FAIRFAX COUNTY
PARK AUTHORITY

FIND A PARK

FIND AN ACTIVITY

ADMINISTRATION

Online Services

Our Government

News and Events

Maps, Facts & Stats

State & Federal

Fairfax County Park Authority


Register with Parktakes Online Winter 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

Make your Holidays
Merry in Parks!

Make your Holidays Merry in Parks!

From family events to holiday crafts and shopping, you’ll find lots of ways to enjoy the winter season in Fairfax County Parks.


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.
Read More >>

Experience the NEW Oak Marr RECenter

Experience the NEW Oak Marr RECenter

After a year-long construction and renovation project, the newly expanded Oak Marr RECenter is open once again and getting rave reviews from customers.

1963 Record-Setting Swim Team
Shapes Up for Old Times’ Sake

1963 Record-Setting Swim Team Shapes Up for Old Times’ Sake

If you’re looking for motivation to shape up and get fit in the New Year, you may find inspiration in the story of Roger Russell, Roger Williams, Jimmy Dickson and Steve Mason.


Long-Awaited Gym to
Open at Spring Hill

Long-Awaited Gym to Open at Spring Hill

Work crews at Spring Hill RECenter are in the homestretch of a massive renovation and expansion project that is already getting rave reviews from patrons and staff. The new fitness center is nearly four times the size of the old one, and features a new line of Cybex weight training machines.


Colvin Run Mill Restoration Nears Completion

Colvin Run Mill Restoration Nears Completion

For the first time since Warren G. Harding was President, two stones are working at Colvin Run Mill, which will enable the mill to grind two different grains at the same time when it is fully restored early next year.


Calendar of Events

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

December 2014
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Download Full-Month

January 2015
S M T W T F S
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
2/1 2/2          

Download Full-Month

Monday, December 1

Feeding Day!Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Join a naturalist and youth volunteers as we feed our site display animals at E.C Lawrence Park from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Make a birdfeeder to take home and use. Search for worms and insects. The cost is $5 per person. Please be sure to register an adult with any child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Little Acorns: FallClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages two to four and their accompanying adult begin sharing the wonders of nature in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Classes last 45 minutes and start at 9:45 and 11 a.m. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. Topics in December: 12/1 Animals Getting Ready for Winter, 12/8 Twinkle Little Star, 12/15 Evergreens. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Wednesday, December 3

Pohick Puddle Jumpers
The youngest nature lovers can now become Pohick Rangers! Explore the natural world, hands-on and up close. Plenty of digging, netting, meeting animals and, you guessed it - puddle jumping in the woodlands of the Pohick Stream Valley at Hidden Pond Park. Topics include Animal Care 12/3, Animal Movements 12/10, and Animals Prepare for Winter 12/17. The cost is $5 per person. To register or for information, call 703-451-9588.

Thursday, December 4

Storytime in the ForestClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages three to five join us for a nature story, followed by a craft, outdoor exploration and other activities at Huntley Meadows Park. This program is offered at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Friday, December 5

Campfire Friday: Flying SquirrelsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn about nocturnal gliders and look for them in roosting boxes at Hidden Pond Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The program concludes with a campfire and s’mores. Child must be accompanied by a registered adult. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Rockhounders
The popular summer camp is now a spring series at Hidden Pond Nature Center.  This hands-on approach to geology from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. includes rock/mineral classification, plate tectonics, fossils and collecting.  Topics include 12/5 Cycle of Rocks and 12/19 Digging Into the Past. The cost is $6 per person. To register or for information, call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, December 6

