Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Permalink to Getting%20Ready%20for%20Kindergarten%20
Published: 08/27/2014
Our friends at Christ Chapel Academy have some tips for all of you getting ready to send off a Kindergartner!


Robin Banford-Geisler and Genia Cole have worked together teaching kindergarten classes at CCA for the past five years.  Last school year, they were chosen co-teachers of the year at the annual teacher recognition luncheon held on June 12th.  Each teacher is an amazing teacher in her own right, sharing her passion for education, and love for learning with her students.  They both understand that the early years of school are foundational to helping students to become confident life-long learners.  Each of them models Christ to their students, supporting self-discipline and positive character development. Working together, however, they have been able to challenge their young students to discover and develop their unique gifts and talents. 

In the video, Robin and Genia share tips that can help you get your new kindergartner off to a great start!




Feel free to share any additional tips that you have learned that can be helpful to other parents reading this blog. 


Credentials:
Robin Banford-Geisler BS/Early Childhood & Elementary Education; Masters/ Reading Literacy, George Mason University
Kindergarten Teacher
Elementary School

Eugenia Cole BS/ Christian Elementary Education, Virginia Baptist College
Kindergarten Teacher
Elementary School


Christ Chapel Academy is dedicated to unleashing the leadership potential within each student.  Academically rigorous programs, a vibrant christ-centered community, and a unique multicultural learning environmentmake CCA a great option for parents who want a smaller school but don’t want to sacrifice big opportunities for their student(s).  \

Christ Chapel Academy was voted as the “Best Private School” in Prince William County in 2014, by Prince William Today readers. 

Learn more about Christ Chapel Academy at christchapelacademy.org

Week in Preview: October 28- November 3, 2013

Permalink to Week%20in%20Preview%3A%20October%2028-%20November%203%2C%202013
Published: 10/28/2013
Soooo, I'm a little behind and Monday's half over.  

I'm sorry.

Here we go:

Pre-register/Pick up Tickets for:
Reptile World Third Annual Janice Eisenhart Memorial Program. Learn about the facinating world of reptiles during this captivating program with LIVE animals! (please note: this program will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.) For students in grades K and up and their parents. Free tickets are required and will be available beginning October 28.  (Program will be held November 4 at 7pm at Central Library) 

November 7th at 9:45am- Dr. Suess (Ages 3-5) Code 310401
Let your imagination run wild with Dr. Suess. Join us as we read several of his books and explore them through various projects and activities. $15 SBDCRC November 7th at 9:45am *Note: Let’s Celebrate Fall and Dr. Suess have the same ID Code in the magazine, so confirm you are registered for the correct class when calling.

November 7th at 7pm at Bull Run Library- Tell everyone what you're thankful for with this fun centerpiece for your family's Thanksgiving table. Grades K-5. Younger siblings welcome with an adult. Registration required, online, by phone or in person.

Wonderful Wednesday at the Freedom Center in Manassas- Pumpkins: Get ready for fall and Halloween with a day of pumpkin arts and crafts. Caregiver participation required. Cost is $10/class. (703) 993-8444


Girls Lock In and Sleepover (3rd-5th Graders) Code 310204
Join us for a night full of fun.  Snacks and Breakfast will be provided.  Come dressed in your favorite PJs and fuzzy slippers.  Pre-registration required by November 1.  For girls only in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade.  $30, CAFC November 16th 7pm-7am




Monday, October 28
From 2-3, join Potomac Library for a Halloween "Mish Mash": Wear your costume, if you'd like, and join us for stories, songs and fingerplays for children ages 2-5. We will have trick-or-treat after the stories! Drop in; no registration required.

I joke about being jealous of all the pink breast cancer events (Brain Awareness is Grey.  You know who wants to eat grey yogurt or buy grey shirts? Nobody.), however it's important and Novant Health has a fun event where you can get screened, too, tonight from 6-9pm in Haymarket: Our popular Ladies’ Night Out event is back and bigger than ever before. Shop jewelry styles and accessories while trying the latest makeup trends, sampling tasty appetizers and sipping mocktails. Enjoy a complimentary chair massage, enter to win fabulous prizes and walk home with a swanky swag bag. Most important, take the time to get your screening mammogram while supporting other women. Be part of the power of pink and join us. 

Tuesday, October 29
Don't run out of time to visit the pumpkin patch!! Our Fall Fun Guide has a big list of them, as well as trunk or treats and more! 






Spooky Tots at Virginia Gateway, Atlas Walk in Gainesville, will be at 10:30am.  This free event will include songs, facepainting, Halloween Crafts, giveaway, and more! 











Wednesday, October 30
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! (14906 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Woodbridge, VA 22191) We'll be there at 4pm. 

From 4-7pm, kids who come in costume will get a free 4 count kids meal at Chick Fil A Sudley Manor (Manassas)

Thursday, October 31 HALLOWEEN
Chinn Library will host two costume parades, one at 10:30am and one at 2pm.  







