Many people would rank winter as their least favorite season, and with cold temperatures, shorter hours of daylight, and long stretches of time cooped up at home, it’s not hard to see why. It may take more effort to get everyone out the door, but winter can still be a great time for family adventures and creating memories with your kids. Read on for five ideas for keeping winter fun around Front Royal with your kids this year. You’ll find suggestions for kids of all ages, and ideas for outdoor and indoor activities you can enjoy in the winter.
1. Go on a Winter Outdoor Adventure
Getting outside can be less appealing in the winter than any other time of year. But if it’s not too cold, an outdoor adventure can be the boost everyone needs. In fact, getting outdoors in the winter has been proven to help combat seasonal depression. An adventure when it’s chilly leaves a great sense of accomplishment. Older kids will enjoy less crowded hiking conditions and the stark beauty of the winter landscape at some of the Front Royal area’s fantastic hikingl ocations like Shenandoah National Park. For little kids, a less demanding walk will still be an adventure. Try heading to Eastham Park for a walk along the stroller-friendly riverside trail. Little ones can enjoy the playgrounds here too. Kids will be having so much fun they’ll for get to feel cold.
2. Enjoy a Winter Sport Together
If it’s snowy, the Front Royal area is a great location for bigger kids to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Don’t be deterred if you’ve never tried these sports yourself. Snowshoeing is not that much harder than walking, and kids will be tickled at the idea of learning something new alongside an adult they love. Sledding is a favorite winter pastime for kids of all ages and adults too. Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has a sledding hill that’s a local favorite. Walking back up the hill is a great way to get a work out in.
3. Go on a Hot Chocolate Run
Add some warm and sugary fun to your kid’s winter day by grabbing a hot chocolate together at one of Front Royal’s fantastic coffee shops. DL Campus Coffee on Main and The Daily Grind are two local favorites on Main Street. Or head about a block further to find Manor Line’s Back 40. You’ll find friendly and welcoming environments at all. Manor Line’s Back 40 has board games available, as well as a designated kids area with toys for little ones.
4. Learn New Skills Indoors
If it’s really too cold and wintry to be outside for long, there’s lots to do indoors in Front Royal, and some fantastic opportunities for kids to pick up new skills. Head to Explore Art and Clay for a chance to paint your own pottery. Check out Code Ninjas if your kids are interested in learning about computers and coding skills. Or for exercise and indoor fun wrapped into one, head to Battlegrounds Fitness. Kids can enjoy moving around and getting active while avoiding winter weather conditions.
5. Play Games at Home or in Town!
Playing a game as a family is a great way to enjoy some time with your kids in the winter. If you’re looking for a new game in Front Royal, head to Play Favorites and pick out something to bring home from a fantastic range of games and toys. Make your family game night even more fun by playing a game while you’re still out and about. Play Favorites has a game room where you can try out many of the games in the store, as well as check out some arcade games. Or grab your hot chocolate at Manor Line’s Back 40, and enjoy one of their stash of board games while you’re there.
If winter weather is turning “cozy” into “cabin fever,” don’t feel like you have to stay cooped up at home! Front Royal is a great place to enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor winter activities. Say goodbye to those cold weather blues and come cheer up in Front Royal this winter!
The fertile soils of the Shenandoah Valley have been farmland since the distant days of Native American settlements. Today, the Shenandoah Valley is still an area that produces plentiful delicious food. Earlier in the year we highlighted some locally produced Front Royal summer treats. But in this amazing area, nature’s bounty keeps on coming right through the fall. Today, we’re beginning a tour of Front Royal’s fall fare, and we’re starting with a classic fall fruit that everybody likes. This fruit…
Front Royal Apples
Virginia is the sixth highest apple-producing state in the U.S. With its location in the northern Shenandoah Valley, Front Royal sits squarely in Virginia apple country. It’s also one of the most conveniently located apple country towns for residents of the D.C. metro area. You’ll find loads of delicious apples in Front Royal’s orchards, where you can purchase pre-picked apples, or enjoy a family apple picking outing.
Stribling Orchard is one of our top picks for its secluded location and stunning mountain views. This historic farm has been producing fruit for 200 hundred years. Check out the farm store for local products and baked goods. Plan your visit for a weekend to find several of Front Royal’s favorite local vendors on site.
For another fantastic apple orchard experience, head to Valley View Farm’s pick your own orchard, or visit the locavore farm market on site to purchase local foods and apple products such as butters, jellies, and more.
Hollin Farms and Hartland Orchard are two other popular local apple picking options, both conveniently located near Interstate 66.
Front Royal Apple Cider
Wherever apples are growing, you’ll find apple cider brewing, and Front Royal is no exception. You’ll want to make sure you enjoy a glass (or two!) of this delicious, locally produced beverage on your visit to Front Royal. Of course, sweet cider is a favorite for kids, while hard cider is a great option for adults. Naturally gluten free, apple cider is a great alternative for those who can’t tolerate the gluten in beer.
If you’re on an apple cider hunt in Front Royal, Valley View Farm is a great place to start. Enjoy tasting their oak aged ciders made with 100% locally sourced apples. The tasting area is gorgeous, and it’s a great way to relax after some apple-picking.
