The Winter Break Breakdown: Plenty of Ways to Ward Off Cabin Fever

This season’s unusual scenario with Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on weekends leaves a wide-open string of winter break weekdays to fill up. Whether you’re hosting out-of-town guests or just looking to shake the cabin fever and blow off some steam, we’ve got some suggestions for a week of fun to keep your family active and entertained.

Monday Dec. 26

Morven Park

The gorgeous, 1000-acre estate near Leesburg generally only offers tours of its historic Davis Mansion on weekends but it will open its doors every day Dec. 26-30 from noon to 5 p.m. (last guided tour starts at 4 p.m.). It’s a great chance to check out the mansion decorated for Christmas before it closes for the month of January.

In addition to guided mansion tours, Morven Park features self-guided tours of the Winmill Carriage Museum and the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, also on site. Admission for all three museums is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and younger. Morven Park is at 17195 Southern Planter Lane in Leesburg. Go to morvenpark.org for more information.

Tuesday, Dec. 27

Home for the Holidays at The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

Take a step back in time over the break at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. This nonprofit dedicated to preserving Loudoun’s agricultural history offers a one-day, post-Christmas Home for The Holidays event featuring story-times, a chance for kiddos to create their own cookbook and a Grandma’s Kitchen demonstration. The event takes place Tuesday only from 10 am. to 2 p.m. The Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is at 21668 Heritage Farm Lane in Sterling. See details at loudounmuseum.com.

Wednesday Dec. 28

Roller Skating and a Puppet Show in Purcellville

With its small-town charm, Purcellville is quickly becoming a hub for family-oriented fun.

The Bush Tabernacle skating rink has been a western Loudoun institution since the early 20th century. Built in 1903 as a meeting hall by the Good Templars of Loudoun County, it became a roller skating rink in 1947 and has been a hangout for generations of Loudoun youth. Purchased by the Town of Purcellville and renovated in 2008, this old-school skating rink still draws fans from toddlers to teens.    Bush Tabernacle hosts open skate daily Dec. 26-30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $6 and includes skate rental. Trainers for novice skaters are an additional $3. Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink is at 250 Nursery Ave. in Purcellville. For more information, go to bushtabernacle.com.

       Just west of town, the Franklin Park Arts Center has boosted its children’s programming over the past few years. Fairfax County-based Bob Brown Puppets regularly draws crowds of little ones to the arts center. Brown and company return for a one-day performance Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 3 p.m. “Nutcracker Fantasies” takes children and parents to the Kingdom of Faraway Places where they’ll meet characters like The Cupcake King, Chinese Juggler, Timmy the Turtle and Jack Frost. Admission is $5 per person at the door. Call 540-338-7973 to reserve a spot. Franklin Park Arts Center is located at 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville. For more information, go to franklinparkartscenter.org

Thursday, Dec. 29

Bounce and Create at Village at Leesburg

The Art Station [Douglas Graham/Loudoun Now]
Open studio at Village at Leesburg’s The Art Station is a blast—especially when the weather isn’t cooperating. The Art Station’s open studio offers candle making, soap making, canvas painting and 3D object painting (on wood, glass, ceramic or fabric). It’s a great way to enjoy some quality time with the family and take home a souvenir (or gift for the grandparents). And the best part is Mom doesn’t have to clean up! The Art Station offers an open studio Monday, Dec. 26, Wednesday, Dec. 28, and Thursday, Dec. 29, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The studio is closed Tuesday, Dec. 27. The Art Station is located at 1601 Village Market Blvd., Suite 112 in Village at Leesburg. Cost for open studio time is by the project and starts at $11. For more information, go to theartstation.com.

The recently opened Atomic Trampoline is a new kid on the block and features 16,000 square feet of indoor activities, including wall-to-wall trampolines, dodge ball, a foam pit and two slam ball courts. It’s a perfect spot to get the post-holiday wiggles out when it’s chilly outside. Atomic Trampoline is open Dec. 26-30 for kids jump (just for children 6 and younger) from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by open jump from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cost for kids jump is $12 and includes one adult. Cost for open jump is $17 for one hour or $27 for two. Required special socks are $2. Atomic Trampoline is at 1604 Village Market Blvd., Suite 110. Go to atomictrampoline.com for more information—and don’t forget to fill out the online waiver before you go.

Friday, Dec. 30

Open Climb at SportRock in Sterling

This well-equipped climbing center is garnering raves from parents and kiddos alike. It’s a big hit with the birthday party crowd but also offers open climb with guidance from trained staff members, an ideal time to try out top roping (on tall walls using ropes and harnesses) or bouldering (on shorter walls with mats but no ropes). Minimum age for open climb is 5, and adult supervision is required for children younger than 14.

SportRock offers open climb daily over winter break from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost for a day pass is $18 for adults and $14 for youth 17 and younger. Rental for shoes and harness is $5 each. A signed participant agreement is required. SportRock is at 45935 Maries Road in Sterling. For details, go to sterling.sportrock.com.

jmercker@loudounnow.com

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