18 can’t-miss fall festivals in DC area

Get in the spirit of the season with a fall festival — or two (WTOP's Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON — Cooler temperatures and changing leaves are just a few signs that fall is here. Festivals celebrating apples and pumpkins are another.

If you’re looking to get in the sweater-weather spirit this season, look no further. Here are 18 of the area’s best fall festivals.

This photo from the 2016 Maryland Renaissance Festival depicts a jousting tournament. (Courtesy Maryland Renaissance Festival)
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Through Oct. 22  The annual Maryland Renaissance Festival has it all — from jousting tournaments to fire-eaters, to pirates and puppetry. And this year, the fun lasts nearly two whole months. Read about some of the festival’s 2017 highlights on wtop.com. (Courtesy Maryland Renaissance Festival) (Courtesy Maryland Renaissance Festival )
H Street Festival attendees dressed to the nines on Saturday afternoon. (WTOP/Dana Gooley)
H Street Festival
Saturday, Sept. 16 H Street is one of the city’s most thriving neighborhoods, and so is its annual festival. The free event includes food, face painting, live performances and more. “It’s such a hip neighborhood now, and the festival has just exploded. Every year it gets more and more popular,” says D.C.-area travel and parenting writer Guiomar Ochoa.  But be forewarned: “Don’t take your car, take Metro. It’s impossible to find parking,” Ochoa adds. (WTOP/Dana Gooley) (WTOP/Dana Gooley)
This Oct. 5, 2015 photo shows Strongbow's hard cider in Concord, N.H. Cider typically is lower in alcohol than wine, averaging 5 to 7 percent, but has enough acid and tannins to cleanse and refresh the palate for the next bite. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
Virginia Hard Cider Festival
Saturday, Sept. 16  Taste the fruits of the cider industry’s labor at the 2017 Virginia Hard Cider Festival in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Sample ciders from more than 25 local producers. Live music and food round out the event. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) (AP/Matthew Mead)
In this photo taken Friday, July 26, 2013, veraison, the onset of ripening, is shown on Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at the Opus One winery in Oakville, Calif. One thing that is certain about the weather in California’s premiere wine grape-growing region is that there is no such thing as normal, and 2013 is living up to that adage. After dealing with cool temperatures in three of the past four years that slowed ripening and kept grapes hanging on the vine until the fall rainy season threated, growers in Napa Valley are dealing with an opposite challenge. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Maryland Wine Festival
Sept. 16 and 17 Sample more than 150 wines from across the state, peruse merchandise from local arts and crafts vendors, taste cheese from Maryland’s creameries and kick back to live music at this year’s Maryland Wine Festival. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP/Eric Risberg)
Queen City Mischief and Magic
Sept. 22, 23, 24  Potterheads, pay attention: This event is for you. Sept. 22 through 24, wizards, witches and muggles from around the area will flock to Staunton, Virginia, for a weekend celebrating all things “Harry Potter.” There will be butterbeer, Horcrux hunting and magical activities for fans of all ages. Read more about the Harry Potter-themed festival on wtop.com. (Courtesy Kate Simon Lifestyle Photography) ((Courtesy Kate Simon Lifestyle Photography))
This photo taken May 14, 2014 shows people walking along southeast Washington’s Barracks Row. While small, older buildings might not make for an impressive skyline, they may be better for cities than massive, gleaming office towers, according to a study released Thursday. Neighborhoods and commercial areas with a mix of older, smaller buildings make for more vibrant, walkable communities with more businesses, nightlife and cultural outlets than massive newer buildings, according the National Trust for Historic Preservation's study.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Barracks Row Fall Festival
Saturday, Sept. 23  Travel and parenting writer Guiomar Ochoa says the annual Barracks Row Fall Festival is a great option for those looking to learn a little more about the city’s historic Marine barracks. There are tours of the post, as well as live entertainment, a petting zoo and a beer garden for adults. (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2013, file photo, brewer Stefano Daneri holding up a beer at Good People Brewing in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama's alcohol regulators want the name, address, age and phone number of everyone who buys beer in one of the state's craft breweries and takes it home to drink, a move that is raising concerns about privacy. he Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is considering a new rule that would require brewers to collect the personal information of anyone who purchases beer at a brewery for off-premise consumption. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)
Snallygaster 
Saturday, Sept. 23 Back now for its sixth year is D.C.’s largest craft beer festival, Snallygaster. Sample from more than 350 craft beers on draft, all while supporting the sustainable food nonprofit, Arcadia. (AP/Dave Martin) (AP/Dave Martin)
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Taste of Georgetown
Sunday, Sept. 24  Thirty of the Georgetown neighborhood’s top restaurants and chefs set up tents and tables for a day on K Street along the Georgetown waterfront to showcase their best dishes. Go hungry. (Courtesy Taste of Georgetown, Sam Kittner) (Courtesy Taste of Georgetown, Sam Kittner)
In this Sept, 28, 2010 photo,  rows of more commonly grown pumpkin varieties such as Magic Lanterns wait for customers at Curtis Orchards & Pumpkin Patch on the outskirts of Champaign, Ill. The number of pumpkin varieties grown by farms such as Curtis Orchard has exploded over the past 10 to 15 years as Halloween has become big business. (AP Photo/David Mercer).
Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival
Sept. 23 through Oct. 31  Parenting writer Guiomar Ochoa says families will find pony rides, mazes, a petting zoo, wagon rides and more on this 130-acre farm in Middletown, Maryland. However, one of her favorite things to do while in the area is to hop over to neighboring South Mountain Creamery for ice cream, tours and unique farm activities. Ochoa says the creamery feeds its calves every day at 4 p.m., and if you get there early enough, the staff lets its visitors grab a bottle and feed the baby cows. (AP Photo/David Mercer) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/David Mercer)
CARDIGAN, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 15:  Campers gather around the camp fire at the Fforestcamp on August 15, 2008 near Cardigan in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Despite the dismal summer weather, camping is becoming an increasingly popular UK holiday option for a variety of reasons, including environmental concerns and the higher cost of living.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
The Fall Festival at Summers Farm
Sept. 23 through Oct. 31  Visitors at this Frederick, Maryland, farm will find a corn maze, rides, slides and themed games, but parenting writer Guiomar Ochoa says one of the coolest things about this fall festival is the option to “rent” a campfire. For $75, groups of 30 to 50 people get a picnic table, benches and all the wood needed for a campfire. There’s even an additional package for s’mores. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Matt Cardy)
Young people celebrate the opening of the 183rd Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. The world's largest beer festival will be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Frederick’s Oktoberfest 
Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 Find bratwurst, beer and bands in Frederick, Maryland, at one of the biggest and best Oktoberfest celebrations in the D.C. area. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) (AP)
Cooler temperatures and changing leaves are just a few signs that fall is here. Festivals celebrating apples and pumpkins are another.  (Maria Bryk for George Washington's Mount Vernon)
Mount Vernon’s Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour
Oct. 6, 7 and 8 This wine festival takes place on the historic grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Virginia. The event includes live blues music, tours of the Washingtons’ home and educational seminars. (Maria Bryk for George Washington’s Mount Vernon) (Courtesy Maria Bryk for George Washington's Mount Vernon)
External view of Thread at DC's Iconic Union Market at Union Market on April 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for EDENS)
All Things Go Fall Classic
Oct. 6, 7 and 8 D.C.’s Union Market heats up as the weather gets cool with the annual All Things Go Fall Classic. The three-day event includes a robust lineup of live music, as well as food from a number of local vendors. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for EDENS) (Getty Images for EDENS/Leigh Vogel)
McIntosh apples hang on a tree, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 at Carlson Orchards, in Harvard, Mass. As summer winds down in New England, apple-picking season is gearing up with growers forecasting a bumper crop. According to the U.S. Apple Association, the six-state harvest is expected to be about 14 percent higher than last year. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival
Oct. 7-8; Oct. 14-15; Oct. 21-22 Now in its 48th year, this fall festival includes bluegrass music, hayrides, a hay maze, apple butter cooking demonstrations and apple picking. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (AP/Steven Senne)
Alexandria's City Manager Mark B. Jinks has recommended that the city council no longer consider a proposed Business Improvement District in Old Town. (Courtesy Visit Alexandria)
Virginia Wine Festival
Oct. 14 and 15 This year’s 42nd annual Virginia Wine Festival is in the heart of Old Town Alexandria at Oronoco Bay Park. Taste more than 200 Virginia wines and sample some of the state’s best oysters. There’s also live entertainment and activities for the kids. (Matt Chenet for Visit Alexandria) (Matt Chenet for Visit Alexandria)
Fall Harvest Family Days
Oct. 21 and 22  Celebrate the 2017 fall season the 18th century way at Mount Vernon’s Fall Harvest Family Days with craft demonstrations, music and more. (Kevin Ambrose for George Washington’s Mount Vernon) (Kevin Ambrose for George Washington's Mount Vernon)
Oysterman Chris Ludford opens one of his oysters after harvesting on some of his leased oyster beds on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Urbanna Oyster Festival
