Guest Post: Prince William Living Creative Halloween Drinks

Permalink to Guest%20Post%3A%20Prince%20William%20Living%20Creative%20Halloween%20Drinks
Published: 10/22/2013

This post is reprinted with permission from Prince William Living Magazine.  Be sure to check them out for more great ideas, and their fantastic "Family Fun" column, which I personally find to be both witty and enjoyable.  The author is a genius.  ;) 
You can find free copies at Wegmans, Prince William Ice Center and many other distributors.  Subscriptions are also available for a very affordable rate. 


Chillingly Creative Drinks For Halloween

11677_AIf you’re planning a monster bash this Halloween, brew up drinks so frightfully delicious that it will spook the taste buds of every little ghost, witch and goblin.

The Spooky Smoothie is a flavorful combination of vanilla milk and Greek yogurt, which is blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. The fun is all in the orange-tinted Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, so make sure to serve it in a clear glass. And ghosts will rise from the dead for the chocolaty Monster Mash Mudslide. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk.11677_B

Both of these tasty concoctions feature TruMoo, which is made with 35 percent less total sugar than the leading chocolate and vanilla milk competitor and has no high fructose corn syrup. That’s one thing that won’t scare you this Halloween season.

Spooky Smoothie
Yield: 4 servings

3         cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color
1 1/2   cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
5         cups ice cubes
1/4       cup fat free whipped cream
Candy corn for garnish, optional

In blender, combine vanilla milk, yogurt and ice cubes. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

To serve, pour into serving glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy corn.

Monster Mash Mudslide
Yield: 4 servings

4         cups TruMoo Lowfat Chocolate Milk
10       chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
1/2      cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
8         mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended)

In blender, blend chocolate milk and chocolate wafer cookies until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.

To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving, spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into dollop for eyes.

Note: To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave.

Fall Fun and Halloween 2013

Permalink to Fall%20Fun%20and%20Halloween%202013
Published: 09/26/2013
First off, if y'all are new in town, Prince William County Trick or Treating takes place ON HALLOWEEN.  I get a bijillion emails every year that Halloween is on a weeknight asking if it's moved to the following or preceeding weekend, and it's not. Sorry, teachers, because I'm sure those sugared-up, over-tired kids are a hot mess on November 1. Second, this is by no means an exhaustive list, and if I'm missing your event, just email me, and we'll fix it!

September 28-October 31
Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Great Country Farms, Bluemont. Open daily from 9am-6pm
$8/child & $10/adult weekdays; $10/child & $12/weekends & holidays
Farm Members, Military ID holders and kids 2 and under are FREE

September 28-October 31 
Starting Sept. 28th, Come to Miller Farms Market for free hayrides to and from the pumpkin patch. Weekday hayrides: 4:30 pm. Weekend Hayrides: 9 am - 5 pm. All you pay for is your pumkins! 12101 Orange Plank Rd., Locust Grove, 22508. 540-972-2680. 

September 28-November 3
Ticonderoga Farms will be open Daily 9 am to 6 pm (Entrance gate closes at 5:30) Sept 21 to Nov 3 Fall Pumpkin Festival Admission:
Weekdays $9.95 per person Weekends Sept 21,22,28,29 Oct 26,27 $14.95 per person Weekends Oct 5,6,12,13,19,20 & Holiday Oct 14 $16.95 per person Under 2 Free 
We are having one of the most colorful, fun, entertaining family festival season ever.  Join us with your family, friends and groups to celebrate and welcome the new fall.  Just click on Fall to follow us to our page for all the fun list of things to do weekday and weekend.

September 28-October 31 
Belvedere Plantation is now open weekday mornings Tuesday-Friday 9:30-1:30 (Closed October 15). The Peeping Pass is $9.25 (not all attractions are open). Weekends Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10-6.  Prices higher on weekends. 

September 28-October 31
Clark Farms in Stafford hosts their Fall Festival  $6.00 per person weekdays | $8.00 on weekends/holidays, Children under 2 years of age are free. Entrance fee includes a pumpkin.
Don’t forget your cameras!! Our family friendly and child-focused activities include: farm animals (goats, pigs, chickens, and more!), a hay mountain, large maze, face painting, pumpkin painting, pumpkin bowling, great cutouts for photos, a moon-bounce, climbing tires, penny pit and pony rides on weekends.

September 28-October 31
Cox Farms Fall Festival features giant slides, hayrides, rope swings, farm animals, CORNundrum goat village, apples, cider, food, entertainment, and more! Everyone gets a small patch pumpkin to take home FREE with paid admission. Admission: Weekdays: $9; Discount weekends (9/21, 22, 28 and 29; 10/26, 10/27 and 11/2 & 11/3): $14; Prime weekends (middle weekends of October): $17.

WEEKENDS ONLY Beginning September 28
Yankey Farms will be open Saturdays from 10am-6pm and Sundays 12pm-6pm.  Corn maze, cow train, and pick your own pumpkin patch.
 
October 14th-October 31st
St. Paul Pumpkin Patch 1334 and 1400 G Street, Woodbridge VA 22191.  M-F 2pm-8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 1pm-6pm. Pumpkin prices are based on size, proceeds benefit the children and youth missions ministry of St. Paul UMC. 

Saturday, October 5
Occoquan Bible Church will be hosting their annual Festifall this Saturday, October 5 from 12PM - 4PM.  This family-friendly FREE event will include a Magic Act, Moon Bounce, Fantastic Christian Music, Hip Hop Dancers, Games and Prizes, Face Painting, FREE food, and Lots of Good Christian Fellowship.  All are welcome!

Manassas holds their Fall Jubilee 10am-5pm with live entertainment for both adults and kids, crafters, wine tastings, farmers market, children's ride, pumpkin patch, and more. 


