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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

10 Family Friendly Ways to Celebrate Fall around RVA

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Fall is one of my favorite seasons in Richmond because the weather cools down enough that we could spend all day outside! In honor of September, I've pulled together the best things to do with kids in Richmond during the fall. These are some of our favorite annual events and some of the best adventures we've had this year.

Here are 10 activities around central Virginia to try with your kids this fall!

1. Go Apple Picking: PYO apple season is how we kick off our fall every year!Lucky for us, there are some amazing farms around central Virginia. Apple picking is in September and October.

Here are three apple orchards about an hour away from Richmond:

Carter's Mountain: Located in Charlottesville, this is one of the most popular spots in central Virginia for apple picking. You can purchase snacks, like the famous apple cider donuts, eat on the lawn with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoy Bold Rock's brewery and pick your own apples. Because Carter's Mountain is such a popular destination, they are requiring tickets for peak season visits, which are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this fall. It costs $8 per person (children 12 and under are free). Masks are also required in all buildings (the bathrooms and the store). If you visit during the week, you do not need a ticket.

Fruit Hill Orchard: Located in Palmyra, this family owned orchard has over 2,000 fruit trees & thousands of vegetables. Fruit Hill Orchard is open Monday through Saturday from 10-6, and it's closed on Sunday. You can spend the afternoon picking apples in the orchards, playing corn hole and checkers, picnicking on the lawn, or visiting the apple museum. Tickets/reservations are not required to visit.

*Check here for my full review.

Henley's Orchard: Located in Crozet, the Henley family opened this farm in 1932, and they grow nectarines, peaches & apples. The farm is open 7 days a week from June to October 31. Every Saturday & Sunday in October, Henley's Orchard has Henley Fest with hayrides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and live music. They also have pumpkins!  Tickets/reservations are not required to visit.

*Check here for my full review.

2. Attend the Virginia State Fair: We are thrilled that The Virginia State Fair is back this year! From September 24 to October 3, the Virginia State Fair is at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell. This is a fun even for the whole family - there will be rides, animals & livestock, concerts and more. If you purchase your tickets between September 1 through September 23 online, it costs $10 for children 5 and older, and children 4 and under get in free.

*Check here for my 2019 review.

3. Attend a Festival: Central Virginia offers so many amazing festivals in the fall. Here are a couple festivals we've visited in the past and some we are excited to try this year!

Chiles Peach Orchard's Fall into Fun Festival: Located in Crozet, Chiles Peach Orchard is hosting a fall festival the third weekend in September. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins, watch apple butter making, take wagon rides around the farm, eat lunch.

*Check here for my full review of Chiles Peach Orchard.

Dorey Park's Farmers Market's Fall Festival: On Saturday, October 30, Dorey Park Farmers Market is hosting their Fall Festival from 9 to noon. Families can enjoy live music, food, crafts and games. There will also be a petting zoo and a pumpkin patch! Admission is free.

Hardywood's Oktoberfest: Hardywood West Creek is hosting their annual Oktoberfest event on Saturday, October 2 from noon to 10pm with festive food and Polka dancing. We love everything about the West Creek location - the atmosphere, the greenspace, and the food trucks! It's on 4 acres next to the peaceful Tuckahoe Creek, and the outdoor space has a lawn, a large concrete patio, a natural play area with swings, a see saw and hammocks, plus there are two regulation-sized bocce courts!

Lewis Ginter's Harvest Fest: On Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is hosting their annual fall festival. This two-day event has live music, food, and adult beverages, plus family-friendly activities. This event is included with daily admission & free for garden members.

Libbie Mill's Fall Festival: On Saturday, October 30, Libbie Mill is hosting a family friendly festival from 12-5. This festival will have food vendors & drinks, kids' activities and a costume contest!

St. Benedict's Oktoberfest: At St. Benedict Catholic Church, families can enjoy live music and dancing and German cuisine and beverages. The annual Oktoberfest is on September 17-19. Admission is free!

Richland Dairy Farm's Fall Festival: This working dairy farm in Blackstone, Virginia has been a family farm since the 1700s. There are four generations of the Jones’ family working here, and they have over 500 cows. In addition to their Creamery & Kitchen, Richland Dairy Farm hosts their Fall Festival is every weekend in October. You can pick your own pumpkin, wander their corn maze, take a farm tour, visit the petting zoo and more.

*Check here for my full review.

4. Pick Your Own Pumpkins

Gallmeyer Farm: This 100 year old family farm is located in Varina. They have a veggie stand (June- October), berry patch (open spring & summer) & a pumpkin patch (open in the fall). Gallmeyer Farm is also famous for their sweet corn - make sure you grab some next summer. The veggie stand & pumpkin patch are open 7 days a week from 9-7, and it’s free to visit! 

*Check here for my full review.

Hanover Vegetable Farm: Hanover Vegetable Farm is located in Ashland, just minutes from Glen Allen. It’s a family owned farm - the Sears family have owned & lived on the property for four generations. The farmhouse was built in 1902! We like this farm because there’s a market that sells local foods (including meat & produce) and plants & flowers. They host special events like The Shrimp & BBQ Festival and Gourds, Goblets and Ghouls Festival . Pumpkin picking starts on October 2!


*Check here for my full review.

Lloyd Family Farms: Located in Rockville, Lloyd Family Farms is a working farm run by 3rd & 4th generation Lloyd owners. It opened to the public in 2013 with their first pumpkin patch & now they grow 65 different types of pumpkins! They are open every Friday, Saturday & Sunday in October from 9-5pm through Halloween. They have vendors & refreshments available for purchase, too!  

*Check here for my full review.

