With all of these cold mornings, I have officially said goodbye to summer and hello to autumn. I have already watched Halloweentown, started planning upcoming trips to the pumpkin patch and haunted house and have added too many Halloween decorations to my cart. But to truly kick off my fall festivities, I’m going to spend the weekend at the Hope Flower Farm Dahlia Festival. Nothing screams fall like picnics, wine and walking through the flowers. I’m excited to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air and friends while still staying safe. -Michele Kettner, editorial assistant // Sept. 25 & 26; Hope Flower Farm: 40905 Stumptown Road, Waterford; $75-$110
Restaurant Week Chic
I’ve already discussed my love of Restaurant Weeks in this space. This week, NoVA is getting one of my favorites for the first time. Black Restaurant Week stretches across the DMV from now until until the end of this week. I’m thinking of checking out at least one restaurant in Virginia, as well as seeing what I can taste in DC or Maryland. If I eat at enough places, I can even submit my receipts for a chance to win prizes. I think I’m up for the challenge. -Alice Levitt, food editor/critic
An Apple a Day
In my never-ending quest to find outdoor fun for my family during this strange season, I’ve found that we’re constantly heading out to “the country,” which really just means outside the Beltway, on weekends. Over the summer, we hiked, we went out to see the sunflowers and we spent some time at kid-friendly wineries that allowed for social distancing. This weekend, I’m going to start transitioning our activities to fall fun, which will include apple picking. With the four places in this roundup, that’s at least a month of weekend fun and fresh air! Earlier this summer, I successfully baked an apple pie from scratch, so you can find me in the kitchen after we scoop up all the apples outside the Beltway. -Katie Bianco, editor
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