Saturday, October 12
First Baptist Church of Woodbridge invites you to bring your family to enjoy an afternoon of Fellowship, Potluck Lunch, Music, Games, Cake Walk, Petting Zoo and good old fashion fun...but we also want you to invite someone with you!  Our community is filled with people who need a church home, need to know Jesus, need to know someone loves them!  Have them join your family for an afternoon of fellowship.  IT'S ALL FREE! 11am-3pm

Friday, October 18
Beginning at Dusk, St. Paul UMC will show a fall movie on the outdoor screen.  Bring blankets and enjoy a night out under the stars.  1334 and 1400 G Street Woodbridge VA 22191

Saturday, October 19
11am-4pm, Fall Festival at St. Paul UMC 1334 and 1400 G Street Woodbridge VA 22191.  Fun for the whole family will include a pumpkin patch, free pumpkin painting, a children's carnival with games and prizes, bounce houses, an arts and crafts fair, and tons of great food.  Entry is free!

BRMC wants to take you on a night-time hike through the Bull Run Mountains! Join us for face painting, Halloween snacks, hot cider, a bonfire, and live music. All participants should bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes. Pre-registration is required for 7:00-8:00 p.m. time slots, at least a week in advance, and is available at: http://www.brmconservancy.org/register/sf2013.php First-come, first-served from 8:00-8:30 p.m. $7 in advance/$10 at the door.



Thursday, October 24
Join the Woodbridge Wegmans for Trick or Treat anytime from 4:30 to 8pm.  Come in costume and enjoy the free fun! 

FREE Spooktacular at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center: Enjoy trick-or-treating at participating stores, face painting, rubber ducky game at the fountain and Nickelodeon Halloween shows on the big screen throughout the evening.  Grab a seat at 7pm for a screening of “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” on the jumbotron.

Friday, October 25
Friday from 10-11 at the Freedom Center, check out Fabulous Friday with a Halloween Theme: Halloween: It’s pumpkin time!
Kids will love hearing not-so-scary Halloween stories and making Halloween decorations. Feel free to bring your child in his/her costume. Caregiver participation required. Fee: $10/per class
Beginning at Dusk, St. Paul UMC will show a fall movie on the outdoor screen.  Bring blankets and enjoy a night out under the stars.  1334 and 1400 G Street Woodbridge VA 22191

Join the Gainesville Wegmans for Trick or Treat anytime from 4:30 to 8pm.  Come in costume and enjoy the free fun! 

BRMC wants to take you on a night-time hike through the Bull Run Mountains! Join us for face painting, Halloween snacks, hot cider, a bonfire, and live music. All participants should bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes. Pre-registration is required for 7:00-8:00 p.m. time slots, at least a week in advance, and is available at: http://www.brmconservancy.org/register/sf2013.php First-come, first-served from 8:00-8:30 p.m. $7 in advance/$10 at the door.

Haunted History Hike at Leesylvania State Park, 7:30pm-9:00pm at Shelter #1 The spirits of Leesylvania have begun wandering our woods at night reliving moments from their lives. Join us for a guided evening walk which will take you back through history. Don't forget to take a hay ride and visit our different crafts for the kids. This is a family friendly Halloween event. Please call for event price.

$5 per person, costumes encouraged! Join us for Haunted Mini Golf at Lake Ridge Park on October 25th.  




















Halloween Costume Contest at KD'z Kidz World in Stafford-
Costume contest winner who receives the most votes will receive a FREE Birthday Party (Up to 10 Kids) to use within 1 year of the date at our facility OR a FREE Rental!
 *If winner wishes to have a bigger party, the maximum value of the package won is $169 and the winner will only pay the difference.
 *Voting will be conducted by an "outsider" who has no ties to KD'z Kidz World and/or anyone in the competition.
 *Winner must be present to win.
 *Cost is only $10 per child. 
 *Each child will receive a goodie bag full of treats to take home with them.
 *Reservations must be made to attend. In order to qualify for the birthday party package, we will need at least 25 signed up. If 25 do not sign up, the winner will receive a $30 bounce pass good for 5 visits. 
 *Time is from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
 Call to reserve a spot. 

Saturday, October 26



















Older Elementary, Middle, and High School students are invited to enjoy a night walk with some spooky surprises.  8pm at St. Paul UMC 1334 and 1400 G Street Woodbridge VA 22191
Lake Ridge Parks and Rec- October 26, 10am-2pmDon't miss this fun family day packed with great vendors, games and prizes! Carnival-themed contests and a Moon Bounce add to the festivities as we celebrate the arrival of fall. Activities include the Children's Costume Contest and Parade at 11am. Come check out vendors' wares from across the region that will fill the lot with great bargains, one-of-a-kind collectibles and original arts and crafts designs. There's something for everyone at this year's Fall Festival. Contact the Recreation Department, 703-491-2154 for information.

11am – 4 pm; $5 per child, children under six free
Where did the tradition of Halloween come from? Pumpkin carving? Trick-or-Treating? Join us for a kid friendly trip to All Hallow’s Eve past and present. Tour the scarecrow display that will decorate Rippon Lodge. Play old fashioned games and enjoy traditional treats. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes.
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, 703-499-9812



Family Day — Halloween Special Event @National Museum of the Marine Corps
Crafts, games and a costume parade are just the beginning of this annual fun, festive (not the least bit spooky) event for ages 2-10.
12:00 pm – 2:00

Halloween Fun with Pam the Kidsinger at Chinn Library Interactive fun with songs, dancing, puppetry, and lots of humor. Everyone will be dancing and singing along. This is a free, drop-in performance for the entire family! 2-3pm

Join Occoquan for some Halloween Fun! Halloween Town in Occoquan will be October 26 from 10am-3pm.  Children's Parade begins at 10:30 am under the 123 bridge.  Crafts, games, facepainting, trick or treat from 10-2 at participating shops. 

