Riverbend Park

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Visitor Center: Weekdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Weekends 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

8700 Potomac Hills Street
Great Falls, Virginia

John Callow,
Manager

Riverbend Park Field Trips/Outreach

Step by Step Instructions to Request a Field Trip Date: Read all instructions before beginning your booking process

  1. Go to: https://fairfax.usedirect.com/FairfaxFCPAWeb/ 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

Field Trips

Riverbend Park interpretive naturalists make science and history fun and engaging. 
  • Payment is due upon arrival.
  • Payment options are cash, checks (payable to FCPA/Riverbend Park), Visa and MasterCard.
  • Maximum Daily Capacity for Elementary programs: 3 classes/90 students
  • Larger groups may be accommodated by scheduling over multiple days.
 
FEES
Fairfax County Public Schools:
  • PreK-K: Students and chaperones - $6 each
  • 1st-6th: Students and chaperones - $8 each
  • Teachers: FREE
 
Other schools:
  • Pre-K to K: Students and chaperones - $7 each
  • 1st-6th: Students and chaperones - $9 each
  • Teachers: FREE
 
Extras:
  • Themed Goody Bags:  $4 each
  • 30-minute wagon ride:  $2/person

1st-6th Grade Programs: 1.5 hrs

What does every plant and animal need to survive? Hands-on activities in different habitat types help you discover the resources animals use and why the animals depend on them for survival. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8

Take a one-mile hike through the park to discover the seasons. Explore the forest and river to discover physical and behavioral adaptations of animals and plants. Use your senses to search for wildlife and find all that nature offers. Available for all seasons. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8, 3.10

Look at life under a log. Hike the forest in search of decomposers, such as turkey tail, shelf fungus, worms, and termites. Learn through trail activities why decomposers, such as fungus, are important to maintain a healthy ecosystem. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.4(a,b,c), 1.7(a), 2.5(a), 2.8(c), 3.10(a) 1

Find patterns in everyday life. Discover and explore animal and plant life cycles. Learn how everything changes as it grows. Discover surprising animals and their offspring. A hike in the park and hands-on activities provide fun and active ways to learn about nature's fascinating life cycles. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.5, 3.6

Gather ‘round the totem pole, touch the dugout canoe, view an Indian warrior in full dress and see local artifacts. Learn how the Algonquian Indians adapted to their climate and environment to secure food, clothing and shelter. Learn about their daily lives through activities. Take a short hike along the Potomac River, a heavily used American Indian travel way. SOL/Program of Studies: VS.2

What happens when it rains? Find out with this action-packed program by building a model of your own watershed. Then we'll make it rain. Find out how each of us fits into the Potomac River watershed. Become part of the water cycle, make erosion happen, and take a hike through woods and along streams to see these concepts in action. SOL/Program of Studies: 2.3, 2.5, 3.7, 3.9, 4.1, 4.8, 5.7, 6.5

Igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? In hands-on activities, identify rocks and minerals, explore plate tectonics, and build a volcano. Hike along the Potomac in search of the ancient ocean floor, and explore soil types. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.3, 4.8, 5.6, 5.7

Open the black box and explore the wonderful underground. Hands-on experiments and activities illustrate the importance of soil in the ecosystem. Compare soils and learn how to determine their composition. Hike along the Potomac to see the connection between soil and the watershed. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10

Investigate food chains and learn about the exciting world of producers, consumers and decomposers as well as predator-prey relationships. Explore both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to discover how different populations share and compete for resources. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.5, 3.6

Microbes are all around us and are an essential part of our ecosystem. Students move through interactive activities that broaden their understanding of ecological relationships (e.g. consumers/producers and symbiosis), nutrient cycling, and eutrophication of the watershed. Microbes are not invisible once you learn to spot their handywork SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 6.7, LS 6

Pre-School – Kindergarten Programs: 45 min

Experience the sounds, colors and textures of the seasons on this ¼-mile forest discovery walk or wagon ride. Through fun activities and games, explore nature and learn how animals use their senses. SOL/Program of Studies: K.1, K.2, K.4

Explore the world of these amazing insects. Become part of an ant colony. Learn about their life cycle and their fascinating social lives. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6

Through a short walk, hands-on activities, handling tools and other everyday items (artifact reproductions), learn what your life would have been like as an American Indian child living here a long time ago. Social Studies Prog. of Studies: SOLs – K.1, K.2

Nature never rests, even when Old Man Winter comes around. Learn about migration, hibernation, and active winter animals through interactive activities, stories and songs.

Explore the micro-world of insects and other invertebrates. Learn how they grow, eat, hunt, and adapt to the world around them. Hike and see what small creatures you can find. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6, K7

Join in games, stories and hikes that help you learn about life cycles, habitats and adaptions of the animal of your choice. Feed and touch one of the park's resident animals. Available topics include snake, turtle or frog and toad. SOL/Program of Studies: K.2, K.6

Outreach

No money for a bus? Bring the program to you. 

FEES:
Fairfax County Schools:

  • $175 for the first class
  • $125 for each additional class

Other areas:

  • $200 for the first class
  • $175 for each additional class

Explore the world of these amazing insects. Become part of an ant colony. Learn about their life cycle and their fascinating social lives. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6

Nature never rests, even when Old Man Winter comes around. Learn about migration, hibernation, and active winter animals through interactive activities, stories and songs.

Explore the micro-world of insects and other invertebrates. Learn how they grow, eat, hunt, and adapt to their world. Take a hike and find small creatures. SOL/Program of Studies: K.6, K7

Games, stories and hikes that will help you learn about life cycles, habitats and adaptions of the animal of your choice. Students will have the opportunity to feed and touch one of the park’s resident animals. Available topics include: snake, turtle or frog and toad. SOL/Program of Studies: K.2, K.6

What does every plant and animal need to survive? Hands-on activities in different habitat types will help you discover the resources animals use and why the animals depend on them for survival. SOL/Program of Studies: 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8

Gather ‘round a totem pole, touch a dugout canoe, view an Indian warrior in full dress and see local artifacts. Learn how the Algonquian Indians adapted to their climate and environment to secure food, clothing and shelter. Learn about their daily lives through activities. SOL/Program of Studies: VS.2

What happens when it rains? Find out with this action-packed program by building a land mass with mountains, waterfalls and lakes. Then we’ll make it rain. Learn how each of us fits into the Potomac River watershed. Become part of the water cycle, create erosion. SOL/Program of Studies: 2.3, 2.5, 3.7, 3.9, 4.1, 4.8, 5.7, 6.5

Igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary? Hands-on activities include identifying rocks and minerals, exploring plate tectonics, and building a volcano. Learn about an ancient ocean floor, and explore soil types. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.3, 4.8, 5.6, 5.7

Open the black box and explore the wonderful underground. Hands-on experiments and activities will illustrate the importance of soil in our ecosystem. Compare soils and learn their composition. Leanr the connection between soil and watershed. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10

Investigate food chains and learn about the world of producers, consumers and decomposers as well as predator-prey relationships. Explore aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems to discover how different populations share and compete for resources. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.5, 3.6

Microbes are all around us and are an essential part of our ecosystem. Students partake in interactive activities that broaden their understanding of ecological relationships (e.g. consumers/producers and symbiosis), nutrient cycling and eutrophication of our watershed. Microbes are not invisible once you learn to spot their handiwork. SOL/Program of Studies: 3.7, 6.7, LS 6

Fairfax Virtual Assistant