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Five Fun Fall Festivals Near Reston, VA

Summer may be winding down (ok, ok. it's officially over). But that doesn't mean the fun is going to wind down at all. In fact, fall in Reston is the perfect time of year. You can find some great outdoor festival every weekend... and most are free. Here are five fun fall festivals in and near Reston that will keep you and your family happily entertained. Enjoy!

Cox Farms Fall Festival: September 26 - November 3, 2015, Centreville, VA.  Giant slides, a fabulous hay ride, and the chance to do some farm chores are just a few of the things that make children BEG to go to the Cox Farms Fall Festival every year (yes, even the farm chores). There are also fresh apples, cider, live animals, pumpkins and food, and a great farmer's market. It's mega fun for the whole family. Opening weekend is September 26, and it runs through November 3. Do not miss it!

Fairfax Fall Festival: October 10, 2015, Fairfax, VA. For 38 years, Northern Virginians have enjoyed this family friendly street festival in the heart of the City of Fairfax, VA. More than 400 juried crafters and food vendors will be selling their wares. Children's activities include Touch a Truck, All American Lumberjack Show, and amusement rides. And there is musical entertainment for all ages! The best part? This festival is FREE.

Clifton Day Festival: October 11, 2015, Clifton. One day a year, the quaint town of Clifton celebrates its history in style. With 150 antique dealers, artists, bakers and other street vendors lining the town's streets, what more could you want? How about a train ride? Clifton Day is the only day of the year when the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) stops in town. Festival goers can take the train, which will provide roundtrip train service to Clifton from all stops between Manassas and Rolling Road. The train ride to Clifton is free and the return trip costs $5 per person (children under age two ride free). And if that isn't enticement enough, there will be live bands, pony rides, craft demonstrations, children's activities, a Civil War reenactment and a wide selection of food and beverages.

Oktoberfest Reston: October 10 and 11, 2015, Reston. Oktoberfest Reston is Northern Virginia's largest outdoor fall festival--and it's right in our back yard at Reston Town Center! Come enjoy seasonal beer and wine, German fare from 17 area restaurants, a family carnival, live entertainment, a chili cook off and the Great Pumpkin 5K race. Live music will include traditional German tunes as well as favorites from a variety of local musicians.

Tysons Fall Harvest Festival: October 17, 18, 24, 25, 2015, Tysons Corner. Bring the kids for the 2nd annual Tysons Fall Harvest Festival! Enjoy the Fall Harvest as you stroll through the arts and crafts booths and taste some of the fun flavors of Fall. It is all here for the reaping... bring your family and friends and carve out some special memories. Special activities include lots of fun FREE activities for the whole family: The largest hay pyramid in DC, Petting Zoo, Bouncy Houses, Pumpkin Bowling, Kids Candy Walk, Craft Corner, and the hay maze. And for mom and dad, there will be tons of craft beers and Virginia wines to sample! All this is happening at the Lerner Town Square at the Galleria Tysons II.

Heather Knoll Cluster, North Reston

Heather Knoll Cluster in Reston, VA. Photo courtesy of Heather Knoll Cluster. Heather Knoll Cluster in Reston, VA.
Photo courtesy of Heather Knoll Cluster.

Heather Knoll Cluster in Reston, VA. Photo courtesy of Heather Knoll Cluster.

The North Point area of Reston was the last place fully developed in Reston, and the homes are modern, clean, and beautiful. Heather Knoll Cluster is no exception. Built in the early 1990's, Heather Knoll Cluster is a small community of 52 townhouses distributed among 13 buildings. These homes are perfect for young families as they're situated on a charming cul de sac--providing children with a safe place to play.

Designed by Berry & Co., each home has a traditional brick front with fine detailing, classic cedar siding and elegant trim. They also each have a one-car garage--a bonus for Reston townhomes--and privacy fences separating the yards. They are all two levels with a basement, three bedrooms, and two and half bath. And they have fireplaces! The homes come in three different styles, with variations in room sizes and overall square footage.

Healther Knoll Cluster is located on Woodbrook Court off of Woodbrook Lane and Wiehle Avenue--with close proximity to the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 7. The surrounding area has wonderful walking paths and plenty of trees and nature.

This is the perfect neighborhood for anyone who wants something slightly off the beaten path, but still wants to have all the amenities of Reston easily accessible.

Is Reston Townhome Living for You?

Golf Course Island ClusterThere is every type of dwelling available in Reston--from single family home to condos, from large to small... and everything in between. Despite the fact I live in a condo, I always associate Reston with townhomes. Perhaps that is because we have such diverse townhome communities--we have close to a 140 separate townhouse clusters. That's a lot.

