Get thee to a park

Three-day weekend coming up, and it’s going to be in the mid 30s-40s.  Not all of Fairfax Park Authority’s events are outdoors, though, and there is plenty to choose from on Saturday. For the brave of heart, there are a couple of Saturday evening hikes, although the high that day is only supposed to be in the mid 30s.

SATURDAY 

Introduction to Compass Skills

Children ages 8 to 12 years will learn compass basics at Riverbend Nature Center from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and test their skills on a fun, short course. Compasses are provided for use in class. Prepaid reservations are required. The cost is $6 per child. To reserve, call 703-759-9018.

Creature Feature: Backyard Birds

Join a naturalist from Hidden Oaks Nature Center at Woodrow Wilson Library in Falls Church from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. to discover backyard birds with free stories, demonstrations, specimens and live animals. Call the library at 703-820-8774.

“Two rooms – one up, one down”

Tour the slave cabin at Sully Historic Site from 1 to 4 p.m. and discover cooking methods used to prepare foods for the African American slave community. During this program visitors may peek at the second floor which is normally closed to the public. The cost of $6 per adult and $4 per senior and child includes a House Tour or Forgotten Road Tour. Call 703-437-1794.

Animal Sweethearts Dance

Young people ages three to eight will enjoy dancing, refreshments, crafts, poetry and the premiere of Hairy Otter and the Frog Warts Winter Ball at Hidden Pond Nature Center from 10 a.m. to noon. View the wildlife film, Turtles in Love! Rated G. Reservations are required. The cost is $4 per child. Call 703-451-9588.

Sherlock Bones

Skulls, skeletons and self-guided activities will be set up in the classroom at Huntley Meadows Visitor Center at this free children’s program from 1 to 3 p.m. For information, call 703-768-2525.

New! Campfire Night Hike – Predators Who Hunt at Night

Enjoy a night hike at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park from 6 to 7:30 p.m. to learn about nocturnal hunters. Listen to taped calls of owls and coyotes and catch a glimpse of them in the forest. Afterwards, return to our campfire for hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting. Reservations are required. The cost is $10 per family. Call 703-631-0013.

Winter Night Hike

Savor the silence of the woods in winter on a nighttime hike over wooded terrain as we search and listen for owls and other night creatures at Lake Accotink Park from 7:30 to 9 p.m. This program is suited for adults and children ages seven and older. Dress for the weather and meet at the park’s Visitors Center. Use the front entrance at 7500 Accotink Park Road. Bring a flashlight. The cost is $5 adult; $3 for children under 16. Reservations required. Call 703-569-0285.

SUNDAY

World Human Spirit Day: Explore the Rainforest

Families will warm up to the rainforest in our discovery room with rainforest fun facts at Hidden Oaks Nature Center from 1 to 2 p.m. Make a rainforest craft, enjoy some “fruits” of this bountiful habitat and participate in a play. Prepaid reservations are required. The cost is $4 per person. Call 703-941-1065. 

MONDAY

Creature Feature

Enjoy the heat of the jungle as we compare the animals in Fairfax County to the creatures of the rain forest from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. Meet a creature who calls another part of the world home. Reservations are requested for this free program. Call 703-941-1065.  

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