Brace yourself – the season of pumpkin spice lattes is upon us. If you’re like most people, you’ve already unboxed your blankets and are prepping your Netflix queue for the long winter.
Well, we’re here to tell you to stop what you’re doing immediately. Fall is one of the best seasons in the District, when we replace pool parties and water sports with gorgeous hikes and outdoor festivals. So put away your blankets, turn off the TV (we’ll allow the pumpkin spice latte) and enjoy the changing seasons outside at our favorite fall festivals.
Sep 28 – Tickets not required; free event
If you had a nickel for every time you ate at a food truck in D.C., you’d probably have a lot of money… to buy more food from food trucks, of course. Well, good news – the Bull Pen hosts a food truck festival every month with over a dozen of our favorite eats from across the city. Yes, you read that correctly. Every month! This genius event was created for the Bullpen to increase revenue when the Nats are away, and we don’t mind a bit. Bring on the food!
Art All Night
Sept 29 & 30 – No tickets required; free event
Since 2011, thousands of people have descended on our neighborhoods for one night each year to experience an event that can only be explained as the hippest thing to happen in D.C. It’s called Art All Night and, side note, it’s probably one of the coolest date nights ever. Some highlights from last year: flaming baton twirling, multi-cultural dance and step performances, drum circles, and live music, along with muralists, painters, sculptors, and photographers doing what they do best. This year, the festival will be held in 7 D.C. neighborhoods from 7:00 pm on Saturday through 3:00 am Sunday morning. Don’t forget to charge your phone – you’re going to want to take videos.
All Things Go Fall Classic
Oct 6 & 7 – Buy tickets here
If you like music festivals, you probably love the adventure of taking days off work and traveling hundreds of miles to festival grounds, where you’ll camp out to watch your favorite artists perform on stage. But did you know there’s an outdoor music festival right here in D.C.? This means all the fun of our favorite festivals without any of the stress or exhaustion. Snag some tickets to the All Things Go 2-day Fall Classic, held outside our famous Union Market in Northeast to eat some D.C. grub while jamming to some of our favorite performers like Billie Elish.
#FrayLife Tip: Attend the All Things Go Classic Conversations event at the Eaton Hotel the day before the festival to hear from female panelists like performers Maggie Rogers and Lizzy Plapinger before they hit the stage.
H Street Festival
Oct 13 – Tickets not required; free event
There’s a reason the H Street Festival website claims it’s the ‘best festival ever’. H street is one of the fastest-growing areas of D.C., and H Street Festival is a huge reason for this growth. Drawing crowds of over 150,000 people, this one-day festival spans 11 blocks of the city and has everything. Yes, everything. Music, food, beer, dancing, fashion shows, face painting, cosplay, breakdancing, poetry readings, CPR demonstrations, drum circles, belly dancing, painters, and workout sessions. So yeah. Best. Festival. Ever.
#FrayLife Tip: The H Street Festival usually happens in September, but was rescheduled to October 13th in preparation for the Florence hurricane.
Oct 20 – Buy tickets here
Only two words are needed to describe this festival: beer, and oysters. Appropriately named Sucktoberfest, this festival will be held in Shirlington, VA and is perfect for any craft beer lovers in the area. Grab oysters by the dozen and down some craft beer in a place where you finally won’t be made fun of for, well, drinking craft beer.
DC Beer Fest
Nov 3 – Buy tickets here
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of the festivals we’ve mentioned involve beer. What can we say, D.C. loves it’s brews! With that in mind, the DC Beer Festival at Nats Park is a must this autumn. You’re going to need to plan for a ride home after this one, because there will be an U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E number of breweries joining the fun – 80, to be exact. They’ll also have so many food trucks, they’ve named their setup ‘Food Truck Alley’. Can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday?
#FrayLife Tip: Tickets for the Beer Fest are a bit pricier than other festivals, but come with unlimited beer tastings, so it’s totally worth it
View More Articles By Laura Giuffrida