October is sure to be jam-packed with events for you and the family.
Fall sports are in full swing, school is back in session and we’re inching closer and closer to the holidays, or as some might consider it, the pinnacle of busy season.
But if you happen to have a few hours not yet penciled in on the calendar, here are some local events worth enjoying as a family this weekend.
Amazing Farm Fun at Ticonderoga’s Fall Pumpkin Festival
Through Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
You’ve been meaning to get the kids to a local farm to celebrate animals and local agriculture, and now is your chance. Ticonderoga is ready to host everyone with its rotating hayrides, family snapshots, huge jumping pillows, toddler play areas and more. Get out there and let the kids climb, jump, play and wear themselves out with all of the fun fall activities, and make sure to get your Instagrammable family photos! // Ticonderoga Farms: 26469 Ticonderoga Road, Chantilly; $11-$18 per person
The Ultimate Willy Wonka Party with Live Q&A
Oct. 4, 7 p.m.
It’s not your imagination, you can actually watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory this weekend as a family, and ask all of your burning questions to Paris Themmen (Mike Teavee) and Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) about what it was like to film the sweet and colorful original movie in 1971, with twists and tricks on- and off-screen. Maybe you want to know what happened to Veruca Salt after she was dumped down the Bad Egg Chute, or how it felt to be so tiny as Mike Teavee. Nonetheless, you and the family can enjoy the show and head home with a special edition Wonka poster signed by the two original actors after a serendipitous night. // Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: 20575 Wasthampton Plaza, Ashburn; $31.50 per person
Disney On Ice’s Road Trip Adventures
Oct. 4-6, times vary
Catch all of your favorite Disney characters on the ice in their newest show, Road Trip Adventures, and tag along with Mickey Mouse as he travels to see all of his friends from near and far. Guests will travel with Moana to the warm beaches of Motu Nui and to the adventurous areas of the Pride Lands with Simba, while catching the dizzying spins, gravity-defying jumps and risk-taking tricks of performers throughout the entire show. Plus, look out for face-to-face interactions with Toy Story characters and more. // Eagle Bank Arena: 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; $20-plus
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Through Oct. 27, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Up the ante on your fall activities and get them all in at Great Country Farms. Head to the field for apple picking or grab your carving pumpkins for Halloween, and enjoy all the farm has to offer. Apple cider doughnuts, pig races, a P-Rex dinosaur show, marshmallow roasting, pumpkin cannons and so much more. And if you dare, get lost in this year’s corn maze, which celebrates the 50th anniversaries of the 1969 moon landing, the Woodstock festival, the “Virginia is for Lovers” tagline and the city’s own Bluemont Fair. // Great Country Farms: 18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont; $10 child, $12 adult
Jack’s Pumpkin GLOW
Oct. 3-27, times vary
As if you can ever get enough of the photo-worthy fall events, take a walk through Lake Fairfax Park and gaze at its transformation into a pumpkin wonderland. Six-thousand hand-carved pumpkins of all shapes and sizes have been designed with familiar faces, spooky skeletons and quirky quotes that the whole family can enjoy. If you’re wondering just how much work it took to get that many customized pumpkins to Reston, read our exclusive interview with the head carver, Will Teran, here. // Lake Fairfax Park: 1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston; $16.99-$19.99 children, $22.99-$29.99 adults
Pumpkin Village at Leesburg Animal Park
Through Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Another fall festival, you say? Yes, and this one has wagon rides, giant hill slides, pedal carts, a kiddie zip line, moon bounces, pony rides, live animals and rotating live entertainment throughout the weekend for the entire family to enjoy. Kids can have their faces painted, ride a camel, grab a free small pumpkin from the farm market and down a fresh apple and snack. As if that isn’t enough, kids can also play around in the corn bin (the fall version of a sandbox), run through the hay maze or check out all of the unique animals at the park. It’s sure to be a blast. // Leesburg Animal Park: 19246 James Monroe Highway, Leesburg; $13-$17
Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Little learners love to get their hands dirty, especially when it means finding something to dig up. Mount Vernon will kick off Archaeology Month with special demonstrations, a grounds tour and hands-on activities for all ages. Everyone will have the opportunity to meet Mount Vernon’s very own archaeologists who have worked to uncover stories of the Washingtons, as well as the enslaved people and indigenous people who lived on the property. Through the archaeology-specific grounds tour, guests can also visit several archaeological sites and learn about the excavations that continue to help us understand the property’s history. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; $12-$20 per person
37th Annual Fall Jubilee
Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Downtown Manassas will transform for its 37th celebration with over 100 craft and community vendors, live music and entertainment for all ages. Not only can kids get their hands on interactive games, adults can browse one-of-a-kind artwork from local artisans and everyone can enjoy performances from local dance studios and music groups throughout the day. Plus, entry is free and when you tire of the crowds, you can stop by your favorite downtown stores and grab local fare when the family gets hungry. // Historic Downtown Manassas: 3201 Center St., Manassas; free
Open Climb at Summit Ropes
Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
If you’re looking for a new way to get the entire family up and moving, this is it. Help the whole family conquer their fear of heights, or just reach further to the sky as everyone gets strapped in and ready to climb in the largest indoor ropes course in the United States. Not only will the family get to climb walls and stretch their muscles, anyone willing to take a leap of faith can swing from the monkey bars (think, an elevated recess time for the kids), tip-toe their way across different pathways and see the entire facility from new heights. // Summit Ropes: 44810 Old Ox Road, Sterling; $16-$40 per person
Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey
Oct. 6, 1 p.m.
Glow-in-the-dark puppets. Need we say more? For all of the space-enthusiasts or moon-loving kiddos, this event will feature the flow-in the-dark puppets and electro-luminescent wire to create an out-of-this-world performance that teaches everyone about Marvin, an outcast mouse who blasts off to the moon in his homemade rocket, and encounters all sorts of creatures and challenges along the way. The producers of the performance, Lightwire Theater, are best known for becoming semi-finalists on America’s Got Talent and have since traveled the world to tell their stories through light, sound and more. // Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $15 adult, $10 child