Since I grew up in the Arlington area, I sometimes feel like I’m in-the-know. Plus, I’m a huge fan of encouraging families to spend quality time together. It’s one of my favorite things about photo sessions! It’s pure hug-&-enjoy-each-other time. But regardless of the photo-ops, spending time together is awesome. Here’s my personal list of favorite things to do in the DC area during the fall season. Yeah, I had to sneak “photo sessions” on there–but it’s the last item–promise!

things to do in dc area for families


1. Claude Moore Colonial Farm 

…has really, really delicious roasted corn. And I’m told they have some sort of good meat food too, but since I’m not a meat eater, I wouldn’t know. I do remember the magical roasted corn though, from when I was a kid–amazing. Plus, they have old-school events like the “tobacco harvest” and “the autumn colonial market fair”. A time before the iPhone!

2. Pumpkin Patches

Ok, so I didn’t get to a whole lot of these as a kid. Now I’m mad, cause they’re all small and not as fun when you’re an adult. There are so many great ones around here–although I wouldn’t know which to recommend. But go, go! Play in the hay!

3. Apple picking

Pick-your-own farms are one of the coolest things ever. The farmers do all the planting and cultivating, and you get to go in when the pickin’s good and get huge barrels of delicious fruits! Berries are a lot of fun, but apples are much less thorn-y, and they make great snacks. And great crisp. I always find farms at, but they’re a bit of a drive. Still, it’s a great day of fun and a really affordable way to get produce!

ideas for your family photo session

4. Pumpkin Bagels

As you may know if you’ve ever talked to me during the fall, well, I’m a little nuts for pumpkin stuff. Especially bagels–and I’m about to let you in on a great Arlington secret–Chesapeake Bagel Bakery has the best pumpkin bagels ever. They usually start carrying them in September, through Thanksgiving-ish, at which point I go in and buy the last dozen and cackle because I have so much pumpkin greatness in my belly!

5. Making Apple Cider Wine

This one’s definitely for the adults. But maybe the kids can help make the wine–my partner swears he learned how to make beer in elementary school, and it inspired him to love science. If you go apple picking, they usually have huge gallons of cider for sale, which makes a great starter for the wine. And…if you’d really like a recipe for a delicious batch of fall yumminess, shoot me an email and I’ll have Steven write his down for ya. It’s delicious.

6. Baking & Cocoa

Fall is awesome because it’s no longer too hot to use the oven! Plus, the awesomeness that is Pinterest makes finding recipes a cinch (my list of awesome recipes is here). A day in, baking, drinking cocoa, and watching movies with the family is so much more magical while watching the leaves fall…bringing me to the next item:

7. Leaf Piles!

An awesome way to get the whole family involved in the dreaded leaf-raking: leaf piles! Jump! Play! It’s fall!

8. Fall Family Photos

The fall is my favorite time for photo sessions. The leaves are bright and warm, and everything feels magical. At a pumpkin patch, Claude Moore, or even a Sunday leaf-raking, cookie-making party–fall photos rock. Plus, talk about being ahead of the game for holiday cards! I’ll be uploading to TinyPrints again this year, so if you’d like to use photos from our session for your Festivus (or other choice of holiday) cards, easy peasy, just let me know!

 Do you have favorite Fall things to do in the DC area? Share the awesome & comment below!

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