BRMC wants to take you on a night-time hike through the Bull Run Mountains! Join us for face painting, Halloween snacks, hot cider, a bonfire, and live music. All participants should bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes. Pre-registration is required for 7:00-8:00 p.m. time slots, at least a week in advance, and is available at: http://www.brmconservancy.org/register/sf2013.php First-come, first-served from 8:00-8:30 p.m. $7 in advance/$10 at the door.




2013 Haunted Happenings Grab the family and your dog and join Historic Manassas, Inc. and the Old Town Business Association for a wickedly good time in Old Town Manassas on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Ashland Elementary- 12am-4pm Join us for a great family fun day! Games including Hay Dig, Can Knock Down, Duck Pond, Plinko, Bean Bag Toss, Cupcake Walk, Face Painting.  We will also have a 61' Inflatable Obstacle Course.  Tickets are 10 for $5 and all games/inflatable is 1 ticket.  We also have concessions selling cotton candy, drinks, pizza, kettle corn.

Vertical Rock will host both adult and kids climbing:



















Sunday, October 27












MyBodyMoveZ Studio 2570 Dynasty Loop, Woodbridge, VA 22192 - So much fun it's scary! Join us on Sunday, 10/27 for a Halloween Family Dance Party from 1:00-3:00pm! Bring the whole family, wear your costumes and dance the afternoon away. Kids under 10 are free. $10/person. All children must be accompanied by an adult. See you there!

Tuesday, October 29
Spooky Tots at Virginia Gateway will be Tuesday, October 29th at 10:30am! Songs, facepainting, Halloween crafts, giveaways, and more! 

Wednesday, October 30














14906 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Woodbridge, VA 22191 Trick or Treat at Envoy! On Wednesday, October 30th Envoy Nursing home will be giving out candy to little trick or treaters that show up at our facility between 2pm and 6pm. This offers a safe environment for little ones to trick or treat and allows our residents to enjoy seeing them in their costumes! Just wanted to extend an invitation to the children that already bring joy to our residents! Thank you so much!!!

Thursday, October 31 
Join our awesome sponsor, the Marketplace at Madison Crescent for free Trick-or-Treat, Face Painting, Treat Bags, and a Costume Contest from 3-5pm! 

Come one, come all for the safer, non-scary alternative to traditional Trick or Treating! Come to Church on the Move (c/o Kids on the Move) from 6-8pm on 10/31 for fun games, prizes, tons of trunks filled with goodies and free donuts and cider! Everything is free! Food! Fun! Fellowship! See you then! 

Potomac Mills Mall will offer Mall Trick or Treating from 6-7:30pm.  

First Nazarene of Woodbridge will hold their Harvest Festival, times not published as of date of publish on this article.  




Manassas St. Thomas St. Thomas UMC, Manassas campus is having one on Halloween night from 6-7:30pm at the corner of Grant and 234 Business. There will be hotdogs, chips, fresh popped popcorn, sodas, water, AND of course, CANDY! Plus games, 2 moon bounces, old cartoon movies, photo booth, and the Manassas City Fire Truck and Rescue Squad car will be here!http://stthomasumc.org/announcements/trunks-of-treats.html

Manassas Mall offers Trick R Treat from 5-7pm.  



A Crochety Old Lady

Permalink to A%20Crochety%20Old%20Lady
Published: 11/01/2012
I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween! Whether you celebrate by going out trick-or-treating, staying in and having a family night, or going to an event, I hope that it was a good night for you and your family.  We had fun around our neighborhood and my parent's neighborhood (because grammy needs to show off the grandkids).  In fact, my parents neighborhood was extra awesome this year because they had an ACTUAL man on an ACTUAL horse with an ACTUAL sword dressed up as the headless horseman.

I'm not going to lie, he scared the bejeebus out of me.

Here are my little trick-or-treaters this year.  We had an army man (bonus mom points for making camouflage makeup using nothing but eye shadow), a ninja, and Supergirl- which isn't so much a costume as a statement of fact. ;)

Every year after Halloween, even though we have fun, I have to contend with the hard truth that I have turned into a crochety old lady.  Why, you ask?  Because there is a candy system at my house:

Ages 0-12 months old---> sorry parents, but in an effort to be nice to the non-candy eaters, I actually stock up on Halloween goldfish or teddy grahams in individual packets.  Most parents of children who can eat already actually appreciate the gesture.

Ages 1-12 in costume--->a giant handful of whatever mix I pull out

Ages 12 and up in costume---> two or three pieces of candy for the effort

Ages 12 and up not in costume---> one piece of candy because I don't want my house egged

Adults (seriously?) not in costume/the moms who are "trick or treating for my kids who are too old to go" (there were two of them, and, seriously?)--->one lollipop

I'm sure that some of you are probably still nice people who give equal candy to both the young and old, the costumed and uncostumed, but it makes me sad that the average age of trick-or-treater in our neighborhood was probably 16 last night and there were just giant groups of older teens and several random adults out without children with them.  It's probably some kind of Freudian anger about the fact that my mom cut me off before I was a teenager, but I at least want to see you in a costume!

At least I'm not walloping anyone with my cane yet ;)

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Halloween Frankenstein Pops

Permalink to Halloween%20Frankenstein%20Pops
Published: 10/31/2012
Since you guys seem to enjoy craft and food ideas, I've been trying to share more of them since I really like to Martha Stewart it up as much as possible.

I especially like it when it's REALLY easy.  The Frankenstein Pops I shared on Facebook? They're so easy a four year old can do it.