Many people who move to Reston have never considered living in a townhome. They perceive them as dark and small with little privacy from neighbors. Then they visit some of the townhome communities and change their minds. Our townhome clusters are wildly varied from the comfortable and modest to over-the-top luxurious. Many are on our lakes or golf course. All have beautiful, well-kept common areas.

cedar cove cluster

Cedar Cove cluster in South Reston has garages and access to Lake Audubon!

So is a Reston townhome right for you? Possibly yes. Reston townhomes offer a wide range of housing options for almost every price point. You'll often find neighborhoods that are a combination of young families, singles, or couples who have downsized. It's a wonderful, eclectic mix. And for busy professionals, you have the bonus of a lovely neighborhood that you don't have to care for--your cluster will maintain the common property!

If you've never considered townhome living because you're worried about the size, the light or living in such close proximity, maybe you should reconsider, there is a lot of upside to this housing style. And no place does it as well as Reston.

Waterview Cluster, North Reston

Waterview Cluster in Reston, VA

Waterview Cluster is Reston's most iconic neighborhood.

Whenever you see an article about Reston, the planned community or Reston appears in a history book, you will likely also see a picture of Waterview Cluster. It is perhaps the most iconic Reston neighborhood.

Built in 1965, many of the 75 two and three story townhouses on Lake Anne have beautiful water views with the remaining situated on lushly landscaped wooded lots. Award-winning architect Chloethiel Woodard Smith designed Waterview Cluster to feel like a French fishing village, and the exterior bricks painted in soft pastels and the charming balconies really do make it feel European.

The townhouses in this beautiful community have a charming mid-century modern meets cottage vibe. They are light and airy, with very inviting interior spaces. They range in size from 1,500 to 2,800 square feet. Residents affectionately call the homes "tall skinnies" or "short fats." The mix of size and styles make for a unique and charming neighborhood. Waterview Cluster residents are unwavering in their affection for their neighborhood--they share a collective recognition that they live some place unique.

Like most of Reston, Waterview Cluster is very walk-able, with paved walkways leading to Lake Anne Village Center and Reston Town Center.

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  1. Rahul on

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    Fun on the Reston lakes

    Summer is almost over, but it's not gone yet. While many of the Reston pools have closed for the season, there is plenty of water fun to be had. Take advantage of the next few weekends to get on the water!

    Paddle boarding in Reston

    Reston Lakes paddle boardingStandup paddle boarding (SUP) is taking the water sports world by storm. Called Hoe he'e nalu in the Hawaiian language (which is just a fun fact to know), paddle boarding started as an offshoot of surfing... only much, much easier. The concept is simple--you stand on a surf style board and use a long paddle to move across the water. You can do it on flat water, like the Reston lakes, or in the open water. It's a fun sport anyone can enjoy.

    And we are lucky in Reston to have a company that offers SUP workshops on our Reston lakes--Surf Reston. They offer workshops at Lake Anne, Lake Audubon, Lake Thoreau and Lake Newport. The company started as a way to build a community of individuals who enjoy paddling; they teach how to paddle responsibly and safely and give their customers the opportunities to connect with other enthusiasts. Sign up for one of their workshops today! Better yet, get a group of friends to do it together. It's a blast.

    Kayak and Canoe Rental

    Until Labor Day weekend, you can enjoy a leisurely paddle around Lake Anne. Reston Association provides kayak, canoe, and paddle boat rentals by the hour. It's a fun way to spend a summer evening! You can purchase tickets at Reston's Used Book Shop, 1623 Washington Plaza (near the fountain). Contact the book shop by calling 703-435-9772. The cost is $6 per boat for 1-hour rental.

    Hours of Operation are:Thursdays, 4 - 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 - 8 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Enjoy these last few weeks of summer break. Maybe I'll see you out on the lakes!

    Vantage Hill, North Reston

    Most of the Reston condominiums built in the 1970's look nondescript from the outside. There is no way around it--they are boxy and plain. But if you take the time to go inside, you will be pleasantly surprised. Vantage Hill is a wonderful example of this.

    Vantage Hill sits on 15 beautifully wooded acres that have been designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. That's 15 acres for 152 units or, more than 4,000 square feet per unit.

    And then there are the spacious interiors. These may be condominiums, but that doesn't mean you have to give up space. The units are generally 2 or 3 bedrooms with generous floor plans, ample closets and spacious kitchens. One of the beautiful things about these older condominiums is that most of them have been updated--new kitchens, new bathrooms, and new flooring. It's the best of both worlds--the solid construction and beautiful landscape of the 70's with the beautiful interiors and modern designs of today.

