Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale Community Park has interactive natural and cultural exhibits, live animal displays, a puppet stage, a resource library, restrooms, and an auditorium. Outside discoveries include a pond, woodland trails, creeks, butterfly gardens, a rain garden, a playground, an unstructured woodland play area, a picnic area, ball fields, and the Fred M. Packard Center. The pond is a particularly good place to see frogs when they spawn in early spring. There’s a naturalist available during the nature center’s open hours.
We recommend Nature Playce as the perfect playce to introduce the youngest members of your family to nature. It’s a classic go-outside-and-play opportunity.
Wildlife seen in the park includes red and grey foxes, white-tailed deer, gray squirrels, black squirrels, flying squirrels, raccoons, coyote, house mice, white-footed mice, common moles and voles, and amphibians, including wood frogs, American toads, northern red backs, and yellow spotted and marble salamanders. Snakes identified in the park include eastern rat, garter, brown, worm and earth. None of those are venomous. Hidden Oaks is home to more than 120 bird species, including pileated, red bellied, downy, hairy and northern flicker woodpeckers, tanagers, migrating warblers, cardinals, blue jays, red shouldered and broadwing hawks, and an occasional bald eagle.
These are fun activities using materials available at the front desk:
Hidden Oaks Bingo: Everyone Wins!
(All ages) Ask a naturalist for your Hidden Oaks Bingo card and join the outdoor fun. From exhibit exploration to trail walks to program participation, earn stamps for four-in-a row to win a family field guide. Free.
(Families) No reservations required. Available during nature center hours. Enhance your enjoyment of the 1/3-mile Old Oak Trail, which loops behind the nature center. Each bag contains activities and learning tools ideal for young-child-and-parent adventures along the woodchip path.
(All ages) No reservations required. Available during nature center hours. $1. Use nature's clues to find its treasures with our self-guided scavenger hunts. Challenge yourself to find all the highlights along the 1/3-mile Old Oak Trail.
(All ages), 7:30-9:00 a.m., Eakin Community Park. Call 703-941-1065 for information. Discover the resident birds of the Accotink Stream Valley. Bring binoculars. Meet at Prosperity Ave. parking lot. Walk canceled if rain or severe weather. No registration required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. FREE
12000 Government Center Pkwy
Fairfax, VA 22035