I know for a fact I am not the only parent that brings their child to Pet Smart before or after a Target trip. And I know this because I’ve run into some of you there. Either as a reward for being good in Target or as a treat before they are forced to go shopping with you a pet store always brightens a child’s day. If I’m going to force my little one to sit through a long stroll around Target it’s only fair that I bring him to the Petsmart next door and let him run around excited while he checks out the birds, cats, and fish right?
If you haven’t tried this trick yet DO IT!!!! It’s like going to the zoo without the crowds, over priced food, and the kiddo’s can get closer to the animals. My little one absolutely loves looking at all the animals but every time I go in I want to get us another one of the poor little kittens I see in the windows.
Just a short drive away from Arlington and DC in Herndon Virginia is Frying Pan Farm Park. It is owned by Fairfax County and admission free for visitors to walk around, play on the play ground, see the animals and learn about farming. Something fun for all of the little ones! On the day we went a new baby cow had just been born and we got to see it take some of its first steps. If you’re so inclined you can also pay to go on a hay ride to take a tour around the park or go on the carousel. There is also a horse arena where lessons take place for your older little ones and they have a collection of summer camps and classes for them as well.
We really enjoyed our trip to the park. It was a great summer time activity. A nice change from our normal trip to the zoo while still getting up close to some animals. On top of getting to see the baby cow take its first steps we also got to watch a cow being milked and my little one got to play on a tractor. I don’t know a little one that doesn’t enjoy that. Overall I would definitely recommend Frying Pan Farm if you’re a local. It’s a drive out of the city for those of you visiting unless you’re staying out by Dulles airport and need something to do. The only part of the park I wasn’t impressed with was the “Country Store” I was hoping for some farm yummies… Instead it was full of toys and books with farming theme, something I could get anywhere really.
- Frying Pan Farm Park: open daily dawn to dusk
- Kidwell Farm: open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Wagon Rides: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. , Monday – Saturday; and Noon – 4 p.m. , Sunday, March through November (call to confirm)
- Carousel Rides: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. , Monday – Saturday; and Noon – 4 p.m. , Sunday, March through November (call to confirm)
- Country Store: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. , Friday & Saturday; 12 – 4:30 p.m. , Sunday, January through Mid-March
- 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. , Monday – Saturday; and 12 – 4:30 p.m. , Sunday, March through December
- Visitor Center: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. , Monday – Saturday; and 12 – 4:30 p.m. , Sunday
- Indoor Arena: hours vary (please call: 703-437-9101)
For more information on the park check out: FRYING PAN FARM PARK
6110 D Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
If you have an infant under 12 months old and you’re looking for a free fun indoor activity to beat the heat this summer then head over to Busy Bee’s and check it out ($15 if they are over 1)! The main audience for Busy Bees is definitely the over 1 crowed which is why it’s a great FREE place to go if your little one is under 1! If you don’t live here in the Northern Virginia region check out your neighborhood you may have a playroom that’s free for the under 1 crowd.
There isn’t as much to do for your under 1 year old but hey you can’t complain with a free indoor play place in this summer heat. I’ve gone over to the Fairlington Play Room a million times with my little one and I have to say that he likes Fairlington better. He likes to flip all of the mat’s over and run around the big open and emptier room. But Busy Bee’s has a lot that Fairlington doesn’t.
Reasons to go to Busy Bee’s with you’re under 1 year old:
- It’s free!
- It’s clean (they are constantly cleaning the apparatus unlike Fairlington)
- They enforce the socks rule! (unlike Fairlington)
- Open every day of the week until 5pm each day (great if you need somewhere to go after second nap and Fairlington is closed)
- There are attendants walking around and they take safety seriously. They also wristband you and your child so no one can walk out without being checked.
- There is a small indoor slide perfect for baby climbing and sliding!
- There is a small soft play area geared towards littler ones.
- If your little one likes rides there are some fun moving rides to go on (my little one was to afraid of them)
- There is a whole room filled with balloons for that ballon obsessed baby!
- There are lots of restaurants, a grocery store, Pet Smart, and Target right there in the same plaza. Get some of your chores done and give baby a free fun break!
Reasons to wait to go to Busy Bee’s until they are older:
- If you’re little one has recently turned 1, I would wait a while before going back to Busy Bee’s the $15 price (while you do get in and out privileges) will be more fun when your little one feels more comfortable on the apparatus.
- The majority of play items involve climbing or riding on moving items little ones that are in the 2-4 age range seem to have the most fun.
- There are a lot of birthday parties going on during the weekends and it can be crowded if your little one is afraid of crowds wait until they are more comfortable.
- If you’re little one is older and you’re a work from home parent the wifi bar can be a great place to work while your little one gets their energy out but only once they are old enough to run around alone.
Busy Bee’s Info:
You can exit and and enter all day long
One child: $15
Parents and kids under 1: Always free!
Open Play Every Day of the Week
No memberships, just drop in and play
Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday
10:00** am – 5:00pm
**Unless they are hosting a Private Party. In which case, they open at 11 on weekends. Check out their FB page or their website before your weekend trip to BusyBees!
- Under 48” Of Height to play
- Have your socks on at all times parents as well!
- Signed waiver required- you can do this online to make check in easier
- Stay and play: Not a drop off kinda place. Parental supervision is required at all times. Stay and play, or parents can sit back at our wifi bar!
- Food and Bev: Enjoy your snacks outside the playscape!
To complete your day trip out with little one you can head over to one of the restaurants in the plaza. We went over to Cafe Rio for lunch after our play time was over. Did you know that they have free kids quesadilla’s for kids under 6!!! Free play time and free kids meal! YES PLEASE!