“Life starts over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fall has always been my favorite season. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that it contains both my birthday and my favorite holiday, Halloween. More than at any other time of year, the transition from summer to fall brings the back-to-school season, a perfect time for a fresh start, then soon ebbs towards October, prime time for apple and pumpkin picking, before Halloween and the ancient pagan new year, Samhain.


It’s my favorite time of year to head out and experience the outdoors and food and drink events, and Virginia has plenty of both!


Last weekend, I visited Scotchtown‘s 300th Anniversary celebration in Hanover County. This colonial-era estate, home to Patrick Henry from 1771-1778, along with Preservation Virginia, hosted the event, which brought together James Beard award-winning author and historian Michael Twitty, who spoke on Afro-Atlantic culinary history and demonstrated culinary techniques from the period, with brews from Ashland’s Center of the Universe Brewing Company, Revolutionary War re-enactors and a range of local history organizations. There was also a petting zoo – the highlight for my son!

Virginia has so much to do to celebrate the change of seasons:

  • Fall Festival at Bryants Cider Farm, Roseland – live music, pumpkin patch, food trucks and family friendly activities (Friday, October 15 through Sunday, October 17, 2-6 PM daily)
  • 25th Annual Apple Butter Festival at Wade’s Mill, Raphine – homemade apple butter made the old-fashioned way over an open fire, food trucks and desserts, live music (Saturday, Oct. 16, 10 AM-4 PM)
  • Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival, Syria – hayride, hay maze, live music, apples and pumpkins for sale, delicious food, desserts, jams, jellies and apple butter (Saturday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 17, 10 AM-4:30 PM)
  • Historic Jamestowne‘s All Hallows Eve program – Tales of “The Devill, the Witches, & the Enchanters…”: A Haunted Evening at Historic Jamestowne (Saturday, Oct. 16, 6:45 and 8 PM)
  • Fall Harvest Festival at George Washington’s Mount Vernon – historical activities and demonstrations, beer tastings (Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24, 9 AM-5 PM)
  • Urbanna Oyster Festival – parade, live music, oyster shucking competition and delicious food (Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6, all day)

This is just a tiny sample of the fun fall activities going on in Virginia. Visit Virginia.org for more and enjoy the gorgeous fall days and crisp nights!

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