Tag Archives: DC Area Farms

From City Streets to Country Farms, Fall Celebrations Around the DMV

fall_festival_2016

Fall is on its way and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it. They celebrate everything from the season to city neighborhoods to books to cuisine to historic times. Have a blast on the farm, savor local food and culture, go medieval or colonial — all amidst brilliant autumn scenery in the cool, crisp air. Some of the fun has already started, and even more will begin over the next few weeks. This list of celebrations, ordered by start date, will help you plan for it all. Happy Fall!

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 23
Admission: Thru 9/11: $19/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/23: $24/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under

This medieval time trip began in late August and gets a big endorsement from me as one of the best annual events in the area. You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment — exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, plus slides, play areas, and games. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of “mead” is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy. Get a glimpse of and a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Weekends September 3 – November 6
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12 (look for a deal here

Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, and more. They also offer field trips and birthday parties, something to keep in mind for autumn-born children. And a tip based on our experience there: Do not, I repeat, do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, MD
When: Ongoing; Pumpkin patch open September 17 – October 31
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free

This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds adorned with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: Weekends September 10 – October 30
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under

Hartland’s long list of opportunities for amusement include hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). On September 17, be sure to don your coolest accessory for “Cape Day” — everyone who wears a cape, superhero or not, gets $2 off admission. And FYI: The apple picking comes highly recommended.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE, WDC
When: September 17, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is always huge If you don’t mind crowds, there is tons to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: September 17-18
Admission: $17/adults, $8/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free

At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts and entertainment. More than forty juried artisans from across the nation will demonstrate their trades and sell their wares, while two stages of family entertainment delight audiences with 18th-century amusements. Try your hand at 18th century cricket — demonstrations and cricket games will be played throughout the weekend. General Washington will preside many festivities. And fair fare will be available from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant concession stands.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 17 – November 8
Admission: $10/weekdays, $15/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up

This festival is HUGE. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains seven slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd! September 17-18 is a preview weekend, then it opens daily September 24.

Pumpkin Village Fall Fest
Where: Leesburg Animal Park
When: September 17 – November 8
Admission: $12.95/adult, $9.95/ages 2-12, under 2 are free

The animals are usually the main draw at the park, but this time of year, there are activities galore that bring visitors to enjoy some seasonal fun. Slides, wagon rides, moon bounces, a maze, pedal carts, and live entertainment are fall additions. And, of course, animals add to the mix of amusement with pony rides, animals to pet and feed, and even camel rides.

Wayside Farm Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, VA
When: September 17 – October 30
Admission: $10, ages 2 and under are free

The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, watch piggies race, pick a pumpkin, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slide, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more. Mention KidFriendly DC at the register and get a 20% discount!

Taste of Falls Church
Where: Falls Church
When: September 17
Admission: Free

Falls Church’s annual autumn tradition returns, highlighting the area’s popular restaurants and featuring live entertainment, pony rides, children’s amusements, crafters, businesses and civic organizations. Festival goers can sample cuisine from city restaurant kitchens for $3 per “taste” or 10 “tastes” for $25. The children’s activity tent offers face painting and craft projects. Most rides will also require the purchase of tickets.

National Book Festival
Where: Washington Convention Center
When: September 24
Admission: Free

Book enthusiasts, young and old, come from all over for this annual festival that celebrates reading. Works by more than 120 authors, poets, and illustrators will be showcased and the creators themselves will be at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for special appearances. All genres will be represented on stages — Children, Teens, Picture Books, Contemporary Life, Culinary Arts, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Science and Special Programs — where readings, presentations, book signings, photo ops with writers (and costumed PBS characters), and more exciting experiences for guests will take place. Check out authors scheduled to appear to help plan your day there.

Occoquan Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Mill Street in Occoquan, VA
When: September 24-25
Admission: Free

Plan for a day of family fun as the streets of Occoquan come to life with beautiful art, live music and great food! For the 47th year, the historic town will close its streets and host over 300 contemporary and country crafters and artisans from across the US. Find one-of-a-kind, hand crafted items galore! Located just 20 minutes south of Washington DC, but far from the hustle and bustle of a big city, exhibitors and shoppers alike will enjoy the small town oasis nestled along the Occoquan River.

Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farm, Chantilly, VA
When: September 24 – October 31
Admission: $9.95/weekdays, $16.95/holiday and weekends

This festival at one of my favorite farms in the area has all the trappings for a great time on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a bamboo maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more. Some features are available weekends only, but there’s more than plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there.

