Top 5 Things to do in the Fall

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By Sharon Shatananda

1. Temple Hall Corn Maize and Farm Festival

Visit http://templehallfallfest.com for more information about daytime and nighttime hours

An annual trip to a pumpkin patch can do wonders to get you in the fall spirit.  Even though sports teams and college applications are usually given precedence over attending fall festivals, that doesn’t mean fall has ceased to be fun — especially Temple Hall, a corn maze and farm festival which seems to have attractions that are entertaining for older kids too.

Remember the “giant pillow” that seemed like a never-ending moon bounce? It’s still there and just as fun, along with the corn cannon, the pumpkin blaster, a night corn maze, and paintball. Almost every activity can be done at night with the purchase of a special night pass.

2. Fright Night vs. Shocktober

Shocktober: Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October and November. Visit http://www.shocktober.org/ for more information.

Fright Night: October 25th and 26th. Buy tickets online at http://www.thefrightnight.com/

Who scares better? Fright Night claims to be more nightmare-inducing than its main rival, Shocktober, but the final decision comes down to you.

But in order to make an accurate judgment, you must go through both the haunted forest at Fright Night and Shocktober’s haunted manor.

Fright Night is a 30-minute guided tour around the woods behind the Community Church in Ashburn led by an assortment of zombies, ghouls, or death eaters. It is known for a zombie school bus, wild chainsaw man, and a few sketchy shacks along the way.

Shocktober is hosted in the haunted Paxton Manor (located in Leesburg), and it features the Funhouse and the Haunted Well of Souls. Reviews say that every scare is unpredictable, whether it be from within an elevator or while being buried alive.

The ultimate decision comes down to you. Who really scares better?

3. Chipotle’s BOO-rito Special

October 31st from 4 p.m. to closing. Any menu item for $3 if dressed in costume.

Chipotle has become a cultural food phenomenon in Leesburg lately. It seems like most people would do anything for a meal there, even going so far as bribery or paying double. However, on Halloween no such actions are necessary, because Chipotle is hosting its usual Halloween fundraiser, BOO-rito. On the 31st, any customer dressed in costume can buy a burrito, bowl, salad, or 3 tacos for only $3.

Proceeds from BOO-rito will go towards the Cultivate Foundation, which works to create a healthier and sustainable national food supply and to raise awareness for food issues.

Disclaimer: Be prepared for never-ending lines and a packed restaurant. Though it shouldn’t deter you, I recommend entering the building with a high level of patience and lots of time.

4. Ghost, Goblins & Ghouls Spooktacular 5K

Saturday October 26th, 4 p.m. race start. Register at http://www.ghost5k.com/reg_2.html.

If you are looking for a low-key 5K during the Halloween season, the Spooktacular may be the one for you.

At this day-long event, every participant is invited to run the entire 5K in costume! As long as you enter before the race, you can also participate in a costume competition at the end. Whether you come as the Cat in the Hat or Mr. Incredible, you are sure to have a good time and get some exercise in before eating pounds of candy on Halloween.

5. Donate Thanksgiving basket items to Loudoun Interfaith Relief

Nov. 21st- 23rd at Loudoun Interfaith. Visit http://www.interfaithrelief.org/calendar/thanksgiving-basket-distribution-donations-needed/ for more information.

I for one have never had to worry about where my Thanksgiving meal came from. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people all around us that do.

With only a box of stuffing or a can of corn, you can work with others to provide a family with an entire Thanksgiving meal.

Loudoun Interfaith is putting together Thanksgiving baskets with boxed mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and a gift card to a local grocery store to buy a protein.

Though it doesn’t seem like much, and is probably not a normal Thanksgiving tradition for you, if even a fraction of the school participated, we could provide Thanksgiving meals to countless families.