It’s time for pumpkins and hayrides and fall family fun!

Little Alexandria

My original baby enjoys the fall season too! (Photo: Erica Barker)

by Erica Barker

ALEXANDRIA,VA- Welcome to fall festival season! Two of my favorites, both in Virginia, are the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground at Burke Nursery in Burke and the Cox Farms Fall Festival in Centreville. Both are great places to spend the day with the family, bust out your best flannel shirts, and get your pumpkins to take home.

Burke Nursery’s Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground is a great event for the younger set. They have lots of activities like fun slides, lots of things to climb, play trains, hayrides, and more. The festival also has face painting and a pumpkin balloon house, and we always enjoy saying hello to the farm animals.

I especially like that this festival does not get overcrowded, so it isn’t overwhelming for the little ones, despite the many fun activities. Don’t forget to collect your pumpkin on the way out. It’s included with the admission fee.

The Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground is located at Burke Nursery and Garden Center, 9401 Burke Road, Burke, Virginia, and the festival runs from October 1 through 31. Weekday admission is $10 per person, weekends and Columbus Day are $15 per person (kids 2 and under free). More info at www.pumpkinplayground.com/

The Cox Farms Fall Festival is a massive event that is a must-do for families with little ones looking for a fun fall adventure. Located in Centreville, this festival is well worth the drive. It has something for everyone. In addition to getting your pumpkin to take home, you can enjoy all the classic festival favorites: hayrides, farm animals and their babies, rope swings, giant slides, and themed play areas.

If you have older kids or really patient younger ones, take a shot at exploring the massive corn maze, called the Cornundrum Cornfield Adventure. The festival also features live entertainment, local apples, and fresh cider.

The Cox Farms Festival runs through November 5 and is located at 15621 Braddock Rd, Centreville. Tickets range in price from $7 to $20 per person depending on the date and time of your visit (kids 2 and under free). More info at coxfarms.com/fall-festival/

Everyone can get their fill of pumpkins this month! (Photo: Erica Barker)

Here are my top picks for your upcoming weekends:

October 12: Head down to Waterfront Park for the Portside in Old Town Fall Festival. This free festival features live music, local food and beverages, and kids’ activities focused on maritime history. We always enjoy these Portside events and Waterfront Park is the perfect spot to spread a blanket for a picnic, run around with the kids, and enjoy the music. The festival is located at 1 Prince Street, Alexandria, from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m.

October 19 – 20: Mount Vernon hosts Fall Harvest Family Days this weekend. This event features horse-drawn wagon rides, colonial games, live music, and more for the price of regular admission to Mount Vernon.

October 27: For a special Halloween event, enjoy the 23rd Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The parade goes down Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray and anyone can join in the fun. Dress up your kids, and decorate their strollers, and strut your stuff on The Avenue.

Erica Barker is the founder of littleoldtown.com, where she shares fun activities in the Alexandria area for parents and kids and she enjoys exploring the local area while keeping her toddler entertained.

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