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Register with Parktakes OnlineSpring Class Registration Begins February 3, Camps February 5!

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

Membership Sale - Save 15%

Membership Sale - Winter 2015

January 1 to February 14
Save 15% on 4 and 12 month memberships!
No Initiation Fee or Residency Restrictions
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NEW Spring Hill RECenter:  WOW!

NEW Spring Hill RECenter: WOW!

That’s the one-word response many people exclaimed upon seeing the newly expanded and renovated Spring Hill RECenter for the first time. The facility, which opened December 13, includes a new regulation-sized gym with an elevated, three-lane track for walkers and runners; a new, twostory fitness center that is four times the size of the old one.

Finding Life Balance in Fitness

Finding Life Balance in Fitness

Like many members of the “sandwich” generation, Rosie Bombaugh always put everyone else’s needs ahead of her own. The Burke wife and mother was sandwiched between the responsibilities of caring for her high-school-age sons and her 90-year-old mother, and that left her with little time to do anything for herself.


Train Like a Lumberjack

Train Like a Lumberjack

Put a unique spin on your fitness routine with log rolling at Mt. Vernon RECenter! “It’s a great way to work on balance, coordination and core strength without doing situps,” said Mt. Vernon aquatics director Britta Stratford. “It doesn’t feel like exercise; it’s just a fun challenge.”


Soar into Spring with Birds

Soar into Spring with Birds

Look up this spring, and you’re sure to see one of the greatest shows on Earth as colorful, neo-tropical migrant birds flock north from their winter homes in Central and South America. Northern Virginia is one of the best areas for bird watching because of its location near the coast, the mountains and along the north/south divider, and Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria is a great place to spot birds.


Bluebells at Riverbend

Bluebells at Riverbend

Celebrate the first signs of spring by attending the Bluebells at the Bend festival Saturday, April 11 at Riverbend Park in Great Falls! These breathtaking beauties usher in springtime by carpeting the park’s floodplain with their magnificent blooms, and the bluebells are so abundant in some areas you can’t see an end!


Kiddie Camp Offers Fun for Preschoolers

Kiddie Camp Offers Fun for Preschoolers

Get extra hour of fun at Kiddie Camp! The half-day camp now offers four hours of daily fun, with outdoor games, water play, music, movement, arts and crafts and a special event for 3-to-5-year-old children.


Twin Lakes Golf Course Steps Up its Game

Twin Lakes Golf Course Steps Up its Game

Golfers of all abilities will soon be able to hone their short-game skills at a new practice area at Twin Lakes Golf Course. The facility’s larger, new practice putting green should be ready for play in time for the spring season, and the old practice putting area will be converted into a practice chipping green.


Gear up for Golf!

Gear up for Golf!

The spring golf season is just around the corner, and now is the time to plan your winning strategy.


Parks Count! Better Parks for Better Living

Parks Count!
Better Parks for Better Living

It's time to update the Park and Recreation Needs Assessment! Every so often the Fairfax County Park Authority examines whether park offerings match the community's diverse interests, lifestyles, and changing trends. This ensures that the Park Authority is investing wisely in its award-winning park system and providing quality parks and services to all County residents.
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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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February 2015
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Sunday, February 1

Winter Lecture: Ornamental Edible GardensClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Can edible gardens be both functional and beautiful? Yes!  Designer Sandra Clinton will share the delightful history of kitchen gardens from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. The cost is $10 per person for advance registration and $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Groundhog Day CelebrationClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 3 to 10 prepare for Groundhog Day with our costumed characters, Willard and Mother Nature, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $6 . Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Groundhog’s Day OutClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come to Frying Pan Farm Park and find out if groundhogs can really predict the weather. Visit a groundhog burrow, learn cool groundhog facts, enjoy games and make your own groundhog friend to take home from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Hot chocolate provided. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

Tea with Tempo: Meet John Philip Sousa
Historic re-enactor Ron Anzalone portrays composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa, one of the most popular and prolific American musicians of all time, at Historic Green Spring from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $15 for the program, or $38 for the program and a full English afternoon tea. To make a reservation, call 703-941-7987.

Recipes from the Hearth
From 1 to 3 p.m. in the 1794 kitchen at Sully Historic Site, learn about Thornton, the Lee family’s enslaved cook. Make beaten biscuits and corn pone, a staple of the enslaved community’s diet. Then go next door to the laundry to find out about Madam Juba and Patty who did the washing for the Lees. You may be surprised to discover how different laundry day was 200 years ago. Tours are $8 per adult, $7 per student, and $6 per senior and child. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Monday, February 2

Groundhog Day!Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Meet the larger-than-life Walney groundhog at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

GroundFrog DayClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages four to eight hear the legend of Groundfrog Day at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The celebration continues with games, snacks, predictions of spring and time with amphibians. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Nature Quest: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From field to stream and everything in between, children ages three to six learn about many of our local animal species, hands-on and in the field, at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Little Acorns: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschoolers (ages two to four) and their accompanying adult share nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to noon. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Wednesday, February 4

