It has become a tradition in our family to attend the annual Fall for Fairfax KidsFest every year at the Fairfax Government Center. Each year, the festival has gotten larger, and this year the event has expanded to two fun-filled days.
The Fall for Fairfax KidsFest features community activities and attractions aimed at the 8 and under crowd. Exhibitors line the main streets in front of the Government Center, and community groups offered activities and crafts for kids. Busch Gardens and the Gaylord National Hotel had costumed characters available to take pictures with (Shrek and Puss and Boots were big hits), and other tents offered kids prizes for learning about recycling, carpooling, and other local resources.
My daughter’s favorite part was the Community Corner, an area that featured firetrucks, ambulances, and other community vehicles that kids could get into and look around. When my daughter asked what was in the firefighter’s pouch, he emptied it for her, letting her look at each item and even try out his stethoscope! Plastic firefighter hats were a huge hit with the young crowd.
Entertainment on three stages included community and cultural performances, along with some bigger name kids’ performers, such as Mad Science, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, and the Great Zucchini. We enjoyed the Busch Gardens Animal Ambassadors, and the crowd went nuts for the Radio Disney Road Show.
A Kidway Midway provides carnival style rides, most appropriate for small children (though some were for older kids, and some needed a parent to ride along). While individual ride tickets are available for purchase (rides are $2-$5 each), if your children enjoy rides, a SuperPass is a better bet. Your $20 all-day super pass gets you on all of the rides, the trackless train, and the large moonbounces.
Inside the Government Center is a large model train display, along with smaller train tables for kids to play with. On the ellipse behind the center were moonbounces, a petting zoo, hayrides, and pony rides.
A food court area offered your typical festival food truck fare, along with tables and chairs to take a break and enjoy your lunch. There was also a small farmers’ market set up with fresh produce and baked goods. Restrooms are available inside the government center, as well as near the KidWay MidWay.
While there is a nominal charge for some activities ($5 for pony rides, $3 for pumpkin decorating and scarecrow making, $2-$5 per ride on the Kidway Midway), most activities are free. In fact, there were enough free activities to keep us entertained for nearly 2 hours. Because the event is aimed at the preschool and elementary school crowd, older kids may enjoy some of the activities, but might not find as much to do. Our family had a great time, and we highly recommend the Fall for Fairfax KidsFest for families with children 8 and under.
Photo by Mara Surridge