While November may look a little different in 2020, there’s still plenty to do for a fun fall season. Read on for some great ideas of what to do this month.
Editor’s note: As of this posting, these events were scheduled to take place. As always, it’s important to check online for the latest updates and safety precautions before heading out to any venue.
Revel in Holiday Light Displays
We could all use a little extra cheer these days, and luckily, many of the beloved light displays (that also happen to be social distancing-friendly) return this month. Here are three from NoVA Parks that kick off in November.
Buy Your Beans Locally
As the holiday season revs up, you’ll want to keep the coffee coming. If you want to support a local business while you get your caffeine fix, here are two new kids on the block.
Lambda Coffee: This socially conscious roaster launched last year in Alexandria when co-owners and life partners Shawna Vacca and Eve Freeman started roasting their own beans in a quest to find a great cup of decaf that Freeman could enjoy. Don’t worry: Coffee with caffeine is also available in their biodegradable bags.
RAKO Coffee Roasters: Based in Lorton, the sister duo behind this brand started selling specialty coffee in the spring. They focus on sustainably sourced, single-origin coffees and adhere to environmentally friendly roasting practices.
Get Lucky at Lucketts
The annual Lucketts Holiday Open House is a go. Walk through the design house and stock up on all of the holiday decorations needed to turn your home into something out of a magazine. // Nov. 12-Dec. 20; The Old Lucketts Store: 42350 Lucketts Road, Leesburg; $10-$25
Attend a (Virtual) Film Fest
The annual Alexandria Film Festival returns this November, but as a reimagined virtual event. Attendees can watch independent films online, as well as live and pre-recorded Q&As with filmmakers. Look for documentaries, feature-length comedies and dramas, shorts, animation and family-friendly films on the menu at this popular local fest. // Nov. 12-15; ticket prices vary
Kick Off Your Christmas Shopping
Start the holiday festivities early at the 27th Northern Virginia Christmas Market. Shop local and get all of your holiday prep done at one place. The market will include a variety of products, such as pottery, jewelry, Christmas collectibles and gift-packaged gourmet fare. // Nov. 13-15; Dulles Expo Center: 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly; $8
Run a Turkey Trot
These four races will get you ready for the Thanksgiving feast that comes after.
Get Cozy at a Winery
Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean winery season is over. Mark your calendar for these two vino-focused events.
Spend the afternoon immersed in bold red wines at Lost Creek Winery. This tasting allows attendees to explore 12 different red wines, all from different regions and with different varietals. // Nov. 8, 1-2:30 p.m.; Lost Creek Winery: 43285 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg; $58-$65
Enjoy lunch and a drink (or two) at Breaux Vineyards. A three-course gourmet meal pairs perfectly with eight different wines as you learn about the selected bottlings from the vineyard’s winemaker and sommelier. // Nov. 15, noon & 4 p.m.; Breaux Vineyards: 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville; $80-$90
Read by the Fire
It’s the time of year for a blanket, a hot drink and novel reading. Here are recommendations from four book worms.
Have a (Virtual) Feast
Smithsonian Associates has moved much of its content online for the fall, including “All You Can Eat: A Culinary History of America.” The program will take a look at the history of food in America and how it has played a part in the nation’s cultural identity. Allen Pietrobon, an assistant professor of global affairs at Trinity Washington University, will guide the streaming tour that starts in 1850 and examines how everything from economics to foreign policy has influenced what we eat. // Nov. 18, 6:45 p.m.; $25 members, $30 nonmembers
Visit Hylton from Home
The Hylton Performing Arts Center at George Mason University typically brings in some of the best acts in Northern Virginia. While the performing arts venue remains closed this fall, it has put together a jam-packed lineup with its streaming Hylton at Home series. In honor of Veterans Day, view “Celebrating Veterans and the Arts: A Virtual Concert featuring Voices of Service.” // Nov. 14, 8 p.m.; free
Stream Even More Arts
Hylton at Home isn’t the only local venue streaming quality content. Check out even more great performances to watch this fall—all from the comfort of your couch.
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts: Wolf Trap’s digital initiative, Wolf Trap Sessions, allows viewers to take in the park’s curated collection of opera, dance and concert performances from the comfort of their homes. // free;
The Kennedy Center: The Kennedy Center is returning to the stage with its exclusive live and on-demand virtual concert experience, On Stage at the Opera House. The platform allows viewers to purchase access to a variety of virtual acts, from the National Symphony Orchestra to an evening with Renée Fleming and Vanessa Williams. // prices vary
Signature Theatre: The Arlington-based theater is giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at some of its most acclaimed performances during The Signature Show. Videos are rolled out on a biweekly basis and feature a variety of interviews, at-home performances and rehearsal footage. // free
Make that Turkey Takeout
To cook or not to cook? In the year we’ve had, you’d be forgiven if you chose to let someone else do the work. Here are two local restaurants offering meals you can say you made yourself.
The Balkan restaurant is offering dine in on turkey day, but those who prefer takeout can pre-order from a menu that will include a variety of turkey options (like roast turkey or turkey lasagna), seasonal sides and a bottle of wine or a pumpkin-flavored cocktail. // Ambar: 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington;
The Arlington restaurant opened its doors in July in Clarendon. Owner and pitmaster Andrew Darneille’s Thanksgiving menu, available for takeout only, will include smoked turkeys, hams and briskets, plus a number of mouth-watering sides and classic pies for dessert. // Smokecraft Modern Barbecue: 1051 N. Highland St., Arlington
Sip and Sparkle
Kick off the start of the holiday season with the second annual Lighting of the Vines at Bluemont Vineyard. Watch the countryside light show as you drive through 10,000 vines glowing in holiday lights. After the light show, take in the magical scene with a glass of wine at the vineyard. // Nov. 27; Bluemont Vineyard: 18755 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont
Have Bourbon in Bubble
Wolf Trap’s annual fundraiser, Bourbon and Bubbles, is tweaking its name slightly for a whole new look and feel. This year, patrons can attend Bourbon in Bubbles, meaning they’ll attend with their own “pod” of trusted family members or friends. Each group will sip and sample drinks and a gourmet meal in the comfort of a private igloo—and finish the night with s’mores roasted around a custom firepit. Proceeds, as always, benefit Wolf Trap Foundation’s arts and education programs. // Nov. 12, 7 p.m.; Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; igloos from $6,000
See a Movie IRL
Raise your hands if you’ve missed movies. While many theaters have still not reopened, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is welcoming customers. Tickets and concessions must be ordered online in advance, masks are required, and social distancing will be in place. But we say it’s worth it to enjoy a bit of movie magic. // Locations in Loudoun and Woodbridge
And see our complete list of where to see a movie in-person here.
There’s no better time to up your mug game. Try adding one of these as your go-to for fireplace season.