2021 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Locals and visitors alike flock to Alexandria, Virginia, over the holiday season as the city brims with merriment, twinkle lights, and festive street decorations. You just can’t help but let the charm of Old Town’s city streets take over.
Many of the halted public holiday traditions have returned this season, and everyone is excited to start celebrating again. There are more than enough events to choose from, so pick your favorites and make a plan to shop, dine, and explore Alexandria.
Saturdays and Sundays now through December 19, excluding December 4.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thanks to the weekly rotation of artists showcasing art ranging from paintings and photographs to jewelry and wearables, you’ll want to make more than one trip to the Torpedo Factory. After you’re finished, stay to shop the permanent galleries on site.
November 19 through January 2, 2022
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
January 8 through February 27, 2022
Skating Only Weekends 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More than a dozen (including new installations) walkable holiday light displays are waiting to evoke holiday oohs and ahhs. For more holiday spirit, enjoy shopping, food, music, and ice skating. The skating rink limits capacity, so you must pre-pay online. The park encourages general prepayment online to avoid crowds.
November 20, 2021
6 p.m to 7 p.m.
Market Square 300 King Street, Alexandria
The ceremony features holiday music, a proclamation from the Town Crier, a message from Mayor Wilson, and come rain or shine, a visit from Santa Claus riding through King Street on a classic trolley.
November 26 - December 2
Head into Old Town and Del Ray for Alexandria’s biggest shopping week of the year. The Alexandria Shop Small Week begins on Plaid Friday, which is Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday, followed by:
- Small Business Saturday
- Museum Store Sunday
- Cyber Monday
- Giving Tuesday
- Giveaway Wednesday
- Moonlight Merriment
Expect seven days of exciting giveaways, great deals, and one-of-a-kind promotions hosted by the area’s best boutiques and stores.
Aladdin the Camel: November 26 - January 6, 2022
Mount Vernon by Candlelight: November 26 -27, December 3-4, 10-11, and 19
Holiday Family Day: December 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Christmas Illuminations: December 17 and 18, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
A wide variety of holiday celebrations are available to visitors headed to Mount Vernon. Meet Aladdin the camel, discuss the holiday planning with Martha Washington, or take part in a tour that describes the delicious detail of the Washingtons’ traditional holiday dinner.
December 3 through 18
A classic holiday favorite returns to its traditional stage form. Of course, you’ll remember Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, but you’ll also see new special effects and listen to Victorian carols. Bring proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours. Masks required.
December 3-5, 10-12, 17-19
Fridays, 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Del Ray Artisans’ 26th Annual Holiday Market showcases local vendors with unique handcrafted fine arts and crafts. Enjoy multiple weekends and see a rotation of artists showcasing work in fiber/textiles, glass, jewelry, mixed media, mosaics, ornaments, painting, paper crafting, photography, polymer clay, pottery/ceramics, prints, sculpture, watercolor, wood, and wreaths.
December 3, 6:30 p.m. Taste of Scotland
December 4, 11 am. Scottish Christmas Walk
Scottish merchants founded Alexandria; one is the port’s namesake, John Alexander. Scottish traditions have held strong for hundreds of years in the city. Each year over Christmas, residents celebrate their heritage in town.
The much-beloved Scottish Walk Weekend returns in 2021 and kicks off festive events like the beloved Scottish parade filled with clans dressed in tartans with bagpipes and drums. Watch for the Scottie dogs by the pack!
December 4, 5:30 p.m.
Dockside Festivities 2 to 8 p.m.
After missing last year, the boat parade is back on schedule. Sponsored by Amazon, you’ll find a pop-up beer garden, a hot chocolate bar, a Letters to Santa Station, freebies, and music from WASH-FM.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Head to John Carlyle Square Park to visit more than 80 artisans and crafters in an open-air market. You’ll find handmade jewelry, organic bath and body products, home décor, holiday ornaments, and much more. After, take a break from shopping to listen to the Christmas Carols Show. Kids can go to the Elves’ Shop where they’ll make a Christmas ornament. And don't miss pictures with Santa!
December 24, 1 p.m.
For some Alexandrians, it’s a Christmas Eve tradition—a skiing Santa and his friends scurrying down the Potomac River. So head to the Alexandria City Marina or Waterfront Park to watch the 36th year of winter river skiing unfold.
12:00 p.m to 12:00 a.m.
An Alexandria favorite offers residents a time to enjoy the family-friendly and culturally diverse art in many forms throughout the city. There’s an array of live performances to choose from, including the new this year, “Battle of the Buskers.” Of course, you won’t want to miss the new year’s countdown and fireworks show over the Potomac.
It’s nice to see classic Alexandria holiday events return, but it’s also exciting to check out new events to ring in 2022. If you still want more holiday action, check out the festive regional favorite, the Bull Run Festival of Lights in Centerville. The 2.5-mile light display will put you in the holiday spirit in no time.
Fall 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash
Welcome back to fall in Alexandria, Virginia. This year, festive events are making their way onto the 2021 September and October calendars. Of course, everyone is extra happy to don festive sweaters and comfy boots, all hoping to hear the crackle and swish of colorful leaves on the ground of upcoming events.
But before you pick your favorite events for the best Alexandria fall experience, you’re going to need pumpkins and a leaf-peeping guide, so check out these sources of fall fun.
Nightly Spirits Haunted Pub Tour
September through November 2021
Fall nights in Alexandria are meant for pub crawls, especially if haunted. Starting at Chadwicks, one of the city’s most loved pubs, a dressed-to-the-haunted-nines tour guide escorts guests to historical sites to hear creepy tales and to four different pubs or bars in Old Town to try a drink at each.
Landmark Mall Carnival
September 23-October 3, 2021
If you’ve been craving old-fashioned fun, head to Landmark Mall. The site transforms into a family-oriented carnival. You’ll find traditional fair food, rides, and games to keep everyone busy for hours. Purchase your tickets online for discounts and unlimited ride wristbands.
Oktoberfest at North Payne Beer Garden
September 25, 2021
12:00 p.m – 6:00 p.m
The season isn’t complete without an Oktoberfest celebration. Old Town has its version at The Loop. Craft brews by Rocket Frog Brewing are the main draw, but you’ll also see Bavarian food, artisan vendors, and folks donning traditional German lederhosen to win swag and prizes. Local Vibes is also on site to entertain the crowd.
Old Town Boutique District’s 2021 Fall Shop & Stroll
September 24-26, 2021
10:00 a.m - 7:00 p.m
As if you need any more reasons to shop OTBD! Just pick up a passport at any participating store and visit six stores to enter to win a $500 gift card for an OTBD store of your choice, or shop 12 stores and enter for a $1,000 gift card. No need to purchase anything to enter, but that’s a tall order when you’ll see fall fashion at its best. Along the way, stop at Fontaine or Hummingbird to try a signature cocktail.
