Fall Happenings in Alexandria
As fall foliage emerges and temperatures cool, Alexandria, Virginia, just minutes from Washington, D.C., shines with dozens of seasonal events. Step onto Alexandria’s historic brick-lined streets and enjoy autumn with outdoor festivals, Halloween haunts, events to toast the season and more.
Colonial Market & Fair at Mount Vernon September 18 to 19, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $28 per adult; $15 per youth; free for children five and under and for members George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org
Take in the sights and sounds of the marketplace on Mount Vernon's 12-acre field. Chat with colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares, hear live music from the colonial era and watch as expert artisans demonstrate period crafting techniques. Plus, see General Washington in the General’s Tent. Colonial Market & Fair is included with general admission.
19th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival September 18 and 19, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Free 300 John Carlyle St., Alexandria, VA 22314 artfestival.com/festivals/19th-annual-alexandria-old-town-art-festival The 19th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival is heading back to John Carlyle Square in 2021. All artwork is juried, which provides a higher level of quality, diversity and creativity of art on display, exemplifying the gifted artists in regions from all over the country. The show is rated as one of the top 100 art shows in Sunshine Artist Magazine. Please be mindful and follow all CDC guidelines.
79th Historic Homes Tour, “Garden Glimpses” September 25, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission: $30 in advance; $35 day of tour Old Town Alexandria, VA 703-683-5544 thetwig.org/homes-tour
The TWIG’s 79th Historic Homes Tour, “Garden Glimpses,” will include 14 addresses located in the southeast quadrant of Old Town, the majority of which are new to the tour. The tour will include gardens and backyard areas, with docents narrating information about the property. Tour maps can be picked up the morning of the event at the Alexandria Visitor Center, TWIG Thrift Shop, Boxwood and Old Presbyterian Meeting House.
Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour September 25, 2021, from 12 to 6 p.m. Admission: Regular: $50 per person; VIP: $80 per person Registration at Hollin Meadows Elementary School, 2310 Nordock Place, Alexandria, VA 22306 hollinhillsmodern.com
This self-guided walking tour will showcase stunning examples of mid-century modern architecture, landscaping and interior design. New this year, participate in special activities throughout the day such as morning yoga, a furniture showcase and more. All ticket holders are required to check in at registration to receive a wristband and program that includes a listing and map of all the homes and gardens open during the tour. The tour will take place rain or shine. Sponsors and VIP ticket holders can register beginning at 10 a.m. and access the tour early at 11 a.m.
26th Annual Art on the Avenue October 2, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: Free Between Bellefonte and Hume Aves, Alexandria, VA 22301
artontheavenue.org Art on the Avenue is a multicultural arts festival held the first Saturday in October, rain or shine. Stroll down Del Ray's Mount Vernon Avenue between Bellefonte and Hume Avenues and discover more than 300 artists, from jewelers to glass makers to painters, while enjoying a variety of musicians and food vendors.
Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour October 8 to 10, 2021, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission: Friday: $49 for members, $59 for general public; Saturday: $53 for members, $63 for general public; Sunday: $43 for members, $53 for general public George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org Taste unlimited samples from Virginia wineries after hours at George Washington's estate. Bring a blanket and relax on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River and meet General Washington.
Del Ray Halloween Parade Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 2 p.m. Admission: Free Begins at Mount Vernon Ave., south of E. Bellefonte Ave. visitdelray.com/halloween Del Ray’s annual Halloween Parade begins at Mount Vernon Ave., south of E. Bellefonte, and continues down to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center play fields. Children, pets and strollers in costumes are invited to march and show off their finest and scariest Halloween garb; awards are given for Best Pet Costume, Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home and Best Decorated Stroller.
More Fall Events & Tours
Tall Ship Providence Happy Hour Cruises Friday evenings throughout the fall, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $45 per person
Take up your Friday night happy hour game a notch higher. The historic tall ship Providence is now hosting Friday evening happy hours on the Potomac. Our two-hour cruises allow you to take in sweeping views of the unique D.C. skyline while sipping an icy adult beverage. Reserve your place now, as space is limited.
