Weekend in the Parks

Yukking it up, author, author and tea time. All this and more during the last weekend of September at your Fairfax County Parks.


  • A Laughing Matter: End a long week with a few laughs as the Workhouse brings comedian Nick Vatterott, from Comedy Central, to the stage. Vatterott, who has appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Conan,” has toured with Chicago’s storied Second City comedy theater and performed his standup act around the world, from Caroline’s in New York City to Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Ages 18 and above are welcome. Limited seating; advance reservations strongly recommended. 8 p.m. Workhouse Arts Center’s W-3 Theatre. $15/person. For more information call 703-584-2900.
  • Goodnight Walk – Owls: Learn to recognize the calls and features of local owls, make a craft and enjoy a night hike with a naturalist at Hidden Oaks. Participants age 4 and above are welcome. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Hidden Oaks Nature Center. $5/person. Register online. For information call 703-941-1065.
  • Basic Gardening: Grow Lush Ferns: Is your yard surrounded by tall trees and an abundance of cool, shady areas? You have the ideal setting for growing ferns. The fern’s lush beauty and grace adds interest to the landscape and provides a refreshing, woodland atmosphere. Learn more about growing ferns from a Master Gardener and walk through the garden to see them. 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Green Spring Gardens. $10/person. Register online. For information call 703-642-5174.


  • Fall for the Book! What began as a two-day literary event in 1999, has expanded into an exciting week-long, multiple-venue, regional festival. Fall for the Book, which also features events on Friday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 30, offers readings by renowned authors, book sales, panel discussions and more. Featured on Saturday are Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of “Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman” and “Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman,” Eugenia Kim, author of “The Calligrapher’s Daughter,” the Friends of the Burke Library Book Sale and more. Complete information on Fall for the Book is available on the festival’s Website.
  • For That Which Returns: This performance draws inspiration from the classic myth of Demeter and Persephone, when three women inhabit a 15-foot-tall metal weathervane while exploring the connection between mothers, daughters and the seasons. This is an innovative collaboration between two companies on the forefront of aerial performance: Baltimore’s In-Flight Theater and Arachne Aerial Arts; and it features an original script by Mara Neimanis. 8 p.m. Reston Community Center. $30/person ($15/ Small District 5 residents). For information call 703-476-4500.
  • Safari Saturdays: Hands-on activities teach kids about nature and science. This Saturday’s topic is rocks and minerals. For children ages 3 to 7. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Hidden Pond Nature Center. $6/per child. Register online. For more information call 703-451-9588.
  • Invasive Plant ID and Native Alternative: It’s time to remove those invasive plants and plant native species we can all enjoy, but first you need to know how to ID them. Curatorial horticulturists Kristen Sinclair and Brenda Skarphol focus on invasive plant identification both in the classroom and in the field and provide native alternatives. 9 a.m. to noon. Green Spring Gardens. $35/person. Register online. For information call 703-642-5174.


  • Mind Your Peas and Carrots! Enjoy trying samples from the garden and talking with Master Gardeners about growing vegetables in Northern Virginia, with a special emphasis on planting fall crops and overwintering vegetables in this area, during the Taste and Tour at the Organic Vegetable Garden. The garden is a demonstration garden of the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Free. For information call 703-528-5406.
  • Blacksmith Demonstration: See the blacksmith fire up the forge at Colvin Run Mill and listen to the ring of the hammer as it strikes the anvil. There is no admission fee for this activity. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. Free. For information call 703-759-2771.
  • Tea at Downton Abbey: The spellbinding “Downton Abbey” portrays the intertwined lives of Edwardian aristocrats and their servants during a period of changing world order. Hear about life upstairs and downstairs at Downton Abbey: the fashions, food, manners and social customs and how each character is a study in a portrait of their time. 1 to 3 p.m. Historic Green Spring. $27/person (includes a full English tea.) To make a reservation call 703-941-7987.

Information was correct at time of publication. Please contact individual event sites to confirm programs are being held as scheduled.