Fall in Williamsburg

History of the Williamsburg and Yorktown.

There are so many things to do in autumn in Williamsburg, Virginia, and the surrounding area. In fact, the events calendar is so full of activities that it can be difficult to decide which week or weekend to plan your fall getaway. The season itself is reason enough to visit. The temperatures outside enter a comfortable to crisp season, the summer crowds have dispersed, and the colors of the leaves are changing. Here is a sampling of the multitude of ways to celebrate fall in Williamsburg.

Come for the Arts

An Occasion For The Arts is an annual event celebrating art and music and Williamsburg. Now entering its 56th year, the free, volunteer-run festival takes over Colonial Williamsburg Merchants Square. This year, the event runs 10 am until 5 pm on both Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6, 2024. Browse through the outdoor art gallery, check out the talent of youth artists, and watch dance, theater, and music performances.

The Yorktown Art Stroll will take over the Riverwalk Landing Freight Shed on Sunday, September 29 from 10 am until 5 pm. The free event features oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, glass work, jewelry, pottery, handmade soaps, and woodwork created by dozens of artists. Discover a new artist in Yorktown and purchase something for your home that will remind you of your trip every time you see it.

Rhythms on the Riverwalk is a free outdoor concert series at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. The concerts will run on Thursday evenings from September 5 until October 10. Bring a blanket to sit on, a cooler for a bottle of wine, and a sweater in case it gets chilly after the sun goes down. Food trucks will be onsite and many local restaurants offer take-out options.
food truck food.

Dates have not been announced yet, but watch for the fall New Town Tunes Concert Series lineup. The free concerts are held at Sullivan Square in New Town.

Sample Beer and Wine

The Yorktown Wine Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 2024. The ticketed event allows attendees to sample wines while overlooking the York River. The festival also features live music, food from local restaurants, and tents with works by local artists.

Yorktoberfest boasts unlimited beer tastings and VIP tickets. Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown will be the place to try more than 35 different beers. Try lots of Williamsburg brewery options in one place. Bring your dirndl or your lederhosen and enjoy German food and music. As the advertising for the Sunday, October 27 event says “We Have Beer, You Bring Friends & Family.”

group at restaurant enjoying the burger smaller.

Get Ready to Be Scared

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens will have five haunted houses, six “Terror-tories,” four spooky shows, and the fun of riding nine roller coasters at night. Think Halloween is just for kids? Think again. The theme park recommends that parents think twice before bringing their little ones to the event after 6 pm. The event runs on select dates from September 6 until November 3.

Look for colonial ghosts on a Williamsburg Ghost Tour. Walk through Colonial Williamsburg as you listen to stories based on research and eyewitness haunting interviews. The area has lots of stories because of its proximity to Jamestown, Indian burial grounds beneath Colonial Williamsburg, a public jail that was in use for 200 years, a poorly managed mental hospital, and battles during both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Take the typical tour that walks through the streets or opt for a haunted pub crawl in one of the oldest towns in the country.

Add a creepy factor to your zipline and adventure park experience. Go Ape is bringing back Haunted Trails in 2024. On select evenings in September and October, the forest will be cursed with zombies, ghosts, and ghouls. Navigate the dark while trying not to get caught as you celebrate the Halloween season in Williamsburg.

Are You Ready for Some Football?

The William and Mary Tribe is a Division I football team. This year, they received a #17 ranking by HERO sports. You can cheer on the Tribe at one of their home games at Walter J. Zable Stadium at Cary Field. The schedule for home games this year is: August 29 versus VMI (Thursday home opener), September 21 versus Furman, September 28 versus Hampton (also Family Weekend), October 19 versus Campbell (also Homecoming), November 9 versus Elon (also Military Appreciation Game), and November 16 versus Bryant. Season tickets and mini-plan tickets are available now. Single game tickets will become available at a later date. The stadium is less than a mile walk from A Williamsburg White House making it very easy to watch a college football game while in WIlliamsburg.
william and mary football.

Learn More About the History of the Williamsburg and Yorktown

Colonial Williamsburg has special events throughout the year. Make plans to visit during one of these fall events:

  • Constitution Day (September 17, 2024) – The historical document comes to life with in-depth conversations and interpretation.
  • Veterans Day Weekend (November 9-11, 2024) – There will be a commemorative march and ceremony honoring American veterans.
  • American Indian Heritage Month (November) – Learn more about the role of the first people who lived on these lands.
  • Thanksgiving Week – watch the events page for more information about festive activities all week.

The Yorktown Victory Celebration on October 19 is a commemoration of America’s victory in the Revolutionary War. The celebration will take place at the American Revolution Museum as well as throughout the town of Yorktown.

  • The 2024 celebration at the American Revolution Museum will have a special emphasis on the 200th anniversary of Lafayette’s return to America in 1824.
  • Witness artillery demonstrations and learn about military tactics on land and at sea.
  • The “Siege of Yorktown” is a 4D film that brings viewers closer to the action with wind, smoke, and the thunder of cannon fire with an intensity that can be felt.
  • Admission to the Yorktown Battlefield will be free as part of the celebration.
  • Head to Historic Yorktown for a Yorktown Day parade and historic exercises.