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Register with Parktakes Online Fall Registration Underway!

Browse on-line listings, check class enrollment and register with a few clicks of your mouse.

Internet registration offered daily, 5am to 11pm

Park VideosPark Videos

Enjoy Fall Festivities
in Parks

Enjoy Fall Festivities in Parks

With its mild weather and brilliant colors, autumn is a great time to venture out and explore Fairfax County parks. There are so many fun things to do, you may have a hard time choosing!

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Green Spring Master Gardeners Program Celebrates 15 Years

Green Spring Master Gardeners Program Celebrates 15 Years

From its very inception in 2002, the Green Spring Master Gardeners Program has worked toward a single guiding principle: to work within the community to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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Emerald Ash Borer Takes a Heavy Toll on County Trees

Emerald Ash Borer Takes a Heavy Toll on County Trees

A hike through Fairfax County’s tranquil woods can often be a great escape from whatever troubles you. But these days, the lush, green forest canopy itself is showing signs of trouble. Leafless trees with tan or white bark stick out like a sore thumb – the result of a plague that is killing ash trees – the emerald ash borer.

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New Playground Opens at Hidden Pond Nature Center

New Playground Opens at Hidden Pond Nature Center

Thrills await tots to tweens at Hidden Pond Nature Center’s new playground. The facility’s first users were all smiles when the gates opened over Independence Day weekend.

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Commemorative Character
Delights Park Visitors along the
Discovery Trail

Commemorative Character Delights Park Visitors along the Discovery Trail

Still looking for Thomas, Lord Fairfax VI? He’s having a ball visiting the sites featured on this year’s Fairfax County Park Authority Discovery Trail Map, which commemorates Fairfax County’s 275th anniversary.

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New Carousel Comes to Lee District Park

New Carousel Comes to Lee District Park

Children can take a spin on a new carousel at Lee District Park. The new feature opened in June to the delight of park visitors who already enjoy other park attractions such as the accessible treehouse, the Tiki Village Playground and Chessie’s Big Backyard.

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New Clubhouse Takes Shape at Burke Lake Golf Center

New Clubhouse Takes Shape at Burke Lake Golf Center

Tee up at the new doubledecker driving range at Burke Lake Golf Center, and you can’t help but notice what’s going on next door. Construction on the facility’s new clubhouse is well underway in the second phase of planned improvements for the 47-year-old golf center.

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Fifty Plus

50+ Connect, Engage, Play

Our 50+ page is a one-stop-shop for activities and experiences in County parks specifically geared toward contemporary 50-somethings.

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Calendar of Events

Click a date from the calendar(s) to see what's happening on that date. BOLD indicates events are scheduled.

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Print Version of Calendar

October 2017
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Print Version of Calendar

Sunday, October 1

Grinding Demonstrations
(All ages) See and hear 19th century technology at work at Colvin Run Mill. The miller will be grinding, conditions permitting, from noon to 3 p.m. Please call the site to confirm. The tour cost is: $7 for adults; $6 for students 16 and older with ID; and $5 for children and seniors. No reservations are required. For more, call 703-759-2771.

Blacksmithing Demonstrations
(All ages) Watch as the blacksmith fires up his forge at Colvin Run Mill and works with hammer and tongs to make iron tools and utensils. The demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. are free! No reservations are required. For more information, call 703-759-2771.

Engineering with Lego at Colvin Run Mill Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-11 yrs.) Power up your engineering skills with tens of thousands of LEGOs in this class offered by PlayWell. Apply real-world concepts in physics and engineering as you use LEGOs to build the same real-world mechanical systems used in historic Colvin Run Mill. Then, apply your newfound knowledge as you identify these same mechanical systems on an active mill day. A mill tour is included for all participants. Discounted tour tickets are available for family/guardians of workshop participants. The program from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. costs $38 per person. For more information, call 703-759-2771.

Monday, October 2

Little Hands on the Farm: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Come to Frying Pan Farm Park to learn about a different element of farm life each week. Children interact with farm animals, receive a story and create a craft. Sessions for children ages two and three meet from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. Children age three to five meet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $8 per child per session. Pre-paid reservations are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. Topics will be: 10/2-Rainbows; 10/16-Terrific Turtles; 10/23-Nature Shapes and Patterns; and 10/30-Spooky Animals. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Junior Astronomers Club Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-8 yrs.) Discover the wonders of the night sky at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as we introduce you to planets, stars and other features in our galaxy. Learn to use a telescope and explore the heavens through hands-on learning, games, stories and crafts. Adults must participate with children. The weekly program from 5 to 5:55 p.m. includes a field trip to a planetarium in Falls Church. Parents/guardians must provide transportation to the planetarium. The ten-week series costs $87. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Garden Sprouts: Nature Playgroup Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-6 yrs.) Your preschooler enjoys nature-themed toys and puzzles while you meet other playgroup parents one Monday a month at Green Spring Gardens. Through games, songs, activities and a garden walk, we explore harvest time in October. The program runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. Call 703-642-5173.

Tuesday, October 3

LakeLanders-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-7 yrs.) Explore the natural world in this fun, hands-on program series at Lake Accotink Park for the young nature enthusiast. Each week features different subjects and activities. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $7 per session. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Wednesday, October 4

History Tots: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-3 yrs.) Bring your toddler to explore history through sight, sound, smell and touch at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. The 45-minute program includes indoor and outdoor activities, and adults must be able to participate with children. Sessions begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. Topics in this monthly program vary with the seasons. In October, the topic is pumpkins. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Hot Dog, S’mores! Wagon Ride and Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Enjoy a turkey hot dog supper roasted over the campfire and a brisk wagon ride through the Rocky Run Stream Valley. Discover who Ellanor C. Lawrence was and learn about the area’s local and natural history. We provide hot dogs, buns, condiments and s’mores. Feel free to bring your own drinks and sides. The campfire program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. costs $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Thursday, October 5

Jr. Farmer Family Fun: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Junior Farmers and their families will get to play an active role in taking care of Frying Pan Farm Park. Join us as we explore topics such as caring for our farm animals, tinkering with farm machinery and learning the importance of our crops and gardens. Enjoy a new topic from 4 to 5 p.m. each week as we go behind the scenes to help farmers with their work. Topics are: 10/5-Sheep and Wool; 10/12-Apples; 10/19-Harvest Time; and 10/26-Halloween. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-437-9101.

Homeschool at the Lake Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This program for school children at Lake Accotink Park focuses on the natural and historical world. Different topics and hands-on activities are covered at each session. The program runs from 1 to 2 p.m., and the cost is $7 per person. The topics are: 10/5-Mammals; 10/12-Geology; and 10/19-American Indians. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Homeschool at the Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This periodic program is based on the popular Pohick Rangers series and is geared toward meeting some of the homeschool science requirements. Topics vary at each session. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $10 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Harvest Moon Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Come to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and learn about the colorful Harvest Moon’s science and history. Learn why Native Americans and colonists used the moon to indicate the time to harvest, and then gather around the campfire for s’mores. The program from 7:30 to 9 p.m. costs $8 per person. For more, call 703-631-0013.

Friday, October 6

Campfire Fridays: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Join us for a campfire, s’mores, animals and more each month this fall at Hidden Pond Nature Center. We cover a different topic and explore a different area of the park each night. The campfire program runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m., and the cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, October 7

Kids Can Cook! Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-10 yrs.) Create a healthful snack with food straight from Kidwell Farm at Frying Pan Farm Park. Harvest tasty treats from the garden and learn fun ways to put them together to make kid-friendly dishes. The one-hour sessions begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the cost is $7 per child. An adult must attend class with the child. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

From Now to Wow: Pathways to Good Design Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Even passionate gardeners can struggle with creating beautifully designed gardens. In this half-day symposium at Green Spring Gardens, learn to find your path from the less-than-ideal yard into the garden you have longed for. Presenter Marianne Wilburn shares “Big Dreams, Small Garden,” and Pam Beck imparts “Movement Through the Landscape.” Following the talks, have refreshments and meet with garden docents who will highlight “Pathway to Good Design” features at Green Spring Gardens. The program from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. costs $57 per person. For more , call 703-642-5173.

Four Club Fall Classic
(11-Adult) Jefferson District Golf Course’s Jefferson Cup Tournament Series concludes with this nine-hole, individual stroke-play tournament at 1 p.m. where each participant is permitted only four clubs in their bag for the duration of the tournament. The cost per person is $35. The fee is due at the time of registration and includes lunch and prizes. The rain date is October 14. For more information, call 703-573-0444.

Scarecrow Making Workshops
(All ages) Come to Colvin Run Mill and make a “friend” for your garden or lawn from noon to 12:45 p.m. or 1 to 1:45 p.m. Bring pants and shirt, plus an old pair of panty hose (for head and body). We supply the stuffing and know-how. The cost is $6 per scarecrow. Panty hose can be purchased on site for an additional $1. No reservations are required. For more, call 703-759-2771.

Bread and Butter Tea Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) The Huntley villa must have hosted many afternoon teas, but probably not one like this where the guests are asked to make their own fresh butter while we share stories about families who lived here. Teddy bears and favorite dolls or trucks are welcome to partake of the simple fare of bread and butter, fruit, homemade pot cheese, and a selection traditional and herbal teas. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $8 per person and includes a tour of Historic Huntley House and grounds. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

History Discussions at Huntley Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Enjoy a refreshingly different view of history at Huntley Meadows Park as guest speakers join us each quarter for a lively discussion of varied topics. Then, enjoy a tour of Historic Huntley. The program from 2 to 4 p.m. costs $5 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Snapping Turtles Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) The snapping turtle is Virginia’s largest fresh water turtle. Visit the pond at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and search for this large, often misunderstood reptile. The program from 2 to 3 p.m. costs $6 per person and meets at Walney Pond. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Snake and Turtle Feeding Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Enjoy a brief presentation and demonstration by our animal caretaker staff at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. At least one snake, two turtles and a toad will be fed in this one-hour program that begins at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Campfire Saturdays: Owls in the Night Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Who or what is that calling loudly across Lake Accotink? Learn from your naturalist guide what makes those calls. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park wraps up with a campfire. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Sunday, October 8

Nature on the Lake: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(16-Adult) Join us Sunday afternoons at Royal Lake Park to explore nature by boat. The two-hour lake journeys begin at 1 p.m. on October 8 and October 22. The cost is $30 per person. For more information, call 703-324-8702.