The 2021 Workhouse Haunt
October 3 – November 6, 2021
It’s probably been a while since you’ve toured a haunted house, so if you’re dying to get back into the scare scene, head to Alexandria’s immediate neighbor, Lorton, to walk through the grounds of the former District of Columbia’s Correctional Facility. For 30 minutes, small groups will walk through the site’s abandoned, historic buildings. You’ll also trek into the dark woods where terrifying characters and gruesome sights await. The experience is next level, so only kids over 13 are recommended for entry.
Mount Vernon’s Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour
October 8 - 10, 2021
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
One of the area’s favorite fall destinations, Mount Vernon, has mastered the art of tasting Virginia’s wines in an unmatched setting. Unlimited samples are available with your ticket, and the Mount Vernon Inn is selling food for your picnic on the Potomac. Specialized views of the mansion’s first floor are open until 8:30 p.m.
Del Ray’s Annual Halloween Parade
October 24, 2021
The whole family, including pets, are invited to dress up and march through the streets of Del Ray to show off their very best costumes. Categories for prizes include Best Pet Costume, Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home, and Best Decorated Stroller. The parade ends at Mount Vernon Recreation Center play fields—the perfect way to end an afternoon of fun.
8th Annual Doggie Trick or Treat
October 24, 2021
1:00 pm. - 5 p.m.
Bring the family to The Dog Park in Old Town Alexandria for treats, pictures, and a costume contest. Grab your map of Old Town stores to trick or treat and shop a little for more Halloween savings and snacks.
Trick or Treat at Mount Vernon
October 30, 2021
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Quickly becoming one of the estate’s most sought-after events, trick or treating at Mount Vernon is a special celebration, encompassing 18th century entertainment and activities including chocolate-making demonstrations, music, selfie straw bale station, and a take-home craft bag to go. Ticket holders get a one-of-a-kind Mount Vernon treat bag. The event goes on, rain or shine.
August 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Believe it or not, the last full month of summer is sneaking up right behind you. Major vacation travel is probably a recent memory, and now it's time to slowly, but surely, get back into the swing of things before back to school activities and regular office hours begin again.
There’s no better way to stay active close to home than to head to one of Alexandria’s August events—minimal effort for maximum fun. Pick something new each week to squeeze every bit of summer joy out of August.
The Friendship Firehouse Festival
August 7, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
The Friendship Firehouse Festival is back! After a year off, the beloved festival is open to the public to help celebrate its 247th year. Families will learn about fire safety for today and how firefighters worked in the past. The festival includes tours through the museum (complete with buckets, hoses, axes, and suction engine), music, crafts, food, and displays from a variety of community organizations in the area. And the best part: free fire hats!
The Dog Games, An Olympic Event Like No Other
August 7, 2021
5:00 p.m. - 8 p.m.
An Olympic-inspired event in Alexandria is just what the people and their dogs need. If your pup has a trick or talent, head to Brewski’s Barkhaus to show off and earn tickets all day long. Tickets earn dogs medals and medals earn bragging rights. Humans win swag, memberships, and a $100 gift card. No trick or talent? Dress up the dog for a costume contest. You can also enjoy food and beer specials; a portion of the proceeds are dedicated to the Special Olympics.
National Purple Heart Day Wreath Laying
August 7, 2021
Mount Vernon invites visitors to join the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the National Museum of the United States Army for the estate’s National Purple Heart Day Wreath Laying at Washington’s Tomb and Commemoration Ceremony in the Tomb Grove. President Washington wanted to honor the common soldier's service and created the Badge of Military Merit, the precursor to the Purple Heart. Purple Heart recipients enter Mount Vernon free every day.
Alexandria’s 12th Annual Sidewalk Sale
August 14-15, 2021
‘Tis the season for markdowns. The end of summer means shop owners need to make space for new items. You’ll find discounts on fashion, jewelry, home décor, gifts, pet supplies, and much more in Old Town and Del Ray. Try a new shop or boutique; you might find a great deal and a new favorite store. Best of all, select City of Alexandria parking garages are free.
First Annual Summer Picnic at the Original Mount Vernon High School
August, 14, 2021
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation invites the Richmond Highway community of Alexandria to a neighborhood-wide picnic. Introduce yourself to neighbors, try a new food truck, and listen to the tunes of the Original Moonlighters Band. You’ll also have time to shop local vendors on site.
Memory Depot Orientation
August 14, 2021
10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Head to the Sherwood Regional branch of Fairfax County’s public library system to organize your photos, slides, and negatives. You’ll learn to scan precious memories for safe keeping and ensure future generations get a glimpse of the “old days.” And, if you have VHS cassettes (wedding videos anyone?) you can transfer those to digital formats, too.
Alexandria’s Summer Restaurant Week
August 20, 2021
During restaurant week (actually 10 days and two weekends), local chefs show off creative dishes, while locals can grab a steal of a deal for $49 in-person and/or to-go dinner for two. Some restaurants offer $25 in-person and/or to-go dinner for one. This is the perfect chance to try a restaurant you’ve been reserving for a special occasion.
July 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Sweet summer has finally arrived, and Alexandria, Virginia, is celebrating the season by getting back to the thriving event schedule it’s known for. Although some activities remain virtual, big events like July 4th celebrations are starting again. Watch all summer long to stay updated and plan for upcoming events.
Before we get to Alexandria’s best July events, let’s kick off the month with a list of Old Town’s popular outdoor and waterfront dining options to start the season right. Be sure to snag a reservation as these are some of the most in-demand restaurants in the area.
Del Ray Farmers Market
Every July Saturday 2021
8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Meet friends at the corner of Oxford and Mount Vernon Avenue to treat yourself to local goodies like seasonal fruit and vegetables, local meat and eggs, fresh pasta and sauces, cheese, yogurt, baked goods, and jams and jellies.
Del Ray Vintage Flea Market
2nd Saturday of Each Month 2021
9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Vintage stores are on fire post-pandemic! Lots of closet cleaning means secondhand goods are plentiful. Stop by the parking lot of 1900 Mt. Vernon Avenue to shop vintage and like-new clothing, housewares, sports memorabilia, child and baby items, artwork, and more. If vintage stores feel like home to you, head to Del Ray’s Vintage Flea Market.
An American Celebration
July 4, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
An American Celebration at Mount Vernon is a pretty cool way to spend July 4th. Talk about patriotic! The event hosts daytime fireworks and meet and greets with George and Martha Washington. Some lucky U.S. citizen candidates will have their swearing-in ceremony on the grounds. Plan to stay and hear a musical performance by the National Concert Band.
