Current forecast is iffy, with 50 percent chance of rain, which is too bad because there is a ton of fun outdoor events!
Great Country Farms
18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont
10 am-5 pm Saturday and Sunday
The blackberries will be at their peak and this is the time to come pick! Our berries are thornless, trellised for easy picking, and pesticide free! Help us celebrate everything blackberry with blackberry slushies, blackberry cobbler and pie, and blackberry wine. Cost is $5 per person, free for kids 2 and younger.
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria
10 am-Noon Saturday and Sunday
The park is buzzing with insect activity – grasshoppers, butterflies, ladybugs and leafhoppers. Stop by our classroom in the Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to noon for self-guided activities, a craft and videos. This program is suitable for children ages 4 and older with an adult. The cost is $2 per child. For information, call 703-768-2525.
Saturday, July 26
Summer Outdoor Program
Blue Ridge Center, Purcellville
Starts at 8 am FREE
Bird Walk (led by Joe Coleman, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy). Potluck “picnic” at 11:30am in the barn or outside on picnic tables, depending on weather conditions (bring a dish to share). Family-friendly butterfly walk led by LWC, and tour of organic farm led by farm manager, and featuring 8 baby goats. For more information, contact Linda Burchfiel, firstname.lastname@example.org, Program Chair for the local Sierra Club, 703-506-4310.
Go Fish Go Fish
Lake Accotink Park, Springfield 9-11 am
Learn the wildlife-friendly catch-and-release fishing technique. Find out what species of fish live in the lake and how to protect their environment and your drinking water! For 6 years and up. Bring your own pole and tackle or borrow one of ours; barbless hooks only. Cost is $15 per child, accompanying adult free. Reservations and advanced payment required. Refunds only if class is cancelled. Call 703-569-0285.
“African Trickster Tales”
Locust Shade Park, Triangle
4701 Locust Shade Drive 10-11 am
Barefoot Puppets brings to life Anansi, a mischievous spider who is up to his old tricks in “African Trickster Tales”. These tales are adapted from the folk tales of West Africa. Admission is $4 per person for ages 2 and older. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunches, blankets and lawn chairs. Bench seating is also available.
Read Aloud to Lloyd, a Therapy Dog
Centreville Regional Library 10:30-11:30 am FREE
Sign up for a 15-minute session. Age 6-12. Call 703-830-2223.
Bugs of Summer
Woodrow Wilson Library 10:30 am FREE
Join a naturalist from Hidden Oaks Nature Center as she shares the wonders of Fairfax County wildlife using stories, live animals and more. All ages.
Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville 11 am-Noon
The wildlife viewing pond at Bull Run is full of some very interesting critters. Join our naturalist as he will lead a group to the pond for some pond exploration. Using official nets we will see what we can catch in the pond. After a short talk about what was caught, all critters will be released back into the pond. Remember to wear shoes that can get muddy. Call 703-631-0550 for reservations. Program is free but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Picnic on the Green!
Herndon Fortnightly Library 11 am FREE
Celebrate National Picnic Month on the Town Green with stories and a craft. Cosponsored by the Council for the Arts of Herndon and the Herndon Fortnightly Club. All ages. Call 703-437-8855.
Pohick Regional Library, Burke 11 am and 1 pm FREE
Join the Pohick Teen Players on a fantasy theatre adventure filled with favorite classic literary characters. All ages. Call 703-644-7333.
Feathers and Fur
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton Noon-1 pm
Check out real furs, skulls and more of the animals that live in the park. Meet at Picnic Area. Call (703) 339-2385 to reserve. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Saturday Afternoon Hike
Prince William Forest Park Noon-1:30 pm
Ranger Andrew will lead this 2-mile, moderately easy hike to the former site of the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine which operated in the park from 1889-1920. Bring good walking shoes, water, and a love for history! This tour leaves from parking lot D off of the Scenic Drive. No charge for the program, but there is a $5 entrance fee per vehicle that’s valid for seven days.
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 1-2 pm FREE
Identify tracks from animals native to Mason Neck, and then make some of your own. Meet at Picnic Area. Call (703) 339-2385 to reserve. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Blue Ridge Center, Purcellville 1 pm FREE
Join us for a butterfly walk at 1 p.m. and tour of a 7-acre organic farm at 2 p.m. A potluck picnic lunch will follow, either outside on picnic tables or inside an open barn, depending on the weather. Guests are free to roam the trails and enjoy the different habitats, which include wetlands, meadows, rocky outcrops, creeks, seeps, and springs.
African Heritage and Cultural Festival
Market Square in front of City Hall
301 King Street, Alexandria 1-7 pm FREE
The reinvigorated Alexandria Heritage Cultural Festival celebrates the cultural diversity of Alexandria. The 2008 theme is “Reaching Back Moving Forward: From Africa to America.” Festival goers will be entertained, educated and inspired as the City explores the African culture and its influence. The festival features food, arts & crafts, and live performances.
Centreville Day Parade Float Planning
Centreville Regional Library 2 pm FREE
Plan and build the library’s entry in the Centreville Day Parade.Parade is Saturday, Sept. 13, and you’re invited to be part of it! For ages 12-18.
Solving Mysteries like Nate the Great
Lovettsville Library 2 pm FREE
Come to the library and get lost in the world of Nate the Great, with activities and a mystery to solve. ecommended for ages 6-9. Register online or call 540-822-5824.
