These 70 festivals in Northern Virginia bring parades, fairs, and fun to the Washington DC region throughout the year. Whether your goal is a family-friendly festival or an adults-only escape from DC, there are Northern Virginia events for you on our list.
2021 Update: Most festivals in Northern Virginia were canceled or went virtual due to health restrictions. Always check the event website for the latest schedule updates and rules.
We love fun, and festivals in Virginia offer so many annual gatherings that draw a happy crowd. There are Virginia festivals devoted to spring flowers, summer carnivals, arts and crafts, animals and farms, holiday lights, food, beer, wine, history, and so much more. Bookmark our list so you don’t miss any of the fun.
70 favorite festivals in Northern Virginia are grouped by season and listed in the order they generally take place. Since calendars vary year-to-year, always click the link for the latest event details. If you don’t see this year’s event dates listed, don’t worry. These are long-running annual festivals, so check back until this year’s dates are announced.
Favorite Winter Festivals in Northern Virginia: January – March
Winter Ice Fest and Mega Block Ice Carving Competition, Village at Leesburg
Artists create sculptures from huge blocks of ice. Music and treats add to the fun, and the sculptures are illuminated at dark. Extend your fun with a Leesburg overnight getaway and stay at the nearby Lansdowne Resort and Spa.
McLean Chocolate Festival, McLean
The Annual McLean Chocolate Festival is a community and family-friendly event. Vendors sell all things chocolate and there are chocolate-related games for children.
Chocolate Lovers Festival, Fairfax
A weekend festival for chocolate lovers, with tastings, activities, entertainment, and open houses at historic buildings throughout downtown Fairfax.
George Washington Birthday Parade, Alexandria
The nation’s largest George Washington Birthday parade follows a one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria. At nearby Mount Vernon, special activities honor and celebrate George Washington all weekend long, with free admission on President’s Day.
African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space, Centreville
Celebrate the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome, with presentations, activities, and stories. This is one of several special Family Days held at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center annually.
Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Alexandria
The Ballyshaners Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a fun family celebration that includes a classic car show, a dog show and a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade with over a dozen marching bands, and other groups celebrating Irish heritage.
Women in Aviation and Space, Centreville
The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum celebrates the accomplishments of women in aviation and space exploration with presentations, activities, and stories. The Udvar-Hazy Center, nicknamed the Smithsonian Air and Space attic, is home to a Space Shuttle Discovery, Concorde jet, stealth bomber, and other stars of aviation.
National Capital Area Cake Show, Fairfax High School
View spectacular decorated cake displays by world-class sugar artists at the annual National Capital Area Cake Show. The festival features demonstrations, hands-on classes, vendors, bake sales, and a chance to meet celebrity TV sugar artists. The Cake Show was not held in 2019, but returns in 2020.
More Winter Events in Northern VA
Find more fun events and activities in our monthly roundups:
- 2020 January Events in Northern Virginia: Festivals and Fun Near DC
- 2020 February Events in Northern Virginia: Festivals and Fun Near DC
- March Events in Northern Virginia: Festivals and Fun Near DC
Fun Spring Festivals in Northern Virginia
Spring Festival and Easter Egg Hunts, Ticonderoga Farms
Ticonderoga Farm’s annual Spring Festival includes egg hunts, visits from the Easter Bunny, and more family fun. Kids and adults can play on giant slides, bounce pillows, pedal karts, playgrounds, take a hayride, and visit farm animals.
Founder’s Day Festival, Lake Anne Plaza, Reston
Celebrate Reston’s founding with a fun day honoring the town and its founder, Robert E. Simon. Enjoy children’s activities, music, book signings, film screening, and more. Lake Anne is one of our favorite places to visit in Reston VA.
Bluebells at the Bend, Riverbend Park, Great Falls
This Riverbend Park festival celebrates the blooming of native Virginia bluebells, which blanket the forest floor, with wagon rides, wildflower walks, musical entertainment, and more. The Potomac Heritage Trail at Riverbend Park is one of the best Spring hikes in Northern Virginia, especially during bluebell season.
