Tysons, VA

For the ninth year in a row, people can taste chocolate from local chocolatiers at an annual festival in McLean.

The McLean Chocolate Festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of McLean — proceeds go to local organizations.

Last year, the festival raised more than $21,000 people and had more than 3,100 attendees, according to the website.

The festival is set to take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue).

Attendees can expect a children’s game room and live entertainment. Admission is $2, but kids ages 3 and under can attend for free.

Photo via Burke & Herbert Bank/Facebook

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The City of Falls Church is pitching in to help Creative Cauldron launch its “Bold New Voices Musical Theater Festival” later this year.

The festival is set to run from April 27-May 6. “The goal of the festival is aimed at supporting musical theater works by women and women-identifying writers and composers,” according to the website.

Creative Cauldron received $2,500 in city funding with a $2,500 match from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) for the festival, along with $13,437 in city funding for an operational grant, according to a press release from the city.

Creative Cauldron was one of six local groups that received grants for arts-related activities and support.

“The Falls Church City Council recently approved a recommendation from the Arts and Humanities Grant committee to allocate $45,000 in funding for arts and cultural grants for fiscal year 2019-2020,” the press release said. “An additional $4,500 was funded through a grant from the [VCA].”

Of the 12 total grants, five are operational ones, while seven are for projects, including:

Recipients include Creative Cauldron, Falls Church Arts, The Little City CATCH Foundation, Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, Washington Sinfonietta, and Welcoming Falls Church. Details on their projects and operational needs are listed below:

  • Falls Church Arts: $2,016 in city funds with a $500 VCA match to improve event capacity outside the studio
  • Falls Church Arts: $2,000 in city funds with a $1,500 VCA match to support increased capacity for studio classes
  • The Little City CATCH Foundation: $4,784 in city funds for Watch Night
  • Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation: $5,000 in city funds for promoting the 2019 Tinner Hill Blues Festival
  • Washington Sinfonietta: $416 in city funds to support a free holiday concert at the Falls Church Episcopal Church
  • Welcoming Falls Church: $2,284 in city funds for the Welcoming Week initiative about the contemporary immigrant experience

Currently, Creative Cauldron has a call for submissions through Friday (Jan. 10) for the festival and plans to select three to five new works, along with several finalists.

“One final musical will be chosen by our resident artistic team at the end of the festival to have a fully funded production staged as part of Creative Cauldron’s 2020-2021 season,” according to Creative Cauldron.

Image via Creative Cauldron/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Wednesday (Nov. 20)

  • Holiday Extravaganza — 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Sheraton Tysons Hotel (8661 Leesburg Pike) — This event combines networking with shopping and holiday spirit. The event will feature food, drinks, keynote talks and booths with shopping opportunities. Tickets start at $75.

Thursday (Nov. 21)

  • Canning at Caboose Commons — 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) — People can learn about canning Caboose’s Fog and Citra Session IPAs.

Saturday (Nov. 23)

  • Christmas Market — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church (1301 Trap Road) — At this market, people will be selling various items including baked goods, candles, wreaths and various gifts. Gift wrapping is available on-site and Santa will make an appearance for photos as well.
  • 50s’ Sock Hop — 7 to 9 p.m. at Vienna Community Center, Auxiliary Gym (120 SE Cherry Street) — This event invites community members to come together for a friendly evening of dancing. Admission is $5 at the door and free for kids under 5.
  • Apple Brandy Bottling Party — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street) — This party celebrates the release of the distillery’s new batch of Apple Brandy. This event is free but organizers ask that attendees RSVP through email.
  • Winter Walk of Lights — 5 to 10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — This event allows community members to enjoy holiday lights at the gardens. Hot drinks and smores are available for purchase on-site. Tickets are $14 and $8 for kids.

Sunday (Nov. 24)

  • Sensory-Friendly Santa — 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive) — Autism Speaks partnered with Tysons Galleria to invite children of all abilities to enjoy the Christmas festivities. The event page said that this will provide a calm environment for kids to meet Santa.
  • Sutton Foster at Wolf Trap — 6:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Road) — Tony Award-winning singer Sutton Foster will take the stage as one of Wolf Trap’s last performances for November. Tickets to her performance start at $67.
  • Hope Family Fun Festival — 2 to 5 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (601 S. Oak Street) — This festival allows community members and families to come together for an afternoon of face painting, moon bounces, yoga lessons, games and prizes for kids.

