It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand. -Sonia Sotomayor
When we first visited Washington D.C. we learned you can’t see it all in a day (7 Truths about visiting Washington D.C.). We decided to explore Fairfax County, Virginia just outside the city. It has some great historical places along with educational fun my family was excited to dive into. Fairfax County is about a 7 hour drive for us. If you are a family traveling long distances, I recommend you check out my article: 25 Tips on Surviving Long Road trips with Kids. We happen to hit some traffic due to an accident so the travel bin came in real handy!
On this particular trip we also wanted to get a taste of the outdoors.
Our first stop was a morning hike at Great Falls, State Park.
They have some great waterfall outlooks and trails. We also learned that the park ticket covers both the Virginia and Maryland sides of the Park.
Our next stop was the Frying Pan Farm Park. They preserve and interpret farm life from the 1920s to 1950s. Hosting educational classes, live demos and some great petting areas there is something for the whole family to enjoy! I truly wish we had something similar back in our area, I think the kids could really benefit from it.
It’s funny how a place can really get a “bad” rap through media. After talking to locals I learned Roer’s Zoofari had some issues in the past but since changed ownership. I could not wait to see for myself if this establishment was worth a visit. Truth be told, it was!
The safari ride was a little on the short side but we enjoyed the park. I recommend ordering the lettuce, carrots, dip sticks and baby milk bottles.
Feeding the baby goats and birds were the highlights!!
I made a compromise with my son a while back to find him a Space Museum. His only request was it had to have something “special”. After searching around I found the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. Did I mention, they have a REAL Space Shuttle in their Museum 😳!
Fun fact: it was flown on an airplane and rolled into the Museum plane hanger.
While in town we had a lot planned. I am so glad we took a detour from the itinerary to walk the grounds at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. The weather was beautiful along with all the Spring blooms coming in. Several places to sit, snap photos and just enjoy the outdoors.
On our last night we stopped into the new Dave & Buster’s location in the Fair Oaks Mall. Let me tell you it was SO much fun!! We enjoyed arcade games and won LOTS of tickets! We walked away with two full bags of goodies and still managed to give away 1,000+ tickets. Another great place to stop and enjoy some fun with your family or for a date night!
We defiantly did not fit everything in our schedule. The area has so much more to offer so we need to plan another trip! If you have some great suggestions on where to visit the next time we are in Fairfax County, Virginia let us know in the comments!!