Hands-on NatureClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Drop-off your child, ages 5 to 11, for an hour of natural adventure at E.C. Lawrence Park starting at 2 p.m. Nature brings variety to each month’s program. Children feed exhibit animals, search for wildlife, explore fur pelts, bones and other nature artifacts, and take home a craft. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Stream Side SalamandersClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Yes, even in winter we can find salamanders. Northern dusky and two-lined salamanders are active all year. Hike to a nearby stream to search for salamanders at E.C. Lawrence Park from 3 to 4 p.m. The cost is $5 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Huntley Holiday Happening
Looking for a special gift? Receive a 15% discount on selected new and used books, toys, stuffed animals, t-shirts, and seasonal items from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Huntley Meadows Park. Stay for the opening of the 40th anniversary of the photo contest. Admission is free. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Kids’ Activities at Huntley
Join us for a celebration of winter at Huntley Meadows Park from 1 to 2:30 p.m.! Discover how wildlife copes with winter through games, crafts and activities. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per child. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Astronomy FestivalClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy activities including guided stargazing, looking through the telescope, and listening to ancient stories about the constellations round the campfire from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Riverbend Park. Other activities and games will be happening throughout the evening. Hot chocolate and snacks will be available for purchase. The program will be canceled if raining or snowing. The cost is $6 online; $7 at the door. Register online. For information, call 703-759-9018.

Winter Wreath Workshop Click to Register with Parktakes Online
From 10 a.m. to noon create a beautiful winter wreath to take home for your front door after Green Spring staff demonstrate the dazzling possibilities. The program cost is $35 per person, and there is a $20 supply fee for greens, forms, ribbon and cones. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Authentic Darjeeling Teas
From India’s Himalayan foothills, the “Champagne of Teas” has recently been granted Protected Origin Status. Taste and compare the unique qualities from the four seasonal flushes and enjoy some tea-infused treats at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site from 1 to 3 p.m. A take-home tea sampler is included. This program is presented by Certified Tea Specialist Chef Laurie Bell of Great Falls Tea Garden. The cost is $30. To make a reservation, call 703-759-2771.

37th Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Shop at one of Northern Virginia's largest holiday shows. Top-quality handmade arts and crafts will be offered by nearly 100 of the area's finest artisans at Audrey Moore RECenter from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 per person; children ages 12 and under are free. Door prizes will be awarded. For information, call 703-321-7081.

Cocoa Wagon RidesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn what the holidays were like on a farm during the 1920s and 1930s. Your journey around Frying Pan Farm Park leads you past fields and farmland while you, your family and friends relish the beauty of the season and breathe in the fresh air. After the wagon ride relax by our campfire and warm up with a cup of cocoa and s’mores. One-hour rides are offered at 3, 4, 5, and 6 p.m. and the cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

Children’s Holiday Shopping
Volunteers at Frying Pan Farm Park help children shop for everybody on their holiday list. The Country Store stocks many unique items in all price ranges. Free wrapping assures surprises for family and friends. This program is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday. Meet at the Old Floris Schoolhouse. Monday’s program is for ages eight years and older with self-shopping and wrapping (no volunteer helpers). For information, call 703-437-9101.

Sunday, December 7

37th Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Shop at one of Northern Virginia's largest holiday shows. Top-quality handmade arts and crafts will be offered by nearly 100 of the area's finest artisans at Audrey Moore RECenter from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 per person; children ages 12 and under are free. Door prizes will be awarded. For information, call 703-321-7081.

Children’s Holiday Shopping
Volunteers at Frying Pan Farm Park help children shop for everybody on their holiday list. The Country Store stocks many unique items in all price ranges. Free wrapping assures surprises for family and friends. This program is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday. Meet at the Old Floris Schoolhouse. Monday’s program is for ages eight years and older with self-shopping and wrapping (no volunteer helpers). For information, call 703-437-9101.

Squirrel’s Nutcracker Tea PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy a puppet show starring a gray squirrel that dreams of a nutcracker at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Enjoy learning a few fun facts about this most common and curious creature as you sip sugarplum tea and munch gingerbread treats at the sit-down tea. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. The cost is $15 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Pictures w/Santa & Wildlife Trim-a-TreeClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Santa stops by Hidden Pond Park! Bring your wish list and camera for photos with Santa from 2 to 4 p.m. Children ages 2 to 12 make holiday crafts for both indoors and outdoors that will please wildlife. Enjoy holiday s’mores. We’ll take a digital photo for an extra charge. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call the nature center at 703-451-9588.