Folktales Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Cozy up to the campfire at Hidden Oaks Nature Center to hear seasonal folktales. Stories feature bats, owls and other Halloween creatures. Enjoy roasting marshmallows. The campfire program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $7 per person. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Tree Identification Hike Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(8-Adult) Are you curious about what trees you have been seeing? Would you like to learn more about how to tell one tree from another? Attend this lecture/hike at Riverbend Park to work on your identification skills. From 10 to 11:30 a.m., learn about leaf, twig, fruit and bark characteristics that will help you identify the trees around you. The cost is $7 per person. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Monday, October 9

Columbus Day Boat Race Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Reenact the historic seafaring journey of Christopher Columbus by building your own mini-cardboard boat to float down the Pohick stream at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Supplies will be provided for building a boat. After it’s built, head down to the creek for a race to the finish. Small prizes and bragging rights are awarded for the fastest and best-decorated boats. Race activities run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Tuesday, October 10

Animal Feeding at the Nature Center Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) It’s dinner time at Hidden Pond Nature Center and worms and insects are on the menu. Help our naturalist care for and feed the nature center’s animals from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. For more, call 703-451-9588.

LakeLanders-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-7 yrs.) Explore the natural world in this fun, hands-on program series at Lake Accotink Park for the young nature enthusiast. Each week features different subjects and activities. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $7 per session. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Wednesday, October 11

Pohick Puddle Jumpers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-6 yrs.) The youngest nature lovers can be part of this season’s natural world exploration with hands-on and up-close indoor and outdoor activities at Hidden Pond Nature Center. This series of programs includes exploration of the Pohick Stream Valley or areas surrounding the pond. Topics vary each week. Sessions meet from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost of each program is $7 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Nature Tots: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(1-3 yrs.) Bring your toddler to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park to explore nature through sight, sound, smell and touch. The 45-minute programs include indoor and outdoor activities and begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m. An adult must be able to participate with children. In October, the topic is fall colors. The cost is $6 per child. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Astronomical Seminar and Telescope Viewing Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(9-Adult) The roll-top observatory at Turner Farm holds a classroom seminar and nighttime observing session focused on a specific astronomical topic each month. Topics include planets, open clusters, double stars, stellar color spectrum, globular clusters and galaxies. Telescopes are used to view the objects discussed in class(weather dependent). This program from 7:30 to 9 p.m. costs $15 per person. Check the Analemma Society’s site for at http://www.analemma.org. For more information, call 703-324-8618.

Thursday, October 12

Jr. Farmer Family Fun: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Junior Farmers and their families will get to play an active role in taking care of Frying Pan Farm Park. Join us as we explore topics such as caring for our farm animals, tinkering with farm machinery and learning the importance of our crops and gardens. Enjoy a new topic from 4 to 5 p.m. each week as we go behind the scenes to help farmers with their work. Topics are: 10/5-Sheep and Wool; 10/12-Apples; 10/19-Harvest Time; and 10/26-Halloween. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-437-9101.

Homeschool at the Lake Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This program for school children at Lake Accotink Park focuses on the natural and historical world. Different topics and hands-on activities are covered at each session. The program runs from 1 to 2 p.m., and the cost is $7 per person. The topics are: 10/5-Mammals; 10/12-Geology; and 10/19-American Indians. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Friday, October 13

Fall Carnival Fun Comes to the Farm Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Friday through Sunday, October 13-15 (All ages) Come to the Fall Carnival at Frying Pan Farm Park for a day of food and fun and enjoy free parking and admission! Tasty fair food and beverages will be for sale. Games and rides will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $1 each, or 24 for $20. Carnival rides take three to five tickets.

Garden Talk: Composting Fall Leaves Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Instead of dragging your garden and yard waste out to the curb week after week, make those leaves work for you by turning them into rich, black-gold compost for the garden. Master Gardeners at Green Spring Gardens show you how to set up your composting station and what it takes to get it cooking. The program from 2 to 3 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

People of the Pohick Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Come to Hidden Pond Nature Center and learn about the people who have lived in the Pohick Stream Valley. Discover skills they needed to survive and the challenges they encountered in nature during their time. The program from 5 to 6 p.m. costs $7 per person. The sessions this fall will cover different groups of Pohick residents. For more info, call 703-451-9588.

Curious Stories of Sully Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Enjoy stories of the families who made Sully their home. Hear about Alexander Haight's wild ride, drill with a soldier, roast marshmallows, make s'mores and enjoy a wagon ride through the historic grounds. The program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. costs $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-437-1794.

The Frightful Science of Mary Shelly Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Join us for a chilling celebration of Halloween for adults at Historic Huntley. Dean Howarth, the “Natural Philosopher,” will demonstrate for you Frankenstein’s animation of the dead. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $25 per person. Call 703-768-2525 for information.

Creeping Creatures of the Creek Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(8-Adult) Explore Big Rocky Run Stream from 7:30 to 8:30 at night. Hunt for the nocturnal spider and its bright eyes and other nighttime creek denizens. Bring flashlights; wear old shoes that can get wet. Sandals and flip-flops are not appropriate. The cost is $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Meet at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s Cabell’s Mill. For more, call 703-631-0013.

Bats Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-Adult) Walk the meadows and forest edges at Lake Fairfax Park to see bats and learn about them and their habits. Use a bat detector to hear echolocation. The program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-471-5414.

Saturday, October 14

Fall Carnival Fun Comes to the Farm Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Friday through Sunday, October 13-15 (All ages) Come to the Fall Carnival at Frying Pan Farm Park for a day of food and fun and enjoy free parking and admission! Tasty fair food and beverages will be for sale. Games and rides will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $1 each, or 24 for $20. Carnival rides take three to five tickets.

Farm Harvest Days
(All ages) Fall is a busy time on the farm. Come to Frying Pan Farm Park and watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet the farm animals and see traditional farm demonstrations during Farm Harvest Days. For more family fun, take a wagon ride around the park, ride the carousel and visit the Fall Carnival. Harvest Day events run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, but there is a charge for rides. No reservations are necessary. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. Call 703-437-9101 for information.

Women of Walney Walking Tour Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) From the 1740s to the 1970s, women defined the cultural history of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. In this walking tour of the park, learn about the women who lived here and how their lives and work helped shape our land. The tour runs from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday and 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The cost is $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Preschool Pumpkins in the Park Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Come to Lake Fairfax Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for preschool pumpkin festival fun. Activities include pumpkin painting, face painting and a puppet show. A small pumpkin is included in the cost of $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Family Fun: Bird Walk Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-Adult) Bring the family to Green Spring Gardens from 9:30 to 11 a.m. for a guided bird walk through the gardens where birds are preparing for winter. Bring field glasses, if you have them, and we’ll provide a bird search sheet. Warm up with hot cider and talk more with our guide about the birds we see and hear. The cost is $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Chinese Kitchen Garden: Family Recipes Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) At Green Spring Gardens, gardener, home cook and author Wendy Kiang-Spray will show you how to prepare many different Asian vegetables and explain how to use them traditionally and in your own recipes. The program from 1 to 2 p.m. costs $18 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

The Wide World of Oolong Teas
(16-Adult) This seminar at Colvin Run Mill focuses exclusively on oolong teas, considered to be the most complex of all tea styles. From the newer, lightly oxidized styles to the traditional darker styles, we taste a variety of oolongs and sample tea-infused treats. A take-home tea sampler is included. The program from 1 to 3 p.m. will be presented by Certified Tea Specialist Chef Laurie Bell of Great Falls Tea Garden. Reservations are required by October 11. The cost is $35 per person. For more information, call 703-759-2771.

Holding the Past in the Present Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(8-14 yrs.) Hold history in your hands at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Discover how to dig like an archaeologist and how historians reconstructed the park’s history. Examine artifacts and figure out how they were used. The program from 1 to 2 p.m. costs $8 per person. Call 703-631-0013.

Garden Tour: Our Woods and Ponds Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Take the garden path less traveled on a docent-led tour of Green Spring Gardens’ woodland stream valley and ponds. Hear about native plants, streambank restoration, magnolia bogs, and the story of our c.1830 Spring House and the mysterious ruin that stands nearby. Refreshments will be served at the Historic House. The program from 10 to 11:30 a.m. costs $12 per person. For more information, call 703-941-7987.

Park Paws Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(16-Adult) Calling all dogs! Bring your owners to learn park etiquette while exploring Hidden Pond Nature Center’s back trails. Must play well with others and be accompanied by an adult. The one-hour program begins at 10 a.m., and the cost is $5 per person. For more, call 703-451-9588.

Lichens Hike & Sketch Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(10-Adult) What happens when a fungus and an algae take a lichen to each other? Learn about this hybrid organism and identify those greenish patches seen on trees and rocks. Join us at Huntley Meadows Park as we learn to draw the textures defining lichen colonies. The hike and sketch program from 10 a.m. to noon costs $8 per person. For more, call 703-768-2525.

Drawing Workshop: Insect Illustration Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(15-Adult) Come to Green Spring Gardens and use your basic drawing skills to accurately render insect anatomy for a beautiful finished illustra­tion. Artist and instructor Caroline Hottenstein shows you how to use pen and ink, watercolor, graphite and colored pencils to capture and highlight details. Previous drawing experience encouraged. Supply list will be emailed before class. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the cost is $67 per person. Please bring a bag lunch. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Wagon Ride-Birds, Butterflies & Blossoms Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Take a wagon ride scavenger hunt through the meadow at Riverbend Park. Search for birds and butterflies and meet a friendly animal up close. This program from 3 to 4 p.m. costs $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-759-9018.

Boardwalk Astronomy Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(12-Adult) What’s new in the night sky? Join naturalists at Huntley Meadows Park as they take you on a tour of constellations, comets and other current events happening in the heavens above. The program from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. will be canceled in the event of rain or other severe weather. The cost is $8 per person. Call 703-768-2525.

