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Experience Chesterfield in Autumn 2017-10-02T14:07:52+00:00

EXPERIENCE
CHESTERFIELD
IN AUTUMN

Autumn is a great time to experience Chesterfield County! With temperatures dropping, leaves changing and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, there are plenty of things to do in the county this time of year.

Overview:

Arts and Music

Ghosts, Ghouls and Other Scary Things

Festivals and Events

Fall Foliage

Pumpkin Picking

 


Arts and Music

Looking for live music? Mark your calendars for the fall acoustic concert series at the North Courthouse Road Library. The concerts are sure to be a hit and styles range from European to classic country.

  • John Turner, Champion Scottish Fiddler – Oct. 26, 7-8 p.m.
    The third generation in a family of traditional fiddlers, Dr. John Turner’s style of fiddling seeks to keep alive the style of the golden era of Scottish fiddling in the 18th century. He has won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Championship 10 times.

  • The Company Store – Nov. 9, 7-8 p.m.
    Authentic, American-made, traditional string-band music and country humor.

And stop by Westchester Commons on Oct. 7 at 4 p.m. to hear the Richmond Symphony as part of the free Pocahontas Performances Premiere Series. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs – if the event is rained out, it will be held Oct. 8 at James River High School.

Harry Potter Masquerade at the North Courthouse Road Library promises to be a celebration like no other. Teens in middle and high school are invited to grab their wands, robes and owls to head to Hogwarts for an evening of music, dancing, food and games. Attire is formal, semi-formal or costume for the event, set for Oct. 7, 6-9 p.m.

Celebrate reading, writing and creativity at this year’s Festival of the Written Word, Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Midlothian Library. Local writers, playwrights and poets will lead workshops and participate in panel discussions. The family-friendly event is packed with activities for children, teens and adults, including food, music and crafts. This year’s featured presenter is local writer Dale Brumfield, author of “The Virginia State Penitentiary: A Notorious History.”

Head to Swift Creek Mill Theatre between Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 to see the theatrical spine-chiller The Woman in Black. This ghost play is about a woman in black who haunts the neighborhood where her child was killed and anyone who sees her dies. The show has been running in London for 27 years and it’s sure to be a hit!

And make sure to check out the ArtoberVA offerings throughout October – look for the artober logo in events calendars this fall.


Ghosts, Ghouls and Other Scary Things

What is fall without Halloween? Check out some of the scary things happening around the county.

Henricus Historical Park plays host to several spooky, Halloween-themed events in October.

Experience an evening of spellbinding accounts and legendary tales of English and Virginia Indian legends and folklore at the Haunted Henricus: Things That Go Bump in the Night program Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 27. Registration is required; this program is not suitable for children under 6. But kids can get in on the fun! New this year is Haunted Henricus Jr.: Things that Go Bump in the Afternoon, where kids 3-8 years old can hear stories and make a craft. Registration is required.

Want an even more scares? Bring your sleeping bag and flashlight and plan to attend the Haunted Henricus Overnight Event on Oct. 28. This event is sure to scare even the bravest souls as you spend the evening with Henricus staff and take part in a paranormal investigation of the historic citie.

skull_with_corn_2007

Do you believe in ghosts? Join Spirited History Investigations, a team of professional paranormal investigators, as they explore the haunting history of Chesterfield County. Learn about the history surrounding Halloween and the popular beliefs and superstitions at the Magnolia Grange Paranormal Investigation on Nov. 4.

ghost


Festivals and Events

Fall is a great time to take in annual festivals and community events – you can find everything from craft beer celebrations to house tours of an 18th century estate.

Take in the history of the Chesterfield County Courthouse at the 1917 Courthouse Centennial Event, set for Oct. 26, 1:30-4 p.m., at the courthouse – 1001 Iron Bridge Road. The original 1749 bell, which hung in the courthouse cupola, will be on display in the Chesterfield County Museum. The celebration will include the unveiling of a new interpretive sign and a reenactment of the first court case in 1918. Fort Lee soldiers will represent the first 100 World War I draftees from the county.

