Fall officially started a few weeks ago on September 21st. This ushered in a bit cooler weather (or it’s supposed to!), fall festivals and the harvest. There are many fall festivals and activities, including pumpkin festivals, corn mazes, Oktoberfests, hayrides and haunted houses, throughout the Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area.
As the trees start to change colors, the fall harvest festivals begin at farms throughout the area. These events usually run every weekend through the beginning of November. The farms each have pumpkin picking, apple picking, hayrides, hay mazes, crafts, mini farm barnyards, great food and much more! There are many farms that have had these family friendly events for years in the area including the following in Maryland: Butlers Orchard in Germantown, Summers Farm and Crumland Farm in Frederick, and Zekiah Farms and Shlagel Farms in Waldorf. There are also great fall festivals in Northern Virginia including: Leesburg Animal Park in Leesburg, Cox Farm Fall Festival in Centerville and Ticonderoga Farms in Chantilly.
October is also the time of the year for local Oktoberfests. These festivals are local versions of the annual fall beer festival held in Munich, Germany. There have already been many Oktoberfests throughout September and early October, but there are still three more coming up that you can attend. The Oktoberfest Reston is October 11th through 13th in Reston, Virginia. Oktoberfest at the Kentlands is October 13th in Gaithersburg, Maryland. To end the Oktoberfest season in the area, the Snallygaster DC Beer Festival at Union Market will take place October 19th in Washington D.C.
A great family activity as they visit the fall festivals includes hayrides and corn mazes. The corn mazes are great way to “bond” as a family as you try to figure out how to work your way through the maze. Some of the mazes can be a simple trip or some can be quite complicated. Many of the local farms listed above, such as Zekiah Farms, Crumland Farms, Summers Farm, have corn mazes. The fall festivals will also have Halloween celebrations as October 31st draws near. Stay tuned for a future blog post about Halloween events in the region. Head out and enjoy the gorgeous weather and the colors of fall. The peak fall foliage viewing time is in mid-October, so you still have time to enjoy all of the fall events that this season has to offer!