Leesylvania State Park Visitor Center, Woodbridge 11 am-1 pm
Most amphibians can live on both land and in water – the name “amphibian” comes from the Greek words “amphi” and “bios” meaning “double life”. Come learn about the three groups of amphibians: frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians. No charge for the program, but there is a $5 vehicle entrance fee.
Life on the Farm: Summer Treats
Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 1-4 pm
This month, lend a hand at the Visitor Center as our volunteers make old-fashioned lemonade and hand-cranked ice cream. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 2-3 pm FREE
Join our scientific investigation. We’ll have dip nets and buckets available for you to catch minnows, crayfish and more as we check for life in our pond. Meet at Cartop Boat Launch. Call (703) 339-2385 to reserve. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge 2-4 pm FREE
Hummingbirds have a long, thin bill and an equally long, thin tongue to push inside tubular-shaped flowers and lap up the nectar. Come to the Visitor Center and learn more about these nectar specialists. No charge for the program, but there is a $5 vehicle entrance fee.
Occoquan Regional Park 3:30-5 pm FREE
All ages While enjoying the wonderful scenery along the Occoquan, join our naturalist for a live animal show! Turtles, snakes, frogs and more will be featured! Cal 703-690-2121 for more info.
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 5-6 pm
Look for majestic bald eagles with us and find out about their fascinating lives. Can you tell an eagle from an osprey in the distance? We’ll show you how. Binoculars and spotting scope available for your use. Call (703) 339-2385 to reserve. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Music at the Marina
Leesylvania State Park Breakwater Marina, Woodbridge
7-8 pm FREE
The marina at Leesylvania comes alive with the sounds of Soul Gravity, a dynamic rock-n-roll group that performs a mix of fun classic rock covers as well as their own material. Bring the family and lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Due to a scheduling change the James River Ramblers will not be performing tonight. No charge for the program, but there is a $5 vehicle entrance fee.
Owls: Mysterious and Misunderstood
Oak Ridge Campground, Prince William Forest Park 8 pm
Owls have always been associated with darkness, intelligence, and spooky nighttime scenes. But there is a lot more to these misunderstood creatures than meets the eye! Come and hear more about these fascinating creatures at the Oak Ridge Campground amphitheatre. No charge for the program, but there is a $5 vehicle entrance fee.
Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 8:30-11 pm FREE
Find out about U.S. space research, take a sky tour, and look for deep space objects through large telescopes. If the sky is cloudy, a short program will be presented and the park gates will close at 10 p.m. Bring your children half an hour early for a special Junior Astronomer activity. This is a cooperative program by the Smithsonian Albert Einstein Planetarium, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab, and the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Sunday, July 27
Occoquan River Festival
Occoquan Regional Park 10 am-1 pm FREE
The first Occoquan River Festival takes over the park, the town of Occoquan, and surrounding attractions. Taste of Occoquan, live music, family fun walk and other events focusing on the 400th anniversary of John Smith’s initial journey on the Occoquan River with a re-enactment of his landing and culminating with a parade of lights along the Occoquan River. For more info, call 703-690-2121. Drop by the Tourist Information Center at 200 Mill St.
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Chantilly 10-11 am
Meet a naturalist at Walney pond to learn about native turtles. Families will see turtles close up and then search for them at the pond. Prepaid reservations are required by Thursday, July 24. The cost is $10 per family. To reserve, call 703-631-0013.
Going In Seine
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton Noon-1 pm
Ever wonder what lurks in the waters of Belmont Bay? Join our naturalists as they use seine nets to catch underwater critters living off our shoreline. Meet at car top boat launch. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Peru National Day Celebration
Gunston Middle School Athletic Field,
2700 S. Lang St., Arlington Noon-6 pm FREE
Join the celebration that will include over 20 dances from folkloric dance groups, tasty national food and authentic Peruvian crafts. Call 703-533-7321.
Beyond the Old Oak Loop Trail
Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale 12:30-2 pm FREE
Join a naturalist to explore some of the less-traveled paths around the center. See evidence of pre-Civil War activity by the stream, clues as to the land use of yesteryear and why wildlife uses this stream valley as a natural highway. Reservations are required for this free, family program. To reserve, call 703-941-1065.
A Soldier’s Life
Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 1-4 pm
Join Civil War historian John Schmidt as he demonstrates the camp life of a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Squirreling Around on a Summer Day
Sully Historic Site, Chantilly 1-3 pm
Children of all ages will explore the main house through the eyes of a white squirrel to discover the story of this mischievous pet. The white squirrel was kept by Richard Bland Lee’s family and is part of the Lee family crest. Make a white squirrel to take home with you. A house tour is included in the cost of $7. Reservations are required. To reserve, call 703-437-1794.
LIVE! Paws to Read: Certified Therapy Dogs and their Handlers
Purcellville Library 2pm FREE
What do you get when you bring children, dogs and books together? You get happy, confident children who love to read! Register your child to come in and read to a Therapy Dog! Recommended for ages 5-10. Register online or call 540-338-7235.
Lost and Found GPS Adventures
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 2-4 pm
Ever use a Global Positioning System (GPS)? Come learn how to navigate using these hand held electronic devices and then go and find hidden catches around the park. Meet at Visitor Center. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 4-5 pm
Come make and eat delicious fresh butter with us. You’ll love the pure rich taste, just like George Mason’s family might have enjoyed. Meet at Picnic Area. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 5-6 pm
Look for majestic bald eagles with us and find out about their fascinating lives. Can you tell an eagle from an osprey in the distance? We’ll show you how. Binoculars and spotting scope available for your use. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.