Loudoun Hunt Point to Point Races, Oatlands, Leesburg
Take a trip to Loudoun’s famed horse country to experience the thrill of racing during the Loudoun Hunt Point to Point Races at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens. Enjoy brunch and a series of races including the unique side saddle event featured in the hit PBS series Downton Abbey.
Festival of Spring, Burnside Farms, Nokesville
Holland comes to Virginia when Burnside Farm hosts one of the largest Pick-Your-Own Spring Flower events in North America. Guests stroll through eight acres of spring flowers to pick their own blossoms and take flower-filled photos. The festival arrives around mid-April and usually lasts 25-30 days depending on spring weather.
Alexandria Historic Homes & Garden Tour, Alexandria
Tour privately owned Old Town homes and gardens, and enjoy refreshments at a private home. Admission to historic properties is included and many feature special sales. The Carlyle House is a popular stop on the tour to learn about the history of Old Town Alexandria.
Find more ways to Celebrate Spring in Northern Virginia with Festivals and Fun Adventures recommended by local experts.
Kite Fest, Gunston Hall
Visit George Mason’s home, historic Gunston Hall, for a day of kite flying and family fun during the annual Kite Festival. Children’s activities, crafts, and guided tours guarantee fun for all ages.
Apple Blossom Festival, Winchester
Winchester is full of spring fun when the family-friendly Apple Blossom Festival returns. Enjoy more than forty events including band competitions, dances, parades, carnival, dinners, luncheons, wine festival, a 10K Race, the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, two large parades, and celebrity appearances. The festival is just one of many fun things to do in Winchester VA. Be sure to return in the fall for some of the best Apple Picking in Northern Virginia.
Revolutionary War Weekend, Mount Vernon
George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate hosts one of the largest Revolutionary War encampments of the year. See Continentals, Redcoats, and cannons in action on the estate, plus other Revolutionary War-themed activities throughout the weekend. Plan your visit with our Complete Guide to George Washington’s Estate in Mount Vernon Virginia.
Pirate Fest, Lake Fairfax Park
Arr, you’ll be talkin’ like a pirate at the annual Lake Fairfax Pirate Fest, celebrating Virginia’s seafaring past. Sing traditional sea chanteys and experience the life of a sailor at fun activity stations.
Virginia Gold Cup, The Plains
Watch the running of the world-famous Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race at Great Meadow in The Plains. Race day activities include terrier races, shopping, hat contests, tailgate contests, and some of the best steeplechase racing you’ll find anywhere.
Manassas Air Show, Manassas Airport
A day of family fun for aviation lovers. Skydivers, helicopters, jets, and aerobatic aircraft perform in the air while aircraft displays provide fun on the ground. Visit the air show during a weekend getaway to historic Manassas.
Spring Wine Festival and Sunset Tour, Mount Vernon
This sell-out event celebrates the history of wine in Virginia with exclusive evening tours of the Mansion and cellar, appearances by “George and Martha Washington”, and live jazz on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac.
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival returns to Reston Town Center every year for a weekend of quirky, unique, and beautiful art. There is also live entertainment and food, so it makes a fun day trip.
Quarterfest (formerly Taste of Arlington), Arlington
Quarterfest, formerly known as Taste of Arlington, is a mix of foodie gathering, Virginia music festival, and neighborhood party. Over 50 restaurants showcase Arlington’s food scene, and live entertainment continues all weekend long.
Oatlands Strawberry Festival, Leesburg
The Oatlands Strawberry Festival features children’s games, music, dancing, and a hayride that takes riders on a tour through the historic grounds. Food vendors, beer, and wine are available for purchase along with special strawberry-related items. Extend your visit with a meal at one of the many tasty tasty restaurants in historic Leesburg
Viva! Vienna! Festival, Vienna
Celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend with rides, food, crafts, vendors, and entertainment. 100% of the proceeds go to charitable, community and humanitarian organizations. Explore more local fun with our guide: to Fun Things to Do in Vienna Virginia.
Delaplane Strawberry Festival, Sky Meadows State Park
Head to Sky Meadows for hayrides, old fashioned field games, dancing, music, magic, storytelling, crafts, a petting farm, an antique car show, a bake sale, hiking, and children’s activities. Pack your own picnic or purchase lunch and, of course, strawberry shortcake and sundaes.
