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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.


50th Anniversary Celebration

(All Ages) Come for a full day of fun, music and special activities in honor of Hidden Oaks’ Nature Center’s 50th anniversary. Opened in 1969 as the county’s first nature center, Hidden Oaks now serves more than 30,000 visitors a year. Enjoy a Reptiles Alive presentation, music from the Vienna School of rock and other children’s music groups. Go on a Hidden treasures of Hidden Oaks hunt, see a monarch butterfly tagging demonstration and view the new woodland animal art sculpture. Learn about park improvement plans to kick off the next 50 years!


All About Owls Campfire

(4-Adult) Barred owls inhabit our stream valley parks. Learn to identify these owls from other native owls while enjoying the campfire. Toast marshmallows over the embers. Canceled in case of inclement weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult


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.


Animal Pajama Party

(3-7yrs.) Put on your pajamas and come to the nature center to hear bedtime stories, meet animals and wish goodnight to the center's live animals. Bring your favorite stuffed animal with you. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Animal Sweethearts Dance

(3-5yrs.) It's back, the social event of Hidden Ponds winter season! There will be dancing, refreshments, crafts and live animals to entertain.


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.


Astronomy for Family Fun-Stars

(4-Adult) Why are the stars seen differently around the world? Learn about the natural and cultural science of stars including fun facts about our own star and the most easily viewed stars. Learn how you can further explore stars as a family. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.


Autumn Equinox Evening Hike

(Adult) Welcome the first night of fall with a pleasant evening tour of the park at sunset. Learn about common wildlife in the marsh and where to find them. Meets at visitor center.


Bats

(7-Adult) Walk the meadows and forest edges to see bats feeding on insects. Use a bat detector to hear echolocation. Learn about our native bats and their habits. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


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.


Birdie Breakfast (3-Adult)

(3-Adult) Visit Lake Fairfax and learn how to make a bird feeder from natural materials while learning about the different kinds of birds that will visit your buffet. Hang it at your campsite, or take it home with you to hang in your yard.


Boo-Tiful Mobile (3-12 yrs)

(3-12 yrs) Create a spooky mobile of your favorite Halloween characters. All materials provided. Adult must accompany child (no charge for adult).


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 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.


Caroling Wagon Ride & Campfire

(4-Adult) Join us in song and exploration on a wagon ride. Warm up with s'mores at the campfire. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


Catch a Critter! (4-Adult)

(4-Adult) Grab a net and join us for a special day with a park scientist to see, touch, and study wetland creatures up close and personal. Use magnifying lenses to study their unique characteristics. What critters live in the wetland? What can these little animals tell us about their home? This rare opportunity to dip-net in the wetland is possible through the guidance of our park naturalists.


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.


Colors of the Forest

(7-Adult) Fall foliage is a sight to behold, but why do leaves turn colors? Get into the science of it. Hike through the park with a naturalist to find out what else is falling from the trees.


Columbus Day Boat Race

(3-Adult) Reenact the historic sea-faring journey by building your own mini-cardboard boat to float down the Pohick stream. Supplies provided for building a boat. Then we head down to the creek for a race to the finish. Small prizes and bragging rights are awarded for the fastest and best decorated boats.


Corn Grinding & Clay Pottery (4-Adult)

(4-Adult) How did the Powhatan Native Americans use the plants and animals you see every day for their medicine, grocery store, clothing and fun? Immerse yourself in a way of life 400 years ago. Grind corn, make a clay pot, master corn darts and go on a guided tour to see the park from the perspective of a Virginia Indian.


Critter Crawl

(2-6 yrs.) Walk with a naturalist and your child as we investigate the critters who make this park their home.


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.


Fall Fishing Fun Event

(5-Adult) Children must be accompanied by an adult. Riverbend is the place for fishing fun. Fishing activities include casting, rigging your own fishing rod and watershed activities. Participants rotate through stations. Two mini bank fishing tournaments for kids will be held at 10:30am and 12:30pm. Register for tournament time at event. Prizes awarded. Program meets requirements for Wolf Scout fishing.


Fall Full Moon Hike (4-Adult)

(4-Adult) Join us for a rare opportunity to explore the boardwalk under a bright full moon on this fall evening. We will look and listen for wildlife as we explore the forest and marsh trails.


Fall Harvest Campfire

(3-Adult) Riverbend Park was once farmland. Play children's games from the 1900's, enjoy fireside stories and s'mores. Come early if you want to bring a picnic or hotdogs to toast. Bring a toasting stick, blanket and flashlight. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


Fall Warblers

(8-Adult) Wake up with the birds and discover these delightful fall visitors with an expert guide.


Family Owl Outing (6-Adult)

(6-Adult) Discover the secret world of owls. Learn what makes these raptors excellent night predators with a presentation followed by a trail hike to hopefully hear or spot one of Huntley's resident owls. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


Family Wreath Making

Make your own seasonal wreath out of vines decorated with greens, cones, dried flowers and ribbons. Register one adult to reserve the supplies for yourself and/or your family. One wreath per registrant. Please register another adult per additional wreath. All ages welcome.


Feeding Day (4-13 yrs)

(4-13 yrs.) Join a naturalist and youth volunteers as we demonstrate how we feed our site display animals. Make a birdfeeder to take home and use. Search for worms and insects and assist in serving dinner. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Ferns of Hidden Oaks-Hike and Draw

(16-Adults) Learn some tips for identifying ferns that live in local woods on a hike. Then spend time drawing ferns in our shelter or on nearby trails. Meet at the Packard Center Parking lot in Annandale Community Park.


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.


Flying Squirrels -Gliding in Tonight

(4-Adult) Join a naturalist calling in these amazing night gliders and look for flying squirrels at roosting boxes near the nature center. Learn how you can encourage flying squirrels to visit your yard. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.


Fungus Among Us

(4-Adult) Get down and dirty with a naturalist and see how another kingdom lives! Investigate how one of our most common decomposers survives and thrives in our own woods.


Galaxy Gazing-Jupiter and Saturn

(8-Adult) Turn your eye to the sky and join a park naturalist as we peer through the telescope towards two visible planets in our solar system on this night, Jupiter and Saturn. How are these planets different from earth? What other constellations can we see? Explore the galaxy with us.


Geo Rangers (5-10 yrs)

(5-10 yrs.) Program deals with rocks and minerals and covers sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rock types. This program also covers fossil formation, weathering, chemical reaction and human uses of rocks/minerals.Most of the program is indoors. Some experiments for some of the sessions are conducted outdoors.


Gourds and Gobblers (2-5 yrs)

(2-5yrs.) Wild turkeys still roam in Great Falls. Find out about this shy bird and other plants and animals that are an important part of our Thanksgiving tradition.


Great Grasses, Sedges and Rushes!

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


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