Gardeners Holiday Open House and Puppet ShowClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Treat yourself to a day of holiday fun at Green Spring Gardens from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy displays, decorations, and free refreshments, and shop for gifts and greens for your holiday decor. Register online in advance for a trackless train ride in the garden ($3 per person) and the 1 p.m. children’s puppet show ($3 per child). For information, call 703-642-5173.

Pearl Harbor Day: Holidays on the Home Front at E.C. Lawrence ParkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Growing up in the WWII era was hard for all Americans. Families sent care packages and letters to soldiers, planted victory gardens and helped ration food through creative recipes. Plant a seed for a victory garden, write a letter to a soldier, make a 1940s-era ornament and learn about ration recipes from 1 to 3 p.m. at E.C. Lawrence Park. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. The cost is $12. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Christmas at the FarmClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy a special holiday visit to Frying Pan Farm Park and take a wagon ride with Santa through the woods and fields. Activities include a holiday craft, cookie decorating and puppet show. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Dress for the weather. One-hour programs are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

Monday, December 8

Children’s Holiday Shopping
Volunteers at Frying Pan Farm Park help children shop for everybody on their holiday list. The Country Store stocks many unique items in all price ranges. Free wrapping assures surprises for family and friends. This program is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday. Meet at the Old Floris Schoolhouse. Monday’s program is for ages eight years and older with self-shopping and wrapping (no volunteer helpers). For information, call 703-437-9101.

Little Acorns: FallClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages two to four and their accompanying adult begin sharing the wonders of nature in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Classes last 45 minutes and start at 9:45 and 11 a.m. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. Topics in December: 12/1 Animals Getting Ready for Winter, 12/8 Twinkle Little Star, 12/15 Evergreens. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Tuesday, December 9

Animal Feeding at the Nature CenterClick to Register with Parktakes Online
It’s dinner time at Hidden Pond Nature Center and worms and insects are on the menu. Children ages 3 to 12 help our naturalist care for and feed the nature center’s animals from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $4 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588. Wednesdays, December 3, 10 & 17

Wednesday, December 10

Pohick Puddle Jumpers
The youngest nature lovers can now become Pohick Rangers! Explore the natural world, hands-on and up close. Plenty of digging, netting, meeting animals and, you guessed it - puddle jumping in the woodlands of the Pohick Stream Valley at Hidden Pond Park. Topics include Animal Care 12/3, Animal Movements 12/10, and Animals Prepare for Winter 12/17. The cost is $5 per person. To register or 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. and discover who Ellanor C. Lawrence was. Learn about other aspects of the area’s local and natural history. Return to a warming campfire and make a sweet chocolate treat to eat. The cost is $6 per person. Meet at Cabell’s Mill. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Thursday, December 11

Kids Korner: Fall Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschool children age three to six explore nature or history once a month, accompanied by an adult, at E.C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and craft included. Fall topics include monarch butterflies, black walnuts, Indian deer hunt and birds and berries. This one-hour program is offered at 1 p.m. on 12/11 and 10 a.m. on 12/13. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call the park at 703-631-0013.

Friday, December 12

Kyle’s Korner: Going Native
Join naturalist Kyle for a fun perspective on nature as he delves into science, outdoor explorations and live animals at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. To register or for information, call 703-451-9588.

Saturday, December 13

Civil War by CandlelightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Experience a Civil War Christmas as Confederate soldiers eat Christmas dinner in the field and share a gift box from home.  Enjoy music by Evergreen Shade and make a 19th century holiday decoration. Enjoy hot cider and homemade cookies. House tours are 45 minutes and begin every 15 minutes starting at 4:45 p.m. The final tour begins at 7 p.m. Outside festivities are available until 8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Kids Korner: FallClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Preschool children age three to six explore nature or history once a month, accompanied by an adult, at E.C. Lawrence Park. An outdoor activity and craft included. Fall topics include monarch butterflies, black walnuts, Indian deer hunt and birds and berries. This one-hour program is offered at 1 p.m. on 12/11 and 10 a.m. on 12/13. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call the park at 703-631-0013.

