By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
There’s a slight chill in the air and there’s no doubt that fall is here — and soon, so will be the Cox Farms Fall Festival. The very popular festival, which already features more than enough fun for a full day, opens the 2017 season this weekend with even more attractions and new ways to save.
The DC area’s most famous fall festival kicks off September 16-17, 2017. It will then open daily September 22-October 31 and again November 3-7 (including the Pumpkin Madness days November 4-5). The Cox Farms Fall Festival opening weekend will be a special time to save, with $10 Value admission the entire weekend. This is a savings of half-off the price of peak weekends, with no coupons or anything else needed. Admission includes all attraction, including the new “Foamhenge.” See below for what to see at Cox Farms this year, and ways to save all season long.
What’s new at the Cox Farms Fall Festival
- Foamhenge: As we reported last year, “Foamhenge,” the life-size homage to Stonehenge, which was previously in the Shenandoah Valley, found a new home at Cox Farms. Foamhenge at Cox Farms will debut as part of the Fall Festival and Fields of Fear. Foamhenge is a full-size replica of Stonehenge made entirely of Styrofoam. It was originally created by artist Mark Cline of Enchanted Castle Studio in 2004, and until 2016, it stood in Natural Bridge, VA. It has undergone extensive repairs and renovations and is now installed and ready for visitors in its new home at Cox Farms. You can walk along the structures, which make for a great photo spot!
- Tractor Museum: Kids who love big vehicles (and tractor buffs of all ages) can enjoy a stroll through the new Tractor Museum at Cox Farms. This new “please touch” museum features 16 tractors from 11 of the largest manufacturers over the past century. Visitors can board most of them (the ones you can’t climb are clearly marked) and signs throughout provide great details on their history, making this an educational outdoor exhibit.
- Slides and other thrills: Cox Farms is known for its dozens of attractions — numerous slides, rope swings, hayrides, play structures, and more. Each slide is themed differently, so you’ll fly out of castles, barns, and volcanos, where you’ll see dinosaurs, giant beanstalks, and more. Don’t miss the Cox Farms kiddie play areas just for the young guests!
- Exhibits and entertainment: Take a leisurely stroll through the Imaginature Trail, where you’ll see familiar storybook characters, butterfly gardens, and more, or take a more adventurous walk through the Cornundrum cornfield with some neat structures that add an element of a puzzle. Cox Farms also has live music and other entertainment on most days of the festival.
- Farm animals: At Cox Farms, you’ll see cows, bunnies, and other farm animals and their babies. Some of these are just days or a couple of weeks old! At the Billy Goat Village, you can visit and feed a friendly goat herd.
- Freebies: All visitors to the Cox Farms Fall Festival get free apple and apple cider tastings, plus a small take-home pumpkin or gourd.
Savings all season long
The Cox Farms Fall Festival now has four tiers of admission: Discount, Value, Regular, and Peak, with a special weekend also for public servants. All four tiers include the same main attractions, but you’ll pay less on our Discount and Value days. Here are the details:
- On Discount days (September 25, 26, 27, 28, October 2, 3, 4, 2017), admission is just $6 per person all day long.
- Value admission (most weekdays, not including Indigenous Peoples Day, plus the first and last weekends of the season) is $10 per person.
- Regular admission days (September 23, 24, 30, October 1, 28, 29) is $15 per person.
- Peak admission applies to the busiest and most popular weekends in October (October 7-9, 14-15, 21-22). On these days, Peak admission is $20 per person.
These pricing options, Cox Farms explains, allow visitors to save by planning their visit on a non-Peak date. If you prefer to avoid crowds and lines, choosing a non-Peak date to visit will means shorter (or no) lines and savings. Ultimately, the best value you can get is by going on the day when you can spend the most time, since you really could be there all day long and still not see it all. Cox Farms also has other ways to save:
- Public Servants Weekend: To support local public servants, Cox Farms offers a $5 discount on up to four Fall Festival tickets to public servants during the Public Servants Weekend on September 23-24 this year. Government employees, educators, first responders, law enforcement, nurses and members of the military can save $5 by presenting a valid badge or identification at the ticketbooth.
- Last Call tickets: For folks in search of a deal on October weekdays (not including Indigenous Peoples Day, Monday 10/9) after 4 PM, the $5 “Last Call” tickets make those after-school visits a bargain.
- Memberships: Cox Farms Members and Fear Fanatics receive additional discounts and offers. Sign-up is available through the website as is additional information about perks of the program, which include seasonal freebies all year long, as well as an exclusive offer for Fields of Fear’s Opening Weekend. Memberships are free.
And remember, “when night falls on the farm, it’s time for Fields of Fear!” The Halloween season festival runs Friday and Saturday nights September 22-November 4, with “Bonus Night” Sunday, October 8. Fields of Fear has new features this year, too: The Dark Side Hayride is all new for 2017, now featuring The Lost Circus: a circus abandoned in the early 1900s that now comes to life when the living approach. The friendly Imaginature Trail takes a dark turn for Fields of Fear, transforming into The Forest: Back 40, which consists of half a mile of fear. The Forest joins two other haunted attractions at Fields of Fear, the Dark Side Hayride and the Cornightmare. The Firegrounds feature several bonfires, a six-lane slide, music, karaoke, entertainment, tasty treats, Foamhenge, and more!
- September 16-17, 2017
- Daily: September 22– October 31, 2017and November 3-7, 2017
- Pumpkin Madness: November 4 – 5, 2017
- Hours: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM(closing at 5:00 PM in November); last admission one hour before closing.
- Friday and Saturday Nights: September 22– November 4, 2017
- Bonus Night: Sunday, October 08, 2017
- Hours: 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM; last admission at 10:00 PM(some attractions may sell out earlier)