Snead's Farm: Located in Caroline County, Snead's Asparagus Farm has pick your own flowers is in late summer, pumpkins in the fall & cut your own Christmas trees in December. The farm is open daily from 9-6, and their operating hours change throughout the seasons. The soft opening for pumpkin picking begins on September 11, and the full festival begins on September 25. They will have food trucks during the festival, too! During our last visit, we spend 3 hours at the farm, playing in the whimsical, woodland play area.

*Check here for my full review.

5. Wander the Largest Corn Maze in the Country

Liberty Mills Farm: Located in Orange, this farm has the largest corn maze in the county at 34 acres. Besides exploring the four different trails in the corn maze, little ones can play in the outdoor play space that has a large wooden tractor play structure, a slide, natural stepping stones and more! They also have pick your own wildflowers and pumpkins in October. Don't forget to grab some tractor-made ice cream (yep - they make their own ice-cream with a tractor!) as a sweet treat to finish off your adventure.

6. Get Spooky: The Richmond area offers plenty of Halloween fun, but you may want to save some of the scary adventures for tweens and teens or for date night!

Ashland Berry Farm's Terror on the Farm: While Ashland Berry Farm has a family friendly atmosphere for picking pumpkins, it also has a chilling self-guided experience through the woods. You will walk through Cresthill Manor, Georgie's Mortuary, 3D Whispering Walls, and Booger Woods. Terror on the Farm is geared towards teenagers and adults. Tickets are available for most Thursday to Sunday nights in October, and they range from $10 to $40 depending on what experiences you select.

*Please note once you start the tour, there isn't really a way to exit without staying in the scary areas.

Ashland Haunted History Tours: Ashland Haunted History Tours offer 60 minute guided tours and they are available seasonally. Two of the featured fall tours are Spirits of Railroad Avenue and Stranger Than Fiction. These tours incorporate walking walking around downtown Ashland and a historical narration based on research and an interviews. Tours meet every Friday and Saturday night in from of Red Vein Escape at 108 Robinson Street. You can book your tours in advance at this website.

Kings Dominion's The Great Pumpkin Fest & Haunt: The Great Pumpkin Fest is a kids' Halloween on Saturdays and Sundays starting September 25 through October 3. This event is from 2 to 6 pm. Halloween Haunt, an event too intense for children, runs from September 25 - October 30 from 7:00pm- 12:00am, and on September 26 - October 31 7:00pm - 10:00 pm.

7. Take a Family Hike: We love hiking as a family, and fall is one of our favorite seasons to explore. You could even take a hike for a good cause by participating in BlueSky Fund's annual Hike for Kids on Saturday, October 23 or virtually any day of the month!

Saunders-Monticello Trail: Located in Charlottesville’s Kemper Park, this 2 mile trail is wheel chair accessible! We like this trail because we can easily bring a stroller, it has beautiful mountain scenery, there are unique boardwalks & it has lot’s of the shade! There are also a bunch of other hiking trails that connect to it. These gravel paths, boardwalks & woodland trails weave through the trees, by a pond & Palmer Woodland Theater, and all the way up to Monticello Visitor Center.

*Check here for my full review.

Tyler Potterfield Bridge: We have been enjoying this walk since our son was just a baby! I like it because it isn't as loud as the pedestrian bridge to get to Belle Isle, and you still get the beautiful views of the river, the city, and train tracks. Parking is relatively easy, too. You can park by Tredegar Iron Works or on the southside of the bridge near the SunTrust building. The trail is mostly flat, but there are a few inclines. People walk their dogs, ride bikes & scooters, and rock climb all along this trail! There are porta potties by Brown's Island. It's free to visit, too!

8. Get Your Glow On - Maymont’s annual Garden Glow runs from Friday, October 15 to Sunday, November 7. It’s a nightly event from 6 to 10pm, and it's a lot of fun for the entire family. This year's event will be in Japanese Garden just like the 2019 event. The garden will be illuminated with colorful lights, plus there are food trucks, a Glow Bar & Glow Shop.

*Check here for my full review, and check here to see more from last year's event.

9. Visit a Farm: Visiting a farm is one of our favorite things to do, and the cooler fall temperatures make it even more enjoyable. These local farms have hands on opportunities for families and it's a wonderful learning experience for children.

Flat Creek Farm: Flat Creek Farm is a family owned farm in Amelia County, about 45 minutes from Short Pump. The 11.5 acre farm offers by-appointment only animal experiences yea round. Families get to pet and feed llamas, goats, horses and more.

*Check here for my full review.

Shoofly Farm: Located in Chester, this family-owned farm offers free farm tours. They also operate without reservations, so you can just drop in while they are open to visit with the animals. During a self guided tour, you can meet pigs, goats, bunnies miniature horses and more. You can also purchase a pony ride or hayride. In addition to farm experiences, Shoofly Farm offers private tours, horse boarding & birthday parties, and they host special events.

*Check here for my full review.

The Red Barn Farm: Located in Dinwiddie County, The Red Barn Farm is a historical farm that has family farm tours, offers summer camps for 6-11 year olds, and hosts birthday parties & field trips. We participated in the family farm tour & it was so much fun! The tour is interactive & great for all ages. All of the animals have been rescued & the owners rehabilitate them. ⁣⁣

*Check here for my full review.

10. Watch a Free Movie at Tom Leonard's: Located in Short Pump, Tom Leonard's hosts its annual Friday Night Movie at the Pumpkin Patch every Friday in October. They usually have cider and hot chocolate, and admission is free. Movies will start at 7 p.m. in the outdoor haybale theater.

What's the best things you do in Richmond each fall?

Don't forget to tag @thewestendmom and #thewestendmom in your adventures! I love seeing all the fun your family has!


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