November Events in Northern Virginia – Festivals and Fun Near DC

2019 November 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 events are listed in order of opening date, with multi-day events listed first. Follow the links for details.

Pumpkin Patches in Northern VA

Most of the major pumpkin patches in Northern Virginia will be open the first few days of November. Here is a sample of events; check out complete guide for more details:

2019 Pumpkin Patches in Northern Virginia for Fall Festival Fun

Cox Farms hayride photo credit Charlotte Geary
Cox Farms, photo credit: Charlotte Geary, Charlotte Geary Photography

Virginia’s Heritage Wine and Food Festival, Nov 1 – 3

Head to Effingham Manor Winery for a weekend-long festival celebration Virginia wine and food. Enjoy samples from orchards, farmers, musicians, oyster farms, craftspeople and of course wine, all with their roots in Virginia. The Cabin Raiders will perform the“Old Timey” music of the Commonwealth. Effingham is an adults only winery so leave the kids at home. $12, noon – 5:00 daily.

Pucellville Artisan Tour, Purcellville, Nov 2 – 3

Spend a day in Purcellville visiting local artists’ studios to learn more about their creative process and inspiration, and to purchase their amazing work. See artist demonstrations at local wineries and breweries and check out the first meadery in Loudoun County. Free; 10:00 – 5:00.

Find more fun stops with our guide to 8 Great Things to do in Purcellville Virginia.

NVHG Art and Craft Show, Vienna, Nov 2 – 3

This popular show features 50+ 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 10:00 – 4:00.

Fall Foliage, Until the Last Leaf Falls

Northern Virginia Fall Foliage: Best Places to See Fall Colors In the Region

2019 fall foliage has been spectacular in the Northern Virginia region. Higher elevations peaked around the last weekend of October, but lower elevations should retain some nice color in early November. Our guide will help you find beautiful fall colors in the area. Want to get active? Find the perfect fall hike in our round-up of 16 Great Fall Hikes in Northern Virginia. Or keep it relaxed with these 5 Scenic Drives in Northern Virginia.

Fall Gallery Walk, Manassas, Nov 1

The merchants of Historic Downtown Manassas display paintings, photography, and pottery by local artists. Balloons mark participating destinations, and you can follow your art exploration with dinner at one of the downtown restaurants. Streets are closed and you can sip as you shop. Free; 6:00 – 9:00.

Veterans Day Parade, Manassas, Nov 2

Honor our veterans at the 11th annual Manassas Veterans Day Parade. Military and veterans groups, scouts, and entertainers will march through Old Town Manassas in five divisions. Free; 11:00 – 12:30.

Loudoun’s Largest Halloween Fest, Leesburg, Nov 2

Join the LoCo Ale Trail and The National Conference Center to celebrate Halloween with an all inclusive beer and food festival. 27 Loudoun County breweries will be on hand featuring two different beer styles from each brewery. Ticket price includes a gourmet food buffet. $75/$25 attendee/designated driver. Noon – 6:00.

Horses & Hounds, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Nov 2

George Washington on Blue Mount Vernon
George Washington on Blue Mount Vernon

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.

Museum Cake Cutting Ceremony, National Museum of the Marine Corps, Nov 10

Celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday with a traditional cake-cutting ceremony. Cake will be served to everyone, and cake-cutting ceremonies will  be held at 11:00 and 2:00. Free

Alexandria Film Festival, Alexandria, Nov 7 – 10

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 13th 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. Follow the link for schedule details.

Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna, Nov 8 – Jan 5

Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna Virginia
Meadowlark Garden Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna Virginia

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. Warm up a hot chocolate or cider, and shop at the Snowflake Shoppe for holiday ornaments, flashing jewelry and other goodies. Tickets $11/$17 youth 2 – 12/over 13 or buy online and save. Open nightly, including holidays, 5:30 – 10:00; last admission at 9:15.

Too cold or rainy to play outside? Check out our guide to Indoor Activities in Northern Virginia to Escape Winter Cold or a Rainy Day.

Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks Open, Multiple Dates and Locations

As long as the weather cooperates, Northern Virginia outdoor ice skating rinks open in November. Here is a quick list of planned opening dates. Read our complete guide to Northern Virginia Ice Skating Rinks for details.

  • Pentagon Row, Arlington, Oct 25
  • Reston Town Center, Reston, Nov 8
  • Harris Pavillion, Manassas, Nov 15
  • Cameron Run, Alexandria, Nov 15 NEW*

Festival of Trees, Manassas Mall, Nov 8 – 10, 15 – 17

The Manassas Mall community room will host a winter wonderland full of beautiful, sponsor donated Christmas Trees. Proceeds benefit Semper K9’s mission to pair wounded veterans with trained service dogs.

Santa HQ, Tysons Corner Center, Nov 9 – 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.

Revolutionary War Day, Gunston Hall, Lorton, Nov 9

The Revolutionary War touched everyone in the American colonies, not just soldiers. Throughout the day, explore life at home, and join Colonel Mason and his fellow Virginians at they support the war effort. This family-oriented program has activities for all ages throughout the day. $10/8 adult/children; 10:00 – 4:00.

Special Veterans Day Events, Multiple Locations, Nov 11

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. National Parks offer fee-free entry, and local parks and recreation centers add their thanks with special programs and deals.

Christmas on the Potomac with ICE!, National Harbor, Nov 15 – Dec 30

Grinch welcome to ICE National Harbor
Grinch welcome to 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 Grinch theme, plus 2 million pounds of ice sculptures and 4 ice slides. The 25-minute Cirque Dreams Unwrapped show returns. You can also enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, photos with Santa, and more family-friendly activities. Follow the link for ticket prices and hours for more photos and details. Thrill the family and make your visit a National Harbor weekend getaway.

