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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. .

Birding for Beginners (12-Adult)

(12-Adult) Interested in birding? We can get you started. Learn about the park's birds and some basic identification skills. Program begins with an indoor discussion. Children age 12 to 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Birding for Beginners-Winter Birds (12-Adult)

(12-Adult) Learn about winter birds in the park plus some basic identification skills. Program ends with an indoor discussion. Children ages 12 to 16 yrs. must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Birding on the Bay, DE

(16-Adult) Visit Delaware Bay to view waterfowl, shorebirds and eagles. Stops may include Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge, Woodland Beach, Little Creek Wildlife area and Mispillion Harbor Reserve. Bring binoculars and a bag lunch. Dress for the weather. Van departs from Packard Center, Annandale District Park at 7am and returns at 5pm. Trip cancelation deadline: December 26, 2019. ~

Birding on the Boat (8-Adult)

(8-Adult) Enjoy a naturalist led bird program aboard a tour boat. This voyage gives you a closer look at some of the birds and animals that call the Burke Lake home. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Children age 12 and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Birds Around Us

(4-Adult) Beaks, feathers, nests and talons are examined to explore the avian world that surrounds us. Find out about bird life cycles, migration patterns and adaptations that make these creatures fascinating. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Birds of Prey (10-Adult)

(10-Adult) Seeing a bird of prey in the wild is exhilarating. Raptor bander John Shafer guides you to hot spots in search of wintering and resident hawks and owls. The trip begins with a multimedia presentation to review the fine points of identifying and aging raptors drawn from his experiences banding hawks and eagles. Bring binoculars. We'll stop for a meal or bring a bag lunch to eat on the go. Dress for the weather. Participants younger than 16 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Tour departs at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park visitor center at 10 am and returns at 6 pm.

Blackwater Birds, MD

(16-Adult) Travel to Blackwater Wildlife Refuge on the Delmarva Peninsula. View endangered fox squirrels, waterfowl, hawks and eagles. Bring binoculars and a bag lunch. Dress for the weather. Van departs from Packard Center, Annandale District Park at 7am and returns at 5pm. Trip cancelation deadline is Nov. 22, 2019. ~

Citizen Science for Gardeners and Nature Lovers

(16 Adult) Explore the concept of data gathering that is available to and for all of us. Gardeners at every level of experience, naturalists and entomologists are recording the world around them through web based social media applications. Bird migration, butterfly numbers, invasive plant spread and insect populations are just some examples of data that is collected from a cyber-community of ecologists and citizen scientists. This is a new source of critical information to scientists in our changing world. Karen Rexrode will introduce you to some applications that will interest you as a gardener and a nature lover.

Colorful Cardinals

(2-6 yrs.) Join a naturalist to learn about Virginia’s state bird, the red cardinal! Why are their feathers red? What do their eggs look like? How do they survive the winter months? Practice using binoculars to look for these beautiful birds and make your own bird feeder to take home to attract cardinals to your own backyard.

Conowingo Dam Birding Trip (16-Adult)

(16-Adult) Includes van transportation. Explore the Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River in Maryland. This location is known as an excellent birdwatching spot. Bald eagles can be viewed in large numbers in the fall. Bring binoculars and a bag lunch. Dress for the weather. Van departs from the Packard Center, Annandale District Park at 7:00am and returns at 5:00pm.

Courtship in the Animal World Campfire

(4-Adult) What does it take to attract a mate in the animal world. Turtles, frogs, insects, birds and even fish all have unique techniques for finding that special someone. Learn about these unique specialties and enjoy a short hike before sitting around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Canceled in case of inclement weather. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Exploring Nature Series-Winter (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: 1/12 Mammals, 1/19 Birds, 1/26 Trees, 2/2 Fish; 2/9 Mammals, 2/16 Birds, 2/23, Trees, 3/2 Fish.

Feeding Day

(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.

Home Made Bird Feeders

(2-Adult) Bring your empty milk jugs and/or two liter soda bottles to make bird feeders. We discuss tips for feeding birds and learn to identify common birds that visit home bird feeders. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

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 Science- Vertebrate Classification 6-12

(6-12 yrs.) How does an animals body covering, like fur, feathers or scales, help it to survive? Learn the how mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish are classified. Indoor discussion followed by an guided park tour. We use exploration, observation and lab skills to explore this topic.

Little Acorns-Winter

(2-4 yrs.) Preschoolers and their accompanying adult begin sharing nature's wonders in this interactive class. Experiences include finger plays, stories, meeting animals and weather permitting, outdoor exploration. Dress for the weather. Topics: Dec 2-Polar Animals, Dec 9-Owls, Dec 16-Evergreens, Jan 6-Hibernation, Jan 13-Birds in Winter, Feb 3-Groundhogs, Feb 10-Animal Valentines, Feb 24-Walk, Waddle, Wiggle.

Make Your Own Pinecone Birdfeeders!

Help feed your feathered friends this winter by making and taking home your very own pinecone bird feeder! What birds stay around all winter long? Find out what those familiar bird calls are as we discuss common birds you may see visit your feeder.

National Bird Day & Bagels

(16-Adult) Celebrate National Bird Day and join a Park Naturalist to assist with the Christmas Bird Count by learning how to identify different bird species found in the forest and wetland habitats. How many different species can we find? We will tally our findings and end the program with complementary bagels and coffee.`

Radical Raptors

(5-Adult) Look to the skies, is anything circling above? Join a naturalist on trail as we search for signs of raptors and explore what makes raptors different from other birds.

Raptors of Virginia

(5-Adult) See live native hawks and owls up close. Learn about the native birds of prey found in Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Learn about where they live, what they eat, where they nest and how they raise their young. Presentation with live rehabilitated birds by Secret Garden Birds and Bees Wildlife Education and Preservation.

Winter Bird Walk

(4-Adult) Take a hike through the woods with a naturalist to listen and look for the Park’s winter avian residents and migrants. Find out what birds do to survive the winter weather.

Winter Birds of the Coast (13-Adult)

(13-Adult) Includes transportation and naturalist guide. Winter waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors highlight this journey to the Maryland and Delaware shore. Dress for the weather and bring binoculars and a bag lunch. Depart the Riverbend Park Visitor Center at 8 a.m. and returns at 7 p.m.

Woodpecker Hike

(8-Adult) Take a hike with a naturalist to look and listen for winter woodpeckers. Learn about the important role these beautiful birds play in our park.

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