Here’s what I would do with the kids this weekend:
36th Annual Lucketts Fair
Lucketts Community Center 10 am-5 pm
42361 Lucketts Road, Loudoun County
The historic Old Lucketts School is the backdrop for this genuine country fair that features juried handmade crafts, antiques, historic demonstrations, and live music. Bluegrass bands play in an outdoor gazebo and down-home food tempts visitors at every turn. Children’s entertainment includes live shows, fire truck rides, a petting zoo, and pony rides. Admission is $8 per person, free for kids 5 years and younger.
But there are tons of other choices!
Saturday, Aug. 23
Birding the Blue Ridge
Meet at Neersville Volunteer Fire Station on Rt. 671 8 am FREE
The Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy leads a bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, a 900-acre preserve located on Harpers Ferry Road, Rt. 671, in northwestern Loudoun County. Come out and see why Blue Ridge Center is a stop along the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail! Please bring binoculars. For more info, contact Joe Coleman, 540-554-2542, firstname.lastname@example.org. For our bird list, visit www.blueridgecenter.org/nature/birds.html
Lake Accotink Park, Springfield 9-11 am
Learn the wildlife-friendly catch-and-release fishing technique. Find out how to protect their environment and your drinking water! Bring your own pole and tackle or borrow one of ours; barbless hooks only. The cost is $15 per child, accompanying adult free. This program is suitable for children six years and older. Prepaid reservations are required. To register, call 703-569-0285.
Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria 9:30-11:30 am
Stay cool and create a terrarium, an indoor garden. Begonia enthusiast Johanna Zinn provides information on the versatile species and the inspiration to create a beautiful terrarium. The $20 fee includes terrarium, plants and soil. For information, call 703-642-5173.
Redware Pottery Class: Bowl
Sully Historic Site, Chantilly 10-11:30 a.m
Join Grace Wolf from Clay Cafe Studios at . to make a bowl of American-style redware pottery. Students learn the pottery-making process, create a piece of redware using modern (lead free) paints and see examples of local historic pottery. Fired and finished items will be ready for pickup one week later. This hands-on art activity is great for families and children ages eight years and older. A house tour is included in the $25 fee. Prepaid reservations are required. To reserve, call 703-437-1794.
Birding by the Bay
Mason Neck State Park, Lorton 10-11 am
Join this walk to look for songbirds, waterfowl, and of course bald eagles! Meet at Bayview Trail Head. Call (703) 339-2385 to reserve. No charge for the program, but there is a $4 vehicle entrance fee.
Dulles Town Center 10 am-4 pm FREE
An exciting full day event, featuring interactive activities focusing on family health & safety, nutrition, education, community awareness and most importantly family FUN! Activities include face painting, balloon artist, reptile display and more. For a more complete schedule of events and entertainment, visit the Dulles Town Center Web site.
War of 1812 Re-enactment
Carlyle House Historic Park, Alexandria 10 am- 4 pm
During the War of 1812, Alexandria surrendered to a British naval force, paying a ransom of rum,tobacco, flour, cotton and sugar. Learn why at Carlyle House. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with early 19th-century weapon demonstrations,civilian demonstrations and historic house tour. Admission is $4 for visitors 18 years and older, $2 for 11- to 17-year-olds, and free for kids 10 and younger
1918: A Living History Program on World War I and The Home Front
Historic Morven Park, Leesburg 11 am-4 pm
Travel back in time to life during the Great War as experienced by World War I-era Virginia Governor and Mrs. Westmoreland Davis, as portrayed by living history interpreters. Presented at their home at Morven Park you’ll hear of Mrs. Davis’ spirit of volunteerism, the couple’s war time efforts, and their support of the troops and their families. Admission is $5 for visitors 13 and older; $1 for kids ages 6-12; free for children under 6 years.
Colonial Kids Games
Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge 11 am-4 pm
Bring your children to the Visitor Center for a chance to play historic games. We’ll have games from the 1700’s and 1800’s. Call (703) 583-6904 to register. No charge for the program, but there is a $5 vehicle entrance fee.
Garden Sprouts: Peck of Peppers
Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria 11 am-Noon
Pick, print and play with peppers at Then make a tasty salsa treat! The cost is $6 per child. Call 703-642-5173 to register.
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.
Esoterica of Leesburg 2-10 pm
Enjoy this summer music festival for all ages. Cost is $5. This year’s musicians include Doug Rainoff & Lisa Taylor (acoustic folk,) David LaFleur (acoustic folk and bluegrass,) AWEN (original folk/rock from New York City,) Ben Schuman (acoustic folk/rock,) The Lauren Kendall Band (folk/rock from Richmond,) The Gypsy Nomads (gypsy, medieval, celtic rock from New York City,) and Cassandra Syndrome (Gothic metal.) The cost is $5 for all ages.
Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington 2 pm
Learn about the amazing Monarch, other local butterflies and how to attract these beautiful insects with butterfly gardens. A short indoor presentation will be followed by a walk outside to witness (and maybe even net) some of the butterflies in the park. Adults and children age 6 and older. Call 703-528-5406 for reservations.
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.
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.
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, Aug. 24
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.
Dinosaur Film and Craft Festival
Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale 3-4:15 pm
Explore fossils, footprints and films at this festival. Enjoy interactive stations and make a fossil craft to take home. This program is suitable for children ages four to eight years with an accompanying adult. Prepaid reservations are required. The cost is $5 per child and $1 per adult. To reserve, call 703-941-1065.
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 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.