Cocoa Wagon RidesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn what the holidays were like on a farm during the 1920s and 1930s. Your journey around Frying Pan Farm Park leads you past fields and farmland while you, your family and friends relish the beauty of the season and breathe in the fresh air. After the wagon ride relax by our campfire and warm up with a cup of cocoa and s’mores. One-hour rides are offered at 3, 4, 5, and 6 p.m. and the cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

Garden Sprouts: Excellent EvergreensClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Cedar, pine, hemlock and spruce are the evergreen trees that make Green Spring’s winter landscape beautiful. From 11 a.m. to noon children ages three to five listen to a story about winter’s landscape and make a miniature wreath with natural materials to give as a gift or to hang at home. The cost is $8 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Holiday Hayrides and CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
It’s holly jolly family fun at Lake Accotink Park from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.! Enjoy music and merriment on a horse-drawn wagon ride by the lake. If seats on the horse-drawn wagon are sold out, a tractor-drawn wagon will accommodate additional participants. Rides are 15 to 20 minutes long. Warm up with seasonal treats available for purchase at our snack bar. Gather ‘round a toasty campfire by the lake. Visit Santa at the Lakeside pavilion. If you wish, take photos so you can create your holiday family photo. Dress for the weather and plan on a brisk walk from the parking lot. The cost is $10 per person (ages two and under free) and includes all activities. Call 703-222-4664 to make a reservation or register online.

Family Fun: Winter Solstice WorkshopClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn how people in the past celebrated the winter solstice at this Green Spring Gardens program from 1 to 2 p.m. Then create an evergreen centerpiece complete with beeswax candle to warm and welcome friends and family to your table. This family-friendly program is intended for children ages five and older with a registered adult. The cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

Santa at the Mill
Enjoy old-fashioned family holiday fun at Colvin Run Mill from 3 to 6 p.m. Visit Santa in the mill and see the Christmas tree trimmed with Victorian decorations. Join the costumed 49th Virginia Volunteer Infantry caroling around a bonfire. Roast marshmallows and make a family craft. The cost is $5 per person. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Holidays at Walney FarmClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Celebrate the winter holidays with the Machen family at Walney Farm. Learn about the gifts and foods of an 1850 Virginia farm at E.C. Lawrence Park from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Create your own historic holiday ornament. Enjoy hot apple cider and baked treats. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Caroling Wagon Ride & CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Oh Cedar Tree! Join us in song and exploration on a wagon ride through the cedars at E.C. Lawrence Park from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Evergreen trees have long been important to both winter holiday festivities and wildlife winter survival. Warm up and enjoy s’mores at the campfire. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Winter Wonder CampfireClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Bundle up and discover animal strategies for surviving winter at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Meet some exhibit animals and find out their strategies. Enjoy s‘mores. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Flying Squirrels: Gliding in TonightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Look for flying squirrels at roosting boxes near Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 5 to 6 p.m. Learn how you can encourage flying squirrels to visit your yard. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Flakey the (naked) SnowmanClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Snuggle up with snowman soup (hot cocoa) as you listen to this inspiring tale of friendship and charity as read by local author Amy Tubbs at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from1 to 2:15 p.m. Make a craft based on the story. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Boardwalk AstronomyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
What’s new in the night sky? Join Huntley Meadows Park naturalists as they take you on a tour of constellations, comets and other current events happening in the heavens above from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Winter Hike: Marvelous MeadowsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Chase the winter blues away with a two-mile hike on the South King’s Highway side of Huntley Meadows Park from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Look for winter hawks, ducks, bluebirds, and goldfinches, while exploring the park’s native meadows and stopping at the wetland overlook. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per person. Register online. For more information, call 703-768-2525.

