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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Thanksgiving in the Mountains

by Casey | Posted on November 18th, 2013

What do you say the whole family goes away for Thanksgiving and lets someone else do the cooking? I say it’s a fantastic idea. No one slaves over the stove and everyone has a great time. Where can you do such a thing? Virginia’s mountains resorts come to mind. Check it out.

The Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs will keep you plenty busy this Thanksgiving! In addition to the activities listed below, there are shopping opportunities, special movie showings in the historic theater, and the outdoor fun you’ve come to expect from this famed resort.

  • Children’s crafting classes
  • Wine Tastings
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • Santa Claus
  • Thanksgiving Brunch and Dinner Buffets

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen Resort welcomes families to enjoy their traditions of feasts, illuminations, workshops, and maybe even slope sports during Thanksgiving on the Mountain.

  • Turkey Day 5K
  • Thanksgiving Buffet at either Copper Mine Bistro or Devils Grill
  • The Plunge Tubing Park will be open (weather permitting)
  • Ski Swap – buy and sell used skis, boots, snowboards, ski clothing, etc.
  • Gingerbread House, Wreath and Ornament Workshops
  • Grand Illumination
Primland Resort

Primland Resort

What goes with Thanksgiving better than Native American Month? Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan is embracing the heritage and history to offer “Long Night’s Time,” a weekend full of Native American-themed special events.

  • Celebration of Native American Month
  • Presentation of famous Native Americans
  • Little-known inventions of Native Americans
  • Food sampling of a traditional Cherokee feast
  • Face painting activity
  • Basket weaving and beading display and presentation

    Massanutten Resort Indoor Waterpark

    Massanutten Resort Indoor Waterpark

Massanutten Resort offers comfortable accommodations, plus Thanksgiving dining at your choice of Fareways Restaurant & Lounge or Blue Ridge Buffet & Restaurant. The menus are all you’d expect of a traditional Thanksgiving meal – turkey with stuffing and gravy, pumpkin bisque soup, apple pie … yum! If the temperatures are too warm for snowmaking, turn to the indoor waterpark! That’s a fun Thanksgiving for the kiddos!

Just like Massanutten, Bryce Resort also offers a Thanksgiving Day lunch buffet with all the trimmings.  Stay in one of the resort condos or cabins and enjoy the holiday arts and craft show taking place on the 30th. It’s a great time to kick back and not do much at all or get out and shop the nearby towns.

Whatever your Thanksgiving plans, have fun and enjoy being together!

Virginia is for Lovers.



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Sail Through Foliage on a Zip Line

by Casey | Posted on October 8th, 2013

Seeking a more adventurous way to enjoy the colors of fall? Get tethered to a zip line and soar like an eagle through a kaleidoscope canopy. You might just find yourself breathless.

 

Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat

Sandy River Retreat

Adventure Park at Sand River Retreat – Rice
13 lines across four obstacle courses rated by age
Weight Restriction: 60 to 265 lbs.
Age: 7 and older
Fee: $40/child; $50/adult
Book Now

 

 

 

Bryce Resort

Bryce Resort

Bryce Resort Zip Line Adventure - Basye
10 lines worth 3500′; up to 40 mph
Weight Restriction: 70-230 lbs.
Age: 8 and older
Fee: $45
Book Now

 

 

 

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain Ziplines – Luray
7 lines worth 2700′; up to 35 mph
Weight Restriction: 70-250 lbs.
Age: 8 and older
Fee: $75
Book Now

 

 

 

Go Ape!

Go Ape!

Go Ape! Treetop Adventure & Treetop Junior – Williamsburg
5 lines in Adventure; 2 lines in Junior (ages 6-9; at least 3’3″ tall)
Weight Restriction: up to 285 lbs.
Age: 10 and older
Fee: $35/child; $55/adult
Book Now

 

 

Massanutten Resort

Massanutten Resort

Massanutten Resort Zip Line and Canopy Tours – McGaheysville
4 lines from 90 to 450′; NEW Mega Zip Line is 750′ long (first-come, first served. $12 a run); Kids’ Course includes a 100′ line (2 runs for $12. Ages 5-12 and at least 40 lbs.)
Weight Restriction: 70-250 lbs.
Age: 10 and older
Fee: $39

 

 

Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen Resort’s The Zip – Wintergreen
900′; up to 40 mph
Weight Restriction: 75-250 lbs.
Age: 8 and older
Fee: $10/trip or two for $15

 

 

 

Where will you let the fall season lead you? Find more great ideas for outdoor fun at Virginia.org/Fall.

Virginia is for Lovers.
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Camping Destinations for Fall Fun

by Casey | Posted on September 12th, 2013

Camping can be about getting away from it all, but it can also be about thrifty travel. If you save money on your accommodation, that savings can then be applied to nearby attractions and dining. Give it a try at one of these campgrounds that have great fun nearby.

Williamsburg KOA

Williamsburg KOA

Williamsburg KOA was built for family fun with many on-site special events and tons of fun nearby, too. The campground can accommodate RVs and campers of all sizes, but boast deluxe cabins with linens provided, too.

SPECIAL DEAL: Stay Free on Thursdays when you book Friday & Saturday nights!

Nearby:

Ed Allen’s Campground and Cottages in Lanexa rests along the shores of Chickahominy Lake. It’s 85 acres of hardwoods, which equals stunning foliage. The lake sunsets rival the best you’ve seen anywhere, and the fishing is good, too.

