Where to Find the Best Fall Activities Near 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 check list right here. (Updated to reflect 2019 information.)

Fall Fun Washington DC

Ghost Tours and Halloween Events in Washington, DC

Night at the Living Zoo: Join the National Zoo on Friday, October 25 from 7:00 to 9:30 pm for an adults only night of drinks, food trucks, music, and costumes. Advanced tickets are $40 ($30 for FONZ members) and include 2 drink tickets. For the little ones, take your kids ages 4-12 trick-or-treating at Boo at the Zoo October 18-20 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Tickets are $30 ($20 for FONZ members) and include treats, dancing, and access to the animal houses.

Washington, DC Ghost Tours: This historic tour reveals a spookier side of DC history. Guides share stories of DC’s early history filled with conspiracies, crimes, and duels. Tours run from March to mid-November in both LaFayette Park and Capitol Hill. Tickets are $17 for adults, $10 for ages 7-11, and free for children under 6.

Nightly Spirits: Nightly Spirits is a haunted pub crawl available in Old Town Alexandria (Friday – Saturday $25) and near the White House (Thursday-Saturday $25).  Hear scary stories as you visit DC pubs on this 2.5 hour walking tour. All guests must be over 21! Tickets do not include the cost of drinks.

Taste of DC: Taste of DC is one of our favorite food festivals. It is not fall themed but because it always falls in October, there is lots of pumpkin beer and fall inspired food from your favorite DC restaurants. October 26-27 – watch Groupon for discounted tickets. Check out our review from 2016.

Capital BrewFest: This festival on October 19 features an Oktoberfest feel with plenty of beer straight from Bavaria! Join them for beer, food, music, and more at The Bullpen in Navy Yard at 1:00 pm or 5 PM (3 hours sessions). General admission starts at $24 and includes unlimited tastings.

Washington International Horse Show: The Washington International Horse Show is coming to the convention center 22-27. This family friendly event will feature races, shows, and competitions. Join the festival on the 24th for a Halloween themed night. General admission starts at $25.

Pumpkin Patches and Festivals in Virginia

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 available March – November and a few days near Christmas. Tours in October run daily at 7:30 pm plus 9:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for age 7 to 17, and free for children under 6. Read about our visit.

Fall Wine Festival and Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon: Enjoy Mount Vernon from the perspective of wine making and drinking October 11-13 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 are $48 Friday, $52 Saturday, and $42 Sunday. For little history buffs, take your kids trick-or-treating on October 26 from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. Enjoy scavenger hunts, wagon rides, colonial activities, custom parade, and treats. $16 for adults, $8 for children.

Cox Farms: Located in Centreville, Cox Farms has slides, tunnels, animals, and a hayride to the pumpkin patch. Stop by the market to stock up on jams, pies, kettle corn, and other fall favors. Tickets are $20 at their peak (which is a lot!) on October weekends but check the website for weekday deals and discount days. Looking for a spookier experience? Head to Cox Farms after dark for Fields of Fear. Tickets range from $20 to $35. Cox Farm is open for spring, summer, and winter holiday festivities, but the fall fun runs from September 21 to November 5 with a preview weekend September 14-15.

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, carousel, games, and a huge corn maze. Don’t forget to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch! The farm is also open after dark on Saturdays in October for (not scary) flashlight mazes, wagon rides, and special displays.  Tickets are $10 daily. The fall season is long – August 25 to October 31. Read about our visit!

Belvedere Plantation: Join Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg for pig races, a giant slide, corn maze, petal tractor rides, zipline, a petting zoo, and of course a hayride to the pumpkin patch.  The pumpkin patch is even lit up after dark on Fridays and Saturdays for nighttime pumpkin picking! The plantation also has a market when your can purchase jams, pies, cider, and even pumpkin curving supplies. Open daily (except Monday) September 21 to November 3. Regular tickets are $19.95 in October at the gate check but buy online or visit in September for a discount.

Corn Maze in the Plains: Head to The Plains this season for corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkins, and farm animals. The season runs September 28 to November. Tickets are $12 for adults, $11 under 12, and free under 3. Also check out the maze at night from 6 to 10 pm!

Haunted Hallow: Follow the trail through this haunted farm in Warrenton if you dare! It’s filled with spooky surprises and unexpected characters.  All ages are welcome but it might be too spooky for some. Open Fridays and Saturdays September 27 through October 28. Tickets are $18 but look out for discounts opening weekend and for military folks.

Hollin Farms: At Hollin Farms, you’ll won’t only find pick-your-own apples and pumpkins but also dig your own potatoes and peanuts! The farm is open for fall picking September and October.

Virginia Wine Festival: Trade at afternoon in a field of pumpkins for grapes at the Virginia Wine Festival in Loundon October 19-20. Get advanced, general admission tickets for $39 including tasting glass, unlimited wine and cider tasting, and music! Oysters, food trucks, and beer available at an additional cost.

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.  Choose from 2 spooky trails or explore the town. The fright begins October 4 and is open weekends through November 2, plus Halloween night! Tickets range from $25 to $40. Purchase a fast pass or get their early to avoid wait times.

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 $2 per person plus the cost of what you pick.

Butler’s Orchard: Head to the Pumpkin Festival for hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin picking, slides, and corn hole.  Open weekends September 28 to October 27. Tickets are $12 per person and children under 2 are free.

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. Jumbo’s is open from September 21 to October 31 for fall festivities! $5 farm admission on Saturdays and Sunday but free on weekdays. Pay as you go for pumpkins, food, and pumpkin canon, and apple slingshot. 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. Come back at night to enjoy a campfire or brave the corn maze in the dark! Open September 21 through October 31 for fall fun. Tickets are $14 on Friday to Sunday and $9 Monday to Thursday and before 4 PM on Friday. 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 $11 for adults and $7 for children 8-12. Each ticket comes with a 10% discount at Brewer’s Alley.

About Kelley Smith 71 Articles
I'm Kelley Smith and I love sharing tips on how to best explore Washington, DC. I love pretty much anything I can eat plus really good beer and whiskey served by story telling bartenders. I also like sassy museum guides, photogenic architecture, and colorful urban gardens.

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