Harvest Festival
Where: Belvedere Plantation
When: September 24 – November 5
Admission: $9.25 – $22.50, depending on day/time (look for a deal here)

The Fredericksburg farm has loads to keep the whole gang entertained for hours. Slides, hayrides, ziplines, pumpkin patch, playground, flower picking, jumping pillow are just some of the attractions that little ones will love. And the Maize Maze, with a rooster path to navigate, is an adventure in itself. Plan to eat there — the Red Rooster Grill offers a variety of grilled favorites to satisfy all appetites.

Harvest Happenings
Where: McLean Community Center
When: September 24
Admission: $5

A fun and exciting day for your whole family, activities include field games, fall-inspired arts & crafts projects, a hands-on educational experience with Squeals on Wheels Traveling Petting Zoo, children’s entertainers, yummy concessions, and pumpkin decorating. All activities are included in the entrance fee with the exception of the purchase of pumpkins for $3 and food concessions.

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
Where: Middletown, MD
When: September 24 – October 31
Admission: Free

Pick out a pumpkin and enjoy other fun activities for little ones at this 131-acre farm. A 15-acre corn maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and wagon rides will delight young farm-goers. Concessions and craft shopping are part of the offerings, too.

Fall Adventures at Summers Farm
Where: Frederick, MD
When: September 24 – October 31
Admission: $7.95/weekdays, $11.95/weekends (look for a deal here)

With so much farm fun, there undoubtedly will be something to excite every kid. A pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, straw mountains, a mini obstacle course, even a campfire area if you want to “chill” out. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill, WDC
When: September 24
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce of 8th Street SE on Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo, back for another round of musical amusement. A Beer Garden for grown-ups is a bonus.

Autumn Activities
Where: Larriland Farm
When: Late September & through October
Admission: Free

Larriland is best known for their pesticide-free PYO fields, but in the fall, they offer a little more for farm-goers. Take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to find a potential jack-o-lantern, then play in the Boo Barn or make your way through the corn maze. Hayrides are only offered on weekends, while the barn and maze are open every day the farm is open.

Taste of Georgetown
Where: K Street NW, Wisconsin to Thomas Jefferson
When: October 1, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but pay per taste

In its 23rd year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of over 30 of the neighborhood’s premier restaurants, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings. Bring young foodies for free activities including face painting, balloon art, and more fun for kids of all ages. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Taste of Bethesda
Where: Woodmont Triangle
When: October 1, 11am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but you pay for food samples

According to some stats, Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S. Accurate or not, DC’s suburban neighbor definitely has a food scene worth celebrating. The 27th year of Bethesda’s famous food and music festival will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to the downtown’s Woodmont Triangle. Along with delicious food samples and live entertainment, there will be a kid’s corner for face painting, arts & crafts, and more fun for young ones. Admission is free, and taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets. Ticket sales end at 3:30pm.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, MD
When: Weekends October 1-30
Admission: $11, free for children 2 and under

Enjoy a country outing and join Butler’s in celebrating the harvest with traditional autumn activities. An area favorite, kids love jumping in the hayloft, heading out on hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food cost extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms, Bluemont, VA
When: October 1-31
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkin Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a weekend schedule of activities here.

Fall For Fairfax KidsFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center, VA
When: October 1-2
Admission: Free

This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. And be sure to check back on their website – the live entertainment has yet to be announced, and they usually have some pretty big-name acts perform.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds, MD
When: October 1-2
Admission: $7/21+, $5/ages 4-20, free for 3 and under

The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of activities here.) This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Autumn Harvest
Where: Schlagel Farm
When: Weekends in October, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $8/ages 2 and up

The farm known for it’s strawberry picking in spring also welcomes guests to pick out pumpkins in the fall. Hayrides, farm animals to visit, and small slides, and a straw maze give kids a little extra fun, too.

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 3rd-7th Streets NW, WDC
When: October 8-9, 12-7pm
Admission: Start at $10

Celebrate the food, wine, and culture of our the city during Columbus Day weekend. Along with the obvious — tastings from more than 50 area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, live entertainment, a beer garden, and an area with activities — dancing, games, storytelling, arts & crafts,and more — especially for kids.

Farm Harvest Days & Carnival Fun
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park
When: October 13-16
Admission: Free, but activities are extra

Fall is a busy — and fun — time on the farm, and you can be part of it at Frying Pan’s annual festival! Carnival fun and games start on run October 13-16 with rides, games, fair food, and more. On Saturday & Sunday, you can also watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet farm animals, and see traditional farm demonstrations.

