Not quite ready to let go of the Halloween feeling? There’s one more weekend to experience the frightening nighttime adventure put on each year out at Cox Farms in Centreville. This place was a staple when our kids were younger but I don’t ever remember doing the scary stuff: 20 acres of frightening attractions like a slaughterhouse, crypt, scary clowns, a coffin tunnel and a Dark Side Hayride. Of course they lighten things up at the end with karaoke, a dance party, food and live music. It’s fun for fun’s sake and highly recommended.
Whenever my mom visits from North Carolina, Lebanese Taverna Market in Arlington is always on her must-visit list! She gets the falafel every time, but I can never settle on one thing… it’s all so good! We usually grab a bunch of different deli items and then snack on them all weekend. They have a nice selection of imported and packaged foods that work well for hostess gifts too.
Hike and Beer Day Trip in Virginia
The Hike: Mason Neck State Park is an 1800 acre family and dog friendly park near Lorton. There are tons of easy walks through manicured trails and scenic water and wetland views. If you’re up for something a little more strenuous this weekend, you can participate in a Veteran’s Day 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk that launches at a very reasonable 2:00 Sunday afternoon start time. The address is 7301 High Point Road, Lorton, VA 22079-4010, and you can sign up for the Run/Walk here.
The Beer: Veteran-owned Fairwinds Brewing in Lorton gets fantastic reviews for their flagship brews and massive tasting room. Dogs are allowed, but food is hit or miss; you can pack a picnic, or look for the Natural Red Catering food truck scheduled for Saturday. Open at noon both days.
Hike and Wine Day Trip in Maryland
The Hike: I’ve never been up there, but the Seneca Creek State Park near Gaithersburg is well known for its gorgeous fall foliage. The main trails are at Clopper Lake and Schaeffer Farms, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you could hop on the Seneca Creek Greenway Traill that traverses 16.5 miles through the park and to the Potomac River.
The Wine: It’s just a short drive over to Poolesville to get to Rockland Farms, a farm/barn converted into a winery. The bottom level has been converted into a tasting room with seating, and they offer food trucks and wood fired pizza on the weekends. Yelpers say the whole operation is very family-friendly and welcoming, plus they also sell farm fresh eggs, meats, and local cheeses to take home.
Date Night at Vermilion
Old Town Alexandria is always a fun stop, but we don’t always think of going there for date night. There are some great options, though, and Vermilion is definitely one of them. The kitchen focuses on regionally sourced foods and a seasonal menu, which gets rave reviews, but I also hear they start you off with a basket of homemade bread and butter that once made Tom Sietsema swoon. That, plus the chef’s “way with organ meats and smoke” makes it a must-try in my book. Get a reservation on Open Table.