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9 things to do this weekend in DC, Virginia and Maryland | Sept. 30 - Oct. 2

Celebrate October's kick-off with everything from pumpkin bowling to getting spooked on a farm, live music, ice cream flights, or an art festival!

WASHINGTON — Spooky season is officially in full swing. Grab your cardigans, boots and festive attitude because it's time to celebrate the season. Here are a few weekend events to help you get the month started on a good note, as haunted attractions, hayrides and pumpkin patches become populated again, Oktoberfest season kicks into high gear, Hispanic Heritage Month finishes up and so much more!

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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Oktoberfest Weekend at The Wharf

  • Friday, Sept. 30 from  7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024
  • Organizer: The Wharf
  • Admission: Free

"It’s that time of year—put on your dirndl or lederhosen, grab your Dachshund, and head to The Wharf for a weekend of free Oktoberfest festivities," organizers share. 

"Kick off the weekend with Polka dance lessons on the pier and cheer on the dogs competing in the 10th Annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash to benefit Rural Dog Rescue. Or try your hand in The Wharf stein hoisting contest. Throughout the weekend, enjoy German fare, Bavarian decor and costumes, and Sam Adam Octoberfest beer."

The options are endless at this festive Southwest event!

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Adams Morgan PorchFest

Get connected to the community at this special AdMo event, which will expose visitors to approximately 70 local bands across 17 different porches, patios and stoops. Each location will become stages for the day, "drawing music lovers from around the region into the tree-lined streets and small businesses of Adams Morgan." 

"With over 70 separate sets of tunes in one afternoon and more porch hosts and bands than ever before, this is sure to be the best Adams Morgan PorchFest to date!" the event description reads.

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Taste test Hispanic Heritage Month-themed ice cream

  • Recurring; Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2
  • Locations and hours:
    • Yards Park: 301 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003. Open noon - 10 p.m. daily
    • T Street: 1407 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20010. Open Monday through Thursday, noon - 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday, noon through 11 p.m.
    • Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA. Sunday through Thursday, noon - 9 p.m., Friday - Sunday, noon - 10 p.m.
  • Organizer: Ice Cream Jubilee 

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! As the celebration continues through Oct. 15, Ice Cream Jubilee is helping out anybody with a sweet tooth and inviting them to taste culturally inspired flavors through their festive ice cream flights. Check out the treats and their descriptions below.

  • Strawberry Tres Leches – Fresh strawberries are blended into our ice cream with pieces of tres leches cake for texture and sweetness.
  • Mango Habanero - Our famous spicy ice cream will take your tongue on a 'round the world flavor trip, starting with sweet, creamy mango ice cream, then heating up your mouth with habanero peppers until you cool it back down with another bite!
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate -Our dark chocolate ice cream is spiced with cinnamon, chilies, and other spices in a nod to Mexican, Aztec, and Mayan drinking chocolates.
  • Toasted Horchata (vegan) – Toasted Horchata is our fall vegan flavor, made with coconut cream, cinnamon, and toasted barley.
  • Pineapple Mojito - Sweet pineapple chunks blended with fresh mint and gold rum make this vegan sorbet a refreshing happy hour treat!

RELATED: Hispanic Heritage Month: Ways to celebrate in DC

MORE: ‘A time-traveling journey' | Immersive King Tut exhibit debuts at National Geographic Museum


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27th Annual Alexandria Art on the Avenue

  • Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray Neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia; parking is "extremely limited," organizers recommend taking public transit
  • Admission: cost varies by activity
  • Organizer: Founder, Chair Pat Miller

Art on the Avenue will feature everything from live performances to a variety of food and drinks as a part of their 27th annual event.

"People are greeted by more than 300 artists (jewelers, silversmiths & beaders, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, unique painters, sculptors, fabric artists & more), musicians (Irish, folk, rock-n-roll, country & more), and food vendors (hot dogs, BBQ, Indian, Mexican, pizza, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on sticks, homemade cider donuts & more)," organizers detail. 

"Kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival — stuff your own scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, lotus flower design, weave screen art, to name a few."

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39th Annual Manassas Fall Jubilee

  • Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Organizer: Historic Manassas, Inc.
  • Admission: Free
  • Harris Pavilion 9201 Center St, Manassas, VA 20110 United States

Kick off a festive fall with this annual, community-spirited event that celebrates fine art and crafts. Activities for kids and adults will be featured, along with food, drinks, live music and over 100 crafts for a full day of fun.

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Fields of Fear at Cox Farms

  • Fields of Fear Hours: Friday and Saturday nights Sept. 23 to Nov. 5 (plus Sundays Oct. 9 + 23) 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (last entry 10 p.m.)
  • 15621 Braddock Rd Centreville, VA 20120
  • Admission: Depends on day; starts at $25. See dates and prices here.
  • Organizer: Cox Farms

Start off October by getting spooked this weekend on the farm. The experience features four different sections of attractions, from frightening to festive.

"When night falls on the farm, it’s time for our scary nighttime experience… if you dare," organizers share.

And if haunts aren't your thing - or there are a few wimps in your group - try the Fall Festival instead!


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Montpelier Farms Fall Festival

  • Sept. 17 through Nov. 6; hours vary by month, click here for schedule
  • 1720 North Crain Hwy Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
  • Admission: Starts at $18
    • Note from organizers: In order to control capacity and to ensure a safe and enjoyable event, walk-ins will NOT be accepted on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of October. Advanced online pre-purchased admission tickets will be required for entry to the Fall Festival.
  • Organizer: Montpelier Farms

Join in the fun this weekend at Montpelier Farms! Visitors can take part in a number of autumn entertainment, from a 7-acre interactive corn maze to hay rides, pedal karts, hill slides, pumpkin bowling, a public bonfire, a pumpkin patch and so much more!

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Take a Ghost tour of Frederick 

  • Recurring; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.
  • Admission: $15 for adults, $9 for kids 8-12
  • Brewer's Alley Restaurant and Brewery, 124 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701
  • Note: Rated PG-13, not recommended for younger children
  • Organizers: Maryland Ghost ToursMaryland Ghost Tours

Learn the history and find haunts on this unique tour of Frederick to get your spooky season going!

"Take a remarkable journey through Frederick’s gruesome and bloody past," organizers advertise. "Nearly 300 years of war, executions and revenge. True documented stories of the 'paranormal' with 'Maryland’s oldest operating ghost tour!'"

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Taste of Bethesda

  • Saturday, Oct. 1 at  11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Ticket sales end at 3:30 p.m.)
  • Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle
  • Admission: Free; taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. 
  • Organizer: Bethesda Urban Partnership

Taste your way through the city at this delectable event this weekend. 

"Bethesda's famous food and music festival brings 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle," the event description reads. "Each year, more than 40,000 attendees sample the delicious restaurants, enjoy the live entertainment and visit the kid's corner for face painting and arts & crafts."

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