The Fairfax County Park Authority offers dozens of affordable, fun
events and programs to celebrate the season. Escape to a Winter
Wonderland, celebrate with the animals at Christmas at the Farm, or
visit the past at Sully’s Candlelight Tours - the entire family can
look forward to making holiday memories right here in Fairfax County!
Take a look at all we have to offer and be sure to register early.
All Month Long
November 30 - Monday December 26
Experience the main house at Sully Historic Site from 11 a.m. to 4
p.m. decorated for an 18th century season of celebration. Relive the
1885 holiday memories of a young Sully visitor seeing the tree
decorated in Victorian splendor. Groups of 15 or more require
reservations. The cost is $7 for adults, $6 for students, and $5 for
seniors and children. Closed Tuesdays. For more information, call
Tuesday, December 6 through Sunday, December 11
Trip: Lewis Ginter Garden Fest of Lights
Get into the holiday spirit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in
Richmond. The GardenFest of Lights features beautiful botanic displays
and more than a half million lights arranged in botanical themes
throughout the gardens, including an orchid and model train display.
This holiday adventure departs Green Spring Gardens at 2 and returns at
10:45 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. This
program is designed for participants age eight to adult. The $112 trip
cost includes motor coach, driver tip, entrance fee, garden tour and
semi-private buffet dinner. For more information, call 703-642-5173.
Saturday, Sunday, December 8, 10 & 11
Tea: A Very British Christmas
Take a break from the shopping, wrapping, mailing and general
craziness of the holiday season and relax at a candlelight tea with a
British flair at Historic Green Spring. Adults can discover distinctly
British Christmas and New Year traditions as Green Spring puts a focus
on holiday customs across the pond. Learn about Boxing Day, Hogmanay,
mince pies and more. Sample delicious staples of the British Christmas
table and take home a special “favour.” Tea time is 4:30 to 6 p.m. each
of the days. For more information, call 703-941-7987.
Wonderland at Burke Lake Park
Burke Lake Park turns into a Winter Wonderland for two weekends in
December, also being held December 3 and 4, with holiday fun for the
whole family. Hop aboard for a ride on the Holiday Express Train,
Snowman’s Wagon Ride or U.S.S. Rudolph Boat. Take a spin on the
Caroler’s Carousel or play a round of Gingerbread Man’s Golf. Visit
with Santa to let him know how good you’ve been this year. Warm up with
a cup of hot chocolate and roast s’mores by the fire. Satisfy your
sweet tooth with a tasty candy cane. Winter Wonderland hours are 10
a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission passes are $15 if purchased in advance; $20
the day of the event. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult
registered for the same ride package. Children under two ride free but
must pay for other activities. Limited activity tickets will be
available the day of event at the park. Help others this holiday season
by bringing a new toy or canned food item for donation. For more
information, call 703-323-6600.
Enjoy old-fashioned family holiday fun at Colvin Run Mill. 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.
This event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and is ideal for those ages three to
adult. The cost is $5 per person, and no reservations are required. For
more information, call 703-759-2771.
at Walney Farm
Celebrate the winter holidays with the Machen family at Walney Farm in
this ongoing program. Participants age two to adult can learn about the
gifts and foods of an 1850 Virginia farm, create their own historic
holiday ornament, take a wagon ride through the trails, and enjoy hot
apple cider and treats around a campfire. The program runs from 1 to 4
p.m. at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. The cost is $10 per person. For more
information, call 703-631-0013.
War by Candlelight
Experience a Civil War Christmas as Confederate soldiers cook dinner
in the field and fire the Christmas guns. Participants age five to
adult can enjoy music, make a 19th century holiday decoration, and
sample hot cider and homemade cookies. The house tour is 45 minutes
with start times every 15 minutes from 4:45 to 7 p.m. Outdoor
festivities are available until 8 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. For
more information, call 703-437-1794.
Horse Drawn Hayrides
Enjoy holiday music and merriment on a horse-drawn hayride through
Lake Accotink. Warm up with seasonal treats available for purchase at
our snack bar. There is no charge to visit Santa for hayride ticket
holders. Feel free to take photos as a holiday souvenir of your visit.
