Fall into the autumn spirit

The Corn Maze in the Plains

Relive your childhood memories and get lost in the stalks at Corn Maze in the Plains. For the bravest in your bunch, Moon Light Maze nights – every Friday and Saturday night from now until Nov. 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. The moonlight maze walks offer a spooky adventure. Calm your nerves by the campfire afterward with hot cider and s’mores. By day, the farm also features a small corral of animals and organically grown food for sale. Produce includes pumpkins – only 49 cents per pound – that are perfect for carving Jack-o’-lanterns or decorating your room. Located in Northern Virginia and operated by the Knott family, the Maze has been visited by notables like Lars Anderson of the Boston Red Sox and actor Robert Duvall.
WHERE: 4501 Old Tavern Road, The Plains, Va.
WHEN: Fridays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ghost and Graveyard Tours

Media Credit: Margaret Rajic | Hatchet Photographer

If you are itching for a fright before Halloween, Alexandria Colonial Tours’ and DC Ghost Tours’ eerie neighborhood walks will be worth your time. A costumed guide from Colonial Tours will lead you by lantern through the legendary haunted streets of Old Town Alexandria. Brace yourself for the final leg of the tour, which leaves you stranded in a graveyard. Colonial Tours also offers a special Halloween tour that runs from Oct. 26 to 28. DC Ghost Tours take you on a journey through Lafayette Park, also known as “tragedy square,” due to the crimes and conspiracies that have occurred there. The square is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Stephen Decatur and Dolley Madison, who had homes there.

Alexandria Colonial Tours

Media Credit: Photo by Alyson Hart used under creative commons

WHERE: 221 King St., Alexandria, Va.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, Fridays at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Halloween tours run Oct. 26 to 28 and depart every 15 minutes from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
ADMISSION: Halloween tours are $15. Traditional tours are $12.

DC Ghost Tours

WHERE: 1520 H St., NW
WHEN: 8 p.m. nightly

Butler’s Orchard

For a true fall experience, head to Butler’s Orchard, a family-owned pick-your-own farm in Germantown, Md. Head to the weekly Fall Festival Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For $11, visitors can take a hayride, get lost in a straw or corn maze, pay a visit to the barnyard and enjoy the fall foliage. The orchard offers fall treats like caramel apples and cider donuts. If you head up during the week for Pumpkin Harvest Days – Tuesdays through Fridays – you can take hayride, pick a pumpkin and enjoy the grounds’ activities for the discounted price of $6.75. Apple picking and flower gardens are also available to explore. The Fall Market sells fall favorites like sweet apple cider, squash, gourds and delicious caramel. The market is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The orchard also has a bakery where you can purchase some of Butler’s homemade pies, preserves and seasonal items like corn and squash.
WHERE: 22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, Md.
WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Mount Vernon Estate

Looking to discover more about GW’s namesake? For $15, you can tour the Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens in Alexandria and take in the changing autumn leaves. The estate features a number of tours, including a one-hour walking tour that runs through Oct. 28, during which visitors can learn more about its food and hospitality. Other tours include the garden and landscapes, Slave Life at Mount Vernon, National Treasure and “Mount Vernon in the Civil War” tours. Learn how Washington’s wife fed guests at her home with Hoecakes and Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington.
WHERE: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, Va.
WHEN: During October, the estate is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Starting in November, it will be open until 4 p.m.

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