18th Century Autumn Market Fair
Where: Claude Moore Colonial Farm
When: October 15-16, 11am – 4:30pm
Admission: $8/adult, $3/ages 3-12, under 3 are free

Enjoy the splendor of fall on a living history farm. Warm yourself by the fire while savor crisp local apples, spit roasted chicken, and hearty breads. Watch and participate with period tradesmen like the spinners and blacksmith. Live music, singing and dancing, and games are also among the festivities. And kids will delight in seeing turkeys, pigs, and chickens. Period food, beverages, and wares available for purchase.

Game On, Greater Washington
Where: FedEx Field
When: Saturday,
Admission: Free (but some activities are extra)

The American Diabetes Association is teaming up with the Washington Redskins for this one-of-a-kind festival featuring activities for the entire community, from rappelling and zip lining, to biking and fun runs, and everything in between. Including a ton of family and kid friendly events (kids’ zone with glitter tattoos, inflatable bounce and slide and so much more), the adventure-filled day is designed to raise funds for diabetes education, programs, research and advocacy. Registration fees vary depending on activity but the Kids’ Zone and entrance is free, and it’s an awesome opportunity to check out the Redskins stadium like never before, all while having fun for a good cause.

Fall Festival and Craft Beer Showcase
Where: Cathedral Commons
When: October 22
Admission: Free

Cathedral Commons, the mixed-use development located on Wisconsin Avenue, is hosting its second annual Fall Festival & Craft Beer Showcase. The free community event will feature live entertainment including craft beer tastings, live music, food offerings from neighborhood restaurants, and fall activities for the kids — a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating, face painting, and an inflatable slide.

Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in October
Admission: Free

There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with a couple of different festivals taking place. The Apple Harvest Festival is October 8-9, offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 22 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, MD
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities

While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! You still pay for pumpkins and cider – and their can’t-miss caramel apples.

Have a favorite festival you don’t see listed here? Let us know about it in the comments!


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

From City Streets to Country Farms, Celebrate at these Fall Festivals

Jump for joy...fall festivals are in season!

Jump for joy…fall festivals are in season!



Fall is just about here and so are the scores of festivals that come along with it. They celebrate everything from the season to communities to cuisine to medieval times. Enjoy local art and culture, pick pumpkins and take a hayride on the farm, get a taste of local eats, time trip back to the 16th century… some of the fun has already begun, and even more will start over the next few weeks. This list of fall festivals, ordered by start date, will help you plan for it all.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD
When: Weekends through October 25
Admission: Thru 9/13: $19/ages 16 and up, $8/ages 7-15. 9/22-10/21: $24/ages 16 and up, $10/ages 7-15. Free for ages 6 and under

This time trip back to medieval times began in late August with a big endorsement from me as one of my very favorite annual events in the area. But it’s a must-go among fall fests, so it’s getting a plug again. You just can’t beat the amazing variety of entertainment exciting jousting matches, cheeky comedy shows, fire eaters, sword swallowers, tight rope walkers and other balancing acts, jugglers, musical performances, puppetry, even a flea circus. And walking among knights, maidens, pirates, and villagers in Revel Grove, the charming location that resembles a 16th-century village, as you chomp on turkey legs and down cups of mead is an immensely fun and interesting jaunt back in time that any age can enjoy. Get a glimpse of and a little more background on the event here and here, both previous posts about my love of Ren Fest.

Montpelier Farms Fall Festival
Where: Upper Marlboro, MD
When: Weekends September 5 – November 1
Admission: $10/ages 13 and up, $8/ages 3-12 (look for a deal here)

Enjoy all of the staples of a fall festival on the farm — pumpkins, hayrides, animals, hill slides, and more. A tip based on our experience there: Do not, I repeat, do not miss the corn maze. It’s EPIC.

