Fall-focused family time

These family-friendly festivals take advantage of our seasonal surroundings and offer hands-on activities for little ones.

virginia tech
Photo by Sean Crook, Courtesy of Virginia Tech Maker Festival
Cox Farm Fall Festival
Sept. 22-Oct. 31, Nov. 3-7

A tradition in Northern Virginia, a trip to Cox Farm’s Fall Festival is a must with its acres of slides, tunnels, swings, mazes, animals and musical entertainment. New this year: Foamhenge, a full-size Styrofoam replica of Stonehenge that once stood at Natural Bridge. // Cox Farm, Centreville

Fredericksburg’s Fall Fairy Festival
Sept. 23, noon-5 p.m.

This festival is geared toward children, with fun events and activities and many nonprofit vendors on-site. Irish dancers, a drummer, magic shows, a fairy garden contest, art contest and short story contests will take place during the event and will offer cash prizes. Unicorn rides will also take place at the festival. // Old Mill Park, Fredericksburg

The Fall Festival at Ticonderoga Farms
Sept. 23-Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The annual fall festival at Ticonderoga Farms is happening once again. With activities such as pedal karts, hayrides, slides, farm animals, tire play, a willow maze, concessions and much more, the fall festival is a seasonal attraction not to miss. // Ticonderoga Farm, Chantilly

Snead’s Farm Fall Festival
Sept. 24-Oct. 31

With kid-friendly events such as a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, rope swings and adult features such as local craft beer provided, the festival is a hit for every member of the family. Entrees and desserts made with ingredients from Snead’s Farm will also be available. // Snead’s Farm, Fredericksburg

fall fest
Photo courtesy of Fall for Fairfax Kids Fest
Fall for Fairfax Kidsfest
Sept. 30-Oct. 1

This 25th annual event is geared toward kids aged 12 and under with over 100 activities with a focus on education, personal health and the environment. Featuring a full kiddie carnival with over 20 mechanical rides, this event aims to give back to the community. Parking and attendance are free. // Fairfax County Government Center, Fairfax

Snead’s Belvedere Plantation Fall Harvest Festival
Sep. 30-Nov. 4

Belvedere Plantation’s Fall Harvest Festival includes hayrides, a trike track, zip lines, extreme pedal carts, pony rides, flower cutting and more. The main attractions are the Maize Maze and the pumpkin patch. // Belvedere Plantation, Fredericksburg

Fall Pumpkin Harvest
Oct. 1-31

Nothing can match a harvest festival like one at a farm. Pick pumpkins, watch pig races, traipse through the corn maze and indulge in cider doughnuts. There are also wagon rides, marshmallow roasting and live music. And once this festival is over, head back to the farm for the Pumpkin Chunkin’ Festival Nov. 4-7 where you can smash, chuck, drop and annihilate the holiday gourds. // Great Country Farms, Bluemont

Virginia Tech Maker Festival
Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Geared toward promoting STEM learning, the Virginia Tech Maker Festival is a free event aiming to get children involved. The free festival is family friendly and encourages science, technology, engineering and math. Hands-on events like rocket making, paper airplanes, robots and other scientific crafts are some of the events children can expect. // Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center, Falls Church

(October 2017)