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Save The Date for These Fam-tastic Local Events!

Despite yesterday's weather, summer really is quickly approaching! RVA is a great town for summer famtastic (i.e. fantastic family, not me misspelling the word fantastic) fun! Compiling this list was a bit of an overwhelming task, honestly. There is just so much to do in our small city!! Check out all of the fun events coming up in the next few months, and be sure to bookmark this post for future reference!

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THIS WEEK:

Richmond Food Truck Court at Hardywood Brewery- Every Thursday 5-9:30 pm at the original Richmond location and Wednesday 5-9 pm at the new West Creek location beginning today at West Creek and running through Thursday, September 13th. Join Hardywood for beer, live music and ten or more local food trucks each week. Do yourself a favor and try my favorite, curry fries from Dank Eats. Delicious!

French Food Festival- Friday, April 27th from 4-8 pm and Saturday, April 28th from 11-8 pm at 1503 Michaels Road, 2229. From a Parisian marketplace featuring local vendors, to entertainment from fantastic musicians and even local favorite Jonathan the Juggler, to a dish of Chef Paul’s Boeuf Bourguignon or Chef Sean’s Gumbo Ya Ya, it is a festival you DON’T want to miss. Check out the menu here. On Saturday there will also be a children's area with a moon bounce and hotdogs served for those less refined eaters. The festival benefits the Little Sister of the Poor charity that offers a home and loving care to Virginia’s elderly poor.

The Really BIG Show- Saturday, April 28th from 1-4 pm at the Science Museum of Virginia- The Really BIG Show brings together people from throughout the city to experience artwork created by young people in spring programs at a dozen ART 180 sites, and celebrate their creativity. The event is open to the public and includes live performances, art activities, games, food trucks and more! FREE

Herbs Galore and More- Saturday, April 28th from 8am-4pm on the Carriage House lawn at Maymont- $5 for entrance to the Marketplace / free for Maymont members and children 16 & under. Dozens of vendors from the mid-Atlantic fill the lawn with every imaginable herb as well as annuals, perennials, trees, vegetables, and herbal products and crafts for this one-of-a-kind event. Food and drink will also be available for purchase.

The South of the James Farmers Market- Forest Hill Park at New Kent Ave. & 42nd St. This open-air producer-only market where farmers and artisans sell locally-grown and hand-made items is located in the beautiful Forest Hill Park and runs year-round. For the rest of April the market will be open on Saturdays from 9am-12pm, but beginning in May their hours will be from 8 am-12 pm.

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MAY:

Lewis Ginter Plant Fest- Members only pre-sale Thursday, May 3, 4 – 7 p.m.; Friday, May 4, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, May 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Garden’s plant sales are among the largest in the region with more than 40 vendors selling plants ranging from well-known favorites to rare exotics and other garden related items. Plus, join us for live music, a festive atmosphere and a chance to get all your gardening questions answered. Free admission to the plant fest, but the usual admission to visit the garden.

Maymont Beer and Wine Classic- Friday, May 4th, 7-10:30pm- Leave the kids at home for this one, and enjoy live music, food trucks, lawn games and more while sampling some of Virginia’s finest beers, ciders and wines and enjoying live music by Three Sheets to the Wind, America's #1 Tribute to Yacht Rock. You can also head over to the lawn game zone provided by CLUBWAKA Richmond. Cheers! Tickets are $30/members and $40/non-members.

Friday Cheers on Brown's Island-Fridays at 6-9:30 pm in May and June, beginning 5/4-6/29 on Brown’s Island. These weekly concerts are only $5- $10 depending on the show, and children under 12 are free. Food and drink are available for purchase.

Que Pasa?! Festival- Saturday, May 5th from 11-8 pm in downtown Richmond at the Canal Walk. Come out and celebrate the food, music and art of Virginia's Latin American communities, and witness a community-wide challenge to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the Largest Display of Piñatas! This is a FREE event!

HenROCKus at Henricus, Bands and Brews on the James River Bluff- Saturday, May 5th from 2-8 pm at Henricus Historical Park- Bring your lawn chairs, enjoy a brew (or two!) from Steam Bell Beer Works, food from Gregory's Grill, rock out to local bands, and enjoy the outstanding views of the mighty James River – all while supporting educational programming at Henricus Historical Park. Tickets are $5, but kids under 12 are free.

Arts in the Park-Saturday, May 5th 11- 6 pm and Sunday, May 6th 11-5 pm at the Carillon at Byrd Park. This is a FREE event where more than 450 artists from around the U.S. will gather in Byrd Park to display everything from fine art of classic and contemporary paintings, to photography, pottery, jewelry and home and garden accessories.

