Summer’s wound down, but never fear — sweater season (almost) is here.
There’s no shortage of fall fun this year in the D.C. metro area. Mark your calendar and start your planning.
Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Festival
Now through Sept. 29
The Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Festival at Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, Va.) obviously features plenty of fresh apple cider and doughnuts. You’ll also discover demos of vintage cider presses, a corn maze, live music and more. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids.
Photo credit: Matt McClain for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Weekends through Oct. 20, plus Labor Day
Hear ye! Hear ye! Don your best 15th-century garb and grab a turkey leg at the Maryland Renaissance Festival (1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, Md.). Performances including jousting, music, science demos and Shakespeare, are plentiful. Check out the schedule in advance so you don’t miss your favorites. Tickets are discounted through Sept. 8; they’re $20 for adults.
Prince George’s County Fair
Enjoy carnival rides, compete for best jam in the county and pet farm animals at the Prince George’s County Fair (Show Place Arena, 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, Md.). Catch 4-H livestock and crafts, a beautiful baby contest and more.
Bands, Brews & Barbecue
The name of Bands, Brews, & Barbecue pretty much says it all. On the lawn outside the Manassas Museum (9101 Prince William St., Manassas, Va.), you’ll find samples of award-winning craft beers and spirits, plus plenty of barbecue and live music. Tickets are $50 for tasters and $20 for non-tasters.
Photo credit: Gelato Festival America
The Gelato Festival Washington, D.C. is just one showcase in a five-year quest to find the best gelato in the world. The grand finale — in Italy, of course — will take place in 2021. For now, you can sample endless flavors at D.C.’s own competition at the City Market at O (800 P St. NW). Tickets cost $25 plus fees for adults, with discounts for seniors, kids and veterans.
Photo credit: Robert Turner
Adams Morgan Day
Adams Morgan Day will once again take over 18th Street NW to celebrate neighborhood history, food and culture. You’ll find popular local bands, food and plenty of arts and crafts vendors. Admission is free.
Anne Arundel County Fair
Events at the Anne Arundel County Fair (Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville, Md.) include the Poultry Royalty Contest, Fair Queen Contest and tractor pulls. Naturally, you’ll also find plenty of carnival rides and fair food.
Charles County Fair
You can expect old-fashioned fun like pig races, antique tractor displays, lawnmower racing and a carnival full of rides at the Charles County Fair (Charles County Fairgrounds, 8400 Fairground Road, La Plata, Md.). Fun for kids includes clowns, a farm and a “driving” school.
Great Frederick Fair
The Great Frederick Fair (Frederick Fairgrounds, 797 East Patrick St., Frederick, Md.) has hosted landscaping competitions, cake auctions, garden and farm demos and more. Explore agricultural exhibits, meet up with farm animals and watch antique car and carriage parades.
Photo credit: PetworthNews.org
Celebrate Petworth (800 block of Upshur Street NW) features live music, a Taste of Petworth food fest, local history lessons and a dog show. Admission is free.
Photo credit: Falls Church Festival
Falls Church Festival
The annual Falls Church Festival on City Hall grounds (300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, Va.) will offer live entertainment, pony rides and other kids’ activities, a beer garden and local food. It’s free to attend.
Baltimore Seafood Festival
The Baltimore Seafood Festival lets you knock back crabs, beers and local eats while enjoying a full lineup of live music and cooking demonstrations at Canton Waterfront Park (3001 Boston Street, Baltimore, Md.). Tickets start at $15 for adults, with free admission for those under 16.
Photo credit: Visit Alexandria
King Street Art Festival
Historic Old Town Alexandria will fill with artists and their crafts during the King Street Art Festival (220 King Street, Alexandria, Va.). Just show up on King Street; admission is free.
H Street Festival
Spanning 11 blocks and featuring 14 stages, the H Street Festival (between 3rd and 14th streets NE) hosts D.C.-based artists, performers, fashion, food, poetry and more. Come ready to explore! Admission is free.
Photo credit: Sam Kittner
Taste of Georgetown
Get to know Georgetown’s best food, wine and beer at Taste of Georgetown (K Street NW between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street). More than a dozen restaurants and bakeries are participating so far, including 1789, Cafe Bonaparte, District Doughnut and Georgetown Cupcake. Tickets are cheaper if you buy them before the festival; plan ahead and get them online.
Crafty Arts & Makers
Shop at the Crafty Arts & Makers Festival at Buzzard Point to add a little flavor to your home decor, buy a unique gift and get to know the makers behind the products. Tickets start at $5; you can purchase passes here.
Taste of Bethesda
Rain or shine, 60 different restaurants are serving up their best dishes at Taste of Bethesda in Woodmont Triangle (along Norfolk, St. Elmo, Cordell, Del Ray and Auburn avenues in Bethesda, Md.). There will be plenty of live music and a kids’ corner for face painting. Tickets are sold onsite in bundles of four for $5; food servings cost 1-4 tickets.
Art on the Avenue
Explore and shop works by 300+ artists during Art on the Avenue in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood (between Bellefonte and Hume avenues). Browse items from silversmiths, beaders, potters, soap makers, fabric artists and more; plus listen to live Irish, folk, rock and country. Kids can stuff their own scarecrows and paint pumpkins. Plenty of food is also available.
Taste of Annandale
Sample food and drink from more than a dozen restaurants and caterers and enjoy music, dance and martial arts performance at Taste of Annandale (Tom Davis Drive, Annandale, Va.). You’ll also find a beer garden, 5K race and a full slate of kids’ activities.
Fall for the Book
Authors, performances, readings, discussions and more are open to all at the Fall for the Book festival (George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., with speakers at multiple locations). The event is free and features more than 150 authors, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of “We Should All Be Feminists,” and Delia Owens, author of “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
Photo credit: Doug Van Sant
All Things Go Fall Classic
Catch artists including Chvrches, Melanie Martinez and Betty Who during the two-day All Things Go Fall Classic music fest at Union Market (1309 5th St. NE). Food vendors will include &Pizza, Arepa Zone, Bun’d Up and more. You’ll also find fun activities; past highlights have included 360-degree, slo-mo photo booths and virtual reality lounges. A two-day advance ticket is $99 plus fees; one-day advance tickets are $69 plus fees.