Maker Faire: NoVa, Reston
The NoVa Maker Faire showcases invention, creativity, and resourcefulness, and celebrates the Maker Movement. Attendees of every age will enjoy lots of opportunities to learn and make things.
Favorite Summer Festivals in Northern Virginia
“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band launches Wolf Trap’s summer season with a program of concert band favorites, followed by a fireworks display. The event is free, but arrive early to guarantee a spot; the park will close at capacity.
Memorial Day Festival and Parade, Falls Church
In addition to an annual parade, the Falls Church festival includes a 3K Fun Run, plus amusement rides, arts and crafts, food, pony rides, and live entertainment.
Herndon Festival, Herndon
Four days of fun combine an outdoor concert series with a summertime carnival. The event includes two fireworks displays, arts and craft show, business expo, 10K/5K races, fitness expo, and a Kids’ Alley where children can have a hands-on art experience.
Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival, Bull Run Regional Park
One of the most popular wine and food festivals in Northern Virginia takes place at Bull Run Regional Park. Enjoy Virginia’s best wine, delicious food truck fare, and top-tier musical entertainment, and shop for local artisan products.
Occoquan Spring RiverFest, Occoquan
The historic town of Occoquan closes its streets for two annual arts and crafts festivals in Northern Virginia. In 2020, the spring event is being renamed and expanded. Visitors will enjoy a juried artisan market, a marketplace devoted to water sports, and lots of activities in town and on the water.
Manassas Heritage Railway Festival, Manassas
Celebrate Virginia’s rich railroad history at a day-long event featuring train memorabilia, specialty vendors, and live performances, then board a train excursion for a fun-filled ride to Clifton and back. Plan your visit with our guide Historic Manassas Day Trip or Overnight, and discover more fun things to do in charming Clifton Virginia.
Cardboard Boat Regatta, Lake Accotink
Whether you’re racing or just watching, it’s always fun to see which boats will sink and which will float to the finish at the popular Cardboard Boat Regatta. Teams compete for bragging rights in multiple age groups and categories. Allow extra time to enjoy a hike around Lake Accotink.
Taste of Del Ray Food Festival, Alexandria
Sample Del Ray neighborhood restaurants and vote for your favorites at one of the popular foodie festivals in Northern Virginia.
Celebrate Fairfax!, Fairfax County Government Center
The weekend-long Celebrate Fairfax! Festival features 25 acres of concerts, carnival rides, nightly fireworks, family programs, green living info, giant lawn games, and more family fun. More than 130 performances on eight stages present national, regional and local artists.
ChalkFest , Reston Town Center
Join professional and amateur artists and families to create and view beautiful chalk artworks. ChalkFest fills the main street of Reston Town Center with creativity and fun.
Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display, Centreville
Indulge Dad’s love of aviation at the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Center. Check out more than 50 vintage, recreational, military, and home-built aircraft paired with vintage cars, and talk to their pilots. Find more fun in our guide: Father’s Day Events in Northern Virginia.
Purcellville Wine & Food Festival, Purcellville
Enjoy live music from a variety of local musicians, wineries, craft breweries, gourmet foods, and wine related art and accessories. Find more local fun with our guide: 8 Great Things to do in Purcellville Virginia.
Loudoun County Fair, Leesburg
Experience a true country fair featuring 4-H animals, crafts, carnival rides, entertainment, food, livestock auctions, professional bull riding, and a mini demolition derby. Take a ride at the carnival, enjoy children’s activities and a pet show, enter the kiss-a-pig contest and indulge in county fair favorites.
Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival, Frying Pan Park
Join in old-fashioned country fun with carnival games, rides, 4-H exhibits, animal shows, and entertainment. Enjoy traditional Fair food and watch stage entertainment, dog and horse shows, and more.
Prince William County Fair, County Fairgrounds, Manassas
The largest County Fair in the state of Virginia features 9 days of livestock and home arts exhibits, tractor pulls, a rodeo, demolition derbies, baby contests, live music, and much more. You’ll find a great midway, carnival rides, traditional fair food, and 4-H Club demonstrations at the fair.