Nearby:

 

Northwest River Park Campground

Northwest River Park Campground

Northwest River Park Campground is a 763-acre escape Chesapeake, and is a usual on the “Best of Chesapeake” list. Electric and non-electric sites are available, as well as camping cabins.

Nearby:

 

Fredericksburg/Washington DC South KOA is located in Fredericksburg amid Civil War battlefields. Like its Williamsburg KOA cousin, there are plenty of pull-through sites, tent sites and cabins awaiting your arrival.

Nearby:

 

Find more great camping for your fall weekends at Virginia.org/CampingRVing, or check out a couple of our camping-related blog posts below.

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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10 Free Things to Do this Fall in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on September 9th, 2013

One of Virginia’s most beautiful seasons is upon us, and you must get out and enjoy the view. Take your scenic drive, but also incorporate one or two of these 10 free things to do this fall. Your weekends are going to be amazing!

Callands Festival

Callands Festival

1. What a destination Waterford, Virginia is. Founded in 1733, the entire village is a National Historic Landmark and a majority of the buildings predating 1840 are still in use today. October 4-6 is the 70th Annual Waterford Homes Tour & Craft Exhibit. This should be a bucket list item for those who enjoy a walk through history. There are plenty of fun activities for kids, traditional music and dance, Colonial militia encampments, a fife and drum corps, and much more.
** Note: We’ve learned that there IS a fee for this event: $16 in advance; $20 at the gate. In light of that, an additional freebie!

1B. The Callands Festival in Callands, Virginia was named a Local Legacy of American Folk Life and Culture by the Library of Congress in 2000. Join in the fun with reenactors representative of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, musicians, artisans, and guided tours of the historic buildings. Traditional foods will be available, as will beautifully handcrafted items. It’s happening October 5!

2. The Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy marks the birthplace, early life and emancipation of educator, esteemed orator and presidential advisor, Booker T. Washington. September 21 is a special event, Harvest Time of 1863, which will portray tobacco plantation life during the harvest. Interpretive programs, craft demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides and fun for the children are all included in this free event.

Fall Farm Fest on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall Farm Fest on the Blue Ridge Parkway

3. Visit Westmoreland Berry Farm in Colonial Beach. Acres of Rappahannock River frontage are perfect for picnics and bird watching. The kids will enjoy a play area just for them, as well as the antics of the skywalking goats. Give the goats a nibble from the pulley feeder system; they love it! Westmoreland is a pick-your-own farm offering fall raspberries and pumpkins. Hitch a ride on the hay wagon to head to the fields. The only fee incurred at the farm is the rate for pick-your-own products or any cafe purchases you choose to make.

4. A beautiful drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway delivers you to the Fall Farm Fest at Humpback Rocks Visitor Center and Pioneer Farm on September 15. The fun begins at 10 a.m. with mountain crafts workshops and live music.

5. Day at the Point is a free fall festival now in its 16th year. Held October 5 in Lynchburg at Point of Honor, an 1815 Federal style mansion, the festivities include living history, kids games and activities, craft vendors, period music, candle making, beekeeping, blacksmithing, open hearth cooking, farm animals, and free tours of the 1815 historic home. Delicious food will be available for purchase, including Brunswick stew, barbecue, hot dogs, and homemade baked goods. Green thumbs may want to purchase special Point of Honor bulbs ready for fall planting.

Richmond Folk Festival

Richmond Folk Festival

6. It’s rare to find a free three-day music festival, but Richmond has one. Check out the Richmond Folk Festival October 11-13. Seven stages will host more than 30 music and dance groups – ballet, reggae, bluegrass, Vietnamese, Scissors Dance, polka, salsa, gospel, Cajun … the list goes on. And there’s a place for kids with make-and-take crafts and special performers.

7.  How about a hayride? The 60-acre Bluebird Gap Farm in Hampton offers the Bluebird Country Hayride once a month at noon. For fall, head that way on September 14, October 12 or November 9. It’s a leisurely ride around the farm, the pond, through the woods and back again. Before or after your hayride, find a picnic area to enjoy lunch, walk the nature trail or let the kids loose at the playground. 150 domestic and wild animals are on site; bring your quarters to feed farm animals. Hayride is weather dependent.

Bluebird Gap Farm

Bluebird Gap Farm

8. Burke’s Garden is often referred to as God’s Thumbprint thanks to its aerial appearance – a giant thumbprint on the landscape of southwest Virginia. Visit this beautiful mountaintop valley during the Burke’s Garden Fall Festival on September 28, an annual event dating to 1987. “Handmade, homegrown and hands-on” is the feel of this festival that reflects farm living in the Heart of Appalachia.

9. The next opportunity for you to enjoy Virginia’s National Parks for free is September 28. Not all of the National Parks charge a fee, but there are some very popular ones that do. Mark this date to visit Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Shenandoah National Park and five others for free!

10. Check out the two-day Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour through Virginia’s beautiful Culpeper County on October 5 and 6. Take your time touring through 18 farms and farm related businesses to get involved with some hands-on activities and demonstrations, as well as mingle with llamas, horses, cattle, and buffalo. Expect to see both traditional and unique farm experiences during this free weekend that really does have something for everyone – even wine and moonshine!

Find more free ways to LOVE Virginia this fall: 40 or More Free Things to Do in Virginia

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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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.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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