Animal Adaptations

(4-Adults) Many animals have unusual physical and behavioral adaptations that enable them to get a meal or to keep from being a meal. Compare and contrast the adaptations of deer, owls, squirrels and turtles in this variation on a popular school field trip. Registration required for children and adults. Program is 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 Dads

(2-6 yrs.) Pretend to be a penguin, wolf and beaver dad as you learn about these doting fathers. Meet live animals and make a craft for your favorite father/grandfather. Child must be accompanied by an adult.


Animal Habitat Hunt & Explore

(3-Adult) Meet at the woodland wildlife tree sculpture to join a guided hike to find where animals really live in the woodland. Meet live animals and find out how the forest is a habitat for many creatures. Registration required for children and adults.


Animal Sounds

(3-6 yrs.) Do frogs really say "ribbit" and birds call "tweet"? Learn the real sounds of local species and see how good you are at recognizing animal calls. Why is wildlife so noisy in the spring? Outdoor program. Only one adult per registered child may attend.


Animals Underground

(2-5 yrs.) Dig down deep and investigate who lives in the dark, damp world under the forest floor as we learn about moles, earthworms, termites and the many other creatures of the soil. Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Animals: Zoology Fun for Kids (4-6 yrs.)

(4-6 yrs.) Explore the woods, creeks and ponds as we look for all sorts of critters. Learn about frogs, toads, birds, mammals, snakes, turtles, fish and insects through hikes, projects and games. Have lots of fun learning about animal life science. Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Animals: Zoology Fun for Kids(5-8yr)

(5-8 yrs.) Explore the woods, creeks and ponds as we look for all sorts of critters. Learn about the animal life science of frogs, toads, birds, mammals, snakes, turtles, fish and insects through hikes, projects and games. Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Backyard STEM Science (5-8 yrs)

(5-8 yrs.) Investigate the properties of water and air, make bubbling concoctions, explore electricity, engineering challenges and more. Have fun and practice thinking like a scientist! Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Backyard STEM Science (9-12 yrs)

(9-12 yrs.) Learn about bacteria, DNA, the wonders of air pressure, explore electricity and try your hand at some engineering challenges. Have fun and practice thinking like a scientist! Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Barks in the Parks

(10-Adult) The trails around Hidden Oaks have welcomed our leashed four-footed friends for over 5 decades. Canines and their humans often make friends, or nodding acquaintances, on the Old Oak Trail. To celebrate the dog days of summer, join a meet and greet with treats and a short program on native wild canines in honor of June's National Pet Appreciation Week, July's National Mutt Day and August's National Dog Day!


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.


Beginning Birdwatching & More

(4-Adult) Borrow sanitized child or adult binoculars for a view of outdoor bird feeding stations. Learn identification tips by sight and sound. Learn how to make your yard more attractive to preferred species. Registration required for children and adults.


Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information.


Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information.


Citizenship in the World Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Citizenship in the World Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information.


Communication Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Communication Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information.


Dinosaur Days Camp (4-6 yrs.)

(4-6 yrs.) Explore the dinosaur world as campers become junior paleontologists. Naturalists lead discovery of the latest in dinosaur knowledge plus create crafts, play games and unearth fossils. No camp July 4. Aug 29 week for non-FCPS students. Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Dinosaur Days Camp (5-9 yrs)

(5-9 yrs.) Explore the dinosaur world as campers become junior paleontologists. Naturalists lead discovery of the latest in dinosaur knowledge through crafts, games and fossils. Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Dinosaur Explore

(4-7 yrs.) Dig deeper into dinosaurs in this 2-day program. Your junior paleontologist will enjoy stories, activities, crafts, and hikes focused on these amazingly diverse creatures of the Mesozoic Era. Learn about dinosaur fossils, feathers, food, friends and more! Compare and contrast today’s creatures with these prehistoric wonders. This program is held outside with limited attendance.


Drawing Nature in Summer

(16-Adult) Explore the woodlands for wildflowers, ferns, insects, birds and more on a hike. Dip a net into the pond for tadpoles. Return to the shelter to draw live critters, flowers and ferns. Other nature artifacts will be available. Your choice of watercolor, colored pencil or ink pens. Class held outdoors in a program shelter.


Drawing Seashells

(16-Adult) Seashells and other beach combing finds are fascinating! Learn about different critters that wash up on the beach. Acquire skills for drawing seashells and other sea creatures on toned paper. Use colored pencil, ink and gel pens to create your illustrations. Watercolor is also an option. Paper will be provided. A suggested list of supplies will be provided when you sign up.


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.


Environmental Science Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Environmental Science Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information.


Ferns of Hidden Oaks - Hike and Draw

(16-Adults) Take a 30 minute stroll on shaded paths to learn how to identify some lovely, local ferns. Then spend some time drawing ferns in our shelter (using cuttings from staff gardens), or borrow a portable chair and find a nearby fern to draw up close. Tips for simplifying fern drawings, and sketching key identification marks will be discussed. Your choice of art supplies: colored pencils or watercolors-whatever you have on hand. Cancelled in case heavy rain or thunderstorm. 


Fingerprinting & Crime Prevention Merit Badges

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn both merit badges.


Fireflies: Fierce or Friendly?

(2-Adult) Catching and releasing fireflies is part of the magic of summer. How do fireflies create light and are they glowing for a special reason? Make a craft. Meet at the Annandale Community Park picnic shelter. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Bring a container for catching and releasing fireflies.


Forestry Merit Badge

This program satisfies most of the requirements to earn the Forestry Merit Badge. Visit the site's website for pre-work and information.


Goodnight Walk: Bats

(3-Adult) Search the skies for native bats. Learn about these important insectivores through a walk and talk, craft and viewing specimens. Children must be accompanied by an adult who is registered in the program.


Goodnight Walk: Frogs

(3-Adult) Look for frogs in the pond and meet different species of frogs, make a craft and enjoy a night hike with a naturalist. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.


Goodnight Walk: Owls

(3-Adult) Learn to recognize the calls and features of local owls, make a craft and enjoy a night hike with a naturalist. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program.


Grand Re-Opening of Hidden Oaks Nature Center

(All Ages) Welcome to the opening of the additions and renovations of Hidden Oaks, the county's first nature center! Thanks to Fairfax County voters supporting the 2016 Park Bond, the nature center now features an additional classroom/public meeting area, renovated restrooms and additional exhibit space. Celebrate with community groups and partners with a puppet show, music, live animals and more.


Hidden Treasure Pirate camp (5-9 yrs.)

(5-9 yrs.) Dress up like a pirate for camp and follow clues to search for natural treasures in the park. Campers make their own treasure chest, sail boats in the stream and meet live animals. Activities include enjoying puppet shows, toasting treats at a campfire and playing games like “Avoid the Shark” and “Walk the Plank.” Once registered, download camp forms from website.


Hidden Treasures at Hidden Oaks

(All Ages) Arrr-gust is National Pirate Month. Celebrate with a private family/group woodland walk and talk led by your own pirate naturalist. Group maximum is 9. Your guide will show you some true treasures of the forest and share a live reptile with you up close. To select a different date and time for your private group of up to 9 people, contact Kim Young at kim.young@fairfaxcounty.gov.


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