Dec. 7: Dickens in December
A Christmas Carol: A new take on this classic tale. A Shakespearean actor and his manager run out of gas, and the townsfolk agree to supply some if they tell them the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. Performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the James Lee Community Center. All ages. $20 per person. Buy tickets online. (Additional performances through Dec. 16) For more information, call 703-425-6782.
Also on Friday:
Celebration Station at Burke Lake Park: The park’s train station, carousel and train tracks are festively lit for a unique experience. Train rides every 20 minutes from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Burke Lake Park. Tickets are limited so purchase in advance. Tickets are $10 and includes one train ride and one carousel ride. Each passenger must purchase a ticket to ride the train. Children under 2 are free with a paying adult but must ride in the adult’s lap. Children sitting alone require a ticket. Register online. For more information call, 703-323-6600.
Dec. 8: Jamming Out
2nd Annual Instrument Petting Zoo: This free family event is a chance for everyone to try the musical instruments they have been dreaming of! Professional musicians and instructors will be available to help guide you through making your first sounds. From noon to 3 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center. All ages. Free. For more information, call 703-584-2900.
Also on Saturday:
Starlight Express at Lake Fairfax: The Campground at Lake Fairfax Park is transformed into a magical winter light show. Enjoy a wagon ride through the festive holiday lights. Afterward, warm yourself by the fire, sip on hot chocolate and make s’mores. Register for rides every 20 minutes from 5 to 8:40 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park. Ages 2 and up. $10 per person. Register online. For more information, call 703-471-5414.
Santa’s Critters and Craft: Come one, come all to meet Santa and his merry band of critters. Bring your camera to take a picture with Jolly Saint Nick, his elves and their animal friends. From 10 a.m. to noon at Hidden Pond Nature Center. Ages 2 to 12. $10 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Register online. For more information, call 703-451-9588.
Holiday Fun at Lake Accotink: The park is gearing up to host Santa Claus. Staff are busying themselves like Santa’s elves to prepare his cozy cottage for visits with families and pets. A hayride will carry riders on an enchanted holiday trail while a roaring bonfire keeps park visitors warm on the beach. From noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Accotink Park. All ages. (Tickets needed for some events — 1 ticket/$1; 20 tickets/$15; and 50 tickets/$35) For more information, call 703-569-3464.
Santa in the Mill: Enjoy old-fashioned holiday fun during the jolly old elf’s annual visit. See the mill decked out in Victorian finery, roast marshmallows by the fire and make crafts with your family to take home. We encourage pre-registration, but walk-ins are welcome. From 3 to 6 p.m. at Colvin Run Mill. Ages 3 and up. $5 per person. Register online. For more information, call 703-759-2771.
Holidays at Walney Farm: Celebrate the winter holidays with the Machen family at Walney Farm. Learn about gifts and foods from an 1850 farm, create your own historic holiday ornament, take a wagon ride along the trails and enjoy hot apple cider and treats around a campfire. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Ages 2 and up. $10 per person. Register online. For more information, call 703-631-0013.
Candlelight Tours: Festive food and drink. Seasonal music of the 18th century. Come tour the historic site in candlelight. Craft an ornament to take home and experience other engaging pursuits that bring the past to life in the gracefully decorated 1794 Lee home. From 4 to 8 p.m. at Sully Historic Site. Ages 5 and up. Register online. For more information, call 703-437-1794.
Second Saturdays with Supervisor Storck: Meet with your Board of Supervisors representative Dan Storck to discuss your concerns. From 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Lorton Library. All ages. Free. For more information, call 703-339-7385.
Reston Town Center Holiday Performances: Take a break from holiday errands and stop by for festive cheer and holiday songs. Each performance is approximately 45 minutes long. From noon to 2 p.m. (Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22) at Reston Town Center South Market Promenade. All ages. Free. For more information call, 703-390-6166.
Second Saturday Art Walk: Whether it’s your first visit or your 100th, the Second Saturday Art Walk is the perfect time to meet nearly 100 resident and associate artists, creating art in the studios or exhibiting in our 12 campus galleries. Enjoy thrilling performances of dance, cabaret, comedy, big band, jazz and theater. Indulge in classes in the art of mixology or cuisines from around the globe. Experience art exhibitions in nine galleries of the region’s finest sculpture, painting, glass, ceramics and fiber art works. From 6 to 9 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center. All ages. Free. For more information, call 703-584-2900.
Dec. 9: Acting Squirrely
Squirrel’s Nutcracker Tea Party: Enjoy seasonal sounds as your family watches a puppet show starring a gray squirrel that dreams of a nutcracker. Learn 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. From 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Ages 4 and up. $15 per person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Register online. For more information, call 703-941-1065.
Also on Sunday:
Holiday History Book Mart: Meet local authors who have written about the history of this county and surroundings. Books for sale. From 2 to 4 p.m. at the City of Fairfax Library. All ages. Free. For more information, call 703-293-6227.
Christmas at the Farm: Celebrate the holidays with Santa and company. Enjoy a variety of Christmas-themed activities that include cookie decorating, a Santa-driven tractor wagon ride, games, a craft and writing letters to Santa. Sessions at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. at Frying Pan Farm Park. Ages 2 and up. $10 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Register online. For more information, call 703-437-9101.