Autumn. The very word conjures up images of changing foliage, hayrides, pumpkin carving and shorter days and cooler nights. I was born in late summer, and my birthday's impending arrival also signaled the start of school new clothes and shoes, and sweaters. Not that I wanted the summer to end, but a new school year meant new friends, and new possiblities. It was always an exciting time for me. I got married in the fall, and brides today have made October the second most popular month in which to get hitched, behind June.
In Virginia, Fall means the start of countless fairs and festivals held in honor of the Autumnal Equinox. Below is a list of Fall Festivals and venues where you can experience farming culture, delicious foods, the necessary corn mazes, and get your fix for all things pumpkin.
Annandale Fall Festival Annandale, Virginia October 23, 2010 - Scores of Merchants, Inflatable Rides, Costumed Characters, Live Entertainment, & great Food from many culinary cuisines 703-256-7232
Colonial Day Chantilly , Virginia November 06, 2010 - Experience Sully Historic Site during the Revolutionary War. Skirmishes, Kid's Activities and House Tours included. 703-437-1794
Cox Farms Fall Festival. 5 giant slides, famous hayrides, rope swings, farm animals & their babies, CORNundrum© cornfield adventure, apples & cider, food, entertainment, over 90 acres of fun! Everyone gets a small patch pumpkin to take home FREE with paid admission. 15621 Braddock Rd, Centreville, VA 20120
Pumpkinville, Leesburg Animal Park, Open daily 9am to 6pm Saturday, September 25th to Sunday, November 7th.Fennec Foxes, The Kids Hay Maze, Scarecrow Family Photo-Op, and the catapult shooting gallery. Extra activities on weekends include, 200 ft Kids Zip Line (open until 5pm), Face & Pumpkin Painting, Mini Tractor Rides, · FREE Live Entertainment, · Camel Rides* and expanded refreshments available. Halloween Weekend: Trick or Treat & Costume Contest! Final Weekend 11/6: Pumpkin Olympics! FUN ACTIVITIES EVERY DAY: Expanded Fort Pumpkin Pirate Ship, Hay Wagon Rides, Giant Hill Slides, Kids Hay Maze, Straw Tunnels & Rope Swings, Spider's Lair Slide, Moon Bounces & Slide Bouncers, Free Pumpkin with each Admission, All You can Eat Apples & Fresh Cider, Scarecrow Decorating and Photo Op, Pick a Patch Pumpkin (while supplies last), Kids Playground Area, FREE Entry to the Leesburg Animal Park Also, visit the Farm Market for fresh local produce, pumpkins, foods and fall decorations
The Corn Maze in The Plains, The Plains, VA. Open September 25- November 7, 2010. More than a walk thru stalks. There is something for everyone, from toddlers to teenagers, and of course there is a days worth of fun for adults too! Each maze wanderer enters the maze armed with crayon, flag and a blank survival guide on a mission to discover clues to help them navigate their way through the maze and to complete a map to take home. If the challenge grows too high one can always wave the flag frantically to signal the "corn cop" to come to your rescue. It is the perfect experience for those hungry for fun! Also, check out the thousands of pumpkins to choose from.
Air and Scare, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Saturday, October 23, 2010 2-8pm. Spooky space is the theme at the Annual Air and Scare. There's "creepy crafts", face painting, photos with Star Wars characters, indoor trick-or-treating, and there's even activities for very young children.
Fall Farm Festival at Sky Meadows State Park. Celebrate the fall harvest at Mount Bleak Farm. Each full weekend in October brings live music, interpretive programs, living history demonstrations, a corn maze and old-fashioned games for the kids. The pick-your-own pumpkin patch is open every day, rain or shine. Call the park for specific weekend program schedules.
Fall Harvest Family Days, Mount Vernon. Free Horse-drawn wagon rides, a stray bale maze, meet "George" himself, and learn 18th century dances. Outdoor cooking demonstrations as well as concessions. Spirit Cruises and Potomac Riverboat Company are offering cruises for half price.
Falloween, Arlington, VA. Market Common Clarendon. Kids will enjoy trick or treating at local shops and taking part in a children's costume parade. There is also a petting zoo, face painting, strolling entertainment, and much more! Enjoy the beautiful pedestrian walkways, fountains, and scenery of Market Common Clarendon throughout the duration of the event. Free admission! Market Common Clarendon, 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201. Please call 703.785.5634 or visit www.marketcommonclarendon.net, or e-mail email@example.com.
Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Festival, Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, VA 20110 Saturday, October 30- Dia de los Muertos Fiesta/DAY OF THE DEAD FESTIVAL (5-10:30 p.m), Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas. A joyous artistic expression of the Latin American holiday that honors and remembers departed loved ones, and celebrates the cycle of life. Enjoy a parade, music, art, and DancEvert's modern dance performance including Los Quetzales and DanceInTime, followed by DJ Arnoldo dance party. Food & Beverage available for purchase by La Capilla. Tickets $12 advance/$15 door at Hylton Box Office or Call 888-945-2468. Visit www.dayofthedeadfestival.org.
Pentagon Row's 8th Annual Holiday Festival Pentagon Row. Corner of Army Navy Drive and South Joyce Street, Arlington, VA 22202. CELEBRATE! It's a winter wonderland at the 8th Annual Penta gon Row Holiday Festival! Join us Saturday, November 13 from 5-7pm as we kick off the holidays in style with a festive snow fall, hay rides, a special visit from Santa, strolling entertainment, live music, merchant specials and more! And don't forget to bring your skates to play on the Pentagon Row Ice Rink! For more information, visit pentagonrow.com or call 434-977-9234.
Cows-n-Corn Corn Maze Adventure and Dairy Farm. Midland, VACows-N-Corn, 5225 Catlett Road, Midland, VA 22728 From April to November we are open weekends for delicious hand dipped ice cream, tours, festivals, and our 10 acre corn maze and pumpkins in the fall. Annual events include Cow Appreciation Day, Ice Cream and Sweet Corn festivals, Old Fashion Barn Dance & Dinner in September and we finish October with our corn maze adventure and family haunted hayride. Come on by and enjoy the farm.