Campfire Saturdays at Lake AccotinkClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join a naturalist at Lake Accotink Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and explore the woodlands and lakefront spots to look for animal tracks. Programs end with a cozy campfire and s’mores. The cost is $7. Register online. For information, call Hidden Pond Park at 703-451-9588.

Ride the Holiday TrainClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Take a break from the rush of the holiday season and take a ride around Lake Fairfax Park on Engine #62 of the Resources Railroad. Santa will be stopping by the park to visit with you. From noon to 6 p.m. see the lighted Christmas tree and inflatable seasonal decorations; make a holiday project to take home; gather round the campfire and hear holiday music; and enjoy warm drinks and treats from the food vendor. The cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-471-5415.

Sunday, December 14

Christmas at the FarmClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Enjoy a special holiday visit to Frying Pan Farm Park and take a wagon ride with Santa through the woods and fields. Activities include a holiday craft, cookie decorating and puppet show. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Dress for the weather. One-hour programs are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

World War II Christmas at HomeClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Soldiers on leave spent the holidays with family and friends dancing to big band music, singing carols and enjoying home cooking. Get in the spirit of a 1940s Christmas as you make an ornament to take home, learn about cooking with substitutions, and hear the latest war news. Enjoy hot cider and homemade cookies. House tours are 45 minutes and begin every 15 minutes starting at 4:45 p.m. The final tour begins at 7 p.m. Outside festivities are available until 8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Making Nature Gifts WorkshopClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Parents can enjoy shopping at the mall while their young ones (ages 5 to 10) make gifts and wrap them for their families at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Enjoy a range of activities from meeting live animals to watching 16mm movies, to seeing a puppet show. Bring a snack. The cost is $15 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Gifts of Nature: Wrap and WreathsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Make your own seasonal vine and straw wreaths with naturalist Clara Ailes at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Decorate your wreath with greens, cones, dried flowers and ribbons. Then personalize your own nature-themed wrapping paper for gifts. The cost is $15 per family and reservations are required. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Reptile & Amphibian Club Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages 6 to 15 join RAC and explore the amazing world of turtles, snakes, lizards, frogs, and salamanders at E.C. Lawrence Park from 1 to 2 p.m. Learn new facts, encounter live animals, and discover their habitats in the park. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Bird Watching Club Click to Register with Parktakes Online
Look up and listen carefully and discover the amazing variety of birds that inhabit E.C Lawrence Park. Kids ages 5 to 11 meet from 3 to 4 p.m. to develop awesome birding skills that will last a lifetime. The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

Ride the Holiday TrainClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Take a break from the rush of the holiday season and take a ride around Lake Fairfax Park on Engine #62 of the Resources Railroad. Santa will be stopping by the park to visit with you. From noon to 6 p.m. see the lighted Christmas tree and inflatable seasonal decorations; make a holiday project to take home; gather round the campfire and hear holiday music; and enjoy warm drinks and treats from the food vendor. The cost is $10 per person. To make a reservation, call 703-471-5415.

Monday, December 15

Little Acorns: FallClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages two to four and their accompanying adult begin sharing the wonders of nature in this interactive class at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Classes last 45 minutes and start at 9:45 and 11 a.m. Experiences include finger plays, stories, activities and outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. Topics in December: 12/1 Animals Getting Ready for Winter, 12/8 Twinkle Little Star, 12/15 Evergreens. The cost is $6 per child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Wednesday, December 17

Pohick Puddle Jumpers
The youngest nature lovers can now become Pohick Rangers! Explore the natural world, hands-on and up close. Plenty of digging, netting, meeting animals and, you guessed it - puddle jumping in the woodlands of the Pohick Stream Valley at Hidden Pond Park. Topics include Animal Care 12/3, Animal Movements 12/10, and Animals Prepare for Winter 12/17. The cost is $5 per person. To register or for information, call 703-451-9588.

