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Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Is it too early to start thinking about the weekend?

The sun is out (for the moment at least), and the forecast makes us at least a little optimistic that we can make weekend plans that don’t involve building forts with the couch cushions or staring at the four walls of our family rooms for hours on end.

We are in a season where every weekend has more things to do than you can count…as long as it doesn’t rain. Here are a few of our picks:

Fredericksburg’s Gone to the Dogs (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) – This is a downtown Fredericksburg dog fair that traces its roots to Colonial times, when dogs were used as currency in trade with Native Americans. The festivities start with a masquerade dog parade from Maury Stadium to the Riverfront Park in downtown Fredericksburg. The parade starts at 9:30 a.m., and there’s a minimum $10 donation to animal welfare charities required to enter. At the end of the parade, an all-day dog fair runs until 5 p.m. The fair includes dog agility trials, a dog costume contest, and other kid-friendly events, including the Cobblestone Children’s Museum’s traveling exhibit. Admission is free. Find more details here.

The State Fair (Starts Thursday  night) – This probably won’t be your cheapest option for weekend entertainment, but agricultural fairs are a rite of fall for many families, and this one, at Caroline County’s Meadow Event Park, offers concerts, carnival food, rides and educational exhibits on Virginia’s agriculture, livestock and natural resources. Find more information here. The fair opens at 5 p.m. on Thursday and runs through Oct. 9.

Pumpkin-picking season is here. Plan your trip with our comprehensive guide to area pumpkin patches, which you can find here. It’s also not too early for some of the Halloween events, like Spotsylvania’s Wicked Woods Haunted Forest, which you can learn about here.

Caledon Natural Area has several events this weekend, as always. Nature lovers in your family can choose from a “Bat Chat,” kayaking with the eagles and a butterfly program. Find details here.

And as always, don’t forget to pick up tomorrow’s Weekender to plan your fall fun.

 

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