New to Old Town Alexandria this year is the 42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival, bringing Virginia’s best wineries, craft exhibitors, seminars and incredible music to the Potomac River waterfront. There’s fun for the whole family during the Mount Vernon Colonial Market & Fair and Fall Harvest Family Days happening at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Specialty tours and events include the the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum’s series of “Geek Tours” and an “Outlandish Event” for fans of Outlander and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum’s History by the Glass: Whisky.
Minutes from Washington, D.C., yet a world away, Alexandria is more vibrant than ever during the city’s most colorful season. With luxurious accommodations just steps from festival and event venues, galleries, boutiques and restaurants, visitors can easily transform a culture-centric afternoon into a creativity-filled weekend.
22nd Annual Art on the Avenue
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mount Vernon Ave.
Art on the Avenue is a multicultural arts festival celebrating our community’s diversity through the arts in the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. This festival is held on the first Saturday in October, rain or shine. Every year, over 50,000 visitors stroll down Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray between Bellefonte and Hume Avenues. People are greeted by more than 300 artists (jewelers to silversmith and beaders, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, unique painters, sculptures, and fabric artists), musicians (Irish, folk, rock n’ roll, country and more), and food vendors (hot dogs, BBQ, Indian, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and homemade cider donuts). Activities for children include stuff-your-own scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, lotus flower design and weave screen art to name a few.
14th & 15th
42ndAnnual Virginia Wine Festival
Admission: General Admission: $35; VIP: $65
Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St.
Coming for the first time to Old Town Alexandria, the 42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival will present Virginia’s best wineries, craft exhibitors, seminars and incredible music on the Potomac River waterfront. Enjoy the oldest wine festival on the East Coast and stop by the Virginia Oyster Pavilion for a shucking good time! Craft beer trucks will also be available at an additional cost. General admission tickets include a tasting glass, unlimited wine tasting from many Virginia wineries (with cider, too!), festival access to the Virginia Oyster Pavilion, and all concessions and musical entertainment. VIP passes include all the general admission perks plus one-hour early admission, an exclusive VIP reserve wine tasting, and a private tent and bathrooms.
6th – 8th
21st Annual Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, October 7: $40; Saturday, October 8: $48; Sunday, October 9: $36
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Visitors learn about the successes and failures of our Founding Father’s wine endeavors, enjoy live blues music, and meet “George and Martha Washington” on the Mansion’s piazza. Guests experience an evening tour of the Washingtons’ home and are invited to visit the basement where he stored his wine. To accompany the wine tasting, fruit and cheese boxes are available by advance purchase for $29.99. VIP tables start at $1,100 and include admission for 12 people, three bottles of Mount Vernon house wine, a dessert platter from Alexandria Pastry Shop, a fruit and cheese tray from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, and private waiter service. Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour takes place rain or shine.
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
105 S. Fairfax St.
Tour the historic apothecary and learn about a few of the herbal medicines featured in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of novels from cascara to dauco seeds. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and an herbal craft just like Claire would make.
Scottish Heritage Day at Carlyle House
Admission: Free, $1 donation suggested
121 N. Fairfax St.
Celebrate Scottish Heritage at the oldest stone house in Alexandria, home of John Carlyle. Throughout the day enjoy Scottish music, dancing, and fashion as well as tours of the Carlyle House.
Lecture: History of Candy
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe St.
Susan Benjamin, candy historian, returns to the Alexandria Black History Museum to talk about the historic origins of candy based on her book Sweet as Sin: “The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure.” This program focuses on African American contributions to sugar production and candy making.
21st & 22nd
Fall Harvest Family Days
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission: Included in general admission ($20 adults; $10 youth)
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.