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Belvedere Plantation

There’s a reason the calendar is packed with festivals, events and celebrations during fall: It’s just a beautiful time of year to be out and about in the Fredericksburg region.

Whether this season has you craving craft beer, fun festivals or pet-friendly outings, the Fredericksburg region delivers.

Here are a few picks for a season that offers something for everyone.

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Family Fun

You could spend the entire month of October (and some of September) making your way to all the different fall festivals in this region.

Belvedere Plantation is one of the area’s biggest festivals. Open Sept. 30 through Nov. 4, this farm is packed with activities that will appeal to everyone from toddlers to adults. Start out with the barrel train, moon bounces and pumpkin mountain slide, then graduate to pony rides, extreme pedal carts and more. And don’t miss the swine speedway and other barnyard animals.

Braehead Farm is the last working farm within the city limits of Fredericksburg. It’s a great place to take the family any day to enjoy the remarkable peace you can find just minutes’ drive from Downtown, and also for the chance to see barnyard animals, play on the sand piles and playground. Braehead’s fall festival runs every weekend in October, plus Columbus Day. The festival includes hayrides, a corn maze, sunflower walk and more. You can also find local meats, produce and artisan dairy products in the farm market.

Downtown Fredericksburg gets in on the fall fun with several events. The Fredericksburg Farmers Market at Hurkamp Park holds a fall festival, complete with pumpkin patch, on Oct. 7. You’ll see decked-out scarecrows start to appear on the streets starting Oct. 6, and have the chance to vote for your favorite. The Fredericksburg Main Street hosts Free Movies in the Park, showing “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Hotel Transylvania” at Hurkamp Park starting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21. On Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., you can bring your little ghosts and goblins to Riverfront Park for Treats on the Streets, where they can gather treats from Downtown merchants. Fall days were made for strolling these historic streets.

Clark’s Farm’s fall festival is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. seven days a week Sept. 25 through Nov. 1. At this Stafford County farm, kids can see barnyard animals including goats, pigs and chickens, climb a hay mountain, try their hand at a large maze and enjoy face painting, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, a moon bounce and more. Clark’s Farm offers pony rides on weekends. The Boo-tique gift shop sells fall decorations, gifts, spooky Halloween décor, pumpkin carving supplies and McCutcheons jellies, jams, apple juice and cider. Food, including hot cider, ice cream, apples and snack food, is available at the Snack Shack. Get full details here.

Miller Farms brings together artisan local food producers from around the region every fall for its Taste of the Market, which takes place this year on Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. You’ll be able to taste the difference of eating local beef, pork, grass-fed milk and more. This market is a must-visit for any devoted locavore. Miller Farms is known for its beautiful heirloom pumpkins, including white pumpkins and popular varieties such as Cinderella, Long Island Cheese, Peanut, Lumina and many more. The farm offers free rides to the pumpkin patch (all you pay for is the pumpkin) starting Sept. 23. Hayrides run weekdays from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. and weekends and Columbus Day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Stafford County Agricultural and Homemaking Fair offers wholesome, down-home family fun at a great value. That's probably why it's the oldest fair in Stafford County. This year's fair takes place Oct. 19-22 at 2135 Mountain View Rd. 

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For pet-lovers

Check out these pet-friendly destinations in the Fredericksburg region.

Fredericksburg Pet Show is one of the most popular events at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center. The annual event will be held on Sept. 23 and 24. Lots to see at the show: petting zoo, exotic bird demos, Ninja Warrior Dog Challenge Course, pony rides, therapy dogs and more. View more info here.

The Fredericksburg Dog Mart is the oldest dog-focused event in America, and celebrates its 319th anniversary this year on Sept. 24, from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event takes place at the Izaak Walton Park in Spotsylvania County. Dogs on-leash are welcome for this day of food, barrel train rides, Sheriff’s Office K-9 demonstrations and other dog demonstrations, a hunting dog display and dog judging contest. This event has been called “a true family and sportsman’s event” and should be on any dog-lover’s calendar.

The Paws & Whiskers Bazaar, run by the Fredericksburg Parks and Recreation Department, provides a dog-friendly marketplace benefitting the Fredericksburg SPCA on Nov 4. The event takes place at the Dorothy Hart Community Center from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission is free, and vendors will sell handmade gifts, jewelry, pottery, photography, art, pet items and more. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

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Local wine and beer

Capital Ale House Oktoberfest brings the streets of Downtown Fredericksburg alive with German-themed music, dancing, beer and food Sept. 30. The event will close off two blocks of Caroline Street, and takes place from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. A $3 cover charge benefits Fredericksburg VA Main Street Inc.

The Fredericksburg Area Wine Festival returns for its 267h year Nov. 4-5. This festival will take place at The Village at Spotsylvania Towne Centre. Enjoy wine tastings from Hartwood Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Mattaponi Winery and more from the wider region. Food and gift vendors and music will make this a great way to spend a fall weekend day.