During Fall Farm Days’ Rest and Rejuvenation Weekend, we offer a variety of guided and self-guided programs to help you reconnect with nature, unplug, unwind, and rejuvenate through recreation. Try your hand at Geocaching and explore camping tips and tricks. Learn all about fishing in Virginia State Parks, and give it a try with our Fishing is Fun activity.
In addition to the rest and rejuvenation-themed programs, we also offer Mount Bleak House tours, a children’s play area, and live music. Come back the following weekend for more Fall Farm Days fun: October 23 & 24: History of Sky Meadows.
Belle Grove decorated for the holidays and open for touring December 3-30, 2021
From December 3 to 30, Belle Grove Plantation is decorated for the holidays and open for touring. “Timeless Tales and Verse,” celebrating holiday-themed literature from the years of Belle Grove’s history, is the inspiration for this year’s decorations.
The Winter Time, a poem by Robert Louis Stephenson, is seen in the decorations in the carriage and on the front porch. Valley Garden Club has decorated the front hall with the poem Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in mind. The library decorations by Warren Garden Club feature the classic Christmas letter, Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus. In the day sitting room, the Winchester/Clarke Garden Club evoked ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. The plantation office has been transformed by the Middletown Garden Club into Ebenezer Scrooge’s office from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Across the hall in the dining room the Colonial Garden Club rings in the New Year with Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns. In the Parlor is a 12-foot Norway spruce donated from John and Judith Tole’s Evergreen Christmas Tree Farm in Woodville, Virginia. The Hawthorn Garden Club provided decorations in the Parlor based on the short story, The First Christmas Tree by Henry Van Dyke.
The nursery is a child’s wonderland thanks to the Shenandoah Garden Club’s toys and animals. It brings to life The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, the 1922 children’s story that begins on Christmas morning. The Little Garden Club adorned the bedroom using The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry as their inspiration.
Guests are welcomed into the lower level with decorations inspired by Christmas Carol, a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar. These decorations were done by the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association, which also decorated the lower-level room showing The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the story behind the treasured ballet. The kitchen has charming decorations by the Glen Burnie Garden Club conjuring The Elves and the Shoemaker by The Brothers Grimm.
Belle Grove Plantation including the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center (which includes the Museum Shop, exhibits, and restrooms) will be open December 3, 2-8 p.m. and thereafter Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Belle Grove will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and will close for the winter on December 31.
Guided house tours are offered Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with tours beginning at quarter past each hour (first tour at 10:15 a.m. and last tour at 3:15 p.m.) and on Sunday 1-5 p.m. (first tour at 1:15 p.m. and last tour at 4:15 p.m.). On Friday and Saturday evenings 4-8 p.m. visitors are welcome to take self-guided tours, the Manor House will be lit by candlelight, and there will be live music in the Parlor from 6-8 p.m. (schedule at www.bellegrove.org).
There is a limit of ten guests per tour and admission is sold on-site only and on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests over the age of five are required to wear masks over their nose and mouth while on the property.
Admission for both guided and self-guided Manor House tours is $12 for adults, $11 for members of the military, AAA, the National Parks, and individuals 60 and older. Students 6-16 and National Trust for Historic Preservation members are $6. Children 5 and younger are free. Belle Grove members are free of charge as benefit of their membership. Visitors may join Belle Grove and immediately use this benefit at Christmas along with 10% off non-consignment purchases in the Museum Shop.
Belle Grove Plantation is a non-profit historic house museum that is a National Trust for Historic Preservation site and a partner in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. It is located off Route 11 at 336 Belle Grove Road south of Middletown, Virginia. Information and updates on holiday tours may be found at www.bellegrove.org or at facebook.com/BelleGrove.
17 fun holiday-themed activities
Christmas is fast approaching, but perhaps it doesn’t feel like the holidays yet? Here are some ways you can get into the spirit of the season.
1. Admire the decorated homes in your neighborhood
2. Attend a Santa Claus parade
3. Bake cookies and other traditional holiday treats
4. Browse a Christmas market in your area
5. Color holiday-themed pictures
6. Curl up and watch a Christmas movie
7. Do a puzzle that illustrates a winter scene
8. Donate your time to a local food drive
9. Get creative with your gift wrapping
10. Go pick out your Christmas tree
11. Listen to Christmas songs by your favorite artists
12. Look through old holiday photos
13. Participate in a Christmas craft workshop
14. Read Christmas stories with your family
15. Take in a seasonal performance (concert, ballet, play, etc.)
16. Visit a museum that has a holiday-themed exhibit
17. Write and send out your holiday cards
So, which activity will you start with this year?