For a full day’s adventure, head to Cobbler Mountain Cider, where you can explore the beautiful 90 acre property with hiking trails, creekside fun, fire pits, and more. Enjoy a huge variety of flavored ciders while you’re there. You’ll need to make plenty of visits before you discover your favorite!
Or if you’re looking for cider without heading out into the countryside, try stopping by PaveMint Taphouse in Front Royal. You’ll find a small selection of craft ciders at this fantastic micro-brewery.
Apples Every Way at Front Royal’s Apple House
From butters to jellies, pies, and more, there’s loads you can do with Virginia apples as an ingredient. A Front Royal top stop for apple-themed goods of all kinds is The Apple House. It’s conveniently located right off I-66, and it’s a great place to enjoy honest country fare. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and check out the gift shop for more Virginia products. Don’t miss the famous Apple Butter Cinnamon Donuts. You’ll want to enjoy one on the spot, and bring some with you for the road!
It’s wisely been said: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. With numerous health benefits and delicious flavor, apples are yet another gift that Mother Nature has to offer residents and visitors of Front Royal. Whether you plan a full day of apple fun with picking and cider tasting, or make a quick stop off I-66 to pick up donuts at The Apple House, make sure you find a way to enjoy Front Royal apples this fall.
The town of Front Royal may be small, but it’s anything but sleepy! With a full calendar of fantastic events, there’s always something exciting to do. Mark your calendar and make your plans to attend a fun-filled event in Front Royal this fall, starting this weekend! There’s something for everyone, from relaxing at a vineyard to throwing axes and stargazing. Check out Front Royal’s events calendar and see what’s in store for the glorious season of fall.
September 2022 in Front Royal: Cars, Music, Axes, and History
Front Royal’s fall events get started this weekend, with a jam-packed schedule of fun, education, music, and more.
First up, and lasting the whole weekend, the NCMTFC Tour is planned for the Front Royal area. If you happen to own an antique car, you’ll want to jump right in on this one. Imagine exploring the stunning Front Royal countryside by road, and taking your vehicle on the iconic Skyline Drive. With stops planned at fantastic Front Royal restaurants you’ll get to enjoy so much of what our town has to offer. This event is a great one for all car enthusiasts. If you’re not driving, check the itinerary and figure out where you can enjoy watching a parade of antique cars pass by!
On the afternoon of September 24, history lovers should head to Bel Air house at 2 p.m.. Enjoy a tour of this local historic home, along with readings from the diary of Civil War era resident, Lucy Buck.
In honor of Public Lands Day, National Parks are offering free admission on Saturday, September 24. Don't miss this opportunity to enjoy Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. Take a hike, pack a picnic, go for a drive, and enjoy the day!
Find out more details here.
If Blues Music is your jam, make sure to be in the Front Royal area on September 24th. You can head to nearby Woodville and explore the John Jackson Piedmont Blues Music Festival. Spend the whole afternoon/evening relaxing with live music, book signings, food trucks, and more.
September 24th is also the date of the Shenandoah Valley Axe Company’s grand opening celebration. Axe throwing is a fresh new entertainment trend that we’re so excited to see in Front Royal. Help Shenandoah Valley Axe Company celebrate making a fresh beginning in a new Front Royal location. There’ll be live music, mud trucks, a knife throwing demonstration, and more. And, of course, you can try your own hand at axe throwing.
Wine lovers won’t want to miss with Sunset in the Vineyard event at Fox Meadow Winery on September 24th. Sip on into the evening until 9 pm at this gorgeous vineyard, and enjoy live music.
September is truly going out with a bang in Front Royal this year. After a weekend of fun, Front Royal residents should mark their calendars for the Civic Pride Workshop on September 27th. Noted speaker Jeff Siegler will help residents learn how to give the local community a boost.
October 2022 in Front Royal
October is a month when the crowds head to Front Royal to see the leaves change. Whether you live in Front Royal or are one of many planning a fall Front Royal trip this October, check out our events calendar to get the most from your time in Front Royal.
The annual Homesteaders of America Conference takes place at Warren County Fairgrouds October 7 and 8. Noted homesteading speakers such as Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, and Shawn and Beth Dougherty will teach attendees how to take more steps to raise, preserve, and prepare their own food. Homesteading is a fast growing movement, and you’ll find plenty to interest you whether your efforts at food production are confined to your kitchen or include a few acres and some livestock.
For thrills and fun, head to the Warren County airport for the Wings and Wheels event on the morning of October 8th. With planes, skydiving, cars, and more the Wings and Wheels event is a fun one for the whole family. Call 540-635-3570 for more information.
Front Royal has plenty of small-town festival fun in store this October, too. Head our way October 14th and 15th for the fiftieth annual Festival of Leaves. The excitement kicks off with a Friday night block party in Front Royal’s historic downtown. Come back any time on Saturday for fall festival fun, with craft vendors, live music, food drink, and family friendly activities.
Round your October out Front Royal’s Hometown Halloween celebration on October 29th. Enjoy an afternoon and evening of Halloween fun, with pumpkin painting, costumes, and more. Head back to Fox Meadow Winery in the evening for another Sunset in the Vineyard event.
With changing leaves, glorious fall colors, and fun events, fall is an exciting season in Front Royal. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss a moment in our favorite Shenandoah Valley small town!
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!
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