Best Fall Festivities in NOVA

As I’ve said before, there are about a million reasons that I love Fall. I’m Fall obsessed! Everything I do in October I like to have some element of Fall in it, even if it’s just being outside for a little while and stepping on all the crunchy leafs (or is it leaves? I’ve always wondered) 😛

I love a good fall activities guide…it’s how I get most of my ideas of things to do, so I was already thinking, why not share one of my own?

It helps that there seem to be plenty Fall loving folks out there, which means there are tons and I mean TONS of Fall/Pumpkin/Halloween activities to do. I do have some personal favorites though and that is what I want to share with you guys!

I grew up in the Northern Virginia area, so naturally I love love love Cox Farms.

I adored going to their festival to go on slides and hayrides and pick out the perfect pumpkin as a kid. I even went there for a photography field trip either my freshman or sophomore year of high school.

We took photos with our black and white, old fashioned film cameras…it was literally the best and I still have those photos somewhere. I would love to go back and do that again. Though I literally have no clue where one can buy film anymore. I should look that up…

Anyways…that was a random tangent. I do truly love Cox Farms though. It’s become quite the production since the last time I went nearly 4 years ago. As I got older, I decided that even though I loved the classic Fall festival, I wished there was something we could do without so many small children around.

Sometime during my high school career, that wish was answered with Cox Farms Fields of Fear which I went to last weekend for the first time in a long time! It was so much fun to get scared and have a blast doing something Halloween-y 🙂 If you want to know more about it, you can read all about it in my last post, Week/Weekend update!

Another favorite thing of mine to do is find farmers markets around the area. I love the one in Manassas. It’s on Thursdays…maybe some other days, but I’ve only been on Thursdays. During the Summer and Fall months, the farmers market takes place in the same rink that the ice rink does during the Winter (which is another super fun thing to do).

I love seeing all the fresh produce around and talking to all of the farmers and bakers and other vendors…and you almost always come away with some sweet deals and delicious produce 🙂

There are also several farmers markets in the Arlington/Columbia Pike area that I really enjoy!

There’s one in Ballston not far from my house on Welburn Square, 901 N. Taylor Street. It’s on Thursdays, 3-7 p.m. and it has some great stuff. I’ve only been once or twice, but it’s got a good selection.

The one in Columbia Pike is pretty great too…and it’s one that I just recently found out goes on year round! When I went by on Sunday (it’s every Sunday in Pike Park, on Columbia Pike and South Walter Reed Drive from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.), it was packed and they had tons of seasonal fruits and veggies. Things like oranges and various types of squash…aka things that I love 😛

Also, a little random, but fun side note for those that are 21 or older around here…there are plenty of Halloween bar crawls going on in the next few weeks 🙂 You can sign up for them here and here, though I’m sure there are many more!

I’ve also heard that if you go to Embassy Row downtown, if you’re in costume on the actual day of Halloween, they will be passing out the candy or treat of their country! I think it’s super duper cool and I definitely will be going to that if I can!

Anyways, these are some of my favorite fall things to do in the Northern VA area! If you have any of your own fall festivities that you love to do, I would love to hear about them so I can try them out for myself!

Another great way to find events (Fall related or otherwise!)  is through Eventbrite or Meetup.com. Eventbrite has a  sell tickets page for people to use to promote events and Meetup is great for searching for groups in your area for just about anything…I’ve found everything from hiking to happy hours to cooking classes! Both places are my go to for anytime I’m at a loss for activities 🙂

Have a great Thursday!!


What are you guys going to be for Halloween?

I haven’t decided…I kind of suck at the whole costume thing 😛

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Week/Weekend update

It’s Monday again so it’s time to do a little update on my life! I seem to be quite sporadic in doing these things recently 😛

Last week was kind of a blur…it was one of those slow but fast weeks (does that make sense to anyone else?) I’m not sure what made it that way but all I know is that all of a sudden it was the weekend again!

