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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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4 cozy festivals to fall in love with this autumn

We compiled a list of some of the best events to make the most of the season.
File Photo by Arielle Bader
The REACH at the Kennedy Center offers visitors a prime autumnal landscape to embrace the fall season.

It’s that time of year again.

You’re blasting “folklore” and “evermore” while rotating through your growing selection of thrifted sweaters. You’ve begun immersing yourself in the autumnal season, enjoying a pumpkin spice latte on the way to class, gazing at the beautiful foliage — but something is still missing. 

Whether you’re looking for a cute date idea, something fun to do with your friends or the backdrop for your mandatory autumnal Instagram post, the District’s fall festivals are the solution. Traverse across the D.C. area and experience everything from pumpkin painting to demonstrations of 18th-century candle-making.

Here are four festivals around D.C. you should look out for:

Fall Festival at Kelly Miller Farm

Hosted by Dreaming Out Loud, a nonprofit advocating for greater access to healthy food and equitable food systems in the D.C. area, the sixth-annual Fall Festival at Kelly Miller Farm is the perfect opportunity for the diverse, youthful neighborhood to celebrate the change of seasons. 

Whether you’re a foodie or a horse lover, this festival has something to offer, with events including live music, face painting, games and pony rides. Festival visitors can enjoy seasonal treats from D.C. vendors like Call Your Mother Deli, Hoyas Rising, The DOL Grocery and more. 

301 49th St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20019. Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reserve tickets here. Free. 


Offering pet lovers a chance to bring their furry friends or just spend time with dogs, PumpkinPalooza in NoMa hosts a doggie costume and parade. The main attraction, however, is the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, which allows festival visitors to choose and paint a pumpkin for free. 

Other events include a screening of “Hocus Pocus,” face painting and live music. The Red Bear Brewing Company, a NoMa craft brewpub, will host a beer garden alongside other local vendors serving food and drinks. 

227 Harry Thomas Way NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. Thursday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reserve tickets here. Free. 

Fall Harvest Festival at Mt. Vernon

For history buffs who want to take a break from studying but not totally ditch their major, the Fall Harvest Festival at Mount Vernon (no, not the GW campus, the actual one) offers visitors the opportunity to explore the farm, learn how to play 18th-century games like ninepins and mancala, make their way through a straw-bale maze, purchase farm-fresh products and even meet George Washington — or at least an actor playing him.

Demonstrations of 18th-century wheat treading, cooking, candle-making, spinning, textiles and horseshoeing will be held to immerse visitors in storied traditions’ past.

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121. Saturday, Oct. 21 to 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free for members. $26 per non-member adult.

Alexandria Fall Festival

Traditionally, fall festivals offer the ubiquitous seasonal treats: kettle corn, candy apples and pumpkin pie. But the second-annual Alexandria Fall Festival offers a buffet of local culinary favorites, from Indian cuisine to barbecue to tacos to custard. A lineup of popular local restaurants, cafes, wineries and breweries like Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, Milaap Chai and DC Slices will patron the festival. Even with the unconventional spin, visitors can still expect some of their favorite traditional fall treats.

As for entertainment, visitors can take in two magic shows, play lawn games such as horseshoes, have their caricatures drawn, their faces painted and walk through a petting zoo. The kaleidoscopic fall foliage at River Farm will provide the perfect backdrop for a fall photoshoot.

River Farm, 7931 E Boulevard Dr. Alexandria, Virginia 22308. Sunday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. $20 per adult. 

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