Assemble your troops.  You'll need frosting, sugar bones, sugar eyes, lollipop sticks, and black sugar or chocolate jimmies, oh, and marshmallows.
 Step One: Get a bag of frosting out of your freezer.  Here we have cream cheese frosting, vanilla buttercream, and hot pink lemonade buttercream.  What's that? You don't make a double batch of frosting every time and freeze the leftovers for emergency cake-frosting? You don't MAKE your own frosting? Sigh.  Yes, go ask Betty Crocker for a can of white frosting...that'll work, too.
 Step Two: Plop your frosting into a bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds if it's room temperature, or about a minute if it was a popsicle when you put it in there.  You're looking for fondue-consistency frosting.
 Step Three: Curse yourself for not getting green food dye at the Walmart when you were JUST THERE.  Remember that yellow an blue make green.  Mix well. (These are Wilton gel dyes, which I love because they don't water down whatever you're tinting.  However, for this, you could use the liquid dye you get at the grocery store, too.  Wilton gels are sold at craft stores like JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels and Walmart stores)
Step Four: Pop a marshmallow onto a lollipop stick and dunk it in your frosting.  Tap gently on the side of the bowl to remove any excess and then set the stick into a heavy glass cup set over a plate to let the frosting set just slightly (a minute or two, tops).
 Step Five: After your frosting has had a minute to settle and drip off and excess, give your marshmallow a roll in the black sugar or chocolate jimmies to add hair.
 Step Six: Add eyes (you could pipe these on, but this whole treat was inspired by the sugar candy eyeballs being on sale for $2) and imbed a sugar bone on either side of your Frankenstein's head.  You could also pipe on a mouth, but if I was creating a monster, it would do my bidding without talking back.  I'm just saying.
Optional Bonus Points For Step Seven: Pop some floral foam covered in a seasonal napkin inside your Frankenstein Can and go on a shock and awe campaign at your preschool party.  Winning.

You could also do these heads with cake pops, you'd just want to form them into squares instead of balls.  Witches would be cute, too, with purple frosting, a mini green m&m nose, and just the cookie part of an Oreo with a Hershey's Kiss glued on top with some melted chocolate.

Have fun!

Trick or Treating in Prince William County

Permalink to Trick%20or%20Treating%20in%20Prince%20William%20County
Published: 10/30/2012
Many of you have asked what day and time Prince William County trick or treating is.  Apparently in some parts of the country they change trick-or-treat to be a weekend night each year so that children aren't tripped out on candy and less sleep than normal on a school night.

Please, we know how much our teachers love overtired children with a sugar buzz ;)

In Prince William County (with possible exceptions if you live in a neighborhood with a home owners association) whether you're in Woodbridge, Gainesville, Haymarket, or Lake Ridge, trick-or-treat happens on October 31st, regardless of the day of the week, from dusk to 9pm.  As a general courtesy, and for safety reasons, only knock on doors that have well-lit porches and interiors.  

The Department of Fire and Rescue reminds you that when trick-or-treating:
Child Pedestrians
• Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.

Drivers
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
• Remember costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.


If you would rather not trick-or-treat in your neighborhood, there are several local churches and areas that typically offer trunk or treat options on halloween night (but check their website to make sure):
~First Baptist Church of Woodbridge (not in 2012)
~Potomac Mills Mall beginning at 6pm
~Christ Chapel (not in 2012)
~ Manassas St. Thomas  (appears to be on- 6:30pm)
~Manassas Baptist (appears to be on- 6pm)
~First Nazarene Woodbridge (appears to be on- 7pm)

If you'd like to add your church or location to the list, please just shoot me an email

Holiday Fun at Bobby McKeys

Permalink to Holiday%20Fun%20at%20Bobby%20McKeys
Published: 10/22/2012
National Harbor features lots of fun, and while it's not in Prince William County, I believe it's got our closest dueling Piano Bar!! Check out their fun Kids Days coming up for the Holidays, including one with Santa. 


Air and Scare 2012

Permalink to Air%20and%20Scare%202012
Published: 10/17/2012

Trick-or-Treaters, Creepy Bugs and Spooky Science Invade the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum hosts its annual “Air & Scare” Family Day, from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Visitors will enjoy safe, indoor trick-or-treating and spooky activities for all ages at this free event.
Designed with the whole family in mind, aerospace will come alive with fun activities, all with a Halloween twist. Participants will enjoy face painting, spooky crafts, trick-or-truth stations, science experiments and treat giveaways. The Tot Zone will feature story time and a dress-up corner. Free classic cartoons will be shown in the Airbus IMAX Theater. There will be hands-on activities for teens and tweens, including packing a parachute. Everyone’s favorite Star Wars and Ghostbusters characters will be on-hand for photo opportunities. This year’s newest editions to “Air & Scare” will include a performance of “Buzzy the Frog’s Treasure Box Trick” by the Magical Puppet Theater and a display of spiders and other creepy bugs by the Department of Entomology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Attendees are encouraged to come in their favorite space or flight-themed costume. Admission is free, but parking is $15. “Air & Scare” is made possible by Mars Snackfood US LLC. For more information and a full list of activities, visit airandspace.si.edu/airandscare.
The National Air and Space Museum is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Regular daily hours for both facilities are from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25).

Fields of Fear

Permalink to Fields%20of%20Fear
Published: 10/12/2012
We just shared with you about our daytime experience at Cox Farms, and that I am a giant pansy about going to the farm after dark.  PotomacLocal.com editor Uriah Kiser, however, revels in the scary side of Cox and was all too happy to check it out for us:


Photo from Cox Farms
"On this farm is Cornnighttmare; a twisted trail of haunts and lost souls trapped in a corn field at Cox Farms in Fairfax County. Once on this trail of terror, small sounds in the cornstalks reveal themselves as clowns with chainsaws who jump out at you, mummies rise from their tombs, and a seven-foot tall brown grizzly bear chases visitors out of a log cabin."

