Fairfax County Weekender


 Friday, Dec. 13: Lovely Lights

Bull Run Festival of Lights: For more than 12 years, the Festival of Lights has drawn thousands of visitors to celebrate the winter holiday season with a magnificent display of lighted wonders. This year's festival is open through Jan. 5 at Bull Run Regional Park. Monday -Thursday: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday - Sunday and holidays: 5:30 to 10 p.m. Admission fee. For information call 703-631-0550.

Also on Friday:

Winter Walk of Lights: This enchanted world is open seven days a week through Jan. 6. From 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Meadowlark Gardens. Timed tickets required. Weekday rates (Monday - Thursday excluding holidays): age 13+/$12, age 3-12/$7, children under 3 are free. Weekend and holiday rates: age 13+/$13, age 3-12/$8, children under 3 are free. Buy tickets online. For information call 703-255-3631.

 Saturday, Dec. 14: Timeless Christmas

Civil War by Candlelight: Experience a Civil War Christmas as Confederate soldiers cook dinner in the field and fire the Christmas guns. Hear mid-19th century tunes performed by Evergreen Shade and make a holiday decoration reminiscent of a time when families had few resources but indomitable spirit. Forty-five minute house tours start every 15 minutes from 4:45 to 7 p.m. at Sully Historic Site. Outdoor festivities continue until 8 p.m. $10/person. Register online. For information call 703-437-1794.

Also on Saturday:

Holiday Ice Skating Show: Watch talented figure skaters show off their moves. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon RECenter's Holiday Ice Show. The RECenter's most experienced skaters as well as beginners of all ages will perform. Free, no registration required. For information call 703-768-3224.

Santa Hayride and Lakeside Winter Village: Enjoy holiday music and merriment on a horse-drawn wagon ride through one of the most scenic outdoor parks in the area. Rides every 20 minutes from noon to 3 p.m.; call ahead to reserve your spot (tractor-pulled wagon available for those without reserved spaces on the horse-drawn hayride). Fee includes the wagon ride, a visit with Santa in the covered pavilion (bring your own camera) and sharing stories around a toasty lakeside campfire. From noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park. Seasonal treats available for purchase at the snack bar. $10/person; ages 2 and under free. Holiday attire welcome! Pre-registration ends at 1 p.m. the day before. For more information or to register, call 703-569-0285.

Holidays at Walney Farm: Celebrate the winter holidays with the Machen family and learn about the gifts and foods of an 1850 Virginia farm. Create your own historic holiday ornament. Enjoy hot apple cider and baked treats. The 90-minute program is offered at 1 and 3 p.m. at E.C. Lawrence Park's Walney Farm. $8/person. Register online. For information call 703-631-0013.

Family Fun - Winter Solstice Workshop: Learn how people in the past celebrated the winter solstice. Then create an evergreen centerpiece, complete with beeswax candle, to warm and welcome friends and family to your table. From 2 to 3 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. $10/person. Register online. For information call 703-642-5173.

Santa at the Mill: Enjoy old-fashioned family holiday fun, visit Santa in the mill and see the Christmas tree trimmed with Victorian decorations. Join the costumed 49th Virginia Volunteer Infantry caroling around a bonfire. Roast marshmallows and make a family craft. From 3 to 6 p.m. at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. $5/person; pay at site. For information call 703-759-2771.

Cocoa Wagon Rides: Learn what the holidays were like on a farm during the 1920s and 1930s. Your one-hour journey will lead you past fields and farmland while you relish the beauty of the season and breathe the fresh air. After the wagon ride, relax by the campfire and warm up with a cup of cocoa and s'mores. Rides are scheduled on the hour between 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Frying Pan Farm Park. $8/person. Find departure times and registration information online or call 703-437-9101.

2nd Saturday Art Walk: Find unique holiday gifts by touring seven studio buildings, mix and mingle with artists, experience ever-changing exhibits and meet featured artists, all while enjoying light refreshments and music. From 6 to 9 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center. Free admission. For information call 703-584-2900.

The Sixth Generation – A Wintertime Sock Hop: Award-winning rock-‘n’-rollers, The Sixth Generation, perform live with plenty of room to dance the night away. This dynamic band plays hits from the 1960s as well as original songs about the era. From 8 to 9:30 p.m. in W-16 McGuireWoods Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center.Beer, wine and concessions sold on-site (no outside alcoholic beverages). $10/person in advance; $15/person at the door. Buy tickets online. For information call 703-584-2900.

 Sunday, Dec. 15: Sounds and Sights of the Season

McLean Symphony Holiday Family Concert: Delight in holiday music from around the world. From 3 to 4:30 p.m. at The Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center. $25/adult, $20/senior, $15/student with ID.Buy tickets online. For information call 703-790-0123.


Also on Sunday:

Making Nature Gifts Workshop: Parents can enjoy shopping at the mall while their young ones (ages 5 to 10) make gifts and wrap them for their families. Kids will enjoy a range of activities from meeting live animals to watching 16mm movies to seeing a puppet show. Bring a snack. Children create their own gifts using natural items and nature themes and gift wrap them with the help of naturalists. They'll enjoy games, crafts, and nature walks and talks. From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. $15/child. Register online. For information call 703-941-1065.

Christmas Tea: Music and Candlelight: Musician Jody Marshall delights with the mellow sound and fascinating story of the hammered dulcimer. From 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Historic Green Spring. $35/person includes an English tea program. For information and to make a reservation, call 703-941-7987.

Christmas in the Time of Jane Austen: See how Virginians celebrated the traditional 12 days of Christmas. Elegant dancing, rich foods, gaming and travel made the season exciting. Learn the latest dance steps, play a game of chance and take home a recipe for a great cake. Forty-five minute house tours start every 15 minutes from 4:45 to 7 p.m. at Sully Historic Site. Outdoor festivities are available until 8 p.m. $10/person. Register online. For information call 703-437-1794.

  • 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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