Fall Weekends at Clark’s Elioak Farm
Where: Ellicott City, MD
When: Ongoing; Pumpkin patch open September 19 – October 31
Admission: $5, babies 1 and under are free

This fairytale of a farm doesn’t have a special fall festival per se, but with so many activities, including seasonal delights like pumpkins, cider, and Halloween fun, it’s like a celebration all the time. And it all takes place on the sprawling grounds spattered with installations practically straight out of a storybook (they were actually salvaged from The Enchanted Forest, an old Ellicott City amusement park). Kids can sit on a wall with Humpty, Peek in the Three Bears’ windows, climb aboard Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, explore the Old Woman’s shoe. If that’s not enough, there are hayrides, cow train rides, slides, farm animals to pet, a pumpkin patch, the pine tree maze, and more. On fall weekends, guests can also enjoy special activities like pumpkin coloring and crafts, a teddy bear visit, and gem mining. Face painting and pit beef are also available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hartland Orchard Fall Festival Weekends
Where: Markham, VA
When: Weekends September 12 – October 31
Admission: $10/ages 3 and up, free for ages 2 and under

Hartland’s long list of opportunities for amusement include hayrides, pumpkin patches, a 60-foot slide, a corn maze, duck and pig races, and pony rides (some activities cost extra). On September 19, be sure to don your coolest accessory for “Cape Day” — everyone who wears a cape, superhero or not, gets $2 off admission. And FYI: The apple picking comes highly recommended.

Columbia Heights Day Festival
Where: 11th Street NW, from Park to Kenyon, WDC
When: September 12, 11am – 6pm
Admission: Free

The neighborhood’s 9th annual festival will celebrate the start of the new season and the community. Columbia Heights’ food vendors, a beer garden, and live music will be there to enjoy all day. Get to know some of the great causes organizing right in the neighborhood. Themed tent areas will invite guests to explore the world in a cultural section, check-out the beautiful work of local artisans, and take a moment to focus on health and wellness. The truly adventurous can run through their version of an adult warrior obstacle course, including a moon bounce! Families can also enjoy the festival together at the Bloom Bar Fun Tent and the Fun Field located on Harriet Tubman Elementary School yard.

Celebrate 17th Street
Where: 17th Street NW, from Riggs Place to P Street, WDC
When: September 12, 12-6pm
Admission: Free

This free event celebrates the 17th Street Corridor and surrounding community with musical performances throughout the afternoon, artist vendors, a pet zone, a kids zone, exposure for non-profit groups, and appearances by city officials to celebrate the community and businesses.

Colonial Market & Fair
Where: Mount Vernon, VA
When: September 19-20
Admission: $17/adults, $8/kids 6-11, children 5 and under are free

At George Washington’s old stomping grounds, they re-create a lively early-American marketplace with demonstrations, crafts and entertainment. More than forty juried artisans from across the nation will demonstrate their trades and sell their wares, while two stages of family entertainment delight audiences with 18th-century amusements. Try your hand at 18th century cricket — demonstrations and cricket games will be played throughout the weekend. General Washington will preside many festivities. And fair fare will be available from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant concession stands.

Fall Pumpkin Festival
Where: Ticonderoga Farm, Chantilly, VA
When: September 19 – November 8
Admission: $9.95/weekdays, $16.95/holiday and weekends

This festival at one of my favorite farms in the area has all the trappings for a fun on the farm: hayrides, swings, Noah’s Ark playground, hillside slides, s’mores roasting, cornshucking demos, a petting farm, a maze, antique tractors and firetruck, a pumpkin patch, and much, much more (seriously, see the entire list here). The Cow Pow Train, Jump and Bounce Pillow, face painting, and some children’s games are available weekends only, but there’s obviously plenty to keep kids entertained any day of the week. For a peek at it all, see this post about their Winter Festival and this one about a field trip there.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Where: Centreville, VA
When: September 19 – November 8
Admission: $9/weekdays, $14/weekends, $17 prime weekend for ages 2 and up

This festival is HUGE. So big that they actually have a Tips & Resources page on the website to help guests prepare and navigate their way around the sprawling venue that contains seven slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, live entertainment, farm animals, and lots more. Expect some lines, especially for the giant slides that take you swooping down several humps over a hillside. There is also a Kiddie Zone just for little ones aged 5 and under. Be prepared for a crowd! September 19-20 is a preview weekend, then it opens daily September 26.

H Street Festival
Where: H Street NE, WDC
When: September 19, 12-7pm
Admission: Free

The annual festival on northeast DC’s thriving hip corridor is always huge If you don’t mind crowds, there is tons to see and do. The event features loads of live entertainment, including a kids stage; cool art exhibits; food trucks; crafts for sale by local vendors; fashion shows; dancin’ in the street; and kids’ activities, including face painting, story telling, and moon bounces. Public transportation is recommended, as parking is guaranteed to be difficult.