To read the full review, including prices and hours, visit their site to read "Find Nightmarish Fun at Fields of Fear"

Cox Farms 2012

Permalink to Cox%20Farms%202012
Published: 10/04/2012
Today we had the chance to go and visit Cox Farms on their Preview Weekend.  We've been visiting Cox Farms since my son was 11 months old.
He's almost 9 now. 

To say that we're Cox Farms aficionados would be an understatement.  However, that doesn't mean that my kids don't have a great time when we go.  I'm sure that one day they're going to be too cool for the pumpkin patch (which is okay, because Cox Farms also has a scary counterpart to their family-friendly daytime offerings), but I hope that day stays away a little longer.  
Plenty of picnic tables for lunch.  Pack your own or buy at the farm.
Mainly because I'm a big pansy and don't want to go in the Cornightmare.  I have nightmares about the wolf in Neverending Story to this day and I watched that movie when I was 10.  If they start wanting to do that, I'm pulling for a great youth pastor that does trips to scary things, because I'm not going. 
This fun slide includes potato sacks for extra speed.
Cox Farms made some changes this year, though! The hayride has a few new additions, and the route has changed.  There's now a spookier barn-drive through and a town setup.  PS- the Cox Farms Farmer no longer pulls you out of the mud! But don't worry- you'll still get stuck!  I also believe the space ship looked new and improved!
Slides are super fun, but be prepared to wait your turn.
Additionally, Cox Farms has their new "Bunnyville" area where their bunnies are housed, a mechanical bull, new BBQ food items, and a "mine" where you can pan for gems or fossils for an additional fee.  My kids also noticed a "Farm Work" area for the first time (which cracked me up!) and all three of them were literally happy for 30 minutes playing in the cascading corn kernels and pumping up well water.
"milk" a cow, scoop corn feed, and pump water at the "farm chores" area
Still popular with my kids were the corn maze, the animals, and the slides.  Still unpopular with my kids were the intermittent heat, the lines, and the bees buzzing like crazy around the trash cans, apples, and cider station.

Cox Farms admission is by day of the week.  Weekend Prime tickets are $17 per person over the age of 2.  Weekend tickets are $14 per person over the age of two, and weekday admission is $9 per person over the age of 2.  Join the Cox Farms Mailing list to receive discounts and coupons in your email, or you can purchase a Value Card for 7 Weekday afternoon admissions for $45 instead of $63.  You can use all 7 at once, or you can use it on multiple visits.  If you're able to take a half day from work, this can be a great savings! Admission includes 1 free apple and 1 free mini pumpkin. The new mine feature is extra.  We bought one large $8 bag of gems and shared it among three children quite successfully.

Cox Farms is a fun day for the entire family.  Younger children will enjoy hayrides, petting animals, and running around.  Older children will enjoy large slides, the corn maze, and the animal facts. Downsides are the waiting, which isn't terrible, but can be if your child is getting whiney, allergy concerns (hay, feathers, bees) are abundant because it is, after all, a farm, so bring Allegra or Benadryl if your child can be sensitive, and finally, that my arch-nemesis the porta potty is your only bathroom option.  They're reasonably clean for porta potties, and they do have lots of hand sanitizer all over the farm, though.

We enjoy our yearly trips to Cox Farms.  We'd love to hear about your experience in the comments section below! Do you have tips or tricks? Share with us!

Fall Festivals and Halloween 2012

Permalink to Fall%20Festivals%20and%20Halloween%202012
Published: 09/07/2012
Hey Fall Fans! If the pumpkin spice latte is back, that means it's time for festivals and fun! If you're looking for family-friendly or kid-friendly Prince William County Halloween activities or Fall Festivals, this is the place to look! I've included some outside of PWC activities, mainly because I've been getting emails from Stafford readers, and because some of you have indicated that you're willing to drive if something "sounds cool".  If you'd like to add your event, please email me! It's free and a great way to get the word out about your event! Note: This is a living document and will continue to be updated!! 



September

7th
Hartwood Days Festival (25 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg VA 22406) 8th 5pm-10pm interactive living history area, visit the new Agricultural competitions, Grab a bite to eat, play one of the games, listen to a band, and check out all of the different booths, demonstrations, exhibits, and vendors, from Arts & Crafts to 'great to have' things.  LOTS of activities for Youth, including the Trailblazer® Adventure program!! Make sure that if you have Girl, Boy, or Cub Scouts in your area, you bring them out to the Badge Day event, held on the grounds! Dont forget the Neighbors Kids too!!! Additional fee for rides @ $20.00, or buy tickets in advance online.

8th

Dumfries Fall Festival  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Festival-goers can expect plenty of wine tastings, music, a talent competition, food, and arts and crafts, and product vendors at the fair.
Hartwood Days Festival (25 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg VA 22406) opens at 9am interactive living history area, visit the new Agricultural competitions, Grab a bite to eat, play one of the games, listen to a band, and check out all of the different booths, demonstrations, exhibits, and vendors, from Arts & Crafts to 'great to have' things.  LOTS of activities for Youth, including the Trailblazer® Adventure program!! Make sure that if you have Girl, Boy, or Cub Scouts in your area, you bring them out to the Badge Day event, held on the grounds! Dont forget the Neighbors Kids too!!! Additional fee for rides @ $20.00, or buy tickets in advance online.
Rippon Lodge Historic Site Family History Day (15500 Blackburn Road Woodbridge) 11am-4pm Admiral Black, the last owner of Rippon Lodge was a WWII veteran and survivor of Pearl Harbor. Learn about daily life of soldiers in the European and Pacific Theatres. World War II living historians will portray Axis and Allied soldiers. They will discuss their equipment, armaments and historic military vehicles. Learn about the home front and the many ways that citizens supported the war effort. View collections of original WWII artifacts.
Admission Fee: $7 per person, children under 6 free