Full Moon HikeClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy nature’s tranquil beauty and winter’s bright skies under the full moon at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 7 to 8 p.m. Your naturalist guide points out signs of creatures that glide, fly and tiptoe through the woods in the dark. Refreshments provided. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Pohick Puddle JumpersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to six learn about nature by meeting live animals, exploring Hidden Pond Park and participating in activities from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Your Home: NaturallyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
A Hidden Pond Park naturalist will share manageable steps you can take to make your home a healthier, more natural and environmentally friendly sanctuary. The programs run 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, February 6

Celestial Happenings: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come see and learn about different celestial events that occur during the winter at Hidden Pond Nature Center. The 90-minute program starts at 7 p.m. on 2/6 and 5 p.m. on 2/22. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Tracking the Wild CreatureClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 12 learn different ways to identify and track animals at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, February 7

Snake and Turtle FeedingClick to Register with Parktakes Online
One snake, two turtles and a toad will be fed at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 4 to 5 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Winter Hike: Marvelous MeadowsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come look for winter hawks, waterfowl, bluebirds and finches while exploring Huntley Meadows Park’s native meadows and wetland overlooks from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Meet at the South King’s Hwy. entrance. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Pairing Premium Teas & Chocolates
Sip premium teas and savor the decadent delights of a variety of chocolates – white, milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet and extra dark – at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site from 1 to 3 p.m. Sample some treats made with tea and chocolate. A take home tea sampler is included in the $30 fee. To reserve, call 703-759-2771.

To Build a FireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn the science and art of building a fire and then test your skill with primitive fire bows and modern fire-making techniques at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

10th Annual Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange
The tenth annual Washington Seed Exchange at Green Spring Gardens from 12:30 to 4 p.m. includes lectures, face-to-face seed swap and more. Bring your extra seeds to swap with other gardeners, and everyone leaves with a bag full of seeds, new garden friends and expert planting advice. The fee includes lectures, goody bag and seed swap. The cost is $20 per person; $15 for FROGS and WG magazine subscribers. To register, call 703-642-5173.

Sunday, February 8

Winter Lecture: Windowsill Floral DisplaysClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Designer Nancy Ross Hugo inspires you to create simple windowsill arrangements that are in tune with nature from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. The cost is $10 per person in advance; $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Winter Tree IDClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come learn winter tree identification basics and go for a hike at Huntley Meadows Park from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Hard Times, Difficult ChoicesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, come to know the lives of the people who lived and worked at Walney and the choices they faced during the Civil War. Taste a piece of Confederate cake and sweet potato coffee. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Maple Syrup Boil-Down
Bundle up, brave the weather, and watch and learn as sap is boiled down into sweet syrup over an open fire at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site from noon to 2 p.m. Sample the delicious combination of maple syrup over fresh baked cornbread, while supplies last. The $5 fee includes admission to a pre-season open house at the mill. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Monday, February 9

Nature Quest: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From field to stream and everything in between, children ages three to six learn about many of our local animal species, hands-on and in the field, at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Little Acorns: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschoolers (ages two to four) and their accompanying adult share nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to noon. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Tuesday, February 10

Animal Feeding at the Nature CenterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 3 to 12 help the naturalist care for and feed Hidden Pond Nature Center’s animals from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $4. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Wednesday, February 11

Pohick Puddle JumpersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to six learn about nature by meeting live animals, exploring Hidden Pond Park and participating in activities from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, February 12

Kids’ Korner: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschool children ages four to six explore nature or history, accompanied by an adult, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and a craft are included in the $5 fee. The one-hour program on 2/12 starts at 1 p.m. and the program on 2/14 starts at 10 a.m. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Amateur Naturalist: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Adults join us at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for first-hand experience and hands-on learning about many different aspects of the natural world. The cost is $6 per person. Topics include 2/12 Geology and 2/26 Venomous and Poisonous. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Monica's Mockingbirds Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Monica leads children on a wintery adventure at Hidden Pond Park from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $6 per person Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, February 13

Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Plant Purple in the GardenClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Master Gardeners show you how to incorporate purple into your garden all year round with flowers, foliage and fruits at Green Spring Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $10. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Local Lore at Historic HuntleyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Travel back in time from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Historic Huntley. Explore the Chesapeake region’s rich history and many cultures through activities, crafts and walks. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Tracking the Wild CreatureClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 12 learn different ways to identify and track animals at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Campfire Fridays: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come along for a night of campfire, s’mores, animals, and so much more! This 90-minute program at Hidden Pond Nature Center starts at 7 p.m. and the cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, February 14

Kids’ Korner: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschool children ages four to six explore nature or history, accompanied by an adult, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and a craft are included in the $5 fee. The one-hour program on 2/12 starts at 1 p.m. and the program on 2/14 starts at 10 a.m. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Coyotes CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Satisfy your curiosity and your sweet tooth with one howling campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Listen to coyote calls, take a short hike and make s’mores. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Campfire Saturdays at Royal LakeClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join us for an evening campfire at Royal Lake from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Bring whatever you like to roast; s’mores provided. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Evening StrollClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come for a relaxing stroll through Huntley Meadows Park at dusk. A naturalist takes you on a tour of the woods and wetlands to watch and listen for beavers, owls and other nocturnal residents from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Valentine’s Day Special
After your guided tour at Sully Historic Site, enjoy a special candy treat to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Find out about the long-ago relationships of Richard Bland Lee and Elizabeth, Jacob and Amy Haight, and other couples in history. Tours are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are $7 per adult, $6 per student, and $5 per senior and child. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Garden Sprouts: Garden ValentinesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to five create a Valentine from pressed flowers for a favorite person at Green Spring Gardens from 11 a.m. to noon. Explore our glasshouse as we look for Valentine hearts in nature. Sample the first strawberries of the season and learn the Native American story behind this Valentine berry. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Floral Design Workshop: Victorian Valentine’s DayClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn the meanings of flowers in Victorian England and create an arrangement in this elegant style at Green Spring Gardens from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The program cost is $38 per person, and there is a $25 supply fee. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Chocolate and Tea Tasting PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Sample a sumptuous selection of fine chocolate accompanied by carefully-chosen specialty teas from 10 a.m. to noon at Historic Green Spring. Discover the proper pairing of chocolate and tea. The cost is $27 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-7987.

