October 2016 Festivals and Events in the Washington, DC Area

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••• Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

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.

Taste of Georgetown
October 1, 2016, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sample dishes from 30 Georgetown restaurants, while enjoying live music and children's activities.

DC Design House
October 1-30, 2016. 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. 

Taste of Bethesda
October 1, 2016. Bethesda’s famous food and music festival features 50 restaurants and four stages of live entertainment.

Calvert County Fair
Through October 2, 2016. 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.

Fall Theater in Washington DC
With dozens of performances around the region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the 2016 season.

Washington Redskins - Enjoy the football season and cheer for DC's team.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Weekends through October 23, 2016. A 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances, games and lots more. Located in Crownsville, Maryland.

Autumn Conservation Festival
October 1-2, 2016. Smithsonian Biology Conservation Institute, Front Royal, VA. Get a behind-the-scenes look at our world-renowned science, research, and animal care.

Fall for Fairfax Festival
October 1-2, 2016, 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.

Manassas Fall Jubilee
October 1, 2016, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The family-friendly event features live music and entertainment, hand-made crafts, and a variety of foods.

Annapolis Sailboat Show
October 6-10, 2016. Annapolis City Dock. Visit Downtown Annapolis and check out the latest in boats and boating accessories.

Distribution of Tickets for the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
October 7-10, 2016. It's an online lottery! Don't miss this wonderful holiday tradition in Washington, DC!

Mount Vernon’s Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
October 7-9, 2016, 6-9 pm. George Washington's Estate & Gardens.

Wine-cellar tours and live music. Advanced tickets are required.

Taste of DC
October 8-9, 2016.  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
October 8-9, 2016. View the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, Children's Garden and South Lawn of the White House.

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.

National Fire Prevention Week
October 9-15, 2016.

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 9, 2016. America's biggest 10-mile race attracts 20,000 runners each year. Race begins at the Pentagon at 8 a.m.

Columbus Day
October 10, 2016. 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.

Annapolis Powerboat Show
October 13-16, 2016. Annapolis City Dock. Visit Downtown Annapolis and check out the latest in boats and boating accessories.

Sugarloaf Craft Festival
October 14-16, 2016. Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, MD. Enjoy craft demonstrations, great food and live entertainment.

Epicurience Virginia: A Wine & Food Festival
October 15, 2016. Taste the finest in Virginia wines, meet top tastemakers and master winemakers, and sample cuisine prepared by celebrated chefs from around the country.

Patuxent Wildlife Festival
October 15, 2016, 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 15-16, 2016, 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.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival
October 15-16, 2016. Bethesda, MD. More than 180 artists display a wide variety of artwork and crafts.

Rockville Antique & Classic Car Show
October 15, 2016, 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.

Boo at the Zoo
October 21-23, 2016. 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.

Grand Opening of REI in Washington DC
October 21-23, 2016. Uline Arena, 1140 3rd St NE Washington DC. The Flagship store opens in the historic building where the Beatles first performed in the U.S. REI will host a three day block party with live bands, Outdoor School classes, beer gardens, s'mores, screen printing, a climbing wall, and more. 

Mount Vernon Fall Harvest Days
October 22-23, 2016. 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.

Washington International Horse Show
October 25-30, 2016. Verizon Center, Washington, DC. Horse show with jumping competitions with Olympic horses and riders, special exhibitions of musical freestyle dressage, bull riding, terrier races and more.

DC Drag Queen Race
October 25, 2016. Thousands of spectators flock to Dupont Circle to watch costumed drag queens show off their elaborate Halloween costumes and race down 17th Street.

Kids Euro Festival
October 26-November 6, 2016. 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.

Grand Opening Clarksburg Premium Outlets
October 27, 2016. Clarksburg, MD. The new outlet shopping center opens 90 stores featuring a mix of apparel, footwear, fashion accessories, leather goods, home furnishings and specialty brands.

Fall Frolic at Glen Echo Park
October 29, 2016, 1-4 p.m. The Halloween event celebrates the arts through hands-on crafts, live performances, and activities for all ages.

Marine Corps Marathon
October 30, 2016. 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.

Day of the Dead
October 31-November 1, 2016. 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