Autumn hype is in the air. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches are opening up shop, fall festivals are in full swing, and corn mazes are filling up fast. If you need help whittling down your choices, here are our picks for coolest family events.

costume-drivePhoto: The Big Lunch via Flickr


Costume Donation Drive
If you have an extra costume or two gathering dust in the attic, pull it out and donate it for a good cause. Between now and Oct. 16, the ballerina, fireman, and Spongebob get-ups will be collected to benefit a few area shelters, including Alternative House. Drop off donations at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. Fri.-Sun., 8 am-10 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

National Harbor

Das Best Oktoberfest
There will be over 100 craft beers available for grown-ups to taste, plus authentic oompah and polka bands that will keep the kiddies showing off their best chicken dance moves. What more is needed? Fri.-SatAll ages. Event details.

Falls Church

Virginia Tech Makers Festival
Feeling inventive? Join Virginia Tech for this day full of creativity, engineering, and resourcefulness where you can learn to make just about anything, including natural dyes, play dough circuits, LED paintbrushes, t-shirt jewelry, robots, and rockets. Sat., 10 am-4 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.


History of Hip Hop
Get ready to groove! This high-energy hip hop performance brings the history of hip-hop dance to life, through interactive demonstration, jaw-dropping dance, and audience participation. Families will learn about the positive aspects of hip-hop art and culture, the technical elements of this dance form, and its history. Sat., 9:30 am-12 pm. Free. Ages 4-10. Event details.

Various Locations

Free Museum Day
Museums are sort of like D.C.’s thing—the city is full of them. So spend the day museum hopping and exploring as many as you dare, all for free! Smithsonian Magazine’s Annual Museum Day opens hundreds of museums up to the public for free nationally, and over 45 museums right here in the DMV. See the full list at the website below. SatFree. All ages. Event details.

Takoma Park

Fun(ny) Reading With Liz Pichon
Bookworms take note: Internationally bestselling author Liz Pichon is heading on her first ever U.S. book tour this fall! Her book series, Tom Gates, features a master of excuses, creative storyteller, and middle-school comedian extraordinaire, guaranteed to get kids turning the pages — and keep them laughing! Sun., 2 pm-4 pm. Free. Ages 8-12. Event details.

What are you doing to celebrate fall this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

—Ayren Jackson-Cannady