Winter is probably the least enticing time of year for venturing outdoors, yet it’s important for your physical and mental health to keep some kind of outdoor activity going through the winter. The good news is that the Front Royal area is a great place to get outdoors all year long. Whether you made a New Year’s resolution to spend more time outdoors, or are simply looking for a breath of fresh air to clear your head this winter, read on. We have six great tips for enjoying being outside around Front Royal all year long.
1. Plan Ahead
If it’s hard for you to take that first step out of your door on a cold day, planning specific outdoor adventure that you’ll enjoy is a good way to overcome this mental block. Whether you decide to take a ten minute walk around your neighborhood, or head to Shenandoah National Park for an afternoon of adventure, you’re more likely to get out there if you know what you’re going to do, and how long (or short!) it’s going to take.
2. Find a Buddy
Having some accountability can make all the difference if you’re on the fence about whether to leave your cozy home on a winter’s day. Find a friend (furry friend is good too!) who’s also committed to getting more outdoor time and make them your winter buddy. If you’ve set a time to meet up, you’re much more likely to go. Or make it a date and have your accountability partner be your spouse or significant other.
3. Be Realistic About What You’ll Enjoy
The beginning of a New Year is a classic time for making unachievable resolutions and ending up frustrated and depressed. If you’re excited about a resolution to get outdoors more, make sure it’s a realistic one. You’re more likely to succeed at something you genuinely enjoy. If you’re not much of an outdoor adventurer during the rest of the year, don’t plan on a five mile hike once a week in the winter. The good news is there a lots of ways to get outdoors in the winter. Just step outside and look around! Front Royal has some amazing views! A window-shopping walk down Front Royal’s Main Street could be a great option. Or if you have kids, plan a trip to one of Front Royal’s fantastic parks. On the other hand, if you already love to hike, planning some winter adventures might be a great way to keep enjoying the outdoors during the cold season.
4. Dress Appropriately
Having warm enough clothes can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of a winter outing. Warm socks, a hat, and gloves, are all key items to help retain body heat. And you’ll need a good warm coat too, of course. For all your winter clothing needs, check out Mountain Trails on Front Royal’s Main Street.
5. Make the Most of Winter Weather Conditions
If the weather’s snowy, it may be unsafe to drive, but you have a great chance to try some winter sports that can’t be enjoyed under any other conditions. Enjoy the stillness and the sights of a snowy walk around your neighborhood, build snowmen in your backyard, or venture a little further to find a sledding hill (Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has one that’s a local favorite!). If the roads are clear, you could head to Shenandoah National Park and try snowboarding, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing for even more snowy excitement.
6. Reward Yourself with a Treat
Once the chill wears off, we hope you’ll find that the outdoors in winter is so enjoyable that you don’t need any other special treats to help get yourself outside. But if you’re in the camp of those who still aren’t excited about it, reward the extra effort you’re making with a little treat. You could buy (or make) yourself a cup of your favorite hot drink to sip on while you walk or watch your kids at the park. You could enjoy your favorite baked goods when you get home. Or promise yourself a beer and burger as you warm up and refuel from that epic winter hike. Getting outdoors in the winter isn’t always easy. If you’ve risen to the challenge you deserve a reward!
Getting outside in the winter can be more difficult than in any other season. Use these tips to make sure you keep on getting outside this winter. You’ll enjoy the benefits of better health and a better mood all winter long.
With gift-giving, parties, Christmas celebrations and more, the holidays are an exciting time of year. Heading to a holiday event can be a fun way to celebrate the season with the wider community. Check out Front Royal’s events calendar and find the best events where you can celebrate with our small town community this winter. Choose the event that suits your mood, or try to make it to all of them. You can bundle up for a Christmas parade and some local shopping, relax and restore with a musical performance, or enjoy a fun, historic celebration. Read on to discover the events you’ll find in Front Royal this holiday season.
1. Front Royal Christmas Parade and Festivities
The first Saturday of December is the date of a beloved Front Royal tradition: the Christmas Parade! Mark your calendar for December 3rd to enjoy a full day of fun. The celebration starts in the morning with the Kiwanis annual pancake day, lasting until 3 pm. Stop by Warren County High School to support a good cause and charge up with a plate of pancakes before a day of fun.