Fireworks Cruise From Alexandria
July 4, 2021
7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
A fireworks boat cruise holds space on many people’s July 4th bucket list. It’s a unique way to enjoy the Washington, D.C. festivities without the hassle of parking and overcrowded patches of lawn at the Mall. The boats leave Alexandria City Marina behind the Torpedo Factory, and cruise for two hours. Onboard, you can buy beer, wine, and snacks.
Summer Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
July 16-18, 2021
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Mount Vernon stays busy over the summer, and one of their most popular events is the Summer Wine Festival and Sunset Tour. Pack a blanket and taste the best of Virginia wines. You’ll definitely find a new favorite with unlimited samples! Views of the Potomac River and the glorious back porch of Mount Vernon make up the picturesque backdrops. If you need a break from the heat, head inside The Shops at Mount Vernon and find a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
July Concerts at The Birchmere
If there was ever a signal we’re all moving past the pandemic, it’s the fully loaded concert schedule at the Birchmere. Take a look at some of what’s ahead in July.
- July 8: Asleep at the Wheel 50th Anniversary Tour
- July 17: Wynonna Judd
- July 20: Steve Earle & The Dukes with The Mastersons
- July 23: The Breakers- A Tribute to Tom Petty
- July 31: The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Images from Pixabay
June 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Although summer doesn’t arrive until the end of June, the warm, humid air will be attending each outdoor event Alexandria offers! Tourists and local residents look forward to embracing the seasonal ambiance as public gatherings increase and pandemic restrictions lift. Stroll the banks of the Potomac, or wander downtown streets—summer is in the air!
Clean the Bay Day 2021
May 31-June 5, 2021
This year’s event is slightly different, but the results are the same: a cleaner Alexandria. Choose to work with groups in locations nearby or use the list of sites provided; as long as you have permission to clean litter, any location is fine. Lunch breaks, after school, weekends— they’re all great times to participate in this community event.
I Hear America Singing Choral Arts Chamber Singers
June 3, 2021- 5:30 pm and 7 pm
As part of the ongoing Spring and Summer Live Concerts series, Scott Tucker, conductor, leads the Choral Arts Society of Washington in the first in-person performance in over a year. Rare American choral music highlights the concert, including music influenced by the Civil Rights movement and women’s suffrage.
Photo by Dennis Schmidt on Unsplash
The Alexandria Drive-In
June Fridays and Saturdays, 2021- 9 pm
Born out of pandemic restrictions, the Alexandria Drive-In became an Alexandria favorite and continues over the summer months. The movie location is the parking lot of the Victory Center on Eisenhower Avenue, and tickets are $40 per car. Food trucks are onsite for pre-movie dinner or snacks.
12th Annual Taste of Del Ray
June 4-6, 2021
The 12th Annual Taste of Del Ray is the perfect time to try a variety of Del Ray’s best restaurants. Buy take-out style “tastes” (up to three) for $5 each. The menu and paired cocktails are available online during registration. Vote for your favorite restaurant to win the People’s Choice Award.
Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash
Mount Vernon’s Craft Beer Festival
June 19-20, 2021- 6 pm to 9 pm
Guests greet summer with craft brew tastings, a sunset, and an after-hours experience at Mount Vernon. Your ticket includes a commemorative tasting cup and eight tasting tickets. More tastings are available to purchase on site.
June 17, 2021
Throughout Alexandria, you’ll find events that showcase performing arts, visual arts, and tours that highlight Black history experiences in the city, as well as opportunities to support Alexandria’s Black-owned businesses.
Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash
Independence Fireworks at Mount Vernon
June 25-26, 2021 - 6 pm-9:45 pm
Take in the fireworks from the banks of the Potomac River at Mount Vernon to celebrate July 4th. Musical performances and a rare option to visit Washington’s tomb entertain guests before the fireworks show begins. Picnic food is available through the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant.
May 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Spring in Alexandria is in full bloom during May. The streets are lined with colorful trees and curated window boxes. Tourists and locals alike are beginning to venture throughout the city to find a great place on the water to dine and do a little people-watching.
Socially distanced events indoors and out are entertaining those ready to embrace the warm months ahead. Take advantage of unique Alexandria events that honor your mother this month by finding the perfect gift or participate in an activity where each of you learns something new along the way.
May Day Urban Market at the Loop Alexandria
May 1, 2021
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Local food and artisans make up the entertainment for May Day at the Loop, a pop-up street fair event that showcases Alexandria products. Vendor’s wares include boutique floral arrangements, housewares, hand-made cards, artisan clothing, and food from Rocket Frog Brewing, Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats, and T & T Provisions.
Revolutionary War Weekend at Mount Vernon
May 1-2, 2021
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Known for its battle re-enactments, Mount Vernon will put on one of the largest Revolutionary War simulations in the U.S. Visitors will learn about the roles of the Continentals, Redcoats, and Hessians through military drills and cavalry demonstrations. Reserve your tickets in advance; there are limited tickets for visitors and members.
Be sure to check out Mount Vernon Inn’s Mother’s Day brunch, lunch, and to-go meals.
The 58th Annual Needlework Show & Sale: “Hindsight 2020”
May 2-31, 2021
10:00 am – 4:00 pm timed entry
Located at the historic Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House, the show will highlight the effects of the pandemic and personal experiences reflected through artists’ interpretations in needlepoint. Crafting boomed during the pandemic, and the show is intended to exemplify 2020 themes, including Covid-19, isolation, social justice movements, economic stresses, and political unrest.
Parent & Child Create Night-Mother's Day Craft
May 7, 2021
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Worried about picking the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Kids Create Studio provides a chance for children to work in person to create a one-of-a-kind art piece for their mothers. Each child and adult will bring home a 3D heart painted on a canvas board.
Discover Alexandria Architecture Walking Tour
May 15, June 12, 17
10:00 am – 11:30 am
The Carlyle Historic Park is hosting a walking tour that highlights the City of Alexandria’s growth showcased in architectural themes starting in the 18th century until today. Guides will highlight predominant and unique architectural styles within Alexandria’s varied streets. The tour is 1.5 hours long and is held rain or shine.
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s Paint Your Pet Party
May 16, supply pick-up May 15-14
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Virtual
AWLA presents a chance for you to virtually learn art the easy way by studying a photo of your
best pet friend. Materials and teaching are provided, and at the end of the session, you’ll own a masterpiece worthy of your pet. All ages and skill levels are invited. Your fee includes a personalized and pre-outlined stretched canvas based on the photo you submit, paint, paintbrushes, and a palette.
Spring 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is springing into the warm months ahead with a newly loosened round of Covid-19 restrictions issued by Governor Northam and the City of Alexandria starting April 1st. While shopping and dining in Alexandria, watch for these changes to enjoy more of what the city offers in April.
- Outdoor and Indoor Entertainment: Both venues are required to operate at 30% capacity, but there is a 500 person capacity indoors.
