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What To Do in D.C. This Fall

Image courtesy of American Executive Transportation

By Anna Sheehan

To some, the beginning of fall means journeying deeper into the throes of schoolwork and busy schedules. Fall might simply mean wearing more sweaters than short-sleeves. But to anyone living in D.C., this fall can mean a whole new way to enjoy free time in the city. Fall of 2021 brings a myriad of exciting activities to the D.C. area. There’s something for everyone, from the classic corn maze to Halloween parties to art exhibits.

Look below to learn about all the fall festivities happening in and around D.C. in 2021!

  1. Fall Farms. 

Enjoy the beauty of a farm in fall less than an hour from campus. Delight in a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and a dozen other fall activities at the Fall Festival at Montpelier Farms. Or try your luck at the eight-acre Maryland Corn Maze which includes other outdoor fall activities.

  1. Halloween Celebrations. 

Looking for something spooky to do? Perhaps the Halloween Hunt at the O Museum in the Mansion is for you. Or if you like to celebrate Halloween in a more well-lit way, skip down to the Nightmare on U Street costume party to show off your spooky attire and view a plethora of costuming masterpieces. 

  1. Farmers’ Markets. 

Fall is a great time of year to explore Farmers’ Markets. Check out the Monroe Street Farmers Market just a couple of blocks from CUA. It runs Saturdays from 9 p.m.-1 p.m. and features food as well as local artists. Venture to the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill to see a historic marketplace. Enjoy live music and food, and meet local artists on the weekends.

  1. Museum Exhibits.

Let your breath be taken away by the National Gallery of Art’s landscape exhibit True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870. Marvel at the glass-making wonders of Venice at the Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Explore  more exhibits at The Phillips Collection, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

  1. Performances.

The stages of D.C. also bring a lot of entertainment this fall, and you can find discount tickets to many of the shows. Travel to the Kennedy Center to be spellbound by Hadestown. Or dive into the historical world of American Prophet: Frederick Douglass in His Own Words at Arena Stage. Try the website Todaytix for discount tickets, or find shows on theater websites such as Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, and Woolly Mammoth.

  1. Foliage. 

“My favorite thing is to walk around the National Mall and look at the foliage,” said freshman Acting BFA and D.C. local Kathryn Parr. Sometimes, nature is all it takes to celebrate fall. Enjoy the autumn foliage at outdoor sites in the city such as the National Arboretum or the National Mall.

As a New England native, I was delighted to discover that fall offers just as much cause for celebration in D.C. as at home (well, maybe not quite as much – I still think my home state of Massachusetts offers the best apple picking). But now knowing that the trees actually do change color outside the borders of New England, I am just as excited to spend fall here as at home.

The best part about spending fall here? So many of these events cater to social time! Planning a day full of D.C.’s autumn events offers a refreshing way to enjoy time with friends in addition to the regular activities you find on campus. Grab a friend or a whole group, and get out there to enjoy fall in D.C.!

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