Lets start with a couple weeks ago…I don’t really remember that much, but two Friday’s ago I had the best empanadas I have had in a long time (minus my uncle’s) at a restaurant.

My boyfriend met me in Alexandria after work and we decided we wanted to go to a new place, and I love any Mexican/Spanish food so it was an easy choice! I just searched for best Mexican or Tapas restaurants in Alexandria and the search came back with La Tasca.

It’s seriously so cute and it’s right in the heart of downtown Alexandria on King Street, which is one of my new favorite areas!

empanadas

The empanadas were sooooooo good! I have no idea what the sauce was, but that was pretty good too 🙂 I also had a really good sangria when I was there….it was some kind of blush wine with blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in it I believe. I’m going to have to try and learn how to make sangria some time.

After dinner we walked down the street a bit to get some ice cream and landed at the cutest little candy and ice cream shop called Kilwins! I had chocolate chip cookie dough (naturally…what other flavors are there? :P) and Chewy had chocolate turtle. We both thought it was outstanding!

chocolate-chip-cookie-dough

Sorry for the blurry picture! I promise the ice cream was 200 times better than this photo…I must have been in a rush to eat it or something 😛

Also I wore the cutest shoes that day…I’m in love with them. They’re from Ann Taylor and I got them on sale over the summer! S0rry for all those who hate feet…I just have to show off the color!

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Anyways…the week and weekend went on and it was fun! It was a kind of busy, yet also kind of low key weekend. We went down to JMU for the football game which was soooo much fun and I’m so happy that we beat W&M!

I did end up mutilating a wine bottle though…I was trying to make dinner and I’m kinda cheap so I usually buy wine that has a twist top like a water bottle, but Chewy’s parents had given me some wine…yeah I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

Yup…I’m a 22 year old who can’t open a bottle of wine to save her life. I almost had to watch a youtube video…almost 😛

The rest of the weekend was spend cooking and relaxing watching The Office. Random side note, but The Office is the most cringe worthy show I have ever seen…I have to look away sometimes because it’s so ridiculous but I also can’t stop watching!

Starting Monday it was back to work and like I said earlier, it was a slow but fast week. I have a bunch of stuff to do at work now, which is awesome because I love being busy, so I had that to focus on.

My roommate also had a bit of a snafu with the dishwasher…and by bit I mean it flooded and that sucks but she learned how to use a dishwasher properly so I guess that’s good? hahaha what an adventure 😛

Most of the week was really relaxed and easy for me. I didn’t feel like doing much, so I didn’t.

Tues day night I went to dinner with a friend at a restaurant called RPM Italian in DC. I had their chicken parmesan…it was oh my goodness delicious! It didn’t come with pasta which I thought was super strange, but it did come with two ginourmous chicken breaded chicken breasts and a delicious red sauce that I got to eat for two days in a row 😛

Thursday night I went out to dinner with my Dad at a Thai place in Alexandria. It was quite delicious…it was one of those hole in the wall little places that looks unimpressive, but is actually really yummy!

I forgot to take pictures of my pad thai and my dad’s spicy beef, but I can tell you that if you go to Alexandria and are craving thai food, Thanida Thai is a good place to go 🙂

Friday I also went out to dinner…eating out this much is unusual to me, but it’s been so much fun to try out all these new restaurants.

We went to the Warehouse Bar and Grill on Friday. I have to say this was one place I wasn’t that impressed with. I had a mediocre burger and fries and our waiter didn’t offer us bread like he did many of his other guests and they were all rather inattentive.

The decor was quite interesting though!

Those are a whole bunch of cartoons if you’re curious 😛

Also Alexandria is the cutest in general!

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Isn’t it gorgeous!! I love walking around down there. Maybe I’ll live there one day 🙂

Saturday was a fun day…I had found a food truck festival in DC that I was dying to go to, so I coerced Chewy into going with me. It was out by the NoMa Gaullaudet U metro stop in DC off of the Red line.