Arlington County Fair, Arlington
Five days of celebration include a Saturday parade, racing piglets, pony rides, and lots of family fun. The free fair includes competitive exhibits from beeswax to photography, a Kids Court with special activities, carnival rides, live entertainment; and more.
More Summer Events in Northern VA
Find more fun events and activities in our monthly roundups:
- June Events in Northern Virginia
- July Events in Northern Virginia: Fun Things to Do Near Washington DC
- August Events in Northern Virginia: Summer Fun Near DC
Fall Festivals in Northern Virginia
Virginia Scottish Games and Festival, The Plains
Celebrate the Scottish heritage of the Commonwealth as top athletes from around the country compete in traditional competitions of strength and skill. The event includes music, dance, crafts, a car show, sheep-herding demonstrations, children’s activities, and plenty of Scottish food and drink.
Virginia Indian Festival, Riverbend Park, Great Falls
Celebrate the culture and history of the First Families of Virginia. Meet members of eight tribes, who will educate visitors with dance, music, crafts, food, demonstrations, and hands-on activities.
Alexandria King Street Art Festival, Alexandria
Over six blocks of King Street are transformed into an outdoor art gallery with more than 200 artists from across the country.
Bluemont Fair, Bluemont
Another of the family-friendly festivals in Northern Virginia features blues & country music, traditional crafts, a free Children’s Fair, farm animals, homemade food, local wine-tasting, breweries, gourmet treats, and more in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visit nearby Dirt Farm Brewing for Brews with Views, or hike to a spectacular view at Bears Den Overlook.
Cox Farms Fall Festival, Centreville
An extravaganza of slides, rope swings, pumpkins, animals, music, food, and one of the best and longest hayrides east of the Mississippi is a must-do on every family’s fall list. Teens enjoy nighttime fun and scares at the Fields of Fear.
Lovettsville Oktoberfest, Lovettsville
The annual Lovettsville Oktoberfest features street vendors, a Kinderfest, Wiener Dog Races, strolling musicians, three stages of live music, dancing, a Stein Hoisting competition, and plenty of food and beer.
Dulles Day Plane Pull, Dulles Airport
Cheer on teams of adults who compete to pull a 164,000+ pound Airbus, or the Kids Truck Pull which pits teams of children against a big red dump truck. Enjoy the annual car show, live music, concessions, exhibits, and military and civilian aircraft displays, and a 10K/5K.
Clarendon Day, Clarendon
Eight city blocks are open for a day of music, food, drink, and fun. Enjoy musical performances, Clarendon restaurants, Virginia wine and beer, an Arts and Crafts promenade, and a Kid’s Zone.
Reston Multicultural Festival, Reston
Lake Anne Plaza fills with color, music, and culture at this annual festival celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of Reston’s community with performances, arts and crafts, food, and activities.
Fall for Fairfax KidsFest, Fairfax
The Fairfax Government Center lawn fills with fun activities for the Elementary and Pre-K crowd. Pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, pony rides, petting zoo, three stages of live entertainment, plus rides, games, and more.
Waterford Fair, Waterford
Attend Virginia’s oldest juried crafts fair to tour historic homes, watch demonstrations by juried heritage craftspeople, and enjoy activities for children, traditional music and dance, Colonial encampments, and more.
Clifton Day, Clifton
Head to charming Clifton for a day of family-friendly activities. Attractions include crafts, live entertainment, pony rides, children’s activities, a Civil War reenactment and plenty of food and beverage choices.
Virginia Wine Festival, Centreville
The longest-running wine festival on the East Coast returns to Bull Run Regional Park each year featuring local wines, live music, food trucks, and vendors selling local food and wares.
Fall Harvest Family Days, Mount Vernon
Enjoy a hay maze and wagon ride, watch 18th-century dancing and blacksmithing demonstrations and experience early American games and music at the annual Harvest Family Days at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Your admission includes a visit to George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill, where you’ll learn about Washington’s successful businesses.
