It’s officially fall festival season! There’s just something about the crisp air combined with fall fun and delicious baked goods that make everyone excited for the season’s festivities. Whether you want to throw back a brew as you celebrate Oktoberfest or explore the work of hundreds of talented artists from across the region, these are the festivals to visit in October.
Oct. 1, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Need an art fix? Look no further. Artists here sell drawings and paintings, photography, ceramics, handmade candles, and mixed media. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Food vendors, retailers, music, and even a virtual pie auction will be part of the festivities as well. Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Oct. 1, 11 a.m.—7 p.m.
Oktoberfest is for the whole family at Vienna’s annual event. Be prepared for a festival full of kiddie fun, as previous years’ children’s activities have included obstacle courses, golf putting, and face painting. But don’t fret — just because this Oktoberfest is kid-friendly doesn’t mean it’s lacking in amazing options for beer, wine, and food. Vienna Town Green, Church Street, Vienna
Oct. 1–2, noon—6 p.m.
Vendors will be pouring more than 100 Virginia wines from the state’s top wineries, shucking fresh Chesapeake oysters at the VA Oyster Pavilion, and serving up an eclectic mix of food truck fare. Tickets cost $39 for general admission or $69 for VIP, which includes early entry to the event, tastings of select reserve wines, and a private tented area. One Loudoun, 44600 Freetown Blvd., Ashburn
The Waterford Fair will be celebrating its 78th event this year. The village in western Loudoun County is less than an hour from Washington, DC, and is proud to host the mid-Atlantic’s classic cultural festival. There will be plenty of historians and a juried art show. 40222 Fairfax St., Waterford
Oct. 7–9, 6–9 p.m.
Enjoy an evening on the East Lawn of George Washington’s historic estate sampling wines from Virginia producers. Concessions by the Mount Vernon Inn will also be available for purchase. If you’ve never seen the mansion, take advantage of the opportunity to check out the first and second floors and cellar after-hours (and away from tourists), as well. Daily ticket prices range from $43 to $53 for members and $53 to $63 or nonmembers. George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon
Oct. 8, 10 a.m.—3 p.m.
Looking for old-fashioned fun for the whole family? Check out Falls Church’s Farm Day. Kids will be enthralled with the petting farm, pony rides, pumpkin painting, and scarecrow painting, and adults can enjoy the live music and blacksmith demonstrations. Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church
Oct. 8, 10 a.m.—5 p.m.; concert at 5:30 p.m.
The City of Fairfax’s Fall Festival began as a small market for artisans to peddle their wares and has since grown into a bustling event with 400 arts, crafts, and food vendors, as well as children’s activities and entertainment for all ages. Enjoy classic fall festivities during the day and stick around for an evening concert beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Old Town Square. Old Town Fairfax
An annual Diwali festival, this South Asian event celebrates music, dancing, arts, and foods like samosas, curries, and kebabs from some of the area’s best restaurants. Plus, you can kick off your holiday shopping at more than 300 booths featuring handicrafts, decorations, jewelry, and more. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Ctr., Chantilly
After two years of being virtual, this book-lover’s paradise will be back in person this fall. Book readings, exhibitions, discussions, and performances will take place over four days. And there will still be some digital opportunities as well. Past headliners have included Stephen King, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Neil Gaiman, and Delia Owens. 4400 University Dr., Fairfax
This three-day festival features the work of nearly 200 juried artists, with a variety of food vendors, music, and handmade art in mediums such as clothing/textiles, paintings/prints, and leather, wood, and glass pieces. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Ctr., Chantilly
More that 750 riders from the mid-Atlantic and beyond arrive for this weekend of cycling. If you’re a beginner, don’t fret; plenty of rest stops are included in the schedule. See some of the most scenic parts of the NoVA countryside and enjoy a delicious lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. Starting in Staunton
Oct. 15– 16
This two-day event couples home improvement and craft vendors in one place. Check out vendors for flooring, green energy, real estate, new home builders, and more while also shopping the craft section for home accessories, baskets, fine art, pottery, and gourmet food. 2371 Carl D. Silver Pkwy., Fredericksburg
Oct. 22, noon–6 p.m.
Brambleton’s Fall Festival is the town’s biggest event of the year, so you won’t be disappointed by the spread of activities available. Enjoy live entertainment and food vendors, as well as rides and inflatables for the kids — or the young at heart. Evergreen Mills Road, Brambleton
Oct. 29, 10 a.m.—4 p.m.
Glasswork, woven and knitted pieces, woodwork, handmade soaps, and mixed media art will be available for purchase during the sixth annual craft fair, held in conjunction with the church’s Fall Festival. Baked goods and lunch will be available. 11508 N. Shore Dr., Reston
Oct. 30, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
This event is 100 percent vegan and free to the public. Whether you’re already living a vegan lifestyle or are interested in learning about how you can incorporate more plant-based foods into your daily routine, Loudoun Veg Fest is for you. The one-day festival will feature food vendors, live music, exhibitors, and speakers discussing eco-friendly topics like diet, animal welfare, and the environment. Hillsboro Old Stone School, 37098 Charles Town Pk., Purcellville