Animal Sweethearts DanceClick to Register with Parktakes Online
It’s back! The social event of Hidden Pond’s winter season returns from 10 a.m. to noon! This year will debut the new comedy/drama, Hound of Music. There will be dancing, refreshments, crafts and live animals to entertain visitors ages three to eight. The cost is $8 per child. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Family Fun: Valentine TeaClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Bring your sweetheart to a special Valentine Tea and Dance at Green Spring Gardens from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sample different teas and some sweets and make a valentine. Then dance to some songs and learn some new dance moves. This is a family-friendly program for ages 5 and up with a registered adult. The cost is $16. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Valentine Tea and PoetryClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy poetry and tea at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s Machen Farm with your favorite sweetheart from 2 to 3:30 p.m. A costumed interpreter shares our Walney mystery love poem and then invites you to write and share your own verses. Leave with your poem framed in childhood Valentine card-style and a tummy full of (mint) tea and cookies. The cost is $8 per person. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Sunday, February 15

Animal ValentinesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages four to eight play musical valentines and critter sweetheart games at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Meet live animals, make valentines and decorate a take-home cookie. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Winter Lecture: Winning Against WeedsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Garden expert Mary Godinez share ways to be rid our gardens of weeds from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens The cost is $10 per person in advance; $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Hands-on HistoryClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Drop off your children (ages 5 to 11) at 2:30 p.m. and let them travel back in time with a costumed interpreter to explore the lives of 19th century children at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. The cost is $10. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Preamble Scramble and Political Trivia
Celebrate President’s Day weekend by rediscovering the Declaration of Independence and early American presidential and political trivia at Sully Historic Site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Play fun games such as our own Preamble Scramble. Tours are $7 per adult, $6 per student, and $5 per senior and child. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Home Made Bird FeedersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Bring your empty milk jugs and/or two-liter soda bottles to make bird feeders at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Wednesday, February 18

Nature Tots at WalneyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Bring your toddler (ages 1 to 3) to explore nature through sight, sound, smell and touch at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 10:15 to 11 a.m. The cost is $4 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Pohick Puddle JumpersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to six learn about nature by meeting live animals, exploring Hidden Pond Park and participating in activities from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Your Home: NaturallyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
A Hidden Pond Park naturalist will share manageable steps you can take to make your home a healthier, more natural and environmentally friendly sanctuary. The programs run 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, February 20

Tracking the Wild CreatureClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 12 learn different ways to identify and track animals at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Penguins and Polar BearsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Through activities, children ages two to five learn more about these creatures of the ice and their chilly environment at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Jr. NaturalistsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 10 explore Ellanor C. Lawrence Park’s habitats, wildlife, and history from 4:30 to 5:40 p.m. An outdoor activity and craft are included in the $5 fee. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Campfire Friday: EyeshineClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn how some animals are able to see in the dark. Then head out with a naturalist and a flashlight to search for nocturnal animals. This Hidden Oaks Nature Center program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. is for the whole family (age four to adults) and concludes with a campfire. S’mores provided. Register online. The cost is $7 per person. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Family Nature NightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Explore habitats and wildlife through activities, crafts, games and walks at Huntley Meadows Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Woodcock WatchClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Meet a naturalist at Elklick Woodlands Nature Preserve in Western Fairfax County to see the breathtaking annual courtship ritual of woodcocks from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call Ellanor C. Lawrence Park at 703-631-0013.

Saturday, February 21

Hands-on NatureClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Drop-off your child at 2 p.m. for an hour of natural adventure at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Children ages 4 to 12 feed exhibit animals, search for wildlife, explore fur pelts, bones and other nature artifacts, and take home a craft. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Park Manager Walk and Talk
Join Huntley Meadows Park Manager Kevin Munroe on a free walk from 3 to 5 p.m. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Sketch Hike: Winter Trees and LandscapesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join Huntley Meadows Park naturalist and artist Margaret Wohler for a hike from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and learn sketching techniques to enhance your observation skills. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Campfire with the ConstellationsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Meet at Cabell’s Mill and talk about stars around a warm campfire from 7 to 8 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call Ellanor C. Lawrence Park at 703-631-0013.

Cheese and Tea Tasting PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn about teas and their cheese-mates as we explore the taste science behind the unlikely pair at Historic Green Spring from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $27 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-7987.

