17 Fall Festivals and Fun Happenings Around Arlington
Switch seasons with live music, street fairs, gravity-defying acrobatics, decorating tips and an art walk.
The humidity may be lingering, but the region’s social calendar indicates that fall is on the way. Save the date for events ranging from concerts and music festivals to art walks and bike rides – all promising to keep you busy between packing up flip-flops and sorting your scarf collection.
Happening Sept. 1-3 at the Capital Hilton, this event is organized by magician Brian Curry, who performs The Good Liar shows in the District and won the 2023 Milbourne Christopher Award for mentalism. A total of five shows will take place throughout the weekend, most for audiences 12 or 15 and up. Watch closely during the free table-side magic after the evening shows. // 1001 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Enjoy an afternoon at Mr. Brown’s Park in the Little City with free music from the Capitol Lab Band and Jazz4Justice All Stars on Sept. 4 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The third annual event benefits the Legal Aid Justice Center, a Virginia-based nonprofit that provides legal serves to low-income youth and families. Since its founding in 2000, Jazz4Justice has hosted more than 60 concerts statewide and raised more than $600,000 for jazz, educational and charitable legal services. // 100 W. Broad Street, Falls Church
Cirque du Soleil’s 20th Big Top Show kicks off at Tysons II on Sept. 6 and runs through Oct. 22. The 125-minute nature-themed show explores the symbiotic relationships between humans and animals. Watch as a female heroine named Future and other characters learn how their choices affect one another. The show is family-friendly, but some scenes may be less appropriate for younger children. // 8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons
Presented by Arlington Independent Media and 96.7 WERA, this inaugural music festival will feature family-friendly activities such as face painting, food trucks, local vendors and, of course, musical artists, with a lineup that includes Whiskey Before Breakfast, The People Psychologic, April Eudora and Sean B. Slated for Sept. 7 from 5:30-10 p.m., the event is free to attend, although donations benefiting Arlington Independent Media are welcome. // 2701 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District and Arlington Arts will host Rosslyn Jazz Fest 2023 on Sept. 9 from 1-7 p.m. at Gateway Park. This year’s headliner is Galactic, a New Orleans-based quintet that has played together for almost 30 years. The lineup also includes Grammy-nominated Pedro Pablo “Pedrito” Martínez, a Cuban-born artist who has performed with Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor; Oh He Dead, a D.C.-based six-member group that is releasing its sixth album Sept. 15; and DuPont Brass, a nine-piece ensemble that started with five Howard University music majors raising tuition money at Metro stations. // 1300 Langston Boulevard, Arlington (Rosslyn)
Residents of the nation’s fittest city (Arlington) can head into the second fittest city (D.C.) on Sept. 9 to participate in this annual recreational ride through the streets of the District. The region’s only closed-road, car-free event starts at 8 a.m. in West Potomac Park and weaves through 20 miles of capital sites, including the monuments. Founded in 2016, it’s expected draw nearly 10,000 riders from around the world ranging in age from 3 to 90-plus. A portion of proceeds from the event, sponsored by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, benefits nonprofits, including the District’s Dreaming Out Loud, which creates economic opportunities for marginalized communities. This year’s Finish Festival, which is free and open the public, will include food trucks, fitness classes from #FITDC and live music. // 2912 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.
