The holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day makes me positively giddy. There’s an extra bounce in my step, a holiday tune in my head, and a usually a goofy grin plastered on my face. I make an extra effort to remember what I’m thankful for, to spread some holiday cheer, and to reflect upon what to improve upon in the upcoming year.
A big part of my “getting in the spirit” tradition is attending the Junior League of Northern Virginia’s annual The Enchanted Forest. This event is so incredible, so magical, it is nearly impossible to describe in mere words. One simply has to experience it to really grasp it, but I will do my best. Mark you calendar right now for November 23 from 10 am – 5 pm and Nov 24 10 am – 1pm and read on!
One lucky CaffeineandaPrayer.com reader will win a two-pack of general admission tickets, so be sure to enter! 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 13th 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 Junior 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 performers such as Reston Conservatory Ballet, Pirate Magic and others are in the room. (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 ($13) grant you access to the forest.
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.
Cookies with Santa: $25
Enjoy holiday cookies and some very special time with Santa. Event includes a photo with Santa, milk and holiday cookies, story time, a craft activity, and a General Admission ticket. Children under 18 months of age are not required to purchase a separate ticket, and all adults must purchase a ticket. When ordering, please indicate if you require gluten-free cookies.
Cocoa and Georgetown Cupcakes with Snow Fairy Princess: $25
The Snow Fairy Princess is on her way to Town! Enjoy decorating Georgetown Cupcakes while visiting with the Snow Fairy Princess. Event includes a photo with the Princess, Georgetown Cupcakes and cocoa, story time, a craft activity, and a General Admission ticket. Children under 18 months of age are not required to purchase a separate ticket, and all adults must purchase a ticket. When ordering, please indicate if you require gluten-free cupcakes.
Breakfast with Santa: $30
Ever wonder what Santa eats for breakfast? If so, join Santa for a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, pancakes, assorted pastries, freshly baked bagels, assorted cream cheeses and jams and jellies, fresh fruit, assorted fresh juices, coffee, hot tea, and much more. Event includes a visit, story time, and photo with Santa, as well as a craft activity and a General Admission ticket. Children under 18 months of age are not required to purchase a separate ticket and all adults must purchase a ticket. When ordering, please indicate if you require gluten-free pastries and bagels.
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.
Mistletoe Masquerade Ball (Gala): $90 – Saturday, November 23, 7 pm – 11:30 pm
Need a night out? Indulge in an evening of dancing and merrymaking at the Mistletoe Masquerade Ball, featuring an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJ, live and silent auctions and casino events.
The Junior League of Northern Virginia has generously provided me with two general admission tickets (a value of $13 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 9 am Eastern, Wednesday, November 20, 2013.
- I am using the Rafflecopter widget for the first time — please let me know if you have any problems.
- Winner will be notified via email Wednesday and you must respond by Wednesday 7 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.
- You can use this shortened link to share the giveaway with friends: http://bit.ly/1j7H49i
What you will win:
- Two general admission tickets valid for one day only either November 23 10 am – 5 pm OR November 24 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.
- 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!