Head downtown around noon to find an open air market where local vendors can provide you with unique, beautifully crafted gifts to get you started on your list (or help you finish!). Enjoy entertainment from Front Royal’s talented youth while you shop. Need a break? Stop by Royal Cinemas at 1 pm for a FREE Christmas movie showing! With horse-drawn carriage rides available too, there’s plenty to keep you busy until 5 pm rolls around and it’s time for the Christmas parade. The ceremonial lighting of Front Royal’s Christmas tree ends a magical evening.
2. Music to Uplift your Spirit
The busyness and gaiety of the holiday season is exciting, but it can also be draining. It’s important to take the time to recharge and refresh your spirit. What better way than by reflecting on the real meaning of Christmas with beloved choral classics of the season. Give yourself or a loved one the gift of an evening of Christmas song in the Front Royal area.
The Blue Ridge Singers is a local group of musicians who perform classic choir music throughout the year. This year’s free concert of Christmas and Advent music will be held at three different times and locations around Warren County. Check it out to see which one works for you!
Another option for a free concert is Night of Wonder, a performance of historic and well-loved Christmas music by the Valley Chorale. Performances are in Staunton, Winchester, and Front Royal on December 9, 10, and 11. Pick the one that works for you.
If you’re a fan of big bands, Front Royal has that too! On December 13, enjoy Christmas music of the Front Royal based American Legion Community Band at Front Royal’s RMA. Can’t wait until the thirteenth? Head to the nearby historic town of Harper’s Ferry for their performance on December 11.
3. A Christmas Celebration of Front Royal’s History
Take a break from all the music, and enjoy a Christmas Celebration with a historic twist with the Warren Heritage Society’s Christmas Open House on December 14th. The Warren Heritage Society is the proud owner of three fantastic historic homes in Front Royal. Check them out and enjoy chatting with 17th century reenactors. Refreshments keep the mood festive. You can enjoy a little bit of Christmas and learn some history too!
With band music, choir performances, festivals, and more, there’s plenty to enjoy in Front Royal during the holidays. Make your plans today for a memorable holiday season in Front Royal!
Heading out to a farm and picking your own produce is a great summer activity with kids. They’ll love the chance to pick (and eat!) their favorite fruits and vegetables, and they’ll learn a bit about where their food comes from in the process. Plus it’s a great chance to get everybody outside and enjoying the summer weather. Read on for our top five tips on making your pick-your-own experience a success, plus recommendations of pick your own farms to love in the Front Royal area.
1. Pick What You’ll Eat
This one might seem obvious, but when you’re faced with a field full of delicious looking fruit, it’s easy to get carried away. Focus on planning your outing around fruit you know you’ll still enjoy when you get it home. Your kids will probably enjoy the outing more if they’re picking a favorite food too.
As well as picking what you like, it’s also a good idea to keep in mind how much you’ll be able to eat when you get it home. It’s easy to pick a lot in the field and feel overwhelmed when it’s in your kitchen. We have some more tips below on using up excess, but it’s good to plan ahead too to minimize waste.
2. Call or Check Social Media before Heading Out
Farming (and public fruit picking!) are not completely predictable, and supply at a pick-your-own farm varies from day to day. It’s a good idea to call the farm before you get there to make sure they have fruit available for picking. Many pick your own farms will also post updates on their social media pages so you can make sure there’s fruit available and avoid disappointment. The good news is that there are so many pick your own farms in Front Royal you should be able to find another one if your first choice is picked out.
3. Pack a Picnic
Farms are beautiful places, especially around Front Royal, with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains all around. Plan for being able to take it slow and enjoy your surroundings when you get there. Most pick-your-own farms welcome visitors to bring picnics and enjoy their time in the fields. Bring foods that’ll tasted good with whatever you’re picking for maximum picnic success! Pair whipped cream and shortcake cookies with strawberries or peaches, or bring cheese and crackers on your apple picking expedition.
