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    Road trippers and warriors may recognize the Hampton Roads #Bridge Tunnel at sunset, though it looks different when you're not behind the wheel of a car. Beautiful shot by @slayerlovnhippy! Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #repost #dusk #photooftheday #bridgetunnel #vatravel #moon #hamptonroads
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  • Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

    15 Fall Festivals for Family Fun

    by Casey | Posted on September 6th, 2013

    The kids are back in school and already longing for a break. What to do? Head to one of these golden opportunities we call fall festivals, of course!

    In no particular order, here are 15 of Virginia’s best fall festivals for families. Get out your calendar and let’s go.

    Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon

    Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon

    1. October 26-27 – Don’t miss the Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon for wagon rides, a straw bale maze, corn husk doll demonstrations, apple roasting, and plenty more 18th century shenanigans. Festival is included with Mount Vernon admission: Adults $15; children 6 to 11 $7 and children 5 and under are free. Buy Now

    If you think you’d like a riverboat ride with that, the Potomac River sightseeing cruises are half price during this time, too! Purchase your tickets through the Potomac Riverboat Company and admission to Mount Vernon (and the festival) is included!

    2. October 5 – The AT&T Virginia Children’s Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Norfolk, and you should be part of the fun! Geared completely toward kids ages 10 and younger, this festival includes more than 100 activities, storytelling, lots of hands-on fun, costumed characters, and fun shows. Food vendors are on hand. $3 per person.

    Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival

    Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival

    3. Sundays September 21 – November 3 – Head to Fredericksburg for the Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival, featuring acres of pick-your-own pumpkins, hay rides, a maize maze, zip lines for little ones, a jumping pillow, pig races, barnyard animals and more. Fresh cider, pies, local honey and other wares are available, too. Children under two are free. Friday nights: $12/person. Weekends: $17/person. All-You-Can-Carry Pumpkins: $29.99 Buy Now

    4. September 21 – If you love apples, you’re going to love the Apple Butter Celebration in Shenandoah National Park. From hot pots of boiling apples and apple foods to apple crafts, this is your place to be. Both you and the kids will enjoy live music, cloggers, face painting (yes, even you!), crafts and pony rides (okay, maybe not you). The event is free, but Skyline Drive access fee is $15 per vehicle.

    New Town Art Festival

    New Town Art Festival

    5. September 21 – The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville is hosting the Reptile Day Family Festival that will include more than 200 snakes and other reptiles. It’s the perfect place for kids who like to see and learn about cobras, rattlesnakes, alligators and other cool critters. $5/adult and $3/child.

    6. September 28 – Have a budding artist in your midst? Head to the New Town Art Festival in Williamsburg. $10 will get you the 4×4 creative space and sidewalk chalk, too! Prizes will be awarded for the theme “Take Flight.” It’s a great place to browse accomplished artists’ creations as well as create your own as an individual or family.

    7. October 10-13 – The Suffolk Peanut Festival is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Check out the demolition derby and tractor pulls in addition to the amusement rides, fireworks and, of course, peanuts. Free admission; $10 parking.

    Harrisonburg International Festival

    Harrisonburg International Festival

    8. September 28 – Give your kids a sense of appreciation for diversity when you attend the Harrisonburg International Festival together. Harrisonburg is comprised of many ethnic groups, bringing their traditions to you through dance, culinary arts, language and hand-crafted treasures. Taste foods from Ethiopia, Mexico, India, Thailand, Europe, Puerto Rico, and Central America, while performing arts are representative of the Aztec, Filipino, Indian, Irish, Chinese, and Kurdish communities. Free admission; plenty of food and crafts available for purchase.

    9. October 11-13 – The Richmond Folk Festival brings more than 30 diverse performing groups to seven stages over the course of three days. Check out the family area that boasts special characters and performers of its own, not to mention unique pirate-themed craft stations. Make-and-take an eye patch, a pirate hat, a telescope, a pirate flag, and maps. Free admission.

    Bland County Festival of Leaves

    Bland County Festival of Leaves

    10. October 11-13 – Have a knight or princess in your house rather than a pirate? If so, go to Newport News for the Harvest Faire. Medieval-themed family fun awaits! Visit the 15th century encampment, witness combat between knights, watch archers master their mark, and participate in pumpkin tossing and other period games. Feel free to come in costume! $15/adult Saturday, $10/adult Sunday or $20/adult for the whole weekend. Kids 6 to 12 are $10 for the weekend or $5/day. Buy Now to save on admission. Camping available.

    11. October 19 – The Harvest Festival in the Village of Aldie was Loudoun County’s Tourism Event of the Year in 2010 and it’s a great event for families. Historic Aldie Mill is the gorgeous backdrop for face painting, moon bounces, pony rides, blacksmith demonstrations, and the highly anticipated Firequacker Duck Race. Civil War reenactors from the 17th Mississippi Regiment will be on hand, and you can also look forward to grinding demonstrations inside the mill. This is a free event with an optional $5 parking donation recommended.

    12. October 12-13 – The Bland County Festival of Leaves is a free event that spreads across the fairgrounds and Court House lawn in Bland. It’s everything you’d expect a fall festival to be – great food, beautiful crafts, hayrides, entertainment, and many opportunities for kids to have a great time.

