Beautiful setting, fresh air, great food, and family-friendly activities make this a must-do for local families

Fall is my favorite season! It seems there is a lot for families to do and see! Years ago some friends told me about the Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival. It sounded like good wholesome fun and I decided to take my daughter to the event. At the time she was just 5, and I was a single parent. We drove out to Syria (a little further west than Culpeper) and experienced the Apple Festival for the first time.

The festival was perfect! My daughter and her friend had a wonderful time. There were hay bales for climbing, animals for petting, cloggers dancing, and bands performing. The array of craft vendors is outstanding and versatile. The food is simple and tasty. Make sure you try the applesauce. I have never been a fan of applesauce, but the sauce you get at the Graves Mountain Apple Festival is Delicious, with a capital D!

While there are many fall festivals, Graves Mountain Apple Festival is my festival of choice for a few reasons. First, as I mentioned, I was a single parent when I discovered the festival. The first year I went to the festival my daughter took one friend. I spent a total of $25 that day, thanks to no parking fees, no entrance fees, and reasonably priced food and activities.

The Graves Mountain Lodge is beautiful. The drive, although a little long for those children a little more restless than others, is gorgeous. The festival is nestled in the foothills of the mountains. There is a stream cutting through the farm that makes a perfect picnic spot (oh yes, have I mentioned that you are welcomed to bring picnic lunches?). The entire property is well kept and gorgeous.

Most of all, it’s just fun – pure and simple! Take your family and plan to while away a few hours doing what might seem like nothing, but in the end is everything! The kids will love to play on the hay bales and take hayrides, view and pet farm animals, and select pumpkins and apples. The air smells good and, all in all, there is a warm and genuine family atmosphere.

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