Alexandria Ghost Tour Pub Crawl with Nightly Spirits Wednesdays through Sundays throughout the fall, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission: $25 per person Various locations throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 844-678-8687 nightlyspirits.com Experience a haunting mixture of ghostly sights and pub crawling on this walking tour of historic Old Town Alexandria. Listen to creepy stories of ghosts and local history. Your costumed guide will take you in and out of several haunted pubs and other locations in Old Town. Hear about murder, death and tragic love stories as you walk along historical streets. Tours last about two hours, cover approximately one mile, and include plenty of time to calm your nerves will a few strong spirits along the way. Must be 21+ for this tour.
Creation & Libations at The Garden September 5, 2021, from 2 to 8 p.m. Admission: Free (Donations recommended) The Garden at Building Momentum, 5380 Eisenhower Ave. Suite C, Alexandria, VA 22304 703-566-9000 thegarden.net
Celebrate local this September at The Garden at Building Momentum. Browse 10+ artists set up throughout the event space for an end of summer bash. On the patio, enjoy live music from Yellow Door Concert Series, food trucks and local libations from Lost Boy Cider and Aslin Beer Co.
Old Town Cocktail Week September 10 to 19, 2021 Admission: Varies per event Various locations throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 oldtownbusiness.org Old Town Alexandria has a vivacious and growing craft cocktail community that has caught the eye of the press and locals alike. To celebrate and honor the talent of the bartenders and businesses that support such cocktail innovation, the Old Town Business Association established Old Town Cocktail Week. This fall, celebrate all things cocktail with outdoor activities, cocktails to-go and more.
Art on the Rocks September 10, 2021, from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission: $55 per person Waterfront Park, 1A Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 oldtownbusiness.org Experience the exciting kick-off to Old Town Cocktail Week. Join the Art League in tasting cocktail creations and small bites crafted by competing bartenders from favorite local establishments. Find out who will win Judges’ Choice and cast you own vote for the People’s Choice award. The Taste of Old Town North September 16, 2021, from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission: Free Montgomery Park, 901 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 703-836-8065 oldtownnorth.org The Old Town North Community Partnership will host the 2021 annual Taste of Old Town North with wellness demonstrations, shopping at the Thursday Farmers Market, Art in the Park and wine and food tastings with local businesses followed by a concert at the Montgomery Park Gazebo from 5 to 6 p.m. with local favorites Sally and the Mander, followed by Three Man Soul Machine from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The Taste of Old Town North is a free, kid-friendly, dog-friendly event, made possible by support from local businesses including The Montgomery Center and MRE Properties, local not-for-profits and partner organizations NOTICe and the Old Town North Alliance.
Discovering Alexandria Architecture Tour
September 18, October 9 and November 13, 2021, at 10 a.m.
Admission: $20 per person Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-2997 novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park
Alexandria has grown from a small town in the 18th century to a bustling small city in the 21st century. Join Carlyle House for a tour of Alexandria looking at the various architecture styles that adorn the city streets and make it one of the best places to live and work. Reservations are required as space is limited. Please wear comfortable shoes for this one-and-a-half hour guided tour. Tour is held rain or shine unless there is severe weather.
Cinema Del Ray September 18, 2021, at dusk Admission: Free Mount Vernon Recreation Center fields, 2701 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301 facebook.com/cinemadelray The Jen Walker Team presents an outdoor screening of Raya and The Last Dragon at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center fields.
Shop & Stroll with Old Town Boutique District
September 24 to 26, 2021 Admission: Free Various boutiques throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 oldtownboutiquedistrict.com Pick up a passport at an Old Town Boutique District (OTBD) shop, then visit six stores to be entered to win a $500 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice, or visit twelve stores to be entered to win $1,000 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice. Stop by Hummingbird and Fontaine for a signature cocktail or mocktail during the stroll. Turn in your passport to the last store you visit. Winners will be selected on Monday, September 27. No purchase necessary to participate. Kristen Jones is the presenting sponsor of Shop & Stroll.
Tell Me Your Name
September 24 and October 22, 2021, beginning at 5 p.m. Admission: $10 per person Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-2997 novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park
Join Carlyle House Historic Park staff for a tour focusing on the experiences of the enslaved community at Carlyle House and John Carlyle’s plantations. The guided tour will explore the historical context of slavery in 18th-century Alexandria and the importance of ongoing research efforts to connect with descendants. Reservations are required as space is limited.
