fall fun in northern Virginia
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The Best Ways to Enjoy Fall in Northern Virginia (Part 2)

There are always a ton of fall festivities to be had each season in Northern Virginia! We already told you about some of them in part 1 of this installment (The Best Ways to Enjoy Fall in Northern Virginia Part 1) but we were just getting started! Here are plenty more ideas…


Vineyards & Breweries

Fall is the last opportunity you really have to enjoy relaxing outside, so why not take this time to visit some fantastic local wineries and breweries with patios you can sit and sip on? Plus many of the vineyards in NoVA have stunning views that’ll allow you to truly take in the beauty of the changing leaves. And the great news is that most (if not all) of these locations have dog-friendly outdoor patios, so you can bring the whole family!

If you’d like to make a day of sampling Virginia wine and scenery look no further than Loudoun County. There are many different vineyards and wineries in this area, including some with the best views around. Out in Purcellville, Sunset Hills Vineyard produces award-winning wines and features gorgeous mountain views. Sunset is the best time of day to visit this spot, in case you couldn’t tell! Sip your glass alongside a lake at beautiful Doukenie Winery just down the road a ways, or Breaux Vineyards—also a beautiful spot! Next stop by Hillsborough Vineyards, sit out on their large deck or gardened terrace to enjoy breathtaking mountain and pastoral vistas. In nearby Leesburg tour the sprawling estate of Tarara Winery and sample their unique blends on the patio. Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, in Leesburg as well, is one of the oldest vineyards in the region and boasts incredible views of the Loudoun Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains. Also nearby is Stone Tower Winery, which sits atop Hogback Mountain and offers a truly magnificent way to see the changing leaves. If you prefer beer to wine then Leesburg has Vanish Farmwoods Brewery to offer, a farm/brewery nestled in over 50 acres of forests and fields in the Lucketts area.

Visit Bluemont Vineyard in the small town of Bluemont for gorgeous vistas of the valley. Or if you’re a beer person stop into Dirt Farm Brewing next door, owned by the same family and showcasing the same gorgeous views. In Middleburg both Chrysalis Vineyards and Boxwood Estate Winery offer pastoral landscape views in the “hunt and horse capital of Virginia”. If you’re a fan of craft brewing sip a beer on the lawn of Quattro Goombas Brewery in the Aldie countryside. The Winery at Bull Run in Manassas is the closest vineyard to D.C. This location is very cool because they’ve set up their working farm and winery to be a tribute to the history of the area. They’re located directly adjacent to the Manassas National Battlefield Park, have constructed two of their on-site barns in the historic style (to be representative of 1800’s barn style, and 1920’s barn construction, respectively), and salvaged the old stone foundation of the Hillywood Mansion to be part of their estate (and used as a backdrop for many weddings!).


Push Your Limits

The area has plenty of runs, races, marathons, and 5k’s year-round—but in the fall they’re doubly-fun when they get festive! Here are just some of the events happening where you can get active and have some spook-tacular fun this season!

Fairfax County

Costume Caper 5k — Bluemont Park, Arlington

(Costumes encouraged, there will be a contest!)

Sat., October 28.



Arlington Turkey Trot — Christ Church of Arlington, Arlington

Thurs., November 23.



Reston Pumpkin 5k — Reston Town Center

(Costumes encouraged!)

Sun., October 8.



Blood and Guts Run — Bull Run Park, Centreville

(Fight your way through this zombie apocalypse obstacle race!)

Sat., October 14.



Monster Mash Dash 5k — Franklin Sherman Elementary School, McLean

(Costumes encouraged, there will be a contest!)

Sun., October 29.



Turkey Trot 5k Race — Herndon Community Center, Herndon

Sat., November 18.



Vienna Turkey Trot — Vienna Volunteer Fire Department

Sun., November 19



Fairfax Turkey Trot — Mantua Pool, 9330 Pentland Pl., Fairfax

Thurs., November 23.



Turkey Day 5k — South Lakes High School, Reston

Thurs., November 23.



Turkey Trot for Parkinson’s 5k — South County High School, Lorton

Thurs., November 23



Gingerbread Man Mile — Reston Town Center, Reston

(During this kids’ race the little ones try to catch the gingerbread man! Afterwards the whole family can enjoy gingerbread cookies and the Reston Town Center Holiday Festival, which features a big parade, tree lighting, and more fun!