9th

Rippon Lodge Historic Site Family History Day (15500 Blackburn Road Woodbridge) 11am-4pm Admiral Black, the last owner of Rippon Lodge was a WWII veteran and survivor of Pearl Harbor. Learn about daily life of soldiers in the European and Pacific Theatres. World War II living historians will portray Axis and Allied soldiers. They will discuss their equipment, armaments and historic military vehicles. Learn about the home front and the many ways that citizens supported the war effort. View collections of original WWII artifacts.
Admission Fee: $7 per person, children under 6 free

15th
Old Town Manassas will hold its 2nd Annual Bands, Brews, and Barbeque Festival. 12-7pm This event will feature barbecue, a variety of brews, a local BBQ competition, live entertainment and a number of speciality vendors! On a day that hosts two additional events in Old Town Manassas (The Antique Car Show and Old World Festival), the community will get a three-in-one adventure that the whole family will enjoy. Bands, Brews and Barbecue will occupy Main Street and Battle Street from the railroad tracks to Center Street, as well as the Center for the Arts/Mackey's Parking Lot.
Bluegrass at Brentsville Historic Centre 1-5pm Enjoy the lively sounds of a bluegrass band on the grounds of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre while sampling local wines and food. Guided tours of the historic buildings will be available throughout the day.
Haymarket Day Haymarket Day 9am-4pm (15016 Washington Street, Haymarket VA) bursts forth every year on the third Saturday of September. The main street is closed to traffic for the day and following a country style parade with 1800+ participants, town residents and visitors alike can walk down the center of Washington St. enjoying good food, juried crafts, music, friendly vendors and the pleasure of good neighbors. Whether you ride the trolley, train or walk, or go up in a Hot Air Balloon, pet the visiting Alpacas or sit & relax in the Haymarket Day Beer Garden, we know you will enjoy.

21st

Fredericksburg Oktoberfest Free Admission 4-9pm (3300 Dill Smith Drive, Fredericksburg VA). In traditional Bavarian fashion, Fredericksburg comes together under TWO big tents in September to celebrate the 9th Annual Oktoberfest! Family fun with sing along, stein holding contest, Oompah music, ginger bread walk. Authentic Oktoberfest Beer from Blue & Gray Brewing.

22nd

Fredericksburg Oktoberfest Free Admission 11am-7pm (3300 Dill Smith Drive, Fredericksburg VA). In traditional Bavarian fashion, Fredericksburg comes together under TWO big tents in September to celebrate the 9th Annual Oktoberfest! Family fun with sing along, stein holding contest, Oompah music, ginger bread walk. Authentic Oktoberfest Beer from Blue & Gray Brewing.
Cox Farms Fall Preview Weekend 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (15621 Braddock Rd. Centreville, VA 20120) Everything you love about Cox Farms Fall Festival is open for Preview Weekend! 5 giant slides, famous hayrides, rope swings, farm animals & their babies, CORNundrum© cornfield adventure, Farm Chores, straw tunnels, kiddie zone, goat village, apples & cider, food, entertainment, over 90 acres of fun! Everyone gets a small patch pumpkin to take home FREE with paid admission. Perfect for families, school groups and birthday parties.  For special deals become a Cox Farms Member at http://www.coxfarms.com or "like" us on Facebook.
Rippon Lodge 10th Annual Heritage Festival Rippon Lodge (15500 Blackburn Road Woodbridge) 11am-4pm has a long and diverse past from its Colonial America beginnings until today. Lectures and demonstrations presented by local history, gardening and natures groups will be available throughout the day. Enjoy music, food, crafts, kids' games and activities. House and cemetery tours will also be offered all day. Admission Fee: $7 per person, children under 6 free
Cider Festival at Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont VA) $10 per child, $12 per adult, active military and under 2 years old are free. Playground, corn maze, pumpkin patch, cider (hard and regular), live music and more. 9am-6pm
Annual Manassas Chili Cook Off and Kids Fest at the Harris Pavilion.  Free and open to the public.  Music, games, inflatables, crafts and more. 10am-3pm


23rd
Cox Farms Fall Preview Weekend 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (15621 Braddock Rd. Centreville, VA 20120) Everything you love about Cox Farms Fall Festival is open for Preview Weekend! 5 giant slides, famous hayrides, rope swings, farm animals & their babies, CORNundrum© cornfield adventure, Farm Chores, straw tunnels, kiddie zone, goat village, apples & cider, food, entertainment, over 90 acres of fun! Everyone gets a small patch pumpkin to take home FREE with paid admission. Perfect for families, school groups and birthday parties.  For special deals become a Cox Farms Member at http://www.coxfarms.com or "like" us on Facebook.


Cider Festival at Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont VA) $10 per child, $12 per adult, active military and under 2 years old are free. Playground, corn maze, pumpkin patch, cider (hard and regular), live music and more. 9am-6pm




29th

Occoquan Craft Festival (314 Mill Street Occoquan, VA) 10am-6pm.  (I don't personally consider this to be kid-friendly, but last year several of you fussed at me that it is! If your kid enjoys kitchy craft items, this is the place for you!) 



30th 

Occoquan Craft Festival (314 Mill Street Occoquan, VA) 10am-5pm.  (I don't personally consider this to be kid-friendly, but last year several of you fussed at me that it is! If your kid enjoys kitchy craft items, this is the place for you!) 



