Tag Archives: Ticonderoga Farms

Field Tripping at Ticonderoga Farms


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.


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.




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.


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

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

Easter Weekend (Including Ideas for Non-Holiday Fun)

Getting ready for the Easter egg "hunt" at last year's Eggstravagana in Lincoln Park

If you’re looking for an egg hunt, you’ll have no problem finding one. Sheep shearing? Got you covered there, too. And if the forecast proves reliable, and thunderstorms soak the area, I’ve got plenty of suggestions for family fun indoors. Happy Weekend!  And Happy Easter, too!

Earth Day Party for the Planet  – Looking for a Friday morning activity?  Celebrate Earth Day at the National Zoo!  From 10am – 12pm, guests can create eco-crafts, a meet the Zoo’s Green Team, get tips on enjoying a environmentally friendly lifestyle, and recycling opportunities (check the website for the list of recyclable items).  This free event will take place at the Zoo in Your Backyard exhibit.

Hop to It – It’s Easter weekend, and with it come many egg hunts and festivals. Celebrate at Cox Farms on Saturday from 11am–2pm with games, egg coloring, farm animals, and a visit from the Easter Bunny.  Annual Eggstravaganzas will be taking place at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill from 1-3pm and in Ballston at 10:30am. The Reston Zoo will host Easter egg hunts on Saturday and Sunday at several times both days.  And ongoing are holiday festivities at Ticonderoga Farms and Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard (open through Monday, though it’s closed on Easter Sunday).

Show Time From Snow White on strings to Rocknoceros at Jammin’ Java, there’s a variety of live entertainment to enjoy this weekend.  For details on what’s playing, see this post about what’s on stage this spring.

The Plane, The Plane! –  Love the Air & Space on the Mall, but not all the crowds?  Head to the College Park Aviation Museum, just 15 minutes out of DC.  The state-of-the-art facility located on the grounds of the world’s oldest continuously operating airport in College Park, MD, contains relics of early aviation, including some interactive fun.  Open daily from 10am -5pm, though closed on major holidays.  Admission is $4/adults, $2/children, free for ages 2 and under.

A Walk in the Park – It’s still National Park Week, and entrance to over 100 parks that usually charge admission is free.  If weather permits, take advantage and hit the trails at a local park or even one a bit further away. For suggestions on good hikes with kids, see this post about tramping with little ones.

Think Outside…  The list of best places to enjoy the outdoors with the kids keeps growing.  Check it out for ideas on where to have fun al fresco. Again, if weather permits.

Space for Children at House of Sweden – The Swedish Embassy welcomes families to experience a unique exhibit through April 24.  Two rooms of “interactivity creativity” celebrate the parent-child bond and encourage creative play. The free exhibit is open Saturdays from 11am – 4pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm.  Read more about it on the Embassy’s website.

Nature at Its Best and Biggest – See some amazing moments in the natural world captured in photos and on the big screen at the National Museum of Natural History.  The Nature’s Best Photography exhibit showcases winners of a prestigious photography competition.  And most of the films playing at the museum’s Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater have themes of nature at their core.

Portrait Story Days: Dizzy Gillespie – Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday from 1 – 4pm to listen to a story about a person who has influenced American history and culture and to create a special piece of art.  On Saturday and Sunday, learn about jazz trumpeter, band leader, singer, and composer Dizzy Gillespie.

Shearing MadnessSunday is Sheep Shearing Day at Watkins Regional Park, and you’re invited to watch the wool fly. This free event will feature sheep and llama shearing demonstrations, displays of products made from wool and hair, and more. Hayrides will be available during the event for $1.

Rainy Day RecsI’m listing this last in hopes that it’s a last resort, and those thunderstorms in the forecast don’t materialize. But if it turns out to be a wet weekend, this post contains many suggestions on where to have fun and stay dry.




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Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Farm, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Movies, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Park, Spring, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend

What’s on this Weekend

The Easter Bunny is coming, the cherry blossoms are peaking, and the sun is expected to shine all weekend. Here are a few ways to enjoy all of the above.

Ready for an Easter Eggstravaganza? The annual fun will be taking place at Quincy Park in Ballston at 10:30am and Lincoln Park on Captiol Hill at 1pm. Both places will have egg hunts, a chance to meet the Easter Bunny, and loads of fun and games for kids.

If you like to go big on your Easter festivals, head to Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown or Ticonderoga Farms in Chantilly. Both places boast slides, hayrides, egg hunts, and live animals.

We are still in the midst of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and there are a few ways to enjoy it. This weekend is the Prelude to the Fireworks and Fireworks Show at the SW Waterfront. Starting at 5pm on Saturday, there will be musical performances, craft activities for kids, local restaurant fare, and special guest appearances. The fireworks begin at 8:30pm, rain or shine. There are also live performances everyday at the Target Performance Stage at Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds (Independence Ave. SW & Raoul Wallenberg Place SW).

And, of course, the cherry blossoms at their peak are a beautiful sight. But if you go, beware: it is crowded. And I don’t mean everyone in the area is heading to the Tidal Basin; everyone in the area and everyone else from all over the world are heading there. We went on a weekday to find the metro stations packed. If you have a stroller, expect a long wait for the elevator or to carry your kids and their ride up the escalator. Concession lines are long at the at the Festival grounds, and with so many folks stopping for cherry blossom photo ops, the going is a bit slow around the Basin. That said, the view is spectacular, and there is nothing like a picnic with the family under a canopy of pink and white blooms.

Maryland is having its own celebration of the flower with the first-ever Silver Spring Big Cherry Block Party. The event kicks off on Saturday at 11am with a cherry tree planting, inauguration, and opening ceremony. After that, Downtown Silver Spring will be buzzing with activity, including Japanese arts and games, live performances, calligraphy and martial arts demos, and much more. The event is free and located at the Silver Plaza right downtown.

For fun indoors, the National Postal Museum is celebrating 150 years of the Pony Express with a day full of entertaining activities. At the Pony Express Family Festival, kids can create puppets and star in their own puppet show, “sort and deliver” mail from the 1860’s, join a scavenger hunt in the museum, tour the new Pony Express exhibit, and enjoy snacks of freshly-popped popcorn and pony-shaped cookies. The event is free and located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE.

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Filed under All ages, Annual, Festival, Live Entertainment, Museums, Outdoor, Weekend