Join the Marketplace at Madison Crescent for face painting, goody bags, trick or treat, and a costume contest with cash prizes from 3pm-5pm! 















We've got trunk-or-treat or trick-or-treat events on the calendar at Manassas Mall, Potomac Mills Mall, Manassas Park Community Center, Manassas St. Thomas and Church on the Move,

Friday, November 1
As the weather gets colder, figure out your favorite indoor play area!! We've got bounce houses like Kids N Motion, House of Bounce, Jump N Jimmys and more!! We'd love your feedback as it's been years since we've been to some of them! Send your reviews to us via email or Facebook

Saturday, November 2
Haven't had enough Halloween yet? A zombie walk is what happens when a group of people dress up like zombies, meet someplace and then lurch, shuffle and basically go for a walk together making zombie noises.  The 3rd Annual Fredericksburg Zombie Walk, benefiting the Hope House, SECA, the King George Food Bank and S.E.R.V.E, will take place November 2nd, 2013. Please bring a nonperishable food item, a household cleaning product or a roll of paper towels to donate and read the event information in its entirety.

From 7:30-10, Middle Schoolers can enjoy a night out at Chinn Rec Center: DJ/Music, wallyball, dodgeball, basketball, lounge area.  7:30-10pm $5, PWCS Student ID required. Grades 6-8 ONLY. 

Sunday, November 3
Middle and High Schoolers can enjoy a free open gym at Potomac Crest Baptist Church beginning at 6pm. 



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.

Snow and Story at PWICE

Permalink to Snow%20and%20Story%20at%20PWICE
Published: 10/17/2013
Take your little one to Prince William Ice Center for snow and story! This fun program lets them play on the ice (no skates required) and includes hot cocoa and a story at the end! Can't make the times listed? Your group can schedule a private "Snow and Story", too! Just call Maureen Brennan at 703-730-8423.  This is a great field trip for preschools or playgroups!  Space for drop-in days is limited, so to reserve your spot, be sure to call ahead!




Note: PW Ice Center is a sponsor of PwcMoms.com

Week in Preview: October 14th-October 20th, 2013

Permalink to Week%20in%20Preview%3A%20October%2014th-October%2020th%2C%202013
Published: 10/14/2013
Happy Monday!

If you weren't already furloughed, it's Columbus Day, so some of you might be off, and others not.  Columbus Day has always confused me, which I attribute to being a PWCS graduate.  Fairfax seemed to think Columbus was super important and kids should get to enjoy furniture sales with their parents, whereas Prince William County, clearly noting some of the controversy surrounding Columbus that most of us would only learn about via Facebook as adults, thought we were better served by coloring the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria in class.

But I digress.

(To further add to your confusion, the libraries will be CLOSED but I hear that some of our national parks may be re-opening...maybe?)

Here are a few of our picks for the week.  Remember, these are just a few suggestions- our full calendar is available at the very appropriately named "calendar" tab above.

Have a great week!

Pre-register for:

Shenanigans at Central Library in Manassas: A program designed for students in grades K-5 who like to be creative. Held every two weeks. Registration is required and may be done online or by phone. 
Oct 3 - Tissue Paper Pencil Holder; Oct 17- Yarn Paintings; Oct 31 - DIY Boomerangs.

Hylton Planetarium Shows: Tickets are $10 per person. Please bring exact change (CASH ONLY). Seating is limited to 60 people per show.Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Hylton High School main office Monday thru Friday from 7:30am - 4:00pm or the evening of any show at the planetarium box office. Shows are 10/11, 10/18, and 10/25

Friday Night- Seek the Unknown at Bull Run Library with Suzanne Sorrell, a real life ghostbuster! Suzanne will bring ghost hunting equipment and her paranormal experience to help us search for the spirits that might haunt our building. Ghoulish snacks will be provided. For middle and high school students. Registration is required.

10/22- The ARC of Prince William County facilitates an Autism Parent Support Group that meets the 4th Tuesday of each month. This parent-run group offers support, education, and social opportunities for families who have children (of any age) on the Autism spectrum. Child care is available. Call 703-730-3124 or email jrussell@arcgpw.org for more information.



Monday, October 14th (Columbus Day)
I would CALL BEFORE YOU GO for any pumpkin patches today.  Many of them have been announcing closures due to the overly-generous dose of rain we've received over the last few days.

For those of you that could use a little extra help with the grocery budget this month (especially in light of not getting a paycheck for weeks on end) In partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), Holiness Tabernacle provides free, healthy and nourishing food to Prince William County every second Monday from 12 to 3 P.M. and hosts the CAFB's Mobile Food Pantry every fourth Monday (where fresh produce is distributed).

Tuesday, October 15th
If you missed our guest post about IKEA on Tuesdays, here's your chance to check out their kids eat free day.  Also, note that IKEA Woodbridge is offering free breakfast to those who are furloughed as well as $2 meatball lunch/dinners for their Twitter and Facebook fans.