Wayside Farm Fall Fun
Where: Berryville, VA
When: September 19 – November 1
Admission: $10

The whole family can enjoy hours of farm fun for visitors of all ages. Get lost in the corn maze, watch piggies race, pick a pumpkin, visit farm animals and check out the goat walk, whiz down slide, romp in the play yard. Admission covers all of those activities and even more.

Fall Festival & Corn Maze
Where: Greenstreet Gardens, Lothian, MD
When: Weekends September 19 – November 1
Admission: $13.95 (look for a deal here)

This seasonal celebration in Anne Arundel County boasts all one could want for a day of fall fun, including some unique features. Little ones can play in a corn pit, like a sand pit but with corn kernels. And the slide, it goes underground. There’s also a jumping pillow, cow train, hayrides, a straw bale maze, tire tower, and even more.

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch
Where: Middletown, MD
When: September 19 – October 31
Admission: Free

Pick out and pumpkin and enjoy other fun activities for little ones at this 131-acre farm. A 14-acre corn maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and wagon rides will delight young farm-goers. Concessions and craft shopping are part of the offerings, too.

Fall Adventures at Summers Farm
Where: Frederick, MD
When: September 26 – November 1
Admission: $7.95/weekdays, $11.95/weekends (look for a deal here)

Word has it there’s a sprawling corn maze shaped like Taylor Swift’s face at Summers Farm. But if that doesn’t excite your kids (Team Katy, perhaps?) then pretty much everything else will — a pumpkin patch, giant jumping pillows, live entertainment, hay rides, hay slides, pig races, rubber ducks races, and more. Be sure to check the calendar for any special events going on.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
Where: 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill, WDC
When: September 27, 11am – 5pm
Admission: Free

Showcasing the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE in Capitol Hill, this annual festival is fun for all ages. Enjoy tours of the historic barracks, live entertainment, a petting zoo, food and art vendors, and tons of fun for kids, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Instrument Petting Zoo, back for another here of musical amusement. And a Beer Garden for grown-ups is a bonus.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
Where: Germantown, MD
When: Weekends September 26 – October 31
Admission: $11, free for children 2 and under

Enjoy a country outing and join Butler’s in celebrating the harvest with traditional autumn activities. An area favorite, kids love jumping in the hayloft, heading out on hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more. Some activities and food cost extra. Purchase there or bring along a picnic, but be sure to treat the kids – and yourself – to a yummy caramel apple!

Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Where: Great Country Farms, Bluemont, VA
When: September 26 – October 31
Admission: $10/adults $8/kids weekdays, $12/adult $10/kids weekends, ages 2 and under are free

Great Country is known for its awesome festivals, and the Pumpkin Harvest is no exception. Thrills for little people (okay, us grown-ups, too) include P-Rex, the pumpkin eating dinosaur; Rubber Ridge, the tractor tire mountain; the Pumpkin Princess in the pumpkin patch, a giant Pumpkin’ Jumpin’ Pillow; five mazes; 60-foot slides, rope swings, tractor rides, and even more fun in the country. Find a future jack o’ lantern in the pumpkin patch, the largest u-pick patch in the area. See a schedule of activities here.

Rhode Island Row Fall Fest
Where: 2300 Washington Place, NE
When: October 3, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Leaves are turning, harvest time is here. Rhode Island Row has the perfect family-friendly way to celebrate the season – a Fall Fest with live music and free kids activities. Enjoy the sounds of The JoGo Project, while savoring scrumptious food and drink from the popular Carolina Kitchen and its Fall Fest Beer Garden. There’s something for all ages – face painting and balloon creations for the young and a vintage car show for the young at heart. A free shuttle offers an easy ride to even more entertainment — the annual Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Fall Fest nearby. The Rhode Island Row Fall Fest is free and open to the public.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest
Where: Great Frederick Fairgrounds, MD
When: October 3-4
Admission: $5, free for ages 2 and under

The Frederick Fairgrounds are transformed into a German village where dancing, live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more will make for a fun time for all ages. Especially for kids: face painting, pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, musical entertainment, and they claim they have a few more tricks up their sleeves just to keep everyone surprised. (See a schedule of activities here.) This all benefits Frederick County charities.

Fall For Fairfax KidsFest
Where: Fairfax County Government Center, VA
When: October 3-4
Admission: Free

This annual event by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. includes exciting, interactive, and educational programs, entertainment and activities. Especially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children, activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, a petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, live entertainment, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. And be sure to check back on their website – the live entertainment has yet to be announced, and they usually have some pretty big-name acts perform.