You didn’t have to buy tickets in advance so that was really nice! We were able to buy tickets at the door and it was really cool because you bought tickets that were then able to be redeemed for food or drinks depending on the type of tickets you bought.

Chewy and I decided to get 3 tickets for $20 and split three different things. You could also buy 1 ticket for $8 and there was another option as well. There were also tickets for drinking, but we didn’t buy any of those so I don’t know the prices.

I thought the tickets were pretty reasonable though because the samples that we got from the truck were a pretty good size!

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The brisket mac and cheese was easily my favorite! I love mac and cheese and I love brisket, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise, but it was an amazing combination! I’m going to try and make something like that soon…I have a chuck roast in my freezer so you know, it could totally work 🙂

Chewy picked out something from a Korean BBQ truck that was pretty good as well, but I forgot to take a picture. I just love food trucks…I think they’re so cool! JMU actually has some on campus right now which is awesome! I really want to go try the food 😛

So that was Saturday during the day, but Saturday night I decided that I really wanted to go to Fields of Fear at Cox Farms. Cox farms is the greatest place and I haven’t been back in probably 4-5 years.

I typically hate scary things, but I really wanted to go…don’t ask me why! It was a blast though. That place has a more elaborate festival every year. They added a whole new (well…new to me at least) Forest walk where people pop out and scare you while you walk through the woods.

It’s safe to say I nearly broke Chewy’s hand but it was such a fun time 🙂 Especially the hot chocolate and giant bonfires that they had everywhere because it was actually very cold on Saturday night and I was not as well dressed for it as I probably should have been 😛

I wasn’t able to take very many photos because my phone camera isn’t very good at taking photos in the dark, but the bonfire…Loved it 🙂 and the giant slide…that picture on the right is from the top of the slide. It’s so fun! and huge…It’s a blast thought. You all should go 🙂

Sunday was reserved for food…most days are reserved for food, but Sunday was especially a food day. I met some friends for brunch at Bob and Edith’s diner in Columbia Pike. It’s such a cute little place. It reminded me of what old fashioned bustling little diners would have been like back when my great grandparents owned their restaurant.

I feel like it may have been like that…like everyone knew Bob and Edith and they were all friends you know? Anyways, it was cute and we were lucky we got there when we did because it was packed and it’s small so it was hard to get a seat. Luckily there was one open when we got there!

I had some french toast with eggs and hash browns, which was delicious and really hit the spot. They used Challah bread or some other type of thick bread for the french toast, which is 200% the best way to make it 🙂

I also made some cookies…On Friday night, I just wanted to make ice cream sundaes. It was a strange craving, but I indulged it and I went to Target to get some ice cream and some candy toppings! I ended up with rolos, reese’s, and twix which are great, but I had way to many and I didn’t really want candy laying around the house.

Soooo I decided to chop it all up and make cookies! I used the recipe on the back of the Trader Joe’s whole wheat flour again and just added all the candy…They turned out great 🙂 I love baking a good cookie and adding fun new mix ins is always exciting for me.

I did have to freeze the dough for a little while to get it to firm up though. I don’t have a mixer, so I make cookies by hand with a wooden spoon which means that I have to melt the butter.

Melting the butter makes the dough really soft so the cookies frequently end up really flat…if you ever have this problem, freeze or refrigerate the dough! It works wonders!

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The yummy chopped up candy 🙂

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Mixing up the dough…I ended up using a spatula because everything was sticking 😛

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The best part…the dough! I probably ate three or four cookies worth of dough…whoops!

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The finished product! The cookies that ended up with Rolos on the bottom ended up a little goofy looking, but I can assure you they still taste great 🙂

All in all it was a lovely weekend and I’m so glad that I got to do so many different things! I hope you all had a great last couple of weeks!


What’s your favorite fall activity?

Do you have a favorite type of cookie to make? or eat?