Tag Archives: Autumn Colonial Market Fair

Falling for the Weekend

An older photo, but a fall fave

Forgive the corny, cliché title of this post – it’s hard to come up with something clever week after week (not that they ever were that clever…). But trite or not, the reference to autumn is apropos for this roundup of weekend events, as so many of them salute the season.  Of course, there are also recommendations that make no allusion to the time of year. No matter what you and the kids decide to pursue, fall-themed or not, have a great time doing it. Happy Weekend!

Kids Euro Festival Thanks to the French-American Cultural Foundation, 27 EU embassies, and more than a dozen major cultural institutions, Europe is coming to us via the Kids Euro Festival, a virtual passport to four weeks of continental artistic adventures. This is the first weekend of the event that will present more than 200 FREE children’s performances all around the metro area. Mimes, storytellers, dancers, and puppeteers are just a few of the exciting acts that will perform at a variety of venues from October 14 – November 10.  See what’s on the schedule this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Autumn Colonial Market FairClaude Moore Colonial Farm is holding its annual fair on Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 4pm both days. Tradesmen and artisans — blacksmiths, potters, silversmiths, candle makers, and more —from all over the country will be there to demo their work and sell their wares.  Guests can also enjoy all kinds of colonial fare and watch as food cooks right over a fire pit, just like olden times. Along with the fair, you can also tour the farm, which is straight out of the 18th-century. Admission to the farm on the Autumn Market Fair weekend is $6/adults, $3/ages 3-12, free for children 2 and under.

Rock Creek Fall Heritage Day at Peirce MillStep back in time somewhere else on Saturday for a day-long celebration marking the re-opening of historic Peirce Mill during Rock Creek Park Heritage Day. Artists, craftspeople, and historians will line the mill yard and grounds, restored to their 1800’s appearance, to bring history alive. Visitors can join them for hands-on demonstrations, while park rangers and historian shed light on what life was like in the 19th century. There will also be tours of the restored mill, which will be grinding grain, as it did more than a century ago. A schedule of the day’s events and more info is available of the NPS website.

Truck TouchKids can pretend to drive a school bus, explore construction rigs, learn about EMS & recycling trucks, and many more vehicles at Suburban Nursery School’s annual Truck Touch. Along with the cool rides, guests can enjoy homemade baked goods and lunch from some favorite local vendors (pizza, ice cream, & hotdogs). It will all take place in the school’s parking lot on Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Admission is $5/person, free for children under 2. All programs benefit Suburban Nursery School, a non-profit, parent-run cooperative nursery school for over 50 years.

Pinkalicous and the Pink PumpkinRoom & Board is hosting a special event featuring award-winning author and illustrator Victoria Kann, reading from her latest book Pinkalicious and the Pink Pumpkin. Bring the kids, decorate pumpkins, and enter for a chance to win our kid-sized Jill table and four Little Jake chairs. Books are available for purchase at the event. It all takes place from 11am – 1pm, and the reading begins at noon.  The event is free, RSVP to roomandboard@brandlinkdcrsvp.com.

Taste of GeorgetownIn its 18th year, the Taste of Georgetown will showcase the spectacular cuisine of 30 of the neighborhood’s finest eateries, highlighting Georgetown’s culinary personalities and featuring nearly 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as wine pairings, the jazz talents of Blues Alley artists, and children’s activities such as caricatures, jugglers, and balloon artists. Wisconsin and M Streets NW is where this will all go down on Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Tasting tickets can be purchased online or at the event.

Best in ShowsDrumming with Dishes at the Atlas, The Three Billy Goats Gruff at The Puppet Co. Playhouse, Krazy Kitchen Science at Discovery Theater,  and Saturday Morning at the National are just a few children’s productions you can catch this weekend.  For even more performances, see this post about live entertainment this season.

What’s Grosser than Gross? – The National Geographic Museum’s latest exhibit for kids, “Animal Grossology,” features some of the slimiest, stinkiest, yuckiest creatures on earth…and their natural bodily functions. Yes, there’s plenty about poop, puke, and other icky processes all presented through many cool, creative, interactive installments.  Kids will love it (and so will adults). Admission is $8/adults, $6/ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under and includes the fun Weird But True exhibit as well as entrance to Ocean Soul: Photographs by Brian Skerry, a beautiful collection of images from oceans around the world that any photography buff or wildlife lover will find mesmerizing.

Fall FestsBurgundy Farm Country Day School and South Mountain Creamery are holding their annual fall festivals this weekend. And many more seasonal celebrations are taking place at local farms and other venues around the area.  See this post for details on all of them.

Family Day in the White House ‘HoodThe Neighbors to the President’s Consortium, a group of historic sites and museums in the White House neighborhood, is hosting a day of activities for families. Activities will include a scavenger hunt at the Renwick Gallery, an art safari at the Corcoran, candle making at the DAR Museum, and more. Detailed activity descriptions are available on the NTPC website.