Photo via Falls Church Distillers LLC/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Nov. 4)

  • Kids STEM Workshop — 9 a.m. at Kilmer Middle School (8100 Wolftrap Road) — Since Fairfax County Public Schools are out of session on Monday (Nov. 4) and Tuesday (Nov. 5), this is an opportunity for students in grades four through six to learn more about math and science opportunities. The tickets are $50.

Tuesday (Nov. 5)

  • Jedi Academy — 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nova Fencing Club (3431 Carlin Springs Road) — Kids will have the opportunity to lean the basics of fencing from “Jedi Masters” at the Nova Fencing Club while using lightsabers. The cost of this camp is $80.

Friday (Nov. 8)

  • The Jungle Book— 7:30 p.m. at Creative Cauldron (410 S. Maple Avenue) — This production of “The Jungle Book” features Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater program and will tell the story of the beloved children’s tale. Tickets start at $16 for students and are $20 for adults.

Saturday (Nov. 9)

  • Barre and Brunch — 11:30 a.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street) — This pop-up exercise class will give attendees a chance to participate in a barre workout class while enjoying food and drinks at Falls Church Distillers. Tickets are $35 and include a bloody mary or mimosa.
  • Book Binding & Foil Stamping Workshop — 2 to 4 p.m. at Botanologica (817 W. Broad Street) — For this event attendees will learn to make their own book and 10 foil stamped thank you cards. The tickets are $75.
  • TEDx Tysons — 10 a.m. at 1st Stage Theater (1524 Spring Hill Road) — An independently organized event, this Ted Talk will feature “Doorways” and talk about transitions and thresholds in life. Tickets start at $45.
  • Muslimah Fest — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center (3159 Row Street) — This empowerment and networking event celebrates strong women in the community. It will feature motivational lectures, talks, a modesty fashion show, quranic recitation, food, short films by Muslim women, beauty and health tips and spoken word poetry.

Photo via Nova Fencing Club

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Sept. 30)

  • Mr. Brown’s Park Dedication — 6-7 p.m. at former Downtown Park (100 block of W. Broad Street) —  This event celebrates the transition from Downtown Park to Mr. Brown’s Park, which will now be named after the oldest business in the City of Falls Church. Local officials will be on-site commemorating the renaming.

Thursday (Oct. 3)

  • Tysons Reporter Happy Hour — 5-7 p.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — Celebrate Tysons Reporter’s first anniversary. Community members will have the chance to grab a drink or a slice of cake with the journalists behind the site. The first 50 attendees will receive a free drink. Rumor has it that there will also be free swag.

Friday (Oct. 4)

  • Vienna Oktoberfest — 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Historic Church Street (131 Church Street NE—  This 12th annual event offers visitors a variety of vendors, live music acts, food, kids activities and alcoholic beverages. It is free.
  • WellieWishers™ Friendship Tea Party — 2-4 p.m. at American Girl Store (8090 Tysons Corner) — Kids 5 and up are welcome to gather for an afternoon of dining, crafts and a cupcake-decorating. Tickets are $13.50 per person.
  • Block Party — 3-7 p.m. at Capital One Center (1640 Capital One Drive) Capital One is hosting a block party with City Works Eatery and Pour House to celebrate the new mixed-use development space. There will be live music, games, food and drinks available. Admission is free and includes a free drink. There will be over 90 beers on tap.

Saturday (Oct. 5)

  • Ribbon Cutting for Synthetic Turf Field — 10 a.m. at Larry Graves Park (300 Hillwood Avenue— This event celebrates the grand opening of a field in Larry Graves Park that includes striping for several different sports. All are welcome to attend this free event.
  • Moon Festival – Tet Trung Thu — noon-5 p.m. at Eden Center (6761 Wilson Blvd) This Vietnamese festival invites the community to gather for an afternoon of colorful lantern displays, music, cultural performances and food. It is free and all ages are welcome to attend.

Sunday (Oct. 6)

  • MPAartfest –10 a.m.-5 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) — This free event invites community members to check out pop-up art galleries, hands-on exhibits, food vendors and live music.
  • Tysons Singles Seated Speed Dating — 7-9 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike)  Singles in the area are invited for an evening of mingling at the Tysons Biergarten. Event organizers request that attendees arrive before 7 p.m. for check-in. Tickets start at $15.

Image via Facebook/Eden Center

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October Fall Festivals!