If you're thinking about an instrument for your child, you can learn what a variety of musical instruments sound like, the size and scale of the various instruments, how to assemble, clean and maintain each instrument properly, and what it takes to play them. This program will help adults and children learn to choose the instrument that is the right fit for them. The presentation will be followed by a short question and answer period. Parents and the children who attend this showcase will walk away from it with greater knowledge about the various instruments they are choosing between and will have a better grasp of how to truly succeed at the instrument of their choice. This is a free program. Registration, beginning September 1st, is encouraged and registered patrons will have first priority to attend, but it is not required. Presenter: Helen Santoro of NOVA Music Center at Chinn Library

Wednesday, October 16th
 STROLL & ROLL is back at The Cavalier! Stroll & Roll is a session aimed at kids ages 1-5. They can practice skating, go wild in the Play Zone or bring their favorite ride on toy and whiz around on our huge floor. Stroll & Roll is held every Wednesday from 10:00a-12:00p starting September 4th. Admission is only $3 per child and moms & dads are FREE!

Thursday, October 17th
I have a tendency to skip days where the events are all ones I've mentioned before, but it was recently pointed out to me that just because I've been writing about them for years doesn't mean you guys have been reading (are any of you still reading this far into a post? I don't know....) So, with that in mind:

Kidgits at Potomac Mills Mall happens on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 10am. This month- Watch Child Time Magic amaze you! -- Delight in complimentary refreshments courtesy of Rita's Ice and Starbucks -- Enjoy special deals for moms and dads -- Kidgits members - receive a complimentary inflatable fish* -- Purchase a VIK (Very Important Kid) snack bag for $1* *While supplies last

Ages 5 and under may also enjoy Kiddie Tyme at the Dale City Rec Center- Children can romp and play to music in the gymnasium with colorful, kid-friendly toys and gym equipment. Drop-in, no pre-registration required, and parents are free. Kiddie Tyme follows the PWCS schedule for weather closings, and does not meet on Teacher Workdays or school holidays.  $3/child/visit or purchase a 10 card punch for $30

Friday, October 18th
Not in PWC, but worth a look- Enjoy free admission to the National Children's Museum for your whole family, as well as hands-on activities and interactive play in the NCM theatre and exhibit areas. Sponsored by GEICO.
Please note: tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the NCM box office beginning at 5 p.m. on the day of the event. The museum will close for half an hour at 4:30 p.m. to give staff time to prepare for the event.

Saturday, October 19th
We'll be at the iWalk event for ACTS today, and I'd love to see some of you there.  I'm not hard to spot- I have a banging "overly shaggy boys' haircut", come say hi!
Event schedule and times
Walk registration at 9 a.m., Group start @ 10 a.m.
 Free Community Festival 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Also on the calendar for today- the community open house and shred at the landfill, including an educational "infotainer", games, food, and more.

Sunday, October 20th
Hopefully by Sunday several of the pumpkin patches will have dried out.  You can find a good starting list on our "Fall Fun Guide" for 2013! 

Fall Minis with Heather Chesky Photography

Permalink to Fall%20Minis%20with%20Heather%20Chesky%20Photography
Published: 10/03/2013

Fall Mini Sessions with Heather Chesky Photography will be held October 26th and 27th and start at $250 for 30 minutes, an online gallery, 5 digital images, and a photo Christmas ornament.  Additional prints are 15% off.  Email to reserve your spot. See more images on Heather's Website and Facebook Page


This is a sponsored ad from Heather Chesky Photography. 


Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour: October 5&6, 2013

Permalink to Culpeper%20Harvest%20Days%20Farm%20Tour%3A%20October%205%266%2C%202013
Published: 09/29/2013

A free, self-guided event much like the PWC Farm Tour.  Check it out online and find a list of farms and locations you can choose from. 

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.  



Great Country Farms Cider Festival September 14&15, 2013

Permalink to Great%20Country%20Farms%20Cider%20Festival%20September%2014%2615%2C%202013
Published: 09/07/2013

Celebrate the Apple Harvest & Tractor Corn Maize Grand Opening!


Bluemont, VA – Enjoy the early fall harvest at Great Country Farms Cider Festival September 14 & 15.  Apples are available for U-Pick and the whole family can enjoy tastings of fresh pressed cider and sparkling cider blends including peach, cherry and raspberry with bottles available to take home for the holidays. Adults can purchase samples of locally made apple wine from Corcoran Vineyards, hard cider and more! All ages can explore the Tractor themed Corn Maize which is sized to be especially inviting to younger children. The weekend includes live music, arts, crafts, and clown entertainment from noon – 3pm both days.