Astronomy Festival at Riverbend ParkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy guided stargazing, looking through a telescope, and storytelling around the campfire from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hot chocolate and snacks will be available for purchase. The cost is $6 online; $7 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-759-9018.

11th Annual Eco-Savvy Symposium: Evolving LandscapesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn strategies for adapting to the challenges of your evolving landscape at this Green Spring Gardens symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is included in the $70 fee. For vegetarian requests, call 703-642-5173. Register online.

Sunday, February 22

Celestial Happenings: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come see and learn about different celestial events that occur during the winter at Hidden Pond Nature Center. The 90-minute program starts at 7 p.m. on 2/6 and 5 p.m. on 2/22. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Maple Syrup Boil-Down
Bundle up, brave the weather, and watch and learn as sap is boiled down into sweet syrup over an open fire at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site from noon to 2 p.m. Sample the delicious combination of maple syrup over fresh baked cornbread, while supplies last. The $5 fee includes admission to a pre-season open house at the mill. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Birds Around UsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Beaks, feathers, nests and talons are examined to explore an avian world that lives around us from 10 to 11 a.m. at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Winter Lecture: Rhododendron & Relatives Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Rhododendrons are beautiful, but for a richer garden palette, plant some lovely rhododendron cousins like Calluna, Oxydendrum, Enkianthus and Dusty Zenobia. Horticulturalist Steven Kristoph introduces you to many beautiful rhododendron cousins and some exciting, new rhododendron hybrids at Green Spring Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $10 per person in advance; $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

18th Century Women had Deep PocketsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Sew an 18th century pocket while making small talk with other ladies, just as Mrs. Lee might have done, at Sully Historic Site from 1 to 3 p.m. Make a pin cushion to hold pins for other sewing projects. The cost is $10 per person. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Stories in the SnowClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join a naturalist in a search for paw prints at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and then learn what tales animal skulls can tell. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Chinese New Year: Year of the SheepClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with traditional games and stories at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Winter Hike: Wetland WaterfowlClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Hike the boardwalk to the observation tower at Huntley Meadows Park from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Look for green-winged teals, pintails, swamp sparrows, winter wrens, bald eagles. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Monday, February 23

Nature Quest: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From field to stream and everything in between, children ages three to six learn about many of our local animal species, hands-on and in the field, at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Little Acorns: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschoolers (ages two to four) and their accompanying adult share nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. to noon. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Wednesday, February 25

Pohick Puddle JumpersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to six learn about nature by meeting live animals, exploring Hidden Pond Park and participating in activities from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, February 26

Amateur Naturalist: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Adults join us at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for first-hand experience and hands-on learning about many different aspects of the natural world. The cost is $6 per person. Topics include 2/12 Geology and 2/26 Venomous and Poisonous. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Monica's Mockingbirds Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Monica leads children on a wintery adventure at Hidden Pond Park from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $6 per person Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, February 27

Campfire Fridays: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come along for a night of campfire, s’mores, animals, and so much more! This 90-minute program at Hidden Pond Nature Center starts at 7 p.m. and the cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

S’more Wagon Ride & CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy a brisk wagon ride through the Rocky Run Stream Valley from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Return to a campfire and make a sweet chocolate treat. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Winter Beauty in the GardenClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Master Gardeners show you trees, shrubs and grasses that can add beauty and interest through the cold winter months. This one-hour program at Green Spring Gardens starts at 1:30 p.m. and the cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Klondike Cookout and Campout
Learn how to camp in below-freezing conditions at Riverbend Park. S’mores and breakfast provided. The cost is $25 per person for the campout or $10 per person for just the cookout and s’mores. Camping begins at 6 p.m.; cookout starts at 7 p.m. To register, call 703-759-9018.

Saturday, February 28

Family Fun: Animal TrekClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn how to identify animals by their tracks and other clues at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Make a plaster cast of your favorite animal prints. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Starting from Scratch with Seeds WorkshopClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Judy Zatsick, Green Spring Gardens’ propagator/horticulturalist, discusses topics such as potting mixes, containers, seed treatments, lighting, fertilization, watering, seed sources, and timing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Green Spring Gardens. The cost is $22 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Campfire Saturdays at Lake AccotinkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Adventure awaits as you explore spots where wildlife hides and resides, guided by a naturalist, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The program ends with a cozy campfire. Bring whatever you like to roast; s’mores provided. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Flying Squirrels CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Watch flying squirrels glide in for their evening feast of peanuts and mealworms before heading out to enjoy a campfire. Hear a Native American story of how flying squirrels came to be. Make s’mores. This one-hour at Hidden Oaks Nature Center starts at 6:15 p.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Evening Woodcock WalkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
We’ll listen for the call of the male woodcock and hopefully see his courtship dance and flight at Huntley Meadows Park from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m. Bring a flashlight. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Powhatan’s PeopleClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Discover some elements of the Algonquian culture of the Powhatans and Tauxenent, such as crafting stone tools, hunting and farming, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Play a game and enjoy a story around the campfire. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Barred Owls CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy an evening hike and campfire to learn about owls at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 6 to 7 p.m. Meet our resident barred owl. Return to a warm campfire to roast marshmallows. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Feeding Day!Click to Register with Parktakes Online
From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., join a naturalist and youth volunteers as we demonstrate how we feed our site display animals at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Make a birdfeeder to take home and use. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Friday, January 2

