FALLing into Festivals at Local Farms

After moving back to Loudoun County having spent the past year in California, I had to adjust to being back on the East Coast. For the past year, my family had subsided on weekly trips to the beach but now with fall here, what are we gonna do together? While I am devastated to leave the sunshine, what I’ve recently come to remember is just how fortunate we are to live in Virginia. We’ve started taking advantage of this beautiful area and all of the unique offerings that life in Loudoun County affords us. Nothing else compares to the majestic beauty of fall in Virginia. The vibrant foliage, crisp air, the rolling hills-and it’s not just the scenery. Living in Loudoun County grants us easy access to amazing local farms. Whether your family is looking for fresh meat and produce, to feed the animals or just bounce on enormous jumping pillows, local farms offer something for everyone. The following farms are ripe for family fun all year round but especially during their fall festivals. Here’s what you can expect for 2017.

Temple Hall Regional Park | Leesburg

PRICES: $11 kids-$14 adult, 2 and under are free

Temple Hall is a picturesque, 280 acre farm that was once privately owned. It was donated to the park authority in 1985 with the agreement that it would always be kept a working farm. Non-festival admission to the farm is free and their perfectly-appointed restroom even boasts a changing table and diaper pail! The smaller size of this farm makes it easy to see all of the animals and attractions in a single trip. This year, their Fall Festival will run Friday-Sunday from September 30th-November 5th. The festival is open on Fridays from 5pm-10pm, Saturdays 10am- 10pm, and Sundays 10am-5pm. All proceeds from the fall festival will go to support the farm.

Pig races, a rock climbing wall, giant jumping pillows (think jumping on bed pillows meets a trampoline), a “blast zone” with corn cannons, pumpkin blasters and a paint ball shooting gallery! There’s a country store with  pumpkins for purchase, live music and free cow train and grain train rides on Saturdays and Sundays.

This year features carnival-style games and pony rides.

Their 20-acre corn maize is one of the largest on the east coast!

Great Country Farms | Bluemont

Weekdays: $8/child and $10/Adult, Weekends & Columbus Day: $10/child and $12/Adult
Active duty and retired military ID card holders and kids under 2 are free

It’s not off of a main road (and if you miss a quick turn-off, you’ve missed Great Country Farms!) but it’s well worth all of the turns it takes to get there. The goal of Great Country Farms is to offer a way for everyone to experience farm life and enjoy the benefits of its bounty. You and your family can even pick your own produce. Great Country Farms is the only farm I’ve come across that allows you to bring your pets (on a leash)! The Farm Market boasts seasonal fresh produce, local meats, and the famous peach wine from Bluemont Vineyard (just up the mountain!). Their impressive 5-acre play area offers something for kids of any age!

This year’s Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival will run from Oct 1st-31st from 9am-5pm for pick your own pumpkins. The market and play area will remain open until 6pm.

Pick your own pumpkins and apples, P-Rex the Pumpkin Munching Dinosaur chomping pumpkins on weekends at 12pm and 2pm, bonfires with marshmallow roasting on weekends from 11am-4pm, a pumpkin-shooting canon (weekends and Columbus Day 10am-5pm), pig races during weekends at 11am, 1pm and 3pm; 12:30pm Tuesday-Friday, pedal carts and photo ops with the Pumpkin Princess on weekends, 11am-3pm starting September 30th. They’ll be serving up fresh cider and 100% natural cider slushies, live music on weekends 11am-4pm and a 1.5 acre Virginia is for Lovers corn maze!

The MENU. The Roosteraunt Concession Stand features cider donuts, hand dipped pumpkin ice cream, pecanwood smoked pork BBQ sandwiches with classic coleslaw, kettle corn, and freshly baked apple pies. It’s honestly worth the trip just for a freshly-made cider donut. But get there early! They’re so popular that they run out of them on weekends.

Leesburg Animal Park | Leesburg

Weekdays: $9.95 child & senior/ $12.95 adult
Value Weekends: $11.95 child & senior/ $14.95 adult
Prime Weekends: $12.95 child & senior/ $15.95 adult

We’ve never made it to the National Zoo so our visit to Leesburg Animal Park was my daughter’s first time seeing a zebra or camel up close. They even have 350 lb. Aldabra tortoises! We fed sheep and deer right from our palms and finished the day with a pony ride! It’s a trip to the zoo without making the trek to DC.

The 2017 Pumpkin Village runs Sept 16-Nov 7th. Tickets may be purchased online or at the park and admission includes a small pumpkin from the market as well as a free apple and juice from the snack wagon!

Go to their website for a coupon for $2 off weekday admission to Pumpkin Village.

Giant hill slides, hay wagon rides, a kids zip line and castle hay maze, a corn bin and pony rides. Weekends and Columbus Day will feature camel rides (charged extra), live entertainment, pedal carts and face painting.

Kids can pet and feed goats, sheep and even deer! Your family can get up close and personal with animals you won’t typically find in a farm setting (camels, zebras, sloths- oh my!). This year they even have an Aracari toucan, baby wallaby and baby ruffed lemur. Try finding those anywhere else locally.

Amazing Farm Fun at Ticonderoga | Chantilly

$16.95 weekends; $10.95 weekdays, children under 2 are free.

Amazing Farm Fun at Ticonderoga features pedal carts, farm animals, giant slides and hayrides! Ticonderoga prides themselves on offering a family-friendly alternative to the typical haunted house experiences that are offered during the fall. Their fall festival runs from Sept 23rd-Oct 29th from 9:30am-5pm.

Free pie-size pumpkin with admission, live entertainment and vendors, giant hill slides, hayrides, pedal carts, jumping pillows, face painting, balloon animals and pony rides. S’mores kits are sold in the general store to enjoy at the fire pit.

This year’s festival will feature an evening light show! Glo products, snacks, refreshments and s’mores kits will be available for purchase. Check out their Facebook page for more details: facebook.com/ticonderogafarms

Cox Farms Centreville

Fall Festival tickets are available for pre-purchase online or sold at the gate. Admission ranges from $6 on discount days to $20 for peak days. Children under 2 are free.

Cox Farms is the pinnacle of pumpkin patches. It’ll take you about 30 minutes from Loudoun County, but it’s well worth the trip. In fact, Tripping.com ranked the best pumpkin patches in each state and Cox Farms took the prize for Virginia! USA TODAY even called it one of the “country’s coolest pumpkin patches.” Cox Farm must be beaming with pumpkin patch pride! The Fall Festival is open September 16th-17th and September 22nd-October 31st from 10am-6pm and November 3rd-7th from 10am-5pm. TIP: If you visit the during the first or last weekend of the festival, admission is only $10 (this pricing is typically only reserved for their members!)

Giant slides, rope swings, hayrides, live music and entertainment! Kids can even participate in farm chores—milking the cow and using the grain elevator.

Admission includes local apples and cider and a small patch pumpkin to take home. Visit the weekend after Halloween for “Pumpkin Madness,” their traditional two-day “grand finale” to the Fall Festival where leftover pumpkins are hurled, smashed, dropped and squished!

This year’s festival will feature the debut of Foamhenge (a fullsize replica of Stonehenge made entirely of styrofoam!) and the Tractor Museum, an outdoor collection of various makes and models of tractors with information about each of them. Both are included with your admission to the fall festival.

It’s the Taj Mahal of fall (festivals). But with its reputation comes crowds and packed parking. Visit during the week to avoid the crowds and save BIG on admission! Get in for just $6 on September 25-28, October 2-4!

They Offer “Last Call Tickets” at half-price from 4-5pm on weekdays in October!

Please check poshseven.com for up-to-date information and live links that will connect you directly to the farm websites.