Arts & Entertainment, Events, Events

October Alexandria Events


5th – 7th

Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission: Friday, October 5: $42; Saturday, October 6: $48; Sunday, October 7: $38
George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.


Celebrate the history of wine in Virginia with exclusive evening tours of the Mansion and cellar, appearances by George and Martha Washington, and a live blues band. Bring a blanket, relax on the east lawn overlooking the scenic Potomac River, and sample wines made in Virginia. During tours of the Mansion, visit the cellar where Washington stored his wine and learn about the successes and failures of our Founding Father’s endeavors with wine.


23rd Annual Art on the Avenue
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Free
Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301

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. 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.

12th – 14th

Portside in Old Town Festival
Old Town Alexandria Waterfront
1 King Street

Free admission; $ for food and drink   

In celebration of Old Town Alexandria’s new waterfront experience with the opening of a greatly expanded new park area at the foot of King Street and launch of the Portside in Old Town waterfront programming series, the Portside in Old Town Festival kicks off the fun with activities along the Potomac River. Festival-goers will enjoy free tours of the tall ship Godspeed, a waterfront beer garden from Port City Brewing Company, a pop-up Pizzeria Paradiso, plus live music and history, art and fitness activities.

The tall ship Godspeed will be accompanied by special exhibits highlighting Jamestown’s history as well as Virginia’s 1619 American Evolution commemoration. The festival also includes a preview of ongoing Portside in Old Town programming including Portside History from the Office of Historic Alexandria, Portside Arts from the Torpedo Factory Art Center and the Mobile Art Lab, Portside Fitness from local fitness studios, and Portside Kids activities for families. The weekend also includes two special events happening inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center: The Late Shift on Friday night and the annual kids’ Art Safari on Saturday afternoon.

13th & 14th

Godspeed Tall Ship Tours and History Exhibits
Free admission
Alexandria City Marina,

0 Cameron Street

Part of the Portside in Old Town Festival, take a free tour of the tall ship Godspeed, a re-creation of one of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607. The Godspeed is visiting Alexandria from the Jamestown Settlement living-history museum in Virginia’s Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown “Historic Triangle.” Enjoy dockside exhibits highlighting Jamestown’s history and Virginia’s 1619 American Evolution commemoration as well as an exhibit about Alexandria’s history presented by the Office of Historic Alexandria. Tours are first-come-first-served and not ticketed.


12th & Nov. 9th

Late Shift at the Torpedo Factory Art Center
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union St.

Enjoy gallery talks, artist receptions, music, live performances, hands-on artmaking and three floors of open artists’ studios. On October 12th the theme will be Folklore, featuring stories, traditions and more. On November 9th, there will be a special Late Shift celebrating 100 years since the groundbreaking for the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station in Alexandria. With an eye on the future, the Torpedo Factory Art Center will celebrate the past and their military history for this special Late Shift event.

13th, 20th, 27th

Portside History
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Admission: Free
1 King Street

Part of the Portside in Old Town programming series on the waterfront, the Office of Historic Alexandria presents Portside History, showcasing Alexandria’s maritime history through exhibits and interactive activities.


23rd Annual Art Safari
12 noon to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union St.

An Alexandria tradition for more than two decades, Art Safari returns for a day of hands-on activities for kids and families. Dozens of artists lead budding arts enthusiasts in hands-on projects throughout the building. In partnership with American Geoscience Institute and American Institute of Architects Northern Virginia.

14th, & 21st

Apothecary Museum Geek Tours: Behind the Scenes
11 a.m. to noon
Admission: $15
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

105 S. Fairfax St.

14th – If the regular 30-minute tour of the Museum just isn’t enough, this is the tour for you! Spend more time touring the museum with an expert guide, including the rarely open basement and 3rd floor of the historic pharmacy.

21st – Spend more time touring the Museum with a museum volunteer who is also a pharmacist. The tour guide will focus on the historic medicinal ingredients that are still used today in modern medicine while also touching upon the Stabler and Leadbeater family and business history. This tour is great for first time and return visitors. Tour is recommended for adults only. Advance purchase is recommended due to limited space.


The Anniversary of the Female Stranger’s Death
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 adults ($4 with AAA); $3 children 5-12; 4 and under are free
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal St.

Learn the story of the Female Stranger during tours on the 202nd anniversary of this local legend’s death. While journeying through the museum, chat with Dr. Samuel Richards, the physician who treated her, as part of the Museum’s Facetime with History program. Facetime with History is included as part of regular admission.

20th & 21st

Fall Harvest Family Days
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Included in general admission ($20 adults; $12 youth)
George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.

Enjoy fall activities with the whole family at Mount Vernon! Take a horse-drawn wagon ride and play colonial games on the bowling green before heading to the Pioneer Farm to observe 18th-century demonstrations and greet General Washington. Find your way through a straw bale maze and listen to the Itinerant Band play colonial tunes. Sightseeing cruises will be free throughout the weekend (while supplies last). Fall Harvest Family Days takes place rain or shine.


Ghostly Tales at Carlyle House
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: $5
Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax St.


Join storytellers from Alexandria’s Footsteps to the Past on the front lawn of Carlyle House for ghostly tales of Alexandria’s past.


Escape the Sanderson Witches at Carlyle House
6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: $30 online; $40 at the door
Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax St.

25 years to the day, the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus have returned; this time to a new city with new hopes of having clueless children at their beck and call. While they hunt for a new lease on life, your group must pass several obstacles to ensure the children in the city are safe. Only a spell from the very book that brought them back can send them back from where they came. Work together, solve the puzzles quickly, and banish the witches using a spell of your own. Tickets available online.

Masquerade Ball
8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Admission: $45
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal St.

Inspired by the season, disguise yourself and dance the night away at the Masquerade Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Come dressed in your favorite pre-19th century costume and don’t forget your mask! Enjoy live music, English country dancing, cash bar and dessert collation. Pre-19th century period attire or cocktail attire welcome. Reservations required.

30th & 31st

Poe in Alexandria
8 p.m.
Admission: $15
The Lyceum

201 S. Washington St.

Actor David Keltz recreates one of Edgar Allen Poe’s 19th-century speaking engagements, including literary criticism, short stories, poetry and musings.

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