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The Fairfax County Park Authority offers a variety of activities such as classes, camps and tours in a wide variety of categories including aquatics, fitness, nature, dance, outdoor recreation, performing arts, history and many more. Special events, trips/tours and specialty workshops are listed in Parktakes, the Park Authority’s quarterly guide, available through free subscription to county citizens. .

Walney Creek Walk

(8-Adult) Take a one mile walk along Walney Creek from its source at the Spring House to its end at Big Rocky Run. Learn about plants and animals that call this watershed home and observe evidence of how humans have interacted with Walney Creek throughout history.

Alien Invaders (6-Adult)

Learn about invasive species, their effects on the environment, how to identify them and how to remove them. Please dress accordingly as this program takes place outdoors.

Animal Crackers and Me

(3-8 yrs.) What if your animal cracker cookies came alive? What if you could become a squirrel or a bird, which would you choose? Learn about animal adaptations while you munch on cookies and lemonade. Enjoy a story, craft and trail activity along a short hike.

Animal Feeding (3-Adult)

(3-Adult) It's dinner time at the nature center and worms and insects are on the menu. Help our naturalist care for and feed the nature center's animals.

Are You Going to Eat That? (12-Adult)

(12-Adult) Enjoy a naturalist-led hike and identify plants that are safe to eat and which ones to avoid. Other helpful plants are identified for uses such as rope making and folk remedies with connections to Eastern Woodland Indians. Wear sturdy shoes for walking, meets at the pond.

Bat Fest and Find Campfire

(4-Adult) Join a naturalist for a night hike to search for bats with a sonar detector and learn about bat adaptations . Bat crafts for the children while adults learn more about white nose syndrome updates and local bat species. End the night with a campfire, s'mores and the legend of how bats came to be. Children must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered in this program. Not appropriate for children under the age of 4 yrs.

Bats, Bugs, and Owls Oh My Campfire

(4-Adult) Learn about the critters that come out only at night and their special adaptations that help them thrive while we sleep. Watch for bats, attract some bugs, and call for owls. We provide marshmallows for toasting. Children must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered in this program. Minimum age to attend is 4 yrs.

Bears in our Backyard Campfire

(4-Adult) Have you seen a bear in Fairfax County? Identify bear habitats, life cycles, sights and sounds and learn to be a good bear neighbor. This program concludes with a s'mores campfire. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Minimum ages to attend is 4 yrs.

Bees Please (6-Adult)

(6-Adult) Hike with a naturalist to explore the different types of bees that buzz around the meadow. Supporting Earth Day's theme "Protect Our Species".

Boardwalk Astronomy

(12-Adult) What's new in the night sky? Join park naturalists as they take you on a tour of constellations, comets and other current events happening in the heavens above. Canceled in case of rain or other severe weather.

Botany Walk

(8-Adult) Take a walk to explore the plants of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Each week will emphasize a different topic: Wild flowers; trees; ferns; mosses; grasses, sedges, and rushes; plants at the pond; plants in the meadow.

Campfire Fridays (3-Adult)

(3-Adult) Join us for a campfire, s'mores, animals, and so much more! We cover a different topic and different area of the park each night.

Campfire Night Hike - Predators at Night

(4-Adult) Not all predators are sleeping. Enjoy a night hike to learn about nocturnal hunters. Listen to taped calls of owls and coyotes and catch a glimpse of them in the forest. End the evening with s'mores round the campfire. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.

Campfire Safety for Families

(4-Adult) Families learn how to safely build and enjoy a campfire plus make s'mores. Not appropriate for children under 4 yr. Children must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered in the program.

Campfire Saturdays-Stargazing (3-Adult)

(3-Adult) Enjoy a stroll along the lake shores and learn about the constellations, their stories and other night-sky features. Our astronomical naturalist identifies the stars for you and will have some telescopes for you to use. The program concludes with a campfire. S'mores ingredients provided; hot dogs welcome. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Campfire with the Constellations Class

(4-Adult) Meet at Cabell's Mill and talk about stars around a warm campfire. Then head out into the meadow with a naturalist to learn how to identify the early summer constellations. Return to the campfire to make s'mores. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.

Chipmunk Stroll

(6-Adult) Take a walk with a naturalist to look and listen for Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus striatus). Learn about the lives of these cute critters.

Coyote Campfire

(4-Adult) Satisfy your curiosity and your sweet tooth with one howling campfire. Listen to coyote calls, take a short hike, and make s'mores as you learn about this wily canine. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Creek Adventure Wagon Ride

(2-Adult) Bring shoes that can get wet and an adventurous spirit to explore the Rocky Run. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Dairy Farming at Walney-Ice Cream

(4-Adult) Explore Walney's dairy farm history while touring the ice house and dairy. Try your hand at ice-making tools and picking up an ice block. Make and eat hand-cranked ice cream. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Discovery Days

(3-Adult) Discover Ellanor C. Lawrence Park with our historians or naturalists. During this hands-on interpretive hour, you may search for animals, make biscuits and butter or explore a stream and much more. Contact the park for program topics.