Friday, December 19

Rockhounders
The popular summer camp is now a spring series at Hidden Pond Nature Center.  This hands-on approach to geology from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. includes rock/mineral classification, plate tectonics, fossils and collecting.  Topics include 12/5 Cycle of Rocks and 12/19 Digging Into the Past. The cost is $6 per person. To register or for information, call 703-451-9588.

Campfire Friday: Wintertime WarmthClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Join naturalists for outdoor adventure and nature studies about how animals stay warm throughout the winter. Cozy up to the campfire and enjoy the glow at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 7 to 8:30 p.m. S’mores are provided. Child must be accompanied by a registered adult. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

Jr. Naturalist: FallClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Children ages six to nine explore E.C. Lawrence Park’s meadows and forests, view wildlife, participate in historical activities, and make crafts from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Fall topics include monarch butterflies, black walnuts, Indian deer hunt and birds and berries The cost is $5 per child. Register online. For information, call the park at 703-631-0013.

Family Nature NightClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Come discover your natural neighborhood and reconnect your family with nature at Huntley Meadows Park from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Seasonal topics explore the park’s many habitats and diverse wildlife through activities, crafts, games and walks. Please call park for topic. The cost is $7 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-768-2525.

Saturday, December 20

Austen to Dickens A Christmas SamplerClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Holiday customs have evolved from elegant balls in the time of Jane Austen to family traditions of the Victorian era. See Regency period dancers and be inspired by Sully’s 1885 Christmas tree. Make a tree decoration based on a Victorian original. Enjoy hot cider and homemade cookies. House tours are 45 minutes and begin every 15 minutes starting at 4:45 p.m. The final tour begins at 7 p.m. Outside festivities are available until 8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Holiday Model Train Display
Fun for all ages! Watch G-gauge trains wend their way through a miniature western town in the Colvin Run Barn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Sunday, December 21

Holiday Model Train Display
Fun for all ages! Watch G-gauge trains wend their way through a miniature western town in the Colvin Run Barn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Celebrate Urban BirdsClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Start a lifelong hobby of watching backyard birds. Learn how to identify common species and attract songbirds to your yard during this one-hour program at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Handouts help you continue bird watching at home and making your yard or balcony a wildlife habitat. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. The program starts at 2 p.m. and the cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Tuesday, December 23

Magic Toy Shop Puppet ShowClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Bring your holiday guests and join master puppeteer Bob Brown in a holiday production of the Magic Toy Shop at Frying Pan Farm Park. Join the lively marionettes as they frolic in a magic shop full of toys. Shows will be offered at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and the cost is $5 per person. After the show visit the animals or shop at the Country Store. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Register online. For information, call 703-437-9101.

Saturday, December 27

Holiday Model Train Display
Fun for all ages! Watch G-gauge trains wend their way through a miniature western town in the Colvin Run Barn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Sunday, December 28

Holiday Model Train Display
Fun for all ages! Watch G-gauge trains wend their way through a miniature western town in the Colvin Run Barn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. For information, call 703-759-2771.

Dino Puppet Show & ActivitiesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Dinosaurs once roamed all the Earth, places far and near. How do we know that they were here? Children ages three to seven enjoy a puppet show along with fun fossil facts at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. and the cost is $6 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

Monday, December 29

Holiday Concerts at SullyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
In their annual holiday visit to Sully, IONA treats its audience to traditional Celtic music blending songs, dance turns and aires in a lively entertaining presentation. The performance features multiple fiddling styles, dynamic dancing, driving percussion, and strong vocals from all the Celtic nations, including America. A house tour is included in the cost of $12 per person. Refreshments are served in the 18th century kitchen. One-hour performances begin at 1 and 2 p.m. Limited seating is available. Register online. For information, call 703-437-1794.