As part of the festivities, see the “Mobilizing for War” exhibit at the Historic Jail. The exhibit highlights Fort Lee’s 100 years of history, and is open through November.

Head out to ChesterFest Sept. 23 at Chester Village Green by the Chester Library. Enjoy food and craft vendors, live music and a Kid’s Zone. Events start at 10 a.m. Go to chesterfest.org for more information.

Kick off the season with the best high adrenaline films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival at James River High School Sept. 23, 7-9 p.m. The Radical Reels Tour, in its 11th and final year, offers the best action sports films – experience the wild adrenaline-pumping sights as seen through the eyes of some of today’s top athletes. Get $5 advance tickets through Sept. 15 by calling 804-748-1623. Tickets will be sold at the door starting at 6 p.m. There is a parental guidance advisory for coarse language in some of the films.

See history come alive at Henricus Historical Park during Publick Days, Sept. 23-24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., for the annual celebration of the 1611 founding of the Citie of Henricus. Tour the replica of the Godspeed from Jamestown Settlement. The 400th anniversary of the deaths of Pocahontas and Rev. Alexander Whitaker will be commemorated. Enjoy living history, military drills, craftsmen, 17th-century medical demonstrations and historical children’s games and crafts. Admission is free; parking is $5 per vehicle. Go to henricus.org for more information.

Henricus Publick Day

In October, take in colonial history at Eppington Plantation. Tour the 18th century house, and take in period craft demonstrations, music, children’s games, dancing, carriage rides and living history. Discover what life was like in Chesterfield during the 1700s. This free event will be held Oct. 7, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at 14206 Eppes Falls Road. Call 804-751-4946 or go to visitchesterfieldva.com for more information.

Eppington Heritage Day - Thomas Jefferson's 5th Great-Grandson Rob Coles

That same day, stop by Pleasant View School from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. to hear the history of the early African American school and take a free tour. This is offered in cooperation with the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia. The school is at 18431 River Road – call 751-4946 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com for more information.

Celebrate all things Midlothian with the Midlothian Village Day Festival and Mid-Lothian Mines Day, both scheduled for Oct. 21! The festival begins at 10 a.m. at Midlothian Middle School, and will feature community booths, games, food vendors and crafters. Visit midlothianfestival.net for more information.

Mid-Lothian Mines Day will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mid-Lothian Mines Park, 13286 N. Woolridge Road, and will feature living-history demonstrations, children’s activities, period games, coal mining displays and hourly guided tours about Midlothian’s mining history. View a reproduction of the headstock used in mining operations and enjoy music at the amphitheater. Call 804-751-4946 or go to visitchesterfieldva.com for more information.

Midlothian-Mines-Headstock

Sip Virginia craft beer Nov. 11 during Hops in the Park, an annual festival focusing on beer and hops. Representatives from breweries will be on site to talk about their beer and the Virginia-grown ingredients in it. The event will be held from noon-6 p.m.

Visit hopsinthepark.com for more information.


Fall Foliage

Fall in Chesterfield

No autumn would be complete without taking in some of the breathtaking fall foliage exhibited this time of year.

fall-biking-pocahontas

Neighborhood Bikepath

The peak viewing season for this part of the state is typically Oct. 20-31. You can get more information in a fall foliage report from the Virginia Department of Forestry by calling 1-800-424-LOVE (5683).

Fall-Canoists

Where to see it:

Take in the views at Pocahontas State Park, which offers several scenic trails for hiking and biking, as well as the opportunity to boat on the lake in the middle of the vibrant colors.

boats-on-swift-creek-lake

The Dutch Gap Conservation Area also boasts multiple hiking and boating trails from which to enjoy the fall landscape.