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Maybe, just maybe, we’ll actually get a fall season in October where you can breakout pants and a cozy sweater.

I spent Saturday at Cox Farms in 95 degree heat and while still fun, it didn’t quite feel like a Fall Festival! I will say though, their cider donuts are so good! I did a roundup of the September Fall Festivals last month, so rounding that out with the ones in October below! If you had a favorite from September, drop it in the comments so others can plan for next year!

Cox Farms — Centreville, VA
September 14-15, September 21-November 5
Live music, cow milking, farm chores, hayride, tunnels, slides, swings, corn maze, goats, cider, donuts and their market! This is my favorite event all year and I actually hold my client appreciation event here in the fall. You really can’t beat a day in cooler weather walking around their farm!

Great County Farms — Bluemont, VA
September 30-October 31
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival featuring pick your own pumpkins (also apples), wagon rides, pig races, Dino shows, Marshmallow roasting, cider pressing, live music, 5-acre play area, donuts and their market. Adult pro tip: Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing are across the street and the views can NOT be beat. There’s a coupon for tickets on CertifiKid.

Fall For Fairfax-KidsFest — Fairfax, VA
Saturday, October 5, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, October 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Kids fall festival for elementary and pre-school aged children, which includes scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, pony rides, petting zoo, model trains, rides and 75 exhibits and food vendors. This event also has a coupon on CertifiKid.

Oktoberfest — Vienna, VA
Saturday, October 5, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Held on Historic Church Street by the red caboose, the event features live music, games, kids activities, German auto show, lots of food and drinks. *My company, McEnearney, has a booth at the event. Come meet me between 3-7 p.m.*

City of Fairfax Fall Festival — Fairfax, VA
Saturday, October 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The event includes over 400 vendors, children’s activities, 3 stages of music and entertainment, and carnival rides.

Halloween on the Green — Vienna, VA
Saturday, October 19, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Ages 2-10, family fun on the town green, which features crafts, games, storytelling, moon bounce, petting zoo, treats and decorate your own pumpkin.

Reston Farm Fall Fest — Reston, VA
Now until November 5, hours vary based on day
Weekends feature moon bounces, moon bounce slides, corn maze moon bounce, train rides, dog shows, puppet shows, face painting and food!

Town of Vienna Halloween Parade — Vienna, VA
October 23, 7 p.m.
A fabulous tradition that runs along Maple Avenue from Branch to Center Street. Read my tips on attending the parade from last year.

Amazing Farm Fun — Ticonderoga Farm, Chantilly, VA
Now until November 3, hours vary
Long list of activities includes hayrides, jumping pillows, tunnels and slides, petting farm, tire play, cowtrain, firepits and s’mores, and more.

Jack’s Pumpkin Glow — Reston, VA
Now until October 27, hours vary
A 1/3 mile train filled with over 5,000 hand carved jack o’lanterns into amazing structures. Buy tickets ahead of time. Tickets can be pricey, so check out the 20% off coupon on Certifikid.

Butler’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival — Germantown, MD
Weekends until November 3
Admission is $12/person and includes hayrides, jump pad, corn maze, giant slides and more. There’s also food available like cider, donuts, kettle corn and more. You can pick your own pumpkins, do a pumpkin cannon, face painting and pony rides.

Pumpkin Village at Leesburg Animal Park — Leesburg, VA
Open everyday, hours vary
Festival activities include wagon rides, giant slides, zip line, moon bounce, corn bin, hay maze, pony rides, animals, moon bounce pillow and more.

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The City of Falls Church will host their annual festival this coming Saturday (Sept. 14).

This year’s 44th annual festival will feature a Biergarten, local food vendors, pony rides, live entertainment, amusement rides and booths from businesses. The event will run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. outside City Hall (223 Little Falls Street).

Admission to the event is free, but attendees can purchase tickets for food and drink from more than 15 vendors, along with tickets for the rides.

Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy live entertainment. Noland the Magician will perform a live magic show for onlookers featuring puppets at 10 a.m. Sudden M Pac Band, an R&B soul band, will perform at 12:15 p.m.

The Biergarten will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. While everyone is welcome to hang out in the space, anyone wishing to purchase or consume alcohol must be 21 or older. There will be beers on tap from Audacious Aleworks and assorted cocktails with liquor from Falls Church Distillers.

For kids, there will be a crafting tent in Cherry Hill Park.