The whole family can appreciate the hard work involved with farming the old fashioned way when they take a turn cranking the wheel on the Farm’s antique cider press! The Farm is celebrating its 20th Year anniversary with extra special events to be announced throughout the autumn season. Pre-picked produce is available in the Farm Market and homemade Cider donuts, Kettle Korn, along with apple dumplings, apple pie and other seasonal treats are served in the Roosteraunt.

Cider Festival details:
September 14 & 15 from 9am-6pm
$10/child & $12/adult admission includes cider tastings from 11am – 3pm
Farm Members, Military ID holders and kids 2 and under are FREE
Contact Jaclyn Jenkins jaclyn@greatcountryfarms.com 540-554-2073 GreatCountryFarms.com

2013 Dumfries Fall Festival

Permalink to 2013%20Dumfries%20Fall%20Festival
Published: 09/05/2013
Dumfries will host its annual Fall Festival on September 14, 2013 from 11am-6:30pm.

Featured Organization Friday: iWalk for ACTS

Permalink to Featured%20Organization%20Friday%3A%20iWalk%20for%20ACTS%20
Published: 08/30/2013

This sounds like a fun one.  Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS) is a mainstay in the Prince William County nonprofit scene.  They've been helping people in our area for as long as I can remember.  One of my first volunteer memories is helping with Operation Turkey, and another shortly after that was feeding people dinner at the emergency shelter with Girl Scouts.  ACTS is holding their 3rd Annual iWalk for ACTS to benefit families in need on Saturday, October 19th in Merchant's Park in Dumfries.  After the walk there's a FREE Family Festival with games, moonbounces, face painting, clowns, obstacle courses, free food, and more.  This definitely sounds like a great day for the family.

Don't wait until October, though! Sign up now for a family rate of $50, or, you can sign up as a fundraiser and get those in your life to help you sponsor this great walk!

ACTS runs a food pantry, homeless prevention shelter, domestic violence shelter, helpline and more.  They're a 4-Star Charity Navigator organization (remember- know who you're supporting!!) You can also support ACTS through the United Way: United Way NCA Designation Code: 8001
Combined Federal Campaign Number (CFC): 21878

Halloween Mini Sessions: BelaJuli Photography

Permalink to Halloween%20Mini%20Sessions%3A%20BelaJuli%20Photography
Published: 08/27/2013
Kids are so adorable in their costumes- especially the little ones! Capture the fun of your little one's Halloween with mini sessions from BelaJuli Photography.  They're offering two dates, October 6th (Sunday) and October 19th (Saturday), and you'll get a 30 minute session and 5 digital files for $55!

For more information, or to schedule, visit BelaJuli Photography on Facebook, or email MAZuero@BelaJuliPhotogrpahy.com!

Business Review: Ticonderoga Farms

Permalink to Business%20Review%3A%20Ticonderoga%20Farms
Published: 08/20/2013
Most of the "fun farms" in Northern Virginia are in Loudon County and they take some time for me to get to from my side of Prince William.  However, while Ticonderoga Farms' address may be Chantilly, and while my friend from  Aldie told me it was "just a few minutes from her" (I consider Aldie to be the dark side of the moon from where we live!) it's actually just about 5 minutes from Manassas Battlefield, which is awesome!  Here's how that works:
Where A= Manassas Battlefield Park, B= Ticonderoga Farms and C=Aldie, VA

That's about the extent of the math you're gonna find here on PwcMoms.  It's not even that math-y, but I used equals signs, so we're gonna count it. 

I found Ticonderoga Farms to be really enjoyable.  I liked that it's shaded, I liked that it's not as crowded as some of the more well-known farms, and I think that it had a lot of good options for playing, especially for younger kids in the age Preschool-Grade 1 age range.  Let's take a photo tour, shall we?




There's a pond with a wiggly bridge over the top, which my boys loved.  If you stop in the middle and look hard into the water, there are little teeny tiny sunfish! This was, apparently, a HUGE deal. We looked at the tiny fish for a good five minutes.

 There are a few cutouts for you to take your picture on, and they were in the process of "Fall-ing" up the hayride space so it'd be ready for pumpkin season and Halloween.  I think the hayride will be very fun for those visiting in the fall.




There are a few antique firetrucks for kids to climb all over, and my daughter thought this was probably the most fun she'd ever had.  Watch for any nuts or bolts, but older kids will enjoy climbing up on top and younger kids will like "driving" the truck for a minute.

 Swings! And Trees! And Chickens running around!
One of the play structures- note that there's shade involved.  We also ate lunch on one of the picnic tables in the shade.  For my kids, this doesn't matter as much, but for me, who gets a sunburn on a cloudy day wearing SPF 80, it's a big deal :)  It looked like there was a snack bar that's probably open during festival weekends, but we packed our lunch and enjoyed a picnic.
 There are, of course, the requisite slides on a hill and there's a giant inflated pillow, for lack of a better word, that the kids can bounce around on.  Your socks will get dirty, but if it's too warm out and you go without them, the plastic can be a little warm on tiny toes, so I'd bring an old pair of socks, even if your kids are rocking the crocks.
 You know, as much as anyone can "rock" crocks.