Taste of DC
Where: Pennsylvania Ave., 3rd-7th Streets NW, WDC
When: October 10-11, 12-7pm
Admission: $10, $5/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under

Celebrate the food, wine, and culture of our the city during Columbus Day weekend. Along with the obvious — tastings from more than 50 area restaurants — there will be cooking demos, live entertainment, a beer garden, and a Worldwide Family Fun Stop with activities — dancing, games, storytelling, arts & crafts,and more — especially for kids.

Marker-Miller Orchards Festivals
Where: Winchester, VA
When: Several weekends in September and October
Admission: Free

There’s a variety of fun to be had throughout the season with a couple of different festivals taking place. The Apple Harvest Festival is October 10-11, offering a weekend of, well, everything apples: 20 varieties of apples, apple cobbler, apple caramel sundaes, plus the wagon rides and cow train for kids. October 24 is their annual Pumpkin Festival, when you can find your own Great Pumpkin and enjoy all the usual festivities at the orchard.

Homestead Farm Fall Festival
Where: Poolesville, MD
When: October – exact dates TBD
Admission: Free, but there are fees for some activities

While Homestead doesn’t have an official festival, the farm embraces the spirit of autumn every year. Tractor rides out to the pumpkin patches, apple picking, hot cider, farm animals, and scarecrows make it a great place to spend a few hours enjoying the season with the family. And the good thing about the lack of a festival, admission is free! Of course, you still pay for pumpkins and cider. And can’t-miss caramel apples.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, Competition, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Nature, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

Field Tripping at Ticonderoga Farms

trip_pillow

Since I have a bit of experience planning activities for kids, Owen’s teacher asked if I might help organize a pumpkin patch field trip for the 2nd grade. Of course, I was more than happy to assist and knew immediately which locale I’d suggest: Ticonderoga Farms.

trip_patch

I’d been on fall festival field trips before to other, more popular places, so I had some specific reasons for selecting Ticonderoga. It has enough attractions to keep a big group of 7-year-olds amused for hours, but it’s way more mellow than its well-known neighbor down the street (where I’ve had a mini panic attack or two thinking I’d lost a child amid the massive crowds). There are several long slides, an awesome giant jumping pillow, farm animals to visit, a playground with all kinds of fun features, old firetrucks to climb on, fire pits for warming up and making s’mores, a bamboo maze, and other play-inviting attractions scattered about the many acres. Plus, a hayride to a pumpkin patch is included in the field trip package, and all of the kids got to pick one to bring home.

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trip_slides

trip_truck

We practically had the place to ourselves — we definitely were the only field trip there — so there was no waiting to enjoy any of the attractions. It also made it easy for chaperons to keep track of all the kids. We had a designated area, in a barn with a few big tables, for storing belongings and eating lunch. And before boarding the bus to head back to school, we took advantage of the fire pits and enjoyed s’mores. The concession stand, which usually sells kits for making them, is closed weekdays, so I brought all the necessary components, and we ended the outing on a very sweet note.

trip_pillow2

Ticonderoga Farms is located in Chantilly, Va. Hours are 9am – 6pm. Admission is $9.95 on weekdays (for field trips, too, but it includes the hayride and pumpkins) and $14.95 on weekends.

The farm is open every season during festival times, and the current fall fest runs through this Sunday, November 3, and I highly recommend going while you can! They’ll be welcoming visitors again at the end of November through mid-December for the Winter Christmas Festival, which you can read about and get a glimpse of here.

And I’ve got to give a shout-out to Utley’s Transportation Service and their friendly bus driver for getting us all there and back safely.

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Filed under All ages, Fall, Farm, Festival, Outdoor, School Event, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend

The Weekend Round-Up: August 31-September 2

Catch evening games all weekend at Nationals Park

Catch evening games all weekend at Nationals Park



Just because summer is coming to its unofficial end, that doesn’t mean the fun is, too. While you savor the final days of many quintessential seasonal activities, you can start enjoying some of autumn’s best. And then there are plenty of special events and DC mainstays in between (find a list of the latter on the Everyday Play page). Happy Long Weekend!

Season Finales
Where: Various locales
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by activity

This weekend is the last of many pursuits that we’ve been enjoying all summer long – outdoor swimming, concerts and movies under the stars, Mini Golf at the museum among them. If you’re hoping to get in one final jazz show in the Sculpture Garden, round of golf at the Building Museum, or day at an outdoor public pool, then check out the Summer 2013 guide, which has details on all of those diversions and many more.

