Discover the Hidden Gem Offering Affordable After-School Fun in McLean

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County Conversation - Old Firehouse Center


Tucked away in the old McLean fire station building is a hidden gem offering kids in grades 5-9 affordable after-school programs, activities and more. The Old Firehouse Center, a McLean Community Center program, provides a fun and safe space for kids to hang out with friends, get homework help, play games, join clubs and let their creativity shine. 

Andrew Carter, program manager of the Old Firehouse Center, was featured on a recent episode of the “County Conversation” podcast, highlighting the benefits of the center and its programs.

According to Carter, the program gives kids "a good time after school to maybe get that knowledge or find that creative instinct that will help them when they move on to high school into college."


For only $300 a year if you live in the McLean tax district, or $325 outside, the program provides:

  • Transportation from school to the center
  • Snacks
  • Homework help and tutoring
  • Video games, pool table and arcade machines
  • Arts and crafts, cooking club and other creative clubs
  • Dances, including the popular Monster Mash in October

"I feel like it's a pretty good deal. You can sign up your kid for one fee for the entire year. They get transportation to our facility, snacks and drinks, and the opportunity to hang out with us, the staff," Carter notes.

The center makes use of the old fire station building, converting the truck bays into a multipurpose room with a dance floor. With ample space, they can host up to 250 kids for dances and events.


"It's mainly a place for kids fifth through 9th grade to kind of get off the street a little after school program where myself and our facilitators, we provide different type of clubs and activities just for the kids to have a good time after school to maybe get that knowledge or find that creative instinct that will help them when they move on to high school into college." - Andrew Carter


Carter shared that in addition to their regular after-school program, the Old Firehouse Center also hosts annual events like the Festival of Frights in October and the Old Firehouse Block Party on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 1-4 p.m.

“It's our birthday. That's kind of how we celebrate our birthday is having a big community festival free of charge...a way for people who didn't know about us to figure out who we are and what we are.”

The Block Party will feature free food, entertainment, vendors, a rock-climbing wall, arcade games and a special appearance by Slapshot, the Washington Capitals' mascot.

To learn more about the Old Firehouse Center or sign up for their after-school program, visit or call 703-448-8336. Discounts are available on registration fees until the Block Party, so act soon to take advantage of the deals.



The “County Conversation” is a podcast featuring employees and subject matter experts from the Fairfax County Government discussing programs, services and items of interest to residents of Fairfax County. Listen to past episodes of "County Conversation” here.

To find other county podcasts, visit

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