We had a fun time and spent over three hours playing outside.  This is much more "farmy" than some of the farms you might think of, but we liked that, because it wasn't as crowded.  I think my oldest son might be getting slightly too old for places like this to be "cool" for him, but he did play nicely with his siblings, and he had fun looking at the fish and jumping on the pillow.

One note- there is a bamboo maze that is a serious maze.  I think my boys would've spent hours in there, but if you're going with young children, note that this isn't like a corn maze where you wander in one direction and come out, it's a real maze with multiple twists and turns.  I can see that being an issue if you've got a child who's potty training ;)

Here's what some of my readers had to say about Ticonderoga Farms:
we LOVE going there! so much fun!

Go there for Easter egg hunts during spring. I like that its not as crazy as Cox Farms and family owned.

 Also been to cut our own Christmas tree couple years ago. Plan on taking baby soon at the end of 

August & we always bring smore's fixings to make smores there.

We love it there!!! Love!!!! We can spend a whole day there.

We go every week because its where i pick up my CSA my daughter loves it there!!



 Ticonderoga Farms offers:
* Summer Harvest Festival, Spring Easter Festival, Fall Pumpkin Festival, and a Winter Festival
* A community garden for those who'd like to grow their own produce but don't have space
* A Farm Market  including organic eggs, local honey, produce, figs, and bamboo
* Fig groves and a fig festival
And more.  The farm is also working on a botanic garden, which, from what we could see from the road, looks amazing!

Admission depends on the time of year, but for summer is $8.95/person, and hours are 10am-5pm, all week long.  Field trips, group rates, and corporate/family parties are available.


Disclaimer: PwcMoms was provided with free admission in return for providing a review.  All opinions are our own. All information is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publishing, but events/dates/times/offerings may change over time. Please see Ticonderoga Farms website for updated information and offerings. 

Fall Co-Curricular and Extra Curricular Activities

Permalink to Fall%20Co-Curricular%20and%20Extra%20Curricular%20Activities
Published: 08/14/2013
Back to School also means back to activities!! If you're looking for the perfect activity for your child, here are a few suggestions:

I- Co-Curricular Activities (activities that compliment learning and the SOLs, if you're into that sort of thing)

Engineering for Kids offers classes in Woodbridge at the Chinn Center and will also come to your school or location (think scouts or homeschool) if you'd like to start your own Robotics club.  We worked with them on a Robotics Workshop and it was amazing. Classes are offered for ages 4 to 14, so even preschoolers can enjoy this program!






Edgemoor Art Studio is still one of my favorite favorites because of director, Ruth Johnsen, who is just amazing with children.  Ruth offers art and phonics classes, starting at age 2 with "My Grown Up and Me" and going through age 16.  Phonics classes start at age 4 and classes are small, but Ruth also offers private tutoring for older students.  Art classes start at 2 and are fun, engaging, and use artist-quality materials.  Edgemoor won the Seefeldt Award for Art Excellence this year, as well.  The studio is located in Lake Ridge. These are not "crafty" classes, they're actual art lessons.



Scouting/things-similar-to-Scouting-that-don't-use-that-word-because-it's-trademarked (hereafter "scouting") can be a really fun activity if you find the right pack/den/troop for your family's level of activity.  Our readers recommended:
Daisies at Yorkshire Elementary 4067
Daisies at Leesylvania Elementary Troop 866
Brownie Troop 1789 at Leesylvania Elementary
American Heritage Girls Troop 1947
American Heritage Girls Troop 0428 (All Saints)
American Heritage Girls Troop 1010 (First Baptist)

Baden-Powell Service Organization (2 out of Woodbridge)
Boy Scouts of America Pack 1364 (Pattie Elementary, Montclair)



Animated Child in Montclair offers both an all-day program, Minecraft nights out, Spanish Language instruction, art classes, and other opportunities throughout the year.  In addition, they offer parents night out and parents day out programs, so if the year gets to be a little much for you and you need a glass of wine with grownups....they've got you covered.


We've never used Drama Kids, but readers mentioned it! They offer classes at the Freedom Center in Manassas, as well as the Southlake Rec Center in Montclair.






All Sports, Various Activities- Check out the newest Leisure Magazine from the county! Typically their programs are great introductions AND they are affordable. 


Live in Manassas? You'll want to check out the listings for Manassas Park Community Center, too! You'll find the Freedom Center listings in Leisure Magazine (above) 




II.  Music Lessons (because that piano isn't just to hold your Precious Moments collection! These are in the order they were received, not alphabetical)
Jessica's music studio, manassas 703-368-3434. My 4 year old has been taking lessons for 4 months. She sees Josh and she already knows a tons. He's great with her. Heard that all the teachers there are great. Lessons run around $120/month for a 30 minute lesson once a week ( for the month).

