Things to Do

Local Color: Check out Neighborhood Fall Festivals

As autumn begins, lots of neighborhoods offer good ways to spend weekends outdoors enjoying art, music, food, and more. Check out everything from the Adams Morgan Day Festival to Celebrate Gaithersburg in the coming days and weeks.

The Takoma Park Folk Festival on Sunday, September 16, showcases handmade crafts, music and dance on seven stages, and food ranging from barbecue to Middle Eastern pastries to African shish kebabs called suya. A children’s stage features interactive performances and games. Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd. (near Rt. 410), Takoma Park; 301-589-0202;

Arts on Foot is a full day of free activities, performances, demonstrations, and tours in downtown DC’s Penn Quarter on Saturday, September 15. An outdoor art market at Eighth and F streets displays the work of nearly 100 artists. In a nearby tent, Penn Quarter chefs give “cooking as art” demonstrations. Galleries and theaters host special events. For a complete list, visit

On the second Sunday in September every year, thousands gather to celebrate the culture of one of DC’s unique neighborhoods at the Adams Morgan Day Festival. Stages set up on 18th Street between Columbia Road and Florida Avenue feature live music ranging from Latin rock, salsa, and jazz to bluegrass, funk, and rock. Along Belmont Street, visitors can browse the work of artists and artisans and buy food from vendors. 202-232-1960;

In Old Town, the free Alexandria Festival of the Arts lines 6 1⁄2 blocks of King Street (between Union and Washington streets) with sculpture, paintings, photographs, glass works, and jewelry Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9. Art Activated is dance and visual-arts performances noon to 4 Saturday at the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St.; 703-838-5005;

Celebrate Gaithersburg, a street festival in its 26th year, is set for Sunday, September 16. Headlining the entertainment on four stages are Sister Hazel and the Pat McGee Band. Taste of Gaithersburg features dozens of local restaurants; a World Market displays the work of artists and crafters. Summit and Diamond avenues, Olde Towne, Gaithersburg; 301-258-6350;