Snake and Turtle FeedingClick to Register with Parktakes Online
At least one snake, two turtles and a toad will be fed from 2 to 3 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Wild Animals Puppet ShowClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn about wildlife and our environment through puppet plays from 11 a.m. to noon at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Activities may include live animals and interactive group activities. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Saturday, January 3

Nature by TouchClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to nine touch furs, plants and creatures that have amazing parts and features at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. This one-hour program is offered at 2 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 12. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Flying Squirrels: Gliding in TonightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Look for these amazing night gliders at roosting boxes near Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Learn how you can encourage flying squirrels to visit your yard. This one-hour program starts at 5 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 31. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Sunday, January 4

Stories in the SnowClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join a naturalist in a search for paw prints and animal signs at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and then learn what tales animal skulls can tell. This one-hour program starts at 10 a.m. and the cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Art Show Reception
Come to the horticulture center and Historic House at Green Spring Gardens from 1 to 3 p.m. and see the work of artists of the Vienna Arts Society.  Meet the artists at the reception, and enjoy light refreshments.  The art show begins on December 30 and ends on February 22, 2015.  For information, call 703-642-5173.

Dino Puppet Show & ActivitiesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to seven enjoy a puppet show along with fun fossil facts at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Register online. This one-hour program starts at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 29. The cost is $6 per child. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Monday, January 5

Full Moon HikeClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy nature’s tranquil beauty and winter’s bright skies under the full moon at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 7 to 8 p.m. A naturalist guide points out signs of creatures that glide, fly and tiptoe through the woods in the dark. Refreshments are provided. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Little Acorns: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschoolers ages two to four and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Thursday, January 8

Kids’ Korner: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschool children ages four to six explore nature or history once a month, accompanied by an adult, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and craft is included. The one-hour program starts at 1 p.m. on Jan. 8 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 10. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Saturday, January 10

The Sweet Side of Tea
This interactive tasting seminar at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site explores the many flavors of honey and maple syrup and how they can enhance a variety of green, black and herbal teas. From 1 to 3 p.m., taste treats made with these three straight-from-nature ingredients. This program is presented by Certified Tea Specialist and Chef Laurie Bell of Great Falls Tea Garden. The cost is $30 per person. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Kids’ Korner: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschool children ages four to six explore nature or history once a month, accompanied by an adult, at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and craft is included. The one-hour program starts at 1 p.m. on Jan. 8 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 10. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Garden Sprouts: Prickly CactusClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Imagine you are traveling to the desert as we find cacti in the warmth of Green Spring Gardens’ glasshouse. Did you know that animals rely on cacti for food and shelter? Children ages three to five learn how from 11 a.m. to noon. Enjoy a story, taste a cactus treat and make a fun cactus craft to take home. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Family Fun: Desert DreamsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Warm up in the glasshouse at Green Spring Gardens and investigate the deserts of the Southwest from 1 to 2 p.m. Join us for a story, sample a cactus treat, and take home a plant of your own. This family-friendly program is intended for children ages five and older with a registered adult. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Caribbean Reef Puppet ShowClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to seven join an octopus, ray, shark, lobster and all their friends in this undersea adventure at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. After the show, play a game, sing songs of the sea and make a craft. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Evening WalkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join Huntley Meadows Park naturalist PJ Dunn to hike the trails after dark from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Look and listen for owls, beavers and other night animals. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Watercolor Workshop: Pouring PaintClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Instructor Marni Maree demonstrates how to pour paint to make shapes, textures and colors that glow from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. Learn to make wonderful glazes, stunning backgrounds and surprising colors.  A morning demonstration is followed by student painting and critiquing. The cost is $77. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Sunday, January 11

Consider Carnations Tea Program
Carnations are perfect flowers for lush and substantial winter bouquets or arrangements. From 1 to 3 p.m. at Historic Green Spring, discover how to play up the carnation’s strengths to create simple yet sophisticated displays. The cost is $32 per person and includes a full English afternoon tea. To make a required reservation, call 703-941-7987.

Birding for Beginners: WoodpeckersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn about woodpecker biology and behavior at Huntley Meadows Park from 8 to 11 a.m. See if you can spot some of the seven species found in the park. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Meet Live Snakes, Turtles and ToadsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Meet native reptiles and amphibians and learn how to identify these species at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. See at least one animal being fed. Learn how these animals’ wild cousins are adapting to seasonal stresses. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.         

Reptile & Amphibian ClubClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 16 explore the amazing world of turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs and salamanders at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 3 to 4 p.m. Learn facts, encounter live animals and discover their habitats in the park. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Bird Watching ClubClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Look up, listen carefully and discover the amazing variety of birds that inhabit Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Kids ages 4 to 12 meet from 2 to 3 p.m. to develop birding skills that will last a lifetime. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Winter Lecture: Beautiful Winter GardensClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Smithsonian gardener James Gagliardi shares his expertise on making a beautiful winter garden at Green Spring Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. A 30-minute reception follows the lecture. The cost is $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Monday, January 12

Nature by TouchClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to nine touch furs, plants and creatures that have amazing parts and features at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. This one-hour program is offered at 2 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 12. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Little Acorns: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschoolers ages two to four and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Nature Quest: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From field to stream and everything in between, children ages three to six learn about our local animal species, hands-on and in the field at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Tuesday, January 13

Animal Feeding at the Nature CenterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 3 to 12 help the Hidden Pond naturalist feed the animals from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $4 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Genealogy: Scots/Irish ResearchClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn how to trace your Scots-Irish (Ulster-Scots) ancestors from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Lee High School. The lecture covers Internet research and introduces other avenues of research on this highly mobile group. The cost is $45. Register online. For information, call 703-222-4664.