Air and Scare Family Day, Centreville
See the spooky side of air and space at this popular Halloween event. Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating, creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. Find more spooky and kid-friendly fun in our guide Halloween in Northern Virginia Haunted Trails and Trick-or-treating
Aldie Harvest Festival, Aldie
Learn about notable events and people in local history, watch milling at the Aldie Mill, cheer on your favorite at the Aldie Duck Race, and shop for antiques and collectibles.
More Fall Events in Northern VA
Find more fun events and activities in our monthly roundups:
- September Events in Northern Virginia
- October Events in Northern Virginia
- November Events in Northern Virginia
Winter and Holiday Season Festivals in Northern Virginia
Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens lights up for the holidays with over 500,000 lights and displays on a .6 mile outdoor walking trail. After your walk, enjoy hot cocoa and s’mores at the fire pit. Find more seasonal displays in our complete guide to Holiday Lights in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC Area
Christmas on the Potomac with ICE!, National Harbor
Marvel at more than 2 million twinkling lights, amazing nightly snowfall, and beautiful dancing fountains at Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac. ICE! returns with a walk-through tent filled with 2 million pounds of ice sculptures and ice slides.
Annual Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Show, Fairfax
With over 20 dealers selling minerals, fossils, crystals, gems, jewelry, carvings, meteorites and more, you’re sure to find unique holiday gifts for the geology lover on your list. The event includes demonstrations, hands-on exhibits, door prizes, a Scouts area, and kid’s activities.
Bull Run Festival of Lights, Centreville
A perennial favorite of the holiday festivals in Northern Virginia, the Festival of Lights is a 2.5-mile drive-through display of holiday lights. This is an ideal family activity even for the youngest kids, who stay warm and cozy as you slowly drive through the fun, animated displays.
Holidays Are Here, Reston
Reston Town Center hosts an impressive annual Thanksgiving parade, featuring Macy’s-style balloons. Photos with Santa, mini-train rides, live entertainment, Christmas tree lighting, and sing-along, and carriage rides add to the fun.
Find more of the best holiday season fun in our guide 12 Holiday Favorites and Celebrations from Northern Virginia Experts.
Christmas in Middleburg, Middleburg
Held during the first weekend in December for over 100 years, the highlight of Christmas in Middleburg is the Hunt and Hounds Review. Hounds trot down the main street alongside mounted fox hunt riders. Other activities include a greens sale, craft fair, caroling, a holiday concert, a traditional parade with floats and a progressive food/wine/cider/spirits tasting throughout the town.
Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, Alexandria
The annual Scottish Walk weekend features a parade filled with hundreds of Scottish clansmen complete with bagpipes, the Torpedo Factory Holiday Festival, the Holiday Parade of Boats, and more seasonal fun.
Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long, Vienna
A favorite family event of the holiday season features the U. S. Marine Band and other vocal groups in a free concert at Wolf Trap. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate, a bell for the jingle bell sing-a-long, and a candle for the closing candlelight procession during the last verse of Silent Night.
On Christmas Family Days, a very magical Santa and Mrs. Claus visits with little ones, and there are activities to keep the young ones busy while they wait in line.
New Year’s Eve at First Night Alexandria, Alexandria
First Night Alexandria transforms Old Town into a big New Year’s Eve celebration with more than 100 live performances at 22 indoor venues and a fireworks display over the river at midnight.
Watch Night, Falls Church
Another fun New Year’s Eve festivals in Northern Virginia, Watch Night spans four blocks of Falls Church. Enjoy live bands and musicians, amusements, activities, inflatables for all ages, puppet shows, and more.
More Winter and Holida Events in Northern VA
Find more fun events and activities in our monthly roundups:
- November Events in Northern Virginia
- December Events in Northern Virginia – Festivals and Fun Near DC
- 12 Holiday Favorites and Celebrations from Northern Virginia Experts
There you have it, 70 fantastic and fun annual festivals in Northern Virginia. The list is long, but this is still just a sample of the fantastic events you can enjoy in the greater Washington DC area. Visit Fun in Fairfax VA often to discover more things to do in the NoVA area, places to eat and drink, and highlights of more Northern Virginia area events.
What are your “can’t miss” festivals in Northern Virginia? Please share your tips in the comments below.
This article was published in 2018 and updated in 2019 and 2020.