Mary Beth Nolan, Montclair, $25 for 30 min lesson. Beginner through intermediate. 703-583-8680.

Music and Arts, Potomac Festival Mall, Miss B. $30 for 30 minutes/once a week. She is fantastic! My daughter has been with her for over a year now and plays beautifully!

I'm a piano teacher in the Woodbridge area. I have an undergrad degree in performance and a masters in music Ed. I charge $25 for half hour weekly lessons and I have 2 recitals every year and participate in piano festival for those interested. You can message me on here or through my email lessonsbystef@gmail.com (Stephanie Houde)

Kathleen at KLR Studios. Love her!! http://www.klrstudios.com/

We love Emily Condie Baird! $23 for 40 minute lessons in the Lake Ridge Area. 703-338-7359

Hello! I'm Dr. Becky Crowley, and I teach piano (and flute) in Woodbridge. While my studio is pretty full, I occasionally have some openings. I'd be happy to answer any questions your reader might have. She can contact me at Crowley.Becky@gmail.com, and she can also view my website at beckycrowley.com. Thanks!

III- Sports (activities that get some of that energy out and keep your kids fit and happy, hopefully you're into that sort of thing) 
Readers Recommend:
Baseball/T-Ball/Softball:
Dale City Rec Center (Eastern PWC)
GHBL (Western PWC), t-ball starting at age 4 and baseball starting at age 6
Greater Manassas Baseball League (includes softball)
PWGFS Softball

Basketball:
Boys and Girls Club (Multiple Locations)
EPWBA x3 (Eastern PWC)
Upward Basketball (Multiple Locations)
Prospects Sports (Eastern PWC) ages 5 and up

Dance:
We have a WHOLE separate post on that one! Click here.

Football/Cheer:
Dale City Sports Clubs x3 (Eastern PWC) ages 5-12, tackle football and Cheerleading
Game Time Sportz x3 (Eastern PWC) Flag football in Lake Ridge
Youth Sports gymnastics/tumble/cheerleading

Gymnastics:
Apollo 
Youth Sports

Ice Sports:
Prince William Hockey Club (Our money and our kids skate with PWHC)

Other Sports:
-Parkour at Urban Evolution
-Rock Climbing at Vertical Rock

Soccer:
VSA (Western PWC)
PWSI x3 (Our kids played PWSI and I loved it, our daughter is returning)
NVSC x3 one parent noted Hellwig Field is cleaner than the field by Splashdown
WBSC (Woodbridge)

Softball:
GMBL x2 (Western PWC)
PWGFS registration ends on August 3rd

Swimming:
Swim Kids (Various locations)  All three of my kids swam with Swim Kids for a time, and it's well done

All Sports, Various Activities- Check out the newest Leisure Magazine from the county! Typically their programs are great introductions AND they are affordable. 



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. 


Review: Great Country Farms

Permalink to Review%3A%20Great%20Country%20Farms
Published: 10/19/2012
So, listen.  I tell you guys pretty much everything when it comes to fun stuff to do with your kids.  I'm going to tell you about Great Country Farms because I told them I would and they gave me giveaway tickets.

But I don't want to, because I want it to be all mine.

I have never left a pumpkin patch/farm feeling peaceful and relaxed. In fact, I usually leave mumbling to myself "one...two...three...one...two..three" from hours of compulsively counting my children because I'm sure they're going to get lost in the throngs of people.  When we went to Great Country Farms this week, I didn't have that feeling at all.  Peaceful, open, and very "farm" (as opposed to being very "attraction") we went on a Tuesday and were among a handful of people.  That morning there'd been a few schools and groups that came through, but by lunchtime when we arrived, most of them were leaving and we had the run of the farm with just a few other families. 
 It's really hard for me to tell you about their hayride without comparing it to the hayride we go on every year...so I'm not going to try.  There's no hay on this hayride, and there's benches to sit on! Benches! No hay fever and no legs falling asleep!  This is strictly a hayride, though, around the farm to the field, so don't expect a show, although the landscape is gorgeous!
 The hayride ends at the pumpkin patch, which includes lots of different varieties from the traditional orange jack-o-lantern to the decorative white and green varieties. The pumpkins are already cut off the vine (I actually think they just scatter them around the corn field) and are sold by the pound.
 There are also tons of animals around the farm.  Cups of feed are $2 and we fed pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, peacocks, horses, cows, sheep, donkeys, rabbits, goats, and probably some other things I'm forgetting.  You can also do "catch and release fishing" in their pond.  Bring a rod. Putt Putt Golf is available for $1 per ball, which is refunded when you bring your ball back.
 Awww, they're being cute :) This is the entrance to pedal go-karts, which are really fun, but hard for smaller legs to propel.  I liked that everything was interactive and kid-powered.
 This is a giant pillow.  You bounce and run all over it until someone gets tired and/or runs into someone else.  It's tremendously fun, and I think that my kids did it for a full hour.
 Isn't this fantastically beautiful? These stairs lead up to a pipe slide down a hill.  The whole farm is very picturesque.
This is a giant play area full of corn kernels.  Your kids will come out covered in cornstarch, but very happy.  We spent several hours on the farm and enjoyed some hot cider on our way out.  They also sell cold cider, local sodas, and ice cream in their store.  

