November 2018 events in Northern Virginia mark the transition from pumpkins and fall fun to holiday parades and winter festivals. We’ve round up a month of local events in the Northern Virginia area to entertain every age and interest. November 2018 events are listed in order of opening date, with multi-day events listed first. Follow the links for details.
Cox Farms Fall Festival, Cox Farms, Centreville, Nov 1 – 6
The extravaganza of fall fun at Cox Farms may be the most popular pumpkin patch in Northern Virginia. Activities appeal to a wide age range and offer a whole day’s worth of fun. Tickets prices vary by day; 10:00 – 5:00.
Cox Farms Fields of Fear, Centreville, Nov 2 – Nov 3
Older kids and teens head to Cox Farms at night for the Fields of Fear, featuring scares in the corn maze, forest trail, and wagon rides, plus music, games, food, and hanging out by the bonfire.$15; Friday and Saturday 7:30 – 11:00 pm.
Pumpkin Madness at Cox Farms, Nov 3 – 4
When Halloween is over it’s time for Pumpkin Madness, where used jack o’ lanterns are dropped, squished, smashed, and stomped. Bring your own used pumpkin to recycle and join in the fun. This is also your last chance to enjoy the Cox Fall Festival including slides, rope swings, hayrides and more. 10:00 – 5:00 daily, last entry at 4:00.
Corn Maze in the Plains, The Plains, Nov 2 – Nov 4
The Corn Maze in the Plains and Fall Festival features a 5-acre corn maze and plenty of family-friendly pumpkin patch fun. Roll yourself or your kids in the roll tubes, sling shot a pumpkin across the hillside, take a hayride through the countryside, and more. When you’re ready to tackle the maze, practice navigating in one of the mini mazes. Looking for added challenge? Come after 6:00 and tackle the maze at night. Friday and Saturday 10:00 – 10:00, Sunday 10:00 – 6:00. $11/$9 12 and over/4 – 11.
Fall Foliage, Ongoing
2018 fall foliage is arriving late in the Northern Virginia region and likely will not peak until early November. Our will help you find beautiful fall colors in the area. Want to get active? Find the perfect fall hike in: 8 Great Fall Hikes in Northern Virginia and 8 More Great Fall Hikes in Virginia. Or keep it relaxed with these 5 Scenic Drives in Northern Virginia.
Fall Gallery Walk, Manassas, Nov 2
The merchants of Historic Downtown Manassas will display paintings, photography, and pottery by local artists at the Fall Gallery Walk. Balloons mark participating destinations, and you can follow your art exploration with dinner at one of the downtown restaurants. Free; 6:00 to 9:00.
Veterans Day Parade, Manassas, Nov 3
Honor our veterans at the annual Manassas Veterans Day Parade. Military and veterans groups, scouts, and entertainers will march through Old Town Manassas in five divisions. Free; parade begins at 11:00.
VT Maker Festival, Falls Church, Nov 3
Creativity, engineering, and resourcefulness abound at the Virginia Tech Maker Festival, a family fun event where you can explore science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and design. Learn to make just about anything, including 3-D printed objects, slime, natural dyes, play dough circuits, LED paintbrushes, t-shirt jewelry, robots, rockets, and more. Free; 10:00 – 3:00.
LoCo HangerFest 2018, Leesburg, Nov 3
The breweries of Loudoun County invite you to spend the day with them at the 2nd Annual HangarFest. More than 25+ breweries from the LoCo Ale Trail will be pouring samples of beer to benefit HeroHomes; a Loudoun County not-for-profit foundation that builds homes, jobs and a community for veterans. Two sessions: noon – 3:00 and 4:00 0 7:00. $35/$40 advance/at door.
Horses & Hounds, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Nov 3
Meet the Horses and Hounds of Mount Vernon on the estate of the Father of the American foxhound. Watch a simulated fox hunt demonstration using a bag containing animal scent on a course around the 12-acre field (no foxes involved). Learn why George Washington was known as the greatest horseman of his age. The day also includes a cavalry demonstration and curators highlighting objects related to hunting and fishing in the 18th century. Events are included with admission; 9:00 – 4:00.
LightUp Fest, One Loudoun, Nov 8 – Jan 2
Bring your entire family out to One Loudoun to enjoy a never seen before Lights & Lantern Show combined with delectable food and acrobatics performances. Over 100 artisans creates this visually stunning display of lights featuring different thematic adventures. See our review of the 2016 Chinese Lantern Festival for a hint at the beautiful displays you are likely to see. The artistry and beauty of the lantern creations are incredible. Tickets are $19.99/$24.99/$29.99 youth 3 – 12/Students and Seniors/Adults with family packages available. 5:30 – 10:30 nightly including major holidays.
Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna, Nov 9 – Jan 6
Every year Meadowlark Botanical Gardens lights up for the holidays with over 500,000 lights and displays on a .6 mile outdoor walking trail. Purchase timed entry tickets in advance to ensure you get parking and avoid lines. Some tickets are available at the door on non-peak nights. Pick up a hot chocolate before your walk, then shop at the Snowflake Shoppe for holiday ornaments, flashing jewelry and other goodies. Tickets $8 – $16 depending on age and time. Open nightly, including holidays, 5:30 – 10:00; last admission at 9:30.
Alexandria Film Festival, Alexandria, Nov 9 – 11
Join three days of ticketed and cost-free screenings of the best in independent filmmaking from around the world and our own Alexandria neighborhoods. The 12th annual Alexandria Film Festival hosts more than 50 screenings. Enjoy fascinating post-screening discussions with filmmakers, artists, actors and industry experts where YOU ask the questions. Fri 10:00 – 4:00; Sat + Sun 10:00 – 11:30.
Colonial Market & Fair, Mount Vernon, Nov 10 – 12 (rescheduled from September)
Join colonial-attired artisans as they demonstrate 18th-century crafts and sell wares such as baskets, woodcarvings, tin and ironwork, leather-workings, weavings, furniture, and more in a traditional market setting. “General Washington” will oversee the Revolutionary War military drills and 18th-century entertainment including music, fire-eating, sword-swallowing, puppet and magic shows. Specialty food we be available for purchase; including chocolate made using an authentic 18th-century colonial recipe. Fair is included with regular admission. Sat + Sun 9:00 – 4:00, Mon 9:00 – 1:00.
Santa HQ, Tysons Corner Center, Nov 10 – Dec 24
The Santa HQ experience, presented by HGTV, returns to Tysons Corner Center mall on November 10. Interactive displays deliver extra fun for the kiddies before the picture with Santa. Best news for parents—you can reserve a spot in advance and skip the lines. Bring an unopened, unwrapped toy donation to benefit the children of Second Story. Follow the link for pricing and hours.
Catoctin Holiday Art Tour, Lovettsville, Nov 10 – 11
Join two dozen artists in their Lovettsville studios for a weekend of beautiful scenery, friendly folks, and local art. This relaxing driving tour leads visitors down some of western Loudoun’s prettiest country roads, to meet the artists where they work and have the opportunity to buy affordable art and gifts for the holiday. Many studios feature food and wine from local businesses as well. Free admission; 10:00 – 6:00 daily.
Cask Ale Festival, Mad Fox Brewing, McLean, Nov 10
Join one of the biggest mid-Atlantic celebrations of proper cask-conditioned ales at Mad Fox’s outdoor beer festival, plus enjoy grilled favorites and music. Free admission; tasting tickets can be purchased in advance or at the event. Begins at 11:00.
Special Veterans Day Events, Multiple Locations, Nov 11 – 12
Veterans Day gives us all a chance to honor and thank the many men and women who have served our country in the U. S. Armed Forces. Local and national parks and rec centers are taking this opportunity to add their thanks with free admission and special programs at sites throughout the area.
Tree Lighting Ceremony, Tyson Corner Center, Nov 15
Head to the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center to kick off the season with the annual lighting of the 51-foot decorated tree. Lance Bass from NSYNC will emcee. After the tree is lit, enjoy performances by the The Kintz-Mejia Academy of Ballet, The District, The Shiloh Baptist Church Choir, and Mahi Gudi. Free; 6:00 – 8:00.
Fairfax Corner Tree Lighting, Fairfax, Nov 16
Holiday shopping fun returns to Fairfax Corner with the annual tree lighting celebration. Enjoy live entertainment and giveaways, take a horse and carriage ride ($3 per rider; all proceeds benefit Women Giving Back), and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. Donate a new, unwrapped toy/gift to Women Giving Back to give to children and teens in need this holiday season. 6:00 – 9:00.
Christmas on the Potomac with ICE!, National Harbor, Nov 16 – Jan 1
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 Charlie Brown theme, plus 2 million pounds of ice sculptures and 4 ice slides. New in 2018, enjoy a 25-minute Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show in the atrium. You can also enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and more family-friendly activities. Follow the link for ticket prices and hours, and read our review of ICE! 2017 for more photos and details. Thrill the family and make your visit a National Harbor weekend getaway.
25th Annual Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Show, George Mason University, Fairfax, Nov 17 – 18
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. Follow the link for parking info and a discount coupon. $6/$4/$3 adults/seniors/teens. Saturday 10:00 – 6:00, Sunday 10:00 – 4:00.
