The fall is a great season for festivals in the Washington, D.C. area. There's a little bit of something for everyone, including food festivals, music festivals, and film festivals. These family-friendly events span the Washington, D.C. area, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
Oktoberfest is an iconic celebration of German culture (and beer, of course). There are a number of great German fall festivals around the Washington, D.C. region. Snallygaster D.C. is one of the most popular beer festivals, featuring more than 300 different ales and lagers as well as multiple food vendors, live music, DJ performances, and recreational and family-friendly activities.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
The Maryland Renaissance Festival is a fun family event held in Anne Arundel County, about 30 miles from Washington, D.C. It runs every year between August and October. The annual six-week festival recreates a 16th-century English village with crafts, food, live performances on eight stages, a jousting arena and lots of games. Don't miss the fire-eaters, jugglers, and magicians.
This annual celebration in September highlights the Latino culture with a Parade of Nations, a children’s festival, a beauty pageant, a science fair, a diplomatic pavilion for embassies and consulates, arts and crafts stations, and traditional Mexican and South/Central American cuisine. The festival coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15).
Maryland Seafood Festival
For more than 50 years the Maryland Seafood Festival has been an Annapolis tradition. Some of the top events include a crab cake-eating contest, crab-picking contest, oyster-shucking contest, and a crab soup cook-off. There's also a sand soccer tournament and arts and crafts with local creative types. When hunger strikes, head to the beer- and oyster-tasting tent or visit the chef demo area for free seafood samples.
Taste of Georgetown
Around 35 of Washington's most distinguished restaurants serve sample portions of their signature dishes paired with complementing wines. This September food festival in Georgetown also includes live music and children's activities such as caricature artists, balloon makers, and jugglers. The region's hottest chefs will face off, testing their culinary skill during the Georgetown Chef Showdown. The judges will taste all 70+ dishes and judge them based on categories such as "Best Use of Seasonal Ingredients," "Best Overall Dish," and "Best Way to Satiate a Sweet Tooth."
Adams Morgan Day
The second Sunday in September is Adams Morgan Day, an annual neighborhood festival with live music and international food from around the world. Enjoy colorful vendors, cultural demonstrations, live music, and dance workshops on rumba, Mexican folk, Bolivian and salsa.
H Street Festival
The H Street Festival is an annual fair designed to showcase the developing arts and entertainment district spanning 10 blocks of H Street NE. The festival, which will be held on October 13, 2018, features more than 500 artists and performances on 14 stages plus an array of local, regional, and international cuisine, shopping, art exhibits, educational events, seminars and conversations with local entrepreneurs and community organizations.
Kids Euro Festival
The Kids Euro Festival is one of the country's largest performing arts festivals for children, with more than 90 free events throughout the capital. The month-long event is geared to kids ages two through 12 and will feature artists in almost every performing genre, whose talents range from bubble-blowers to a virtual orchestra to storytelling to acrobats. Kids Euro Festival is staged through the cooperation of the 28 Washington-based European Union embassies and 30 major local cultural institutions.
Taste of DC
This food, wine, beer, and music festival in October features tastings and dishes from more than 65 of the region's best restaurants, eateries, and food trucks. Taste of DC also has a Farm-to-Fork zone, an Oktoberfest celebration, a Wine Walk, and a chili-eating championship.
Visit George Washington's Pioneer Farmer Site and create your own cornhusk dolls, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, or find your way through a hay maze. In October, Mount Vernon Estate welcomes the fall season with a weekend of activities including wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, early-American games, music, and demonstrations.
Mount Vernon Wine Festival & Sunset Tours
Celebrate the history of wine in Virginia with special evening tours of the mansion and live music on the east lawn of George Washington's Mount Vernon home overlooking the scenic Potomac River. In October, visitors can bring a blanket and relax on the lawn as they sample wines from 16 Virginia wineries during the annual Mount Vernon Wine Festival.
Taste of Bethesda
At the annual Taste of Bethesda, sample the foods of more than 50 restaurants, enjoy four stages of live entertainment, or visit the kid's corner for cookie decorating, face painting, and prizes. The Taste of Bethesda is held in conjunction with Best of Bethesda Day which features a classic car show and Rescue Day.