October Events and Fun Festivals in Northern Virginia

2022 October events in Northern Virginia bring pumpkin patches, Oktoberfests, art, wine, and craft festivals, and more fall fun to the Washington DC region. Cooler weather and fall foliage offers a beautiful backdrop to fun celebrations all month long. Spooky and not-so-scary events run all month, ending with local trick-or-treating when Halloween arrives.

These October events are listed in order of start date with multi-day festivals listed first. Follow the links to find detailed schedules, purchase tickets, and check for weather closures.

Check our guide to 21 Fall Festivals in Northern Virginia for more can't-miss Autumn fun.

Cox Farms Fall Festival, Cox Farms, Centreville, Sep 17-18, 24 – Nov 8

The annual Cox Farms Fall Festival returns in 2022. The biggest fall festival in Northern VA is packed with slides, rope swings, hayrides, a corn maze, and more family fun. Hours and ticket prices vary by day, follow the link for details.

Find more pumpkin fun in our complete guide to Pumpkin Patches in Northern Virginia.

Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest, Fort Belvoir, Sep 29 -Oct 2

After a 2 year absence, Fort Belvoir once again opens its gates to the public for the 24th annual Oktoberfest. This long weekend of German music, food, and fun is held at the base’s Fremont Field. Many festival activities, including the Kinder Korner, 5K/10K Volksmarch, and live music, are free.

Purchase an armband for all-day, unlimited rides at the carnival (discounted tickets for military personnel on Sunday). Entrance is open to all, but adults must have a valid State Driver’s License or Military ID to enter. Thurs 6:00 – 10:00, Fri 4:00 – 11:00, Sat noon – 11:00, Sun noon – 8:00.

Workhouse Haunt, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Oct 1 – Nov 5

Northern Virginia’s scariest haunted trail returns to the Workhouse Arts Center in 2022. Zombies, swamp creatures, and more creepy characters terrify those brave enough to walk through the abandoned buildings at the Workhouse campus. In 2022, the Haunt Bar will open on Friday and Saturday nights with live music.

The Haunt walk-through trail is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays plus Halloween. Timed entry tickets start at $30. Many dates will sell out so get your tickets early. 7:00 – 11:00, Sunday to 10:00.

Find more Halloween Scares + Fun in Northern Virginia.

Rose & Photography Show, Fairfax, Oct 1 – 2

Indulge your senses in all things roses at the annual Rose & Photography Show, hosted by the Arlington Rose Foundation, at the Hilton Fairfax. View hundreds of rose specimens, get expert advice, and participate in a silent auction. Free admission; Sat 11:30 – 5:00, Sun noon – 4:00.

Art on the Avenue in Del Ray, Alexandria, Postponed

Update: Postponed to November 12.

The annual Art on the Avenue festival returns to Del Ray in 2022. The family-friendly festival includes juried artists selling handmade wares across ten blocks of Del Ray’s Mount Vernon Avenue. Five stages of live entertainment, plus food vendors, interactive art activities, and kids' activities add to the fun. Free; 10:00 – 6:00.

Find more Fun Unique Things to Do in Alexandria VA.

Vienna Oktoberfest, Vienna, Oct 1 Canceled

The popular Vienna Oktoberfest takes over Church Street for its 14th year. Enjoy three stages of live entertainment, a German beer and food garden sponsored by Caboose Brewing Company, plus plenty of kids' activities, games, and crafts. Admission is free; 11:00 – 7:00.

Find more Great Things to Do in Vienna Virginia.

Virginia Wine Festival, Leesburg, Oct 1

The Virginia Wine Festival®, the longest-running wine festival on the East Coast, is back at One Loudoun in 2022. The VA Oyster Pavilion will be back with briny, freshly shucked oysters from Virginia’s Chesapeake Regions and delicious oyster dishes with regional flare. Live music, food trucks, and local vendors complete the fun. General admission $39 advance purchase; noon – 6:00 daily.

Bricks by the Lake, Reston, Oct 1

Join in a day of Lego fun at Reston's beautiful Lake Anne. Bring your own themed creation, watch a master builder at work, compete in a timed Lego competition, and join in other crafts and activities. Free admission, 9:00 – 4:00.

MPAartfest, McLean, Oct 2 Canceled

MPAartfest transforms McLean Park into an outdoor art studio and community-wide celebration of the visual arts. The festival features contemporary art plus music, food, children's activities, and more. Free admission; 10:00 – 4:00.

Waterford Fair, Waterford, Oct 7 – 9

Head to beautiful historic Waterford VA for the 78th annual Waterford Fair. Virginia’s oldest juried crafts fair. Watch and interact with artisans at work, tour Village gardens, and enjoy a weekend in the country. Kids' activities make the fair a family-friendly event. Tickets are $45 for a 3-day pass. Follow the link for the artisan list and schedule details.