- Sporting Events: On an indoor playing field, the number has increased to 100 people or 30% capacity. Outside, up to 500 people or 30% capacity, whichever is less.
- Social Gatherings: Inside gatherings are restricted to 50 people, while the number is 100 for outdoor events.
Current City of Alexandria Restrictions
Image via Ron Cogswell
- Restaurants and Other Private Events: Maximum party sizes increase from 10 to 50 people inside and from 25 to 100 outside.
- Executive Order 72: Requires masks at all times indoors and outdoors where six feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained except when eating or drinking, exercising, or for medical and disability-related reasons.
Groundswell at Waterfront Park
As part of an ongoing temporary public art installation series, Groundswell is Mark Reigelman’s interpretation of how Alexandria’s Potomac River shoreline is changing. Inspired by the city’s 18th and 19th century attempts to increase the city’s shoreline through sunken wooden ships and timber pilings, the installation includes “102 raw wood pilings are topped with etched blue mirrors that shimmer like water.”
Image via alexandria.gov
Old Town Boutique's District Annual Easter Egg Hunt
April 3, 2021, ends 5pm
The Boutique District is organizing a socially distant Easter Egg Hunt through the streets of Old Town. After finding six Easter eggs, participants will turn their treasures in at Monday's Child or 529 Kids Consign for a sweet Easter treat.
Old Town Boutique District’s Annual Cherry Blossom Shop & Sip
April 10, 2021
For a $10 ticket, shoppers are granted 10% off all OTBD participating stores. After the season's shopping is over, head to Fontaine. They’re providing a complimentary Cherry Blossom cocktail or mocktail.
Old Town Alexandria Historic Homes & Garden Tour
April 17, 2021, 10am-4pm
New this year, a self-guided tour, “A Springtime Stroll: Doorways of Our Past and Future,” is showing off more than 12 of Alexandria’s best-dressed gardens and exteriors. The tour is part of Historic Garden Week in Virginia. Four historical properties are highlighted: the Lee-Fendall House garden, the Ramsay House garden, the Athenaeum garden, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Taste of Old Town North
April 21- June 21
For two months, diners will be introduced to the growing food scene in Old Town North. Participating restaurants are offering a passport for collecting discounts at each location. A percentage of the ticket sales benefits the group, ALIVE!
Old Town Alexandria, image via John Brighenti
Various days and times
What better way to get ready for spring than to start scoping out the best farmers’ markets in Alexandria? Bring your recyclable grocery bags and a wide-brimmed hat to survey the region’s best spring and summer bounty. Try each location once and return all season long to your favorites.
- Old Town Farmers' Market
- Old Town North Farmers' Market
- Del Ray Farmers' Market
- Four Mile Run Farmers' & Artisans Market
- West End Farmers' Market
March 5, 2021, through May 2021, Friday and Saturday, various showtimes
Back by popular demand! In response to Covid-19 restrictions and the desire to strengthen the community through fundraising, drive-in movies are back thanks to a not-for-profit venture led by ALX Community with significant support from The Garden (by Building Momentum) and corporate sponsors.
The March movie lineup includes classics such as Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, The Princess Bride, The Greatest Showman, and Remember the Titans. If you’d like to make it a full night on the town, try one of the food trucks on-site, including DC Slices, Chix N Stix,
Lattimore’s Funnel Cakes, Popped Republic, and one weekly rotating food truck.
March 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
March 17, 2021, online, 6:30 pm- 7:30 pm
John Berlau will discuss George Washington’s entrepreneurial leadership and how he grew his business while creating a national commerce strategy. This evening is part of a lecture series designed to guide professionals who hope to develop their leadership skills. Attendees will explore some of George Washington's leadership style’s unique aspects and learn how these timeless principles can be used today.
March 3rd, online, 1 pm
In time to recognize Women’s History Month, the Women's Entrepreneurship Symposium will be held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Old Town; however, the event is virtual. The symposium is designed to share the resources and services available to assist and support women inventors and entrepreneurs. Topics include how to navigate today’s rapidly changing marketplace, efforts to bring women into the innovation ecosystem, and discussions led by U.S. Patent and Trademark officials.
Alexandria Cherry Blossom Festival Events March 20 - April 11, 2021
A sure sign of spring, Alexandria and the Washington, D.C., area come alive with the slow but sure opening of hundreds of thousands of pink and white blossoms throughout the region. Stay updated with the timing for peak blooms and Covid-19 restrictions at cherryblossomwatch.com.
March 19, 2021, Wednesday-Sunday, various times
Viewing the cherry blossoms from a riverboat is a next-level treat during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Hornblower offers a 25-minute water taxi ride from Old Town, Alexandria, to the Transit Pier at The Wharf during the festival. There is the option to take a one-way trip, deboard at the Wharf and walk to the Tidal Basin. Or, continue to stay on board for a round trip to view the lines of blossoming trees.
Cherry Blossom Inspired Food and Drink
March 20-April 11
Restaurants and hotels are letting their spring creativity shine through during the festival and showcasing cherry blossom-infused recipes.
- Bugsy’s is serving the Blossom II with cherry vodka and a cherry Margarita.
- Café 44 is offering a cherry mojito to pair with their cherry, jalapeno, and prosciutto flatbread.
- Lost Boy Cider distilled Cherry Blossom Cider for the season.
- Sheraton Suites Old Town created a festive cocktail with silver Tequila, lime and grapefruit juice, grenadine, and maraschino cherries.
- Dolci Gelati’s crowd favorite is the shop’s Cherry Blossom gelato.
Check your favorite restaurants throughout Alexandria for their version of Cherry Blossom Sangria.
March 31- May 2, Wednesdays-Sundays
It’s all blossoms, all the time during the exhibit at the Torpedo Factory. All participating artists will display spring and cherry blossom-themed artwork throughout the collection of studios and shops.
April 2-5, 2021
Known for their ghost tours, Discover Alexandria embraces peak bloom weekend and offers their guests two 75-minute walking tours that focus on Old Town history with the promise of as many blossom sightings as possible.
Winter 2021 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
The winter months are a perfect time to visit and explore Alexandria. The tourist season has slowed and the humidity is long gone, perfect for taking advantage of the public events and activities throughout the season. This year, the city’s traditional events have been augmented to accommodate as many people as possible under coronavirus restrictions, and many have reinvented themselves as virtual attractions.
Here’s a bit of forewarning, though. Alexandria’s weather is a bit of a mystery during January, February, and March. Typically, these three months of the year provide the city’s best chance for snow, and it will be chilly, but it’s not unheard of to have sunny, warmish days in the 50s in February. So take into account the weather forecast before choosing your adventure.
