Where to Find the Best Fall Activities In Washington, DC

Cozy sweaters, crackling fires, and pumpkin patches are back and we are ready to enjoy every second of it. Whether you are looking for Halloween frights, friendly hayrides, apple picking, or ghost stories, we’ve got your fall checklist right here.

This post has been updated for Fall 2022 and will be updated again shortly before Labor Day and throughout the season as needed. 

Fall Fun Washington DC

Ghost Tours and Fall Activities in DC

Congressional Cemetery Tours and Other Special Events: Head to the Congressional Cemetery by the Anacostia River for stories about great Americans. Enjoy tours every Saturday at 11 and Sunday at 1 in September and October ($5/person) or audio tours anytime. Reservations and masks are required. Plus, look out for other special events like Tomes & Tombs Book Club (September 13), Soul Strolls (October 14, 21, & 28), and a Dead Man 5K (October 28). 

DC Ghost Tours: DC Ghost Tours offers a 60-minute, 8 stop ghost tour starting at the Treasury Building. This tour is full of spooky stories about DC but not too scary for little ones. Tickets start at $20.99 for adults year-round. 

Snallygaster: Snallygaster is back along Pennsylvania Ave on October 8 from 2 to 6 pm. $65 gets you unlimited tastings of beer, wine, and cocktails. Plus, enjoy food trucks and live music. 

Fall Treats: Where to find fall coffee, donuts and other treats from local shops.

  • Astro Doughnuts (Metro Center, Shaw pop-up, and Falls Church): order seasonal flavors like maple bacon and carrot cake 
  • District Doughnuts (various locations in DC): Find fall flavors like pumpkin spice, apple cinnamon, sweet potato pie, and maple butter pecan.
  • Georgetown Cupcakes (Bethesda and Georgetown): Georgetown Cupcakes rotates the menu monthly but you can find fall flavors in October like pumpkin spice, pumpkin cheesecake, Halloween surprise, and classic flavors with spooky decorations. 
  • Milk Bar: Milk Bar has an incredible lineup of fall treats including apple cider doughnut cakes truffles and an apple cider doughnut cake. This is a perfect addition to any fall celebrations. Or a special treat for yourself!
 
Leaf Peeping: Some of the best parks to enjoy the changing leaves in DC area Rock Creek Park, Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, Theodore Rosevelt Island, and The National Arboretum.

Pumpkin Patches and Festivals in Virginia

Leaf Peeping: There are many large parks in Virginia where you can enjoy the changing leaves. Some of our favorites include Burke Lake, Sky Meadows State Park, Lake Accotink, Mount Vernon, Great Falls, and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. 

Alexandria Colonial Tours: Follow guides dressed in 18th-century costumes as they led you through Old Town by lantern light. Enjoy stories of Old Town’s history, ghosts, and folklore. Tours are available March – November and a few days near Christmas. For COVID, tours are limited to 9 people and run Wednesday to Sunday at 7:30 plus 8:30 and 9:30 on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for ages 7 to 17, and free for children under 6. Read about our visit.

Reston Fall Festival and Market: The Reston Fall Festival is located off of Leesburg Pike with plenty of parking. Pick up your favorite fall treats, produce, and flowers. Plus, take your little ones to enjoy the fall festival with a maze, train ride, balloon animals, and more. All children’s tickets include a free pumpkin. The festival runs from September 24 to October 31 for 90 minute time slots. 

Fall Wine Festival and Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon: Enjoy Mount Vernon from the perspective of winemaking and drinking October 7-9 from 6 to 9 pm. Bring a blanket to enjoy the sunset while you sample 20 Virginia wines, enjoy music, and learn some history. Tickets start at $43 for members and $53 for non-members. Bring your mask and hand sanitizer. For little history buffs, take your kids trick-or-treating on October 29 from 2:00 – 6:00 pm. Enjoy music, candy, and photo opportunities. Tickets (general public) are $15/child and $25/adults. Other events include multiple dates for Whiskey Tastings and The Fall Harvest Festival on October 22-23, 

Cox Farms: Cox Farms opens on September 17 with a pre-sale beginning September 1.  Join them on September 17-18 and then from September 24 to November 8. Enjoy food, music, slides, a hayride, pumpkins, and a corn maze. Open Thursday to Monday. Check the site for discount days. 

Field of Fear, a haunted, after-hours version of Cox Farm opens on Friday and Saturday from September 23 to November 5 with bonus Sunday times on October 9 and 23. Brave the haunted corn maze, hayride, forest, and fairgrounds. Not recommended for young children. 

Back Home on the Farm: This pumpkin patch is a trek from DC but worth it for fewer crowds and a day in the Shenandoah Valley. Here you’ll find a petting zoo, pig races, a carousel, games, and a huge corn maze. Don’t forget to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch! Tickets are $12 daily. The fall season is long – September 6 to October 30. Read about our visit!

