Category Archives: Eats

County Fair Season Around the DC Area

Where do you get carnival rides and games, farm animals, the junk food gamut, live entertainment, pony rides, piglet races, and wares for sale all in once place? Down at the County Fair. The season for them runs from early August through mid-September, and you can get the lowdown on this year’s events around the area below. Happy Fairin’!

Fairfax County 4-H Fair and Carnival
What: Four days of festivities include livestock and dog demos, 4-H exhibits, fair food, carnival rides, games, vendors, live entertainment, and more.
When: August 1-4, see website for daily hours.
Where: Frying Pan Farm Park | 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon, VA
Cost: Tickets are $1 each or 24 for $20 (most ride are 3-5 tickets). Unlimited Ride Wristbands for Thursday or Friday are available for $25 — purchase by August 1.

Howard County Fair
What: The 74th annual fair begins this coming weekend, and you have through next Saturday to enjoy rides, magic shows, musical entertainment in the evenings, pig races and pony rides, the Kids & Critters barn, Demolition Derby, a pro rodeo, and more. Most of the rides cost extra, and packages are available, so be sure to check out the website to see what’s available if you plan to go.
When: August 3-10, 8am – 11pm daily, though activity times vary, so be sure to check schedules.
Where: 2210 Fairground Road | West Friendship, MD
Cost: Admission is $5-7/age 10+, $3/seniors, free/under 10. Rides and games are extra.

Montgomery County Fair
What: This fair is a family fave. (You can get a glimpse of one of our experiences there and read a review from a few years ago), so trust me when I say that there is so much to do, you have to see the schedule on the website for yourself to get the full scope. Highlights include lots of 4-H exhibits and demos, including opportunities to visit with some of the animals; animal races, pony rides, a KidZone with interactive games and activities, tons of carnival and kiddie rides, arts & crafts, monster trucks and a demolition derby, and much more.
When: August 9-17, times vary by day so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds | 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD.
Cost: Admission is $12/advance $15/at gate for age 12+, free/11 & under. Tickets for rides cost extra. A one-day all-u-can-ride carnival wristband is available for $25. And note that parking is $10 at the fairgrounds, but FREE parking and shuttle bus service are available from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.

Prince William County Fair
What: Virginia’s largest annual county fair includes 4-H exhibits, rides, contests (think pie eating and water balloon tossing), animal shows, craft demos, the Children’s Barn, Kid’s Zone, live performances, and more. Note that August 9 is Kid’s Friday when all admissions are $6. And there are other special days with all kinds of promos, so be sure to check the schedule for details.
When: August 9-17, Hours vary by day, so check the daily schedules.
Where: Prince William County Fairgrounds | 10624 Dumfries, Manassas, VA.
Cost: Admission is $12/age 14-59, $6/seniors and age 5-13, free/4 & under. Be sure to look for daily specials, too!

Arlington County Fair
What: We’ve been and have had a great time. It’s big enough for a fun-filled day, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming, and you feel rushed to get to everything. There are carnival rides for everyone from toddlers to adults, and the kids especially loved the pony rides and piglet races. You can also check out competitive exhibits, enjoy live entertainment, cheer on a variety of racing animals, view outdoor movies, and take little ones to the Kids’ Court for moon bouncing, face painting, and more. And new this year: A beer garden and goat yoga!
When: August 14-18, hours vary by day, so check the schedule for specifics.
Where: Thomas Jefferson Community Center | 3501 Second St., Arlington, VA. Get parking/shuttle information here.
Cost: Admission is free. Buy tickets to use for rides and other activities: $1/ticket, $20/24 tickets, $40/48 tickets.

Prince George’s County Fair
What: A variety of entertainment and attractions for all ages — 4-H exhibits magic and dance shows, pig and duck races, a horse pull competition, a chain saw artist, a K-9 show, and much more.
When: September 5-8, hours vary by day.
Where: Showplace Arena | Upper Marlboro, MD.
Cost: Admission is $6/age 12+, $5/age 6-11, free/5 & under. Rides and games are extra.

Anne Arundel County Fair
What: Carnival rides and games, animal exhibits, monster trucks, pony rides, garden tractor pulls, pig races, pie eating contests, a talent show, live music and much more
When: September 11-15, check the website for hours.
Where: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds | 1450 General’s Highway, Crownsville, MD
Cost: Admission is $10/age 9+,free/8 & under. Rides and games cost extra.

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Kids Can Get Cooking with Tiny Chefs!

Does your child love to help out in the kitchen? Are they the next Julia or Jacques or Ina or José? If your kid is keen on cooking — or maybe you want to introduce them to it in a fun way — there is a company who’s specialty is just that!

Tiny Chefs is the premier provider of kids cooking parties, classes, and camps in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Connecticut. Their cooking events are a fun way for kids to flex their creative muscles, spend time working in peer groups, and best of all, introduce them to the joy of cooking and baking!

Cooking teaches kids valuable skills that they can carry with them through life. Children practice basic math when they measure ingredients, reading comprehension as they follow a recipe, and team building as they work in groups. Bonus: They also build a strong foundation for healthy eating.

Even more, all of these skills are mixed in with delicious food and fun. Check out Tiny Chefs services to see how you can book or work them and get your kids cooking!

