Shenandoah National Park No Entrance Fee Days 2019

2019 Free Entrance Days at the National Park Service (NPS)

Every year, the National Park Service sets aside some days throughout the year in which they do not charge admission to any of their sites. We are fortunate to live next to so many National Parks – many of which don’t charge admission ever (think Lincoln Memorial.) But, for day trips to parks like Great Falls, Harper’s Ferry, and Shenandoah it might be helpful to know about these dates.

2017 Free NPS Admission Days:


Also, families of fourth graders can visit most parks free all school-year with the Every Kid in a Park Pass. And, active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes.

National Park Service Logo

Great Falls National Park Free Entrance Days 2019

March 2, 2019

9 am – 4 pm

Ida Lee Recreation Center

Admission & parking, FREE!

Town of Leesburg Hosts 22nd Annual Spring Bling, Hometown Fine Arts and Crafts Show, Saturday, March 2, 2019

Leesburg’s Annual Spring Arts & Crafts Show will be held March 2, 2019 from 9am to 4pm.

The event is indoors at Ida Lee Recreation Center. 

Handcrafted items will be on display from more than 70 local and regional artisans. Shop for one-of-a-kind items from unique art and home décor, bath and body items, jewelry, wood crafts, florals, gourmet foods, and other miscellaneous products.

The crafts show offers a great opportunity to find the perfect gift for upcoming occasions, such as Easter, Mother’s Day, graduations and end-of-school teacher appreciation.  Admission to the crafts show and parking is free.

For more information, please contact the Town of Leesburg’s Park and Recreation Department at 703-777-1368 or visit


Spring 2019 Consignment Sales

Consignment sales are where some of the best deals can be found for children’s clothes, baby gear, toys, and more. You can fill an entire closet for a fraction of the price of purchasing new.

I realize that most my readers will be satisfied with sales in Loudoun County, but I’ve also posted a few that in neighboring counties that might be worth the drive for you. Before you jump in the car, please check out the sales’ websites for detail. Some have admission to the sale, others restrict children, and many have a half price selling period – all good to know.

Consignment sales are also a great way to make some extra money selling your gently used stuff. For example: that baby swing in the basement that none of your kids would sit in for more than a few minutes could bring you in big bucks. This list is also good to get you started if you’re thinking about becoming a consignor. Remember, busier longer sales might give your items more shoppers, but smaller sales give you less competition.



Getting Books at Deep Discounts

As a mother of young children, I think that it is important to give them lots of exposure to reading. And, in doing this, I have filled the shelves of my home with children’s books. Of the the hundreds of books that we have, only a handful were purchased at full price. Most were purchased at discount sales. And, here’s the good part, those sales almost always have fiction, non-fiction, and media for adults also.

Library Book Sales

These are sales put on by the advisory boards of libraries across the county. Each sale is different and not every library has one. They are selling donated books to benefit their library. Note: these sales are usually not selling discarded library books. Here are the 2018 sales in Loudoun County. Unless noted, they are held within the library.


Ashburn Donations of books (all formats), CDs, and DVDs will be collected Jan. 4-23 during regular library hours. Pre-sale ($15 admission) Thursday, Jan. 24:
6-8:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 25: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
 Brambleton Donations are not currently accepted but will be at some future date when the Friends of Brambleton Library have formalized plans.  TBD 
Cascades Donations accepted in spring. Dates TBD. TBD
Gum Spring
Donations accepted late winter. Dates TBD.
Lovettsville Donations are no longer accepted. They will resume summer 2019. Oktoberfest in September
Middleburg Donations are no longer accepted at this branch.  
Purcellville Donations of books, CDs and DVDs accepted beginning May 3. No magazines, outdated textbooks, encyclopedias or videos. May 4-5
Rust Gently used books, DVDs, CDs and video games  will be accepted in November. Dates TBD. TBD
Sterling Donations are no longer accepted at this branch.  