Astronomy Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Enjoy a campfire and learn what ancient cultures saw in the stars. Make s’mores over the embers after hearing tales of the constellations at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 7 to 8 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Who-oo’s at the Campfire? Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Gather ‘round the campfire at Riverbend Park to hear stories from different cultures of how owls came to be. Toast marshmallows. Learn how to recognize different owl calls. The program from 6 to 7 p.m. costs $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Wings in the Park Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Discover winged creatures in Burke Lake Park. Identify habitat, life cycles, sights and sounds. This program from 8 to 10 p.m. concludes with a campfire. S’mores ingredients are provided. You are welcome to bring your own hot dogs. The cost is $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-323-6600.

Showy Fall Natives and Companions Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adult) Fall gardens are vibrant with changing leaf colors and fall flowers. Take a walk with horticulturist Brenda Skarphol to learn about some of the best fall natives, perennials, shrubs and trees at Green Spring Gardens. Discover fall plants that are best suited for your own home garden situation, sun or shade. The program runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and the cost is $18 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Sunday, October 15

Fall Carnival Fun Comes to the Farm Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Friday through Sunday, October 13-15 (All ages) Come to the Fall Carnival at Frying Pan Farm Park for a day of food and fun and enjoy free parking and admission! Tasty fair food and beverages will be for sale. Games and rides will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $1 each, or 24 for $20. Carnival rides take three to five tickets.

Enjoy an Unlimited Carnival Ride Pass - valid ONLY Sunday, October 15 from noon to 4 p.m. Buy in advance to save! Passes purchased through 4 p.m. on 10/7 are just $16 per person. Passes purchased from 10/8 through 4 p.m. on 10/13 are $18 per person. Passes are $25 per person if purchased after 10/13. Pick up your tickets across from the carnival entrance under the tent on the day of the carnival and redeem them at the carnival ticket booth for your ride wristband. No refunds. Purchase online through Parktakes at Unlimited Carnival Rides, or contact Frying Pan Farm Park. For more information about the carnival or tickets, call 703-437-9101.

Farm Harvest Days
(All ages) Fall is a busy time on the farm. Come to Frying Pan Farm Park and watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet the farm animals and see traditional farm demonstrations during Farm Harvest Days. For more family fun, take a wagon ride around the park, ride the carousel and visit the Fall Carnival. Harvest Day events run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, but there is a charge for rides. No reservations are necessary. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. Call 703-437-9101 for information.

Grinding Demonstrations
(All ages) See and hear 19th century technology at work at Colvin Run Mill. The miller will be grinding, conditions permitting, from noon to 3 p.m. Please call the site to confirm. The tour cost is: $7 for adults; $6 for students 16 and older with ID; and $5 for children and seniors. No reservations are required. For more, call 703-759-2771.

Brush Up Your British
(Adults) In this tea at Green Spring Gardens, explore the spectrum of linguistic and cultural differences between Britain and America. Compare customs and manners in these two nations “divided by a common language,” and discover why so many words and expressions can mean something quite different on each side of the Atlantic. The cost of the traditional English tea and program in the Historic House is $32; $12 for the program only. Reservations are required for this event from 1 to 3 p.m. Call 703-941-7987.

Invite a Flying Squirrel to Your Yard Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Come to Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. to learn proven strategies to draw flying squirrels to your backyard and learn how to recognize their presence. Receive plans for making a roosting and nesting box. The program cost is $5 per person. Flying squirrel roosting box kits are available for $30 each; stay an additional 30 minutes to assemble. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Life in the Lake Shallows Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(8-Adult) Explore the lake shallows at Lake Fairfax Park to look for animals that call the littoral zone home. Snakes, fish, turtles and insects rely on the lake’s shallow areas to survive. We catch and release what we find from 10 to 11 a.m. Wear shoes that can get muddy and wet. The cost is $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-471-5414.

Batty Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Use a bat detector to hear bats communicate and locate food. Enjoy a night hike to learn about native bats and their habitats. Settle by the campfire and savor s’mores. This campfire program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. costs $8 per person and meets at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s Cabell’s Mill. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Monday, October 16

Nature Quest-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-7 yrs.) Come to Hidden Pond Nature Center and become part of the long-running naturalist program designed for the preschool-age explorer. From field to stream and everything in between, children learn about our local animal species, hands-on and in the field. Topics vary each week. Sessions meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The cost of each program is $7 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Taux Trail for Homeschool Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) Students at Huntley Meadows spend two hours immersed in the life of Virginia Indians 400 years ago. Grind corn, make a clay pot, master corn darts and take part in other activities from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $12 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Garden Buds Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-3 yrs.) Meet in Green Spring Gardens’ Children’s Discovery Garden one Monday a month! Your child will enjoy different sensory materials out in the garden, rain or shine. Dress for the weather and explore at your leisure. The program runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the cost is $5 per child. For more, call 703-642-5173.

Nature Drawing Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Join local naturalist and artist Margaret Wohler on a walk to learn about the plants and animals that live in Huntley Meadows Park, and then draw things that you discover on the way. The class focus is on basic drawing skills, color theory, perspective, shading, gesture, contour, and realistic rendering. The program runs from 4 to 5 p.m. for four weeks, and the cost of the series is $41 per person. Any supply fee is payable to the instructor at the first class. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Little Hands on the Farm: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Come to Frying Pan Farm Park to learn about a different element of farm life each week. Children interact with farm animals, receive a story and create a craft. Sessions for children ages two and three meet from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. Children age three to five meet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $8 per child per session. Pre-paid reservations are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. Topics will be: 10/2-Rainbows; 10/16-Terrific Turtles; 10/23-Nature Shapes and Patterns; and 10/30-Spooky Animals. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

History for Small Fries Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(1-5 yrs.) Bring your child for a story and craft at Sully Historic Site to discover how things were in the olden days. Through their senses, children can experience how different things smelled, looked or worked. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. on Mondays and 11 a.m. to noon on Sundays costs $5 per child. For more information, call 703-437-1794.

Tuesday, October 17

LakeLanders-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-7 yrs.) Explore the natural world in this fun, hands-on program series at Lake Accotink Park for the young nature enthusiast. Each week features different subjects and activities. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $7 per session. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Homeschool at the Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This periodic program is based on the popular Pohick Rangers series and is geared toward meeting some of the homeschool science requirements. Topics vary at each session. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $10 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Wednesday, October 18

Kids Korner-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-5 yrs.) Preschool children explore nature or history once a month, accompanied by an adult, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and craft are included in the program from 10 to 11 a.m., and the topic in October is squirrels. The cost is $6 per child. For more, call 703-631-0013.

Snake Feeding Program Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-Adult) Join us at the nature center for a behind-the-scenes look at the Hidden Pond snakes. Visitors observe the unique methods snakes use to feed while learning about our local serpents and their importance to our ecosystem. Please consider that this program from 5:15 to 6 p.m. is not for everyone and may be graphic. The cost is $5 per person. For more, call 703-451-9588.

Intro to Telescopes Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(9-Adult) This class at Observatory Park at Turner Farm covers astronomy basics and how to set up and use your telescope. The course content depends on telescope type and includes observing selected objects in the sky using the roll-top observatory, weather permitting. You can bring your own telescope. The program from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. costs $8 per person. For more information, call 703-324-8618.

Thursday, October 19

Jr. Farmer Family Fun: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Junior Farmers and their families will get to play an active role in taking care of Frying Pan Farm Park. Join us as we explore topics such as caring for our farm animals, tinkering with farm machinery and learning the importance of our crops and gardens. Enjoy a new topic from 4 to 5 p.m. each week as we go behind the scenes to help farmers with their work. Topics are: 10/5-Sheep and Wool; 10/12-Apples; 10/19-Harvest Time; and 10/26-Halloween. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-437-9101.

Homeschool at the Lake Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This program for school children at Lake Accotink Park focuses on the natural and historical world. Different topics and hands-on activities are covered at each session. The program runs from 1 to 2 p.m., and the cost is $7 per person. The topics are: 10/5-Mammals; 10/12-Geology; and 10/19-American Indians. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Garden Tour and Tea
(Adults) Tour the glorious demonstration gardens with a Master Gardener docent at Green Spring Gardens. Hear stories of Green Spring past and present and discover a wealth of ideas for your fall home landscape. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea at the Historic House. The program from 1 to 3 p.m. costs $32 per person, and reservations are required. For more information, call 703-941-7987.

Homeschool Naturalist Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) Bring your home-school student or group to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park for hands-on learning designed to enrich your understanding of Fairfax County’s natural environment. Take a hike with a naturalist, learn about plants that were used for dye, play environmentally fun games, and make a nature craft to take home and enhance the habitat in your own yard. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $12 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Meteor Astronomy Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(9-Adult) This class at Observatory Park at Turner Farm covers basic meteor astronomy, including what meteors are, their origins, best time to view, fireball reporting, visual and video observing techniques, movie clips from past meteor storms, how one estimates trajectory and orbits and other instrumental techniques used by amateur meteor observers. An optional outdoor visual observing session will be held after class, weather permitting. Bring a lawn chair and warm cover/sleeping bag. The one-hour program begins at 7:30 p.m., and the cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-324-8618.

Friday, October 20

Rockhounders – Fall Series Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) The popular Hidden Pond Nature Center summer camp is now a fall series. This hands-on approach to geology includes rock/mineral classification, plate tectonics, fossils and collecting. Topics vary each week. The program meets from 5 to 6 p.m. and the cost is $7 per child for each session. For more, call 703-451-9588.

Bats in the Cropfields Night Hike Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-Adult) As you get ready for bed, bats are getting ready to work. Come discover how these accommodating animals help out at Frying Pan Farm Park, and then try navigating the farm in an echolocation activity. Finish with a brief hike to explore the bats’ natural habitat. This program from 6 to 7 p.m. costs $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Please dress for the weather and a short hike. Call 703-437-9101.