Hear the Blues
Where: Carter Barron Amphitheater
When: Saturday, 12-7:30pm
Admission: Free

Head to the outdoor stage in Rock Creek Park for the 25th Annual DC Blues Festival. Along with the line-up of performers, there will be musical workshops throughout the day, where both children and adults can learn about Blues music. Kids will especially enjoy the opportunity to try making their own music at an instrument petting zoo. View the schedule of both musical acts and extra fun here.

Ren Fest
Where: Revel Grove, Crownsville, Md.
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: $17/adults, $10/ages 7-18

The merriment continues in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 20, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual Maryland Renaissance Festival. For more details on what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

Page-to-Stage Festival
Where: Kennedy Center
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday
Admission: Free

More than 40 theater companies will present readings and rehearsals of plays and musicals during the Kennedy Center’s 12th annual Page-to-Stage Festival. And they are all free and open to the public. Performances will take place at several venues around DC, and there are a few that are family-friendly, including The Three Musketeers, by Faction of Fools, The Young Spectaculars and the Front Yard Adventure by Arts on the Horizon, “Mockingbird” from the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences, One More Night by 1st Stage Theatre, A Mile in My Shoes from Bowie State University, and The Inaugural Election for President of Mrs. Jacobson’s Sixth Grade Class by the Federal Theatre Project. For details, times, and dates, see the full schedule.

The Ol’ Ballgame
Where: Nationals Park
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Admission: Ticket prices vary

The Nats are hosting the Mets this weekend, with an evening games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Take advantage of the Harris Teeter Family Pack promo and enjoy other extras on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are still available for all of the games. And it’s not too late to get in on the Jr. Nationals Kids Club – this post has more details about it.

Show Time
Where: Local theatres
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by venue

The children’s theatre selection is still slower than usual this time of summer, so right now there are only a few options that kids will enjoy. You can still catch a performance of Dr. Seuss’s A Cat in the Hat at Adventure Theatre. Or head to the Puppet Co. where they’re presenting Circus! on strings all weekend. At the same venue, really little ones will enjoy this weekend’s Tiny Tots shows, Old MacDonald’s Farm on Saturday and Teddy Bear’s Picnic on Sunday – both begin at 10am. the grandson’s jr. are playing the Saturday morning show at Jammin’ Java, and Rocknoceros will be there for a special Labor Day performance on Monday. Olney Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line is on stages for a few more weeks. And the classic Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is back at Wolf Trap on Saturday evening.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
Where: Roosevelt Center
When: Friday through Monday
Admission: Free (rides, activities, concessions cost extra)

There’s something for everyone at this shindig in Greenbelt happening all weekend – carnival ries, art shows, live entertainment, crafts and activities for kids, a talent show, and more. It all begins today with the carnival part opening this evening from 6pm – 10pm. Over the weekend it’ll be open Saturday 11am – 9:30pm, Sunday 12-9:30pm, and Monday, 11am – 6pm.

Virginia Scottish Games
Where: The Plains, Virginia
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 9pm
Admission: $20adults, $5/ages 5-12, free for under 5

Celebrate Scottish heritage at this annual fair featuring everything from music and dance to sports and game to food and cars, even Scottish dogs. Much of it will be showcased through competition, but there is plenty that all visitors can partake in, too. Two-day adult passes are available for $30. Festival gates will close at 6pm both days, but concerts will continue until 9pm.

Labor Day Concert at the Capitol
Where: West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building
When: Sunday, 8pm
Admission: Free

The National Symphony Orchestra continues its annual Labor Day Weekend tradition with a free concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, this year’s Americana-themed concert features Time for Three, a young ensemble of two violins and double bass, whose genre-bending performances have earned international attention. Gates open to the public at 3pm, and if the 8pm show is too late, you can catch the open dress rehearsal at 3:30pm. In the case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Eisenhower Theatre. You can call the NSO Summer Concert Hotline at 202.416.8114 after 2:30pm for updates.

The Big Dig
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday & Sunday, 9am – 6pm
Admission: $12/adult, $10/child

Great Country Farm’s annual Potato Harvest takes place this Saturday and Sunday. Take the scenic drive out to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains early for all-you-can-eat pancakes topped with homemade fruit syrups, then hop on a hayride that will take you out to u-pick fields where you can dig for gold — yukon gold potatoes, that is. Breakfast is served from 9am – 12pm, and the hayrides run all day, but the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Along with breakfast and the Dig, admission includes access to the rest of the farm’s attractions, including a cow train, mazes, barnyard petting area, pick your own fields, and more. Visit the website for more information and directions.