October

6th

Project Butterfly Wings at the Weems Botts Museum (3944 Cameron Street, Dumfries VA) will host a free children's day at the museum including crafts and snacks. 10am-1pm
Manassas Fall Jubilee on October 6th from 10 AM until 5 PM. Fun for the whole Family! 10am-5pm Old Town Manassas FREE. 

13th

National Cosutme Swap Day at Chinn Library (13065 Chinn Park Drive  Woodbridge, VA 22192) from 10-12 come and swap your child's old costumes for a "new to them" one! 
11am – 4pm, $7 per person Family History Day- All Hallow’s Eve Where did the tradition of Halloween come from?  Pumpkin carving? Trick-or-Treating? Join us for a kid friendly trip to All Hallow’s Eve, past and present.  Play old fashioned games and enjoy traditional treats. Rippon Lodge Historic Site. 703-499-9812

14th

St. Paul UMC (1400 G Street Woodbridge VA) is hosting a pumpkin patch from October 14th - October 31st. Pumpkins range in price starting at $3 ($1 for small gourds) and all proceeds will be used to provide students currently enrolled in the free lunch program at one of our local elementary schools with a bag of food during the winter break. 

15th

Spooky Cupcakes- Join us for an evening of demonstrations in making spooky cupcakes - vultures, bugs & haunted scenes. Sample some punch and snacks while trying your own hand in making a creation or two to take home & enjoy. For children in grades K - 6 and their parents. Please register in person, by phone or on the web beginning Oct 1st. Limit 30 children. Potomac Library (2201 State Route 642 Woodbridge VA 22191)

18th

Gymboree Woodbridge Dinner, pumpkin decorating, costume contest, and lots of Halloween Fun! One winner from each party receives a free month of Gymboree! Thursday October 18th at 3:30pm Friday, October 19th at 5:00pm Saturday, October 20th at 5:30pm $20 per child, RESERVE YOUR SPOT IN ADVANCE 703-590-3320

19th

Gymboree Woodbridge Dinner, pumpkin decorating, costume contest, and lots of Halloween Fun! One winner from each party receives a free month of Gymboree! Thursday October 18th at 3:30pm Friday, October 19th at 5:00pm Saturday, October 20th at 5:30pm $20 per child, RESERVE YOUR SPOT IN ADVANCE 703-590-3320
St. Paul UMC (1400 G Street Woodbridge VA) will host a Movie in the Patch beginning at dusk, and featuring "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" Please bring your own blanket or chair and enjoy a movie "under the stars".

20th

Bull Run Mountain Conservancy (17405 Beverley Mill Drive  Broad Run, VA 20137) will host a Halloween Safari, $7pp advance or $10 at the door
Gymboree Woodbridge Dinner, pumpkin decorating, costume contest, and lots of Halloween Fun! One winner from each party receives a free month of Gymboree! Thursday October 18th at 3:30pm Friday, October 19th at 5:00pm Saturday, October 20th at 5:30pm $20 per child, RESERVE YOUR SPOT IN ADVANCE 703-590-3320
St. Paul UMC (1400 G Street Woodbridge VA) will host a Family Scarecrow Competition! - at 5pm. Pumpkin "heads", posts, and straw/fillings will be provided. Bring old clothes and any other props to compete! What fun for all!

26th

Bull Run Mountain Conservancy (17405 Beverley Mill Drive  Broad Run, VA 20137) will host a Halloween Safari, $7pp advance or $10 at the door.
Floating Gourd Family Night at the Manassas Park Community Center will let kids ages 6-12 jump in to a floating pumpkin patch! The pumpkins will be oiled for extra fun, and after swimming, you can decorate your gourd.  6:30pm-8:30pm $5/participant. 
Glow Night at Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Road Bluemont VA) will feature over 3,000 carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns, live DJ Dinosaur, corn maze, play area, cow train, animals and more. 9am-6pm
St. Paul UMC (1400 G Street Woodbridge VA) will host a  Movie in the Patch! - beginning at dusk and featuring "Spoogly the Square Pumpkin". Everyone is encouraged to wear their costumes, bring a blanket or chair, and enjoy an evening movie.
Fright Lights is at 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m. every Friday in October at C.D.Hylton High School, 14051 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge. This spooktacular experience uses the planetarium’s darkness and the SkyLase laser system set to music from various artists. The 9 p.m. shows are louder than early shows and include Halloween spirits mingling with audience members; may not be suitable for all audiences. Tickets are $10 at the door; exact change only. Limited to the first 65 guests 
Boo at the Pool is at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center, 14300 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge. Bring your favorite pool float and enjoy face painting, music and trick-or-treat goody bags. Free for center passholders; $12 for non passholder families of four; $4 for non-passholders age 16 and older; and $3 for non-passholders age 15 and younger. Call 703-670-7112, ext. 249 or e-mail tcuddy@pwcparks.org.