Twilight Hilltop Tour Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Historic Huntley sits high upon a hill overlooking Hybla Valley and Huntley Meadows Park. It’s a dramatic setting made all the more stunning by the setting sun. Join us after hours from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a special tour and see the house in a different light. Light refreshments will be served afterward. The cost is $5 per person. Please dress appropriately for the weather. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Animal Pajama Party Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-7 yrs.) Put on your pajamas and come to Hidden Oaks Nature Center to hear bedtime stories, meet animals and wish goodnight to the center’s live animals. Bring your favorite stuffed animal with you. The 45-minute program begins at 7 p.m. and costs $6 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Lakeside Campfire Fridays: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Join us for a campfire, s’mores and more at Lake Accotink Park in October, November and December. A different topic and a different area of the park will be explored each time. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $8 per person. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Saturday, October 21

Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(All Ages) Show off your pet’s unique personality and compete for special prizes and treats at Lake Accotink Park from 3 to 4 p.m. All dogs must be leashed and friendly toward other dogs, children and people of all ages. Gather at Lake Accotink Park’s large pavilion to witness the best in canine creativity. The cost is $5. One registration per handler/dog. Human must register. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Master Class Program: Planning Spring Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Get the jump on spring by exploring early-blooming spring plants that add impact when the rest of your garden lies dormant. In this extended Master Class at Green Spring Gardens, famed plantsman and author David Culp boosts your plant knowledge so you can make your garden colorful and exciting well before spring officially arrives. This class from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. is recommended for experienced gardeners and adventurous beginners. The cost is $28. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Pumpkin Patch at Nature Playce Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-5 yrs.) Preschoolers hunt for their favorite miniature pumpkin in Nature Playce to decorate inside at Hidden Oaks Nature Center and take home. Enjoy seasonal stories and a craft. The 45-minute programs begin at 1:30 and 2:45 p.m. The cost is $6 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Chocolate and Tea Tasting Party Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) During this tasting event at Green Spring Gardens’ Historic House, sample a sumptuous selection of fine chocolates accompanied by carefully-chosen specialty teas. Learn about the attributes of each and discover how to pair them to create heavenly new flavors. The program from 10 to 11:30 a.m. costs $25 per person. English tea not included. For more, call 703-941-7987.

Predators of the Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Discover and learn about the pond predators lurking in the Pohick Stream Valley at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Find out what they prefer to eat, where they live and how humans have an impact on their environment. The program from 11 a.m. to noon costs $7 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Night Owl Hike and Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) At day’s end, take a hike to look and listen for wildlife in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. While sitting around the campfire, visit with our resident barred owl and enjoy s’mores. Bring a blanket to sit on and a flashlight. The campfire program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $10 per person. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. Call 703-631-0013.

All About Bats Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Look for bats at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as we head to our campfire to learn fun bat facts and lore and enjoy an American Indian story about how bats got their wings. Toast marshmallows. This program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $7 per person and will be canceled if there’s bad weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-941-1065.

Evening Stroll Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) A naturalist at Huntley Meadows takes you on a relaxing stroll through the park at dusk to tour the woods and wetlands to watch and listen for beavers, owls and other nocturnal residents. The walk from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. costs $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-768-2525.

Astronomy Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Enjoy a campfire at Riverbend Park from 6 to 7 p.m. and learn what ancient cultures saw in the stars. Make s’mores over the embers after hearing tales of the constellations. The cost is $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more campfire information, call 703-759-9018.

Lakeside Campfire Saturdays Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Join us for an evening campfire at Royal Lake Park to explore the woodlands and lakefront spots where wildlife hides and resides. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. is guided by a naturalist and ends with a cozy campfire. S’mores are provided. For more information about the campfire, call 703-324-8702.

Campfire Saturdays: Stargazing Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Join us at Burke Lake Park and enjoy a stroll along the lakeshore as we learn about the constellations, their stories and other night-sky features. Our astronomical naturalist identifies the stars for you and will have some telescopes on hand for you to use. The program from 8 to 9 p.m. concludes with a campfire. S’mores ingredients are provided; hot dogs are welcome. The cost is $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more information, call 703-323-6600.

Sunday, October 22

Nature on the Lake: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(16-Adult) Join us Sunday afternoons at Royal Lake Park to explore nature by boat. The two-hour lake journeys begin at 1 p.m. on October 8 and October 22. The cost is $30 per person. For more information, call 703-324-8702.

Women of Walney Walking Tour Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) From the 1740s to the 1970s, women defined the cultural history of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. In this walking tour of the park, learn about the women who lived here and how their lives and work helped shape our land. The tour runs from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday and 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The cost is $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Birding for Beginners Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(12-Adult) Interested in birding? We can get you started at Huntley Meadows Park! Learn about the park’s birds and pick up some basic identification skills. The program from 8 to 11 a.m. begins with an indoor discussion. The cost is $10 per person. Children age 12 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Spooky Animals Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Owls and bats and spiders, oh my! Learn about nature’s weird and misunderstood creatures through a parachute game, trail walk and live animals at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, The program runs from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., and the cost is $6 per child. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Huntley Meadow-Ween Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-15 yrs.) Trick-or-treat in the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park and celebrate the season with Halloween-themed activities, crafts and pumpkin painting from 1 to 3 p.m. The cost is $10 per child. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Afternoon Innovators Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-12 yrs.) Did you know that James Machen, the owner and farmer of the modern-day Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, held patents for farming technology? In this afterschool program, learn how the Machens used technology to make their lives easier. Hear from a historian, look at historical documents and try to make prototypes to solve today’s challenges using technology. The program from 3:30 to 5 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Monday, October 23

Little Hands on the Farm: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Come to Frying Pan Farm Park to learn about a different element of farm life each week. Children interact with farm animals, receive a story and create a craft. Sessions for children ages two and three meet from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. Children age three to five meet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $8 per child per session. Pre-paid reservations are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. Topics will be: 10/2-Rainbows; 10/16-Terrific Turtles; 10/23-Nature Shapes and Patterns; and 10/30-Spooky Animals. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Tuesday, October 24

LakeLanders-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-7 yrs.) Explore the natural world in this fun, hands-on program series at Lake Accotink Park for the young nature enthusiast. Each week features different subjects and activities. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $7 per session. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Wednesday, October 25

Exploring the Moon Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(9-Adult) The moon is as old as the earth, and its surface is marked by craters and lava flows billions of years old. Explore these lunar features through a high-powered telescope at Observatory Park at Turner Farm and learn about their origins. See where the Apollo lunar landings occurred, and discuss what the astronauts found. The session meets from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., rain or shine, with alternate viewing sessions available for cloudy days. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-324-8618.

Pohick Puddle Jumpers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-6 yrs.) The youngest nature lovers can be part of this season’s natural world exploration with hands-on and up-close indoor and outdoor activities at Hidden Pond Nature Center. This series of programs includes exploration of the Pohick Stream Valley or areas surrounding the pond. Topics vary each week. Sessions meet from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost of each program is $7 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, October 26

Jr. Farmer Family Fun: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Junior Farmers and their families will get to play an active role in taking care of Frying Pan Farm Park. Join us as we explore topics such as caring for our farm animals, tinkering with farm machinery and learning the importance of our crops and gardens. Enjoy a new topic from 4 to 5 p.m. each week as we go behind the scenes to help farmers with their work. Topics are: 10/5-Sheep and Wool; 10/12-Apples; 10/19-Harvest Time; and 10/26-Halloween. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-437-9101.

Homeschool at the Lake Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(13-17 yrs.) This program at Lake Accotink Park in October and November focuses on the natural and historical world. A different topic and hands-on activities are covered at each session from 1 to 2 p.m. The topic in October is Forestry 101. The cost is $7 per session. Call 703-569-3464.

Astronomy for Family Fun Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Come to Observatory Park at Turner Farm and enjoy hands-on activities. Look through our telescopes to explore the universe. Learn about mind-boggling phenomena and celestial happenings. The monthly program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $10 per person, and there’s a different topic at each session. The topic in October is black holes. For more, call 703-324-8618.

Friday, October 27

Garden Talk: Get Ready for Winter Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Enjoy the break from the summer heat and head back into the garden for some end-of-season maintenance. Master Gardeners at Green Spring Gardens teach you how to prepare your plants for the cold weather ahead and what needs to be done before winter arrives. The program from 2 to 3 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

BOO-stravaganza Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-8 yrs.) Celebrate the Halloween season with this variety event at Frying Pan Farm Park. Ghouls, princesses, and superheroes come to the indoor arena to start the extravaganza. Attendees enjoy a variety of themed games, dare to enter the slightly-spooky BOO barn, and take a wagon ride through the woods at night. Finish the evening with a small treat bag for the road. One-hour sessions begin at 6 and 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Reservations are required. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Pumpkins by the Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Families are invited to bring a small pumpkin to decorate and to play games at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Roast marshmallows at the campfire, enjoy cookies and juice, and make crafts as we share stories about pumpkins that aren’t scary. The program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Creepy Crawly Hayride Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Enjoy a night hayride along the creepy Cross County Trail at Lake Accotink Park looking for all things that come out after dark. After the hayride, warm up by a campfire, enjoy s’mores and hear stories of some of our animal kingdom’s most creepy residents. The program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. costs $8 per person. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Saturday, October 28

Ice Cream at Historic Huntley Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Make and enjoy hand-cranked ice cream as Huntley’s Harris family may have done. Discover how the histories of ice cream and Huntley follow a similar path from elite luxury to family fare. A tour of the ice well and Historic Huntley House are included in the program from 1 to 2 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Floral Workshop: Wickedly Wonderful Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adult) Create a festive Halloween floral design with gourds and seasonal flowers at beautiful Green Spring Gardens. With the help of professional floral designer Betty Ann Galway, you learn tips and tricks of the trade to apply to your floral arrangements at home. The program runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The program costs $38, and the supply fee is $25. Please register for both the program and supply fee. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Two Season Garden Container Workshop Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Come to Green Spring Gardens and create an outdoor container layered with early to mid-spring flower bulbs and winter interest plants to add beauty to your garden from winter into spring. From 2 to 3:30 p.m., horticulturalist Susan Eggerton leads you through the layering and planting process for this two-season container and explains care and maintenance. Please register for the $38 program and $30 supply fee. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Halloween at the Mill Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Dress up in your Halloween costume, and get ready for some not-so-spooky fun at Colvin Run Mill. Create Halloween crafts, enjoy hands-on activities, see a grain-grinding demonstration, and trick-or-treat around the site. This is an on-going event. Drop by any time between noon and 3 p.m. to enjoy the activities. Register online for $3 per person and save on admission. The cost is $5 at the gate. For more information, call 703-759-2771.