5 tips for raising children in a bilingual environment
Contrary to what some people may believe, raising your children in a bilingual environment won’t create confusion or lead to delays in speech development. In fact, doing so can increase mental flexibility and heighten creativity. Here are some tips for raising children in a bilingual environment.
1. Children up to the age of seven learn languages more easily and can develop strategies to simplify their understanding of grammar. Start young, recognizing that it’s never too late to learn a new language.
2. Surround them with bilingual friends and family who can encourage them to have conversations in their second language.
3. Reading aloud to your children helps with language development. Make sure to read to them in both languages.
4. Use technology to your advantage. Look for television stations and age-appropriate podcasts in both languages. In addition, many smartphone apps can help your child practice their language skills.
5. Consider enrolling your children in a bilingual school. In particular, immersion programs help promote proficiency in both languages.
Keep in mind that learning a new language is difficult, and mixing up words is a normal part of vocabulary development. Be patient, and in the end, your children will be fluent in both tongues.
How to spend your time when you retire
Many new retirees struggle to fill the void that’s created after they stop working. If the idea of retirement scares you, you should know that there are many opportunities to stay busy after you retire. Here are a few things you may want to do.
Volunteering can give your life a sense of purpose and keep you active in your community. Consider becoming a mentor and sharing your wisdom with others.
Get a hobby
Retirement presents an excellent opportunity to take up a new hobby or spend more time engaging in your current pastimes.
Start a new career
You could use this time in your life to revisit a field that’s always been of interest to you. You’ll have the flexibility to work as much or as little as you please. Here are 10 job ideas:
2. School crossing guard
3. Real estate broker
5. Museum guide
6. Owner of a bed and breakfast
7. Pet sitter
8. Retail worker
9. Substitute teacher
10. Resort employee
If your new career requires you to be licensed or certified, check with a local college to see what type of training is available in your area.
Though filling your time when you retire may initially be daunting, eventually, you’ll find things you enjoy doing and likely come to enjoy this period of your life.
Town Talk: A conversation with Rick Novak, Royal Cinemas – Free Christmas Movies
In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Rick Novak. Rick is the owner of the Royal Cinemas and Royal Family Bowling Center.
Christmas Movies, they seem to be everywhere – – but no better place to watch than on the BIG screen.
Starting this weekend, December 4 & 5, 2021, the Royal Cinemas in Front Royal will present several FREE Classic Christmas Movies, starting with a naughty or nice triple-feature, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. These movies start at 1 pm.
The next weekend, December 11 & 12, 2021, the movie is Arthur Christmas. The final in the series is on December 18 & 19, 2021, and that is White Christmas.
On Thursday, December 16, 2021, there will be the adult Christmas Classic National Lampoons Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. This movie starts at 7:30 pm.
Jean Plauger of Jeans Jewelers and Tana Hoffman of Sager Realty have co-sponsored this event. If you see them, please thank them as well.
The first 75 children 13 and under will receive a free child combo for the first two movies in the series.
Watch the video for a special offer for Clifford the Big Red Dog starting this Friday.
Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com
Robert Lee “Skippy” Young (1946 – 2021)
Robert Lee “Skippy” Young, 74, of Front Royal, Virginia passed away on Monday, November 29, 2021, in the comfort of his home.
A memorial service will take place at Bethel Assembly of God, on Saturday, December 11th, 2021 at 11:00 am.
Robert was born on December 16, 1946, in Front Royal, Virginia to Bowie Lee Young and Alma Maxine Brown. He is preceded in death by his father Bowie Young and his maternal grandparents, Bertha Talbott and William Talbott.
Surviving Robert is his loving wife of 47 years, June Young; his mother, Alma Brown; his daughter, Katherine Young; his siblings, William Young and Linda Young Mace (Bill); his stepsister, Kathy Decker; his nephew, Michael Young; his niece, Melissa Young McShane; other nephews/nieces and numerous friends throughout the years.
Robert attended Bethel Assembly of God and worked for Aecom Services for 28 years before his retirement. If you ever saw him walking around town, he always had a smile on his face or said hello. Skippy was the type of person to give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. He was a hard worker and will be greatly missed.