Hop on the Halloween TrainThe “Eye Spy” Halloween Train at Cabin John Regional Park rides again! Get on board this Friday, Saturday and Sunday – tickets sales begin at 2pm, and rides are every half hour from 3-8pm. Tickets are $6 person and include “Eye Spy” game card and other activities for kids.

Family Fun Literacy DayThe Play With Words Children’s Museum in Vienna, in partnership with the Vienna Whole Foods Market and PBS Kids, is hosting a Family Fun Literacy Day on Saturday from 12-3pm. Join them, along with the characters from PBS Kids “Super Why” TV show, for a fun afternoon of literacy-related activities, including hands-on activities and a treasure hunt throughout the Vienna Whole Foods store, with prizes for the first 200 children. More information is available on the Play With Words website.

And the forecast is looking great for this weekend, so this post will come in handy if you want to take advantage of the weather:

The Best Places in the DC Area to Enjoy a Beautiful Day Outdoors with the Kids 

But if indoor pursuits sound like a better plan, you can get some ideas for them here:

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Eats, Educational, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Halloween, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Theatre, Trains, Virginia, Weekend

Autumn Fun at Claude Moore Colonial Farm

The start of our little time trip

It was quite serendipitous that our family visited Claude Moore Colonial Farm this past weekend.  We were on our way to a fall festival in northern Virginia when we hit traffic, massive traffic.  And looking ahead down I-66, it didn’t seem like it was going to let up soon enough for us to inch through it patiently.  So, we got off at the next exit and changed plans.

This is one of the great things about living in the DC- metro.  There is so much to do all over the area, you can revamp your day with one simple decision, no matter where you are, and still have a good time. In our case, we were fairly close to the Beltway, so I did a quick flip through my mental Rolodex of family recreation and, voila!, I remembered I had just read about Claude Moore as I was browsing No Monsters in My Bed and knew it was a convenient detour from where we were. I’d seen the sign for it on the GW Parkway countless times, and had always wondered about the attraction, but just hadn’t made it there.

Well, thanks to bad traffic we finally did, and it couldn’t have worked out better (except that we were a week early for one of their biggest weekends, which I’ll tell you more about in a bit).

An 18th-century farm relic

Claude Moore Colonial Farm is straight out of the 18th-century, a living history farm. Everything there has been recreated to look just as it did in 1771, with a tobacco barn, farm house, garden, orchard, animals, even a family (portrayed by actors) who live and work on the farm and go about their daily life as visitors pass through. A self-guided tour begins in the gift shop where you buy tickets ($3/adult, $2/children 3 and up) and get a bit of background on the farm.  There, we learned that all of the crops and trees are planted from heirloom seeds with origins that date back to the region during the 18th century. We were also told that we could feel free to pitch in and help the Bradley family with any farm work.

Owen leads the way

The farm isn’t huge — the whole walk is about 3/4 of a mile, and there is a dirt path that winds through it. A simple map given out in the gift shop depicts the layout, and Owen easily navigated for us.  After stopping to see geese in a wooden cage along the path, we explored the tobacco barn, where we could see part of the curing process as tobacco stalks hung from rafters to dry out, and 18th-century tools and equipment offered an idea of how it all worked. Just outside the barn, turkeys making some of the loudest gobbling noises I’ve ever heard (which thrilled the kids) sat in a wooden cage, and nearby along the path a few big hogs lolled about in their pen.

A farm family member show us her home

From there, we may our way to the farm house, passing by the garden and through the orchard on the way.  The farm house was easily the highlight of our tour, as we got to see 18th-century farm life in progress. Several members of the farm family were mashing potatoes for cottage pie (this is what we were later told by a woman who works there) on a table outside of the house, as chickens roamed freely around them. When one went inside the house to put something on the fireplace to cook, we followed and watched.  The house is literally one room, with a fireplace along one wall, a table pushed against another, a few chairs sitting in corners, herbs hanging from ceiling rafters to dry, a couple of shelves on the walls holding ceramic cups and containers.  Sleeping quarters are in a loft above; the whole family shares the space, sleeping on feather-filled mattresses. Family members were happy to answer questions, speaking in 18th-century vernacular, which fascinated the kids just as much as their home.

Sasha's favorite part of the farm

The rest of our tour we strolled around, winding through the orchard, checking out the root cellar where potatoes are stored, and visiting the farm fowl again. Our entire visit probably took less than two hours, but it was a quite an enjoyable learning experience for all us, and a great way to spend a nice day outdoors together.

And serendipity came into play again when I learned that this coming weekend is one of the best times to visit. The Autumn Colonial Market Fair will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16, from 11am – 4pm both days.  This is when tradesmen and artisans — blacksmiths, potters, silversmiths, candle makers, and more — come from all over to demo their work and sell their wares.  Guests can also enjoy all kinds of colonial fare and watch as food cooks right over a fire pit, just like olden times. Admission to the farm on the Autumn Market Fair weekend is $6/adults, $3/ages 3-12, free for children 2 and under.  More information is available on the Claude Moore Colonial Farm website.



Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Eats, Educational, Fall, Farm, Festival, Outdoor, Park, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend