Little Alexandria: Life on the Farm

 

Admiring the dairy barn at Oxon Hill Farm

Life on the farm is in our backyard!

By Erica Barker

ALEXANDRIA,VA–Did you know that there is a living farm museum run by the National Park Service right across the Potomac River? Last month, my son and I took a trip to the Oxon Hill Farm in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Located just minutes from Old Town, Oxon Hill Farm is my new favorite place to enjoy learning about animals and life on the farm. And best of all, it’s free!

This expansive farm has cows, horses, pigs, and chickens, with beautiful red barns and other buildings that house the animals and antique farm equipment. Each day the farm schedules special events geared towards kids. My son got to watch a cow-milking demonstration where kids could take turns milking the cow (my son declined), feed chickens, and enjoy a long wagon ride. These events are led by National Park Service rangers who are very knowledgeable and great at involving the kids in taking care of the animals.

Feeding the chickens

Oxon Hill Farm and Park is located at Bald Eagle Road, Oxon Hill, Maryland, and is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. [Check the website for specific directions: www.nps.gov/oxhi/index.htm] Also, with kids who may get tired walking, I recommend bringing a hardy stroller. There is a long gravel road to walk from the parking lot to the farm (and it feels much longer carrying a 40 lb. toddler!). Oxon Hill Farm and Park is well worth a trip and I highly recommend planning a visit soon.

Waiting for the tractor ride

Here are my top picks for your upcoming weekends:

July 13: One of my favorite events of the year is the joint U.S./Alexandria Birthday Celebration from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. along the Oronoco Bay Park waterfront. Bring a picnic blanket and enjoy live music by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra followed by fireworks.

July 20: If you haven’t been to one of the Durant Arts Center puppet shows, you are missing out! Great for young kids, the Durant Arts Center hosts two puppet shows at 10:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The show is a kid-friendly version of “The Three (Not So) Little Pigs” by Blue Sky Puppet Theater (I think the wolf is a vegetarian). Tickets are $6 per person.

July 27: Another great outdoor event by the water in Old Town is the Old Town Arts & Crafts Fair. We love enjoying all the free events Old Town offers, and the Arts & Crafts Fair has lots of open space for kids to run and plenty of art vendors to browse. It’s located at Waterfront Park from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Food and drinks will be available.

August 3: Visit the Friendship Firehouse at 107 S. Alfred Street for its annual Firehouse Festival from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This event has outdoor vendors and kids’ activities around the firehouse, with food available. Kids can also get a tour of the firehouse and see the firetrucks.

Erica Barker is the founder of littleoldtown.com, where she shares fun activities in the Alexandria area for parents and kids and enjoys exploring the local area while keeping her toddler entertained.

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