There’s nothing that says “I love you” to a mom quite like the chance to spend some special time with family. And on Mother’s Day, the beautiful spring weather makes spending time outdoors together a perfect fit. This Mother’s Day, head to Front Royal and give the gift of a fun outing in the Shenandoah Valley. You and Mom can connect over something you both love to do.
Read on for ideas on a range of delightful outings in the Front Royal area for you and Mom. You can enjoy the beautiful spring of the Shenandoah Valley together. We’ve given suggestions for moms of all kinds, so you’re sure to find something your mom will love!
For the Mom who Loves Outdoor Adventures
We think of mothers as a safe-haven, and rightly so. But moms are also some of the most adventurous people there are! Taking on responsibility for one or several tiny humans is not for the fainthearted!
Does your mom love to adventure in the great outdoors as much as she loves the great adventure of motherhood? If so, you’ll have no problem finding a Mother’s Day outing she’ll enjoy in the Front Royal area!
With the Shenandoah River winding through Front Royal, a day on the river is a great way to adventure and relax at the same time. Front Royal has a range of friendly outfitters who’ll take care of your needs. Check out Front Royal Outdoors, Down River Canoe Company, or Skyline Canoe Company to find a river trip that works for you.
If you’re more interested in getting out on some hiking trails, you have some great options in the Front Royal area too. With the George Washington National Forest, the Shenandoah National Park, and the Appalachian Trail all within easy distance, you can find an iconic hike without too much trouble. If your mom is a serious hiker or biker, combine this outing with the gift of an All Trails Pro subscription. All Trails Pro is like a GPS app, but for hiking trails! Mom can enjoy the trails with a whole new sense of security.
For the Mom who Loves a Small-Town Vibe
Depending on your tastes, spring weather can be just as enjoyable on the streets of a quaint small town as in a mountain landscape. If your mom is a lover of small town life, she’ll definitely enjoy an afternoon in Front Royal.
To give your outing a bit more structure, consider following the Front Royal Walking Tour. This self-guided tour takes you through Front Royal’s most historic and picturesque streets. You’ll learn some local history along the way. Feel free to take a break along the way and enjoy hunting for treasures in an antique store, sipping on a coffee, or savoring an ice cream cone.
Another great idea for enjoying Front Royal’s small town atmosphere is an afternoon at the Dr. Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens. Within the 3.5 acres of beautifully planned gardens, you’ll find benches, walking paths, and even a stretch of Happy Creek. The same complex is also home to one of Front Royal’s most extensive parks, so the family can enjoy playgrounds, sand volleyball, tennis, basketball, and more.
For the Mom who just Wants to Relax
For some Moms, a slower-paced day in the countryside is the best way to relax and rejuvenate. If you’re looking for an outing along these lines, you might consider heading to Sunflower Cottage in Middletown. Mom can enjoy this picturesque herb farm, and visit the retail garden center to pick out herbs, flowers, or planters for the coming season. Don’t forget to include a stop at the farm’s Backroom Brewery on the farm for some refreshment. Hops for the unique range of craft beers are grown right on the farm. Backroom Brewery is also offering a special Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday March 9, complete with specialty herbal cocktails such as Lavender Martinis and Basil Whiskey Sours.
For another relaxing option, consider planning a picnic at one of the many fantastic wineries surrounding Front Royal. Sipping on a glass of Virginia wine in a gorgeous setting will be a restorative experience for anyone!
Celebrate Mom in the Front Royal area this Mother’s Day weekend. With a range of options to suit all tastes, you can get out in the fresh spring air of the Valley and enjoy a memorable day together.
In winter, a cozy fireplace can become the beating heart of your home. It’s a place the family can gather to bask in the warm glow of the fire. If you’re stuck at home this winter, try dedicating some screen-free evenings to spending time by the fire as a family. We’ve rounded up some innovative ideas for fireside activities. Even if you’ve been enjoying your fireplace for years, read on! You may discover a new way to relax by the fire on a winter’s evening.
