Photo by Haley Phelps / Unsplash

What To Do Around NoVa This Week

Ellen Howes
Ellen Howes

Table of Contents

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Halloween is here, and there’s something for every family to enjoy across Northern Virginia. Many venues are still hosting fall festivals, and fun and unique trick-or-treating opportunities are popping up across NoVa. We’ve compiled your list of fun fall activities, from pony rides and movie nights to trick-or-treating at the Zoo.

Here’s our list of family-friendly activities to try now through October 30:

Annual Vienna Halloween Parade

Families and children wear fun costumes in a Halloween parade.
Image via

Enjoy the 76th annual Halloween Parade! Since 1946, the Town of Vienna has hosted a Halloween parade for area families. Held rain or shine on Wednesday evening the week before Halloween, the parade includes floats and other forms of entertainment marching down Maple Avenue, from Branch Road to Center Street. For this year's event, children and others in costume are invited to march along in the parade, no need to register.

When: Wednesday, 10/26 at 7pm. Children with parents who want to march should meet at 6 p.m. at the United Bank, 374 Maple Ave., E.
Price: Free
Address: Maple Avenue, Vienna, VA 22180
Find out more here.

Haunted Trail at Salamander Resort & Spa

Fall pumpkins lined in a row on a farm at sunset.
Image by Maddy Baker via Unsplash

Salamander Resort & Spa is hosting its annual family-friendly Haunted Trail on the evenings of October 26-27 & 29-30. The .6-mile trail includes 10-actor scenes and is geared toward children ages 4 through 12. Children wanting to walk through the trail without the actors in the scenes can do so at 6:30pm. Food and beverages will be available to purchase à la carte, including hot dogs, pulled pork, s’mores kits, caramel apples, mac & cheese, and veggie wraps.

When: Wednesday, 10/26, Thursday, 10/27, Saturday, 10/29, and Sunday 10/30 from 6:30-9pm.
Price: $16/guest
Address: Salamander Resort & Spa, 500 N Pendleton St., Middleburg, VA 20117
See more and purchase tickets here.

Pumpkin Festival at Butler’s Orchard

A classic red farmstand that says Butler's Orchard on the roof.
Image via Butler's Orchard

This is the last week to enjoy the annual Pumpkin Festival at Butler’s Orchard, now in its 42nd year! Families can enjoy the Orchard’s hayloft jump, corn and straw mazes, giant slides, playground, climb-on structures, and more.

When: 10/26 through 10/30. Weekdays (Wednesdays-Fridays) from 1pm-6pm, and weekends from 9am-6pm. Last entry on weekdays and weekends is at 4:30pm. Price: Free for children 2 and under. Weekday tickets are $10/person when purchased online, or $12/person when purchased at the gate. Weekend tickets $15/person online and $17/person at the gate.
Address: Butler’s Orchard, 22222 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, MD 20876
See a full list of activities and learn more here.

Watch Scooby Doo with Rosslyn Cinema

Families sit on lawn chairs and picnic blankets to watch a movie in the park at sunset.
Image via

Enjoy a movie in the park with Rosslyn Cinema! Pack your picnic blanket and laugh along to Scooby Doo (2002, rated PG) on the lawn of Gateway Park! Some beer, wine, and food pop-ups will be available, but guests are welcome to bring their favorite food.

When: Friday, 10/26. The movie will begin at sundown, around 7pm.
Price: Free
Address: Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209
Learn more here.

Boo at the Zoo

Children and families in Halloween costumes enjoy trick-or-treating at the National Zoo.
Photo by Jim Jenkins for Smithsonian's National Zoo

Celebrate Halloween with all the furry, fanged, and beloved creatures at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo! Brush off your monster mash at their dance party, and enjoy more than 30 trick-or-treat stations. Boo at the Zoo is perfect for children ages 4 to 12.

When: Friday, 10/28, Saturday, 10/29, and Sunday, 10/30 at 5:30pm.
Price: $25 for Zoo members, $35 for non-members. Tickets are required for all guests 2 and older.
Address: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008
Click here to get your tickets.

Air & Scare

Children dressed up as Where's Waldo enjoy trick-or-treating at the Udvar-Hazy Center's Air & Scare event.
Image via

Enjoy the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum’s Halloween Air & Scare hosted at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA! The event will include both indoor and outdoor activities. Free, timed tickets are required for the outside activities. Come in costume, make some spooky discoveries, and take part in some science fun. Activities will include a puppet show, learning to use a telescope, go on a scavenger hunt, and enjoy a story and photo opportunity with Star Wars characters!

When: Saturday, 10/29 from 10am-3pm.
Price: Free, but registration is required.
Address: 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151
See a full list of activities and register here.

Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue Fall Festival

A child mounts a draft horse for a guided ride at a fall festival.
Image via Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue

Join Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue for the 2nd annual Fall Festival. Meet over 150 rescued draft horses, enjoy local beer and food trucks, try your hand at carnival games, and take a “pony” ride (for kids and adults!). Start your holiday shopping early at the vendor market, watch a mounted archery performance, and take a hay ride around the 300+ acre facility.

When: Saturday, 10/29 from 12pm-6pm.
Price: Tickets are $2/child and $10 for general admission. There are also “family pack” ticket options for $25 that admit 2 adults and 3 children.
Address: Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue 17250 Old Frederick Road Mount Airy, MD 21771
Get your tickets here.

Fall Festival at Messick’s Farm Market

Children play on a farm during a fall festival.
Image via Messick's Farm

It’s the last weekend of the Fall Festival at Messick’s Farm! Families can savor the farm’s fall festivities, including a giant corn maze, hayride, barrel train, zip line, bounce pillow, candy cannon, kid tattoos, and their special Candy Drops! You can also enjoy their pumpkin patch and duck races for an additional cost.

When: Saturday, 10/29 and Sunday, 10/30 from 10am-5pm.
Price: Free for children ages 3 and under. Tickets are $15/adult and $8/seniors.
Address: 6025 Catlett Rd., Bealeton, VA 22712
Learn more on their website here.

Spooktacular Jack O’Lantern Stroll

A group of festive Jack O'Lanterns lit up at night.
Image via Providence Elementary School PTA

Enjoy this 1st annual Spooktacular Jack O’Lantern Stroll in Van Dyck Park hosted by the Providence Elementary School PTA in collaboration with Daniels Run Elementary School PTA. Explore the Jack O’Lanterns on display carved by Fairfax families and organizations, enjoy treats for the kids, watch a special performance by the City of Fairfax Theatre Company and music by Bach to Rock. Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes and bring a trick or treat tote bag or bucket.

When: Sunday, 10/30 from 5:30-9pm.
Price: Free, but registration is required.
Address: Van Dyck Park 3720 Old Lee Highway Fairfax, VA 22030
Register here.


Ellen Howes

Ellen is a bookworm, runner, and proud auntie. She makes her home in DC and can usually be found somewhere in Rock Creek Park.