    Arborfest

    Arborfest

    13. October 12-13Arborfest is the annual fall festival of the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce. The grounds will be absolutely stunning (photo op!), but a cool draw or two for the kids? Make their own scarecrow ($5) and enjoy hay rides. For you? Nearly 40 vendors will be on hand with native plants for sale, as well as home and garden decor. Free guided tours. Admission is $10/vehicle.

    14. October 19 – Head to another beautiful arboretum – the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at James Madison University – for the Children’s Harvest Festival in Harrisonburg. Built for kids, the entertainment includes dance exhibitions and lessons, crafts, singers, instrument performances and lessons, story time, trail tours, seed collection activities, free horse-drawn wagon rides and more!

    Ashland Train Day

    Ashland Train Day

    15. November 2Ashland Train Day is a railroad destination event for the whole family. Expect railroad music and songs, a miniature children’s train ride, games, tons of model trails from LEGO to wooden and electric, model train racing, a moon bounce, and a whole lot more. Feel free to wear your engineer bibs and a bandana! This is a free event.

    It was hard to pick just 15 festivals for this list, so I encourage you to see the full festival directory to discover more.

    Here’s to a fantastic fall for your family from ours!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    *Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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    Related Fall Articles:



    Events, Fall in Virginia, Family, Festivals | 3 Comments

    Five Can’t-Miss Virginia Craft Beer Events

    by Casey | Posted on August 8th, 2013

    Craft beer lovers are invited to converge upon several festivals and special events this month – August Virginia Craft Beer Month.

    Saturday, August 10 is Microfestivus at Roanoke’s Elmwood Park. More than 100 beers from 40 Mid-Atlantic micro and craft breweries will be on tap for 4 oz. and 8 oz. tastings. The event is rain or shine and a valid ID must prove you’re 21. Admission is $5 plus the cost of tastings. Purchase tickets in advance for discounts. Virginia has 19 participating craft brewers for Microfestivus. Festival Map and Beer List

    Virginia Craft Beer Week at Boar's Head Inn

    Virginia Craft Beer Week at Boar’s Head Inn

    Monday through Friday, August 12-16 is Craft Beer Week at Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville. Burgers are the main menu item and a different craft beer or cider will be suggested as an optimal flavor enhancement for each.

    Need an example? Ask for the Boar’s Head Sirloin Burger covered in aged cheddar, Applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, and served with handcut fries. The suggested beverage is Starr Hill’s Jomo Lager, described by Starr Hill as “a crossover beer that appeals to the broadest spectrum of brew aficionados.” Burgers are $16 to $22 and beers are $5.75 per bottle. Available for lunch and dinner. Beer and Burger Week Menu

    Saturday, August 17 is Three Brothers Brewing Co.’s Beer Month Celebration in Harrisonburg. Enjoy live music from three different bands, as well as fantastic local food from Jack Brown’s and Log Cabin BBQ, plus iced coffee from Lucas Roasting Co.

    Virginia Craft Brewers FestSaturday, August 24 is the Second Annual Virginia Craft Brewers Festival hosted by Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday night camping is offered for a fee of $15 per person, $10 per car and $50 per RV.

    The Virginia Craft Beer Cup presented by Virginia is for Lovers will be awarded to the best overall beer as selected by certified judges. Festival-goers will enjoy live music from five different bands, craft beer from 29 Virginia craft breweries and great local food. Admission is $10 for designated drivers and non-drinking attendees ages 13 and older (soft drinks and water included in admission). Purchase a $35 tasting package in advance to save $10, or a VIP tasting package for $45 that is available in advance only. Children 12 and under are free.

    Looking for the lastest brew to be tapped? It just might be Exquisitely Evil Ale, a Double IPA that will be released Thursday, August 29 at Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford. Come out at 5 p.m. for a brewery tour prior to sampling Exquisitely Evil, and stay for paired food specials until 9 p.m.

    In addition, consider these opportunities:

    Looking for more on Virginia Craft Beer? Look no further than Virginia.org/CraftBeer/ for a map of brewery locations and more upcoming events.



    Beer, Events, Food | Comments Off

    Washington Redskins Fan Appreciation Day

    by Casey | Posted on August 2nd, 2013

    2012 Fan Appreciation Day

    The Washington Redskins arrived in Richmond on July 25 to begin training camp, scheduled to run through August 16 at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center located at 2401 W. Leigh Street.

    Fan Appreciation Day is Saturday, August 3. The gates will open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Redskins.com suggests fans bring lawn chairs or blankets as there are no bleachers.  The team will begin practice at 12 p.m.

    Traning Camp Info
    Parking Info
    Things to Do in Richmond
    Places to Stay in Richmond
    Travel Packages
    Training Camp Live Cam

    Redskins Rally in Richmond, August 2, 6:30-8 p.m.



    Events | Comments Off

    It’s Tax-Free Shopping Weekend in Virginia!

    by Casey | Posted on July 31st, 2013

    This weekend, August 2-4, is Virginia’s tax-free shopping weekend.  Created for back to school shopping, anyone can shop and save big on clothes, shoes and more. It’s the perfect weekend to hit the outlets, malls and Main Streets of Virginia.

    Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

    Potomac Mills Mall, located in Woodbridge, is Virginia’s largest outlet mall with more than 200 stores, and they’ve dubbed this weekend “No Tax, Save the Max.” Expect to cash in on great outlet prices plus additional sales this weekend only. Look for the “Super Sale” signs in the windows of participating stores.

    Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets in Leesburg has 110 outlet stores. Williamsburg Premium Outlets in Williamsburg offers 135 outlet stores. Both are having an additional sale on top of their 25-65% off retail prices and are offering extended shopping hours. Join the VIP Lounge for free to access exclusive online coupons for even more savings.

    Some of the deals you can expect this weekend at both Leesburg Corner and Williamsburg are “Buy 1, Get One 50% Off” at Adidas, Converse, Ecco, and Stride Rite Keds Sperry. At G.H. Bass & Co. men’s and women’s footwear is “Buy 1, Get 2 Free” through August 7.

    For clusters of great shopping, look to some of Virginia’s metropolitan areas. In Richmond there are several shopping destinations including the boutiques of CarytownShort Pump Town Center, and Stony Point Fashion Park. While you won’t find the outlet prices here, you will find the biggest brand names.

    Short Pump Town Center invites you to bring your same-day receipts totaling $100 or more to Guest Services to receive a $15 gift card anytime August 2 through 4. *Offer excludes Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Apple and eateries.

    Shopping in Alexandria

    Shopping in Alexandria

    Have your kids in tow with you at Stony Point Fashion Park on Saturday? They’ll be entertained by Radio Disney between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. near the Pop Jet Fountain. Don’t miss your chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to see Bridget  Mendler at Busch Gardens.

    If the thought of crowds makes you clam up, go Main Street. You will be pleasantly surprised with what you find – unique fashions, school supplies that will not be easily confused with those of classmates, and superb customer service. When you “shop local” you feel the appreciation of those small business owners.

    Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall – More than 120 shops and 30 restaurants on and around old Main Street.

    Downtown Roanoke and City Market – One-of-a-kind shops and galleries.

    Historic Downtown Fredericksburg – More than 100 shops, chef-owned restaurants and boutiques.

    Historic Downtown Lexington – Quaint gift shops, specialty shops, cafes and more.

    About Virginia’s tax-free weekend, from the Virginia Department of Taxation: “During this three-day period, purchases of qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.”  List of qualifying items

    Enjoy your shopping! It’s just another way to spend time with the ones you love. Check out these shopping packages to make a weekend getaway out of your excursion.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Deals & Discounts, Events | Comments Off

    Spring Wine and Beer Festivals in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on April 11th, 2013

    Warm spring breezes call us to the patios and porches, but wine and beer festivals pull us out to the festivals. Take time to sample the latest vintages and meet the newest brewers at one of these upcoming events in Virginia.

    Bloomin' Wine FestDowntown Farmville is known for great home decor shopping, but Saturday, April 20 at Riverside Park, Farmville Wine Festival takes the spotlight. It’s a rain or shine event with ten Virginia wineries pouring their best bottles.

    • Day-Of Tasting: $25
    • Day-Of Non-Tasting: $20
    • Ages 10-20: $10

    Additional April 20-21 Festivals

    The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester is a long-standing tradition in Virginia and it only gets better as the years go by. Check out the Bloomin’ Wine Festival April 26-27 where unopened bottles and cases of wine will be available in addition to the tastings offered by 20 Virginia wineries. The wine festival is the kick-off for the 86th year of the Apple Blossom Festival.

    • Advance One-Day Tasting: $15
    • Advance Two-Day Tasting: $25
    • Wine Garden Non-Tasting: $5/day
    • Purchase Online

    More than 200 wines will be poured by over 20 Virginia wineries at the Great Grapes Wine Festival in Reston April 27-28. Sample wines with your souvenir wine glass and enjoy the arts and food vendors on site, including the kids’ area.

    Wine Festival at Monticello

    The BrewRidge Music & Microbrew Festival will be held in Pembroke May 4. Expect to sample from Virginia’s craft brewers and/or check out the Beer Pairing Dinner & Porch Jam on May 3.

    The Annual AT&T Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival is back in Norfolk for the seventh year. Come enjoy two days (May 4 & 5) of tastings from 25 Virginia wineries.

    • Advance Tasting: $25-$30
    • Non-Tasting: $15-$20
    • Reserved Table: $150-$350
    • Purchase Online

    Additional May 4-5 Festivals

    Sample Virginia wine on the grounds of the man who passionately pursued its growth in the 1800s. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello hosts the Wine Festival at Monticello on May 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. Along with the wine, enjoy a sunset tour of Monticello and the restored vineyards, as well as conversation with Thomas Jefferson as portrayed by Bill Barker and renowned winemaker Gabriele Rausse.

    Additional May 11 Festivals

    Looking for a wine festival later in spring? Find them all here. Who knows, you just might find a new Virginia wine or craft beer to LOVE.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Couples, Events, Wine | Comments Off