Wednesday, January 14

Nature Tots at WalneyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Bring your toddler to explore nature through sight, sound, smell, and touch at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Programs include both indoor and outdoor activities. The cost is $4 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Thursday, January 15

Amateur Naturalist: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Adults join us at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for hands-on learning. Topics include herpetology on Jan 15 and forestry on Jan. 29. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Monica's MockingbirdsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 4 to 11 explore the natural world with naturalist Monica at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Topics include reptiles and amphibians on Jan. 15 and animal defenses on Jan. 29. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, January 16

Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Gifts from the GardenClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn about drying flowers and herbs, forcing bulbs, making relish or chutney, potpourri and many other techniques at Green Spring Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $10. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Rockhounders Winter SeriesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 12 join naturalist Kyle at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. as he delves into a different topic each meeting with science, outdoor explorations and live animals. The cost is $8 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Campfire Fridays: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come along for a night of campfire, s’mores, animals, and so much more! Each night features a different topic and different areas of Hidden Pond Park that we visit from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, January 17

Campfire Saturdays at Royal LakeClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join us for a campfire from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Royal Lake. Adventure awaits as you explore the woodlands and lakefront spots where wildlife hides and resides. Bring whatever you like to roast; s’mores provided. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Park Manager Walk and Talk
Join Huntley Meadows Park Manager Kevin Munroe a walk from 3 to 5 p.m. Find out about the wetland restoration project and learn about the wildlife for which the park is known. Free. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Garden Design Lecture: Elements of DesignClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Uncover basic garden design elements with landscape designer Amy Neiberline from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Green Spring Gardens. Discover how to use line, form, texture and color in your plantings to create your own beautiful garden. The cost is $36 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Garden Design Workshop: Three Morning Lectures + Three Afternoon Work Sessions
Learn do-it-yourself garden design and walk away with a design for your own garden. This three-session workshop at Green Spring Gardens includes morning lectures on landscape design basics, followed by afternoons of individualized help on your plan guided by landscape designer Amy Neiberline. This program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on January 17, 24 and 31. The cost is $185 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Sunday, January 18

Winter Lecture: Amazing Papyrus PlantClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Dr. John Gaudet will enlighten you about this versatile plant and demonstrate paper-making from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. A half-hour reception follows the lecture. The cost is $10 in advance; $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Pooh Bear’s Friends’ Tea PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Families enjoy honey, tea and cookies in a Pooh-style tea at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Learn about Virginia’s black bears and whether heffalumps and wuzzles are native to Fairfax County. Bring your favorite stuffed animal and join us for a guided walk. The cost is $15. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Richard Bland Lee’s 252nd Birthday
During your house tour from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sully Historic Site, discover important contributions of Mr. Lee’s impressive political career. Stop in the east wing for a piece of birthday cake. Admission is half-price for this event: $3.50 per adult, $3 per student, and $2.50 per senior and child. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Snow Big DealClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Find out how wild animals stay safe and snug while winter weather deals its worst at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 1 to 3 p.m. After an indoor presentation and animal homes hike expedition, make your own snow globe and six-sided snowflake. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Tuesday, January 20

Celestial Happenings: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come to Hidden Pond Nature Center from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to see and learn about different celestial events that occur during winter. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Genealogy: Finding your VA AncestorsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
This course is an overview of information needed to begin researching in Virginia. Topics covered include boundary changes and disputes, burned county information, vital records, immigration/naturalization, land, probate and church records and the repositories where these records can be found. The class meets from 7 to 9 p.m. at West Springfield High School. The cost is $39. Register online. For information, call 703-222-4664.

Friday, January 23

Rockhounders Winter SeriesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 12 join naturalist Kyle at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. as he delves into a different topic each meeting with science, outdoor explorations and live animals. The cost is $8 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Family Nature NightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Reconnect with nature at Huntley Meadows Park through activities, crafts, games and walks from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Saturday, January 24

Alice in Wonderland Tea PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Parents and children sip tea, enjoy butterfly-shaped sandwiches, and join the crazy fun of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter and his friends at the strangest of tea parties at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Meet a live creature from the story. The cost is $15. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Evening Stroll at Huntley Meadows ParkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Tour the woods and wetland from 4 to 6 p.m. Look for wildlife. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Sketch Hike: Winter Trees and LandscapesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join Huntley Meadows Park naturalist and artist Margaret Wohler for a hike and learn sketching techniques to enhance your observation skills from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Dive into DragonfliesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Huntley Meadows Park, discover the diverse world of dragonflies. Leave with a list of the top ten parks to spot them as well as information on how to create the perfect dragonfly pond. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Scotch Tasting PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Historic Green Spring hosts a sampling of fine Scottish single malts in celebration of Burns Night, the annual commemoration of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns. Learn about the ancient history of Scotch whisky and the fine art of making and tasting it from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy traditional music and delectable Scottish accompaniments as you assess the unique characteristics of the “water of life” of the Highlands! The cost is $42 (age 21 and over). To make a required reservation, register online. For information, call 703-941-7987.

