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When the days get shorter and the evenings get cooler, there is no shortage of things to do in Central Virginia. In fact, there’s so much, we couldn’t possibly list everything here. Instead, we highlight a few of our family-friendly favorites for fall. Find your next adventure for 2023! 

Layman Family Farms Fall Festival 

WHERE: 1815 Mountain View Church Rd., Blue Ridge
WHEN: Starting September 16 

If you have small kids, big kids — or are maybe you’re just a kid at heart — Layman Family Farms is a one-stop shop for fall fun. 

The 83-acre farm in Blue Ridge offers a wide range of activities. My kids always love riding on the cow train, bouncing around on the large jump pillow and taking a hay-wagon ride to the fields to pick out a pumpkin. There is also a pumpkin blaster, gemstone mining and tasty concessions. 

To top it all off, the view at Layman’s is spectacular too — so bring your camera! Learn more at

Old City Cemetery Candlelight Tours

WHERE: 401 Taylor St., Lynchburg
WHEN: October 5-21 

While not intended to be scary, the Old City Cemetery Candlelight Tours give off that perfect eerie vibe many of us embrace around Halloween. 

The tours are living history performances. Each group’s guide is a local actor who is representing someone buried in the cemetery. The guide leads you to various stops on the grounds where vignettes are performed about the cemetery’s most interesting or bizarre tales.

Young children are not recommended for this experience due to the walking and required attention span. They recommend ages 10 and up.

And if you want in — act fast. Tickets are limited and usually sell out quickly. They go on sale September 14.

Learn more at

Yoder’s Farm Corn Maze

WHERE: 1134 Browns Mill Rd., Rustburg
WHEN: Starting mid-September

The corn maze is the main event at Yoder’s Farm during the fall season — that’s because it’s legit.

The 11-acre maze is custom-designed each year, and you can see the intricacies in aerial shots from above. There are lots of twists and turns, making it a fun “living puzzle” for your family to complete together.

They also encourage some friendly competition through their Corn Maze App to see who can find their way out the fastest. (Last year, it looks like 16 minutes was the record!) Maps are also distributed to help you out.

Admission to the farm is free, but you must pay to enter the maze. There is also a pumpkin patch, snack shack, hayrides and a farm store at Yoder’s.

Learn more at

Amherst Apple Harvest Festival

WHERE: Amherst County High School, 139 Lancer Ln., Amherst
WHEN: October 21, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | October 22, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Second to pumpkins, fall is all about apples.

The Amherst Apple Harvest Festival is a landmark event that has been enjoyed by families in our region for more than 50 years. It’s touted as Amherst County’s “longest-running tradition.”

Visitors to Amherst County High School will enjoy shopping from approximately 150 vendors. These are mostly artists and crafters who sell handmade items. 

You’ll also find lots of apples and apple-based treats for sale, of course.

Learn more at

Buzzy Coleman Chili Cookoff

WHERE: Sedalia Center, 1108 Sedalia School Rd., Big Island
WHEN: October 28, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

There is no meal that’s more “fall” than a bowl of savory chili. 

At Bedford County’s Sedalia Center this season, you can spend a whole day filling up on this cool weather favorite.

Admission to the event allows you to taste chili made by numerous local teams. You get to cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award. Judges determine who gets first, second and third for best-tasting chili. There is also an award for best presentation.

Beer trucks are on the grounds as well as local bands. The Sedalia Center also has a new playground for the kids to enjoy. Playground paintings offered by can provide numerous benefits to a school or community playground. Then, Wetpour Contractors offer wet pour and playground markings.

Learn more at

Fall Foliage Drives

WHERE: Blue Ridge Parkway
WHEN: Anytime (The Virginia Department of Forestry’s estimated peak for our region is Oct. 10-31.)

In our area, you don’t have to travel too far to see thetrees showing their vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. The question is — which view is the best?

If you want to avoid some of the more congested spots, the Virginia Department of Forestry has created 10 driving tours along the Blue Ridge Parkway that are “off the beaten path.” That way, you can focus more on your trip and less on the traffic.

In Central Virginia, one of the tours takes you south of Bedford to Moneta and the picturesque Smith Mountain Lake area.

Learn more at

Wait! There’s more…

Here are a few more fall ideas:

October | Downtown Altavista

2122 Sheep Creek Rd., Bedford

October 7 | Point of Honor, Lynchburg

185 Dark Leaf Road, Appomattox

October 13-15 | Downtown Appomattox

October 28 | Falling Creek Park, Bedford

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