If you’re anything like me, you look forward to fall all year long and begin to decorate in August. To me, it is truly the most wonderful time of the year. There are a few places in my hometown that I would visit every autumn since I was a little girl, and those spots always made the start of the season feel official. When I moved away to college three years ago, I was afraid that the season would lose its magic. I could not have been more wrong; Blacksburg is full of fall festivities, and here are my top ten favorites:
- Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival
Visiting Sinkland Farms is a must during the autumn. Just 20 minutes away from Virginia Tech, it is the perfect day trip to get you in the fall spirit. There’s live music from local bands, a petting zoo with exotic animals, a pumpkin patch, a hayride, and lots of outdoor games and activities. Voted the #1 Pumpkin Patch in Virginia by Virginia Tourism, Sinkland Farms is at the top of the list for Fall festivities.
- Doe Creek Farm Apple Picking
Apple picking is a staple to fall weather. With gorgeous views and candy crisp apples, Doe Creek Farm does not disappoint. It’s the perfect place for a fall photoshoot with friends and family, and to enjoy a snack along the way. Less than a half hour away from Virginia Tech, this farm makes for the perfect autumn afternoon.
- Blacksburg Farmers Market
Every Wednesday from 2:00-6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m., a local farmers market is held downtown at 108 W Roanoke Street. Get everything you need, from flowers and pumpkins to granola and kombucha. Lots of smiling Hokies gather here every week, and this is the perfect place to meet friendly dogs.
- Movie Marathon at Home
What better way to jumpstart the spooky season than with a movie marathon. Some of my personal favorites include: “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown,” “Corpse Bride,” “Harry Potter,” “The Addams Family,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “Twilight,” and “Coraline.” Cozy up with some friends, snacks and a few of these movies and you’re in for a great night.
- Starlite Drive-In Theatre
If you’d prefer to watch your movies away from home, check out the Starlite Drive-In theater in Christiansburg. With double features every Friday and Saturday night, you can enjoy hours of festive fun with friends. Just be sure to bring lots of blankets for those later premiers, and check out their concessions stands for snacks and popcorn.
- Baked Treats at Home
Celebrate the season with a bake-off at home. Each person brings their own homemade spooky treats and everyone gets to enjoy it together. My personal favorite is the Pillsbury™ Shape™ Pumpkin Sugar Cookies. You can’t go wrong with festive baked goods. To spice up the night, decorate for the event-scented candles, pumpkins, gourds and autumn canvas signs make for the best decor.
- Go for a Hike
The changing colors of the leaves are breathtaking this time of year, and visiting nearby trails is highly recommended. The Cascades are beautiful and a shorter hike for a nice easy day trip, and Mcafee’s Knob is well worth the view for a longer excursion. Both are stunning and must-do’s for Hokies. Be sure to grab a jacket and some snacks for the top of each hike. If you’re looking for more beautiful, local views, be sure to take a walk around campus in the fall and specifically take a walk through the Duck Pond. The way the sun glistens through the trees and reflects on the water is enough to make any Hokie fall in love with the season. There’s nothing quite like Virginia Tech in the autumn.
- The Dark Woods Haunted House
The spookiest haunted trail in the New River Valley is located right in Christiansburg open Friday nights 7:30-11:00 p.m. from October 8-20. Take a walk through the woods — at your own risk — and survive the Dark Woods trail. Bring friends and be prepared to get scared.
- Watch a Football Game at Lane Stadium
People travel to Lane Stadium to watch Hokie football games from all parts of the world. We are lucky enough to have it right here in our backyard. Jumping to “Enter Sandman” and hearing Skipper fire are some of the essential traditions here at Virginia Tech that every Hokie should experience. Those late October games are sure to have you feeling festive. Hot cider and Virginia Tech sweaters will keep you warm this football season.
- Picnic on the Drillfield
Finally, a fall picnic on the Drillfield. Bring some apple cider donuts from the Farmers Market, and some bread and cheeses for a charcuterie board. Bring pumpkins for decor and a cute fall outfit, and you can turn your picnic into a photoshoot. Fall picnics simply do not disappoint on the Drillfield.
I could not be more excited to experience yet another autumn here at Virginia Tech. There’s nothing more beautiful to me than a crisp fall morning, and the way the Hokie Stone contrasts with the clear blue skies. Here’s to the most wonderful time of the year at the most wonderful place.