2012-10-17-Henricus-I-295-Bridge

Hiking

Chesterfield County is full of trails to hike this fall. Be sure to check out 6,600 feet of new trail within the John J. Radcliffe Conservation area on Chesdin Road. The trail covers a variety of terrain, including marshlands, swamp and forests, and offers views of a wetland near the Appomattox River. You might catch a glimpse of beavers, deer and waterfowl.

Appomattox_River_at_Ettrick_Riverside_Park_02

fall-hike

midlothian-mines-trail

Driving Tours

Autumn offers a great opportunity to see historic Bon Air and Midlothian like never before with one of these driving tours.

old-hundred-road-chesterfield

Bon Air is a historic Victorian resort town offering views of several beautiful homes, while a drive through Midlothian is a drive through history, as many of the country’s ‘firsts’ – first road, first coal mine – are stops along the route.


Pumpkin Picking

Grab the family and go to a local berry farm to pick out your own pumpkin this year!

pumpkin-patch

Boulevard Flower Garden on Ruffin Mill Road in South Chesterfield, offers wagon rides, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin decorating, horse and pony rides, face painting and of course a pumpkin patch. The October Harvest festival is every weekend in October. Admission to the farm is free; some events may incur a cost.

Chesterfield Berry Farm on Pear Orchard Road in Moseley, offers fun for the whole family with pick-your-own pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze and a train ride. Opening day is Sept. 23. There is an admission fee.

Cross Creek Nursery on Courthouse Road in Midlothian, offers pumpkin decorating, a haunted forest hayride, a bounce house and lots and lots of pumpkins and gourds to choose from. The fall family festival is every Saturday and Sunday in October. Admission is free; some activities may incur a cost.

Skinquarter Farm Market on Hull Street Road in Moseley, offers a variety of orange and white pumpkins, apple cider, hayrides and a corn maze. Opening day is Sept. 29. Admission to the farm is free; some activities may incur a cost.

Swift Creek Berry Farm on Genito Road in Moseley, offers a for-all-ages straw maze as well as corn hole, a pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting and games for kids. Pumpkin season runs from the end of September to late October. Gardeners can also pick up fall plants like mums and pansies for end-of-the-season color. Admission to the farm is free.


UPCOMING FALL EVENTS

Eppington Heritage Day

Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Eppington Plantation, 14201 Eppes Falls Road

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Eppington Foundation by visiting Eppington Plantation. Experience colonial life in 18th century Chesterfield County. Eppington is a circa 1768 plantation named after Francis Eppes VI, who built the estate. Tour the house, join in Colonial activities, listen to period music, experience colonial dancing and storytelling, enjoy craft demonstrations and a relaxing carriage ride. This event is free.


Open House at historic Pleasant View African-American School

Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

18431 River Road

Visitors are invited to stop by for a tour of Pleasant View School, an early 20th century African-American one-room schoolhouse. Officially designated as a Chesterfield County Historic Landmark in April 2017, the school is an authentic representation of early 20th century education of African-Americans in Chesterfield County. This event is free.


Star Wars Reads Day

Saturday, Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Clover Hill Library, 6701 Deer Run Drive

Dress as your favorite Star Wars character, get creative with crafts and use the force for games and activities. Check out books for readers of all ages.


Star Wars: Hour of Code

Saturday, Oct. 7, 1-2 p.m.

Meadowdale Library, 4301 Meadowdale Boulevard

Build a galaxy in code – use code.org’s Star Wars game to learn about programming. Bring your laptop or Chromebook if you have one. Registration begins Sept. 23.


Pocahontas Performance Premiere Series: Richmond Symphony

Saturday, Oct. 7, 4 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, Oct. 8 at James River High School)

Westchester Commons, 15786 WC Main Street

Bring a picnic, blankets or lawn chairs and join us for a performance by the Richmond Symphony at Pocahontas State Park. No alcohol or glass bottles. The event is free.


Harry Potter Masquerade

Saturday, Oct. 7, 6-9 p.m.