7th Annual Tree Lighting Festival, Village at Leesburg, Nov 17
Santa will arrive by horse-drawn carriage to light the Spectacular Musical Tree. This 5-story tall tree with a snowfall topper and more than 15,000 dazzling lights performs daily music and light shows. Festivities include horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, holiday characters, cozy fire pits with treats, and more festive fun. Visitors are encouraged to bring a toy to be donated to Toys for Tots. Free; 4:00 – 7:00.
Snowflake Stampede, Bull Run Festival of Lights, Nov 17
The annual Snowflake Stampede is a 2.5 mile fun run and walk for holiday lovers. Participants will get a close-up preview of the holiday lights at Bull Run Regional Park and can take a selfie with their favorite display. $22/$17 adult/child; registration required. Race starts promptly at 5:30 pm.
Bull Run Festival of Lights, Bull Run Regional Park, Nov 21 – Jan 6
A perennial favorite, the Bull Run Festival of Lights dazzles with a 2.5 mile drive-through display of holiday and fairytale vignettes. While most of the displays repeat year-to-year, there are usually new displays to enjoy. 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. Weekends get very busy, especially later in the season, so visit early or on a weekday to minimize cars and lines. In December, the drive ends at a Holiday Village with rides, merchandise and activities. Weekday/weekend admission is $20/$25 per car. 5:30 – 9:30 weekdays, 5:30 – 10:00 weekends.
Happy Thanksgiving! from Fun in Fairfax VA, Nov 22
We’d like to wish a very happy, tasty, relaxing, and fun-filled Thanksgiving to all of our readers, friends, and followers. We are grateful for the support of our wonderful community, both online and in person. Whether you plan to stuff yourself at a family feast, enjoy quiet time alone, shop or hike until your feet are sore, or anything in between, we hope you have a beautiful day.
Christmas at Mount Vernon, Nov 23 – Dec 31
Looking for a place to walk off your feast surrounded by history? George Washington’s Mount Vernon is open daily, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tour the grounds and the Mansion, including the third floor which is only open during the Christmas season. Did you know that George Washington first proclaimed a day of thanksgiving in 1789? You can also tour Mount Vernon by Candlelight, weekends, November 23 – December 16. Follow the link for details and to purchase timed entry tickets.
NVHG Art and Craft Show, Vienna, Nov 23 – 25
This popular show features 80+ juried artisans offering original handmade art and craft items, including jewelry, clothing and other textiles, woodworking, sculpture, pottery and ceramics, glass art, handweaving, photography, drawing and painting, and other decorative and functional arts. $5; Fri and Sat 10:00 – 5:00, Sun 11:00 – 4:00.
#OptOutside with REI and Virginia State Parks, Nov 23
For the 7th year, REI invites folks to turn Black Friday into Green Friday by spending time in nature instead of shopping until you drop. REI is closing all its stores and paying their staff to #OptOutside on Black Friday. Follow the link to find Virginia State Parks activities near you. Check for special events at Fairfax County Parks too. Or create your own outdoor fun at these family-friendly parks, short hikes to gorgeous Virginia views, or great fall hikes in Virginia.
Holidays Are Here, Reston Town Center, Nov 23
Gather the family, bundle up, and head to Reston Town Center for a day of holiday fun. Kids start the day with the popular Gingerbread Man Mile fun run, with shorter routes for tots and four to five-year-olds. At 11:00, watch the annual Thanksgiving parade, which grows larger and more impressive every year. Photos with Santa, mini-train rides, and live entertainment fill the afternoon, Christmas tree lighting and sing-along at 6:00, and carriage rides from 6:30 to 10:00. When you need a break to warm up, check out the gingerbread village in the lobby of the Hyatt.
Black Friday Alexandria and Tree Lighting, Alexandria, Nov 23
Alexandria’s alternative Black Friday experience features more than 50 independent boutiques kicking off the holiday shopping season. Find one-of-a-kind deals on designer merchandise, including home décor, chic fashions, gourmet food, classic toys and gifts for dogs. Store offers vary, with special discounts throughout the day and more than 10 boutiques opening at 6 AM. Gather in Market Square from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a visit by Santa and lighting if the official city tree. Free.
Small Business Saturday, Nov 24
Support your favorite local businesses with a shopping spree on Small Business Saturday. Many area downtowns and malls will offer specials throughout the day. Last year there were small business specials offered in Alexandria, Fairfax Corner, Historic Manassas, Mosaic District, Vienna, Old Town Winchester, and more.
Church Street Holiday Stroll, Vienna, Nov 26
Church Street closes to traffic for the annual Holiday Stroll. Visit the shops and enjoy the holiday spirit, including strolling carolers, an entertainment stage, hot chocolate, bonfire and petting zoo. Santa will be lighting the tree and greeting visitors outside the historic Freeman House. Free; 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
No matter which November 2018 events you choose to attend, we wish you a happy and fun-filled month.
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