Thursday, June 26, 2008

County Fairs in Central Virginia

We love county fairs in this house. We come from a place where practically every weekend in the Summer one of the the local churches held a carnival of sorts. It is a little hotter here and I can understand why most of the events are closer to the cooler days of autumn. The unlimited ride wristbands for the kids are always well worth the cost. The fun that they have on those rides is beyond compare.

So I figured I'd keep a list of and share of all the Fairs and similar events that we try to attend that are of reasonable distance for families from Goochland County.

Please let me know if you know of any others that are worthy of this list! I will continue to update this list as I find more that fit.

I moved the Fall / Winter Listing to a newer post. Please check there for Autumn 2008 fairs and festivals.

Passed (there's always next year!):

Hanover Tomato Festival Saturday, July 5, 2008 from 9-4 and it's FREE
Held at Pole Green Park, Mechanicsville about 45 minutes from the Goochland Library.
We haven't been to this yet but may try it this year. It sounds like fun.
This event will provide great exposure to non-profit organizations, artisans, and crafters. The event will also feature entertainment, food, tomato contests, a children’s area that includes arts & crafts, face-painting, pony rides, mechanical rides, inflatables, and games.

2008 Powhatan County Fair 6 nights from Tuesday July 29 - Sunday August 3, 2008
Midway Rides & Games * Karaoke * Lawnmower Races * Miss Powhatan County Fair Pageant

It is held at the Powhatan County Fairgrounds 4042 Anderson Highway VA 23139 which is 12 miles from the Goochland Library. Rt. 6 towards Maidens. Turn right on Maidens Rd to cross over the James River to Powhatan. Travel 11 miles south on 522 to route 60/Anderson Highway and turn left. It is 1 mile down on the left/westbound side of route 60.

Or just 15 minutes west of route 288 on route 60 west.
You can purchase advance wristbands at Central Virginia Bank

Advance wristbands cost $12 while supplies last.
Wristbands at fair cost $15
Admission: children under 3 are FREE, Seniors: $3, Adults $6

Tuesday - Thursday 5-11 pm, Friday 5-midnight, Sat: 9-4 / 5-midnight, Sunday 9-8pm

The small size of the fair is perfect for the toddlers, preschoolers, grade school and grandparents. Check their website for updates to the fair schedule. They have fireworks, contests and other fun things besides rides.

Louisa County Ag Agriculture Fair
Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2
Held at the Fireman's Fairgrounds 200 Fredericksburg Ave Louisa, VA 23093
35 miles North of Goochland Courthouse. 20 miles from Hadensville. 15 miles from Shannon Hill.

Albemarle County Fair July 29 - August 3, 2008
It is held at the Albemarle County Fairgrounds which is 1 hour from the Goochland Library but much closer to those of you in Western Goochland - Hadensville and Louisa.

The 25th Annual Watermelon Festival by the Carytown Merchant's Association
Sunday, August 10, 2008 10am - 6pm

Chesterfield County Fair August 22 - 30, 2008
It is held at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds which is about 40 miles from the Goochland Library. It is a good sized fair with petting zoos, shows, 4-H displays, rides for all ages, and plenty of great fair foods. We found it to be worth the trip for a day trip.

Powhatan Annual Labor Day Parade Monday, September 1, 2008 on Old Buckingham in the Village about 12 miles from Goochland Courthouse.
It starts at 11am at the middle school and ends at the courthouse. It runs down route 13 / Old Buckingham Rd

You can sign up by August 20 to be in the parade with a car, pickup truck, farm tractor & trailer, marcher horses, other. You can also setup an arts & crafts, vendor booth on the Courthouse Green. Contact the parade committee at 804-598-2911

The kids always enjoy this event. I love looking at all the vendors on the green.

Louisa County Airshow
Saturday, September 6 11am - 3pm
held at the Louisa County Airport / Freeman Field at 335 Industrial Dr 23093

Have a GREAT summer.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

FREE Activities in and around Goochland County, Virginia

Summertime is here and there are so many fun and free activities available to kids in the area. We intend to take advantage of the fun as much as we can.

Whether you are a stay at home mom or dad, a parent on vacation, or anyone home with the kids looking for some fun activities, here's a good place to start.

8/26/08 I promise to create a new post SOON with Fall/Winter suggestions as well. Add to my comment book at the end of this post or check back again soon and I will be sure to let you know when it is done.


Regal Entertainment Group is showing FREE G and PG rated movies at their Regal theater locations each Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 10am throughout the summer. For us that'll mean the Short Pump Stadium 14 location on West Broad in Richmond or Commonwealth Stadium 20 on Commonwealth Parkway in Midlothian if we want to pick up Grandma on the way.
They have been offering this for 9 years now in every state. You can check their web site for locations and schedules in your area: Free Family Fun Festival

Short Pump Stadium 14

11650 West Broad Street
Richmond ,VA 23233 804-360-5621

6/17-6/19 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G) Ice Age:The Meltdown (PG)

6/24-6/26 Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - Veggie Tales (G) Evan Almighty (PG)

7/01-7/03 Everyone's Hero (G) Bee Movie (PG)

7/08-7/10 Arctic Tale (G) Shrek The Third (PG)

7/15-7/17 Running Free (G) 7/15-7/16 Hairspray (PG)

7/22-7/24 Clifford's Really Big Movie (G) Alvin And The Chipmunks (PG)

7/29-7/31 Mr. Bean's Holiday (G) Happy Feet (PG)

8/05-8/07 Charlotte's Web (G) Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep (PG)

8/12-8/14 Wallace And Gromit (G) Surf's Up (PG)

AMC Theatres offers a Summer Movie Camp with $1 movies every Wednesday. Unfortunately, there are no locations in Central Virginia. The closest locations are in Northern Virginia, D.C. area.