    Utilities are included in the condo fees. Vantage Hill is located between Reston Town Center and Lake Anne Village Center, with an easy walk to either. It's about a five-minute walk to Lake Anne Elementary School. Older children attend Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lake High School.

    Labor Day Weekend 2015 in Reston, VA

    Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

    Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival 2014--a gorgeous day on the plaza.

    Labor Day weekend--the last hurrah before summer officially ends. We celebrate the holiday in style here in Reston with the annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival--one of my absolute favorite events of the whole year. If you're new to Reston, or have never made it down to Lake Anne for this event, make sure to put it on your calendar.

    In fact, the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival is so much fun, it's going to be an entire week this year. The fun starts August 30 and culminates on Saturday, September 5. And the best part is it is free. Fun for the whole family, this festival showcases talented local emerging artists and national jazz performers. Not only will there be great music, the Lake Anne merchants are featuring specials and there will be a fun featured film as part of the ongoing Summer Film Festival series.

    Ready for a week of great music? Here is the full list of activities:

    • August 30 (sundown) - Summer Film Festival Series Movie "Jazz on a Summer's Day" (1959 Classic)
    • September 1 (7-10 p.m.) - The Red Tree Solo (Café Montmartre)
    • September 1 (8 p.m.) - Jazz Trivia Night (Kalypso's Sports Tavern)
    • September 1 (6-9 p.m.) - Mykle Lyons Trio (Plaza)
    • September 2 (8-10 p.m.) - The Caterpillars Duet (Café Montmartre)
    • September 2 (9:30 p.m.) - Jazz Karaoke Night (Kalypso's Sports Tavern)
    • September 3 (7-9 p.m.) - Take A Break Concert Series featuring the Chris Vadala Quartet (Plaza)
    • September 4 (7:30-10:30 p.m.) - Cabernet (Café Montmartre)
    • September 4 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) -- The Jason Kearse Trio (Plaza)

    Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival Line Up

    • September 5 1 p.m. Ted Garber 2 p.m. Cissa Paz 3 p.m. Integriti Reeves4 p.m. Nia Olabesi 5 p.m. Mykle Lyons 6 p.m. Texas Chainsaw 7 p.m. Adrian Duke (Headliner) 9:30 p.m. Post Festival Late Night with Sam Gunderson (Kalypso's Sports Tavern)

    Don't forget about the merchants. Here are some of the specials you can expect:

    • Chesapeake Chocolates: Special Edition chocolate musical notes and instruments. Wine Tasting Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30p.m.
    • Reston's Used Book Shop: 50% off all books about music
    • Small Change Kids Consignment Shop: Melissa & Doug musical toys 50% off
    • The Reston Museum: Music sale on local jazz performers Beverly Cosham, Menda Ahart and Felicia Crowley

    But that's only until Saturday, you say. You are right. So on Labor Day, head down the road to Herndon for the annual Herndon Labor Day Festival! It's Monday, September 7, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn Street, Herndon, VA 20170). There will be tastings of Virginia wines and craft beers, great music, a craft show, sponsor gallery, and food vendors. The Herndon Parks and Recreation Department and the Herndon Woman's Club produce this fun event.

    • Admission Wine, Craft Brew Tastings and Entertainment - $20 (ID required to purchase tastings) Concert only or designated driver - $5 Extra beer tastings - $2 per ticket- Cash only at gate - Children 12 and under free - No pets allowed - Wine and craft brew tasting and selling of open containers ends at 4 p.m.
    • 2015 Participating Virginia Wineries Cardamon Family Vineyards Chateau O'Brien Desert Rose Ranch and Winery Horton Vineyards Mattaponi Winery Mountain Cove Vineyards Rebec Vineyards Rogers Ford Farm Winery Thistle Gate Vineyard Two Twisted Posts Winery
    • Featured Craft Brews Forge Brew Works, Belgian Blonde Mad Fox Brewery, K?lsch South Street Brewery, Satan's Pony - Amber Ale O'Conner Brewing Co., El Guaop - IPA Brothers Craft Brewing, Great Outdoors- Pale Ale Devils Backbone Brewing Co., Vienna Lager
    • Food Vendors International Grill Island Smoothies and Coffee Italian Rito Loco Sherri's Crab Cakes

    Enjoy your last official weekend of summer. I know I'm looking forward to it!

