Updated September 16, 2015.
One of Virginia’s most beautiful seasons is upon us, and you must get out and enjoy the view. Take your scenic drive, but also incorporate one or two of these 10 free things to do this fall. Your weekends are going to be amazing!
1. The Callands Festival in Callands, Virginia was named a Local Legacy of American Folk Life and Culture by the Library of Congress in 2000. Join in the fun with reenactors representative of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, musicians, artisans, and guided tours of the historic buildings. Traditional foods will be available, as will beautifully handcrafted items. First Saturday in October.
2. Visit Westmoreland Berry Farm in Colonial Beach. Acres of Rappahannock River frontage are perfect for picnics and bird watching. The kids will enjoy a play area just for them, as well as the antics of the skywalking goats. Give the goats a nibble from the pulley feeder system; they love it! Westmoreland is a pick-your-own farm offering fall raspberries and pumpkins. Hitch a ride on the hay wagon to head to the fields. The only fee incurred at the farm is the rate for pick-your-own products or any cafe purchases you choose to make.
3. A beautiful drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway delivers you to Milepost 213 and the Blue Ridge Music Center where Mid-Day Mountain Music occurs daily through mid-October. Listen in from noon to 4 p.m. and take the opportunity to check out The Roots of American Music Museum and visitor center.
Blue Ridge Music Center
ALSO SEE: 12 Road Trips for Fall
4. Day at the Point is a free fall festival held annually the first Saturday of October in Lynchburg at Point of Honor, an 1815 Federal style mansion. The festivities include living history, kids games and activities, craft vendors, period music, candle making, beekeeping, blacksmithing, open hearth cooking, farm animals, and free tours of the 1815 historic home. Delicious food will be available for purchase, including Brunswick stew, barbecue, hot dogs, and homemade baked goods. Green thumbs may want to purchase special Point of Honor bulbs ready for fall planting.
5. It’s rare to find a free three-day music festival, but Richmond has one. Check out the Richmond Folk Festival, held annually the second weekend in October. Seven stages will host more than 30 music and dance groups – ballet, reggae, bluegrass, Vietnamese, Scissors Dance, polka, salsa, gospel, Cajun … the list goes on. And there’s a place for kids with make-and-take crafts and special performers.
The Richmond Folk Festival
6. How about a farm festival? The 60-acre Bluebird Gap Farm in Hampton offers a free Fall Festival October 21-23, complete with a pumpkin patch, foggy kayak rides, live entertainment, and hay rides. You can purchase food at the festival or pack your own and find a picnic area to enjoy lunch. After lunch, walk the nature trail or let the kids loose at the playground. 150 domestic and wild animals are on site; bring your quarters to feed farm animals. Hayride is weather dependent.
7. Burkes Garden is often referred to as God’s Thumbprint thanks to its aerial appearance – a giant thumbprint on the landscape of southwest Virginia. Visit this beautiful mountaintop valley during the Burkes Garden Fall Festival, always held the fourth Saturday in September. “Handmade, homegrown and hands-on” is the feel of this festival that reflects farm living in the Heart of Appalachia.
8. The next opportunity for you to enjoy Virginia’s National Parks for free is on National Public Lands Day, always the fourth Saturday of September. Not all of the National Parks charge a fee, but there are some very popular ones that do.
Shenandoah National Park Sunset
9. Check out the two-day Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour through Virginia’s beautiful Culpeper County. Held annually the first weekend in October, the tour includes 18 farms and farm related businesses, which allow you to get involved with hands-on activities and demonstrations, as well as mingle with llamas, horses, cattle, and buffalo. Expect to see both traditional and unique farm experiences during this free weekend that really does have something for everyone – even wine and moonshine!
10. Take a train ride into Clifton for Clifton Day Festival, held annually the second Saturday of October. It’s the only day of the year the train stops in town! The train is free to for arrival but $5 to return (children under two are free), and services stops between Manassas and Rolling Road. The festival is free to attend and includes great entertainment, vendors, artisans, historical reenactments, and more. Food will be available for purchase.
Find more free ways to LOVE Virginia this fall: 40 or More Free Things to Do in Virginia
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