Photo via the City of Falls Church

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Thursday (Sept. 5)

  • Falls Church Art Show –11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Falls Church Arts (700 W. Broad Street) — Local artists showcase their latest work at this annual event.

Friday (Sept. 6)

  • Old Firehouse Family Movie Night — 7-9 p.m. at The Old Firehouse (1440 Chain Bridge Road) — This event gives families the chance to gather and watch Disney’s “Frozen.” Tickets are $3 per person, which includes unlimited popcorn.
  • The Piano Guys — 8 p.m. at Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — The YouTube sensations will perform a live concert of their new album “Limitless.” Tickets are $38 and include a free download of the album.

Saturday (Sept. 7)

  • Food For Others Tysons 5k and Fun Run — 8-10 a.m. at Tysons Corner Center Mall (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — This charity 5k invites participants to raise money for the hungry through Food for Others. Participants can purchase tickets for $35 beforehand and meet at the parking lot outside L.L.Bean on the day of the race.
  • Coding Day for Beginners — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at  WeWork Tysons Corner (1775 Tysons Blvd) — This free event offers participants an inside look into how HTML, CSS and JavaScript work. Participants are asked to bring a laptop but free coffee and lunch will be provided.

Sunday (Sept. 8)

Photo via Wolf Trap

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Pumpkin Spice is back, so that officially makes it fall, right? I know, I rolled my eyes too.

Despite the pumpkin spice craze, September does mean the beginning of my favorite time of year — Fall Festivals Around Northern Virginia. Whether you’re a family with children or a group of friends going out for some fun, you’ll find a little bit of everything.

Here’s a list of some favorites during the month of September. More to follow in October!

Cox Farms — Centreville, VA
September 14-15, September 21-November 5
Live music, cow milking, farm chores, hayride, tunnels, slides, swings, corn maze, goats, cider, donuts and their market! This is my favorite event all year and I actually hold my client appreciation event here in the fall. You really can’t beat a day in cooler weather walking around their farm!

Great County Farms — Bluemont, VA
September 30-October 31
Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival featuring pick your own pumpkins (also apples), wagon rides, pig races, Dino shows, Marshmallow roasting, cider pressing, live music, 5-acre play area, donuts and their market. Adult pro tip: Bluemont Vineyard and Dirt Farm Brewing are across the street and the views can NOT be beat.

Falls Church Festival — Falls Church, VA
September 14
Held rain or shine from 10-4 p.m., this is also the “Taste of Falls Church” with a beer garden, live entertainment, pony rides, child amusements, local crafters and sales.

Merrifield Fall Festival — Fairfax, VA
September 28
Held from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., the event combines a farmers market, beer garden, live music, kids activities and more at Mosaic. This event also includes an appearance by the Vienna Singing Princesses!

Vienna Cops and Kids Fun Run — Vienna, VA
September 22
A kids fun run with the local town police. The event runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and includes many fun things after the race. Usually a police helicopter will land on the field next to Vienna Elementary, there’s a dunk-a-cop dunk tank, face painting, bounce house, music, obstacle course, food, police motorcycles and car tours.

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MPAartfest is returning to McLean in October with a long list of artists set to perform.

Hosted by the McLean Project for the Arts, the free festival is a one-day juried fine art show and sale that features the work of visual artists, along with mini art galleries, live music, food from local restaurants and activities. MPAartfest returns Sunday, Oct. 6.

Here’s the hour-by-hour breakdown on who’s playing:

  • 10 a.m. — Djangolaya will kick off MPAartfest with gypsy jazz
  • 11 a.m. — Takoma Park-based fiddler, banjoist, singer and scholar Jake Blount will perform with composer Clara Delfina
  • noon — Great Guitars featuring three guitarists will take the stage
  • 1 p.m. — Bumper Jacksons will bring jazz rhythms and country swing harmonies
  • 2 p.m. — DC-based outfit Black Masala will perform Balkan, gypsy, klezmer sounds
  • 3 p.m. — Artist Caz Gardiner will bring a 60’s-infused soul-pop sound
  • 4 p.m. — Blues Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra, a 15-piece youth swing big band, will close out the festival

The lineup was curated by radio host Ken Avis, according to a press release from the art organization.

While the festival is free, donations and funds raised during the event support MPA exhibitions and programs.

MPAartfest will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd).

Photo courtesy McLean Project for the Arts

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