Historic All Hallows Eve Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-Adult) In the 18th and 19th centuries, Virginians celebrated All Hallows Eve with storytelling, fortune telling, fall foods and family gatherings. Experience these traditions as you tour the house and grounds at Sully Historic Site by lantern light. The program from 4 to 7 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-437-1794.

Hands-On Harvest Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Want to learn more about the Ellanor C. Lawrence Park gardens? Join us for a garden tour through time and a chance to help staff and volunteers harvest our gardens. Dig for fall crops such as greens, broccoli, and squash. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Spine Tingling Skulls & Bones Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-Adult) What stories can skulls, teeth and bones tell us about the life of an animal? Can you identify an animal just by looking at its skeleton? Come to Huntley Meadows Park and become a bone detective. Use a magnifying glass to examine and touch real animal skulls and bones, and put an animal skeleton together. Make a skeleton craft to take home for your Halloween decorations. The program from noon to 1:30 p.m. costs $7 per person. For more information about the program, call 703-768-2525.

Halloween Wagon Ride Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Take a wagon ride on the not-so-scary side at Riverbend Park. Find out about animals that are out at night, listen for bats and meet one of the park’s not-so-scary animals. Bring a flashlight. The one-hour program runs at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

House of Reptiles and Night Ride Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Bring your family, friends and flashlight to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park to learn about the amazing reptiles that call our parks home. Test and overcome your fear of reptiles to see these wonderful creatures up close. Calm your nerves by roasting s’mores at a campfire while listening to stories, and then join us for a refreshing wagon ride through a moon-lit meadow. The three-hour program begins at 5 p.m. and the cost is $10 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Fear-less Fest Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Join a naturalist at Hidden Oaks Nature Center for a learning adventure night hike. Meet costumed characters, including a black widow spider, skunk, owl, raccoon and a dead tree who each explain why they have undeserved scary reputations. Investigate real animals and their skeletons. See owl pellets and make crafts. This event is great for scout groups. Come in costume. Register for the 90-minute program at 7 or 7:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Groups are guided in sets of approximately 15 people. Scout groups are led separately. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Haunted Pond Jr. and Haunted Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-12 yrs.) This nocturnal wildlife and local lore program at Hidden Pond features a craft, live animals, a twilight walk into the forest, a campfire with spell-binding stories and s’mores, and more. Scary stories will be told in the last 30 minutes for the older age group. The Haunted Pond Jr. session will have only mild stories. The sessions for 3-6 year-olds are from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 6 to 7:30 p.m., and the session for 6-12 year-olds is from 8 to 9:30 p.m. The cost is $10 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Riverside Campfire - Batty about Bats Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Bats! Learn more about these fascinating and mysterious night-flying marvels at Riverbend Park. Find out why they are disappearing from our skies through games and activities. Bring a toasting stick; s’mores are provided. The one-hour program begins at 6 p.m. and costs $8 per person. Come early if you’d like to bring a picnic or hot dogs to toast. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. This event will be canceled if it rains. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Trick or Treat at our Campground
(2-Adult) Enjoy a safe place to trick or treat in our decorated campground at Lake Fairfax Park, and then enjoy a warm fire with s’mores and stories. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $8 per person. Fee collected on site. No pre-registration required. For more information, call 703-471-5414.

Halloween Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Enjoy a ghoulish ghost haunt, ghost stories and s’mores by the campfire at Burke Lake Park and Lake Fairfax Park. S’mores ingredients will be provided. The two-hour program begins at Burke Lake at 6 p.m. and at Lake Fairfax at 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information about the program at Burke Lake Park, call 703-323-6600. For more information about the program at Lake Fairfax Park, call 703-471-5414.

Family Owl Outing Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Come to Huntley Meadows Park and discover the secret world of owls. Learn what makes them excellent night predators and hike a trail to try to spot one of Huntley’s resident owls. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-768-2525.

Sunday, October 29

History for Small Fries Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(1-5 yrs.) Bring your child for a story and craft at Sully Historic Site to discover how things were in the olden days. Through their senses, children can experience how different things smelled, looked or worked. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. on Mondays and 11 a.m. to noon on Sundays costs $5 per child. For more information, call 703-437-1794.

Build Your Own Bee House Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Have fun at Riverbend Park learning about local pollinators and using invasive plants to build homes for native pollinators. The bees this house attracts are mason bees, pollinators and solitary bees that rarely sting. The program from 1 p.m. to noon costs $8 per person. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Art Show Reception
(All ages) Meet the artists behind the currents exhibits at Green Spring Gardens. See “Nature from Three Points of View” -- the work of Jan Burns, Madeleine Chen, and Shari MacFarlane -- at the Horticulture Center. At the Historic House, see "The Birds, the Bees, the Flowers, the Trees and Other Things!" -- works in watercolor by Caroline and Erik Hottenstein. From 1 to 3 p.m., meet the artists at a reception in each site, and enjoy light refreshments. This event is free. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Live Owl and Hawk Fest Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Meet birds of prey at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as presented by wildlife rehabilitator and artist Lois Auer. Explore how these birds’ adaptations enable them to be agile hunters. Find out which species live in Fairfax County and what is inside an owl pellet. The program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. costs $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Animals of Myth and Legend Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Owls, bats, toads and more conjure up spooky images. Separate fact from fiction at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as a naturalist shares stories and tales about misconceptions of local wildlife. Meet a toad and toast marshmallows. The program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. costs $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Monday, October 30

Little Hands on the Farm: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Come to Frying Pan Farm Park to learn about a different element of farm life each week. Children interact with farm animals, receive a story and create a craft. Sessions for children ages two and three meet from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. Children age three to five meet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $8 per child per session. Pre-paid reservations are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. Topics will be: 10/2-Rainbows; 10/16-Terrific Turtles; 10/23-Nature Shapes and Patterns; and 10/30-Spooky Animals. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Nature Quest-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-7 yrs.) Come to Hidden Pond Nature Center and become part of the long-running naturalist program designed for the preschool-age explorer. From field to stream and everything in between, children learn about our local animal species, hands-on and in the field. Topics vary each week. Sessions meet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The cost of each program is $7 per child. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, October 31

Friday, September 1

Turtle Pool Party Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Turtles like to soak and take in the sun. Stop by the visitor center deck at Riverbend Park from 4 to 5 p.m. to watch our turtles enjoy some outdoor time, and then go on a scavenger hunt and hike around the park. The program is free! For more information, call 703-759-9018.

American Indian Stories Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Enjoy a campfire at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as you hear traditional American Indian stories and toast marshmallows from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Saturday, September 2

Celebrate Honeybee Day
(All ages) Where would we be without the honeybee? Celebrate this wondrous insect with the Northern Virginia Beekeeping Association in a free program at Green Spring Gardens from 10 a.m. to noon. Meet a beekeeper, see inside a beehive, learn a bee dance, do a bee scavenger hunt, learn how bees are important to our food supply and get tips on how you can help honeybees. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Evening Stroll Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) A naturalist takes you on a relaxing stroll through Huntley Meadows Park at dusk to watch and listen for beavers, owls and other nocturnal residents. The stroll from 8 to 10 p.m. costs $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-768-2525.

Sunday, September 3

Grinding Demonstrations
See and hear 19th century technology at work at Colvin Run Mill. The miller will be grinding, conditions permitting, from noon to 3 p.m. Please call the site to confirm. The tour costs $7/adult, $6/ student 16+ with ID, and $5/child/senior. No reservations required. Call 703-759-2771.

Blacksmithing Demonstrations
Watch as the blacksmith fires up his forge at Colvin Run Mill and works with hammer and tongs to make iron tools and utensils. No reservations are required for this free demonstration from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 703-759-2771.

Monday, September 4

Tuesday, September 5

Animal Feeding at the Nature Center Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) It’s dinner time at Hidden Pond Nature Center and worms and insects are on the menu. Help our naturalist care for and feed the nature center’s animals from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Wednesday, September 6

Pohick Puddle Jumpers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-6 yrs.) The youngest nature lovers will enjoy hands-on and up-close indoor and outdoor activities at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Explore the Pohick Stream Valley or areas around the pond. Topics vary each week. Sessions run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and cost $7 per child. Call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, September 7

Friday, September 8

Turtle Pool Party Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Turtles like to soak and take in the sun. Stop by the visitor center deck at Riverbend Park from 4 to 5 p.m. to watch our turtles enjoy some outdoor time, and then go on a scavenger hunt and hike around the park. The program is free! For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Twilight Hilltop Tour Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Join us for a special after-hours tour of Historic Huntley from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and see the house in a different light. Huntley’s dramatic setting is made all the more stunning by the setting sun. Light refreshments will be served. The cost is $5 per person. Call 703-768-2525.

Riverside Campfire- Batty about Bats Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Learn about bats through games and activities at Riverbend Park. Bring a toasting stick for s’mores. The program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. costs $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-759-9018.

Nature for Tiny Tots Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(24-42 mos.) Children and their parent learn about plants, animals and habitats through songs, crafts and activities at Huntley Meadows Park. Topics vary in this monthly program. Sessions from 10 to 11 a.m. cost $10 per child. Call 703-768-2525.

Campfire Fridays: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Join us for a campfire, s’mores, animals and more each month this fall at Hidden Pond Nature Center. We cover a different topic and explore a different area of the park each night. The campfire program runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m., and the cost is $8 per person. Call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, September 9

Virginia Indian Festival Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) This popular Riverbend Park festival includes eight American Indian tribes from Virginia, including the Rappahannock dancers and drummers. Enjoy hands-on activities and live demonstrations including American Indian storytelling, shooting bow and arrows, throwing spears and making stone tools. You can also help build a dugout canoe and visit our marketplace of American Indian crafts, pottery and jewelry. Events begin at 10 a.m. A six-hour pass costs $7 per person in advance, $8 at the door. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Fall Garden Day -- Plant Sale and More
(All ages) Fall is a great time to plant, and Green Spring Gardens is hosting numerous local plant and garden craft vendors to satisfy your gardening needs. A silent auction, bake sale, live music, food and kids’ activity tent add to the festivities. Come and support one of Virginia’s most innovative public gardens. Activities run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about the sale or Green Spring Gardens, call 703-642-5173.