Fri., November 24



Loudoun County

Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls Spooktacular 5k — The Barn at One Loudoun, Ashburn

(Costumes encouraged—there will be a contest and trick-or-treating afterwards!)

Sat., October 28



Brambleton Zombie Run 5k — Brambleton Town Center, Ashburn

(Are you going to be a brain-eating zombie, or human trying to outrun them? You get to choose in this race, which is also a zombie survival game!)

Sat., October 28



2017 Ghoul Glow — The Lodge at Willow Lake (The Greens), Aldie

Sat., October 28



Freeze Your Gizzard 5k — Ida Lee Park, Leesburg

Sat., November 18



Prince William County

Marine Corps Turkey Trot — Marine Corps Base Quantico

(Dress in festive Thanksgiving costumes, visit the petting zoo, and chase down the frozen turkey and pumpkin pie awards!)

Sat., November 18



Prince William Turkey Trot — Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center, Manassas

Thurs., November 23.



Columbus Day 5k — Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge

Sat., October 7.



Forest Park HS Orchestra Zombie Crawl 5k — Forest Park HS, Woodbridge

Sat., October 28.


Get Spooked!

There are plenty of ways to celebrate the coming of Halloween in the region; including ghost tours, haunted houses, and fields/trails where you may just have to run for your life!

Ghost Tours of Leesburg gives tours at 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights from May through Halloween. Meet in front of the Georgetown Cafe on S. King Street, tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tours are hosted by the “Virginia Scientific Research Association” and will give you insight into paranormal research, investigations, and tools of the trade. Every Saturday in October you can join Historic Dumfries Virginia, Inc. to tour the historical and haunted grounds and home of the Weems-Botts Museum. Hot cocoa and cider are also available, tickets are $10 per adult and $8 per child. Take a tour of “Haunted Occoquan” around this cute, riverfront town (place reservations in advance on their website: http://www.haunted-occoquan.com/index.html). Next visit historic Alexandria for Alexandria’s Original Ghosts and Graveyards Tour; hear stories of unsolved mysteries, legends, folklore, and romance and maybe have your own paranormal experience! While there take the Grief and Ghosts tour of the historic Lee Fendall House in Alexandria, to learn about historic funeral and mourning practices. Take a ghoulish tour through Fairfax City to be spooked! Or if you’re near Manassas take the “Hospital Horrors” tour at the Ben Lomond Historic Site. Last but not least, visit Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge. One of the oldest known houses in Prince William County, it provides a vital link to learning about our Commonwealth’s colonial history—and the spirits who may still reside in the home!

If those tours weren’t scary enough for you get spooked at Shocktober, hosted at Paxton Manor, in Leesburg! Get your fright on for a good cause too—100% of the proceeds from Shocktober go to The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities. Or if you’re over in Winchester check out Haunted Nightmares at High Hill Farm, if you’re brave enough you can experience their buried alive simulator! For a truly unique experience take a short drive to Luray to tour DarkWood Manor, a haunted house run by a professional theatrical crew who actually work on makeup, masks, and props for television crews when not staging haunted houses! Head to Dumfries for The Death Trail, a ghoulish walk created as an evangelist outreach by Montclair Tabernacle Church. Or visit The Haunted Hill in Partlow, Spotsylvania County; a haunted hayride will drop you off in the woods and you’ll have to dodge the terrors out to get you on your way back! Make your way to the Haunted Hallow in Warrenton for a haunted trail in and around the barns of an abandoned farm. Madhaunter’s Madhouse will take place at the Workhouse Arts Center (and former prison) in Lorton. It’s been voted the best haunted house in the state, so come prepared to be scared! For another haunted farm experience visit Rt. 29 in Warrenton, check their calendar as well because you may be able to enjoy a bonfire and some live music while there. Clifton is a historic civil war town, said by many to be haunted, so what better place to walk a spooky trail? Visit the Clifton Haunted Trail for some good scares in the woods! Another in Fairfax County is the Cox Farms Fields of Fear in Centreville—enjoy bonfires and haunted hayrides here as well!

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