Nov. 3 and 4 Now in its 60th year, the Urbanna Oyster Festival is the Commonwealth’s official oyster festival. Enjoy more than 50 food vendors, wine and beer tastings, a parade and an oyster-shucking contest in the Rappahannock River community. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP/Steve Helber)
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This photo from the 2016 Maryland Renaissance Festival depicts a jousting tournament. (Courtesy Maryland Renaissance Festival)
H Street Festival attendees dressed to the nines on Saturday afternoon. (WTOP/Dana Gooley)
This Oct. 5, 2015 photo shows Strongbow's hard cider in Concord, N.H. Cider typically is lower in alcohol than wine, averaging 5 to 7 percent, but has enough acid and tannins to cleanse and refresh the palate for the next bite. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
In this photo taken Friday, July 26, 2013, veraison, the onset of ripening, is shown on Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at the Opus One winery in Oakville, Calif. One thing that is certain about the weather in California’s premiere wine grape-growing region is that there is no such thing as normal, and 2013 is living up to that adage. After dealing with cool temperatures in three of the past four years that slowed ripening and kept grapes hanging on the vine until the fall rainy season threated, growers in Napa Valley are dealing with an opposite challenge. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
This photo taken May 14, 2014 shows people walking along southeast Washington’s Barracks Row. While small, older buildings might not make for an impressive skyline, they may be better for cities than massive, gleaming office towers, according to a study released Thursday. Neighborhoods and commercial areas with a mix of older, smaller buildings make for more vibrant, walkable communities with more businesses, nightlife and cultural outlets than massive newer buildings, according the National Trust for Historic Preservation's study.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2013, file photo, brewer Stefano Daneri holding up a beer at Good People Brewing in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama's alcohol regulators want the name, address, age and phone number of everyone who buys beer in one of the state's craft breweries and takes it home to drink, a move that is raising concerns about privacy. he Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is considering a new rule that would require brewers to collect the personal information of anyone who purchases beer at a brewery for off-premise consumption. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)
Kittner_20140913_6597
In this Sept, 28, 2010 photo,  rows of more commonly grown pumpkin varieties such as Magic Lanterns wait for customers at Curtis Orchards & Pumpkin Patch on the outskirts of Champaign, Ill. The number of pumpkin varieties grown by farms such as Curtis Orchard has exploded over the past 10 to 15 years as Halloween has become big business. (AP Photo/David Mercer).
CARDIGAN, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 15:  Campers gather around the camp fire at the Fforestcamp on August 15, 2008 near Cardigan in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Despite the dismal summer weather, camping is becoming an increasingly popular UK holiday option for a variety of reasons, including environmental concerns and the higher cost of living.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Young people celebrate the opening of the 183rd Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. The world's largest beer festival will be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Cooler temperatures and changing leaves are just a few signs that fall is here. Festivals celebrating apples and pumpkins are another.  (Maria Bryk for George Washington's Mount Vernon)
External view of Thread at DC's Iconic Union Market at Union Market on April 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for EDENS)
McIntosh apples hang on a tree, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 at Carlson Orchards, in Harvard, Mass. As summer winds down in New England, apple-picking season is gearing up with growers forecasting a bumper crop. According to the U.S. Apple Association, the six-state harvest is expected to be about 14 percent higher than last year. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Alexandria's City Manager Mark B. Jinks has recommended that the city council no longer consider a proposed Business Improvement District in Old Town. (Courtesy Visit Alexandria)
Oysterman Chris Ludford opens one of his oysters after harvesting on some of his leased oyster beds on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


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