Tag Archives: Fall for Fairfax Kids Fest

A Milestone this Weekend

The birthday boy with some of his biggest (and littlest) fans


There are a couple of things I feel compelled to note as I post this: 1) Despite the photo accompanying this round-up of weekend events, there is no Nats game (nor will there be another one until the 2012 season) and 2) Despite there being a bunch of cool activities for families happening over the next few days, I won’t be partaking in any of them.

See, this weekend I’m celebrating a milestone, and it’s not one of my kids who’s hitting it. That cute guy in middle of the photo (no, not the one with the beard, the one with the red hat), my awesome husband, is turning 40, so this weekend is all about him. The kids will be on a sleepover while we whoop it up with friends, until they join us for a family celebration on Sunday.

Now you’re probably wondering, why broadcast all this on a blog about things to do with kids? (Because it’s my blog, and I can do what I want!) Because “40″ deserves a shout-out, even on a blog about things to do with kids.   And because parenting — and life, for that matter — wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I wasn’t sharing the adventure with him.

And with that, here’s where the family fun is happening over the next few days. Happy Weekend! (And a very, very happy birthday to you, Levi.)

Taste of BethesdaI’ve heard many a time that Bethesda has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S.  True or not, the city definitely has a food scene worth celebrating, and that’s just what will be happening this Saturday from 11am – 4pm. Bethesda’s famous food and music festival, in its 22nd year, will bring 60 restaurants and five stages of entertainment to Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. Aong 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.

Columbia Heights Fall FestivalIf you were disappointed when the Columbia Heights Day Festival was cancelled by the hurricane, you can  make up for it on Saturday from 11am – 3pm. The Columbia Heights Youth Club, Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, The District Church, DC Department of Parks and Recreation, and Columbia Heights Day Initiative welcome the public for a fun day of free food, face painting, moon bouncing, candied apples, snow cones, popcorn, live music, games, and more.

Fall for Fairfax KidsFestThis 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 Wells Fargo KidZone with more than a dozen rides, bounces, and attractions. And that’s just for the kids. Adults can enjoy more than 75 exhibits, activities, and great festival food. While admission is free, some rides and concessions will require a fee. This all takes place on Saturday from 9am -6pm.

Saturday Morning at the NationalThe awesome free weekend program at the DC theatre begins this Saturday with a Reptile World show. Exotic creatures star in this amazing presentation. Michael Shwedick and his beguiling animal friends teach kids some thrilling and invaluable lessons about the ecology and themselves. Adults will be awed by Michael’s ability to present alligators, snakes, and other sometimes-scary reptiles without frightening even the youngest children. Performances take place at 9:30am and 11am, and tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are distributed half an hour prior to the start of shows on a first-come first-served basis. Only one ticket per person, and all attendees must be standing in line to receive a ticket. Children must be accompanied by an adult who remains present for the entire performance. Seating is limited, so get there early!

Show Time –  Yo Gabba Gabba Live, Beatrix Potter tales in puppet form, the Big Apple Circus, Lilly’s Plastic Purse, Alladin’s Luck, and Snow White are all on local stages this weekend.  This post about live entertainment this season has details on all of them.

Art on the AvenueCelebrate the diversity of Alexandria’s Del Ray community at this multicultural arts festival on Saturday from 10am -6pm.  Over 300 artists – jewelers, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, painters, sculptors, fabric artists, and musicians – will have their work on display and for sale. And kids activities have always been a vital part of the festival – scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, lotus flower design, screen art weaving are just some of the crafts to enjoy.  Food vendors will also be there offering hot dogs, BBQ, Indian fare, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and home made cider donuts.

Kinderfest Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, MD, is hosting the 31st Annual Kinderfest, a day focused on children that takes place every year on the first Sunday in October.  This Sunday from 12 – 5pm, there will be loads of events and activities to entertain the whole family: clowns and costumed characters, singers and dancers, pony and hay rides, carnival games, scarecrow workshops, sweet and savory refreshments, and spins on the famous Watkins carousel and miniature train.  Admission to the event is free, but some activities require a fee.  Visit the website for more info and directions and check out this post from last year for more on Watkins Regional Park.

Brazil Day at Yards ParkJoin the Amazonia Harvest Foundation and the Brazilian Consulate of Washington DC as they celebrate the Brazilian community and culture in Washington, DC.  The festival boasts an empowering mission to bring forth the best the Brazilian community of Greater-Washington has to offer and shine a spotlight on talented Brazilian performers, vendors, exhibitors and organizations that call the DC region home. Enjoy the extravaganza at the Yards Park on Sunday from 10am – 6pm.  Admission is free.

Frederick’s OktoberfestThis event rich in tradition and history offers fun for the entire family with dancing live music, children’s events, bratwurst, Oktoberfest bier, German wines, and much more. 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 kids activities here.) This all benefits Frederick County charities. It’s happening on Saturday 10am -6pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Thank you, NPG, thank you very muchDrop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday from 1-4pm and Sunday from 2-5pm, to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art. This weekend, learn about Elvis Presley

Ren Fest – The merriment continues in Crownesville, MD. On weekends through October 23, you can time trip at the charming medieval village that hosts the annual faire. For details on admission and what you will find there, check out this post about the event.