1. Cook on the fire – it’s not just for summer!
You may have spent many evenings by your fire, but have you ever thought of making dinner on it? Just like a campfire, the fire in your hearth can be used for cooking. Gather around the fireplace on a winter’s night for a fun dinner that will remind you of those summer campfire cookouts. For some ideas to get you started, see here and here. Bonus: cooking as a family in the living room gives mom a break!
If you’re not in the mood for cooking a full dinner, you can still enjoy your fireplace and some delicious fire-roasted snacks or deserts. S’mores can be made indoors, just as they can on an outdoor campfire. Or for a Christmassy option that will remind you of a popular song, try some chestnuts “roasted on an open fire.” Make sure you have butter and cinnamon ready to dip them in! Baked apples are another great option for a fun and easy fireside desert.
2. Enjoy the Mood Lighting!
If you can turn off the lights while you’re gathered around the fire, you’ll notice how quickly the mood changes. Distractions melt away, and stresses seem to disappear, as the warmth and light of the fire comfort body and spirit. Skeptical . . . just give it a try one night: we promise, you’ll love it. Bonus points if you have Christmas lights up at the same time.
3. Have a Fireside Chat
There’s something about sitting by a fire together that can get people to open up and engage in great conversations that would not happen so easily otherwise. Need some help getting a conversation going? Consider keeping a pack of “conversation starter” cards near the fire. You never know, you might learn something you never knew before about a family member or guest.
4. Try a Fireside Game
There’s nothing like a family game night for involving everyone in some fun. Do it around the fire, and you’ll find it’s an unbeatable combination. If you’re going to play a family game around the fire, it’s ideal if it doesn’t involve too much moving around, and doesn’t require bright lighting. You’ll find some ideas here.
5. Read a Story Together
When the whole family is gathered around the fire is a great time to crack open a book and start reading aloud. If you can find a collection of short stories, that’s a great place to start. They’re short enough that you can get through a whole story – or two – in an evening. The short stories of Edgar Allan Poe will give your family a lot to think and talk about. They’re not a great option for younger audiences though. Or dig through a second hand bookstore, such as Front Royal’s own Royal Oak Bookshop and see what treasures you can find for yourself.
When the weather outside is frightful, the fire can be delightful. Take the time to enjoy your fire and your family this winter. Here’s to memories made around the fireside that will last a lifetime.
When you’re enjoying Christmas at home, the Christmas tree is a central part of the celebration. You pile up gifts under its branches. You gather around it with family and friends to share the joys of the season. And there’s nothing like “that Christmas tree smell” for really making it feel like Christmas has arrived!
If you’re searching the Front Royal area for a real Christmas tree, read on. We’ve rounded up some recommended local farms and businesses that can provide you with the perfect tree. Also below: tips for taking care of your tree when you get it home.
“Cut-Your-Own” Christmas Tree Farm
There’s nothing quite like picking your tree from the field and cutting it down yourself. If you have time and energy to cut your own Christmas tree, it can be a fun family outing that will become a beloved tradition. Make getting the Christmas tree as memorable as enjoying it at home!
Hartland Farm and Orchard is a popular local spot for “cut-your-own” Christmas trees. They offer complimentary hot chocolate to make your Christmas tree hunt complete, as well as a variety of tasty treats for purchase. Hartland tends to sell out quickly so check their Facebook page for updates before you head out.
If you’re up for a bit of a drive into the Shenandoah Valley, Valley Star Farm also offers cut-your-own” trees. A visit to this beautiful farm in its scenic location is a great way to kick off your Christmas celebration.
If you want to go to a Christmas tree farm, but aren’t up for cutting your own tree, don’t worry. Both Hartland and Valley Star Farm also offer precut Christmas trees for your convenience.
Precut Christmas Trees in Front Royal
For a wide selection of precut Christmas trees right in town, check out Springtime Garden Center, located at the heart of Front Royal. You’ll also find a variety of other Christmas plants and decorations here. In the spirit of the Christmas season, Springtime Garden Center is making it easy for you to make a charitable donation when you purchase your tree. Here you’ll find giving trees for seniors and veterans, and opportunities to donate to Toys for Tots or the Warren County Humane Society. Bring non-perishable food items, and they’ll deliver them to C-CAP for you.