    Orchard Green Cluster, Reston, VA

    Orchard Green Cluster RestonWhen developing the "last remaining parcel of land in the prestigious Reston community of Lake Anne," the plans had better be great. Designed by Berkus Group Architects, a company well known for producing environmentally sensitive designs, and developed by Miller & Smith, Orchard Green Cluster Reston VA is, indeed, a great design.

    Backing into the trails that lead to Lake Anne and situated across the street from the Hook Road recreational area, Orchard Green Cluster is in prime spot for active Restonians. Built in 1983, these 50 townhomes come in four floor plans. They range in size from 1,900 square feet to 2,700 square. Some of the homes have garages, while other have carports and some have fireplaces (which are great on cold winter nights). All are well designed with ample space to grow and change as needed.

    While Orchard Green Reston VA is walking distance to Lake Anne and Reston Town Center, it is also accessible to all the major roadways that take you wherever you want to go. Children attend Lake Anne Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School, South Lakes High School.

    Mom and Pop: The Boutique Bake Shop

    The Boutique Bakeshop Is your mouth watering yet? (Photo courtesy of The Boutique Bakeshop website.)

    Is your mouth watering yet? (Photo courtesy of The Boutique Bakeshop website.)

    As a real estate agent and a lover of mom and pop businesses, I love it when I see young entrepreneurs making creative decisions to help them realize their dreams. That is one of two reasons why I love The Boutique Bakeshop. You just have to look at the pictures of some of their cakes and desserts to know the other reason I love them.

    Yes, they are not based in Reston. But they are just a few miles down Baron Cameron (aka Rt. 606) in Herndon. You have to head that way if you're going to Trader Joe's or Mom's Organic Market anyway, so you might as well stop in for a treat.

    Aside from the amazing sweets, why do I think they are creative? Because the Boutique Bakeshop is a baker's collective comprised of five very small businesses: Stephanie the Baker, Sweets by e, Sugar Pig Wholesale Sweets, The Itty-Bitty cake company, and Beau Monde Bakers.

    Commercial real estate is very expensive, and none of these small businesses would be able to afford the rent alone -- that's a lot of cupcakes and pastries! But together, they can share a commercial kitchen, practice their art, be inspired by their peers, and showcase their talents through the public bakeshop. It's a quadruple win. Read more about the inspiration for this collective here.

    The small bakery in the storefront is a stroke of genius--it lets people try out the bakers' treats before buying a whole cake (or whatever else is on the menu). They've got a comfy couch, a few tables, and good coffee. What more could you want? But don't trust me. Go visit them today!

    Address: 336 Elden Street Herndon, VA 20170

    (hint--it's right behind the McDonald's just before you get to the K-Mart/MOM's shopping center)

    The Wharf, South Reston

    The Wharf Reston

    The Wharf has it's own two private ponds and access to Lake Audubon

    Reston is full of hidden gems--it's like a real life treasure hunt here! And the The Wharf is one of them. What makes The Wharf so unique? This community of townhomes surrounds a pair of ponds at the top of a hill AND the community overlooks Lake Audubon. Yes, this is a water lover's paradise.

    Reston architect Michael Oxman conceived of The Wharf in 1977. In a 1977 architectural magazine review he said: "When I decided to become a townhouse developer for my own design, I looked first at some lakefront property. Trouble is, only 20 percent of the townhouses on those sites are actually on the water. Those sell quickly, then there is often a long period trying to sell the off-water homes." (AE Concepts in Wood Design, Jan-Feb 1978, p. 9). This is not a problem in The Wharf.

    The Wharf Reston

    Most of The Wharf's townhomes have garages.

    The Cluster was built between 1981 and 1986, and is located on Timberhead Court off Glade Drive on Lake Audubon. The 55 cedar-sided, multi-level 3- to 5-bedroom townhouses were designed and built to look like a New England fishing village. Most of the homes have garages.

    What really makes The Wharf special, though, is the ponds. These delicately balanced living ecosystems are not runoff ponds like other Reston lakes. Two fresh water wells provide water to the ponds. So they are more similar to mountaintop lakes since they are not contaminated from fertilizer and waste running off with rainwater. You will find blue-gill sunfish and large mouth bass in a ratio of ten sunfish to one bass. The sunfish eat mosquito larvae, and the bass keep the sunfish population under control. And they're fun to watch.

    In a place renowned for access to nature, The Wharf stands out. This is a neighborhood for people who love water and want to be close to it. This neighborhood is also close to the Walker Nature Education Center, Lake Audubon pool, and South Lakes Village Center.