On Sept. 9 from 2-5 p.m., Arlingtonians can meet and mingle with Arlington County police officers and community leaders at this family event. Hosted by the Arlington Schools Hispanic Association, Arlington County Police Department, Arlington Sheriff’s Office and Arlington Mill Civic Association, the festival will have a moon bounce, popcorn and snow cones. The 2-acre park has two playgrounds for youngsters plus a basketball court, futsal court and picnic shelters. // 5101 7th Road S., Arlington
Calling all “Queer Eye” fans! Cast member and interior designer Bobby Berk will talk about his first book, Right at Home, from 7-9 p.m. on Sept. 13 at Tysons Galleria. The book, which releases the day before the author talk, covers how design can affect mental wellness and foster happiness at home. The event is free, and copies of the book will be distributed while supplies last. Find seating and standing room on the mall’s first level near Bowlero. // 8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons
The weekend of Sept. 15-17 promises a party in the sky in Tysons. Held 11 stories up in the sky park atop Capital One Center, Perchfest kicks off Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a mini golf tourney at Perch Putt and community vendors selling their goods on the Great Lawn. At 4 p.m., the Starr Hill Biergarten opens. The fun continues Saturday at noon with a free Body Fit Training Sweat Sesh. Or, for something lower-key, go to the Free Flowing Music Experience at the biergarten from noon-2 p.m. Other events that day include a bourbon release party, live music and a DJ/MC after party. Sunday promises another free workout (with FitCoach Caroline), pie-eating contests and music through 5 p.m. Tickets are free, but a donation to Miriam’s Kitchen, a D.C. organization working to end homelessness, is suggested. // 1805 Capital One Drive, Tysons
Give a shout-out to all things Virginia on Sept. 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on the plaza at Tysons Corner Center, where local musicians will perform live and artisans will sell their wares at a dedicated Makers Market. Check out the wine tent, open to 200 ticket-holders ($40) who will get a souvenir glass, access to eight local wineries for complementary tastings and a charcuterie box from the Cornichon. // 1961 Chain Bridge Road, Tysons
The 47th annual festival returns Sept. 23 to City Hall and the Community Center Grounds with a beer garden, live music, children’s entertainment and booths featuring local crafters, businesses and civic organizations. Participating restaurants include Audacious Aleworks, Café Kindred, Clare and Don’s, Harvey’s and Taim Mediterranean Kitchen. // 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church
Editor’s Note: This event was rescheduled due to inclement weather.
Held in partnership with URBNmarket and FRESHFARM, the annual Fall Festival will take over the Mosaic District on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. More than 80 local vendors will be on hand selling food and handmade, artisan or vintage wares, plus there will be live music and family-friendly activities, such as a games corner, moon bounce, pumpkin painting and the “Glamour Tent”’ by Vienna Singing Princesses, offering face painting and hair braiding. // 2910 District Ave., Fairfax
Stop by the neighborhood the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service calls an “upscale village” that “defines urban chill” on Sept. 30 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. for this perennially popular street fair spanning six closed-to-traffic blocks. The festivities include a central music stage, a kids’ zone with inflatables and balloon animals, arts and crafts vendors, craft beers and Virginia wines, and food from area restaurants including Ambar, Circa at Clarendon and Smokecraft Modern Barbecue. Note: Music on the Plaza at Mason Square—Clarendon Day Edition happens Sept. 24 from 6-8 p.m. at 3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington. // 3100 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)
Break out the kilts for this annual Celtic Festival at Sam Beckett’s Irish Pub in Shirlington. Happening Sept. 30 from noon-7 p.m., the event offers traditional Irish music and dance, food, drinks and a popup makers market. Campbell Avenue will be closed to traffic to let fest-goers sip and stroll. // 2800 S. Randolph St., Arlington (Shirlington)
The McLean Project for the Arts is hosting its annual MPAartfest on Oct. 1 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at McLean Central Park. Stroll among booths where juried artists from the mid-Atlantic region will be selling their artwork. Other features of the event, sponsored by the McLean Community Center and Fairfax County Park Authority, features include live music, the Children’s Art Walk and food vendors, such as Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling, Pikoteo and MooThru. // 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean
Take a leisurely walk and explore Arlington’s artistic side from 3-7 p.m. on Oct. 5. From 5-6:30 p.m. swing by the Central Library (1015 N. Quincy St.) to tour its makerspace, where you can make your own art walk button. The Fred Schnider Gallery of Art (888 N. Quincy St.) in Ballston will open its “Suspended Animation” exhibit, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s lawn (3550 Wilson Blvd.) will host a made-in-Arlington popup market. Northside Social Arlington (211 Wilson Blvd.) will have live music and art on display, and Whino (4238 Wilson Blvd.) will host the walk’s closing reception starting at 7 p.m. To make your own mark on the landscape, stop by the Arlington Art Truck, which will be parked at the Ballston Mega Market (301 N. Taylor St., Arlington). You can write your thoughts on what makes a good neighbor on wooden fences that will be converted into weather-sealed picnic benches and displayed. // 3601 Fairfax Drive, Arlington (Ballston)
The Cherry Hill Farmhouse and barn at Cherry Hill Park in Falls Church will be open for tours on Farm Day, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The farm was once part of a pre-Revolutionary War plantation and was dedicated as a historic museum in 1976. History not your thing? Animal lovers of all ages can enjoy a petting farm, pony rides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow-making, blacksmith decorations and live music. The event is free to attend, but activities carry fees of $1-$7. // 312 Park Ave., Falls Church