The Giving Tree is another local option for precut trees and seasonal decorations. This family business also offers gourmet local foods so you can stock up for your Christmas celebration while you shop for your tree. The unique gifts you can find here make it a one-stop-shop for all things Christmas.
Taking Care of your Christmas Tree
If you’ve ever had a Christmas tree shed pine needles all over your carpet (and spent the next few months stepping on the ones you didn’t get with the vacuum…), you’ll know why it’s important to take good care of your tree...even though it’s only in your home for a few weeks. The following tree care practices should help you avoid the dreaded “pine needle drop.”
For optimal health, Christmas trees, like people, need to stay hydrated. But it’s important to make sure that your Christmas tree is able to absorb the water that you’re giving it. After a Christmas tree is cut, its sap can harden in the bottom of the trunk, sealing it off from the water it’s standing in. That’s why it’s important to cut a few inches from the base of the trunk immediately before placing it in water. A fresh cut absorbs water much better than an old one. Keep the cut hydrated, and you won’t have to worry about it sealing up.
Even if you’re not bringing your tree inside right away, it’s best to make the cut when you get it home, and then stand it in a bucket of water. Replenish the water frequently to ensure that the tree has no chance to dry out. Some suggest watering with very hot (almost boiling) water when you first bring the Christmas tree into your house. This technique also helps to ensure that no hardened sap prevents your Christmas tree from getting the water it needs.
The benefits of Christmas trees are numerous. They bring people together. They provide a sense of beauty and peace. It’s even been suggested that the scent of evergreen trees decreases stress and anxiety. Don’t miss out all the good things that a Christmas tree can bring to your home this year!
With Christmas 2020 fast approaching, COVID-19 restrictions continue to fill our lives with uncertainty and disappointment. It’s tough wondering which beloved Christmas traditions we’ll miss out on this year. We could all use some festive cheer! That’s why the Front Royal Chamber of Commerce has decided to go ahead with its annual Christmas Parade. With a few modifications, this outdoor event can go ahead safely, bringing some Christmas spirit to our favorite small town.
Read on for details of the 2020 Front Royal Christmas Parade, including COVID-19 safety measures. You’ll also find some ideas for making a day of it. Come out and be a part of giving the town of Front Royal a Christmas boost!
The Front Royal Christmas Parade
The Front Royal Christmas Parade will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 5. This year, to allow for social distancing, the parade will proceed down N. Commerce Avenue, beginning at E Stonewall Drive, and disbanding at Bing Crosby Stadium. With many of Front Royal’s favorite businesses and organizations participating in the parade, it’s a great way to celebrate everything Front Royal has to offer. With the extra space along the 2020 parade route, you’ll be able to comply with COVID-19 guidelines as well as enjoying this beloved Christmas tradition.
Shop and Dine - Support Front Royal’s Local Businesses
Although the parade will not go down Main Street this year, the route still allows participants easy access to the shops and restaurants of downtown Front Royal. It’s a great excuse to explore what the town of Front Royal has to offer.
Plan to visit Front Royal’s unique shops before the parade if you still have Christmas shopping on your to-do list. You’ll find unique gifts, antiques, used books, pottery, and outdoor gear, all within walking distance of the parade route. Downtown Front Royal is just the right place to find just the right gift for the trickiest people on your list.
If you’re hoping to enjoy the parade with something warm and delicious in your hand, you can! Allow time to stop by the Down Home Comfort Bakery, or one of Frond Royal’s coffee shops on your way to the parade route. Happy Creek Coffee, the Daily Grind, and DL Campus Coffee on Main are all great options for delicious coffee or hot chocolate and a tasty treat.
Don’t forget the fun doesn’t end with the parade. Round out the afternoon by grabbing dinner at a local restaurant before you head home. Or check out one of Front Royal’s fantastic entertainment spots.
If you’re starting to worry that the Grinch will steal Christmas this year, an afternoon at the Front Royal Christmas Parade will lift your spirits. You can enjoy a day of family fun, celebrate everything about our amazing small town, AND support local business! We’ll see you there!
P.S. - The parade is a fantastic opportunity to take some great photos that you can enter for our "Staying Home for the Holidays" photo contest! We'll be featuring them on our Home for the Holidays page on our website too!
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