This post is sponsored by Tiny Chefs, however, I only promote programs, services, and events that I genuinely believe in and think would appeal to KFDC readers.

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Filed under Birthday Parties, Camp, Class, DC, Eats, Educational, Maryland, Professional Service, Sponsored Post, Virginia

Scenes from a Day at the 2018 Maryland Renaissance Festival

Ready for a day of merriment!

Just in case you’ve missed the other 8,693 times I’ve mentioned it on the blog, the Maryland Renaissance Festival is, hands down, my favorite annual event in the DC area. It begins in late August and runs on weekends through late October, producing a whole 16th-century village teeming with merriment every year.

It doesn’t have to be May for a maypole in Revel Grove

We made our first excursion of the season there this past weekend. We try to go at least twice each year, as one day never feels like enough to enjoy the many, many festivities, plus there are pros (and cons) to going at different times. Early in the season, crowds are smaller (because it’s usually hot), and the admission fee is lower. Later in the season, the cool, crisp weather and autumn foliage adds some extra splendor to the visit (but also draws the masses).

A woodsy setting makes for nice shade early on and great foliage later!

It has become somewhat of a tradition to go with friends who we know enjoy it as much as we do, in the same way we do. We have a fairly laid back approach… we like to casually stroll around and take it all in, stop and watch performances as we happen upon them (generally, anyway), grab lot of bites to eat throughout the day, sip on snakebites as we wander, and let the kids enjoy lots of games and activities. Yes, this does mean we’re paying beyond admission, but costs for concessions and activities are quite reasonable, and we plan ahead to spend on them.

He’s been riding this slide since he was a baby (though we went tandem back then)

Medieval bowling?

Two shows we usually make a point of catching are the jousting matches and Wheel of Death. The former is a fantastic display of medieval pageantry as knights on horses battle it out, and the latter showcases a man performing amazing acrobatic feats on a towering contraption that looks like a hybrid of a windmill and hampster wheel. Unfortunately, we decided to skip the joust on Sunday because of the blazing heat and lack of shaded seats. The Wheel of Death, however, takes place under a lovely canopy of trees, so there was no missing that!

The Wheel of Death is a can’t-miss

I’ve written about Ren Fest a lot, including pretty recently, so I’ll just get to the scenes from our day. It really is a fantastic time, in my opinion, and I’d love to hear what all of you think about it if/when you go. Huzzah!

A festively adorned village

Dress like a Ren Fester — costumes for rent and to puchase!

Running in circles 😀

Funny things are everywhere…

Just $1 per slide!

Kids gather round for a hilarious puppet show

Watch a glass blowing demo and maybe even buy a freshly made piece

Food options galore!

You can’t go wrong with a turkey leg

A “No Holds Bard” wrestling match

An attempt to climb Jacob’s Ladder

Take home a new pet!

Or a dagger!

One last shot of the Wheel Walker… Huzzah!

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends August 25 – October 21, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $19-26/adult, $17-22/senior, $8-11/age 7-15, free/6 & under

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Educational, Exhibit, Fall, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Special Event, Weekend

Let the Merriment Begin…Ren Fest Returns this Weekend!

In case you weren’t aware (which must mean you’re new to KFDC), the Maryland Renaissance Festival is my very (very, very) favorite annual event in the area. I’ve rambled on about why so many times over the years, I’ll just direct you here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for the gist on why I love it so much.

In this post, you’ll find all the new info you need for this year’s event, plus some pics from last year to give you a glimpse of what to expect get you even more excited to go. Huzzah!

The merriment begins this Saturday, August 25, and runs every weekend, rain or shine, through October 21 in the lovely 16th century-style hamlet of Revel Grove in Crownsville, MD. Hours are 10am – 7pm. Admission is $19/adults, $17/seniors, $8/ages 7-15, free for 6 and under through September 9. After that, tickets go up to $26/adults, $22/seniors, $11/ages 7-15, still free for 6 and under. Multi-day passes that offer a discount are also available. Tickets can be reserved in advance online.

Special Days:
* August 25-26: Children’s Weekend – FREE admission for ages 15 and under with adult
* September 3: Senior’s Day – FREE admission for ages 62+
* September 8 & October 7: ASL Interpretation Days
* September 9: Renewal of Vows Ceremony — couples are invited to renew their commitment
* September 15-16: Celtic Celebration
* September 22-23: Special Guests – The Mediaeval Baebes
* September 29-30: Pirate Weekend — dress in your pirate best, aaargh!
* October 6-7: Shakespeare Weekend

* Bring a stroller or carrier for little ones, as there’s a lot of walking. I recommend a stroller that navigates over dirt paths easily.
* Get a map and schedule on your way in to help you navigate and plan your day
* If there’s show you really want to see, get to the stage a few minutes ahead of time to get good seats, so the kids have a good view.
* You might encounter less crowds on Sunday, when many folks are watching football
* Plan to spend on extras like food, games, and fun for kids (all reasonably priced, but it can add up)
* Let the kids dress up! Princesses, knights, fairies, pirates will fit right in.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Where: Revel Grove | Crownsville, MD ( get directions)
When: Weekends August 25 – October 21, 10am – 7pm
Admission: $19-26/adult, $17-22/senior, $8-11/age 7-15, free/6 & under

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Filed under 2018, All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Fall, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Outdoor, Special Event, Summer, Weekend