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9 things to do on the first weekend of fall in DC, Maryland and Virginia | Sept. 23-25

From foodie festivals to fall classics, immersive games and home decor, there is so much to do!

WASHINGTON — It's the very first weekend of fall! Kick the season off with a few fun events across the DMV. From foodie festivals to fall classics, immersive games, and home decor showcases, there is so much to do!

Every week, WUSA9 is giving you the details on at least nine local activities to check out in your off time. We'll give you three ideas (and, sometimes, a bonus item or two) every week each in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Have any more events you think your neighbors should know about? Email the time, place and description to bashford1@wusa9.com.


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Theatre Week Fest and Concert

  • Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Wharf concert at 4 p.m.
  • Arena Stage; 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024 and the Wharf
  • Admission: Free
  • Organizer: Theatre Washington

Lovers of the arts and theatre, unite! This unique event is kicking off Saturday to bring all who stop by everything from performances, conversations and workshops to free locally-made food and drinks.

In addition, the kick-off concert will take place on the Transit Pier of the Wharf.

DC Art All Night

This exciting festival celebrating the arts will take place across 22 neighborhoods with various events, featuring activities including painting, photography, sculpture, fashion, dance, poetry and more. The fun will happen across indoor and outdoor spaces, including local businesses and restaurants.

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50th Annual Fiesta DC

  • Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Pennsylvania Avenue between 9th and 14th Streets; begins at the U.S. Navy Memorial Plaza and extends to Freedom Plaza.
  • Admission: Free
  • Organizer: Fiesta DC Inc

It's time for a fiesta in the District! The fest will include a wide range of entertainment, organizers say, as well as great food from a wide variety of Latino cultures. 

Eventgoers can also stick around in Southwest for the parade, which will start at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street near the National Archives Building. It will proceed east to 14th Street in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. 


Credit: AP
This undated photo released by Netflix shows South Korean cast members, from left, Park Hae-soo, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Ho-yeon in a scene from "Squid Game." (Youngkyu Park/Netflix via AP)

Real-life squid game

  • Open seven days a week; timing varies by day
  • Ballston Quarter Mall, Level M2, Exterior; Wilson Blvd, Ballston Quarter, Arlington, 22203
  • Admission: 
    • 30 minutes: $19.99 for age 11 and under. $29.99 for adults.
    • 60 minutes: $29.99 for age 11 and under. $49.99 for adults.
  • Organizer: Immersive Gamebox

"Want to play the games that were in squid game in real life (minus the whole risking your life aspect)? Now you can!" Organizers invite. The new experience debuts in nine cities across the country, including Arlington. 

The game experience involves a 30 to 60-minute game for groups of up to six people. Participants will wear a visor that tracks their motion and use touch screens to complete six challenges from the show like Red Light, Green Light and Dalgona.

"Players must survive each challenge to advance in the game. If they fail, they lose a VIRTUAL life. And if they win, it puts money in their piggy bank."

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Capital Home Show

  • Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25  from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Dulles Expo Center; 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA
  • Admission: $10 box office adult admission; $7 adult online admission. $3 children age 6-12, Children 5 and under free; $7 senior discount ticket at box office
  • Organizer: Marketplace Events

If you're in love with home decor and can't keep off Pinterest, or you're on the hunt for the perfect new piece, this is the weekend event for you.

The expo will feature hundreds of exhibitors, seminars and home-remodeling products, plus feature Myron Mixon, the star of the Cooking Channel’s “BBQ Pitmasters and five-time world barbecue champ, who will be demonstrating his famous brisket recipe on stag, organizers share.

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George Washington Whiskey Tasting

  • Recurring; Saturday, Sept. 24
  • 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
  • Admission: $60 for public $50 for members
  • Organizer: Mount Vernon

"Sample whiskey and other spirits and tour Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill. It’s also Virginia Spirits Month, and all bottles are discounted 20% during the month of September," the event description reads.

"Enjoy a rare opportunity to taste Mount Vernon's one-of-a-kind distilled spirits."

Visitors will be offered samples of three out of five of the spirits, made using 18th-century distilling methods and techniques.


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Gaver Farm Fall Fun Fest

  • Open daily through Halloween from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 5501 Detrick Rd, Mt Airy, MD 21771
  • Admission: $11.50 for general admission. Kids under 2 are free.
  • Organizer: Gaver Farm

'Tis the season, it's time for corn mazes, pumpkin patches and hayrides galore! Kick it off at Gaver Farm to find all the classics. Plus, farm fresh food choices will be hot and ready to enjoy, along with a fully-stocked farm market with all your fall needs, organizers share. 

"Gaver Farm's Fall Fun Fest features a 7-acre "Hay Days" Corn Maze for a day full of fun on the farm with 65 plus attractions including giant slides, jumping pillows, playgrounds, games, mini mazes, farm animals, photo opps and more." 

Credit: bit24 - stock.adobe.com

37th Annual Mediterranean Festival

"Come join us for some delicious homemade Middle Eastern food and pastries!" event organizers share, spotlighting the vendors of everything from jewelry to groceries and fun activities for kids, like face painting and balloon art.  

Credit: Kzenon - stock.adobe.com

Parks Ale Trail Oktoberfest

"Prost! Grab your steins and your lederhosen . . . and celebrate Oktoberfest," the event description reads.

"True Respite Brewing will be on-site offering various beers for purchase, both at the main event area AND as a refuel option at the halfway point of the hike! Satisfy all your Oktoberfest food cravings with pastrami-on-rye from Corned Beef King, sausages and hot dogs galore from Dog Haus Biergarten, and indulge in sweet AND savory crepes from Rita’s Crepes!"

Visitors joining in the fun at this festive event can also bring kids along, who will get a  chance to climb trees along the lake with the Parks Tree Climbing Crew. 

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