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The 19 best things to do around NoVA in October

From So You Think You Can Dance’s tour stop to the 44th annual Virginia Wine Festival, here’s what to put on your calendar this month.

So You Think You Can Dance cast members (Photo courtesy of the Hylton Performing Arts Center)

1. For 16 seasons, So You Think You Can Dance has had you secretly getting off your couch and doing your best to replicate the complicated choreography the dancers bring to the stage on the popular competition show. Music and dance superstars like Mandy Moore, Wade Robson and Lady Gaga’s longtime choreographer, Laurieann Gibson, have all mentored the dancers on the hip-shakin’ show. Now, the dancers from season 16 of the Emmy Award-winning hit are on a fall tour—and making a one-night-only stop in NoVA. Tap your toes—and try to stay seated—as the dancers showcase styles from salsa to hip-hop to contemporary. Different ticket packages offer options that include a chance to meet and greet the cast, and even get your photo snapped with them on stage. // Oct. 22; 8 p.m.; Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $45-$429

Sarah Reeves (Photo courtesy of Sarah Reeves)

2. Sarah Reeves, best known for her Christian Top 40 Chart song “Sweet Sweet Sound” is bringing her new soft-pop sound to Jammin’ Java this month. Read our exclusive interview to learn more about her exploration into a new music genre and what to expect from the upcoming NoVA performance. // Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; $15-$25

Go Go Gadjet (Photo courtesy of Tally Ho Theater)

3. See a truly modern musical performance with this Pennsylvania-based group at Tally Ho Theater. Go Go Gadjet blends traditional instrumentation with modern synths and controllers, resulting in a unique show.  Take in a performance 10 years in the making. // Oct. 12; 7 p.m.; Tally Ho Theater: 19 W. Market St., Leesburg; $10-$15

Art on the Avenue Festival (Photo by Mark Blackden)

4. Join the 50,000 visitors that travel to Del Ray’s Mount Vernon Avenue each year for the Art on the Avenue Festival, celebrating multicultural arts in the community of Del Ray. Attendees can expect to engage with over 300 artists, a diverse group of musicians and a selection of delicious food vendors. // Oct. 5; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 2301 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; free

Cirque Mei (Photo courtesy of the Hylton Performing Arts Center)

5. Celebrate Chinese circus arts with Cirque Mei. See a cast of acrobats perform incredible routines designed to stun audiences. // Oct. 19; 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $30-$50

Photo courtesy of Virginia Wine Festival

6. Sample over 200 Virginia wines at this annual, unlimited tasting event. In addition to pouring some of the best wine the state has to offer, the 44th Virginia Wine Festival will
offer free tasting glasses, access to an incredible selection of wines for sale, along with musical entertainment. // Oct. 19-20; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; One Loudon: 44600 Freetown Blvd., Ashburn; $15-$69

7. Join George Mason University’s School of Theater as it partners with an award-winning crew to put on a performance of Rags. See the latest adaptation of this timely musical showcasing the optimism and grit displayed by immigrants arriving in Ellis Island near the turn of the last century. // Oct. 31-Nov. 3; times vary; George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $30 

Buddy Guy (Photo by Paul Natkin)

8. Buddy Guy, one of the premiere rock ’n’ roll guitarists on the planet, will bring his Chicago-influenced blues music to the State Theater. Come see the eminent Rock & Roll Hall of Famer do what he does best. // Oct. 14; 8 p.m.; The State Theatre: 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church; $79

Photo courtesy Sugarloaf Crafts Festival

9. Support artistic entrepreneurs at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. Dulles Expo Center will be outfitted with the creations of over 300 crafters from the Mid-Atlantic. Don’t miss this chance to see live crafting demonstrations and the chance to take home a one-of-a kind decoration or handicraft. // Oct. 18-20; times vary; times vary; Dulles Expo Center: 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly; $8 online, $10 at the door, kids under 12 free

Photo by Richard Clay

10. For all equestrian and steeplechase fanatics, the International Gold Cup, one of Virginia’s premiere horse racing events, is just around the corner. Make sure to dress sharp and place a winning bet at this annual event held in The Plains. // Oct. 26; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 5809 Old Tavern Road; The Plains; $25 general admission wristband, $50 general admission car pass; group ticketing options, $200-$12,000

Photo courtesy of Torpedo Art Factory Arts Center

11. Take a deep look into the history of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center as it celebrates 100 Years on the Waterfront. This exhibit will commemorate and display the building’s prior life as a munitions plant, along with the past 45 years as a creative hub in Alexandria. // Oct. 11-Dec. 1; times vary; Torpedo Factory Arts Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; free

Photo courtesy of Signature Theater

12. Signature Theatre looks to find the magic in A Chorus Line, a nine-time Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning show. See how one of Northern Virginia’s premiere theaters puts together this highly decorated musical. // Oct. 29-Jan. 5; times vary; Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; from $40 

Photo courtesy of Disney on Ice

13. Road Trip Adventures with Disney on Ice is making dreams come true at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena. See Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Moana, Simba and more skate right into your child’s heart at this exciting extravaganza. // Oct. 2-6; times vary; Eagle Bank Arena: 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; prices vary

Fatin Dantzler and Aja Gradyon (Photo courtesy of Kindred the Family Soul)

14. The American neo soul performers Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon of Kindred the Family Soul return to The Birchmere this month for two nights. Read our exclusive interview with the husband-and-wife duo behind six albums (and a seventh currently in the works). // Oct. 4-5; 7:30 p.m.; The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $69.50

Photo courtesy of NOVA Parks

15. Looking for places to enjoy the fall colors? Check out our guide on where to upgrade your outdoor autumnal experience, here.

Photo courtesy of ACR of Loudoun

16. Trick-or-treating isn’t just for the kids, and neither is spooky season. Here’s where to find the adults-only events this October that are worth your time.

Photo by Mindy Tucker

17. Get ready for a stand-up education taught by comedy writers David Angelo, Matt Koff (pictured), Joe Opio and Kat Radley. The Daily Show Writers Stand-Up Tour gives the comics behind the jokes of the popular Daily Show with Trevor Noah a chance to step into the spotlight and make you laugh all night long. // Oct. 4-5; times vary; Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; $20

Lee Ann Womack (Photo courtesy of The Birchmere)

18. Come hear singer-songwriter Lee Ann Womack as she sets up for an unforgettable evening of acoustic music at The Birchmere. Don’t miss a chance to hear the best of Womack as she performs her repertoire stripped down to the basics. // Oct. 18; 7:30 p.m.; The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $35

Pat McGee Band (Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap)

19. Join the Pat McGee Band, now performing as Almost Everything, as the original members retake the stage for two incredible shows. During their 20 years on the road, they have shared the stage and sold out shows with iconic groups like The Who, James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac. Be a part of their reunion tour at The Barns. // Oct. 17-18; 8 p.m.; The Barns at Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $37

This post originally appeared in our October 2019 issue. For more things to do, subscribe to our newsletters.

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