Delicious Dairy at Historic Huntley Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Churn delicious butter at Historic Huntley and taste fresh cheese you can make at home. From 11 a.m. to noon, discover how Huntley, once a summer home for the wealthy, became a dairy farm. A house tour is included in the program cost of $8 per person. Call 703-768-2525.

Feeding Day Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Join a naturalist and youth volunteers at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and help feed our site display animals. Make a birdfeeder to take home and use. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-631-0013.

Celebrate National Teddy Bear Day Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Bring your teddy bear to Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Sing songs, make a craft and learn about Virginia’s black bears. It’s family fun for your teddy’s special day! The program from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. costs $6 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Fall Wildflowers ID & Art Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(10-Adult) Turtlehead, jewelweed, seed box, cardinal flowers -- come see our beautiful fall wetland flowers at Huntley Meadows Park. Discover how they live and how to draw them from 10 a.m. to noon. Supplies are included in the cost of $8 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Sunday, September 10

Run of the Mill Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Visit historic Colvin Run Mill for a hands-on program that teaches you how we clean, mill and sift grains using antique equipment. Take home a souvenir sample bag of what is milled during class. The program from 1 to 3 p.m. costs $20 per person. For more, call 703-759-2771.

Monarch Tag and Tea Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Sip tea, meet and tag live monarch butterflies, and then release them at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The tea party will include sweets from the area of Mexico where the butterflies are flying. The program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. costs $15 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Build your own Bat House Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Help bats to thrive by building a bat house at Riverbend Park to hang in your yard. The program from 11 a.m. to noon costs $8 per person, and everyone must register. There is a $15 per bat house fee payable to the instructor on the day of the program. Call 703-759-9018.

Make Old-Fashioned Toys at Huntley Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Make simple toys to take home and play games like those enjoyed by the children who once lived at Historic Huntley. A special children’s house tour and scavenger hunt are included in the program from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Monday, September 11

Pohick Rangers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(8-12 yrs.) Be part of Hidden Pond’s longest-running program, Pohick Rangers. We discuss a wide range of topics, including wetland diversity, forest ecosystems, nocturnal wildlife, cultural history, insects and more. The program meets from 5 to 6:25 p.m. for eight weeks. The cost of the eight-part series is $108. Call 703-451-9588.

Pohick Rangers Junior Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-8 yrs.) This program is similar to Hidden Pond Nature Center’s long-running Pohick Rangers program, but it’s geared toward the younger set with more story- and craft-related activities. Sessions meet from 5 to 5:55 p.m. for eight weeks. The series cost is $90. Call 703-451-9588.

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and an adult share nature’s wonders at Hidden Oaks Nature Center through finger plays, stories and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Nature Quest-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-7 yrs.) From field to stream and everything in between, children learn about our local animal species, hands-on and in the field at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Sessions from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. cost $7 per child. Call 703-451-9588.

Garden Sprouts: Nature Playgroup Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-6 yrs.) Your preschooler enjoys nature-themed fun while you meet other parents one Monday a month at Green Spring Gardens. Through games, songs, activities and a garden walk, we explore different topics each month. In September, the topic is pollinators. The program from 10 to 11:30 a.m. costs $6 per child. Call 703-642-5173.

History for Small Fries Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(1-5 yrs.) Bring your child for a story and craft at Sully Historic Site to discover how things were in the olden days. Through their senses, children can experience how different things smelled, looked or worked. The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $5 per child. Call 703-437-1794.

Tuesday, September 12

Teen Ranger SeriesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
(12-16 yrs.) This series at Hidden Pond Nature Center provides hands-on experience in the activities required to maintain a nature center. Learn what it takes to care for the animals and natural areas and how to teach others. We also touch on administrative aspects of operating a nature center. The program meets from 4 to 5:25 p.m. for four weeks. The cost is $40 per person for the series. Call 703-451-9588.

Wednesday, September 13

Astronomical Seminar and Telescope Viewing Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(9-Adult) The roll-top observatory at Turner Farm holds a class and nighttime observing session on a specific astronomical topic each month. Telescopes are used to view the objects discussed in the classroom (weather dependent). The program from 7:30 to 9 p.m. costs $15 per person. Check the Analemma Society site for topics at http://www.analemma.org. Call 703-324-8618.

History Tots: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-3 yrs.) Bring your toddler to explore history through sight, sound, smell and touch at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. The 45-minute monthly program includes indoor and outdoor activities, and adults must be able to participate with children. Sessions begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. In September, the topic is apples. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

Snake Feeding Program Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-Adult) Join us at the nature center for a behind-the-scenes look at the Hidden Pond snakes. Visitors observe the unique methods snakes use to feed. Please consider that this program from 5:15 to 6 p.m. is not for everyone and may be graphic. The cost is $5 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, September 14

Adopt a Woodland Wiggler: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(8-12 yrs.) At Hidden Oaks Nature Center, naturalists will train participants in proper husbandry, care and feeding of a monarch caterpillar, slugs or snails, and mealworms. Each month, students receive a new animal to take home and report back the next month on their experience. The three-part series meets from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., and the fee is $24 per child. A $20 supply fee is payable at the first class. Call 703-941-1065.

Insect Safari Series Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Learn about insects and investigate their ecosystems at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Find out about their behavior, life cycle, diet and habitat from 5 to 6 p.m. for three weeks. The cost of the three-part series is $24. Call 703-451-9588.

Homeschool Day Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-12 yrs.) Bring your home school student or group to Sully Historic Site for hands-on fun learning designed to enrich understanding of Fairfax County circa 1800. The two-hour program begins at 10 a.m., and the cost is $10 per child and $5 for adult chaperones. Call 703-437-1794.

Getaway to Chanticleer Gardens, Wayne, PA Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is not to be missed with 35 acres of dynamic and creative garden displays — a beautiful blend of art and horticulture. Depart Green Spring Gardens at 7 a.m. and return at 7 p.m. The cost of $124 per person includes motor coach, entrance, guided tour and lunch. The cancelation deadline is Aug. 31. Call 703-642-5173.

Friday, September 15

Putting the Animals to Bed Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) When evening shadows spread over Kidwell Farm, it is time to put the animals to bed. Bring your flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour at Frying Pan Farm Park, and learn how our farm animals settle down for the night. This program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $8 per person. Dress for the weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-437-9101.

What’s Growing in the Garden? Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Join us in the Kidwell Garden at Frying Pan Farm Park to explore what’s growing! Topics vary each week: 9/15 -Sensational Seeds; 9/22-3 Sisters in the Garden; and 9/29-We Eat Plants! Each program meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and costs $7 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 703-437-9101.

Geology at Lake Accotink Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) Explore the world of geology as we experiment, test rocks and their hardness, and more in this hands-on class at Lake Accotink Park. Each session runs from 5 to 6 p.m. and costs $7 per person. Call 703-569-3464.

Accotink Creek Wagon Ride Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Explore Accotink Creek with a naturalist at Lake Accotink Park. Catch and release critters that live in the creek. This program runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday and from 6 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The cost of each session is $6 per person. Bring shoes that can get wet and an adventurous spirit. For more, call 703-569-3464.

Garden Talk: Featuring Twigs Bark and Berries Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Fall offers its own special charm. At Green Spring Gardens, Master Gardeners will show you how to create an intriguing landscape using evergreens with berries, seed heads, colorful and beautifully structured branches, bark and flowers. The program from 2 to 3 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more, call 703-642-5173.

Use Your Senses - Sensory Nature Walk Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Join a Huntley Meadows Park naturalist on a walk through the park using your senses. What can you hear if not distracted by sight? Can you smell a wetland? What can you see if you take time to look? Slow down and experience a nature walk from a different perspective. This program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $7 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Amphibians After Dark Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-Adult) Assist naturalists at Lake Fairfax Park with a calling amphibian survey. Learn how to identify frogs and toads by their calls as we explore pools and ponds from 8 to 9 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. For more information, call 703-471-5414.

Saturday, September 16

Club Championship
(12-Adult) Players compete in an 18-hole, individual stroke tournament at Burke Lake Golf Center starting from 8 to 10 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and there will be closest-to-the-pin contests. The $35 cost includes lunch. Fees are due at time of registration. Registration begins September 2. The rain date is September 23. For more, call 703-323-1641.

Watercolor Workshop: Design & Composition Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Learn about balance, contrast movement, rhythm, emphasis, pattern and unity. Artist Marni Maree walks you through these elements as you paint at Green Spring Gardens from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring a lunch. A supply list will be emailed. The cost is $90. Call 703-642-5173.

Putting the Animals to Bed Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) When evening shadows spread over Kidwell Farm, it is time to put the animals to bed. Bring your flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour at Frying Pan Farm Park, and learn how our farm animals settle down for the night. This program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $8 per person. Dress for the weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-437-9101.

Family Fun: Monarch Migration Obstacle Course Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-Adult) Learn about magnificent monarch butterflies and their migration at Green Spring Gardens from 1 to 3 p.m. Move through the obstacles in our Monarch Migration Course at your own pace, moving from egg to butterfly and beyond with games, songs and activities. The cost is $10 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Teas from Around the Globe
(16-Adult) Learn the ABC’s of tea styles as you taste white, green, oolong, black and dark teas at Colvin Run Mill. Discuss brewing and sample tea-infused treats. Take home a tea sampler. The program from 1 to 3 p.m. is presented by Certified Tea Specialist Chef Laurie Bell of Great Falls Tea Garden. The cost is $35, and reservations are required by September 13. Call 703-759-2771.

Lake Accotink History Talk-Walk Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(12-Adult) Join the Friends of Lake Accotink Park and local historians at the small shelter by the lake to learn about the origins and history of Lake Accotink Park. Hear stories about Native Americans, Ravensworth and a gun powder factory explosion, Camp Humphreys/Fort Belvoir, the Civilian Conservation Corps and more. Then join in a walk to historic sites in the park. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bottled water. The free program begins at 9:30 a.m. Call 703-569-3464.

SlugFest Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Don’t miss the only celebration of slugs on the east coast. Come to Hidden Pond Nature Center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. for slug racing, crafts, fortune telling, skin exfoliation and slime tossing. The cost is $8 per person. Call 703-451-9588.

