In Williamsburg, there’s plenty of fun to fall for
Fall is one of the best times to visit Williamsburg. From outdoor markets and culinary festivals to events that celebrate art, music, Halloween, and history, there are endless experiences for visitors to have throughout the region.
On October 8, Williamsburg Premium Outlets welcomes 60 artists and craftsmen from around the region. Spend the day shopping at the outlet stores for amazing deals and the marketplace for those perfect one-of-a-kind handmade items, art pieces, and new books by local authors.
Yorktown Market Days Fall Festival takes place on October 14. Visitors can shop at more than 40 vendors selling seasonal favorites, while they enjoy free, family-oriented activities like hayrides, face painting, a hay maze, and a petting zoo featuring miniature animals, and pumpkin painting!
On November 18, shoppers at Yorktown Market Days Harvest Festival can purchase turkeys, farm-fresh produce, seasonal treats, and unique holiday pieces from local artists. Additionally, children can enjoy a live animal show, a petting zoo, a log carving demonstration, balloon art, inflatable axe throwing, and pie-eating contests.
From September 20 - October 21, visitors to Sweethaven Lavender Farm enjoy live music and hayrides, while they shop for pumpkins, sunflowers, zinnias, gourds, and decorative corn.
While the dog days of summer may be gone, the fun heats up on October 28 during the annual Paws at the River Market. The pet parade celebrates man’s best friend, local rescue efforts, and Halloween. The free event is open to all that’s fluffy and furry, with a free professional photographer for owners and their canine companions.
Art lovers will marvel at the beautiful displays at the 12th Annual Yorktown Art Stroll on Sunday, September 24 in and around the Freight Shed at Riverwalk Landing. Visitors will find oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings as well as glasswork, drawings, photography, jewelry, pottery, fiber art, handmade soap, and woodwork.
Now in its 55th year, Williamsburg's premier fine art and music festival, An Occasion for the Arts, returns October 6 - 8. During the three-day festival, nearly 150 artisans from across 22 states come to Williamsburg to showcase their art. Make a whole weekend of it with the new Friday night event, An Evening for the Arts.
Jamestown Settlement welcomes two guests as part of its Director’s Series – David Givens, Jamestown Rediscovery’s Director of Archeology on September 20, and African-American and Jewish culinary historian and food writer Michael W. Twitty on October 18.
On October 19, Yorktown Day commemorates the 1781 Siege of Yorktown and the Revolutionary War victory that paved the way for America and freedom.
There are history books … and then there’s experiencing the sights, sounds, and emotions of those who lived it. Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Experiences makes back-to-school season immersive and fun, with discounted rates September 9 - 24 at the sites where some of our country’s most impactful events took place. Kids can meet and interact with War for Independence re-enactors including Revolutionists and tradespeople before supplementing their learnings with virtual tours, educational videos, activity sheets, and behind-the-scenes blogs. (Colonial Williamsburg also offers special year-round values for homeschool groups of all sizes in addition to a wide variety of books, DVDs, and teaching resources.)
Raise a stein and get ready for the Annual Oktoberfest celebration taking place on September 23 at Precarious Beer Hall, where attendees sip on seasonal and regional beers, try traditional foods, and listen to live entertainment!
On October 7, the Yorktown Wine Festival provides a grand tasting of wines from Virginia and beyond. In a nod to Yorktown's sister cities, Zweibrücken and Port-Vendres, attendees sample Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from Germany and indulge in Champagne from France while enjoying live music, food from local restaurants, and the work of talented artisans.
As the temperatures cool down, the Rhythms on the Riverwalk Concert Series at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown heats up every Thursday from September 7 - 28, and October 5 - 12. Concertgoers enjoy jazz, big band, and country artists for free.
On Wednesdays from September 13 - October 4, the New Town Tunes Concert Series is held outdoors at Sullivan Square, with food available for purchase at various restaurants, food trucks, and breweries.
September 8 through October 31, Busch Gardens® Howl-O-Scream® gives willing victims something to scream about with all-new scares and screams to the extreme with five newly reimagined haunted houses, leaving no tale of terror left unturned. From September 24 through October 30, visitors celebrate not-too-spooky family fun during the day at The Count’s Spooktacular located in the Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™ in Busch Gardens®.
Family Frights at Jamestown Settlement returns this year for Halloween-themed evenings. The indoor and outdoor areas – and ships – are transformed into a ghoul’s playground, with haunted houses, princesses and pirates, carnival acrobats, and kids’ favorite movie monsters. Children are encouraged to come in costume to trick-or-treat in the museum’s themed outdoor areas. There are two sessions on two consecutive nights: 6 - 7:30 p.m. and 8 - 9:30 p.m. on October 20 and 21.
Experience a genuine ghost tour with Colonial Ghosts, which features a nightly walk through the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg. Hear stories based on research, eyewitness haunting interviews, and ghost stories connected to factual and historic events. You can also extend your tour with a bonus tour through the College of William and Mary. Tickets are available daily.
A new addition to the autumn festival will be the brand-new Go Ape Haunted Trails. This completely ground-based experience will take guests on a hike through the park, navigating various creatures from your deepest, darkest nightmares. Participants will be immersed in the natural environment, never knowing what might be waiting around the next curve in the path.
Not looking to be scared? Don’t worry, Go Ape is open before the sun goes down as well. Guests will find a Halloween-themed adventure all day long throughout September and October, but it will start to get eerie around twilight, and then super chilling once dark. Go Ape will have candy, cobwebs, pumpkins, and fun festivities all throughout the fall.