All Scout Astronomy Festival
View outer space through a telescope, listen to ancient stories about the constellations around the campfire, take a guided tour of the night sky and participate in hands-on activities at Riverbend Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Complete aspects of badges for many Boy Scout, Cub Scout and Girl Scout levels or make your own. The cost is $7.50 per scout and sibling; $4 per adult. To make a reservation, call 703-759-9018.

Secret ForestClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn the winter secrets of our lovely evergreen forest and the surprises held within the hardwood forest at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Discover how helping the land to heal helps your community. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Garden Design Lecture: Garden Site BiologyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn how to assess your garden for soil type, climatic zone and sun quality at Green Spring Gardens from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Discover how these elements interact and support beautiful plants. The cost is $36 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Garden Tour: Beautiful BonesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Walk with a Master Gardener docent and view the unchanging structure of Green Spring Gardens’ landscape from 10 to 11:30 a.m. An interesting winter display with good bones supports your garden’s appeal all year. Warm up with refreshments at the Historic House. The cost is $15 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

LET IT MOVE – Hanging Kinetic Art Show Reception with Juror’s Talk
Come and see Green Spring Gardens’ juried art show, Let It Move, a hanging kinetic art exhibit. The show begins on Jan. 24 and ends on March 22. The juror will speak at the reception scheduled from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Sunday, January 25

Caricature: The Wicked Art Tea Program
View exaggerated and comical illustrations that convey biting social satire at Historic Green Spring from 1 to 3 p.m. A gallery of bold and bawdy prints shows how talented caricaturists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries documented and ridiculed current events, fashions and social mores and provided a humorous and illuminating “photo” archive of their time. The cost is $32 and includes a full English afternoon tea. To make a required reservation, call 703-941-7987.

Winter Lecture: The Cold Truth on Plant HardinessClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Dr. Allen Hirsh explains factors that determine a plant’s winter endurance at Green Spring Gardens from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. A half-hour reception follows the lecture. Learn how to “push the zones” in your garden. The cost is $10 per person in advance; $12 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Australia Day CelebrationClick to Register with Parktakes Online
G’day mate! Celebrate Australia Day with traditional stories, games and songs, and meet a native animal at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Taste an Australian treat. Learn to speak Australian from our own Australian naturalist. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Monday, January 26

Little Acorns: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschoolers ages two to four and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature’s wonders in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and weather permitting, an outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Nature Quest: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From field to stream and everything in between, children ages three to six learn about our local animal species, hands-on and in the field at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 10 to 11 a.m. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Tuesday, January 27

Genealogy: Scottish Research via InternetClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn about useful websites for researching Scottish ancestors from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Lee High School. The cost is $45 per adult. Register online. For information, call 703-222-4664.

Thursday, January 29

Dino Puppet Show & ActivitiesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to seven enjoy a puppet show along with fun fossil facts at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Register online. This one-hour program starts at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4 and 10 a.m. on Jan. 29. The cost is $6 per child. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Amateur Naturalist: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Adults join us at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for hands-on learning. Topics include herpetology on Jan 15 and forestry on Jan. 29. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Monica's MockingbirdsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 4 to 11 explore the natural world with naturalist Monica at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Topics include reptiles and amphibians on Jan. 15 and animal defenses on Jan. 29. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Feeding Day!Click to Register with Parktakes Online
We feed our display animals at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 3 to 4 p.m. Make a birdfeeder to take home and use. Search for worms and insects, and assist in serving dinner. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Wild Weird Winter ProgramClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Experience nature’s wildest and weirdest stuff at Hidden Pond Nature Center. This program is full of science experiments, live animals, and outdoor exploration. Bring a snack to enjoy. This program is offered 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 for children ages three to six ($18); 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 30 for children ages six to nine ($18); and 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 ($8). Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, January 30

Wild Weird Winter ProgramClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Experience nature’s wildest and weirdest stuff at Hidden Pond Nature Center. This program is full of science experiments, live animals, and outdoor exploration. Bring a snack to enjoy. This program is offered 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 for children ages three to six ($18); 2:30 - 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 30 for children ages six to nine ($18); and 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 29 ($8). Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Rockhounders Winter SeriesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 12 join naturalist Kyle at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4 to 5:30 p.m. as he delves into a different topic each meeting with science, outdoor explorations and live animals. The cost is $8 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Campfire Fridays: WinterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come along for a night of campfire, s’mores, animals, and so much more! Each night features a different topic and different areas of Hidden Pond Park that we visit from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

S’more Wagon Ride & CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy a brisk wagon ride through the Rocky Run Stream Valley from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Discover who Ellanor C. Lawrence was and learn about other aspects of the areas local and natural history. Return to a warming campfire and make a sweet chocolate treat to eat. The cost is $7 per person. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Scotch Tasting PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Historic Green Spring hosts a sampling of fine Scottish single malts in celebration of Burns Night, the annual commemoration of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns. Learn about the ancient history of Scotch whisky and the fine art of making and tasting it from 5 to 7 p.m. Enjoy traditional music and delectable Scottish accompaniments as you assess the unique characteristics of the “water of life” of the Highlands! The cost is $42 (age 21 and over). To make a required reservation, or for information, call 703-941-7987.

