Things to Do DC

The Weekend Scene: 10+ Things to Do Now That It's Full-on Fall

Things to do, events and free picks for this weekend in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia

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You can finally unpack your sweaters and break out your scarves: The autumn equinox has come, and the first indisputable weekend of fall is here.

The mild weather will be great for sitting outside with a beer at an Oktoberfest celebration — Lovettsville, Virginia, says its Oktoberfest is one of the best in the world, and the festival is happening Friday and Saturday. Here are details and many more ways to celebrate around the DMV.

You could also take a road trip to the Virginia State Fair (Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, Doswell) or catch the Flip Circus under the big top (Sept. 23 to Oct. 10, Westfield Montgomery mall).

What better way to start harvest season than with a farm-to-table meal? Deep Roots Farm, a Black-owned, sustainable farm in Prince George’s County, is hosting a Caribbean Feast (Saturday, Sept. 24, Upper Marlboro, $64). The woman behind it all, Ann Sutton aka Farmer Gale, is our Scene Setter this weekend in our newsletter. Sneak a peek here, then subscribe at

Things to Do in D.C. This Weekend

Free Pick
Art All Night
Events on Friday and Saturday

Twenty-two different neighborhoods across D.C.’s eight wards are planning art activations, live music, photo ops, discussions and hands-on activities on Friday and Saturday.

Find an activation near you — or discover a new neighborhood — by using this map. Check out what your local library is doing here.

The options really seem endless, but some highlights and unique activities include:

  • A drive-through art gallery, free pedicab rides and neon light art demo in Anacostia
  • Yoga, Zumba and belly dancing plus an outdoor music festival in Deanwood
  • A block party marking Banned Books Week at the MLK Library 
  •  A selfie studio and celebration of nail art at Pennsylvania Avenue downtown
  •  Fresh flower arranging and a Kids Art Zone in Petworth
  •  A pop-up market and interactive mural painting in Van Ness
  •  Silent Discos, live music body painting and henna artists at many sites

Free Pick
Mountaineering Day
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Embassy of the Czech Republic

The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites you to scale a climbing wall, test your orienteering skills and sample mountain cuisine. Enjoy a folk band, a German shepherd show and a falcon demonstration. It’s free and open to all ages, but bring cash for food purchases. An RSVP is required.

Free Pick
Opera on the Field: Carmen
Sunday, 4 p.m. 
Audi Field 

Join the Washington National Opera to celebrate the seventeenth season of free opera broadcasts with George Bizet’s Carmen. Gates will open at 2 p.m.

Things to Do in Maryland This Weekend

Prince George’s County Film Festival
Through Sunday
MGM National Harbor, National Harbor and Bowie State University

The festival showcases the best films made in Prince George's County, plus gives you an opportunity to hear from creators and network.

Passes cost $40 for unlimited screenings and $50 for all workshops and panels. A single-film ticket costs $15. There are virtual screening options, as well.

Maryland Restaurant Week
Through Sept. 25
Various restaurants

An excitingly diverse selection of food can be found at the dozens of restaurants participating in Maryland Restaurant Week.

The array of restaurants may offer special menus, seasonal fare and discounts during restaurant week, and all members of the public are welcome to partake.

Mediterranean Festival
Friday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
10620 River Road, Potomac, Maryland

For grub from another region, Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church is putting on their 37th annual Mediterranean Festival. With free parking and admission, guests can enjoy everything from authentic Middle Eastern food, like falafel and gyro, to jewelry, giftware and religious items from vendors.

The festival is complete with Arabic music, entertainment and raffle prizes. Kids can enjoy free face painting, balloon art and a magic show.  More information can be found at

Traditional Caribbean Feast
Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
15105 Mount Calvert Road Upper Marlboro, Maryland

If you feel like exploring Maryland farm country and Caribbean cuisine this weekend, Deep Roots Farm has the event for you. The Black-owned, woman-owned, organic farm will be hosting an end-of-summer Caribbean feast.

Adult tickets are $65 for ages 15 and up and are $30 for children ages 2-12. A ticket includes one entrée and one drink, with more available for purchase.

Things to Do in Virginia This Weekend

Virginia State Fair
Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 
The Meadow Event Park

The Meadows Event Park will host the annual Virginia State Fair this weekend where families can enjoy rides, pet live animals and look at blue-ribbon baked goods. 

Online tickets cost $15 dollars while unlimited ride tickets cost $30. At the gate, tickets will cost $16, and unlimited ride tickets $32.

The fair will also host diverse entertainment like an Elton John and Billy Joel impersonator, country artist Priscilla Block, a tribute to Motown music and more. You'll find free parking at 13048 Meadow Farm Road in Doswell.

Tank Farm Open House
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Americans in Wartime Experience in Nokesville, Virginia

Authentic military tanks dating back to WWI, armored vehicles in action, flame thrower demos and first-hand history from veterans will awe kids and adults alike. News4’s Mark Segraves checked it out last year and had a blast. Register in advance or at the gate; donations are requested.

Capital Home Show
Sept. 23-25
Dulles Expo Center 

The Capital Home Show gives you the perfect opportunity to shop for home products and services while also connecting with industry experts around the DMV. The exhibition will feature Myron Mixon, chief cook of the Jack’s Old South Competition Bar-B-Que Team.

Adult tickets cost $7 online or $10 at the door. Senior citizens' tickets will cost $7 at the door, children ages 6 to 12 will be charged $3 and children 5 and under will enter free of charge.

On Friday, you can use your Metro Bus Pass, Smart Trip Card or Transit Link Card to get free admission.

Office Trivia with the Real Todd Packer
Saturday, 4 p.m. 
Arlington Cinema and Draft House 

Are you a fan of "The Office"? Challenge your knowledge on the show with the man who brings Todd Packer to life, David Koechner! The teams will have the chance to hear behind-the-scenes stories from David while playing multiple rounds of trivia. The event will also feature a Q&A, meet and greet and pictures with the actor.

Koechner will also be doing five standup shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Here are the details.

Free Pick
ALX Family Day
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Robinson Landing waterfront

Head to the Robinson Landing waterfront for a day of face painting, crafts, games and artisan shops. The event is free.

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