In addition to the sales put on by individual libraries, there is one mega sale held every summer by The Loudoun Library Foundation, Inc. The 2019 sale, held in June will be their 30th annual event. The 2012 sale brought in over $40,000 with an estimated 3,100 shoppers!



Once a month there is an online auction for surplus items and often there are entire pallets of books being sold for just a few dollars. I like books, but not enough to dig through all kinds of random books that I have to bring home in the back of my pick-up truck.

Thrift Stores

Books are cheep at thrift stores. Most books sell at about 5-10% of their new cover price. There’s lots of thrift stores in Loudoun and some are better than others for finding a good selection of books. For a list of stores, click here.

The Ladies Board of Inova Loudoun Hospital, which runs the Twice is Nice Thrift Shop, holds an annual rummage sale at Morven Park in October. There is an entire barn dedicated to used books of all kinds. This rummage sale is so great. It has been named the BEST CHARITY EVENT IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA for three years in a row by Virginia Living Magazine.

Book Swaps

Ok. This one won’t really increase your collection. But, as your kids grow, so do their interests in books. Why not find someone who’s also bored with their books to do a swap. I usually do this at least once a year with my mother’s group and end up bringing home a few good books that I didn’t have before.  If you have a group of adult friends with similar interests, you may want to do this sometime. If you’re the coordinator, you can offer to collect any unwanted books (how sad) at the end of the swap and donate them.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Dream,Believe…Act!”, focusing on the dream of achieving racial equality and harmony in our community and nation.

27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Scheduled for Monday, January 21, 2019, Downtown Leesburg

Marchers will gather on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn in downtown Leesburg at 10 a.m. and will proceed from the courthouse on East Market Street to the Douglass Community Center (405 East Market Street) beginning at approximately 10:15 a.m. Individuals, families, churches, and community organizations are invited to participate and walk together during the march.

East Market Street, from King Street to Church Street, will be closed at 9:30 a.m. in preparation for the march. Once the march begins, rolling street closures will take place in the eastbound lanes of East Market Street, from Church Street to the Douglass Community Center, as the parade proceeds. Drivers should follow police direction and be prepared for minor delays.

Following the march, refreshments will be served at the Douglass Community Center. Musical performances, presentations, and inspirational offerings will be made by members of the community, including keynote speaker Mark “The Speaker Man” Wiggins, an international motivational speaker, trainer, facilitator, and coach.

There will also be a community forum offered at Douglass from 9 to 10 a.m. featuring a dialogue between youth and elders.

Attendees to the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration are encouraged to participate in a canned food drive to benefit Loudoun Hunger Relief. This local charity has a special need for nonperishable meat products. Drop off area for the food drive will be at Douglass Community Center from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The founding sponsors for this event are the Loudoun NAACP, Douglass Alumni Association, Bluemont Concert Series, and the Baha’i Community of Loudoun. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, civic and religious organizations are all welcome to participate. For more information, contact Tammy Carter at 571-331-4721, Kimberly Etherith at 703-314-1491 or Lily Dunning at 540-539-5651


5th Annual Leesburg Area Preschool Fair January 16, 2019

Leesburg families have an opportunity to learn about many of the area preschool opportunities all in one place. Get answers to questions about the different schools from representative from at least 20 schools. Children are welcome to attend this event, too!

The event is organized by MOMS Club® of Leesburg, whose members will be on hand collecting non-perishable food donations for Loudoun Hunger Relief. The mission of MOMS Club® is to support stay-at-home moms and their families. In order for parents to get the most out of their time, Bella Ballerina has volunteered their services to entertain children.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

9:30 am – 11:30am

Rosie Uran Jewish Education Center, 19357 Evergreen Mills Rd., Leesburg, VA

RSVP (not required) at:

Schools Attending the Fair:

The Rosie Uran Jewish Education Center (RUJEC)
St. James’ Preschool
Leesburg Presbyterian Church Preschool
Paxton Campus Open Door Learning Center
Golden Pond
Providence Academy
BASIS Independent McLean
Little Blessings
Kiddie Academy of Leesburg
Preschool Learning Center
Virginia Academy
A Room to Grow Preschool
Destiny School of the Arts
Harrison Street Academy
Little Tree Huggers
Loudoun Country Day School
St. John the Apostle Preschool
Evergreen Christian Preschool
Open Arms Leesburg
St. David’s Episcopal Preschool in Ashburn

*MOMS Club® is not affiliated with any of the the attending schools.

