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: Read all instructions before beginning your booking process

  1. Go to: or click the “Request a Reservation”  link on any Field Trip page.
  2. Log in with a ParkTakes account, or create a new one.  You can create an account with a work or personal email.
  3. After logging in, choose your desired location. Enter the park name into the search box and select it from the drop-down menu or click the site’s icon on the interactive map. 
    • Hint: You may need to maximize your screen.
  4. Select the Green or Red “Reserve” button to see the site’s rentable options.
  5. Select the “Reserve” or “Check Availability” button associated with the School Field Trip option. A calendar with available dates will appear.
  6. Available days are represented with a green box.  Use the date selector or arrows to see future dates. When you have found your desired date, click on the green box.
    • Hint: Although there is a drop-down menu for the number of nights, the reservations are for day use. You can continue with your reservation.
    • Hint: Confused about which unit to reserve?  Visit the site’s webpage for definitions. 
  7. Click 'Reserve Unit' in the pop-up window.
  8. On the Booking Details screen, complete all applicable boxes in the “Extra Information” section.  All fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
    • Hint: If you receive an error before the Booking Details screen, you have likely chosen a reservation date that is within two weeks of the current date.  Please select a new date, or call the site directly to book a field trip that is within two weeks of the current date.
    • Hint: There is a 20-character limit in the email field. Your email address may not fit.  This information was captured when you logged in. 
    • Hint: When selecting the number of students, you will notice a drop-down menu.  Please enter the maximum number of students for your trip.  If you have more students than available in the drop-down, you may need to book an additional date. Sites limit the total number of students per day. Larger groups may be accommodated over multiple days.
  9. After completing all information, check the box indicating that you agree with the terms and conditions, then select “Book Site”.  You will then be taken to your shopping cart. 
    • Hint: To make another reservation, select “Reservations” at the top of the Shopping Cart page.
  10. When you have completed making your reservations, review your cart and select “Go to Checkout”.
  11. After you select “Go to Checkout”, a window will open verifying receipt of your request. You will also receive an email. There are no fees charged for a reservation request. Payment is due on the day of the program. Staff will be in touch to finalize your reservation.

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.

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