George Washington Patriot Run September 26, 2021 Admission: Until September 14: $50 for in-person 5k; $70 for in-person 10-miler; September 15 to 26: $60 for in-person 5k; $80 for in-person 10-miler; $35 for either virtual run George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org Join Mount Vernon and patriotic participants around the country for a 10-miler and 5K. This race is live and in-person, with a virtual option for participants who are outside of the area.
Dogtoberfest in Old Town North October 1 to 31, 2021 Various locations throughout Old Town North, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-836-8066 www.oldtownnorth.org
From October 1st through October 31st, Old Town North is going to the dogs with events sure to please our four-legged friends and their two-legged companions, from Paw and Palm reading at the Thursday Farmers Market, puppy pub crawls and trick-or-treating at the Thursday Market, there is much spooky fun to be had.
Spirits of Carlyle House
October 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2021, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. (Tours on the half hour)
Admission: $10 per person Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-2997 novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park
Carlyle House’s long and diverse history is full of truths, myths and rumors that makes it one of the most visited places on Alexandria’s ghost tours. Come and experience a uniquely haunting tour of the house and grounds by candlelight, perhaps encounter the departed spirits of notable residents and neighbors and hear their tales of sadness and triumph. Reservations required due to limited space. Tours are on the half hour.
8th Annual Doggie Trick or Treat October 24, 2021, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission: Free Begin at The Dog Park, 705 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314 703-888-2818 thedogparkva.biz It’s that time of year again. You and your family—especially your doggies—are invited to come to Old Town and trick-or-treat together. There will be treats, sales and a costume contest. Come to The Dog Park in Old Town Alexandria to get your map and have pictures taken, then tour the rest of the participating stores to get more treats and find a sale or two in town.
Fall Harvest Festival at Mount Vernon October 23 to 24, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $28 per adult; $15 per youth; free for children five and under and for members George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org Celebrate the crisp autumn season with 18th-century activities and demonstrations at the Farm at Mount Vernon. During this event, you can explore the farm, meet General Washington, watch beer-making demonstrations, see spinning demonstrations and more. This event is included with admission and is free for Mount Vernon members.
Raven’s Night at the Birchmere October 16, 2021, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission: $45 per person 704-549-7500 birchmere.com
In its 10th year, Raven’s Night creeps, slithers and slinks its way back to The Birchmere. Keep your Halloween season going with a unique soirée featuring fusion belly dance, live music and a pre-show carnival. This year’s theme, COVEN, brings the most iconic witched, warlocks and wizards to the stage. Doors open at 5 p.m. with an “All Hallows Eve Exposition,” featuring pre-show entertainment including games, palm reading, live performances and more, followed by the “Salon Lunaire” dinner concert at 6:30 p.m., leading up to the main event at 7:30 p.m., “Cabaret Melancholia,” a theatrical belly dance program featuring some of the greatest exponents of the art. Please be advised that people under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon October 30, 2021, from 2 to 6 p.m. Admission: General public: $25 per adult; $15 per youth; Members: $17 per adult; $9 per youth George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, VA 22121 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org
Celebrate Halloween with 18th-century entertainment and activities. Visit Mount Vernon in costume, watch Halloween-themed Punch & Judy shows, see 18th-century chocolate-making demonstrations and more. Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon takes place rain or shine.
Trick or Treat at Carlyle House October 31, 2021, from 4 to 6 p.m. (or until candy runs out) Admission: Free Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-2997 novaparks.com/parks/carlyle-house-historic-park
Join Carlyle House on All Hallow’s Eve for good old-fashioned trickery and treats. Bring your little ghosts, goblins, princesses and action heroes to one of Alexandria’s most haunted dwellings. Carlyle House staff will be handing out candy in individual bags. In case of inclement weather please, call the museum for event status.
The 15th Annual Alexandria Film Festival
November 11 to 14, 2021 Admission: $12 per showcase or $75 per All-Festival Pass alexfilmfest.com The Alexandria Film Festival will take place as a hybrid event—virtual, with some in person events. The festival footprint is expanding this year to include a partnership with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, which will feature six original films and will be presented with a "live to picture" performance of the orchestra on November 6 and 7. This performance will be in person but will observe current safety protocols such as social distancing. To get the latest information, visit AlexFilmFest.com.