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Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
21668 Heritage Farm Lane
Sterling, VA 20164
www.loudounmuseum.com

 

The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is one of the best hidden gems for entertaining little ones in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s located on the grounds of the Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Virginia, about 25 miles outside of the city. It has traditional museum exhibits that highlight the 250 years of Loudoun county’s agricultural history and interactive exhibits for kids, which is why I was drawn to visit the museum with my girls. The exhibits encourage role playing and are geared towards children under age 7. Here is what we loved about the hands on exhibits:

Claude Moore Children’s Farm

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In this exhibit children get to learn what it’s like to be a farmer. They can dress up in overalls and straw hats and get to work milking a life-like cow and collecting eggs from the play chickens. Kids love riding the equi-ponies in this area and learning how to care for them. There is a puppet stage where children can create and perform their own farm story. They can also go for a ride on the pedal tractors in the open space in front of the barn. This was definitely the favorite activity for my energetic girls!

The Waxpool General Store

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Another fantastic exhibit for children who like to role-play. In the Waxpool General store, kids can play shopkeeper, shopper, or postmaster. There are shelves and baskets full of play food and a charming antique cash register. This definitely beats the typical pretend grocery store found in children’s museums. My girls also loved sorting and delivering the mail in the post office area.

Grandma’s Kitchen

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In the back of the museum is the Grandma’s Kitchen exhibit, a replica of a century-old farm kitchen. My daughters loved using the old fashioned kitchen tools and wood burning stove to pretend to prepare and serve meals. Children who love play kitchens will definitely want to spend a good amount of time here.

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There is more to explore outside on the beautiful grounds surrounding the museum. The American Workhorse exhibit is located in a large barn behind the museum but it’s only available to view on select special events. If you keep walking along the path you will come to a pond. It has a few docks where you can feed the ducks and geese.

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In addition to the daily exhibits, the museum also holds popular annual events including Tractorpooloza, Bunny Bonanza, and the Princess for a Day Ice Cream Social. They also offer summer camps and Kids’ Night at the Museum drop off events the second Saturday of every month. Registration information can be found here.

We visited the museum on a regular Saturday morning and it wasn’t crowded at all. The museum is not a big place making it easy to manage multiple small children. It is the place to go if you are looking for a fun and low-key outing. There is enough to do here to keep your kids entertained for at least a couple of hours. After our visit I was asking myself why I didn’t hear about it sooner!

Good to Know:

• Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 – 4:30pm, Sunday 11:30 – 4:30pm, Closed Mondays.
• Admission: Adults $5, Seniors and Military $4, Children 2-12 $3, FREE/Children Under 2
• Food and drinks are not allowed inside the museum but there are picnic tables outside where you can have a snack on a nice day.
• There is ample parking available in front of the museum.
• There are bathrooms with changing tables available as well as designated stroller parking.
• The museum is located near Dulles Town Center and Dulles 28 Centre which both have kid friendly options for lunch.



January 2016 – Monthly Roundup

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January is usually a pretty boring month and I start to feel the effects of cabin fever. So every year we take a trip down to Florida to visit my parents. It’s a nice break from cold, dreary DC and it feels so great to be able to play outside with my girls. This year we timed it just right and missed the blizzard! My girls were happy that the snow stuck around and they were still able to play in it when we got home.

Since we spent 10 days in Florida, our list of adventures and activities in DC is short this month. But we did make some time for a few fun outings in the area before and after our trip. At the beginning of the month we visited the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. It is one of the best hidden gems in the DC area for small children. I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t been yet. And last week we visited the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery. I had been wanting to see this exhibit for quite a while and when it was announced that we were having yet another snow day on Friday, I decided it was a great time to take my girls. I was a little unsure if it was appropriate for small children (especially questioning it for my 2-year old). But I ended up being surprised at how kid-friendly it is and how much my girls enjoyed the experience.

Places we visited:

Loudoun Heritage Farm MuseumBlog post here
Lake NeedwoodBlog post on nearby Lake Frank here
MagicGround
Bowlmor Bethesda
Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery
Sky Zone Gaithersburg
Rockin’ Jump Gaithersburg

Events we attended:

Snow White at Encore Stage & StudioBlog post here
A Year with Frog and Toad at Imagination Stage – no longer showing but “Jack and Phil, Slayers of Giants-INC” is playing Feb 3- Mar 13

Classes and camps we attended:

Georgetown Prep Tennis Club
Ballet Petite
My Gym Potomac
Funfit Tots

I hope you found some new and fun ideas for your family in this month’s roundup! I am looking forward to all the hearts this month! Kids make the holidays so much more fun and special. And lets hope the groundhog is right and we really will have an early spring!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog

 



Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum
21668 Heritage Farm Lane
Sterling, Virginia 20164
www.loudounmuseum.com
 
 

I came across this museum when searching online for a kid-friendly place to meet a friend in the area. I had never heard about it before but after reading some information it sounded like our little tots would enjoy it so we decided to check it out. I am so glad we did as we were pleasantly surprised. This museum is truly a hidden gem!

It is located on the grounds of the Claude Moore Park in Sterling. The museum is a non-profit organization which works to promote and preserve Loudoun County’s agricultural heritage through exhibits and activities.

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When we first arrived, my girls were excited to see the big tractors out front.

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Inside the museum are several great interactive learning exhibits for small children, probably best enjoyed by those under age 7. My girls were first drawn to the red barn in the Claude Moore Children’s Farm exhibit. In this area children can help perform chores on the farm such as milking a life-like cow, collecting eggs from the play chickens, carrying supplies in the wheelbarrows, and riding Equi-ponies and pedal tractors. There are even dress up clothes including coveralls and straw hats.

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In this area, kids can also use their imaginations to perform puppet shows.

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In the Waxpool General Store, children can play shopkeeper, shopper, or postmaster. There are shelves and baskets full of play food and an charming old cash register. This definitely beats the typical pretend grocery store found in children’s museums.

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HFpostoffice      HFbread HFfruits                         HFstore

In the back of the museum is the Grandma’s Kitchen exhibit, a replica of a century-old farm kitchen. My daughter loved using the old fashioned kitchen tools and wood burning stove to pretend to prepare and serve us meals.

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Outside the museum there are some trails to walk that will take you by the Workhorse Museum and an old cabin. There is also a small pond with a few docks where you can feed ducks and geese.

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I am so glad we found this museum. My girls were entertained for a couple of hours but could have played longer. It was not busy when we were there on a weekday afternoon but I imagine the weekends are a bit more crowded. If your child likes to role-play they will definitely enjoy the museum. We had such a great time that we will definitely be visiting again soon. It is also a nice option for an indoor activity on a rainy day or during the winter months. The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is one you don’t want to miss while your children are young.

Good to Know:

•Admission is $5/adults, $4/seniors and military, $3/children 2-12.
•Hours Tuesday-Sunday 9:30-4:30, Sunday 11:30-4:30, Monday by appointment only.
•Ample parking available in front of the museum.
•The museum gift shop sells snacks, locally made Virginia products, and a variety of toys including Lucy’s Closet dolls, educational toys from Melissa and Doug, and stuffed animals from Douglass.
•The museum also offers a variety of children’s programs including Kids’ Holiday at the Museum, Kids’ Night at the Museum, and Tractorpalooza to name a few. They also offer kids birthday parities.