North Courthouse Road Library

Teens in middle and high school are invited to grab their wands, robes and owls to head to Hogwarts for an evening of music, dancing, food and games. Attire is formal, semi-formal or costume for the event. RSVP beginning Sept. 9. 


Tales of the Night and Campfire

Saturday, Oct. 7, 6-8 p.m.

Henricus Visitor Center, 251 Henricus Park Road

Hike in dutch gap at night and end the expedition with a campfire and s’mores. Bring a flashlight and water, and wear sturdy shoes. $5/person, registration required. 


100 Years of the Chesterfield County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 12, 7-8 p.m.

Meadowdale Library, 4301 Meadowdale Boulevard

Learn the history of Chesterfield’s historic courthouse and its significance in the county as we celebrate its 100th anniversary.


Historic Point of Rocks Guided Tour

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2-4 p.m.

Garland Dodd Park, 201 Enon Church Road

Discover the unique history surrounding this newly acquired historic site. Learn about the Union hospital where Clara Barton served, and walk the ground President Lincoln walked during his visit in 1865. Meet in the parking lot at the maintenance office.


Falling Creek Ironworks Tour

Saturday, Oct. 14, 10-11 a.m.

Falling Creek Ironworks Park, 6407 Jefferson Davis Highway

Discover the site of the first iron furnace in America and explore the industrial history that evolved. Meet in the parking lot. The cost is $8; registration and payment is required in advance.


A Chilling Candlelight Tour at Magnolia Grange House Museum

Saturday, Oct. 14, 8-10 p.m.

Magnolia Grange, 10020 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield

Listen to ghostly tales and hear the spectral voices that have been captured electronically, and then join a paranormal investigation to see and hear for yourself. Advance payment and registration is required; visit chesterfieldhistory.com. $10 per person. 


Colorful Leaves in Fall

Sunday, Oct. 15, 3-4 p.m.

Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 North Courthouse Road

Enjoy the wonderful colors of fall on the trails, and identify leaves. There will be a story and craft project – for kids 2-5 and a parent or guardian. Cost is $6.


Needle Felting Pumpkins

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Enon Library, 1801 N. Enon Church Road

Artist Janice Stegall-Seibert will show you how to needlefelt pumpkins. Materials provided. Registration begins Oct. 3 


100 Years of the Chesterfield County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 19, 7-8 p.m.

North Courthouse Road Library, 325 Courthouse Road

Learn the history of Chesterfield’s historic courthouse and its significance in the county as we celebrate its 100th anniversary.


Mid-Lothian Mines Day

Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

13286 N. Woolridge Road, Midlothian

Take a guided tour of the park to see the remains of Grove Shaft. Discover how Midlothian got its name, and why Midlothian Turnpike is one of the most important roads in Virginia. Activities include living-history demonstrations, period music, period children’s games and guided walking tours. View a reproduction of the headstock that was part of the coal mining operations and enjoy musical performances at the new amphitheater. The event is offered in conjunction with Midlothian Village Day.

Admission and parking are FREE. For details visit visitchesterfieldVA.com


Bats of the World

Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-noon

Bon Air Library, 9103 Rattlesnake RoadX

Meet live bats from around the world! For grades K-5. Registration begins Oct. 7. 


Night Ride and Campfire

Saturday, Oct. 21, 6-8 p.m.

Henricus Visitor Center, 251 Henricus Park Road

Explore the Dutch Gap Conservation Area by bike at night. Enjoy a light meal by the Lagoon, along with a campfire and s’mores. Mountain/hybrid bike, helmet and bike lights required. Bring a light meal and drink. Fee $5/person, registration required. 


Family Fright Night

Saturday, Oct. 21, 5-8 p.m.

Bensley Community Center, 2900 Drewry’s Bluff Road

Bring all the ghosts and goblins for a fun evening of music, carnival games, prizes, trick-or-treating and more. Pre-registration is required; open to the first 130 participants to register by Oct. 16 at chesterfield.gov/parks. This event is free. 