Image via Canva
The City of Alexandria wants you to take advantage of the time spent at home to curl up and read about the Alexandria winter experiences of years past. Seasonal activities and recommendations for community building are found throughout the portal, especially in the four themes represented: Celebrating Family and Community, Marking Milestones, Making and Preserving Food, and Keeping Warm.
January 16 through February 28, 2021
Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-5pm
The ice rink at Cameron Run Regional Park is open for skating on the weekends through the winter. The sessions are one hour at a time to limit capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. The park encourages prepayment online because they do not allow at the door ticket purchases.
Image courtesy Heather Whitfield
January 22-February 7, 2021
Over sixty restaurants are offering $49 take-out meals for two during the two-week long event. New this year, some restaurants are providing $25 meals for a single diner. The menu book includes many Old Town favorites such as Il Porto, as well as relative newcomers like King & Rye.
February 6-7, 2021
This year marks the 17th time the Alexandria Warehouse sale will operate, although in a different way. Instead of the warehouse ambiance, the sale will take place inside Old Town stores and under sidewalk tents. Each store posts its own hours and mini-events within. You’ll find about 40 boutique stores along Alexandria’s sidewalks. Brands representing clothing, shoes, jewelry, home furnishings, and more are available with up to 80 percent off retail prices.
Alexandria waterfront image via Canva
February 22, 2021
Social distancing requirements include free limited tickets available for members starting February 1. Non-members are eligible on February 12. The celebration will include performances and stories from actors, musicians, and historians on the property.
Through February 28
Hosted by the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee, the Hunt for Washington is just one event listed in a collection of celebratory adventures in Alexandria that honors our first president. Other events include Christ Churchyard Tours, a virtual Birthnight Banquet, and Ball and a wreath-laying ceremony. Check the website for the various times and locations.
February 28, 2021
Animal enthusiasts will love a guided walk along the pathways throughout Huntley Meadows just as the day turns into evening. A park naturalist guides the way in hopes of spying owls, beavers, and other of the night animals.
Image via Fairfax County.gov
Fall 2020 Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Thanks to the abundance of colorful trees and diminished humidity, the fall months in Alexandria are some of the best of the year. Festive activities ranging from 5K races to cider tasting and ghost walks normally pack the autumn days, but Fall 2020 has some changes, including inventive twists on traditional favorites and expanded outdoor celebrations.
You can expect the city to embrace outdoor activities to the fullest by increasing dining space and planned outside events that take advantage of the fall foliage and riverbank views. Be sure to cross-check your autumn adventures and Virginia’s peak leaf colors with the Fall 2020 Fall Foliage Prediction Map.
Keep in mind the State of Virginia requires face coverings indoors and encourages masks outside while in crowds. As of October 1, the City of Alexandria will enforce a city ordinance requiring a mask to be worn over the nose and mouth in outdoor public locations when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill's Pumpkin Patch
This beloved Alexandria tradition takes place on a picturesque hillside location. The pumpkin sales are dedicated to children's charities throughout the city.
Nall’s Produce Pumpkin Hill
Famous for their festive play and picture friendly fall harvest zone, Nalls welcomes guests to stay awhile and shop for fall produce including several varieties of pumpkins.
Ghost and Graveyard Tours
Alexandria Colonial Tours is offering both in-person and Zoom tours for those interested in colonial frights found throughout the streets of Old Town.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Tour Tall Ship Providence
A replica of the Continental Navy’s most famous tall ship, the Providence, is now docked in Old Town. The ship appeared in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean and offers tours daily. There are private and public tour schedules available as are private cruise packages.
Mount Vernon Trail’s Fall Foliage
Wind through miles of forested trails along this iconic pathway which has start and stop points at Theodore Roosevelt Island and Mount Vernon. Keep an eye out for bald eagles soaring above the red, orange, and yellow treetops.
Festivals and Celebrations
October and November
Image by Alan Batt from Pixabay
Most of these farm and festival locations are about a two-hour drive from Alexandria, but they are fall family favorites. Offerings will vary from previous years, visit their websites to verify availability and last-minute changes to their scheduled activities.
Photo via Phil Roeder, Wikimedia Commons
All week long, Alexandria has a bounty of produce and artisan creations distributed throughout multiple farmers market sites in the city and county.
City of Alexandria Farmers Markets:
- Four Mile Run Farmers Market
- Del Ray Farmers Market
- Old Town Farmers Market
- West End Farmers Market
Alexandria Fairfax County Farmers Markets:
- McCutcheon/Mount Vernon
Fall 2020 Events at George Washington's Mount Vernon
Visitors Center at Mount Vernon
Acres of outdoor space are in abundance at the estate, which means Mount Vernon is working hard to bring guests onto the property to enjoy historic scenery during the fall months. These are a few of their signature events not to be missed.
Slave Memorial Commemoration
October 3, 11:00 a.m.
Mount Vernon and the Black Women United for Action will remember the enslaved people who lived and worked at Mount Vernon with a ceremony at the Slave Memorial.
Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour
October 9-11, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Picnic on the East Lawn at sunset while sampling Virginia wines.
Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash
Fall Harvest Festival
October 24-25, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Celebrate fall harvest on Pioneer Farm while taking in 18th-century activities and demonstrations such as yarn spinning and Slave Cabin cooking demonstrations in addition to meeting General Washington.
Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
October 31, 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Rain or shine, trick or treating at Mount Vernon will go on with Halloween themed activities that include a craft, chocolate making, and various live entertainment. Trick or Treaters will receive a bag of candy as they leave the estate.
Image via National Park Service
Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans
November 11, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
All active duty, former, and retired service members are offered free admission to Mount Vernon.
Fall events in Alexandria are going strong this year, even if they had to be reimagined. Creativity is at its height throughout the city and in the Northern Virginia region, which is a good sign as the holiday season approaches. Watch for Alexandria November and December events to unfold in the next couple of weeks.
Not quite ready to venture out yet? See below for a list of virtual events in the Alexandria area!
Explore Alexandria Through Virtual Events
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, Alexandria finds itself ready to connect with visitors and neighbors through virtual access to many of the best features the city and county have to offer. Among numerous choices, there are several standouts within the community committed to education and entertainment while limitations are in place.
Treat your family to learning something new about the vast community, or turn soon-to-be residents onto the following list of opportunities in Alexandria.
Alexandria Virtual Outdoor Activities
Although limited park and outdoor activities are available throughout Alexandria, bad weather and unpredictable crowd sizes sometimes limit access to events outside. Check out a couple of easy ways to learn about the city’s outdoors, from your indoors!
Fairfax County Park Authority
The county’s Virtual Exploration Center has so much to offer while staying at home. Categories include: Health and Wellness with free fitness classes available, Science and Nature showcases a field guide to local plant and wildlife, and Culture and History features a story map of Fairfax County Historical Roadside Markers. Check each category for dozens of options.