Entering Waterford Virginia
Entering Waterford Virginia

Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour, Oct 7 – 9

Kick-off the fall season at George Washington’s Mount Vernon‘s annual Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour. Taste unlimited samples from Virginia wineries while you relax on the expansive East Lawn and watch the sunset over the Potomac River. George Washington will be in attendance, but the Mansion will be closed. Tickets often sell out for this popular event. Tickets start at $49/$59 members/non-members. 6:00 – 9:00 pm nightly.

Fairfax Fall Festival, Oct 8

The streets of Old Town Fairfax are lined with booths featuring crafters, food stalls, and local businesses during the 45th annual Fairfax Fall Festival. Carnival rides, live entertainment on three stages, and food and beer courts add to the fun. Admission is free but there are fees for some activities. 10:00 – 5:00; concert at 5:30.

Fall Jubilee, Manassas, Oct 8

Experience fall with a trip to historic Downtown Manassas for the 39th annual Fall Jubilee. This family-friendly extravaganza fills the streets of this historic town each year and includes a wine garden, pumpkin patch, live entertainment, and more than 100 crafter and community booths. Free; 10:00 – 5:00.

SterlingFest, Sterling, Oct 8

The annual SterlingFest brings area residents together to enjoy foods, crafts, children’s activities, and rides. Business, health, technical, informational, and religious vendors offer information, and local musicians provide entertainment throughout the day. Free admission. 11:00 – 5:00.

Falls Church Farm Day, Falls Church, Oct 8

Gather the kids and head to Cherry Hill Park for a day of family-friendly farm fun. Enjoy a petting zoo, pumpkin rides, farmhouse demonstrations, pumpkin painting, and more activities plus live music. Free admission, 10:00 – 3:00.

Clifton Day, Clifton, Oct 9

Head to charming Clifton for a day of family-friendly activities at the annual Clifton Day. Attractions include crafts, live entertainment, pony rides, children’s activities, and plenty of food and beverage choices. Admission is free and paid parking starts at $5.00 per car, but why not arrive in style? Clifton Day is the only day of the year that you can take the Virginia Railway Express to town. Train service to Clifton is free from all stops between Manassas and Rolling Road, and the return trip is only $5.00. 9:00 – 5:00.

Red caboose in Clifton VA
Red caboose in Clifton VA

Open House, Library of Congress Packard Campus, Culpeper, Oct 10

Once a year, the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper Virginia opens its doors to the public. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the largest collection of films, tv broadcasts, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings in the world (more than 1.1 million items!). The 75-minute tour includes all three floors of the beautiful Packard Campus building and features screenings and demonstrations with the experts who work here. Free but timed reservations are required. 10:00 – 2:00.

The Packard Campus also hosts free movie screenings throughout the year in their beautiful theater.

Fall for the Book Festival, Fairfax, Oct 12 – 15

In 2022 the annual Fall for the Book Festival returns to an in-person format. Join authors and artists from around the world for book readings, exhibitions, performances, and discussions at George Mason University. Follow the link for schedule details.

Fall Carnival and Harvest Days, Frying Pan Park, Oct 14 – 16

Enjoy a whole weekend of fun at Frying Pan Park at the Fall Carnival and Harvest Days. Carnival rides, games, food, join the animals at the farm along with Harvest Days demonstrations and kid-friendly activities. Free admission; carnival tickets $1.25 each with multi-packs available. Friday 5:00 – 9:00; Saturday 11:00 – 9:00, Sunday 11:00 – 6:00.

Tysons Fall Festival, Tyson Plaza, Oct 15 – 16

Celebrate the season on The Plaza at Tysons Corner with pumpkin carving, kids activities, live music, food, beer and more. Free admission, 10:00 – 6:00.

Haymarket Day, Haymarket, Oct 15

This annual hometown street festival includes a parade featuring local schools, performers, and law enforcement led by the year’s Town Marshal. Dozens of vendors, entertainers, a beer garden, and culinary options add to the family-friendly day. Free admission; 10:00 – 4:00

Leesburg Car Show, Leesburg, Oct 22

Celebrating its 34th year, the Leesburg Car Show fills historic downtown Leesburg with over 150 classic cars. Check out the cars and cheer on your favorite for the awards in 32 categories. Noon – 4:00.

Art Safari, Torpedo Factory Center, Alexandria, Oct 22

Join in an afternoon of hands-on activities for kids and families at the annual Art Safari in Old Town Alexandria. Dress to get a little messy! Free. 12:00 – 4:00.

