We live only a handful of miles from George Washington's Mount Vernon. Tickets are crazy expensive, but a year pass is a great deal (plus kids under 5 are free). Both Papa Bear and I have year passes.
The last time we were there together as a family was on January 1st, which was an amazing day - complete with a feisty camel.
In June, I took the girls there on my first solo venture with both of them.
Last Week-end, we were planning on checking out the butterflies at the "Wings of Fancy" exhibit before it ended. But, by the time the baby had her first morning nap and everyone was fed, we knew there was not enough time to drive the 45 minutes to the exhibit, explore, eat lunch and drive back for the Big Girl's nap.
It was a glorious day and I wanted to do something as a family.
Lucky for us, there was "Mount Vernon's Fall Market."
There were some decent vendors (all very authentic) and a tiny military encampment. We ended up buying Nye-Nye a gorgeous hand-made broom just her size! I gave her the money and she stood in line patiently clutching her broom and the cash, waiting to pay for it. She was so proud.
We also watched a cannon demonstration, although neither girls seemed terribly impressed.
The food was the biggest disappointment (BBQ with coleslaw, turkey legs, popcorn, a bag of peanuts, chips and an apple...those were your options). But, the event was free with our pass and it got us out of the house, so I won't complain too loudly.
All in all it was a success (plus I got several sweet photos of Papa Bear with his Anala-bala Bear).
It was a nice, spontaneous Family Outing.
That being said...
"Claude Moore Colonial Farm's Colonial Market Fair" was much, much more impressive. We went last year. They do a phenomenal job with authenticity and food (and beer) is top-notched. They had killer meat-pies and veggie-pies, baked olives, roasted chicken amongst other things. There is plenty too do, but it's not too overwhelming to go with small children (like the Ren Festival). Everything is very reasonable and the site is quite lovely.
Claude Moore Farm has three Market Fairs a year. Their Autumn Colonial Market will be October 19th and 20th from 11 am - 4:30 pm. If you've never been and are in the area, I highly recommend marking your calendars.
I don't have any photos from last year, but I'll end a few shots from Mount Vernon.