Acoustic Concert – John Turner, Champion Scottish Fiddler

Thursday, Oct. 26, 7-8 p.m.

North Courthouse Road Library

The third generation in a family of traditional fiddlers, Dr. John Turner’s style of fiddling seeks to keep alive the style of the golden era of Scottish fiddling in the 18th century. He has won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Championship 10 times.


Catapulting Pumpkins!

Saturday, Oct. 28, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 4501 River Road

Learn about the physics of a catapult while competing in teams to build one and hurl small pumpkins. Registration begins Oct. 28. 


“Poe in Mourning” Guest Speaker: Chris Semtner, Curator of the Poe Museum

Saturday, Oct. 21, 7-9 p.m.

Magnolia Grange, 10020 Iron Bridge Road, Chesterfield

Poe Museum historian Chris Semtner will talk about the history and symbolic meanings behind the art of mourning traditions. Magnolia Grange will open a new exhibit “Mourning Traditions of the Victorian Era.”


Haunted Henricus: Things That Go Bump in the Night

Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28, 7- 8:30 p.m.

251 Henricus Park Road, Chester

Experience an evening of spellbinding accounts and legendary tales as storytellers relive old English and Virginia Indian legends and folklore. The harvest is in, the nights grow longer and danger lurks in the shadows. Light refreshments served. Tours not appropriate for children under 6. Registration required by Oct. 24; call 804-748-1611. Cost: $8 adults, $6 children ages 6-12; Henricus patrons free.


Haunted Henricus Overnight Event

Saturday, Oct. 28-Sunday, Oct. 29 9 p.m.-9 a.m.

251 Henricus Park Road, Chester

Spend the evening with Henricus staff and be involved in a paranormal investigation of the historic citie. Cost: $25


BOO!

Saturday, Oct. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road

Get ready for Halloween with the head of our animal care team. Learn about snakes, spiders and other creepy creatures. Children under 12 years old must have an adult present. Costumes are welcome! Registration is required at least one week in advance; visit chesterfield.gov/parks. $7 per person.


Monster Mash at the Halloween Bash

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Mayes-Colbert Ettrick Community Building, 20611 Woodpecker Road

Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation and the Civic and Progressive Action Association of the Matoaca Magisterial District will host this event, including bone-chilling refreshments, ghoulishly fun activities and trick-or-treat goodie bags. A costume contest is open to the first 60 participants 1-14 years old. This event is free.


Festival of the Written Word

Saturday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Midlothian Library, 521 Coalfield Road

Get your tablets, laptops, iPads, paper and pens ready for the second annual Festival of the Written Word — a celebration of reading, writing and creativity. This year’s featured presenter is Dale Brumsfield, author of “The Virginia State Penitentiary: A Notorious History.” Local writers, playwrights and poets will lead workshops and participate in panel discussions. The family-friendly event is packed with activities for children, teens and adults, including food, music and crafts.


Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Saturday, Nov. 4, noon-2 p.m.

Bensley Park, 2900 Drewry’s Bluff Road

This event will honor veterans and active military personnel. The ceremony will include special guest speakers and musical performances.


Acoustic Concert – The Company Store

Thursday, Nov. 9, 7-8 p.m.

North Courthouse Road Library

Authentic, American-made, traditional string-band music and country humor.


Hops in the Park

Saturday, Nov. 11, noon.-6 p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road, Chester

Join us for the annual Hops in the Park festival that will feature Virginia craft beer and Virginia hops farmers. Representatives from breweries will be on site to discuss their beer and the Virginia-grown ingredients in their harvest beers and ales. Please visit HopsinthePark.com for more information. Admission and parking are FREE.


Explore the Appomattox River Valley

Saturday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Radcliffe Conservation Area and Canoe Launch, 21501 Chesdin Road

Bushwhack from the Radcliffe Conservation Area to roam along the bluff to the River Trail and continue downriver for lunch at the abutment dam. The cost is $4/person, and registration is required.