Fall is one of the most exciting times of the year here in Fairfax County. Between crisper weather (prime for exploring local trails) and looking forward to the holiday season (up first: Halloween!), this area knows how to kick off the festival season. Here's a sneak peek at some of the best fall festivals or events for the whole family in 2019. Bookmark these festivals this autumn. (Want more ideas? Check out the full list here.)
Mount Vernon Colonial Market and Fair
Image courtesy Mount Vernon
Colonial-attired artisans demonstrate 18th-century crafts and sell traditional wares on the grounds of George Washington's estate. The Colonial Market and Fair also features lively 18th-century entertainment including music, fire-eating, sword-swallowing, puppet and magic shows, plus hearty specialty food for sale onsite. Need additional reasons to attend Mount Vernon? Check here.
Cox Farms Fall Festival
Preview weekend September 14-15
Opening weekend September 21-22; through November 5
Image courtesy Cox Farms
Cox Farms Fall Festival has been a family tradition for thousands of Fairfax County families for more than 40 years. The most popular Fall Festival attractions are the famous hayride (around the pond, through the woods, and ending in the Enchanted Barn), five giant slides, the Cornundrum cornfield adventure, rope swings, hay tunnels and more. Don't miss Foamhenge, an accurate life-size replica of Stonehenge made of Styrofoam plus the scary Fields of Fear hayride and haunted adventure in the evenings.
Locally poured craft beer is flowing this month with two major back-to-back festivals. First up, Workhouse Brewfest on September 14 followed by Fairfax County Brewfest on September 21.
Image courtesy Town of Vienna
Come to historic Church Street in downtown Vienna and enjoy beer, wine, German and other international foods, live music, vendors, kids activities, a German classic auto show, and free admission at the 12th annual Vienna Oktoberfest!
City of Fairfax Fall Festival
Image courtesy City of Fairfax
Enjoy over 400 arts, crafts, food & gourmet food vendors, children’s activities and three stages of music and entertainment for all ages at this classic fall festival held by nearby City of Fairfax.
Cinephiles and casual movie fans alike will appreciate the stories, art, and charitable efforts of the Washington West Film Festival, based in Reston and taking place October 24-28.
Bull Run Festival of Lights and Holiday Village
November 22 through January 5
Image courtesy NOVA Parks
Every year from Thanksgiving until just after New Year’s Day, you can experience the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles of illuminated holiday light displays. After viewing the lights, bring your family and friends to the holiday village to enjoy rides, refreshments, and of course, photos with Santa Claus (holiday village open select nights). Want more light shows? Check here.
Holidays are Here! Celebration at Reston Town Center
Image courtesy Reston Town Center
Reston's annual Holidays are Here! Celebration kicks off the holiday season on the day after Thanksgiving each year. Named one of the 10 Best Holiday Parades in America in a USA Today readers' choice poll, the half-mile parade stretches along Market Street featuring Macy's-style balloons, musicians, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, guest emcees, and more. Afterward, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, take mini-train rides, enjoy live entertainment and horse-drawn carriage rides, and of course, the famed Reston Town Center tree lighting and caroling. Guests can also enjoy ice skating on the acclaimed Ice Skating Pavilion.
It's time for the holiday season! Keep tabs on our winter guide for updated events, travel ideas, and more.
Want more festival fun for 2019? Check out the full list of fall festivals here and keep tabs on our growing event calendar for the latest and greatest. Share your favorite festival pics with us on social media using #FXVA and @VisitFairfax.