In addition to everything mentioned here, there are tons and tons of play structures, a cow train ($2) and the farm also hosts a CSA, or community supported agriculture program. We really enjoyed this farm, and I would definitely go again. It's a bit of a drive, about an hour and a half from Woodbridge, but you could easily spend an entire day there.  While the farm is open for fall and features pumpkins and a corn maze, they're also open year round and have fun events for each season. Admission is $10 per child and $12 per adult.  There's a restaurant that's open on weekends, or ample picnic table space for those who want to pack.  This is definitely a "highly recommend" in my book- even if it's not in Prince William County!

Want to enjoy your own idyllic day at Great Country Farms? Enter by leaving a comment on this post! Don't forget to include your email address so I can get in touch with you! This contest closes on Monday, October 22, 2012. Good luck! 

PS- Great County Farms provided our family with comp tickets to come and review their farm.  All opinions are my own, and we really did have a fantastic time.  Just ask my husband who slept in an adirondack chair all afternoon. 

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).

Guest Post: Belvedere Plantation

Permalink to Guest%20Post%3A%20Belvedere%20Plantation
Published: 10/16/2012
Special thanks to our guest poster, who emailed me asking about Belvedere and agreed to go write about it when I didn't have a review! If you like to write and visit new classes, places, or playgrounds, I'd love to publish your work, too! 


Sunday, October, 14 we spent the most beautiful fall day at Belvedere Plantation!!

We arrived soon after opening, which I highly recommend! By the time we left in the afternoon it was quite crowded. While in line to pick up tickets, we were greeted by the Pumpkin Princess dressed in a beautiful orange gown greeting the children with a bucket of candy! I am not quite sure if it was the candy, or the princess, but my 2 ½ year old was instantly in love! She wanted to follow the Princess all around the plantation the rest of the day!
There were a few things that greatly impressed me about Belvedere Plantation. The first  was they had REAL bathrooms, and many of them! They also had a baby changing station/family bathroom. This was amazing since we are right in the middle of potty training and the idea of trying to get my little one to go into a porta-potty gives me nightmares!  They also had lots of benches and places to sit. If you have older grandparents with you, this is a huge plus.

Another thing that really impressed me was the way they handled the jumping pillow. At other farms we have visited, they were a free for all with a mix of big kids and little kids. At Belvedere, they have someone working at the jumping pillow timing the jumping times. He gave 2 minutes for each group- little kids, then big kids. It was awesome because it gave each group an opportunity to jump with children their own size. They could come back an unlimited amount of times.

The other activities in the same area as the jumping pillow were the pedal cars, pony rides, and the fun barn. These are geared more towards the 4 year old and up crowd. There were not very long lines for any of them. The Fun Barn is also in this area. It is filled with a foot or two of loosely packed hay with ropes for the kids to swing on.
They have activity tents with face painting and pumpkin painting. The face painting was free, but the pumpkin painting was an extra charge. There are a few activities spread out that are an extra charge if you only purchase the Cackling Farm Pass. If you plan to do the flower cutting, pumpkin painting, or want to fire pumpkins from a cannon, the better value is the Crowing Farm Pass.  We decided next time that we would get the extra pass for our daughter, but not for us since she would be the one doing the activities.

One of the highlights of the day was the Pig Race in the Swine Speedway at 12:30. It was very exciting for all of the children. Farmer Ian was the MC of the race and gave out prizes and also let the children participate by holding up flags representing their team’s pig. There is an area for the kids to pet goats and sheep as well as see turkeys, chickens, and pigs. The one thing they didn’t have that my daughter asked about was cows.
The area we enjoyed, having one under 3, was the Little Farmers Corral. There were lots of fun swings and areas for the little ones to play. The zip lines are also there. They had regular zip lines for the children to hold on, but they also had zip lines for the little ones with seats. It’s a little close to the Pumpkin Cannon, so be aware if you have a child that gets spooked by loud noises, it can be loud over there.

We ended our day with a hayride to the pumpkin patch.  We didn’t have to wait at all to get on and as soon as we had picked a pumpkin they were there to pick us up. They are well prepared for big crowds.
Overall, we had an amazing day!! Thanks to PWC Moms and Belvedere Plantation for giving us an opportunity to go!  More information on hours, coupons, and ticket information can be found at http://www.belvedereplantation.com  Don’t forget to enter the photo contest after your visit!!




Beth Heim is a mom to two kids. When she's not at the pumpkin patch, you can find her spending time with her family, taking photographs, and working as a teacher PWC schools.

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!