World Laughter Day Celebration- Sunday, May 6th from 1-3 pm at Libby Hill Park-This FREE event will be taking place all over the world. Richmonders are encouraged to enjoy an uplifting afternoon of fun and connection and be part of the amazing movement that is teaching people how laughter, deep breathing, and playfulness can improve their overall well-being. Visit the link for more info on all of the activities going on during the celebration.

Music at Maymont- Wednesday, May 9th, 6-11 pm, Brandi Carlile and Secret Sisters. Come enjoy the first Maymont concert of the season on the Carriage House lawn. Food from local food trucks, beer and wine will be available for purchase. Tickets to this show are $25. Check the website for future concerts.

Mother's Day Weekend and Father's Day Weekend at Lewis Ginter- All Weekend, May 11th-13th and June 16th and 17th. Moms and Dads deserve more than one day to feel celebrated. Come to the garden for many opportunities to honor and spend time with family during these special weekends. Enjoy the popular Butterflies LIVE! exhibit, live music, Children’s Garden activities, shopping, dining and more.

Peony Picnic at Tuckahoe Plantation- Sunday, May 13th, 12-4 pm-Bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds, tour the historic plantation home, and view our blooming gardens! Admission is $5 per guest over 6 years old (free for children under 5 years). Peonies will be available at $5 per peony stem and greenery (limit two stems per person), so you can enjoy Tuckahoe’s beauty at home! Gelati Celesti will be serving ice cream from 12-4pm.

Weekends at the Berry Patch- Gallmeyer Farms- Sunday 5/13 and Saturday 5/19 and 5/26 10am-5pm- Come visit the Berry Patch for pick your own strawberries, live music, free activities for kids, a play area for kids, hayrides, and arts and crafts from all over the great state of Virginia. The Berry Patch also has free admission and free parking.

Music in the Park at Forest Hill Park- One Sunday a month, usually the second Sunday, from 6-8 pm, come out with a picnic dinner and listen to a free concert at Forest Hill Park. The first event is May 13th and features the fun covers of the Illbillys.

Ashland Street Parties- Saturday, May 19th from 6:30-11:30 at 201 South Railroad Avenue. This is the first Ashland Street Party of the year. Come check out the beauty of Ashland while you listen to live music and enjoy some local food and drink. Check the website above for future dates.

Lebanese Festival- Friday, 5/18-Saturday 5/19 from 10am-10pm and Sunday, 5/20 from 10am-8pm-at St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church- This is one of my favorites because the food is so good and the lines aren't crazy long like the Greek fest. You'll love it for the delicious Lebanese delicacies and the adorable kids doing traditional dances, and your kids will love it for the fun playground right on the church grounds.

Dominion River Rock- May 18th-20th, Go to check out the pros competing in climbing, slackline, and freestyle bike events, or the flying pups in the Subaru Ultimate Air Dogs. Stay to enjoy the full schedule of awesome live bands taking the stage throughout the weekend! Some of the events charge for you to participate, but most of them are free and there is no admission charge.

Lake Anna Brewfest- May 19th from 12-5 pm at Lake Anna State Park- If you buy online before 5/19 tickets are $20 and you receive a free Brewfest sample mug, eight beer sample tickets, access to great and amazing food vendors from all around the Lake Anna area.

Public Safety Day- Saturday, May 19th from 10-1 at Bon Secours Westchester Emergency Center- Kick off National EMS and Police Week by coming out to enjoy all of the activities this day has to offer including: FREE children’s bicycle helmets for the first 100 visitors, FREE hot dogs, popcorn and drinks for the whole family, face painting, interact with a display of fire engines and ladder trucks, ambulances, police and sheriff cars, and more.

United By Music Southside Big Tent Community Festival- Friday, May 18th 5-8 pm and Saturday, May 19th 12:30-7:30 pm presented by the Richmond Symphony. Friday night there will be a concert under the big tent featuring Latin dance band Bio Ritmo. Saturday is family day with performances by Richmond Public Schools and Legacy Band, culminating with a Dance Party with DJ Missing! Other activities are still in the works but are likely to include a skateboard competition in the skate park, a community art gallery showcasing work from local students and schools, and a Kid’s Zone you won’t want to miss!

Play Day 2018- Saturday, May 19th from 1-4 pm at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. At Play Day, kids and adults make art projects in more than a dozen studios throughout VisArts’ 30,000-square foot facility. Admission is free. Be sure to check out which other RVA locales are participating in this national event. Last year's events included Maymont, CMOR, Project Yoga and more!

Explore the Outdoors- Sunday, May 20th 1-5 pm at Huguenot Park and the Studios of the Community Idea Stations. FREE day of hands-on fun exploring science and nature. This is a special day in the park to give children and their families plenty of exciting outdoor experiences. Over fifty local community groups with expertise in outdoor adventure, healthy living, and environmental science will engage you in activities ranging from archery and fishing, paddle boarding (on dry land), gardening, camping, art making and much, much more.

The Johnny Z Festival- Sunday, May 20th, 12 PM - 6 PM at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery- Join us and celebrate the creative spirit of Richmond during this fun, FREE, kid-friendly event benefitting ART 180! Hardywood and Chop Suey Books present a variety of children's activities including a moon bounce, face painting, and various artworks. Vendors from Bizarre Market showcase local arts and crafts, and, of course there will be plenty of food trucks and beer on draft.

Summer Fest at ARC Park- Wednesday, May 23rd, 6-9pm- Visit my favorite RVA park for live music starring TriCity Revue, food trucks, and craft beer. $10 entry for adults includes a branded acrylic glass and a drink ticket. Extra drink tickets will be for sale. Kids are free! Your participation will benefit children and adults with disabilities served in programs at ARC.

Greek Festival- Thursday, May 31st- Sunday, June 3rd Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, This festival is super popular and crowded, but after you taste the baklava you'll understand why. If you don't want to brave the crowds with your stroller, you can always go through their drive-thru tent and take your food to go!

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JUNE

Peace Love RVA- Saturday, June 2nd from 10-4 pm at the Maymont Children's Farm- If you love yoga, than this is the event for you! Come to Maymont for a day of music, vegetarian food, local merchants and yoga classes led by Richmond's finest instructors! Admission is free, but registration is required.

Sundays in the Shade at James River Winery every Sunday afternoon from 1-4 pm June-September- Come lounge in the shade with live acoustic music. Bring chairs and a picnic lunch to enjoy. This event has no entry fee! Tastings and wine purchases will be available in the Tasting Room.

Broad Appetit- June 3rd from 11 am-6 pm on Broad Street between Henry and Adams- I LOVE food and having options, so this is my favorite festival of the year! For $3/plate you get to eat the best dishes that local restaurants have to offer and now you can even sample local beer/wine with a sample cup that gets you 4 samples for $5. They always have lots of family activities and kid-friendly food as well. I can't wait!

Kids' Days at Berkeley Plantation- Tuesdays, June 5th-August 28th, 9:30am-4:30pm- Every Tuesday, children ages 16 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Learn 18th century history, explore the gardens and grounds, see our ninth president’s birthplace and walk the same floors as our founding fathers. Children’s activities included.

Flowers after 5 and Fidos after 5- Thursday nights June 7th-August 30th 5-9 pm at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens- Enjoy live music, wine, and beer, dining, and shopping. Please note: No outside food and drink are allowed inside the Garden; food and drink are available for purchase and garden admission is required. Leashed dogs are also welcome on select nights, June 14 & 28, July 12 & 26 and water play in the Children's Garden will be open until 8 pm on these nights. Children under 3 are always free.

Festival of the River- Friday, June 8th-Sunday, June 10th- Three Days of Music, Art and Environment on Brown's Island. There are so many events happening! Check the site for more info.

Bumblebee Jamboree- Saturday, June 16th from 10:30 am-2:30 pm at Maymont Children's Farm- The 7th annual Bumblebee Jamboree provides an opportunity for children to better understand the role pollinators play and what each of us can do in our own backyard to protect natural resources. Families are invited to participate in hands-on experiences at this free event that encourages kids to learn about birds, butterflies, bees, bugs, and bats. Children will enjoy pollinator-related crafts, puppet shows, snacks, games, and other interactive activities.

Ashland Strawberry Faire- June 16th from 10am-5pm on the campus of Randolph Macon College- The Faire is a free event featuring vendors selling arts, crafts, plants, and antiques to the thousands who attend. There will also be a Kid’s Zone filled with fun activities such as a Cake Walk, Moon Bounce, Raffles, Arts and Crafts, and games ranging from Golf Putt, Bean Bag Toss, Lollipop Picking and lots more. There are lots of prizes and treats for all. The proceeds from the Faire provide scholarships and grants to local non-profit groups.

Richmond Veg Fest- Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 12-6:00 pm at the Azalea Gardens at Bryan Park- Lots of great vendors that showcase the resources available in the local area, a ton of great live music, speakers, food demonstrations, and of course some great vegetarian food. Free admission.