Fairfax Corner Tree Lighting, Fairfax, Nov 15

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.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Tyson Corner Center, Nov 15

Tysons Corner Center holiday tree
Tysons Corner Center holiday tree

Head to the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center to kick off the season with the annual lighting of the 51-foot decorated tree. Tommy McFly and American Idol’s Kris Allen will add to the festive fun.  Free; 6:00 – 9:00.

2019 Holiday Craft Show, Fairfax High School, Nov 16 – 17

The 33rd annual Holiday Craft Show, at Fairfax High School, is one of the premium arts and crafts festival in Northern Virginia. Artisans from all over the United States, including many local artists, offer wonderful holiday gifs for everyone on your shopping list. $5/$8 one-day/two-day admission; Sat 10:00 – 5:00, Sun 10:00 – 3:00.

Catoctin Holiday Art Tour, Lovettsville, Nov 16 – 17

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.

Snowflake Stampede, Bull Run Festival of Lights, Nov 16 and 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. New in 2019, a Stampede will be held on both November 16 and 17. $22/$17 adult/child; registration required. Race starts promptly at 5:30 pm.

Ride the Turkey Train, Lake Fairfax, Reston, Nov 16

Ride the Turkey Train at Lake Fairfax as Engine #62 of the Resources Railroad makes the rounds at Lake Fairfax Park. See how Eastern Woodland Indians hunted and how their tools were made. Create your own Thanksgiving-themed craft to take home. $10, ages 3 – adult; 9:00 – noon.

Holiday Fireworks Spectacular, Gainesville, Nov 16

Head to the Plaza at Promenade for a fun kick-off to the holiday season. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, take a horse-drawn carriage ride ($3 per rider), and enjoy entertainment, balloon twisters, and more. Donate a new, unwrapped toy/gift to Women Giving Back for children and teens in need this holiday season. Free; 4:30 – 7:30. Follow the link for schedule details.

Bull Run Festival of Lights, Bull Run Regional Park, Nov 22- Jan 5

Bull Run Festival of Lights holiday drive through display
Bull Run Festival of Lights holiday drive through display

An annual holiday 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 display repeats year-to-year, there are usually new additions 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. 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 admission is $20 per car; $25 on Dec 7 and Dec 14 – 29. 5:30 – 9:30 weekdays, 5:30 – 10:00 weekends.

Annual Tree Lighting, Historic Occoquan, Nov 22

The Holiday Open House rings in the holiday season as Historic Occoquan is decorated with an array of holiday decorations and businesses stay open late. There are special activities from 4:00 to 8:00. At 8:05, attend a special ceremony to light the tree located on the Town Hall lawn. Free.

25th Annual Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Show, George Mason University, Fairfax, Nov 23 – 24

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.

The Enchanted Forest, Westin Tysons, Nov 23 – 24

The Enchanted Forest is a holiday festival featuring a variety of family events raising funds for the Junior League of Northern Virginia. Stroll through a beautiful “forest” of 120 theme-decorated trees for silent auction. Activities include a gingerbread house workshop, arts and crafts, holiday shopping, children’s performances, photos with Santa, a model train set, and hands-on activities for kids. Follow the link for ticket and schedule details.

Alexandria Cider Festival, Alexandria, Nov 23

Enjoy a selection of ciders from more than 10 Virginia cideries. Ticket includes tastings, a souvenir glass, live music and fun fall activities. This event features a food truck and will take place outside. Tickets $45/$55 advance/at the door; 1:00 – 5:00.

7th Annual Tree Lighting Festival, Village at Leesburg, Nov 23

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; 3:00 – 6:00.

Opt Outside at Virginia State Parks, Nov 28 – Dec 1

Work off that Thanksgiving feast and take a break from holiday shopping when you Opt Outside at a beautiful Virginia State Park near you. The parks are hosting a photo contest, with a $500 gift certificate top prize, to add to the weekend fun. Head to Sky Meadows, Mason Neck, Leesylvania, or any of the 38 Virginia State Parks for special events including ranger-led hikes, campfires, nature crafts, special Christmas programs and more.

Happy Thanksgiving!, Nov 28

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 29 – Dec 31

Mount Vernon by Candlelight courtesy George Washington's Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon by Candlelight courtesy George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Looking for a place to walk off your feast surrounded by history? George Washington’s Mount Vernon is open daily, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a great time to 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, Nov 29 – Dec 22. Follow the link for details and to purchase timed entry tickets.

#OptOutside with REI and Virginia State Parks, Nov 29

For the 8th 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 parksshort hikes to gorgeous Virginia views, or great fall hikes in Virginia.

Holidays Are Here, Reston Town Center, Nov 29

Reston Town Center Holidays Are Here Parade
Reston Town Center Holidays Are Here Parade

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 29

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 of the official city tree. Free.

Small Business Saturday, Nov 30

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.

Christmas Tree Lighting, Mosaic District, Fairfax, Nov 30

Celebrate the holidays with the Christmas Tree Lighting at Mosaic District. The seasonal celebration includes an outdoor screening of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, live entertainment, and the arrival of Santa Claus. Free; 5:00 – 7:30 pm.

It’s hard to choose, with so many fun November events in Northern Virginia this year. Whether you focus on annual favorites or check out something new, we wish you a happy and fun-filled month.

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November events in Northern Virginia. Things to do in Virginia and Washington DC region. Pumpkin fests, Thanksgiving, holiday events.

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