Catch a Critter! Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Grab a net to study wetland creatures up close and personal at Huntley Meadows Park. Use magnifying lenses to study the critters’ unique characteristics. This rare opportunity to dip-net in the wetland is possible with guidance of park naturalists. The program from noon to 2 p.m. costs $10 per person. Call 703-768-2525.

Evening Walk Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Join naturalist P.J. Dunn and hike the trails of Huntley Meadows Park after dark looking for nocturnal animals. The program from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. costs $8. Call 703-768-2525.

Riverside Campfire - American Indians Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Play American Indian games and listen to stories ‘round the campfire at Riverbend Park. S’mores will be provided. The program from 6 to 7 p.m. costs $8 per person. Bring a toasting stick, blanket and flashlight. Call 703-759-9018.

Sunday, September 17

Grinding Demonstrations
See and hear 19th century technology at work at Colvin Run Mill. The miller will be grinding, conditions permitting, from noon to 3 p.m. Please call the site to confirm. The tour costs $7/adult, $6/ student 16+ with ID, and $5/child/senior. No reservations required. Call 703-759-2771.

Life in a Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Explore the pond at Hidden Oaks Nature Center - home to turtles, dragonflies, fish, frogs and lots of plants. Meet live pond animals, hear a story, create a pond craft and visit our two small ponds from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. The cost is $6 per child. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Ancient Plants Sketch Hike Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(13-Adult) Huntley Meadows Park is home to plants whose ancestors date back to dinosaur times. Learn about ferns, moss and their allies on a 1.5-mile hike (flat terrain) and keep a field sketch book provided by the Running Brooke Fund. This program from 1 to 3 p.m. costs $8 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Goldenrods and Asters – Fall Wildflowers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Stroll along the riverbank in search of fall wildflowers at Riverbend Park and learn some of the folklore associated with the flowers. Reservations are required for the 9 to 10 a.m. program. The cost is $8 per person. Call 703-759-9018.

Monday, September 18

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and an adult share nature’s wonders at Hidden Oaks Nature Center through finger plays, stories and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Nature for Tiny Tots Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(24-42 mos.) Children and their parent learn about plants and animals through songs, crafts, and activities at Huntley Meadows Park. This eight-week series meets from 10 to 10:55 a.m., and the cost is $90. A supply fee of $5 is due to instructor at first class. For more, call 703-768-2525.

Science for Homeschoolers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-9 yrs.) Students will explore Huntley Meadows Park and learn about change patterns, plant characteristics, animal life needs and observation. This eight-week series meets from 2 to 4 p.m., and the cost is $121. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Little Hands on the Farm: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Interact with farm animals, receive a story and create a craft at Frying Pan Farm Park. Children ages two and three meet from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m.; ages three to five meet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $8 per child. Reservations required. Adult must attend. Call 703-437-9101.

Garden Buds Playgroup Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-3 yrs.) Meet in the Children’s Discovery Garden at Green Spring Gardens one Monday a month. Your child enjoys different sensory materials out in the garden, rain or shine. Dress for the weather . The program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $5 per child. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Tuesday, September 19

Homeschool at the Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This program at Hidden Pond Nature Center is geared toward meeting some of the homeschool science requirements. Topics vary at each session. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $10 per child. Call 703-451-9588.

Wednesday, September 20

Nature Detectives Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-5 yrs.) In this naturalist-led class at Huntley Meadows Park, children and parents explore the natural world through hikes, stories, songs, crafts and other hands-on activities. This eight-week series meets from 10 to 11:25 a.m., and the cost is $108. An additional supply fee is payable to the instructor at the first class. Call 703-768-2525.

Science for Homeschoolers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(9-12 yrs.) At Huntley Meadows Park, students investigate the interrelation between earth cycles, ecosystems and plants, and animal functions and processes at the cell level. This eight-week series meets from 2 to 4 p.m., and the cost is $121. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Pohick Puddle Jumpers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-6 yrs.) The youngest nature lovers will enjoy hands-on and up-close indoor and outdoor activities at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Explore the Pohick Stream Valley or areas around the pond. Topics vary each week. Sessions run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and cost $7 per child. Call 703-451-9588.

Nature Tots: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(1-3 yrs.) Bring your toddler to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park to explore nature through sight, sound, smell and touch. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m. The cost is $6 per child, and an adult must participate. The topic in September is migration. Call 703-631-0013.

Thursday, September 21

Nature for Tiny Tots Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(24-42 mos.) Children learn about plants and animals through songs, crafts, and activities at Huntley Meadows Park. Adult participation is required. The eight-week series meets 10 to 10:55 a.m., and the cost is $90. A supply fee of $5 is due at first class. For more, call 703-768-2525.

American Civics for Homeschoolers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(12-18 yrs.) This Freedom in America course examines freedom and other politically significant concepts and themes and the key political institutions and policies that have characterized United States political culture from the colonial period to Reconstruction. This five-part series at Historic Huntley meets from 1 to 2:55 p.m. The cost for the five sessions is $84 per student. For more, call 703-768-2525.

Jr. Farmer Family Fun: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Junior Farmers and their families will play an active role in taking care of Frying Pan Farm Park. Explore topics such as animal care, tinkering with farm machinery and the importance of our crops and gardens. The programs from 4 to 5 p.m. cost $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Nature Detectives Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-5 yrs.) During this naturalist-led class at Huntley Meadows Park, children and parents explore the natural world through hikes, stories, songs, crafts and other hands-on activities. This eight-week series meets from 1:30 to 2:55 p.m., and the cost is $108. An additional supply fee is payable to the instructor at the first class. Call 703-768-2525.

Garden Tour and Tea
(Adults) Tour the glorious demonstration gardens with a Master Gardener docent at Green Spring Gardens and get a wealth of ideas for your fall home landscape. Afterwards, enjoy a traditional English afternoon tea in the 1784 Historic House. The program from 1 to 3 p.m. costs $32 per person. Reservations required. Call 703-941-7987.

Friday, September 22

Putting the Animals to Bed Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) When evening shadows spread over Kidwell Farm, it is time to put the animals to bed. Bring your flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour at Frying Pan Farm Park, and learn how our farm animals settle down for the night. This program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $8 per person. Dress for the weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-437-9101.

What’s Growing in the Garden? Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Join us in the Kidwell Garden at Frying Pan Farm Park to explore what’s growing! Topics vary each week: 9/15 -Sensational Seeds; 9/22-3 Sisters in the Garden; and 9/29-We Eat Plants! Each program meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and costs $7 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 703-437-9101.

Geology at Lake Accotink Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) Explore the world of geology as we experiment, test rocks and their hardness, and more in this hands-on class at Lake Accotink Park. Each session runs from 5 to 6 p.m. and costs $7 per person. Call 703-569-3464.

Walney Time Travel: Peach Cobbler Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Bring your appetite to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park as interpreters dressed in period attire demonstrate cooking a peach cobbler using a Dutch oven. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-631-0013.

Astronomy for Family Fun: Moon Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Learn about the moon at Hidden Oaks Nature Center as we do fun activities and crafts that help demystify the moon and bring it down to earth. The program from 8 to 9 p.m. costs $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Fall Equinox Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Celebrate the autumnal equinox with a campfire at Riverbend Park. Learn the scientific, astronomical, and cultural significance of this special day. The program from 6 to 7 p.m. costs $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. This event will be canceled if it rains. For more information, call 703-759-9018.

Saturday, September 23

Putting the Animals to Bed Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) When evening shadows spread over Kidwell Farm, it is time to put the animals to bed. Bring your flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour at Frying Pan Farm Park, and learn how our farm animals settle down for the night. This program from 7 to 8 p.m. costs $8 per person. Dress for the weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Call 703-437-9101.

Gardening with the Soil Food Web Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Having a beautiful garden starts at the ground level. Biologist and gardener Paulette Royt explains soil science basics so you understand how soil composition and living soil organisms impact your garden. This program at Green Spring Gardens runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $15 per person. Call 703-642-5173 for more information.

Junior/Parent Tournament
(7-Adult) Teams of two players compete in an 18-hole scramble format at Burke Lake Golf Center from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be closest-to-the-pin contests and prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams in two age divisions: Adult/Jr. 7-12; Adult/Jr. 13-17. Registration begins September 9 and will be limited to the first 48 teams. The cost is $65 per team and includes lunch. The rain date is September 30. Call 703- 323-1641.

The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Emmy Award winner Karyl Evans screens her new documentary film about the brilliant career and unconventional life of 20th century landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand, who designed magnificent gardens for wealthy clients and institutions. This screening at Green Spring Gardens is followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and refreshments on the lawn of Farrand’s designed landscape at Green Spring. The program from 2 to 4 p.m. costs $20. Call 703-941-7987.

Ice Cream at Historic Huntley Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Make and enjoy hand-cranked ice cream as Huntley’s Harris family may have done. Learn how the histories of ice cream and Huntley follow a similar path from elite luxury to family fare. A tour of the ice well and Historic Huntley House are included in the program from 11 a.m. to noon. The cost is $8 per person. Call 703-768-2525.

Hands-On Harvest Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Join us for a garden tour through time and a chance to help staff and volunteers harvest the gardens at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Dig for fall crops such as greens, broccoli, and squash. The program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

My Sky Tonight! Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-5 yrs.) Preschoolers are full of questions about the world around them. Bring them to Hidden Oaks Nature Center to get some answers. Join a naturalist to explore the wonders of the night sky with activities, stories and a craft. The 45-minute program begins at 7:30 p.m., and the cost is $5 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Park Paws Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(16-Adult) Calling all dogs! Bring your owners to learn park etiquette while exploring Hidden Pond Nature Center’s back trails. Dogs must play well with others and be accompanied by an adult. The one-hour program begins at 10 a.m., and the cost is $5 per person. Call 703-451-9588.

Bear Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Have you seen a bear in Fairfax County? Identify bear habitat and life cycles and learn to be a good bear neighbor. Take home a paw print! Enjoy a campfire and s’mores; bring your own hot dogs. The program runs from 8 to 10 p.m. at Burke Lake Park and Lake Fairfax Park. The cost is $10 per person, and children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more on the program at Burke Lake, call 703-323-6600. For more on Lake Fairfax, call 703-471-5414.