Stribling and Hartland Orchards

Permalink to Stribling%20and%20Hartland%20Orchards
Published: 09/17/2012
Markham, VA is about 15 minutes from the Prince William County/Fauquier line, and it's the location of two fruit orchards.  In the past, we've always gotten off 66 at the Markham exit and turned right to go to Hartland Orchard, which we love for apples and peaches, especially.  However, this fall we got to check out Stribling, too!

STRIBLING ORCHARD:
StriblingOrchard.com
Last Friday, though, our friends invited us to break with tradition and hang a left over to Stribling Orchard.  This involved a fun hairpin turn and some railroad tracks, which my kids thought were fantastic.  Hooray for adventures.  Stribling Orchard is a lovely location with a long gravel driveway up to some very historic looking buildings on the left side.  A friend who came with us said that you can arrange an educational tour and they take you around the property.  Incidentally, we saw Christ Chapel Academy (also from Woodbridge!) there enjoying a tour!

Like every orchard we've ever been to, you have the option to drive your car right up into the fields to pick your fruit, or you can park by the checkout area (in this case, an actual storefront) and hoof it on up.  There are also lovely picnic areas around the property for those who would like to pack a lunch.  I typically wait until October to go apple picking, since some of my favorite varieties aren't ready until later in the season, including Granny Smiths, which I use for my Thanksgiving pies.  Yum! However, even in September you can get some delicious eating apples (especially if you're a fan of the red varieties).
Picking baskets are located on the side of the main building near the bathrooms and are a big help for shorter pickers!! 
The staff was friendly and helpful, and gave out maps.  The trees here are a little more mixed than at most locations we've picked fruit at, but the trunks are typically marked with spray paint to indicate the variety, and using the guide on your map you can determine what looks good for eating.  Stribling was lovely, and I love that they offer tours, but the prices were much higher than we were used to, and the apples were coated with white film from the pesticide.  (I know we're not paying for organic, but I still don't want to see whitish apples!) However, I know many people love this orchard and go every year! $25 a half bushel is steep for me, because with 3 kids picking, we usually leave with APPLES! Typically we pick a bushel and a half when we go, although this particular day we only did one half-bushel because $75 of apples isn't happening! I did appreciate that Stribling takes Visa/Mastercard/Discover because most orchards take only cash or checks, and it's nice to not have to remember to stop at the ATM! Local cider and honey are available, too.

HARTLAND ORCHARD:
Hartland Orchard is our go-to pick your own place.  In the fall, they also have a corn maze, pumpkin fairy, pumpkin chunking and more.  I didn't realize it before visiting another orchard, but at $12 a half bushel, I love them for their prices.  A lot.  Our typical bushel and a half of apples here is $36.  Whoohoo!
The pumpkin fairy, from HartlandOrchard.com.  The pumpkin fairy is available to visit most weekends, and Hartland is great about answering their phones if you want to call and check before leaving. 
 Hartland's fields are generally organized by variety, although you'll find the occasional random yellow tree in the midst of the reds.  Our fruit has always been delicious, including the Granny Smiths, which are sweet and tart at the same time and make excellent pies.  Last year was the only year we ever had an issue, and it wasn't really their fault- it was the Stink Bugs!! Those little suckers LOVE apples and were all over the place boring holes into the fruit and flying kamikaze-style at your face!  However, the population is much more under control this year and while you may see a few bugs, it's not like the 9th plague or anything :)

This is the same little guy working the apple-picker in the Stribling pictures his first time picking apples at Hartland.  He was 18 months old and had a grand old time on daddy's shoulders. 
The only problem with apple picking (especially at $12/half bushel) is what to do with all those apples!! We peel, slice, and freeze a lot of ours to use in crisps or pies all winter (pre-measure into Ziplock bags for your favorite recipes!), and we also make applesauce (mix up a bunch of varieties in the crock pot with 1/2 cup of OJ or Apple Juice/Cider, a cinnamon stick, and sweetener of choice if your want it on low until everything is soft and delicious!) Another favorite in our family is chicken salad with red and green apples, pecans, celery, onions, craisins, and raisins.  Yummy!
No matter where you decide to go pick apples (and you should go- it's fun!) be sure to:
1) Bring bug spray/sunscreen
2) Be prepared to drive into the orchard- pick a car that can handle mud/rocks/gravel.  If your car can't, then park and walk
3) Grab a map, an apple picker, and visit the bathrooms BEFORE you head to the fields
4) Pack a picnic and make a day of it!

Do you have a favorite apple orchard to use? Perhaps a favorite apple recipe? Share in a comment below!



These reviews were unsolicited and represent the views of PwcMoms.com only.






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. 

Town of Dumfries Fall Festival 2012

Permalink to Town%20of%20Dumfries%20Fall%20Festival%202012
Published: 09/04/2012
Join the Town of Dumfries for a kid-friendly Fall Festival, with plenty of grown-up appeal, too!!


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