If you chose to dine outdoors in Alexandria, start with the 9 Best Restaurants in Alexandria, Virginia.
Visit Alexandria 360
If you’re a fan of Old Town, but don’t get there as often as you’d like, Visit Alexandria 360 is an ideal way to take in the history and sights of the most historic part of the city. More than 20 attractions are detailed, including restaurants on King Street, water views from a boat cruise, and a tour through the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.
Alexandria Virtual Education
As the school year approaches, educators will be using creative methods for teaching students from afar. Get a jump on what’s available by tapping into local resources found at Mount Vernon and Fort Belvoir.
The Center for Digital History at the Washington Library (Mount Vernon)
Of course, Mount Vernon is a staple of education for all Virginia students, but did you know George Washington’s presidential library sits right outside of Mount Vernon’s gates? The programs housed here are designed purposefully for online learning, promoting connections between students and a vast amount of primary resources and expert staff advice. And, if a physical trip to the estate is questionable this year, a virtual tour is also available.
When you’re ready, here’s what you need to know about A Day Trip To Mount Vernon.
National Museum of the United States Army
Delayed by Covid-19, but soon to be opened, the National Museum of the Army is technically located on Fort Belvoir property but will be available to the public. Free admission offers plenty of return visits after the finishing touches have been placed. The Army’s museum intends to honor all soldiers from the past, present, and future including the Reserves and National Guard. Some of the exhibits currently featured online include the Cold War, Army and Society, and Soldiers Stories.
Alexandria Online Library Access
Public libraries across the country have really stepped up to offer patrons a variety of options for check out and online reading. In addition, their virtual programming has certainly benefited from pandemic closures. Everything from lectures to storytime have gone online. Here’s what Alexandria's major public library systems are offering.
City of Alexandria Library
The website truly has something for everyone and most age groups. From American Girl Doll virtual events to Virtual Pre-K Equality, Justice and Inclusion storytime and ESL classes, the monthly schedule is packed with activities.
Alexandria, Fairfax County Public Library
The county has also enhanced its programming. Through their Early Literacy Program, online book readings are available on Facebook. Or, catch up with previous episodes found on the library’s YouTube channel. Here’s more for older kids and adults:
- Top 10 Ways to FCPL at Home
- “Concierge” Book Recommendations—My Perfect Read
- Early Literacy Daily Activities
- Just for Kids Video Streaming Service
- Digital Events for Adults
- All Access Book Club
Virtual Fun for Music Lovers
Behind the Scenes at The Birchmere
Small music venues are struggling during the virus restrictions, and Alexandria has its very own historic and beloved stage conveniently in its back yard. The Birchmere is a fixture on tours for performers who prefer an intimate experience. Online, you can listen to past performers give interviews in addition to listening to their concerts filmed on stage. Recent top acts feature America, Ashley Monroe, Sturgill Simpson, The Bacon Brothers, Brandi Carlile, and Eric Benet.
Traditional tours and events in Alexandria are slow to return to pre-virus days, but Alexandria has by and large made exceptional strides in offering newcomers and residents the opportunity to check out so much of what the city has to offer, and what will be waiting for them when the time is right to return.
Moving to the Alexandria area? Tour homes for sale and houses for rent in Alexandria, Virginia!
March Events in Alexandria
Welcome to spring! The first day of the season officially starts on the 19th, but the days leading to the change are filled with celebratory activities. Throughout March, Alexandria plays host to traditional Irish celebrations, embraces women’s history, and prepares for the much anticipated arrival of the iconic pink and white cherry blossoms. Pick an event and welcome spring into Northern Virginia.
The beloved Alexandria tradition is set to start at 10:30 a.m. with the Fun Dog Show on Market Square, which benefits the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Later at 12:30, the parade begins at King and Alfred Streets. Hosted by the Ballyshaners (Gaelic for “Old Towners”) in effort to preserve Alexandria’s Irish heritage, the parade presents more than 2,000 participants. Bands, animal rescue groups, pipe and drum bands, Shriners, and Irish dancers lead the festivities. Dress in green and get there early for the perfect viewing spot.
Hosted by the Chamber’s ALX’s Women’s Leadership Forum and presented by the LizLuke real estate team, the event was created to bring women and men together to foster career education, interactive discussions, and networking. A number of panelists will be on hand to lead the forum, provide feedback, and career growth advice.
Local Alexandria restaurants come together each March to host the annual Sips for Saints event at the Atrium Building. The celebration benefits the Alexandria Central Rotary Foundation with a fundraiser showcasing gourmet food and Irish spirits. The foundation focuses on improving the lives of adults and children with special needs.
With Huntley Meadows Park as the scenic backdrop, girls ages 5-17 have the opportunity to celebrate Women’s History Month by spending time learning about art, science, and history. They’ll investigate and research information gathered by well known scientists such as Maria Merian, Frances Hamerstrom, and Jane Goodall. Activities include sketching and surveying forest trails and wetlands.
Although it's too early to predict peak cherry blossom sightings, the ramp up to the official festival begins now. Although officially a D.C. festival, Alexandria plays host to a satellite event dedicated to the blossoms at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Attendees are invited to participate in hands-on activities, performances, and shop works of art displayed and sold throughout the building.
Quickly becoming a Fairfax County favorite, the Ides of Bark Dog Festival is hosted by Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck and the Fairfax County Park Authority. Vendors, dog enthusiasts, and neighborhood supporters have made this event a fun afternoon to cavort with canines. Vendors provide freebies such as samples, coupons, free services, and dog care information. Look for dog celebrities Luna, Jamie, Stella, Gunner, and Bruce Jr., who are the Mount Vernon District Doggie Representatives.
February Events in Alexandria
If you haven’t noticed by now, George Washington is a big deal in Alexandria, especially in February! The country celebrates the 288th birthday of our founding father on February 17, and there are multiple birthday celebrations throughout the city, especially at his farm home, Mount Vernon. February is also the perfect time to take your sweetheart to a romantic dinner at the Mount Vernon Inn for a period inspired meal.
Many of the celebrations are free, so take advantage of what the area has to offer during this month of President’s Day.
Chocolate and February just go together, so it's an extra special treat to have on hand General Washington who will be storytelling and answering questions at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. In the audience, you’ll sip on hot chocolate and snack on chocolate treats.
Downtown Alexandria is home to the largest and oldest parade dedicated to celebrating our nation’s first president. Rear Admiral Robert Shumaker (Ret.) is 2020’s Grand Marshal, and he will lead the parade through the one-mile route. This year’s parade theme is “Selfless Service to Country.”
After the parade, walk to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum to speak with costumed guides and tour the facilities for free. Washington frequently dined at Gadsby’s Tavern, and his time spent there is well documented.