I am now using the Common Sense Media website for film description and reviews by parents and children to get a better idea of what the content of the films is. The site offers reviews of movies in theaters or tv, dvds, video games, books, television, web sites and music. For movies, it gives you specifics on what it shows for sexual content, violence, language, message - social behavior, commercialism, drugs, alcohol, tobacco. This helps so you are prepared and not surprised while watching a movie with your preschooler!

I am sure there are other similar sites and I will list them as well if I find them.


Goochland County Parks and Recreation
holds a FREE Mom & Tot program year round on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 10-12. They set up equipment in the gymnasium for the kids to play with and get their energy out. It's also a great way to meet other local parents and children.

They are also preparing for the Fourth of July Fireworks and Festival held at Hidden Rock Park from 5-9pm. July 4, 2008 is a Friday. It has been a spectacular event every year they've held it.

They have also partnered with the Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H and come up with some new summer programs for different age groups.


The Goochland branch of the Pamunkey Regional Library has a number of FREE special events
throughout the summer sponsored by the Friends of the Library. From past experience, I know these events can get packed so get there early.
  • Ice Cream Social Thursday June 12 at 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Beat the heat with a cool ice cream treat! Don’t forget to sign up!
  • Barefoot Puppets Tuesday June 17 at 10:00 a.m. Unique puppets bring stories featuring Anansi the Spider to life.
  • J.B. Rattles Thursday June 26 at 4:00 p.m. Learn about some of the most misunderstood members of the animal kingdom. Have a "hands on" experience with some of our wonderful pets that you won't forget and see some of the most venomous snakes from around the world inside safe enclosures.
  • Bugging with the Virginia Living Museum Thursday July 10 at 1:45 p.m. Who has six legs, eight legs, more? We'll find out as we invade the world of the insect. Insects have their own secrets for survival and we'll find out just what they are. We'll also meet some animals that might find an insect to be a tasty snack. Don't miss this fun and fascinating program!
  • Curt Strutz, the Bassmeister Wednesday July 16 at 4:00 p.m. "Fishing for Laughs," will have you laughing and wanting to be the next volunteer to assist The Bassmeister on stage. The show includes a "Bass Beauty Pageant," smelling stinky stink-baits, "chumming" for kids, and training on how to build your own fishing pole.
  • Catch the Reading Bug with Rob Westcott Friday July 25 at 1:30 p.m. Catch the reading bug with a show combining magic, puppetry, story-telling, and audience interaction in a fun fast-paced adventure about making healthy choices.
  • Flumpa® and Friends LIVE! Friday August 1 at 10:00 a.m. See Flumpa, the six-foot-six, blue-eyed tree frog and his irrepressible creator, Wendy Whitten, 'The Singing Scientist' in an engaging and energetic family adventure full of original songs, fan favorites, and "fun facts" about the wonders of science.
  • Ty-Rone’s World Friday August 8 at 10:00 a.m. There’s fun for all ages at this high-energy ventriloquism show with music, comedy, and audience participation.

The 2008 Summer Storytime Schedule
runs from June 9 - August 1
Toddler Storytime
Age: 2 years old w/adult Wednesdays June 11, 18, and 25 at 11:00A
Preschool Storytime Ages 3-5 years old Thursdays June 12, 19, and 26 at 10:00A
Mother Goose Storytime Ages 6-24 months w/adult Thursdays June 12, 19, and 26 at 11:00A


Short Pump Town Center also offers a number of FREE family friendly summer activities such as:

Movies in the Plaza Tuesdays, July 8, 15, 22 & 29
Families are invited to enjoy a FREE outdoor family-friendly movie in the Main Plaza beginning at dusk!
July 8th: "Bee Movie"
July 15th: "Dreamer"
July 22nd: "Flushed Away"
July 29th: "The Water Horse"

Family Fun Day! Saturday, July 12, 11 AM - 2 PM
(Rain Date: Saturday, July 19 – 11 AM – 2 PM)
Bring the whole family to Short Pump Town Center to enjoy face painting, stilt walkers, balloon animals, and musical entertainment. Visit with fun children’s characters from PBS’s popular show, The Danger Rangers, and a whole lot more. Enjoy special offers and samples from our food merchants. Show your Pals card to receive a FREE beach ball, while supplies last. For details, please call Guest Services at 804-360-1700.

Summer Concert Series May 30 - August 29
The Summer Concert Series returns beginning May 30th and continuing every Friday evening (weather permitting) through August 29th. Families are invited to enjoy FREE live music performed by local bands, great food, PRIZES and of course, fabulous shopping! Concerts begin at 6:00 PM and run until 8:00 PM in the Main Plaza
. Click here for the the schedule.


Art a la Carte in Crozier is offering summer camp art classes. The schedule is online at their website.