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    10 for 10: Ten must-do events for October in Loudoun

    With fall in full swing, there’s lots to do in Loudoun in October.
    Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont. 540-554-2073.

    Why Go:

    Great Country Farms offers a full range of family-friendly farm activities, from pumpkin picking to rope swings. New this fall are the Pumpkin Cannons, which are open each weekend. The cannons fire small pumpkins which are an additional fee of $1/shot or $5/10 shots.

    Insider Tip:
    Try visiting on a weekday afternoon when the farm is quiet. If you go on the weekend, enjoy some of their special activities, which include visits from the P-Rex pumpkin munchin dinosaur, the Pumpkin Princess and the Oikintucky Derby pig races.

    Must Do:
    Check out the Roosteraunt concession stand with new treats including spiral cut taters on a stick and apple gorgonzola salads, as well as hand-dipped pumpkin ice cream, fresh cider donuts, apple cider and marshmallow roasting. Great Country Farms has a 2.5 acre corn maze, which takes about 30 minutes to explore. This year the maze celebrates the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors’ 1-year anniversary.

    The Fine Print:
    Open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Nov. 4. Admission on weekends and Columbus Day is $10/child; $12/adult. Weekdays $8/child; $10/adult. Children 2 and under and military ID holders are free.

    Temple Hall Farm, 15855 Limestone School Road, Leesburg. 703-779-9372.

    Why Go:
    Temple Hall has the only 24 acre corn maize on the East Coast. This year’s design supports the Buy Fresh, Buy Local movement.

    Insider Tip:
    Buy tickets on the website in advance. If you sign up for the newsletter, receive a coupon for $1 off the ticket price.

    Must Do:
    In addition to the corn maize, there are pig races, corn cannons and pumpkin shooters, paint ball, a hay fort, spider web, cow train, corn house and farm animals to visit. There are also wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, where you can select the “perfect” pumpkin.

    The Fine Print:
    Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 26 to Nov. 2. Also open Oct. 13, Nov. 3-4. Adults $12/person and children age 3-11 are $10/person.

    Wegmeyer Farms, 38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton. 540-752-1782.

    Why Go:
    Wegmeyer Farms is a small, family-owned farm where the owners make everyone feel at home. Visitors can go into the pumpkin fields and select from over 50 varieties of pumpkins grown on the hillside.

    Insider Tip:
    Wegmeyer Farm has no admission fee. There is a hayride through “Creepy Hollow” which operates every 30 minutes, for a $5 fee.

    Must Do:
    Make sure to check out some of the unique looking pumpkins, in many different colors.

    The Fine Print:
    Regular hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    The Loudoun Museum’s Hauntings Tours.16 Loudoun St. SW, Leesburg. 703-777-7427.

    Why Go:
    This 90-minute tour takes you through Historic Downtown Leesburg. The tours run Oct. 24-25. The tour takes you to private homes and businesses that are said to be haunted.

    Insider Tip:
    Make reservations ahead of time online as the spaces do fill up. Plan to spend the evening in Leesburg enjoying the shops and restaurants afterward.

    Must Do:
    Keep an eye out for the Glenfiddich House on King Street, which used to be Harrison Hall. There you will find the friendly ghost of Col. Erasmus Burt.

    The Fine Print:
    The tours are offered only one weekend a year, Oct. 24-25 from 6-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 online.

    The Waterford Fair Homes Tours and Crafts Exhibit. Oct. 3-5. Historic Village of Waterford. 540-882-3018.

    Why Go: Lively performances of traditional music and dance; reenactments by Colonial and Civil War-era militia and cavalry and historical interpretations of historic village life; hands-on demonstrations of traditional American crafts by 155 renowned artisans, art and photography exhibits, plus the ever-popular tour of private historic homes.

    The Fine Print: Tickets are $20 at the gate; advanced tickets, $16 for one day; $28 for two days; $40 for three days; $15 active military one-day ticket, advance and at the gate $28 for a two-(different)-day; advance ticket $40 for a three-day ticket.

    Oatlands Harvest Festival. Oct. 19. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 20825 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg. 703-377-3174.

    Why Go: Hay rides, pumpkin painting, dancing, adorable animals, old-fashioned games and local food and wine.

    The Fine Print: $10 single admission, $20 family pass (2 adults plus children under 16). Tickets available online or at the door.

    Ticonderoga Farms Fall Pumpkin Festival. 26469 Ticonderoga Road, Chantilly. 703-327-4424.

    Why Go: Enjoy all of the farm activities including hayrides, pumpkins, slides, s’mores by the bonfire and more. There is also a swinging bridge which is the longest in Virginia.

    The Fine Print: The festival concludes Nov. 2. Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekdays: $9.95 except holidays; Oct. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26 weekends, $16.95; Oct. 13 Columbus Day, $16.95; Nov. 1-2 weekend, $14.95.

    Loudoun Fall Farm Tour, Oct. 18-19. 703-777-0426.

    Why Go: Enjoy the colors, flavors, people and products of Loudoun.

    The Fine Print: Download an interactive map at

    Virginia Fall Races, Oct. 4-5. Glenwood Park, Middleburg. 540-687-5662.

    Why Go: Experience an annual fall tradition in the Middleburg hunt country, where your only interruption to a relaxing day will be the cheer of 7,000 excited fans and the storming of thundering hooves. Take part in The National Steeplechase Association's (NSA) 119th year and 60th Running running of the the Virginia Fall Race Meeting.

    The Fine Print: Gates open at 8 a.m.; post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m. Tickets, box seats, rail side and tailgate picnic parking spaces can be purchased in advance by calling the Race Office at 540-687-5662. General admission is $50 per car (4 people maximum).

    Oatlands Paranormal Tours. Route 15, Leesburg. 703-777-3174. Oct. .24-26 and Oct. 29-30 visit the haunted tours on the grounds of Oatlands.

    Why Go: Not only do you learn the history of Oatlands, but tour guides lead you through the mansion with ghost finding tools that may give you the encounter you're looking for.

    The Fine Print: $20 adults, $12 children. Tours begin at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Call for reservations. Space is limited. Not recommended for children under 8.

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