Belvedere Plantation: Join Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg for pig races, a giant slide, a corn maze, pedal tractor rides, a zipline, a petting zoo, and of course a hayride to the pumpkin patch.  The plantation also has a market where you can purchase jams, pies, cider, and even pumpkin carving supplies. Open Thursday – Sunday from September 17 to November 6. 

Blue Ridge Mountain Maze: Corn Maze in the Plains has moved to a new location in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Wood Ridge Farm Brewery. They will be open for hayrides, pumpkin picking, and maze navigating Friday-Sunday from September 24  to November 6. Tickets are $12 with discounts on Fridays. Plus, don’t miss a chance to enjoy the maze at night! 

Haunted Hallow: Follow the trail through this haunted farm in Warrenton if you dare! Find spooky surprises and unexpected characters.  All ages are welcome but it might be too spooky for little ones under 13. Open Fridays and Saturdays from September 30 to October 29 Tickets are $20/person. Most nights sell out so grab a time slot early. All visitors must be in groups of at least 2 people. 

Hollin Farms: At Hollin Farms, you’ll not only find pick-your-own apples and pumpkins but also dig your own potatoes and peanuts! The farm is open for fall picking in September and October. No reservations are required but they recommend calling ahead on the day you plan to visit to assess the crowds and conditions of the crops. 

Virginia Wine Festival: Trade an afternoon in a field of pumpkins for grapes at the Virginia Wine Festival in Ashburn on October 1-2. Get advanced, general admission tickets for $39 including tasting glass, unlimited wine, and cider tasting, and music! Oysters, food trucks, and beer are available at an additional cost.

Great Country Farms: Head to Bluemont, VA to pick your apples or pumpkins this season! Grab tickets early during the fall season because weekends will sell out. Or join them for the Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival from October 1-31, 2022 including live music, fall treats, and a play area. 

Stribling Orchard: This orchard in Markham, VA has apples from August to October. Join them rain or shine from Wednesday-Sunday for apple picking from 9 to 5 (last entry at 4:30). Plus, don’t miss their store with jams, honey, and ham. On weekends, Stribling Orchard welcomes partner vendors like Whistle Pop Kettle Corn, C&C Frozen Treats, Naked Mountain Winery, Chateau O’Brien Winery, Cobbler Mountain Cider, plus live music.

Pumpkin Patches and Ghost Tours in Maryland

Markoff’s Forest: One of the scariest haunted forests in the country, Markoff’s Forest in Dickerson has been scaring folks for over 2 decades. Open Friday-Sunday from September 30 to October 31. Purchase tickets in advance for a discount.

Doc Waters Cidery: This spot in Germantown, MD has apple varieties available through September and October. Prices start at $20 for two people (about 5-6 pounds of apples). The orchard is open on weekends and the cidery is open Friday-Sunday.  

Homestead Farm: Head to Homestead Farm in Poolesville for pick-your-own apples and pumpkins! The farm is also open in the spring and summer for pick-your-own produce as well as in December for Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Admission is $3 per person plus the cost of what you pick. 

Montpelier Farms: Montpelier Farms in Upper Marlboro hosts themed events year-round. Enjoy fall activities like a maze, hayrides, and play areas for $17/person or $60/season pass. Some craft-based activities, pumpkins, and food are also available for an additional cost. Or pick up pumpkins to go and treats like apple cider donuts at the market. The farm highly recommends purchasing timed entry tickets in advance but walk-ups are considered if space allows. Open September 17-November 6. Open weekends throughout the season and every day in October. 

Butler’s Orchard: Head to the Pumpkin Festival for hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin picking, slides, and corn hole.  Open Wednesday-Sunday September 24 to October 30. Weekend admission is $17 at the gate or $12 online. Visit on a weekday for discounted rates. 

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch: Located in Middletown, Jumbo’s has a petting zoo, pony rides, a corn maze, and a hayride to the pumpkin patch. There is also a store where you can purchase jellies and bakery items as well as seasonal wreaths, crafts, and candles. Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm from September 24 to October 31. Admission includes hayrides, corn maze, petting zoon, and games. Pay as you go for pumpkins, food, corn canon, and face painting. Read about our visit! 

Summer’s Farm: This farm in Frederick is full of fall activities! They have a corn maze, a pumpkin train, pig races, slides, a giant straw mountain, and a pumpkin patch. Private campfire space is also available for an additional cost.  Firework shows will also be held every Friday and Saturday night in October.  Open September 17 through October 31 for fall fun. Tickets are $17.50 (purchased online) on weekends but discounted during the week. Private campfires are also available at night. Read about our visit! 

Candlelight Ghost Tours of Frederick:  Discover the ghosts of Frederick on a walking ghost tour through the historic district or a cemetery tour! Guides share spooky stories of Frederick’s haunted past. Not recommended for smaller or easily spooked children. Tours are available year-round. Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 8-12. Each ticket comes with a 10% discount at Brewer’s Alley. Once you purchase a ticket, you will need to make a reservation for a specific date. Reservations are required to keep group sizes small.

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