How ‘Bout Them Apples?
Where: Area farms
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by locale

The apple picking season has begun! Several farms in the area have opened their orchards for guests to start gathering. This list of area farms and orchards offering pick-your-own opportunities was posted last year, but links have been updated, and the apples are ready for harvest once again. I always recommend calling ahead to be sure the fruits are available the day you plan to go.

Real Pirates Sailing Off
Where: National Geographic Museum
When: Through Sunday
Admission: $11/adults, $9/ages 5-12, free for under 5.

It’s your last chance to get on board Nat Geo’s Real Pirates exhibit, which illustrates the history of a notorious slave-turned-pirate ship and the world of the diverse people whose lives converged on the vessel. Follow the ship’s history as you tour the displays, see and even touch artifacts recovered from its sunken wreckage, feel like you’re there as you view replicas of the ship, try your hand at knot-tying, hoist the Jolly Roger, and more.

Labor Day Open Studio
Where: Little Loft
When: Monday, 9:30am – 12pm
Admission: $15/child

Fun activities for ages 18 months – 10 years! Check out the space, try the tactile stations, and make a sunburst as you say goodbye to summer and head into fall. Plan to stay at least 45 minutes. Pay at the door — cash, check, or credit card accepted. Adult caregiver must be present.


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Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Farm, Festival, Free, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Sports, Summer, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

Festival Time at Ticonderoga Farms

Where to go first?! So much fun to be had in every direction.

 

It’s rare that I come home from an outing and immediately get on my computer to post about it here on the blog. Usually, I put it on my very long list of places and activities to write about and get to it… eventually.

But today was different. We had such a great time at Ticonderoga Farms for their Winter Christmas Festival — not to mention, there’s limited time left to enjoy it this season — that here I am, not even home 20 minutes, blogging about our visit there.  Yep, it was that much fun.

So, this was actually my first time at Ticonderoga.  (I could have sworn we’d been before, but I must have had it confused with another Virginia farm.) But I think I’m right to assume that the Winter Festival includes much of the same farm attractions as their fall fest, just with Christmas trees for sale (choose from the lot or cut down your own) and appearances by Santa.  Here’s a recap in pictures of our day there and a peek at some of the fun.

 

Jumping with pure joy

Jumping with pure joy

The "wobbly bridge" spans a pond where ducks hang out

The “wobbly bridge” spans a pond where ducks hang out

Wheeee! You've got your pick of slides to whiz down.

Wheeee! You’ve got your pick of slides to whiz down.

Peek-a-boo! Sash found a nice hiding place in an old firetruck

Peek-a-boo! Sash found a nice hiding place in an old firetruck

The bamboo maze includes doorways and a nice leafy canopy overhead

The bamboo maze includes doorways and a nice leafy canopy overhead

Hanging with the goats

Hanging with the goats

Chow time

Chow time

"Hey, lady...take a picture, it'll last longer"

“Hey, lady…take a picture, it’ll last longer”

Chickens, too! (They also have a couple of peacocks.)

Chickens, too! (They also have a couple of peacocks.)

The lovely playground area includes an old-school seesaw (ie, no handles...hold on tight, kids!)

The lovely playground area includes an old-school seesaw (ie, no handles…hold on tight, kids!)

All tired out, in a good way

All tired out, in a good way

And just because it was so much fun (grown-ups welcome, too!), another jumping pillow shot

And just because it was so much fun (grown-ups welcome, too!), another jumping pillow shot

 

What these pictures don’t include are even more things to play in and on, like swings, teepees, and tunnels. There are also fire pits where you can warm up and roast marshmallows for s’mores (kits are available at the concession stand), hayrides, and small “mountains” to climb. And my shots don’t begin to capture how pretty it is there. The scenery is gorgeous and peaceful — even with lots of kids running around shrieking with joy.

The Winter Christmas Festival at Ticonderoga Farms runs again tomorrow, December 2, and for two more weekends, December 8-9 and 15-16. Hours are 10am – 4pm. Admission is $5.95/person, free for 23 months and under. Concessions  are available at extra cost and include hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy, chips, apple cider, hot chocolate and tea, cold drinks, and a few other treats.

 

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Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Fall, Farm, Festival, Holidays, Nature, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend, Winter