27th
Bull Run Mountain Conservancy (17405 Beverley Mill Drive  Broad Run, VA 20137) will host a Halloween Safari, $7pp advance or $10 at the door
Glow Night at Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Road Bluemont VA) will feature over 3,000 carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns, live DJ Dinosaur, corn maze, play area, cow train, animals and more. 9am-6pm
Spooky Magic By Geo Potomac Library (2201 State Route 642 Woodbridge VA 22191) Join us for a celebration of Halloween with double-the-spooky-fun featuring "Magic by Geo". Geo will present two identical shows from 2 to 3 pm and 3:30 to 4:30pm. For all ages. Please pick up a free ticket at the Information Desk, for the showtime of your choice, beginning October 13th. Limit 60.
St. Paul UMC (1400 G Street Woodbridge VA) will host a Fall Frenzy! - from 2-5pm. All of the fun that can be packed into this afternoon event! Moon bounce,Crafts, Harvest Games, Face Painting, etc. 
Haunted happenings in Old Town Manassas- Come join us on October 27th for a frightfully good time full of free Halloween activities in Old Town Manassas.  Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. in the City Hall Parking Lot (9027 Center Street) where little ghouls and goblins can register for the Haunted Happenings Costume Contest Parade and pick up their very own trick-or-treat bag.  The Parade will begin at 11:00a.m. and proceed down Center Street to The Loy E.Harris Pavilion so local judges can vote on the participating costumes. Categories include cutest, scariest, and most original in age groups 5 and under, 6-9, and 10-12.  Trick or Treat in the shops from 11:30am-1pm.  All participating shops will have a Halloween Pennant in their window.  After that, head back to the Harris Pavilion for the costume contest winners, free games, and fun!  
Chick Fil A Signal Hill (Manassas) will provide kids 12 and under who wear a costume to the store a free 4-count kids meal or a free 3-count minis for breakfast. 6am-10pm. 
Bobby McKey's at the National Harbor will offer a kids show for ages 3 and up.  $5 cover, wear your Halloween Costume. 
Cows-N-Corn has hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze and more every weekend through Oct. 28. The working dairy farm at 5225 Catlett Rd. in Midland is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Oreos. Everyone who visits the maze can enter to win a year’s supply of Oreos and milk. Reservations are requested for Hot Dog & Hayride nights on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $9 per person, Children 3 and under free.For more information, call 540-439-4806 or visit www.cows-n-corn.com.
Grace United Methodist Church Halloween fun is at 5:15 p.m. at 9750 Wellington Road, Manassas. The day begins with hayrides, hot dogs and games at 5:15 p.m. and trunk-or-treat at 6:15 p.m. The festivities end with the annual Pipescreams concert at 7 p.m., a costumed celebration of the church’s Austin Pipe Organ with fun and spooky tunes. Call 703-361-7800 or visit www.umcgrace.org.
 Free Fall Family Fun Festival at Manassas Church of the Nazarene (8220 Spruce Street, Manassas) on Saturday, October 27 from 1-3 pm. There will be FREE hot dogs, popcorn, snacks, drinks, crafts, games, moon bounces, and more. Come for a kid friendly event suitable for the whole family. For more info call the church at 703-361-7688.
Here Lieth the Body at Rippon Lodge features funerals, duels, and ghostly tales. See Rippon Lodge draped in black crepe as family members mourn the 1757 death of Richard Blackburn. Learn about the early 19th century local duels and the losers who were brought to Rippon Lodge. Ghostly tales will be spun throughout the day. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28. The cost is $7 per person.

28th

Fall Festival at Pathway Vineyard Church (1550 Prince William Parkway Woodbridge VA) from 12-3.  Moonbounce, hot dogs, carnival games and more. 
Cows-N-Corn has hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze and more every weekend through Oct. 28. The working dairy farm at 5225 Catlett Rd. in Midland is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Oreos. Everyone who visits the maze can enter to win a year’s supply of Oreos and milk. Reservations are requested for Hot Dog & Hayride nights on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $9 per person, Children 3 and under free.For more information, call 540-439-4806 or visit www.cows-n-corn.com.
Trick-or-Treat for Dogs is at 1 p.m. at Fetch! Dog and Cat Bakery, 305 Mill St., Occoquan. The historic village of Occoquan will be taken over by furry trick-or-treaters to raise funds for the Prince William County Park Authority to build a dog park. Call 703-491-8686 or e-mail thefetchdogbakery@gmail.com.

29th

Potomac Library (2201 State Route 642 Woodbridge VA 22191) "MishMash: Happy Haunted Halloween" from 2-3pm Dress up in costume and join us for some spooky stories, songs & fingerplays, followed by trick-or-treat in the library. Especially for preschoolers ages 2-5, but family members are welcome! Drop in; no registration required.
The Petrified Campground is at 7 p.m. at Prince William Forest Park, Park Headquarters Rd., Triangle. Looking for an alternative to trick-or-treating? Join us for a ghoulishly good time at our petrified campground with wacky games, S'mores around a campfire and hayride. Prizes awarded for best campsite, scary story, costume and more. The cost is $5 per vehicle entrance fee. Call 703-221-7181 or visit http://www.nps.gov/prwi/index.htm.

30th

Parade of Costumes at Chinn Library (13065 Chinn Park Drive Woodbridge, VA 22192) will host 2 costume parades from 10:30-11:30 or from 2pm-3pm Come in costume for Halloween stories, songs, and a parade throughout the library. For children ages 2-6 with a caregiver. Drop in; No tickets required.

November

3rd
Holy Trinity Catholic Church Fall Festival is at 11 a.m. at 8213 Linton Hall Road, Gainesville. Enjoy rides, moon bounces, rock wall, yard sale, face painting, hot rod car showcase and more. Tickets are $10 per person and includes entrance to all rides except Bungee ride, which is an additional $5. Family rate tickets are available after Oct. 27 and 28 masses and allows large families to enter for a $40 flat fee. Call 571-248-4070 or e-mail debkromer@verizon.net for more information.

Bull Run Conservancy Halloween Safari

Permalink to Bull%20Run%20Conservancy%20Halloween%20Safari
Published: 09/06/2012
Bull Run Maountain Conservancy will host a non-scary Halloween Safari this year! Check out the flier below for details.  This event is also listed on our calendar. 

daytime playtime - a fun place to Learn.... a great place to Grow A Play Gym Designed for Parents and Children Aged 10 Months to 4 1/2 Years... Majest Martial Arts - Montclair Elite Maid Squad