Dress for the weather and plan on a brisk walk from the parking lot.
Register for ride times starting at noon and ending at 2:40 p.m. The
cost is $12 per person; age two and younger free. For more information,
Holiday Train at Lake Fairfax
Take a break from the rush of the holiday season and take a ride
around Lake Fairfax on Engine #62 of the Resources Railroad. Santa will
be stopping by the park to visit. Participants age three to adult can
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
from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $10 per person. Call 703-471-5415 to
reserve a specific ride time.
Penguins and Snowman Fun
Create crafts and activities to keep or share at Hidden Oaks Nature
Center from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Build and race penguins and create
snowmen. Create a gift bag to take home your fun creations. This
program for children age three to nine costs $7 per child. Children
should be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call
at the Farm
Enjoy a special holiday visit to Frying Pan Farm Park and take a wagon
ride through the woods and fields with Santa. Activities for
participants age two to adult include a holiday craft, cookie
decorating and puppet show. Register for an hour-long time slot at 10
or 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 or 3 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. Children
must be accompanied by a registered adult. Dress for the weather. For
more information, call 703-437-9101.
Workshop: Williamsburg Centerpiece
Make a beautiful Williamsburg-style Christmas centerpiece at Green
Spring Gardens complete with greens, fruit and dried material. Florist
Chuck Mason shows you the techniques and leads you through the
take-home project from 2 to 4 p.m. The cost of this workshop for
participants age 16 to adult is $38 for the program and $25 for
supplies. Please register for both the program and supply fee. For more
information, call 703-642-5173.
Kidwell Farm House
Twinkling lights, wreaths, and special treats will capture the
imagination at Kidwell Farm House at Frying Pan Farm Park. Visitors
will experience an old-fashioned family celebration! The farm house
will be open Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays,
December 4 & 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m
Saturday, December 17
Participants five and older will enjoy Victorian-era traditions as you
meet Sully's Santa, hear a reading of A Visit from St. Nicholas and see
the Christmas tree decorated according to an 1885 memory. Make a tree
decoration based on a Victorian original, see Sully's own puppet show
and enjoy cider and sugar cakes. Tours begin at 4:45 with a new tour
starting every 15 minutes. The last tour begins at 7 p.m. The cost is
$10 per person. Please register online. For more information, call
Even if there is no snow on the ground, children age 3 to 12 will
celebrate the cool snowman by crafting their own, enjoying stories and
sipping on snowman soup (hot chocolate) at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.
Hear the tale of charity, “Flakey the (naked) Snowman,” as read by
author Amy Tubbs. This program from 2 to 3 p.m. costs $7 per child. For
more information, call 703-941-1065.
Ice Skating Show
Get ready to chill out and have some fun when the popular Holiday Ice
Show returns to Mount Vernon RECenter. This annual show features group
routines performed by students of all ages and abilities who are
enrolled in the ice arena’s group lessons, as well as solo skate
routines by other rink skaters. There will also be an appearance by a
very special guest. Admission to the show is free. Performances run
from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information, call 703-768-3224.
Express at Clemyjontri
Come meet Santa, take a ride on the train or carousel and color your
own holiday picture from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Photos with Santa are $5,
train ticket are $5 and carousel rides are $3. No reservations are
required. For more information, call 703-388-2807.
Wednesday, December 21
Fantasy Puppet Show
Bring your holiday guests and join master puppeteer Bob Brown in a
holiday production of the Nutcracker fantasy at Frying Pan Farm Park.
Join the lively marionettes as they frolic in a magical winter
wonderland of snow. After the show, stroll the park and visit our
animals or shop at the Country Store. Show times are 10 or 11:30 a.m.
The cost is $5 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information about the show, call 703-437-9101.
Wednesday, December 28
Concert – IONA
Music lovers age five to adult are invited to Sully Historic Site to
hear one of the top rated pan-Celtic groups in the world. IONA treats
its audience to high energy entertainment featuring Scottish fiddling,
percussion and vocals. Performances are at 1 and 2 p.m. Seating is
limited. The cost is $12 per person and includes a house tour.
Refreshments will be served in the 18th century kitchen. For more
information, call 703-437-1794.