New this year, a discovery game was created to uncover facts about Alexandria and George Washington. The scavenger hunt will take about 1.5 hours and families are encouraged to play together. Prizes are awarded.
There’s no place like Mount Vernon to celebrate Washington’s Birthday. Admission is free for everyone, and there is a long line up of events to watch and take part in, including: presidential wreath laying at the tomb, marching drills and military demonstrations, storytelling, and pictures with Mr. Washington himself.
Because when a birthday reaches 288, one day of celebration is just not enough! Mount Vernon offers free admission again, but this time there’s birthday cake! Kids will have the opportunity to celebrate with card making and photos with George. Look for Martha, too!
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial hosts Freemasons and their friends and family to celebrate President Washington’s birth. The day-long festivities end with the formal gala which includes a reception, entertainment, and an extensive buffet.
Walk where the president walked, and see the places he frequented in Old Town. For 90 minutes, you’ll explore sites such as John Fitzgerald’s warehouse, Captain’s Row, Gentry Row, Ramsay House, Market Square, the Carlyle House, Wise’s Tavern, Duvall Tavern, Gadsby’s Tavern, and Washington’s townhouse.
January Events in Alexandria
Welcome to Alexandria in 2020!
If you’ve not taken advantage of some of the ongoing events in Alexandria, it's time to put a new adventure on your calendar. Stop procrastinating and saying, “We should really go to that one day” and make a new year’s resolution to try one of the dozens of events that are featured throughout the city.
As far as tourists are concerned, January is a lighter month for travelers, which means more access to special events and mainstay entertainment for those who live in the area. Try winter produce from a farmers’ market in Old Town or Del Ray, attend a concert at the historic Birchmere, or treat the family to a fun afternoon breaking out of one of the escape rooms in Alexandria.
Select Saturdays in January and February
If you never understood the call of Goat Yoga, maybe Bunny Meditation is more your style? It's a new year, so try it out— meditation is always on everyone’s resolution list. Lionheaded Bunnies visiting from Tripple Springs Farm will be wandering about during guided meditation.
Plus, after class, there’s cider to sample from Alexandria’s own Lost Boy Cider.
January 1 - September 30
You won’t want to miss this exhibit. Nineteen enslaved people are highlighted, documenting their stories and artifacts related to their work on Mount Vernon. Enslaved people at Mount Vernon were responsible for much of the household’s success and part of exhibit examines how the Washingtons managed their relationships with enslaved workers as they contemplated their opposition to slavery.
January 1 - December 13, 2021
Did you know that every one of our presidents has walked through the streets of historic Alexandria? This app-lead, tour guide free walking tour allows participants to follow the footsteps of our forefathers into popular green spaces, storied buildings, and museums. Christ Church, Market Square, and Waterfront Park are just a few of the stops.
January 1 - 26
For a unique twist on art and animals, visit the Gallery without Walls display housed at the VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital. Visitors will not only view one-of-a-kind art dedicated to man’s best friend (dog or cat!), you’ll have the opportunity to purchase any of the artwork showcased. As an added incentive to stop by, 20% of sold artwork proceeds will be split between VCA and the Wildlife Rescue League.
New this year! As part of the NOVA Parks 60th year celebration, the Winter Village at Cameron Run has all the activities that a genuine winter wonderland can offer. Ice skating, marshmallow roasting, igloo tours, and lighted scenery throughout the park makes for beautiful pictures at night. This an ideal time of year to get to know Cameron Run Regional Park, because in the summer the property returns to its true identity as a popular water park!
December Events in Alexandria
24th Annual Del Ray Artisans Fine Art & Fine Craft Holiday Market
First 3 Weekends in December: Fridays 6 - 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am - 6 pm
Del Ray Artisans Gallery
2704 Mt. Vernon Ave.
The Del Ray Artisans Holiday Market hosts different artists each weekend, so be sure to check the schedule and choose what is near and dear to your heart. Fine arts and crafts will be on hand for purchase from local vendors. You’ll see pottery, ceramics, photography, jewelry, fiber, paper crafts, and glassworks. A unique facet to this market is the donation of a portion of each vendor’s sales to support Del Ray Artisans’ mission to promote art for the benefit of artists and the community.
Fort Belvoir’s Brunch with Santa
December 1 and 15
The Officer’s Club offers two days to meet with Santa and share Christmas wishes. Photo opportunities are available. Don’t forget your camera, and don’t delay; this event sells out quickly!
Parade December 7 at 11 am, route through Old Town
The much beloved Scottish Walk Weekend kicks off a month of fun and sometimes free activities in the city. Alexandria was founded by Scottish merchants; one is the port’s namesake, John Alexander. Scottish traditions have held strong for hundreds of years in the city.
The weekend includes a widely revered parade filled with clans dressed in tartans with bagpipes and drums. Did I mention Scottie dogs by the pack?
- Taste of Scotland Scotch Tasting, December 6, 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
- Holiday Designer Tour of Homes, December 7,12:30 pm - 4 pm
2019 Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Parade 5:30 pm, Dockside Festivities 2 - 8 pm
Stay in Old Town after the Scottish Christmas Walk, grab some dinner, and linger over the sight of the parade of boats as they cruise down the Potomac. This holiday tradition celebrates its 20th Anniversary and remains a favorite of those who call Alexandria home. Waterfront Park hosts a pop-up beer garden furnished by Port City Brewing, while local radio station 97.1 WASH FM adds holiday music to the festive ambiance. Other vendors on site include Penny Post, AR Workshop, Old Town Books, and Pizzeria Paradiso. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also make an appearance at the City Marina.
November Events in Alexandria
Welcome to the official start of the holiday season! November in Alexandria is full of events. From the last days of farmer’s markets to poignant Veterans Day remembrances, there’s plenty of chances to see Alexandria at its best. Try one of several Turkey Trots around town to see up close what Alexandria charm is all about.
Spending time in Alexandria for Thanksgiving? Make those dining plans ASAP! Reservations fill quickly.
Meet fellow oyster lovers dockside to enjoy all you can eat oysters with your paid ticket. Fresh, fried, or boiled--you choose. Shrimp and house made chips are also available.
Join friends of Dyke Marsh to get an intro into how to watch for birds on the shores of the Potomac. Experienced and new bird watchers are invited.
Sign up to take advantage of this unique yoga class located in the brewhouse. All levels of students are welcome. Stay to enjoy beer samples in the tasting room after class!
A bustling farmer’s market awaits shoppers in the Sherwood Hall library parking lot. You’ll find vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, baked goods, cut flowers, and more.
Where history and whiskey meet. Washington was a pioneer in distillery. Join modern professionals to taste and learn about some of Virginia’s best craft whiskey.