Fall Harvest Festival, Mount Vernon, Oct 22 – 23

Mount Vernon celebrates autumn with Fall Harvest Family Days. Explore the farm, watch 18th-century demonstrations, and meet General Washington. All events are included with admission. 9:00 – 5:00 daily.

October events include Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon; Photo credit: George Washington's Mount Vernon
Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon; Photo credit: George Washington's Mount Vernon

Virginia Gold Cup, The Plains, Oct 22

The world-famous Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race returns to Great Meadow in The Plains. Race Day features hurdle and timber horse races, Jack Russell Terrier races, tent, tailgate and hat contests, and vendor booths for shopping. Tickets go on sale in mid-August.

Annandale Parade, Annadale, Oct 22

Enjoy family fun at the popular Annandale Parade. Watch clowns, storybook characters, marching bands, antique & military cars, fire trucks, civic organizations, and beautifully costumed international dancers as they march along Columbia Pike. This sixty-nine-year-old tradition gets bigger and better every year. Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Free; 10:00 – noon.

Bram Fall Fest, Brambleton, Oct 22

Celebrate the season at Brambleton's biggest event of the year. Enjoy live music, food, amusements, and more. Tickets are $15/$20 for residents/non-residents with discount advance tickets available. Noon – 6:00.

Washington International Horse Show, Marlboro MD, Oct 24 – 30

Since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show has brought world-class equestrian competition to DC. See top riders, Olympic veterans, and superstar horses in the nation's capital for thrilling show jumping, educational events, boutique shopping, and more. General admission tickets start at $25.

Halloween Weekend Scares and Fun, Oct 29 – 31

Special Halloween events of the spooky and not-so-scary variety will be going on all Halloween Weekend. Awesome annual Halloween events include these favorites and many more.

Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest, Leesburg, Oct 29 – Dec 16

The world of Harry Potter comes alive when you enter the Forbidden Forest at Morven Park. Follow a trail through the forest where you'll encounter fantastic beasts, haunting lights, and special effects. Prime night tickets are $55/$65 for children/adults with group discounts available and many dates are already sold out. Follow the link for details.

Plan your visit with our Leesburg Getaway Guide.

See our complete guide to Halloween in Northern Virginia for the full list of special events and trick-or-treating opportunities.

Scary decorations and haunted trails are part of a fun Halloween in Northern Virginia
Halloween Pumpkins in Northern VA

Marine Corps Marathon, Arlington, Oct 30

One of the largest marathons in the world, the Marine Corps Marathon follows a scenic course by the Potomac in Arlington and Washington DC. Known as ‘the best marathon for beginners,' the MCM is the largest marathon in the world that doesn't offer prize money, earning its nickname, “The People's Marathon.” Follow the link for details on schedule and registration.

Ongoing October Events and Fall Fun in Northern VA

Check out our guides to favorite fall activities for Autumn fun all month long. Our guides make it easy to plan a fall day trip or a weekend getaway.

Pumpkin Patches in Northern Virginia

Area pumpkin patches really ramp up in October. Our complete guide to pumpkin patches and corn mazes in Northern Virginia includes both paid and free options.

Pile of pumpkins in Northern VA'
Pumpkin patches in Northern VA.

Apple Picking and Apple Season Festivals

October is prime apple season in Virginia and you can visit beautiful orchards in and near Northern VA. Apple picking is family-friendly, but it also makes a fun date or group outing. Our complete guide to Apple Picking in Virginia: U-Pick Orchards + Apple Festivals includes a handy map of the best apple-picking spots near DC.

16 Favorite Fall Hikes in Northern Virginia

Soak up the best fall foliage views with our guide to favorite fall hikes in the Northern VA area. From easy strolls to more challenging trails, we've found a great selection of foliage-friendly hikes in the region.

Virginia Wine Month

October is Virginia Wine Month so it's a great time to visit and sample the wonderful wineries in Northern VA. Use our guides to discover a new winery or revisit an old favorite:

More Fantastic Ways to Celebrate Fall in Northern Virginia

Still looking for October events and outings? Follow the link to see how local Virginia tourism experts like to celebrate the fall season.

Coming in November

Reston Home Tour, Reston, Nov 5

The annual Reston Home Tour offers self-conducted tours of four outstanding private homes in Reston neighborhoods plus the new Kensington Reston assisted living facility. See inspiring interior design, architecture, unique ideas, art collections, and renovation successes. Tickets include a location map and all proceeds benefit Reston Museum, operated by Reston Historic Trust. $30/35 advance/day of; 10:00 – 5:00.

Fall is a beautiful time in Virginia and there are so many ways to celebrate the season. Happily, many favorite annual October events in Northern Virginia are back in 2022.

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Virginia Events Travel | October events bring Oktoberfests, pumpkin patches, art, wine, and craft festivals, and more fall fun back to the Northern Virginia region.

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