Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Kirk Kincannon,
Executive Director

Lakefront Field Trip Opportunities

Step by Step Instructions to Request a Field Trip Date:

  1. Click the “Request a Reservation” link.
  2. In the Facility Reservation Portal, choose your desired location using the search box or click the site’s icon on the interactive map.
  3. Select your chosen park’s “Reserve” button.
  4. On your chosen park’s page, click the “Reserve” or “Check Availability” button in the School Field Trips box to see the availability calendar.
  5. Use the calendar to identify which days are available. Available dates are green.
  6. Click on your desired day.
  7. Navigate through the calendar using the Calendar Date field.
  8. Click 'Reserve Unit' in the pop up window.
  9. Log in with an existing ParkTakes account, or create a new one.
  10. In the Booking Details screen, fill in all applicable boxes in the ‘Extra Information section.  All fields with an asterisk are required.
  11. Click ‘Book Site’.
  12. Review your cart and check out. There are no fees charged for a reservation request. Payment is due on the day of the program.
  13. After your reservation is complete, a window will open with confirmation of your request. 
  14. You will receive an email that confirms receipt of your request. Staff will be in touch to finalize your booking and any additional details.

If you are requesting a date less than two weeks in advance, please call the park for availability.

Please note that sites limit the total number of students per day. Larger groups may be accommodated over multiple days.

Download Detailed Instructions

Request a Reservation


The Park Authority's three lakefront parks are like the chocolate chips in a cookie — large chunks of nature in the midst of a generally suburban county, and they are ideal platforms for learning about the outdoors.

Reservations and Payment

Programs are available Monday through Friday mornings (start time: 10 a.m.) from September until June.  Staff permitting, programs also may be scheduled on select afternoons.  Students may be divided into smaller groups.

For 60-minute programs, in-county fees are $6 per student or chaperone;  out-of county fees are $7 per student or chaperone.

For 90-minute programs, in-county fees are $8 per student or chaperone; out-of county fees are $8 per student or chaperone. Teachers and aides are not charged.

For 120-minute programs, in-county fees are $10 per student or chaperone; out-of county fees are $11 per student or chaperone. Teachers and aides are not charged.

Payment, in full, is due on the day of your visit with check made payable to “Fairfax County Park Authority” or with Visa or MasterCard.

Advance reservations are required, and the schedule fills quickly. To make a reservation request, use the Field Trip Calendar. Click on a date with availability, and complete the reservation request form.

We look forward to your visit!

Although SOL correlations are noted in the program descriptions below, most programs can be tailored to meet the needs of pre-school through 6th grades with advanced notice. Please discuss your field trip goals with a naturalist when reserving a program date. Programs fill quickly.

Living Systems/Fairfax County Native Wildlife

rabbit.jpgHow do we classify animals? Students will use critical thinking and observation skills to answer this question on a guided trail hike by comparing and observing animals that we see during the program. Animal behavior, adaptations and survival techniques that help the animal survive in specific habitat will be taught. Camouflage, mimicry, nocturnal, migrate are examples of terms discussed. SOLs addressed include SCI 5.5.


Living Systems/Life in the Lakes of Fairfax County

frogs.jpgStudents investigate the physical and biological characteristics of a lake habitat through hands-on collection and release of aquatic insects and other lake dwellers. Naturalists will lead observation and discussion of the interdependency of life found at the lake, habitat characteristics, and how human actions affect water quality and life found in aquatic habitats. SOLs addressed include Science 1.4, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9 and 4.5. This program can be modified to address the needs of older grade levels.