And for tried and true kids’ activities, rain and shine, these two posts have tons of ideas:

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

Rainy Day Recreation (ie, Indoor Fun)


Filed under All ages, Annual, Art, DC, Fall, Farm, Festival, Free, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Seasonal, Theatre, Weekend

Celebrate Fall from City Streets to Country Farms

Owen and his friend, Amelia, at last year's Cox Farm Fall Festival.

The leaves may not be turning colors just yet, but there’s a feeling of fall in the air.  The kids are back in school, temps are no longer blazing, Halloween costume catalogs are thickening up the mail, and I wore jeans for the first time in months last week.  But one of the real indicators that autumn is here are the festivals.  From street fairs in the city to pumpkin picking extravaganzas on the farm, festival season is officially ON (one actually starts today).  Here are some of your best bets for celebrating fall in the DC area.  And if you have any other festivals to recommend, please feel free to do so in the comments.

H Street Festival
The corridor in northeast DC has plenty to celebrate—it’s become one of the most popular areas to hang out since revitalization began a few years ago, and the H Street Festival 2010 is sure to reflect that.  More than 20,000 people attended last year, and numbers are expected to be even greater this Saturday, September 18.  Guests can expect live entertainment on three stages, art gallery exhibits, foods from area restaurants, crafts and wares from local vendors, dancin’ in the street, fashion shows, parades, pie eating contests, and lots of kids’ activities (think face painting, story telling, carnival games, and more).  And don’t bother driving—free shuttle bus service is available from Gallery Place and Eastern Market Metros.  Enjoy the festivities from 12pm – 6pm.

Ticonderoga Farm
The pumpkins may not be at their peak yet, but that’s not stopping Ticonderoga Farm in Chantilly from kicking off their Fall Pumpkin Festival.  The special activities begin today, September 15, and run through November 10.  The $8.95 weekday and $14.95 weekend admission fee (free for cihildren under 2) grant access to hayrides, hillside slides, a pumpkin patch visit, a petting zoo, a swinging bridge, play areas, a Panda Puzzle maze, and much more.  Concessions, face painting, karaoke, and a candy corn hunt are available on the weekends only.  Open daily from 9am – 6pm. For more details, visit the Ticonderoga Farm website.

Barracks Row Fall Festival
There will be two weekends in a row of festival fun on Capitol Hill.  Not quite as big as it’s H Street counterpart, the Barracks Row Fall Festival is a fantastic showcase of the marine barracks and commerce on 8th Street SE.  There will be tours of the historic barracks and Home of Commandments, live entertainment on the main stage, a military chef culinary competition, food and art vendors, and plenty of fun for kids (clowns, magicians, face painting, and more).  Don’t miss:  A skydiver will make a precision landing at 8th and G Streets sometime during the afternoon (check the schedule as it gets closer for the time).  The festival runs from 11am – 5pm.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
The Cox Farm Fall Festival is sprawling.  As in 90 acres of slides, swings, games, mazes, pumpkins, picnics, entertainment, farm animals sprawling. Owen’s class went on a field trip here last year, and once we split up, we only ran into one other classmate in the whole three hours we were there.  But it is a blast, especially the giant slide that takes you swooping down several humps over a hillside. That’s right, I know firsthand because parents can enjoy many of the festival activities just as much as their kids. But there is also a special Kiddie Zone for little ones aged 5 and under.  Admission to Cox Farms Fall Festival is $9 on weekdays, $15 on weekends (children under 2 are free).  The Festival is officially open from September 25 – November 7, but you can go for a special preview weekend this Saturday and Sunday, September 18-19.  For a discount on select dates, see this deal from Groupon.  Open daily from 9am – 6pm in October, 10am – 5pm in November.

Fall for Fairfax Kids Fest
On Saturday, October 2, the 18th Annual Fall for Fairfax Kids Fest will offer a day of autumn fun for children.  Attractions will include hay rides, pony rides, carnival rides, slides, moonbounces, model trains, scarecrow making, a climbing wall, festival food, and more.  Admission to the fair is free, but many of the activities require a fee.  The KidZone, featuring many of the slides and bounces, is $12 for an all-day wristband or $2 per ride.  The Festival runs from 9am – 6pm and is located at the Fairfax County Government Center.  Visit the website for directions.

Butler’s Orchard
The Germantown farm’s 30th Annual Pumpkin Festival will take place every Saturday and Sunday in October, plus Columbus Day (Monday, October 11) from 10am – 5pm.  Kids will love getting lost in the hayloft, hayrides, the tube slide, a rubber ducky derby, animal petting area, pony rides, pumpkin picking, corn maze, face painting, and much more.  Admission is $10 (children under 2 are free), and a few of the activities cost extra.  Bring a picnic lunch or purchase food there.  And don’t leave without treating the kids, or yourself, to a delicious caramel apple!

Homestead Farm
One of our favorite places to take the kids for our annual pumpkin picking, Homestead in Poolesville, MD, doesn’t have an official festival, but the farm embraces the spirit of autumn.  Tractor rides out to the pumkin 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 caramel apples.


Filed under All ages, Animals, Annual, Art, DC, Eats, Fall, Festival, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Music, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekend