Fairfax County Weekender


Friday, Sept. 14: (Grow and) Eat Your Veggies!

Many cool-season vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, produce their best flavor when they mature during cool weather. Learn how during Basic Gardening: Grow Great Grub. 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.  Green Spring Gardens. $10/person. Register online. For more information call 703-642-5173.

Saturday, Sept. 15: Prison to Park

Celebrate the transformation of Lorton Prison into what is now a wonderful natural, cultural and recreational park location at the "Great Escape" Prison to Park Festival. The event includes wagon rides into the maximum security area of the prison complex, sliding down the giant sack slide, farm animals, and disc golf and mountain bike demos. Explore the pond and see what lives there, try your hand at fishing, walk into the wilds with a naturalist guide and more. Activities include horse rides and equestrian demonstrations, delicious food, live music, exhibitors, games and all-around family fun! Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 16. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Laurel Hill Park. $2/person. (Wagon tours are $10/person and must be booked in advance. Tours depart at 9 and 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Register online.) For information call 703-451-9588.

Also on Saturday:

Gardening with Butterflies: Tour the butterfly garden with horticulturist Laurie Short as she describes host plants and nectar plants. Participants will receive tips to help increase butterfly populations, as well as learn types and upkeep of plants to grow. 10 a.m. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.  $5/person.  For more information and reservations (required) call 703-255-3631.

Ballroom Social Dance: Dancing, food and fun! Led by an instructor (with a pre-dance mini-lesson available, $5/person.)  Complimentary refreshments and cash bar available. All skill levels are welcome. Dress is casual. Mini-lesson (swing) from 7:30 to 8 p.m. and open dance from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Workhouse Arts Center. $10/person. Tickets available online. For information call 703-495-0001.

Bat Fest: Bat World NOVA’s Leslie Sturges, wildlife rehabilitator and licensed exhibitor, presents a program featuring live bats. Go on an evening bat hike and enjoy games and crafts. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hidden Oaks Nature Center. $7/person. Register online. For information call 703-941-1065.

Sunday, Sept. 16: Tea Time

The spellbinding “Downton Abbey” portrays the intertwined lives of Edwardian aristocrats and their servants during a period of changing world order. Hear about life upstairs and downstairs during Tea at Downton Abbey: the fashions, food, manners and social customs and how each character is a study in a portrait of their time. 1 to 3 p.m. (Also on Sept. 30.) Historic Green Spring. $27/person (includes a full English tea.) To make a reservation call 703-941-7987.

Also on Sunday:

Kayak Tour: Join volunteer trip leader Scott Stewart for an exciting adventure on the water of the Pohick Bay Marsh. Glide by kayak while enjoying views of bald eagles, great blue herons and other wildlife. No experience necessary. Appropriate for ages 8 and above.  Participants under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 8 a.m. to noon. Pohick Bay Regional Park. $30/person. For information and reservations (required) call 703-339-6104.

Snapping Turtles:Visit the pond and search for this large, often misunderstood reptile. Participants age 4 and above are welcome. 10 to 11 a.m. Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. (Meet at Walney Pond. $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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