Every year, it always seems like there is never enough time to fit in all of the fun fall activities before the end of the season. And, since we are now at the beginning of the new season, it’s the perfect time to get out your calendar and make plans to squeeze in the 15 activities on our fall bucket list.
1. Drive Skyline Drive at peak foliage. This beautiful drive gets 25 percent of its annual visitors in the month of October. And for good reason. Don’t miss the panoramic views of the changing trees at one of the many overlooks.
2. Enjoy a haunted wine tour. Visit the Winery at Bull Run and take on the spirit of Halloween with one of their haunted wine tours. Tours run weekly on select days from October 3-November 3.
3. Go to a concert. Don’t miss Alice in Chains and Breaking Benjamin at Jiffy Lube Live on October 5.
4. Decorate Halloween cookies. Sign up for a Halloween sugar cookie decorating class at Fran’s Cake and Candy Supplies. Learn how to make your own icing and fill/outline your cookies. Classes are open to students ages 13-plus or 10-12 when accompanied by an adult.
5. Head to a showing of Frankenstein. What’s more Halloween than Frankenstein? Check out Nextstop Theatre Company in Herndon’s take on the iconic story Friday-Sunday starting October 21.
6. Be ‘basic’ with a pumpkin spice latte. Come on. Is it truly fall if you haven’t indulged in at least one pumpkin spice latte? Try Commonwealth Joe’s take on the fall favorite in Arlington.
7. Support local vendors and artisans at a fall festival. Festivals just hit different in early fall. And one thing is for certain, there is no shortage of NoVA-area fall festivals to explore. For instance, check out the City of Fairfax Fall Festival on October 8.
8. Conquer the Fields of Fear in Centreville. Looking for a thrill this Halloween season? Visit Cox Farms beginning September 23 and dare to try not only the Fields of Fear, but their Dark Side Hayride and Cornightmare. The fairgrounds also feature bonfires, a six-lane slide, music, tasty treats, and more.
9. Visit the Pumpkin Pop-Up and Halloween Experience. Join the Tysons Corner Center on October 15 and 16 for some wine tasting, live pumpkin carving demos, a farmers market, music, food, and more.
10. Give back to the community. Celebrate the season while also giving back with the Costumes for Kids Fall Volunteer Festival, hosted by Kids Give Back on October 15. Attendees of this unique festival will help prepare 80 storybook character costumes for kids who attend Title 1 schools, make fleece blankets for an animal shelter, and create decorative pumpkins for donation.
11. Attend Dogtoberfest with your best furry friend. Who says Oktoberfest is just for humans? This fun event is sure to get some tails wagging. Dogtoberfest at Shipgarten takes place October 22 and will feature vendors, dog adoptions, and over 50 different beers to sample.
12. Taste an apple butter cinnamon donut. Fall is all about the tasty treats that only come out around this time of year. We’re sure you’ve heard of the delicious apple cider donuts, but you tried an apple butter cinnamon one? Trust us, it’s a game changer. Visit the Apple House in Linden and try one of these famous donuts for yourself.
13. Paint a pumpkin for a good cause. Join in the fun at the IFDA – DC’s Pumpkin Painting Educational Foundation mini fundraiser on October 18. Hosted by B&F Ceramics, this ticketed event will include an Instagram contest for “Best pumpkin” (with a prize) as well as wine and small bites.
14. Come up with your best Halloween costume. Channel your favorite TV show character or get a little spooky when you enter the 3rd Annual Halloween Costume & Dance Party at Ned Devine’s Restaurant & Irish Pub.
15. Take part in a Halloween parade. The town of Vienna has hosted a Halloween parade since 1946. Check out the 76th annual event on October 26. Fun fact: Children and others in costume are welcome to join in on the marching.
Megan Herr is an editor and writer residing in the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Penn State University.
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