Winter Survival CampClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Learn to survive and have fun with nature's most challenging season. Campers make fire, build shelter, track animals, create snow goggles and more during this wonder-filled adventure into winter wilderness at Hidden Pond Park. Camps sessions run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, December 29-31. The cost is $210 per person. Register online. For information, call 703-451-9588.

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.

Ice Making in 19th Century FairfaxClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Before there were refrigerators, there was ice. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, learn how ice was harvested and stored on Walney Farm in the 19th century. Make and eat ice cream. Please be sure to register an adult with your child. The cost is $8. Register online. For information, call 703-631-0013.

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.

Squirrel Appreciation DayClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Celebrate National Squirrels Day! Learn what makes them such a neighborhood success with stories, games and song at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $5. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.

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

Family Fun: Hot Cocoa PartyClick to Register with Parktakes Online
From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., take a walk through Green Spring Gardens’ winter wonderland, then join us back inside to warm up with a hot cocoa party. Listen to some heartwarming winter stories and make a wintry craft to take home. This program is suited for children ages five and older with a registered adult. The cost is $16. Register online. For information, call 703-642-5173.

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.

Wednesday, January 21

Genealogy: Y-DNA Tracing Your Male LinesClick to Register with Parktakes Online
Testing the Y-chromosome (Y-DNA), the most powerful DNA test, is a valuable tool in tracing paternal lineages, but only males can take this test. However, there are ways women can benefit from this test. This course at Annandale High School from 7 to 9:30 p.m. covers all recent advances and discusses strategies for testing and analysis. The cost is $45 per adult. 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.

PARK NEWS RSS Feed
PARK PLANNING NEWS
PARK BLOG

Park Blog

GROUNDBREAKINGS & OPENINGS
Past Events Photo Gallery
Past Events Photo Gallery
Giving Thanks for Great Parks and
a Great Community

Giving Thanks for Great Parks and a Great Community

As the holiday season approaches, I am so thankful to have grown up in a community that values its parks, recreational and leisure opportunities. Parks are crucial to our sense of well-being. They often become our favorite places and hold special meaning as tranquil retreats for reflection, family fun, exercise and other recreational and leisure activities. Fairfax County is fortunate to have a treasure trove of RECenters, golf courses, nature centers, historic sites, accessible parks, trails and lake and riverfront parks, making the Fairfax County Park Authority one of the most comprehensive park systems in the nation.

Aside from maintaining our existing facilities, the Park Authority has achieved a great deal in terms of major accomplishments over the past year. As I came on board as director, the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria had just been restored to bring back locally rare wildlife. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, the restoration gives nature lovers a chance to see species that haven’t lived in the park for decades, and it was exciting for me to see the park in its fully-restored beauty.

Thanks to tremendous community support, Colvin Run Mill in Great Falls is undergoing restoration. When it is completed, this modern marvel of yesterday will be able to operate just as it did when it opened in 1811, and school groups, history buffs and others will be able to learn from one of the finest examples of simple machinery in the world.

The renovation and improvement projects at Oak Marr RECenter in Oakton and Spring Hill RECenter in McLean are simply spectacular. Expanded fitness rooms with state-of-the art training equipment, additional classroom space and family changing rooms are among the many new amenities at both RECenters. To meet the needs of their respective communities, Oak Marr also offers child-sitting services for patrons while they exercise or take a class, and Spring Hill’s long-awaited new gym with its suspended walking track is expected to be open to the public by the end of 2014, just in time to provide additional indoor recreational opportunities during the cold winter months.

Much of our recent accomplishments have been the result of community collaboration, generous community support, corporate and non-profit partnerships and an extraordinary service from a large cadre of volunteers. As we look toward the future, we will continue to seek creative ways to ensure our parks continue to meet the needs of our growing and diverse community for generations to come.

Kirk W. Kincannon, CPRP
Director, Fairfax County
Park Authority

Winter in the Parks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2013

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version