Weekend in the Parks

The cool, crisp weather of mid-October has arrived. And with it, lots of fun things to do this weekend at your Fairfax County Parks.


  • Right Off the Bat: Bats! Learn more about these fascinating and mysterious night-flying marvels during Riverside Campfire: Batty About Bats. Through games and activities find out why they are disappearing from our skies. Come early if you’d like to bring a picnic or hot dogs to toast. Bring a toasting stick; s’mores provided. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Riverbend Park. $4/person. Register online. For information, call 703-759-9018.


  • Art and Soul: The 2nd Saturday Art Walk showcases the diverse work of more than 100 visual artists in a unique historic venue, creating an atmosphere that encourages visitors to immerse themselves in the richness of this creative community. Tour seven studio buildings, mix and mingle with artists and buy original works of art, all while enjoying light refreshment and music. The perfect destination for a date night or girl’s night out, as well as for art collectors and art appreciation groups. 6 to 9 p.m. Workhouse Arts Center. Free. For information call 703-584-2900.
  • Dinosaur Play & Hunt: Join in the great dino hunt as Nature Playce turns prehistoric. Learn how to determine if the dino discovered fits all the rules to be a true dinosaur. This program is suited for children ages 4 to 7. 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Hidden Oaks Nature Center. $5/child. Register online. For information, call 703-941-1065.
  • Fall Photographers’ Field Day: Join us for group photo opportunities or take pictures on your own. The gardens will be open before sunrise and will close after sunset. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. $5/person (some activities have additional fees). For more information call 703-255-3631.
  • 6th Annual K-9 Krawl 5K: Come and walk with your four-legged friend to increase awareness of the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. This free walk is a great way for you and your pooch to come out and show support for victims of violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Goodie bags and free raffles. 8:30 a.m. (check-in); 9 a.m. (walk). Fairfax County Government Center. For more information call 703-814-7009.
  • Meet the Author – Martha D. Peterson: The author of The Widow Spy: My CIA Journey from the Jungles of Laos to Prison in Moscow will read from her book and share her story, including her service as one of the CIA’s first women operations officers ever assigned to Moscow, in the mid-1970s. A book signing will follow. 2 p.m. Dolley Madison Library. Free. Register online. For information call 703-356-0770.
  • New Moon Hike: Come on a night hike and join the nocturnal wildlife at the park. Explore nature’s nighttime communication and animal senses and experience the night environment in a unique way. Gain new confidence about navigating comfortably in the dark and have fun with sensory awareness activities that help us overcome our fear through knowledge and familiarity. Although participants may bring a flashlight, the hike will be mostly in the dark. Clothing for nighttime climate and closed-toe shoes recommended. Ages 8 and above are welcome. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Potomac Overlook Regional Park. For registration (required) or more information call 703-528-5406. $5/person.
  • Amazing Mushrooms: Jon Ellifritz, chair of the Mycological Association of Washington, introduces you to the wild mushroom species found in the D.C. area. Learn about their varied environmental roles, including intricate relationships with plants and animals. Mushroom walk to follow, weather permitting. 1 to 3 p.m. Green Spring Gardens. $20/person. Register online. For information call 703-642-5173.


  • If I Only Had a Brain: Make a new family member for your garden or lawn during a fun Scarecrow-Making Workshop. Bring pants and shirt, plus an old pair of pantyhose (for head and arms). Staff supplies the stuffing and know-how. 1 to 1:45 p.m. or 2 to 2:45 p.m. Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. $6/scarecrow. For information call 703-759-2771.
  • Hangin’ With Nature: Get the family outside and join us for music, crafts, live animal displays and more. All the fun happens just inside the gardens and is free with paid admission. 1 to 4 p.m. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. (Park admission fees.) For information call 703-255-3631.
  • MPAartfest: McLean Central Park will reverberate with the sights and sounds of art and music as McLean’s only juried arts festival showcases 40 local and regional visual artists. A Children’s ArtWalk and ArtTent and live entertainment throughout the day make this a must-attend for art lovers of all ages! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. McLean Central Park. $5/suggested donation. For information call 703-790-1953.
  • Conserving the World’s Plant Diversity – What Botanical Gardens are Doing: Tour Meadowlark with garden manager Keith Tomlinson and discuss global issues of plant conservation and the growing role of botanical gardens. 2 to 3 p.m. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. Free. For information call 703-255-3631.

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