The top 20 things 20somethings should do in DC this fall

By Holly Cameron

Fall is one of my top four favorite seasons. Between the crisp leaves, the warm drinks, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, it’s a magical time of year that so many busy young adults take for granted. Therefore, in honor of this being my first fall in the hustle and bustle area of Washington, DC, I formed a list of the top 20 things every 20something in DC should do this fall.

1. Check out Pub Dread

The creators of the notorious DC Game of Thrones bar are back and this time with a little more spook. According to their website, “winter has come and gone for Drink Company, and we’re ready to celebrate fall and fright in Pub Dread.” This Haunted bar will only open for October at 1839 7th St NW Washington, DC 20001.

2. Go to an apple orchard

Something I noticed when I first started researching what to do in DC is that amount of apple orchards in this area! Whether it’s with the girls for a photo-shoot or a day date with your partner, apple orchards are an easy option for a fun fall Sunday.  

3. Bake some Pillsbury’s seasonal sugar cookies

No explanation needed! These guys are so yummy, and any excuse to bake cookies is a good one. They can be found at almost every local grocery store.

4. Go watch a Redskins game

Fall and football go hand and hand. Therefore, in honor of being in Washington, DC, go to a local sports bar one Sunday afternoon and cheer on the Washington Redskins. Even if they’re not your home team, so many fans will surround you that it won’t be hard to pretend.

5. Get down at the Murder House Party! (A Renwick Gallery Opening)

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is opening a thrilling new exhibit titled Murder is her Hobby by Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. The exhibitexplores the surprising intersection between craft and forensic science. It also tells the story of how a woman co-opted traditionally feminine crafts to advance the male-dominated field of police investigation and to establish herself as one of its leading voices”. The Museum will celebrate this opening on Friday, October 20th with a party that includes House music, specialty drinks, and more.

6. Race to see the 17th Street High Heel Race

According to the event’s Facebook page, “the High Heel Race is one of Washington, DC most unique events with a rich history of ‘Crossing The Line Since 1986.’ On the Tuesday before Halloween, hundreds of costumed drag queens show off their extravagant outfits and race down Historic 17th Street, NW.” The race will be taking place on the 24th at 9pm.

7. Treat yourself to some fall comfort food

Indulge yourself in a fall themed cheat day. Start the day off with a pumpkin spiced latte and an apple scone. For lunch and dinner, eat warm dishes such as turkey chili or pumpkin ravioli. End the day with some Halloween candy.

8. Spend your Hallo-Friday at Night of the Living Zoo

On Friday, October 27th from 6:30pm to 10:00pm the Smithsonian National Zoo will be hosting a party so grand it might haunt you to miss it. According to their website you will, “witness death-defying acts and amazing oddities at Friends of the National Zoo’s annual adults-only Halloween party… Ghouls and goblins will enjoy craft beer, fare from popular D.C. food trucks, a spooktacular costume contest, and performance artists while dancing to music at the DJ dance party.”

9. Spend your Hallo-Saturday at Nightmare on M Street

Saturday, October 28th hosts the 19th Annual M Street Bar Crawl. “On Saturday, October 28th, DuPont Circle is coming alive and transforming from trendy to terrifying! Lindy Promotions, the ghostess with the mostest offers all the Halloween Crawlers:  cover-free admission, top drink specials, costume contests, fun prizes.” Registration for this events starts at 2 and goes until 6.

10. Host a fall themed movie marathon

Invite your friends over and host an evening strictly dedicated to your favorite fall movies. This can be anything from Dead Poets Society to a horror film marathon. Simply something that puts you in a “fall-like” mood. Pair it with some kettle corn and apple cider and it’s guaranteed to be a hit.

11. Have a drink (or more) at the DC Beer Festival

On November 4th, the Nationals ballpark will be home to a major brew fest. According to the beer festival’s website, the event will “bring together dozens of craft breweries that will feature fall seasonal beers, plus food trucks, lawn games, DJs, and more.” There will be 200 beers to try, and even if you don’t plan on drinking too much, it’s still a cool way to check out DC’s Nationals baseball field.

12. Museum shop at the Strathmore

From November 9th to November 12th, the Strathmore will be hosting its annual Museum Shop. There will be 18 vendors from DC museums and cultural shops. “The fabulous finds at the Museum Shop Holiday Market make marvelous gifts, and they also support nonprofit museum and arts organizations in our community.”

13. Take a Hike

Once the weather cools and the leaves are falling, go to one of the multiple hiking trails in/around DC to enjoy the beauty. Not only does this make for a picture perfect day, but it’s also a refreshing way to get a workout in. Check out Trip Savvy’s list of the best hiking trails in the area.

14. Spend your Veterans Day paying tribute to DC’s famous memorials

Veteran’s day this year falls on November 11th, so spend this Saturday giving homage to our nation’s heroes at one or two of DC’s famous memorial sites. A few locations include: Arlington National Cemetery, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II memorial, Navy Memorial, Air Force Memorial, ect.

15. Grab some friends and head to the Pancakes and Booze Art Show

There are three things that every 20something loves and they would be pancakes, booze, and art. As DC’s “premier underground art show” it features over a hundred emerging artists, live DJ’s, body painting, live art, and a FREE pancake bar. This event will take place on November 15th at 8pm at Penn Social.

16. Watch Donald Trump’s first Presidential Turkey Pardon

Each year, the current US president celebrates the upcoming Thanksgiving by pardoning one lucky turkey on the White House lawn. This tradition is already extremely entertaining and can only be even more compelling with current controversial president Donald Trump taking the lead.

17. Attend a Friends-giving

In case you’re unaware; a friends-giving is basically a thanksgiving with your friends, rather than family. This fall, gather a group of friends to hold a friends-giving, with everyone bringing a signature dish or wine. It’s remarkable how fun a thanksgiving can be in a young-adult setting, opposed to alongside your 12-year-old cousins.

18. Check out the fall-theater

The East Coast is home of some of the nation’s best theaters, and DC is no stranger to Broadway-type shows making appearances. Some of the shows coming to DC this fall include: The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls, Death of a Salesman, When Life Gives you Clemens and more.

19. Awe at the National Harbor Christmas Tree lighting

Transition from fall feels to winter wishing at the National Harbor Christmas Tree lighting on Thursday, November 30th. “In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green… 93 years later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace.”

20. Have a relaxing night in

Yes, everything on this list is an experience that is worth having this fall, but the one thing every busy 20something needs the most in life is some “me time.” So whip out your apple cinnamon candles, binge watch some American Horror story, or do whatever it is that will put you in your happy place, even if it is for just one night this fall.