Leesburg Holiday Parade, Saturday, December 8, 2018

Leesburg’s annual holiday parade will start at 6:00 pm on Saturday night. It will move from Ida Lee Drive, along King Street through the heart of downtown and finish at Fairfax Street. 

Prior to the parade, historic downtown Leesburg will feature festive entertainment including roaming characters, strolling musicians, horse drawn carriage rides, and photos with Santa. While shopping in downtown Leesburg, be sure to grab a bite to eat in one of Leesburg’s many fine restaurants!

Traffic on King Street will be closed at 5:30pm. For more details about the Holidays in Leesburg activities, please call 703-777-1368 or visit


Leesburg Kiwanis to Host 62nd Annual Halloween Parade on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The 62nd  annual Leesburg Halloween Parade, hosted and organized by the Leesburg Kiwanis Club, will be held on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, through downtown Leesburg. 

One of the oldest Halloween parades in the eastern United States, first held in 1957, the parade will begin at 6:00 p.m., starting in the front field at Ida Lee Park and proceeding down King Street to Fairfax Street.

King Street will be closed to traffic from Bridgette Place to Catoctin Circle, beginning at 5:30 p.m. No cross traffic will be allowed across King Street during the parade. The street will be reopened once clean-up operations by the Town’s Public Works Department are completed. Motorists should plan on alternate travel routes during this time and follow the designated detours.

Those attending the event are encouraged to bring food donations for Loudoun Hunger Relief, who will collect items towards the end of the parade. Please visit for a list of most needed items.

For more information about the parade, including participation guidelines and registration forms, please visit

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Requested donation canned goods for Loudoun Hunger Relief



Downtown Parking info at


9th Annual Airshow at Leesburg Airport on September 29, 2018

The Leesburg Executive Airport will be hosting a thrilling air show this fall for the 9th year in a row. There will be antique aircraft, aviation related displays, exhibits, moonbounces, and food vendors.

At noon there will be demonstrations of radio-controlled aircraft.

Beginning at 1:00 p.m., the skies above Leesburg will come alive with daring aerobatic performances.  Featured performers include Adam Messenheimer who grew up in Nothern Virginia and began flight training out of Leesburg. This is his first season of air show flying.  Scott Francis will demonstrate thrilling aerobatics in his MXS, along with performances by RJ Gritter, members of the Flying Circus, a wing walker, and the CAF National Capital Squadron. This year’s announcer will be Howard “Howdy” McCann Jr., an Honorary Army Golden Knight who has been announcing airshows for more than 30 years.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

11:00am – 4:00pm

Requested donation of $3.00/person or $5/family.



Tuscarora High School, 801 North King St.

Cornerstone Chapel, 650 Battlefield Parkway

Shuttles will run continuously from 10:45am until 4:30pm.

Airport parking reserved for those with DMV issued disabled permit.


For more info:

Academies of Loudoun 2018 Fall Plant Sale

The annual fall plant sale to support Loudoun students in plant science and biotechnology will be held at a new location this fall. Previously held at Monroe Technology Center, the sale is now at the new Academies of Loudoun school.

As in past sales, shoppers can expect to find part of the school transformed into a make-shift garden center, packed with mums, pansies, cabbages, kale, and so much more.

*Accepts credit cards for small fee.
Academies of Loudoun

42075 Loudoun Academy Dr., Leesburg, VA 20175

September 19

10:00 am – 6:00 pm

September 20

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

September 21

10:00 am – 5:00 pm