Sunday, September 24

Run of the Mill Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Visit historic Colvin Run Mill for a hands-on program that teaches you how we clean, mill and sift grains using antique equipment. Take home a souvenir sample bag of what is milled during class. The program from 1 to 3 p.m. costs $20 per person. For more, call 703-759-2771.

Garden Program: Winter Edibles Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) There are many edible plants that grow best in cooler weather. Try your hand at growing them and enjoy the fruits or veggies of your labor during the winter months. Washington Gardener Magazine publisher Kathy Jentz covers techniques for lengthening the growing season in a program at Green Spring Gardens from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

Monarch and More Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Learn to identify monarch and other butterflies, discover their fascinating life cycle and assist with tagging monarchs, when available, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Visit a Monarch waystation and native butterfly garden. Learn about the monarch migration phenomenon and its challenges and how you can make a difference. If available, at least one monarch will be tagged during the program. The program from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. costs $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

The Truth about Toadstools Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(16-Adult) Learn all about mushrooms: how and when they grow, the different types, identification tips and where to find them. This program from 10 a.m. to noon includes an indoor workshop followed by a guided walk at Huntley Meadows Park. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Reptile Survey Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-Adult) Assist a naturalist with a reptile survey at Lake Accotink Park. Learn the habits and habitats of the aggressive but misunderstood water snakes as we search for them and document their size, gender and location. Wear shoes that can get wet. This program from 9 to 10 a.m. costs $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-569-3464.

Monday, September 25

Little Acorns-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and an adult share nature’s wonders at Hidden Oaks Nature Center through finger plays, stories and, weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. The 45-minute programs begin at 9:45 and 11 a.m., and the cost is $6 per child. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Nature Quest-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-7 yrs.) From field to stream and everything in between, children learn about our local animal species, hands-on and in the field at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Sessions from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. cost $7 per child. Call 703-451-9588.

Little Hands on the Farm: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Interact with farm animals, receive a story and create a craft at Frying Pan Farm Park. Children ages two and three meet from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m.; ages three to five meet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The cost is $8 per child. Reservations required. Adult must attend. Call 703-437-9101.

Tuesday, September 26

Science for Homeschoolers Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(12-14 yrs.) This course at Huntley Meadows Park involves lectures with an emphasis on hands-on field work studying natural sciences. Learn about aquatic ecosystems, energy and matter in the ecosystems, how humans impact the natural world, and the many different interactions of living things from microbes to large mammals. Students participate in field work related to soil studies, biodiversity studies, plant and animal studies, and wetlands studies. This six-week series meets from 4 to 5:55 p.m., and the cost is $106. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Family Fun Night at the Telescope Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Have you ever wondered about the objects that make up our universe? Bring your family to Observatory Park at Turner Farm and take a guided tour to see the color of stars, open and globular clusters, nebulae and galaxies. This program from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. costs $6 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more, call 703-324-8618.

Wednesday, September 27

Snakes, Turtles and Toads Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-8 yrs.) Through hands-on activities, nature “safari” hikes and visits with live animals, students will investigate local reptile and amphibian characteristics and habits at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. In this five-part program, students will focus on identification skills and habitat recognition. Sessions meet from 4:15 to 5:10 p.m. The series cost is $44 per child. Call 703-941-1065.

Kids Korner-Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-5 yrs.) Preschoolers explore nature or history each month, accompanied by an adult, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and craft are included in the program from 10 to 11 a.m. The topic in September is monarch butterflies, and the cost is $6 per child. Call 703-631-0013.

Thursday, September 28

Jr. Farmer Family Fun: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-Adult) Junior Farmers and their families will play an active role in taking care of Frying Pan Farm Park. Explore topics such as animal care, tinkering with farm machinery and the importance of our crops and gardens. The programs from 4 to 5 p.m. cost $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Homeschool at the Lake Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) This program for school children at Lake Accotink Park focuses on the natural and historical world. Different topics and hands-on activities are covered at each session. The program runs from 1 to 2 p.m., and the cost is $7 per person. The topic in September is stream life. For more information, call 703-569-3464.

Friday, September 29

What’s Growing in the Garden? Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(2-5 yrs.) Join us in the Kidwell Garden at Frying Pan Farm Park to explore what’s growing! Topics vary each week: 9/15 -Sensational Seeds; 9/22-3 Sisters in the Garden; and 9/29-We Eat Plants! Each program meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and costs $7 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 703-437-9101.

Geology at Lake Accotink Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-12 yrs.) Explore the world of geology as we experiment, test rocks and their hardness, and more in this hands-on class at Lake Accotink Park. Each session runs from 5 to 6 p.m. and costs $7 per person. Call 703-569-3464.

Homeschool Wilderness Skills Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-12 yrs.) Make fires, build shelters and learn about wild and medicinal plants as we explore how to survive in the wilderness. Hikes, games and art projects add to our adventures at Huntley Meadows Park. This six-week series meets from 2 to 3:55 p.m., and the cost is $106. Any supply fee is payable to the instructor at class. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

STEAM Nature Sleuths Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-6 yrs.) We introduce early learners to STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) concepts through hands-on investigations and experiments with a naturalist at Huntley Meadows Park. This six-week series meets from 10 to 11: 55 a.m., and the cost is $106. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Nature Journaling Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(7-12 yrs.) Nature journaling is a fun, creative way to remember what you see outdoors with sketches, photos, thoughts and impressions. Try some simple field sketching exercises outdoors for landscapes and plants from 4:15 to 5:10 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Learn some tips and tricks as we experiment with colored pencils, pastels, watercolors and various plain and colored papers. The five-part series costs $44 per person. A short supply list will be sent before class begins, and there is a $5 supply fee payable to the instructor. For more, call 703-941-1065.

Garden Talk: Replace Old Shrubs Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Is it time to replace those overgrown and tired-looking shrubs? Join us at Green Spring Gardens and learn the Master Gardener adage: right plant, right place. You can’t go wrong if you follow our guidelines for selecting the right shrub for your garden. The program from 2 to 3 p.m. costs $10 per person. Call 703-642-5173.

Raptor Stay or Fly Campfire Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(4-Adult) Meet live raptors at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park as we explore different strategies for surviving winter. Enjoy s’mores, too. The program from 7 to 8:30 p.m. costs $10 per person. For more information, call 703-631-0013.

People of the Pohick Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Come to Hidden Pond Nature Center and learn about the people who have lived in the Pohick stream valley. Discover skills they needed to survive and the challenges they encountered in nature during their time. Each offering will be different and cover a different group of Pohick residents in time. The program from 5 to 6 p.m. costs $7 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Starlight Compass Night Hike Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(5-Adult) Before GPS, travelers used the stars to guide their way. Find out what celestial navigation is, learn some of its history and try it out in an exploratory activity around Frying Pan Farm Park. Finish with a short hike to look at the stars. This program from 6 to 7 p.m. costs $7 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. For more information, call 703-437-9101.

Saturday, September 30

Accotink Creek Wagon Ride Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Explore Accotink Creek with a naturalist at Lake Accotink Park. Catch and release critters that live in the creek. This program runs from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday and from 6 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The cost of each session is $6 per person. Bring shoes that can get wet and an adventurous spirit. For more, call 703-569-3464.

Predators of the Pond Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(6-Adult) Discover and learn about the pond predators lurking in the Pohick Stream Valley at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Find out what they prefer to eat, where they live and how humans have an impact on their environment. The program from 11 a.m. to noon costs $7 per person. For more information, call 703-451-9588.

Pirate Treasure Hunt Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(3-Adult) Follow a treasure map at Hidden Oaks Nature Center to collect clues and natural treasures along half-mile woodland and stream trails. Friendly pirate naturalists share nature’s wonders, including live animals, plants, rocks and life under logs. Make a craft, too. The program from 2 to 4 p.m. costs $7 per person. Groups leave every 15 minutes, and children must be accompanied by a registered adult. This event will be canceled in the event of heavy rain. For more information, call 703-941-1065.

Floral Design Workshop: Fall Floral Click to Register with Parktakes Online
 (Adults) Enjoy autumn’s rich colors and textures by bringing them into your home. Come to Green Spring Gardens from 9:30 to 11 a.m. to learn how to create a unique, take-home floral design that celebrates the season with the help of professional floral designer Betty Ann Galway. Advance registration for the program and supply fee are required. The program is $38, and the supply fee is $25 per person. For more, call 703-941-7987.

Garden Program: Start a Garden Journal Click to Register with Parktakes Online
(Adults) Need help organizing your garden? Start a garden journal. Come to Green Spring Gardens and learn techniques for keeping notes, photos, and plant tags of your garden successes, garden edits and to-do lists. Horticulturist Judy Zatsick shares the journal she uses at Green Spring Gardens that helps her track garden tasks and plans. Simple or detailed, a garden journal will take you to the next gardening level. This program from 10 to 11 a.m. costs $15 per person. For more information, call 703-642-5173.

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Liz Ittner RECenter Vending Gets a Makeover

As the Park Authority’s wellness coordinator, it warms my heart to hear how our RECenters have changed lives for the better. For example, I remember the inspiring story of one man who turned to his RECenter fitness director for exercise and nutritional guidance to lose weight. He followed the advice, lost a considerable amount of weight over time and ultimately learned from his doctor that he no longer needed medication to manage his obesity-related high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His commitment to himself to maintain a healthy lifestyle changed his life forever.

Part of the Park Authority’s mission is to engage the public in leading healthy and active lifestyles. This includes both exercise and nutrition. While we excel at providing hundreds of monthly fitness and wellness options for our customers, we recently realized the contents of our vending machines fell short in nutritional standards. In keeping with our mission, we set out to find tasty, more nutritious snacks and beverages with less sugar and fat, and in researching the options we were surprised to find that nationwide, healthful vending options outsell more traditional options 3-to-1. It seems that the goal of making good nutritional choices is catching on!

These days, you’ll find that our RECenter soft drink machines have been replaced with new, Hello Goodness machines offering water, juice and sports drinks. We are also in the process of stocking our snack machines with choices that meet or exceed USDA and American Heart Association standards for vending. Additionally, you will be able to purchase everything for $1 with the option to use a credit card, if you choose. So, whether you’re visiting the RECenter for yourself or for your family, you can feel good about the nutritional value of the snacks and beverages you choose from our machines.

Elizabeth Ittner
Fitness and Wellness Program Coordinator



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