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.
Ghost Tours and Fall Activities in DC
Congressional Cemetery Tours: 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.
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 are $20 for adults ($24 October 10-31).
Snallygaster: Snallygaster is back along Pennsylvania Ave on October 9 from 2 to 6 pm. $60 gets you unlimited tastings of beer, wine, and cocktails. Plus, enjoy food trucks and music on two stages. Tickets are limited due to COVID so grab tickets early.
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!
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 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. Zoom tours are also available for $20 per household. Read about our visit.
Reston Fall Festival and Market: The Reston Fall Festival and main market 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. For COVID safety, you’ll need timed tickets for 90 minutes of playtime. All areas will be cleaned between time slots. The festival runs from September 24 to October 31 on Saturdays and Sundays.
Fall Wine Festival and Trick or Treating at Mount Vernon: Enjoy Mount Vernon from the perspective of winemaking and drinking October 8-10 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 30 from 2:00 – 6:00 pm. Enjoy music, candy, and photo opportunities. Tickets start at $9 for children and $17 for adults.
Cox Farms: Cox Farm in Centreville is back after an unconventional year in 2020. Join them September 18 and 19 and then September 25 to November 7. Enjoy food, music, slides, a hayride, pumpkins, and a corn maze. Closed most Tuesdays through Thursdays. Visit on Mondays or Fridays for discounted tickets.
Field of Fear, a haunted, after-hours version of Cox Farm also returns after a year off. 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, carousel, games, and a huge corn maze. Don’t forget to take a hayride to the pumpkin patch! Tickets are $10 daily. The fall season is long – September 4 to October 31. Masks required. Read about our visit!
Belvedere Plantation: Join Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg for pig races, a giant slide, corn maze, pedal tractor rides, zipline, a petting zoo, and of course a hayride to the pumpkin patch. The plantation also has a market when you can purchase jams, pies, cider, and even pumpkin carving supplies. Open daily (except Monday) September 17 to November 7. Enjoy even more food than previous years in 2021. Private campfires and hayrides will also be available for an additional cost.
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 on September 25. 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 through October 30. Tickets are $15/person. Open dusk until 10 PM.
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 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 2-3. 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.
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. Both a spooky trail and the town are back for 2021. Open select dates through October 31. Purchase tickets in advance for a discount.
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.
Montpelier Farms: Montpelier Farms in Upper Marlboro hosts themed events year-round. Enjoy fall activities like a maze, hayrides, and play areas for $12/person. 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.
Butler’s Orchard: Head to the Pumpkin Festival for hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin picking, slides, and corn hole. Open Wednesday-Sunday September 25 to October 31. Weekend admission is $17 at the gate or $12 online. Visit on a weekday for discounted rates.
Scarea 51 Haunted Car Wash: Head to Splash In eco car wash in Clinton, MD for a haunted car wash experience. The car wash has been taken over by aliens for a family-friendly event on October 21-24 and 28-31 from 6 to 10 pm. $10/members or $29/non-members. For an extra dollar, non-members can snag unlimited car washes for a month.
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch: Jumbo’s is back for 2021! 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 25 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 18 through October 31 for fall fun. Tickets are $17 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 $14 for adults and $8 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.