The Weekend Scene: What to Do Around DC Sept. 6-8

The best ways to enjoy the first unofficial weekend of fall in the D.C. area

Swap out your strawberries for pumpkins, bathing suits for scarves and beach-bod diets for apple cider doughnuts: Fall is here (meteorologically speaking, at least).

Are you ready for autumn?

Photos: Free and Cheap Things to Do in Washington, DC

Over the Weekend

Free Pick
The REACH Opening Festival
Sept. 7-22
The Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center's new REACH expansion does a lot of things: It is a much-needed pedestrian bridge to the National Mall, features an outdoor stage and has what will become D.C.'s largest green roof.


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To celebrate the grand opening, the Kennedy Center has a lineup of over 500 events. Things kick off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with a parade around the grounds. Participants can stick around for workshops on music and storytelling, a virtual reality lounge, film screenings and a comedy stand-up showcase.

The celebration continues Sunday and beyond with seemingly endless cultural performances. Here's our full guide.

You'll want to sign up for a pass in advance, or you'll get sent to the stand-by line.

The Kennedy Center's new interactive public space, The REACH, is named for its purpose: to reach and educate audiences. An opening festival with nearly 500 free events will take place Sept. 7-22.

Prince George's County Fair
Through Sept. 8
Show Place Arena (14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro, Md.)

Billed as Maryland's oldest fair, Prince George's county offers all the fixings of the classic country past time right in Upper Marlboro: Animal competition, rides, craft exhibitions, live music and even a beautiful baby contest.

Tickets cost $6 for anyone over age 13 and $5 for those younger than 13 or older than 55. There's free entry for seniors on Thursday night and on Sunday, military members and their families get in free. Check here for daily hours.

Gelato Festival
Sept. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
City Market at O (1414 8th St. NW)

Bourbon bacon cannoli, avocado, sweet potato casserole: These are just a few top competitors at D.C.'s gelato festival. You pay $25 plus fees to get in, and that gives you endless tastes of gelato, plus access to workshops and demonstrations. Kids under 2 get in free; anyone 12 and under pays $10 plus fees.

Kenginston Train Show
Sept. 7-8, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kensington Town Hall (3710 Mitchell Street, Kensington, Maryland)

All aboard! The Kensington Train Show brings live entertainment, a trolley restored into a bookstore and tons of models. Admission is $7 for adults, $2 for children or $15 for a family. Proceeds benefit the Noyes Children's Library Foundation and the Kensington Historical Society.

Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Festival
Through Sept. 29
Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, Virginia

The Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Festival kicks off this weekend. The fest obviously features plenty of fresh apple cider and doughnuts, plus a demo on an 1865 cider press, a corn maze, live music and more. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids.

Cirque du Soleil: VOLTA
Through Sept. 8
Lerner Town Square at Tysons II, 8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons, Virginia

Part story, part acrobatics show, this performance will be in Virginia until September. Tickets start at $49, and you can get them here.

Dear Evan Hansen

Through Sept. 8
The Kennedy Center

The critically-acclaimed musical started at D.C.'s Arena Theatre, went on to Broadway, picked up a bunch of Tony awards and now its back where it all started. Tickets start at $79.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Weekends through Oct. 20, plus Labor Day
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, Maryland

Go back in time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival to see jousting events, shop arts and crafts and drink a cup of mead.


Goat Yoga at The Yards
301 Water Street SE
Sept. 7, 8-11 a.m.

Ok, this event is sold out but we won't judge if you swing by on your way to brunch just to glimpse some baby goat cuteness. You can sign up to get informed of any future events.

Smorgasburg DC
Saturdays, Sept. 7-Oct. 26
Tingey Plaza, at the corner of New Jersey Ave. and Tingey Street

After taking a "summer break" reportedly due to D.C.'s sweltering hot and slow Augusts, Smorgasburg is back for the fall. This buzzy outdoor food market brings some favorite and up-and-coming restaurants to the masses. Beer and wine are also available. It's free to enter the grounds.

Bands, Brews & Barbecue
Sept. 7, noon to 6 p.m.
Manassas Museum (9101 Prince William St., Manassas, Va.)

Head to historic Manassas for a day of food, drink and music. Entry-only tickets cost $20 in advance, beer taster tickets cost $50 and beer and BBQ taster tickets for $75. Buy in advance or there's a $5 extra charge at the gate. kids 12 and under are free.

Free Pick
La Cosecha's Calle Latina Opening Concert and Block Party
Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1270 4th Street NE, Washington, D.C.

A Latin market featuring food, art and cultural experiences is about to open up right near Union Market, and organizers are throwing a block party to celebrate.

Dance the day away to live music from Ozomatli, Salt Cathedral, Jason Cerda, who will perform alongside dance and other music groups. If you want to do more than dance, you can find some unique goods at pop-up shops or sample the market's food and alcohol offerings. RSVP here.

Free Pick
Rosslyn Jazz Fest
Sept. 7, 1-7 p.m.
Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway)

This jazz festival brings a lineup featuring The Suffers, Leyla McCalla, gogo-jazz ensemble The JoGo Project and Grammy-nominated Cha Wa right to Gateway Park for a free day of music. There will also be food trucks, a beer and wine garden and the Arlington Art Truck.

For $5, you can park at a garage across the street from Gateway Park (enter on N. Moore Street). Or you can Metro: Gateway park is a five-minute walk from the Rosslyn station.

Bipawtisan March
Begin at Yards Park at Capital Riverfront
Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.

Good doggos know no political affiliation — and this march is all about uniting animal lovers over what they have in common. This year's walk has a glow theme, so your $30 registration (which covers one human and two dogs) comes with some light-up swag. All proceeds benefit animal rescue charities.

After the march, there will be a yappy hour at Dacha Navy Yard.

Free Pick
Stonebridge Fall Fest and Chili Cookoff
Sept. 7, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center (15201 Potomac Town Place, Suite 180, Woodbridge, Va.)

In addition to LOTS of chili, you can enjoy vendors, entertainment and activities. Contestants are set to hand out chili samples from 1:30-6 p.m.

2019 Tank Farm Open House
Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Americans in Wartime Museum (13906 Aden Road, Nokesville, Va.)

Military tech buffs will love checking out more than 50 tanks, flame thrower demos and hearing from veterans. Food will be available for purchase. There's a $10 suggested donation per adult and you can register here.


George Washington Patriot Run
Sept. 8, first race at 7:50 a.m.
Mount Vernon

This is George Washington's type of run: Right through Mount Vernon. You can choose to run a 5K or 10K race through the gorgeous grounds. Advance tickets cost $60, day-of tickets cost $65.

D.C. State Fair
Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Gateway DC (2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE)

The District's agriculture industry and local talents will be on display at this one-day fair.

Free Pick
Adams Morgan Day
Sept. 8, noon to 6 p.m.
18th Street NW at Columbia Road

There are three stages of music and a dance plaza at this celebration of all things AdMo — and much more. The Marie Reed Grounds and Soccer Field will host a family fun zone with sports, obstacle courses and other games. Several business will offer deals and sidewalk sales. You can even crack open a locally-made Adams Morgan Festival IPA.

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