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 and events in Northern Virginia for the whole family in 2023. Bookmark these for the best festivals this autumn, and check out the full list of all fall festivals here. More are being added every day!
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 16-17
Opening weekend September 23-24; runs through November 7
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.
The event kicks off with a preview weekend before fully opening for the season on September 23.
Celebrate Virginia Festival
Celebrate all things Virginia with Tysons Corner Center at this inaugural festival on The Plaza, featuring a Made in Fairfax makers market, local Virginia musicians, tastings from Virginia wineries and breweries, a community mural painting that you can be a part of, and giveaways of custom Virginia is for Lovers merchandise!
Mosaic District's Annual Fall Festival
September 30- October 1
Enjoy live entertainment and music, a FRESHFARM Farmers Market with 50+ vendors, Beer Garden from Caboose Brewing Company and Wine Garden, and more at Mosaic District's Annual Fall Festival on September 23 and 24!
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, and free admission at the annual Vienna Oktoberfest!
DMV Chocolate & Coffee Festival
October 7-8, 2023
The top coffee shops and roasters are meeting up with the best chocolatiers, gourmet food purveyors, and artisans at an event so delicious you won't even be able to stand it! Head to the Dulles Expo Center on October 7-8 to taste, sip, and get a head start on your holiday shopping at this family-friendly DMV Chocolate & Coffee Festival in Chantilly.
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 in and hosted by the nearby City of Fairfax.
Clifton Day Festival
On October 8, attend the beloved Clifton Day Festival. The 2023 festival will feature a marketplace with hundreds of artisans, live music, pony rides and other children's activities, a beer and wine garden, and more. Pro tip: Clifton Day is also the only day of the year that the Virginia Railway Express train stops in the town, so be sure to grab a ride into Clifton!
Bull Run Festival of Lights and Holiday Village
Mid-November - early January
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.
The holiday season is fast approaching! Keep tabs on our winter guide for updated events, travel ideas, and more.
Want more festival fun for 2023? 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.