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4 D.C. Area Fall Festivals & their COVID-19 Precautions

If you’re wondering whether any events will push on during 2020, we’ve got you covered. Find out which events are scheduled this fall and review their COVID precautions.

travel 09-29-20 Share:

That slight chill in the air, colorful foliage, and an abundance of apples tell us that fall is here. Washington D.C. and the surrounding area is a jolly region during the fall thanks to a bevy of festivals throughout the season. 


Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has made 2020 a difficult year to conduct large gatherings. Many festivals have decided to cancel or postpone their events due to public safety concerns. 


If you’re wondering whether any events will push on during 2020, we’ve got you covered. We’ve probed the Mid-Atlantic Region to find some of the enjoyable festivals that still plan to push forward, but with strict precautions to protect guests and staff. Find out which events are scheduled this fall and review their COVID precautions.


Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA

Fri, Oct 9, 2020 – Sun, Oct 11, 2020



Driving Time from D.C. = 30 mins


Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to indulge in the best vintages Virginia wineries have to offer. Hosted at George Washington’s estate, the Fall Wine Festival invites over a dozen Virginia wineries and pairs them with delectable fruit and cheese boxes. Some snacks inside the boxes include salami, smoked gouda, cherry tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, and blackberries. Outside food isn’t allowed, but there’s a variety of hot and cold items for sale. 


To protect festivalgoers, the staff has implemented numerous protocols for the duration of the event. Guests are asked to maintain 6-feet of social distancing, and everyone in attendance is required to wear masks when the proper distance isn’t possible. There will be hand sanitizer stations around the estate, and Mount Vernon’s staff will regularly clean high touch areas. 


The layout for the event will also look noticeably different compared to previous years. There will be two tents instead of one, additional space between tasting areas, and guests are encouraged to taste their wines outside or away from lines. VIP tables will be more than 6-feet apart, and servers will wear facial coverings. The mansion will be closed during the festival to encourage guests to remain outdoors.


Mount Vernon Fall Harvest Festival

George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, VA

Sat, Oct 24, 2020 – Sun, Oct 25, 2020



Driving Time from D.C. = 30 mins


How about a return trip to Mount Vernon later in the fall? George Washington’s beautiful estate hosts this annual fall celebration that gives you a glimpse of life in 18th century Virginia. Breathe the crisp autumn air while watching the Mount Vernon staff give educational demonstrations about the farm. Wander the estate to watch the harvesting of fruits and vegetables and meet the farm animals that help with the daily chores. Learn cooking techniques inside the Slave Cabin yard, find out how textiles were produced during Washington’s lifetime, and see how the fisheries salt packed their fish. 


While you explore the farm, the staff asks that you follow the safety measures outlined by the estate. Guests should maintain 6-feet social distancing, and everyone in attendance must wear facial coverings wherever proper spacing isn’t possible. Signage will be placed around the estate to remind guests about estate policies, and hand sanitizer stations will be readily available. The Mount Vernon staff will also frequently clean high touch areas throughout the event.


Great Country Farms’ Fall Harvest Pumpkin Festival

18780 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, VA 20135

September 28 – October 31, 2020



Driving Time from D.C. = 1hr 15 mins


Apple and pumpkin picking seasons are upon us, and this month-long festival entertains guests with lots of family-friendly activities. Celebrate the cooler weather and changing of the leaves by tasting delicious produce, playing wacky games, and wagon rides to your favorite picking spots. Join your loved ones to conquer the corn maze, roast marshmallows, feed barn animals, watch the pumpkin cannons, or indulge on fresh Apple Cider donuts. 


The 12-acre play area has enough entertainment and games to help your youngsters burn off their extra energy. Watch them race down the Triple Threat Slide, drive pedal carts, or climb rope swings. There are lots of treats available at the snack bar, and the Farm Market lets you shop for seasonal produce. Swing by the Apple Cider pressing demonstrations and taste the final product. Whether you visit on a weekday or during the weekend, your family can have a fall harvest extravaganza. 


In wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the staff is strictly adhering to safety guidelines and limited crowds during the festivities. Farmhands are trained in CDC guidelines for proper handwashing and sanitizing when handling food. The staff wears masks indoors and whenever social distancing isn’t possible outdoors. Farmhands are checked for symptoms and fevers before their shifts, and frequently touched surfaces are sanitized often. 6-feet social distancing is required for guests picking on the farm, hand sanitizing stations are available, and single-use containers are accessible. 


The staff requires guests to follow the safety guidelines established by local and national health officials. Masks must be worn indoors, and hands need to be washed/sanitized before picking produce or visiting the play area. For visitors who purchase weekend tickets, your visit must be completed within your 3-hour ticket window to ensure the festival maintains the proper crowd size. 


Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival

Belvedere Plantation, Fredericksburg, VA

September 13 – November 8, 2020



Driving Time from D.C. = 1hr 30 mins


Belvedere Plantation’s annual Harvest Festival might have already kicked off, but you have lots of time for this fall road trip to Fredericksburg. With over 30 activities and events, everyone in the family will find something that interests them. The Maize Maze and Pumpkin Patch steal the spotlight, but your family can join wagon rides, play paintball, or enjoy campfires. 


The Red Rooster Grill satisfies your hunger with mouthwatering meals off the burner. Don’t forget to stop by the Bakery and Cogburn’s Treats for tasty snacks during your visit. The Plantation Market offers homegrown pumpkins, and your family can ride through the farm on a private hayride. Although an extra fee is required, Pumpkin Painting, Barnyard Blasters, and Cut Flowers are other fun-filled activities for wholesome family fun. 


Due to COVID-19 regulations, Belvedere Plantation has resorted to online tickets and assigned group time slots to visit the farm. The property will operate on a cashless system and do everything possible to keep visitors safe. Safety measures enacted by festival staff include hand sanitizing stations around the farm, employee screening, enhanced cleaning procedures, and adhering to mandated crowd sizes. Visitors must wear masks indoors and whenever 6-feet social distancing isn’t maintained. The staff encourages you to wash/sanitize your hands regularly and keep your proper spacing from other groups. 

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