Who-oo’s at the Campfire?Click to Register with Parktakes Online
From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, gather round the campfire to hear stories of how owls came to be. Toast marshmallows. Learn how to recognize different owl calls. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Wake Up Sleepy Heads! Puppet Show & Wagon RideClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join us in getting our winter-sleeping puppet animals to rise and shine for springtime. Make a simple craft and enjoy a refreshing wagon ride through the meadow at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 1 to 2 p.m. The cost is $10. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Garden Talks with Master Gardeners: Fern GardeningClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Have a damp or shady yard where it is difficult to grow flowers? Consider using ferns. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens, Master Gardeners introduce you to the wide variety of ferns that add texture and interest to spaces that are not suitable for sun-loving flowers. The cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Saturday, January 31

Flying Squirrels: Gliding in TonightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Look for these amazing night gliders at roosting boxes near Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Learn how you can encourage flying squirrels to visit your yard. This one-hour program starts at 5 p.m. on Jan. 3 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 31. The cost is $6. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Garden Design Lecture: Putting Your Garden TogetherClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Green Spring Gardens, landscape designer Amy Neiberline teaches you how to combine plants for your own garden. You will develop a plant list and learn about pricing and installing a garden plan. The cost is $36 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Winter Birds at Mason NeckClick to Register with Parktakes Online
You don’t need to be a bird expert to search for bald eagles, tundra swans, hooded mergansers, ruddy ducks and loons that winter along the Potomac. Take a hike in the first wildlife refuge to protect bald eagles from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pack a lunch and enjoy a bird discussion and picnic at Mason Neck State Park after our hike. Meet at the parking lot for the Great Marsh Trail at the Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge. The cost is $15 per person or $35 per family. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Campfire Saturdays at Lake AccotinkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join us for a campfire from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park! Adventure awaits as you explore the woodlands and lakefront spots where wildlife hides and resides. The program about nocturnal predators ends with a cozy campfire. Bring whatever you like to roast; s’mores provided. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Sunday, February 1

Groundhog Day CelebrationClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 3 to 10 prepare for Groundhog Day with our costumed characters, Willard and Mother Nature, as they entertainingly discuss nature’s true weather forecasters at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Recipes from the Hearth
From 1 to 3 p.m. in Sully Historic Site’s 1794 kitchen, learn about Thornton, the Lee family’s enslaved cook. Make beaten biscuits like the ones that were served in the dining room and corn pone, a staple of the enslaved community’s diet. Compare the recipes and taste the difference. Then go next door to the laundry to find out about Madam Juba and Patty who did the washing for the Lees. You may be surprised to discover how different laundry day was 200 years ago. The cost is $8/adult; $7/student; and $6/senior and child. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Groundhog’s Day OutClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come to Frying Pan Farm Park and find out if groundhogs can really predict the weather. Visit a groundhog burrow, learn cool groundhog facts, enjoy games and make your own groundhog friend to take home from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Dress for the weather, hot chocolate provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must register. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

Monday, February 2

Groundhog Day!Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Meet our larger-than-life Walney groundhog! Learn the story behind Groundhog Day and some interesting facts about this animal at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Visit the home of the Walney garden groundhog and play some groundhog games. Please be sure to register an adult with your child. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

GroundFrog DayClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages four to eight hear the legend of Groundfrog Day, proclaiming those who rub the tummy of a frog on February 2nd will have six weeks of good luck. The celebration continues with games, snacks, predictions of spring and time with amphibian friends at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The cost is $7 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

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Introducing Parktakes in Living Color!

Introducing Parktakes in Living Color!

For the first time in its 30-year history, Parktakes is a full-color publication from cover to cover! This enables us to organize the information in a way that we believe more clearly communicates Fairfax County Park Authority program offerings and photos of our award-winning parks. Our goal in using color is to help you search the publication more easily to find information about programs and park activities that are important to you.

This may seem like an expensive proposition, but the fact is after the most recent competitive bidding process, we determined that producing Parktakes in full color costs the Park Authority no more than what it cost to print it in two colors as it was for decades. This is because advanced, high-speed printing equipment is configured to run process color as a standard to meet the demands of today’s publishing industry. As a result, the process of printing in full color is more efficient and cost-effective for long-run publications such as Parktakes.

It should be noted that no taxpayer dollars are used to print Parktakes. Instead, our costs are covered by park user fees and advertising sales. In addition, the printed publication is sent only to park users who request it, rather than to every household in the county, and about 25 percent of our 180,000 subscribers receive Parktakes electronically, further reducing our costs.

Just as our park system has evolved and expanded over time to meet the changing needs of our diverse community, Parktakes has evolved over the past three decades from a small, two-color pamphlet to a vibrant magazine showcasing all that our magnificent park system has to offer. To celebrate our new chapter, we've given the publication a little makover so that Parktakes can be more user-friendly than ever. We hope you enjoy the magazine’s new look!

Karen Acar Thayer, APR
Parktakes Editor, Fairfax County
Park Authority

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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