Who can resist dancing to music straight from the 1770s? Enjoy English country dancing and dining on festive fall desserts. Dance lessons are available the weeks leading up to the ball.
Don’t miss the last Sunday of the season to shop for one-of-a-kind treasures. This is a favorite in Del Ray, allowing community members to buy and sell among like minded residents.
To commemorate Veterans Day, free tours are available of the tavern museum.
More than 10 cideries are eager to show off their best blends. Join the crowd at the Lloyd House for merriment while sipping cider and tasting new dishes from a local food truck.
Holiday programs and tours will take visitors back to the time when the Washington family celebrated the holiday. You’ll probably even hear George and Martha telling stories about their family traditions.
October Events in Alexandria
We’ve made it! The summer is officially behind us and the season of festivals, fun, and everything pumpkin is upon us. This time of year, the days move fast! Plan your weekends carefully to maximize time for enjoying the cool weather.
While you’re in the festive mood, check out Visit Alexandria's Guide to Fall Leaf Peeping in Alexandria.
For 26 years, this Alexandria church has offered its lovely grounds to visitors who want to choose the perfect pumpkin. The proceeds of the sale go directly to fund church activities. Check out their schedule, as they’re offering pumpkin themed cooking classes through the month.
Alexandria’s Scottish heritage is on full display when the Highland Echoes Show comes to town during the fall. Scottish dancing, music, traditional songs, and all things Highland related are showcased, including iconic kilts and bagpipes.
An autumn day spent on the historic banks of the Potomac is a treat not everyone gets a chance to try. Kids will love the planned activities and maritime presentations and history. The whole family will dig the live music and plenty of access to renowned restaurants.
It's tradition to spend at least one amazing fall day at Mount Vernon. You can’t go wrong by choosing the wine fall festival, featuring Virginia wines.
Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon
Not into wine? Bring the family down to spend the day on the plantation. Kids can play games that Custis children played or jump in a horse drawn wagon ride. Mount Vernon is offering limited quantities of free sightseeing cruises during Family Days.
Who doesn’t love a parade? Especially when the participants are kids and pets in costumes! Del Ray residents have strong affection for this community event, offering awards for categories such as, Best Pet Costume, Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home, and Best Decorated Stroller.
September Events in Alexandria
Whether it’s apples or pumpkins, Hollin Farms has produce for everyone during the fall. In fact, the owners recommend checking their website before coming to see what is ripe for picking and the exact times of admission before heading out. On the weekends, the farm offers entrance to a corn maze for $1.00. Longtime Alexandria locals might recognize the farm’s connection to the popular Hollin Hall neighborhood in southern Alexandria.
Each weekend of the month, crowd favorite Great Country Farms hosts visitors at their Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Fest. On the farm, you’ll visit animals and a "dino" who likes to eat pumpkins, and take a tractor ride to pick apples straight out of the orchard.
September 14-15 is opening weekend, then daily Sept 21-Nov 5
Cox Farms Fall Festival
Don’t let the trek out to Cox Farms deter you; consider it part of the season to take in new scenery out near the farm. All the traditional events are waiting for families to enjoy: apple baked goods, hay rides, farm animals, and a scary corn maze are just a few of the activities available.
Mount Vernon never disappoints when hosting special events, and the Colonial Market Fair is no exception. In fact, it's one of its most popular! Each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., guests can shop a 12-acre field dotted with colonial artisans selling food and handcrafted items. Musicians and historic interpreters, including George and Martha Washington, roam the market answering all kinds of questions about their lives on the plantation.
Serious artisans and crafters know the significance of this event, as it is ranked highly by Sunshine Artist Magazine. World class art is displayed by more than 200 artists not only from the U.S, but globally. One of a kind pieces from all modes of artwork will be on display for purchase. Shoppers will find paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, and much more.
New Neighbors Oktoberfest & Live Auction
The Campagna Center supports literacy in the community through its wildly popular Oktoberfest fundraiser. They’ve partnered with Port City Brewing to bring festival goers all the traditional German fare, brews, and Oompah Band music they can handle.
A local’s favorite, for sure! The location in Alexandria is hard to beat, but the ambiance is pure fall country goodness. Mounds of various colors and styles of pumpkins are available, not to mention fresh produce and baked goods. Just watch out for wagon traffic. There will be plenty of little ones dressed for family fall photos.
September 30 - October 31
If you missed the apple gala at Great Country farms or just want a second reason to taste donuts again, the Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival is a fine successor.
August Events in Alexandria
Bagpipe and Drum Concert
Did you know Alexandria’s lineage is straight out of Scotland? Yep, and Scottish enthusiasts head into Old Town a few times a year to proudly demonstrate their heritage. The City of Alexandria Pipes and Drums are playing a free concert in Waterfront Park at 8 p.m. Pack a snack and a seat to settle in for the concert and watch a performance by traditional Scottish dancers.
Calling all shoppers! Head to King Street in a hurry! There’s an entire weekend dedicated to end of the season bargain shoppers. Up and down King Street you’ll find sidewalk sales hosted by more than 50 vendors that will be hard to pass up. If your family doesn’t share your enthusiasm about shopping, let them take part in delights such as lemonade stands, a snow cone machine, giant Jenga, a bubble bar, sidewalk chalk art, and a mini make-and-take project. Vendors are also participating in raffles and giveaways.
One of the highlights of Alexandria is the abundance of world class food. Amazing plates will be on show for two weekends and 10 days during Restaurant Week. More than 70 restaurants representing quick food to international plates are preparing dishes. Special prices include a $35 three-course dinner for one or a $35 dinner for two. Lunch menus are available for $15 or $22 per person. Ladies and gents who brunch can enjoy menus for $15 or $22 per person. Check out the vendors and their availabilities on the restaurant week’s website.
2019 Irish Festival
Waterfront Park again plays host to the city’s European ancestry. This time, it's the Irish who represent. To preserve their heritage, the Ballyshaners are providing Irish entertainment, food, drinks, and crafts for purchase. Entrance is free from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the festival is a family-friendly event.
July Events in Alexandria
A full itinerary packs the day with colonial and modern events. Daytime fireworks, cannon fire, and large scale re-enactments are the big draws, but inside, specialized talks and exhibits provide shelter from hot or rainy weather. A special ceremony dedicated to honoring new American citizens is also scheduled.
Take a narrated round trip cruise and monument tour on the Potomac River. Admission to Mount Vernon is included. Food is available for additional fees.
Alexandria is turning 270 and American is having its 243rd birthday this year! Head to Oronoco Bay Park for a festive rendition of the 1812 Overture (including cannons!) and fireworks at 9:30. Food is available on site.
Families and pets are welcome to watch open air movies suitable for everyone to enjoy! Titles include: Peter Pan, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Smallfoot, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, and Incredibles 2--free!