October 2017 Festivals and Events in the Washington, DC Area

Pumpkin patch
••• Rachel Cooper

The Washington, DC area and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia host lots of annual festivals and special events. All dates, prices, and activities mentioned are subject to change, so please check the official website or call to confirm information. Please note that most of these events are held each year and the dates are updated as available.

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  • Pumpkin Festivals - Find out where the best pumpkin patches and fall festivals are in the Washington, DC area.
  • Best Halloween Events - Throughout the month of October, get spooked at a haunted house, romp around a pumpkin patch or go on a haunted city tour. Find the best Halloween events in the Washington, DC area.
  • Oktoberfests Near Washington, DC - Find German folk festivals with great beer, food, and live entertainment.
  • Corn Mazes in Maryland and Virginia - Stroll through a giant corn maze and find puzzle pieces that will complete your own maze map. This is a great family activity.
  • Fall for Fairfax Festival - Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2017, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Northern Virginia’s largest fall festival includes more than 100 interactive activities and exhibits for the whole family.
  • Calvert County Fair - Through October 1, 2017. Prince Frederick, Maryland. The fair includes a wide range of activities including farm animals, exhibits, musical, entertainment, food, carnival rides, contests and a 4H auction.
  • DC Design House - Through October 29, 2017. The annual interior design showcase transforms a house by top local designers. The home is open to the public and is a fun place to check out creative home decorating ideas. 
  • Annapolis Sailboat Show - October 5-9, 2017. Annapolis City Dock. Visit Downtown Annapolis and check out the latest in boats and boating accessories.
  • Mount Vernon’s Wine Festival & Sunset Tour - October 6-8, 2017, 6-9 pm. George Washington's Estate & Gardens. Wine-cellar tours and live music. Advanced tickets are required.
  • Taste of Bethesda - October 7, 2017. Bethesda’s famous food and music festival features 50 restaurants and four stages of live entertainment.
  • Fall Theater in Washington DC - With dozens of performances around the region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the upcoming season.
  • Maryland Renaissance Festival - Weekends through October 22, 2017. A 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances, games and lots more. Located in Crownsville, Maryland.
  • Autumn Conservation Festival - October 7, 2017. Smithsonian Biology Conservation Institute, Front Royal, VA. Get a behind-the-scenes look at our world-renowned science, research, and animal care.
  • Taste of DC - October 7-8, 2017.  The event will feature tastings and dishes from more than 80 of Washington DC’s best restaurants, eateries and food trucks, a Farm-to-Fork zone, and the chance to get up close and personal with local chefs and winemakers.
  • White House Garden Tours- 2017 Dates to Be Announced. View the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children's Garden and South Lawn of the White House. 
  • National Fire Prevention Week - October 8-14, 2017. Attention is focused this week on promoting fire safety and prevention.
  • Charity Walks in the Washington, DC Area  - Throughout the month, there are great charities to support while improving your own health. Find walks in the DC metropolitan area.
  • Army Ten-Miler - October 8, 2017. America's biggest 10-mile race attracts 20,000 runners each year. Race begins at the Pentagon at 8 a.m.
  • Columbus Day - October 9, 2017. The annual wreath laying ceremony honors the life of Christopher Columbus.
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month - Through October 15. Throughout this month, America celebrates the culture and traditions of Spanish speaking residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
  • Fall For the Book Festival - Oct. 11-14, 2017. The regional celebration of literature and the arts features events at George Mason University's Fairfax, Virginia Campus and at multiple locations throughout the capital region. The festival welcomes nearly 150 authors including some of the nation’s most exciting and provocative writers.
  • Distribution of Tickets for the National Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyOctober 12-16, 2017. It's an online lottery! Don't miss this wonderful holiday tradition in Washington, DC!
  • Annapolis Powerboat Show - October 12-15, 2017. Annapolis City Dock. Visit Downtown Annapolis and check out the latest in boats and boating accessories.
  • Bethesda Row Arts Festival - October 14-17, 2017. Bethesda, MD. More than 180 artists display a wide variety of artwork and crafts.
  • Rockville Antique & Classic Car Show - October 14, 2017, 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Rockville Civic Center grounds. Rockville, Maryland. See a display of more than 500 antique and classic automobiles, pumpkin painting, moon bounce, and swing music, by the Rockin’Ville Swing Band.
  • Sugarloaf Craft Festival - October 20-22, 2017. Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, MD. Enjoy craft demonstrations, great food and live entertainment.
  • Patuxent Wildlife Festival - October 21, 2017, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Live animals and research displays at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland.
  • Northern Virginia Brewfest - October 21-22, 2017, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA. More than 40 breweries will feature their best American style beers. Entertainment includes live music and children’s activities such as face painting, air-brush tattooing, moon bounces, and rock climbing.
  • Boo at the Zoo - October 20-22, 2017. Visit bats, spiders, owls, and other animals at the zoo while trick-or-treating at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Enjoy animal encounters, keeper talks, festive decorations, and haunted trails at the annual National Zoo’s Halloween celebration. Advance tickets are required. 
  • Mount Vernon Fall Harvest Days - October 21-22, 2017. Celebrate the season with horse-drawn wagon rides, wheat treading in the 16-sided barn, a straw bale maze, early-American games, music and demonstrations.
  • Kids Euro Festival - October 21- November 5, 2017. The event includes more than 200 free performances around the city staged through the cooperation of the 28 Washington-based European Union embassies and more than a dozen major local cultural institutions. Geared to children ages 2-12.
  • Marine Corps Marathon - October 22, 2017. The annual race includes a full weekend of events including the Health and Fitness Expo, Healthy Kids Fun Run, and Marine Corps Marathon Finish Festival.
  • Washington International Horse Show - October 24-29, 2017. Capital One Arena, Washington, DC. The world-class equestrian competition features top riders, Olympic veterans and superstar horses to the nation's capital for thrilling show jumping, boutique shopping, educational events and more.
  • DC Drag Queen Race - October 24, 2017. Thousands of spectators flock to Dupont Circle to watch costumed drag queens show off their elaborate Halloween costumes and race down 17th Street.
  • Day of the Dead - October 31-November 1, 2017. Los Días de los Muertos is a Mexican custom honoring and remembering those who have died. See a guide to special events around the region. Note that some will be held the weekend before.

More Washington, DC Area Event Calendars

Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June
Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec