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.

Are You Going to Eat That?

(10-Adult) Enjoy a naturalist-led hike and identify plants that are safe to eat and which ones to avoid. Learn the usefulness of plants for such rope making and folk remedies with connections to Eastern Woodland Indians. Meets at the pond.


(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.

Chipmunk Stroll

(6-Adult) Take a walk with a naturalist to look and listen for Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias 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.

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.

Critter Crawl

(2-6 yrs.) Walk with a naturalist and your child as we investigate the critters who make this park their home. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Family Outdoor Exploration

Get your family into the great outdoors with a personalized naturalist or historian led program. This choose your own exploration can investigate topics like, Stream Life, Pond Life, Historic Ice Cream, and much more! Once you register, we will reach out to you to plan your family exploration.

Feeding Day

(4-13 yrs.) Join a naturalist as they 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.

Flying Squirrel Campfire

(4-Adult) Enjoy an evening around the campfire, toasting marshmallows over the embers and learn about flying squirrels that live in our area. Cancelled in case of inclement weather. Children must attend with an adult and all attendees must register.

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.

Homeschool Animal Vets (8-15 yrs.)

(8-15 yrs.) Students get hands on experience caring for animals in the visitor center and park. We will explore the lives of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Learn the best care standards for animals, feed and refresh tanks for exhibit animals and explore the park learn what park staff to help wildlife. All lessons are structured around the Virginia standards of Learning.

Homeschool Biology - Our Living Watershed

(8-15 yrs.) Dive into watershed education at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. Receive hands on lessons about aspects of watershed education in a variety of water environments. Topics to include macroinvertebrate searches and identification, watershed ecology, life cycles, food chains, stream monitoring techniques, pollution problems and watershed protection. All lessons are structured around the Virginia Standards of Learning.

Homeschool Naturalist (6-12 yrs.)

(6-12 yrs.) Explore Fairfax County natural world with hands-on activities in this four-week course. Week 1: Help our land heal through how we live our lives. Week 2: Hike to the pond, and discover an underwater world. Week 3: Explore the world of reptiles and amphibians. Week 4: Creepy crawlies in the park. All sessions have a take home craft.

Hot Dog, Smores! Wagon Ride & Campfire

(4-Adult) Meets at Cabell's Mill. Enjoy a turkey hot dog supper roasted over the campfire and a brisk wagon ride through the Rocky Run stream valley. Discover who Ellanor C. Lawrence was and learn about the areas local and natural history. We provide hot dogs, buns, condiments, and s'mores. Feel free to bring your own drinks and sides. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

House of Reptiles and Night Ride

(4-Adult) Amazing reptiles call our park home. Play games, test your courage with a touch table and see these wonderful creatures up close. Calm your nerves by roasting s'mores at a campfire while listening to stories and then join us for a refreshing wagon ride through the autumn woods. Don't miss this Falltastic program!

Invasive Plant Identification Walk

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

Legends & Lore Night Hike & Campfire

(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.

Nature Tots-Fall

(1-3 yrs.) Bring your toddler to explore nature through sight, sound, smell and touch. Programs include indoor and outdoor activities. Adult must be able to participate with children. Topics vary with the seasons. Fall topics: September: Amazing Insects, October: Migration, November: Fall Colors, and December: Time To Sleep

Night Flyers Campfire

(4-Adult) Come mothing with a naturalist. Then gather around the campfire, make s'mores and learn why moths are drawn to light and learn how to conserve them. Supporting Earth Day's theme "Protect Our Species".

Nocturnal Hunters

(4-Adult) Join a naturalist for a night hike to learn about nocturnal animals. This program will seasonally change based on the animals lives of the park. Finish the hike with a s’more’s campfire. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Pond Life

(4-Adult) Search for, catch and release tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs, water scorpions and other creatures. Learn about how they reflect the health of the pond. Meets at Walney Pond. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.

Squirreling Around

(8-Adult) Why do we have a love/hate relationship with squirrels? Take a walk to observe what our furry friends are up to. Share your stories and learn behavior. Discuss ways to deter or attract squirrels. Make a squirrel feeder.

Stream Life

(4-Adult) Freshwater ecosystems are full of fascinating creatures. Search for stoneflies, hellgrammites, water pennies and crayfish. Explore the park's streams with a naturalist, use dip nets and kick nets to catch and release these creatures. Learn stream monitoring techniques and the impacts humans have on these fragile ecosystems. Meets at the pond.

Sublime Symmetry in Nature and Art

(5-adult) Come out to the park to discover the hidden beauty in everyday plants and animals and learn how to recreate it in art projects. Walk with a naturalist to see examples of symmetry in nature and then create your own symmetrical works of art to take home. All materials provided. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Tree Trek

(8-Adult) Trek into the woods to explore forestry basics. Aid naturalists in sampling vegetation and assessing the health of our woods.

Turkey Walk

(4-Adult) Discover the wild turkey's habits and secret ways during a walk in the cedar forest. Look for wild turkeys and their signs. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.

Turtle Survey

(4-Adult) See turtles close up. Learn how to identify different turtle species and then assist a naturalist in a search for them at the pond.

Walney Creek Walk

(8-Adult) Hike along Walney Creek to learn about the plants and animals that call this watershed home. Observe evidence of how humans have interacted with Walney Creek throughout history.

Wild Women

(12-Adult) They heard the call! Hear how women preserved and protected parks, open spaces and natural world. Hike with a naturalist to see how past women shaped the field of ecology, land management and preservation. 

Wonderful Wildflowers

(7-Adult) Wander with a naturalist to discover wonderful wildflowers that grow at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

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