(Adults) Learn about the life cycle, behavior and identification of Huntley's many dragonflies and damselflies. Venture to the wetland to observe these acrobatic fliers in action. Canceled if rain.

Dragons and Damsels at the Pond

(4-Adult) Meets at Walney Pond. In the summer, dragonflies and damselflies dart above the surface of Walney Pond. Learn myths and facts about these beautiful insects. Discover their secret lives under the water.

Duck, Duck, Goose

(2-5 yrs.) Waddle on over to learn about our feathered friends. Honk like a goose, quack like a duck and find Mrs. Goose's lost eggs. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Exploring Nature Series-Summer (6-Adult)

Students explore Virginia's ecosystem in this nature series which takes place both outdoors and indoors so dress accordingly. Series dates and topics: 6/15 Animals, 7/27 Plants.

Finding Fireflies!

(2-11 yrs.) Meet at the pond boardwalk for a walk and talk about fireflies in this catch-and-release program. Hike to a meadow with a naturalist. Bring a plastic jar with a lid. Wear long pants, socks and closed toe shoes. Recommend one flashlight per family. Canceled in case of inclement weather. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Fireflies in the Meadow

(4-Adult) Meet at Cabell's Mill. As dusk approaches, the meadow is lit with fireflies. Join us in illuminating the world of small night creatures. Bring a plastic jar with a lid to catch and then release. Wear long pants, socks and closed shoes. Flashlights and insect repellent are useful. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Firefly Walk (5-Adult)

(5-Adult) Join us on a magical evening walk in the park to learn about and see the different colors and signal patterns of this fascinating insect.

Flora Fauna-Summer Series

(3-6 yrs.) Join Hidden Pond Naturalists for a summer of exploration. Different topic each week. Children must be accompanied by adult.

Flying Squirrel Campfire

(4-Adult) Enjoy an evening around the campfire making s’mores and learning about the flying squirrels that live in our area. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Great Grasses, Sedges and Rushes!

(12-Adult) Explore the park with a naturalist to identify native grasses, sedges and rushes.

Growing and Protecting a Park Forest

(4-Adult) Walk with the Resource Manager, as you are given insights on how this 650 acre county park of forests, meadows and streams is kept healthy and thriving. Learn about native plants and invasive species that makeup the park's wildlife habitat. Walk is seasonally based. 

How to Draw Your Dragon(fly) (12-Adult)

(12-Adult) Join local artist and naturalist, Margaret Wohler, to learn tips and techniques for drawing dragonflies and other insects you may find in the park while keeping a complimentary field sketch book and all drawing materials included, courtesy of the RunningBrooke Fund.

Insect Symphony Campfire

(4-Adult) Enjoy time around the campfire eating s'mores and listening to the night sounds. Learn how and why katydids, crickets and grasshoppers make their songs. Minimum age to attend is 4 yrs.

Invasive Plant Identification Walk

(8-Adult) Identify some Fairfax County's common invasive plant species. Explore ways to lessen these plants around your home.

Leave No Trace Campfire

(7-Adult) Learn about Leave No Trace as you hike through the park. Afterward, learn about campfire safety while enjoying s'mores. All registrants receive a Leave No Trace Card.

Legends & Lore Night Hike & Campfire 5+

(5-Adult) Spark your interest in Walney history through legends, lore and stories of the supernatural on a night hike. Then gather around the campfire for s'mores.

Lichens Hike & Sketch

(10-Adult) What happens when a fungus and an algae take a lichen to each other? Join local artist and naturalist, Margaret Wohler, to learn all about this hybrid organism, identify those greenish patches seen on trees and rocks and learn how to draw the textures defining lichen colonies. Keep a complimentary field sketch book and drawing materials, courtesy of the RunningBrooke Fund.

Meadow Bug Hunt

(4-Adult) The meadow is a-buzz with bug life. Come capture and release amazing insects and other arthropods. Learn the secret of this special meadow habitat. Insect jars and nets provided. Wear long pants and closed shoes, insect repellent optional. Bring a field guide if you have one. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Monarch & More

(4-Adult) Learn to identify monarch and other butterflies, discover their fascinating life cycle and assist with tagging monarchs when available. Visit a Monarch waystation and native butterfly garden. Learn about the monarch migration phenomenon,its challenges and how you can make a difference. Due to the dramatic decline in the monarch butterfly population, wild monarchs may not be available for tagging. The nature center raises monarchs annually for tagging and release. If available, at least one monarch will be tagged during the program. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.

Nature Detectives

(3-5 yrs.) Naturalist-led class where child and parent explore nature through hikes, stories, songs, hands-on activities and crafts. Topics vary seasonally.

Nature for Tiny Tots

(24-42 months) Children and their parent learn about plants, animals, and their habitat through songs, crafts, and activities. Topics vary each class.

Nature's Sensations

(3-5 yrs.) A parent/child interactive experience in which participants discover nature through art including song, dance, drama and art media. The majority of the class is outdoors. Plan on getting dirty!

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