Best ways to experience fall in the District

Pumpkin carving is easier when you can pick your pumpkins up from Whole Foods and carve them in your dorm room.

It can be hard to do traditional autumn activities in a city and on campus. Between classes, internships and jobs, you can easily forget to take the time to enjoy the best parts of the season. Here are ways to experience fall in D.C., so you don’t let it pass you by.

Fall foliage
If you want to experience the colors of fall, there’s no better place to do it than the National Arboretum, a “living museum” of trees, according to its website.

Take a walk through the grounds and enjoy the fall colors. According to their website, the arboretum is open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and fall foliage is expected to peak sometime in October.

If you’re looking for something a little more original, the National Arboretum is also home to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A fall experience unique to the D.C. area, the bonsai and penjing leaves change colors just like the more traditional autumn trees.

Apple picking
With most apple orchards far outside the city, getting to one without a car can be challenging. The easiest way for students to pick apples is by going on GW TRAiLS’ annual apple picking trip, scheduled for Sept. 10.

GW TRAiLS will provide transportation to Stribling Orchard in Markhan, Va. The trip costs $20 plus the cost of any apples you pick.

If you want to try going apple picking on your own, one of the closest orchards to GW’s campus is Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Md. The orchard is open Tuesday through Sunday, with apples expected early September through mid-October. It also hosts a pumpkin festival every weekend in October, which includes fall activities like hayrides and a corn maze.

Pumpkin carving
Although you could go pumpkin picking at an orchard near D.C., the easiest way to carve pumpkins is to pick up some from Whole Foods and carve them in your dorm room or Kogan Plaza. It’s a fun fall project with no travel required.

Also, GW student organizations host fall activities in Kogan Plaza throughout the season. Previous activities have included pumpkin carving and free apples and apple cider, so keep an eye out for these opportunities as they pop up.

Trick-or-treating
It’s something you probably heard about thousands of times while visiting universities in D.C.: trick-or-treating on Embassy Row. It is an enjoyable and unique D.C. fall event that adds another layer to getting free candy on Halloween.

Walking around the streets with other college students in costumes, as well as families from the area, will put you in the Halloween spirit. Some of the embassies even offer candy unique to their countries, or let you take a short tour of the embassy.

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