Trust me when I say, you don’t want to miss this seasons Fall Festival at Cox Farms. Farm goers both young and old will have a ball venturing through activities on this 90 acres farm. Cox has the largest fall festival that I’ve been to in the DMV area. They have been hosting Fall Festivals since the late 1970’s. What started off as simple hayrides to pick pumpkins, has now become one of the most popular events in Virginia. Cox Farm transforms into an enormous playground every autumn; offering plenty of activities featuring a massive pumpkin patch, petting zoo, unique themed slides, cornundrum corn maze, festive food and live entertainment. Let’s take a tour of the farm, so I can highlight how awesome this farm is.
FUN ON THE FARM
There are so many elements that make this farm a family favorite. There is so much to see and do that it’s hard to accomplish it all in one day.
Let’s start with the popular slides. Cox farm has a whopping total of six slides; volcano slide, Dino slide, Minor slide, Mountain slide, Castle slide and Barn slide. The slides are strategically placed on natural hills on the property and each slide has something unique and special about it. The volcano slide looks like a giant Volcano, rumbles and makes noises. The Dino slide is Cox Farms biggest slide! 6 lanes wide and 150 feet long, this is a dinosaur of a slide! The mining slide is a tunnel slide that goes underground. This slide is located right next to Cox’s Mining Co. where you can pan for your very own treasure! The mountain slide is Coxs first slide, while its an oldie it’s definitely a goodie. Whether you are a prince or princess, Cox Farms Castle Slide is Magical. Last but not least my favorite slide, the Barn slide. I love how you walk through a story book that tells the tale of Jack and The Bean Stalk. Beautifully painted wooden cutouts depict the story. The tale continues as you climb the stair that lead to the top is the barn. You are greeted by a hen with her golden egg. Escape the grasps of the giant by fleeing down the slide.
One of our favorite attractions was the Cornundrum Corn Maze; where you can venture through acres of fun hidden in a self guided corn maze. I had never been in a walk through corn maze like this before. Essentially you can’t get lost because you are guided down a path. In this corny adventure you will find all kinds of surprises around every turn; such as optical illusions, silly scenes and fun obstacles.
If anything, you want to make sure you leave time to ride on Cox Farms famous hayride. This 20 minute wagon ride is pulled by an antique tractor and leads you through an interactive adventure where you will get to see cowboys, aliens, super heroes and more.
Make sure you also check out the Kiddie zone, farm chores, fun tunnels, petting zoo, swings and carnival style games. I love that the fall festival is fun and has nothing spooky that would scare small children. The farm hosts a Fields of Fear at night for a more mature audience. Another surprise that I didn’t expect to see is a collection of so many antique tractors!
Cox’s food concessions are out of this world. From addictive kettle corn that you can smell from a mile away to their famous hand-cut fries or fresh squeezed lemonade to BBQ smoked on the farm there is plenty of delicious eats and treats. Enjoy free refreshments; apples picked from the farm and homemade cider are available near the kids zone, for no additional charge. Just help yourself. Also as you leave the festival, don’t forget to choose one of the small pumpkins on display to take home. Everyone gets a small patch pumpkin to take home FREE with paid admission.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Because the Cox Farms Fall Festival is a must-see annual tradition, it’s huge and often crowded. Here are a few tips to navigate the farm and get the most for your time and money.
1.) Avoid the crowd- October weekends are peak times for crowds. If you prefer visiting during a low key time try visit on a weekday afternoon when there are fewer guests or visit the farm in September or November which tend to be less busy then October. Be sure to check the areas school calendar through to make sure it not a day off; it can get very crowded on the day kids are out of school.
2.) Take advantage of discounts- Cox Farms offers a variety of options for discounted tickets: Visit the farm on a week day. Admission is lower on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays early in the fall season. Pay attention to event weekends such as Public Servant Weekends. Visit their website for information and details: http://www.coxfarms.com/fallfestival/calendar.aspx
3.) Wear comfortable clothing- Don’t worry about dressing to impress. Dress comfortably. Weather changes frequently in Virginia. I highly suggest wearing layers starting with a short-sleeved shirt under a warmer layer in case the temperature rises or falls during the day/evening. My biggest recommendation is to wear long pants. With activities like sliding down hills, digging in corn and climbing in hay, pants will be most comfortable than shorts, skirts or dresses.
4.) Pack light, they mostly everything you need. The food at Cox is surprisingly affordable. You can get hot dogs and PBJ’s for $2 or less. They also have a complimentary apple cider and fresh picked apples for guests to enjoy. Maneuvering a stroller or wagon around the farm is do-able if it’s all terrain. However, if you can go without one, I would leave it in the trunk.