepare 80 storybook character costumes for children attending Title 1 schools, make fleece blankets for an animal shelter, and make decorative pumpkins for donation.
11. Attend Dogtoberfest with your best furry friend. Who says Oktoberfest is just for humans? This fun event is sure to do some wagging. Dogtoberfest at Shipgarten takes place on October 22 and features vendors, dog adoption, and over 50 different beers to sample.
12. Taste an apple butter cinnamon donut. Fall is all about the tasty treats that only hit the market around this time of year. We’re sure you’ve heard of the delicious apple cider donuts, but have you tried an apple butter cinnamon? Trust us, it’s a game changer. Visit the Apple House in Linden and try one of these famous donuts for yourself.
13. Paint a pumpkin for a good cause. Join the fun at the IFDA – DC’s Pumpkin Painting Educational Foundation’s mini fundraiser on October 18. Organized by B&F Ceramics, this ticketed event includes an Instagram contest for “Best Pumpkin” (with a prize) and wine and small bites.
14. Make up your best Halloween costume. Channel your favorite TV show character or get a little creepy when you see the 3. entersrd Annual Halloween costume and dance party at Ned Devine’s Restaurant & Irish Pub.
15. Take part in a Halloween parade. The city of Vienna has been organizing a Halloween parade since 1946. Watch the 76e annual event on October 26. Fun fact: Kids and others in costume are welcome to join the march.
Megan Herr is an editor and writer living in the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Penn State University.
Sign up for our Things to Do newsletter for more fall festivities.