Richmond Bacon Festival- June 23rd from 11-4pm at the 17th Street Farmer's Market in Shockhoe Bottom- Live music, beer tents and all the bacon you can eat, make this festival a great one! $1 suggested entry donation to Enrichmond keeps the bacon rolling! Enrichmond's mission is to enhance Richmond parks and activate its public spaces. I think we mamas can get behind that!

Hanover Maters Corks and Kegs Festival- Saturday, June 23rd from 11-6 at the Hanover Vegetable Farm- Enjoy craft beer, live music, BBQ, and, of course, delicious tomato dishes all day at the farm. Tickets are $8/advance, $14 at the door and include a souvenir mug or wine glass. Kids 10 and under are free.

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JULY

Rocketts Red Glare- July 3rd-4th at Rocketts' Landing from 7am-10pm- A FREE family-friendly event, open to the public, with activities, vendors, music, food trucks, craft beer offerings and a pro beach volleyball tournament hosted by EVP Tour. Culminating with riverfront FIREWORKS on July 4th at 9 PM!

Carmax Free Fourth of July at Lewis Ginter-9am-5pm. FREE admission to the Garden on this day includes Butterflies LIVE!, Origami in the Garden, live music from the Happy Lucky Combo, a parade, and more. Open rain or shine! Sponsored by CarMax.

Fridays on the Farm at Crump Park and Meadow Farm Museum-Fridays 7/6-8/31 from 9am-11am-Visit the farm for guided animal tours and old-fashioned games. FREE.

Hanover Tomato Festival- Saturday, July 14th from 9am-4pm at Pole Green Park-Enjoy all day live music, yummy tomato delights, over 150 artisan & business vendors, the MaterFUN zone (designed for children 12 & under), Bow-Wow Beach (cooling station for pets) and of course Hanover Tomatoes. What more summer fun could one ask for?!

James River Parade of Lights- Saturday, July 21st- 6-9 pm at Osborne Boat Landing- Celebrate Christmas in July with the lighted boat parade sponsored by the James River Advisory Council in cooperation with Henrico Recreation and Parks. Enjoy entertainment before the parade.

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AUGUST/EARLY SEPTEMBER and BEYOND

Richmond Jazz Festival- Thursday, August 9th-Sunday, August 12th at Maymont- One of the largest music festivals on the East Coast, this event boasts a lineup of award-winning national talent. Check the website for hours and tickets as the event gets closer.

Filipino Festival- Friday, August 11th from 5-10pm and Saturday, August 12th from 10am-10pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. The Filipino Festival is a community event which showcases the richness of the Filipino culture and features delectable cuisine, folk dances and music. They will also be hosting a Race N' Roll 5K and 1 mile fun run on Saturday morning before the festival opens. Admission to the festival is free.

Carytown Watermelon festival- Sunday, August 12th from 10am-6pm- In addition to the delicious watermelon dishes and other yummy food on offer, big bands, jugglers, and folk acts will entertain from 5 outdoor stages and there will be a kid zone in Cary Court.

Labor Day Free Community Day at Lewis Ginter- Monday, September 3rd- Free admission for all from 9 am-5 pm on Labor Day sponsored by Genworth.

Richmond Folk Festival- Friday, October 12th-Sunday, October 14th- Friday: 6 PM - 10:00 PM, Saturday: Noon - 9:30 PM, Sunday: Noon - 6:00 PM- This festival celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance traditional crafts, storytelling and food. The Richmond Folk Festival has become one of Virginia’s largest and most-loved events of the year and has been voted as the best musical festival in Richmond several years running. There are also plenty of activities for kids of all ages. Admission is free.

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Check out these links below for even more famtastic events! There were too many too list!

Innsbrook After Hours- IAH shows are always a good time, with plenty of food and drink available for purchase and reasonable concert ticket prices. Check out the 2018 concert schedule here. Doors open at 5 pm and shows start at 6 pm.

Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell-Varied events througout the summer celebrating theater, music and dance. 2018's event calendar is not yet available, but check back for more info in May.

Stony Point Summer Concert Series- 1st and 3rd Thursdays, May 24th-September 20th from 6-8 pm in Triangle Park.

Maymont Spring/Summer Calendar- Family camp-outs, concerts, hikes and more!

Lewis Ginter Calendar of Events- Drop in and dig, story time, yoga in the garden and crafts for kids

Ok, ok, I know I may be getting a little ahead of myself here, but come on, it's almost May! I am so excited for warm weather, festival season and enjoying a glass of something good out on a patio! Who's with me?

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Happy Wednesday, Ladies!

♥ Erin

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