4. Be Prepared for the Heat
It’s hard for kids to remember to take care of themselves when they’re outdoors in the sun and busy having fun. But summer’s heat in Virginia is something to take seriously. There’s nothing fun about starting to feel sick in the middle of an outing. To help prevent heat-related problems, make sure everyone wears hats. Be sure to pack water bottles or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or coconut water and hydrate frequently.
4. Get Creative with Your Haul
Even if you limit yourself when you’re out picking, it’s still likely you’ll get home and find that what you’ve brought looks like a lot more on your kitchen table than it did in the field. Don’t give in to overwhelm and let it go bad before you can eat it. Having surplus fruit can be a great learning experience for everyone. Trying baking up a fruit dessert together. Cobblers and crisps are classic favorites that are both simple and healthy. You can even eat the leftovers with yogurt for a yummy and nutritious breakfast. Or take the chance to teach kids about fruit preservation (and enjoy your pickings for much longer!) You can preserve fruit by making jams and jellies and canning them, or for a super easy solution freeze your haul and save it for smoothies and more!
Where to Pick Your Own in Front Royal
If you’re ready to get started picking your own produce, Front Royal is a great place to be! Hartland Orchard is a popular option that’s easy to access (and find!) from I-66, although it can be crowded. Hollins Farm is a slightly further drive, but it’s great option with lots of variety, including pick your own veggies as well as fruits, and even dig-your-own peanuts! And Valley View Farm is a great place to spend a whole day with opportunities for farm tours, local cider and wine tasting, and more! For peaches and apples in a scenic setting that’s a bit more removed from the hustle and bustle, try Stribling Orchard. It’s a beautiful place to pick your own and enjoy a picnic.
Flowers aren’t (usually) edible, but they’re still fun to pick. Head to Clover Hill Farm to enjoy pick your own a different way, with gorgeous blooms available to pick spring through fall. Sign up for a kids class too, and you can pick flowers and learn more about gardening all at the same time.
Picking your own fruit and flowers is a great activity for kids and adults in the warmer weather. If you’re around the Front Royal area, you’re in a great place to take the family out and pick, with loads of options to find the farm that’s perfect for you. Follow our tips and head on out there for a day of delicious, educational fun!
Guest Post written by Warren Massey of Front Royal, VA.
Twitter @ijustwant2ride and https://ijustwant2ride.com/
I have ridden along many national parkways including the Natchez Trace (TN/MS), Great Lake Seaway Byway (NY), Blue Ridge Parkway (VA, NC) and, of course, the Skyline Drive Parkway (VA). I have also attended multiple motorcycle rallies along the east coast including Daytona.
Outside of rallies, I have never seen as many motorcycles in one location as I do in Front Royal, Virginia. During motorcycle riding season, it is not uncommon to see hundreds of motorcycles in Front Royal, either singular or riding in large groups daily. You can see these large numbers of motorcycles passing through almost every day but especially on weekends. In my opinion Front Royal could be the motorcycle destination of Virginia much like Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee.
Why are so many motorcycles passing through Front Royal? It is because the town is located at the northern terminus of Skyline Drive and about an hour from the nation’s capital. All these motorcycle riders are passing through the town on the way to Skyline Drive or to parts unknown as they leave the Parkway.
By just passing through Front Royal motorcyclists are missing out on opportunities for some great local rides and the great local flavor. For example, a rider can take a loop from Front Royal to Luray via Fort Valley Road. That ride would last about two+ hours, depending on stops, and would have you back in town by lunch time.
After lunch, mount the motorcycle and head south out of town to cross under Skyline Drive at it two gaps. But be careful, they are quite technical, and the northern gap is designated as a high crash area. Two+ hours later you will be back in town with enough time to get to dinner and a stroll along main street.
After dinner, riders could visit the Virginia Beer Museum for brew and live music or Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing for a unique activity or any of the many other venues in town. Front Royal has lots of hotels and restaurants and a main street that could be considered a throw-back to another era. Check out the movie theater that has a 1950’s vibe with a state-of-the-art projector and sound system.
Front Royal may be the gateway to Skyline Drive, but it should also be a destination at the start or end of your motorcycle ride. Stay a day or two, there are plenty of hotels and campgrounds, to explore both our local roads and our small-town atmosphere.
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