I may join others in seeing Christmas displays going up in stores before Halloween, but one place I’ll never complain about seeing twinkling lights on trees of hearing the ho-ho-ho of Santa is at the Junior League of Northern Virginia’s (JLNV’s) annual The Enchanted Forest.
This event is a gala, fundraiser, and child’s delight all wrapped up in one delightful weekend. Go for the family fun, but know that you are helping your local community in doing so. There really is something for everyone, so whether you have kids or not — I urge you to check it out. Shopping opportunities abound, whether via vendors, the silent auction at the gala, or the “forest” of trees which are decorated top to bottom with items along a theme and are up for bid all weekend long. There are live performers throughout the day in the forest, hands-on activities for the kids, and then there are also “premium event” activities such as gingerbread house decorating (premium event tickets include the price of a general admission ticket). Premium Event tickets do tend to sell out, so you may want to pre-purchase.
This is an event better experienced than described, everyone I know who has been once turns it into an annual tradition.
One lucky CaffeineandaPrayer.com reader will win a two-pack of general admission tickets, so be sure to enter! Scroll down to see entry form. Full disclosure here — I am a member of the Junior League of Northern Virginia. But if you’re a regular reader here, you already knew that…
The Junior League of Northern Virginia’s 14th Annual The Enchanted Forest
Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 1 pm
Westin Tyson’s Corner (7801 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043)
Tickets and schedule information: http://www.jlnv.org/the-enchanted-forest
The Enchanted Forest
First and foremost, there is the forest itself. This event is a fundraiser to support the mission of the League of Northern Virginia (JLNV), an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The center of the event is a ballroom filled with pre-lit artificial Christmas trees that have been creatively decorated by theme with items and are up for bid via silent auction. For example, there are trees filled with items for pets, or a tree that is all Barbie items, or everything needed to make martinis. Trees range from about 3 feet to 7 feet tall. You can ooh-and-aah at row after row of creativity and generosity in the ballroom while little ones are entertained by performers such as the Great Zucchini, Groovy Nate, Mr. Knick Knack and more. (See the TEF page for the schedule of performances.) Get your photo taken with Santa (see schedule) — and no, you don’t have to be a kid to do so! General admission tickets ($14) grant you access to the forest and the “More Family Fun” activities listed below.
In addition to the forest itself, there are more activities at The Enchanted Forest event. The JLNV has brought part of their community work in-house for the public to see firsthand. The Kids in the Holiday Kitchen room allows the children an opportunity to learn about healthy food and exercise habits and prepare some food themselves. Family members of all ages can have fun with hands-on science experiments and learn more about the JLNV’s partnership with the Children’s Science Center in our exploration room.
What’s a holiday event without a model train? Marvel at the National Capital Trackers Model Train Display — popular not just with the kids, but with those who are still children at heart!
Get a jump on our holiday shopping at the Marketplace filled with a variety of vendors. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of “What Can I Bring?” – the JLNV’s coveted cookbook. (Hint: It makes a great gift for teachers.)
Premium Ticket Events
Extend your experience with these premium ticket events. See the Junior League of Northern Virginia’s The Enchanted Forest page for schedule and to purchase tickets.
Breakfast or Brunch with Santa: $35
Enjoy a meal and some very special time with Santa. Please check web site for details — this often sells out quickly!
Gingerbread Workshop: $35 per house
This is always one of my favorites! Attend a Gingerbread Workshop where you will decorate your own edible gingerbread house with royal icing and an assortment of candy. Your completed house, covered in candy trim with a cookie roof, will be yours to take home that day. Event includes a General Admission ticket. Children under 18 months of age are not required to purchase a separate ticket.
Frosted Glitz Gala: $95 – Saturday, November 22, 7 pm – 11:30 pm
What better way to spend a cold night than inside, dressed in your glitziest attire, nestled amongst beautifully adorned trees and enjoying an open bar, hors d’ouevres, live and silent auctions, music by DJ Loud Tone, dancing and Vegas-style gaming? All proceeds benefit the JLNV.
The Junior League of Northern Virginia has generously provided me with two general admission tickets (a value of $14 each) to give to one lucky reader. These tickets are good for either day of the event and will be available at Will Call. My family has also been provided with two tickets.
- The giveaway runs between now and 10 am Eastern, Friday, November 21, 2014.
- I am using the Rafflecopter widget — see above.
- Winner will be notified via email Friday and you must respond by Friday 3 pm ET or I will have to move on to the next winner as this is a quick turnaround and tickets are only good Saturday or Sunday. At that time I will need your name and phone number so I may add you to the Will Call list.
- NOTE: You may this shortened link to share the giveaway with friends: http://bit.ly/1F4H05a if you would like to help spread the word about this giveaway and fun, charitable event!
What you will win:
- Two general admission tickets valid for one day only either November 22 10 am – 5 pm OR November 23 10 am – 1 pm. A general admission ticket includes access to The Enchanted Forest of Trees, Marketplace, Holiday Entertainment on Center Stage, Kids in the Holiday Kitchen, National Capital Trackers Model Trains Display, Pictures with Santa, and the Children’s Science Center exhibits.
- Tickets will be made available through Will Call.
- Ticket recipients should bring valid picture ID.
- Premium events and gala tickets are available for separate purchase, those include the cost of a general admission ticket.
- Event information and additional ticket purchase: http://www.jlnv.org/the-enchanted-forest
Whether you win the tickets or not, I highly recommend going, it’s a fun, fun time and a great cause!