Fairfax County Weekender


 Friday, May 24: Fun Family Film 

E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial: Enjoy this movie classic where a young boy finds a stranded extra-terrestrial and has the courage to defy the authorities to help the alien return to its home planet. From 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Alden Theater, McLean Community Center. Free. No registration required. No food or drinks in the theatre. For information call 703-790-0123.

Also on Friday:

Riverside Campfire: Bats and Bugs: As day turns to night, bats and various insects become active. Through games and activities, learn about the relationship between night-flying bats and the insects they seek. Bring a toasting stick – s’mores will be provided. Come early if you'd like to bring a picnic. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Riverbend Park. Ages 2 and up. $4/person. Register online. For information call 703-759-9018.

 Saturday, May 25: Go Native

Native American Games Day: Shoot a bow and arrow, launch a spear and make cool crafts as you learn about daily Native American life long ago. Enjoy fun hands-on activities and games. Stop by anytime from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riverbend Park. $5/person. No registration required. For information call 703-759-9018.

Also on Saturday:

Water Mine Park Opens: The Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole opens for the season with more than an acre of slides, flumes, sprays, showers, floatables and interactive play features. While the Water Mine's attractions are designed for elementary-aged children, there's something here for everyone. Tenderfoot Pond gives toddlers a perfect place for water play. Teenagers can join a game of water volleyball and everyone will enjoy going with the flow in a tube on Rattlesnake River. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Memorial Day weekend and subsequent weekends until June 19 when it opens daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lake Fairfax Park. Admission on weekends and holidays: $14.50 – over 48” tall, $11.25 – under 48” tall, 2 years and under – free. For information call 703-471-5415.

Victorian Hanging Baskets: Create your own hanging basket by filling a moss-covered container with a variety of foliage and flowering plants. Learn about soil mixes, fertilizers and maintenance. From 10 to 11 a.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. $30/person includes all materials. Reservations required. For information and to reserve a spot, call 703-255-3631.

Korean Bell Garden Day: Celebrate Korean Bell Garden Day with music, performances by fan dancers, martial arts demonstrations and delicious, free Korean food. Come for this exciting cultural event from 11 a.m. to noon at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. Free. No reservations required. For information call 703-255-3631.

River Monsters: Explore the Bull Run stream to discover river monsters. Fish the deep pools for giant catfish and search the banks for northern water snakes. Bring fishing pole and bait. From 10 to 11:30 a.m., Ellanor C. Lawrence Park (meet at Hemlock Overlook). Ages 8 and up. $6/person. Register online. For information call 703-631-0013.

Cures from the Quarter: At Sully’s slave quarter, learn how enslaved African Americans maintained their health. Discover the differences and similarities between preferred health care methods of slaves and their masters. This program is included in Forgotten Road Tours and is offered at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. at Sully Historic Site. $7/adult, $6/student, $5/senior or child. Buy tickets at site. For information call 703-437-1794.

Cool Cow Comedy: Ryan Connor: Now living in Los Angeles, Ryan Connor started his comedy career in the D.C. area. He has shared the stage with some of the best-known comedians in the industry, entertained in clubs and colleges across the country and been a contributing writer for “Saturday Night Live.” Two shows: 7 to 8:30 p.m. and 9 to 10:30 p.m. at the W-3 Theater, Workhouse Arts Center. $15/person general admission (must be 18 and up). Buy tickets online. Discount special: $12 tickets for the 9 p.m. show when you purchase four tickets. Use coupon code 12DOLLAR at checkout. For information call 703-584-2900.

 Sunday, May 26: All Aboard

Burke Lake Miniature Train and Carousel: Memorial Day weekend marks the start of daily operations for the Burke Lake miniature train and carousel. The ride over 1.75 miles of track takes 10 minutes and reaches speeds of 10 to 12 miles per hour. And after the chug-along, there's more old fashioned fun to sample — a spin on the carousel, a hand-dipped cone at the Ice Cream Parlor and a walk on the park trail rated one of the 10 best urban fitness trails in the nation by the American Hiking Society. First train ride is 11:15 a.m.; last train ride is 5:45 p.m. First carousel ride is 11:30 a.m.; last carousel ride is 5:30 p.m. Burke Lake Park. Riders under age 2 may ride the train and carousel for free. All other riders 2 and older must purchase a ticket. Parents who ride the train or carousel with their children must also purchase a ticket. $2.50/person for the train; $1.75/person for the carousel. For information call 703-323-6600.

Also on Sunday:

Copperheads and Black Racers: Assist a naturalist with a reptile survey and search for, capture, identify and release snakes. Learn the habits and preferred habitats of native snakes. From 10 to 11 a.m. at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Ages 8 and up. An adult must be registered with child. $5/person. Register online. For information call 703-631-0013.

  • Information was correct at time of publication.  Please contact individual event sites to confirm programs are being held as scheduled. 
  • The Fairfax County Weekender highlights a selection of county events taking place each weekend. Many more events and activities can be found at the Parks and Library pages, and elsewhere on the Fairfax County website. Additionally, the towns of Herndon and Vienna as well as the city of Falls Church offer many arts, entertainment and recreational opportunities.  
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  • A complete list of county calendars is also available online.
  • To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187.
  • TTY is 711 unless otherwise indicated.


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