Weekend in the Parks

We’re heading into December and, even though that means the weather is getting a little colder, there’s still lots of fun things to do this weekend at your Fairfax County Parks.


  • It’s Crafty! Fine artisans from across the country convene for the highly regarded and much anticipated McLean Holiday Crafts Show featuring fiber arts, wood, ceramics and pottery, jewelry, glass, holiday decor, items for children, gourmet foods, paper art, photography, soft sculpture, paintings and drawings and more. Refreshments available for purchase. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) McLean Community Center. $2/adults, $1/children 13 and under. For information call 703-790-0123.


  • Home for the Holidays: What better way to spend a Saturday than giving a new pup or kitty (or rabbit, or boa constrictor) a loving home? The Fairfax County Animal Shelter’s annual Home for the Holidays adoption celebration helps homeless animals make their way out of the shelter and into stable new homes in time for the holidays. As part of the celebration, the shelter is offering a free spay or neuter for the first 100 cats, kittens, dogs or puppies adopted there through Dec. 31. In addition to loving cats and dogs available for adoption, the shelter has a host of rabbits, small mammals, reptiles and birds. Go to the Animal Services page and click on “adoption” to see available animals. Or visit the shelter between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Tuesday through Friday, noon to 6:30 p.m.) to meet some of these great potential pets. For more information call 703-830-1100.
  • Night Sky Festival at Riverbend: Enjoy guided stargazing, looking through the telescope and listening to ancient stories about the constellations around the campfire. Jupiter is this event’s featured planet. Other activities and games will be ongoing throughout the evening. Hot chocolate and other snacks are available for purchase. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Riverbend Park. $5/person. For information call 703-759-9018.
  • Cabaret Series at the Workhouse: Holiday Magic features some of the region’s finest performers and musicians you’ll recognize from theaters and concerts around the area! Kick off your holiday season with a spirited evening of music and memories, featuring songs made famous on the silver screen. Experience the warmth and joy of the season, while celebrating some of the best-known holiday music from the cinema. Cash bar available. 8 p.m. Workhouse Arts Center. $25/person (includes complimentary hors d’ouevres.) For information call 703-584-2900.
  • Squirrel’s Nutcracker Tea Party: Enjoy the sounds of the season as your family sees a puppet show starring a gray squirrel as he dreams of a nutcracker. Learn a few fun facts about this most common and curious creature as you sip sugarplum tea and munch on gingerbread treats at the sit-down tea. Participants age 4 and above are welcome. 2 to 3:15 p.m. Hidden Oaks Nature Center. $15/person. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Register online. For information call 703-941-1065.
  • Frying Pan Farm Park’s Old-Fashioned Holiday Celebration: Celebrate holiday festivities at one of the county’s unique parks. Stroll the 1930s-era working farm, enjoy live music, watch equestrian demonstrations and visit the farmhouse. Enjoy a wagon ride, warming fire, carolers and holiday photo opportunity with Santa in his sleigh. Some activities have fees. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Frying Pan Farm Park. To make a reservation with the photographer or for more information call 703-437-9101.


  • Gardeners’ Delight: Treat yourself to a day of fun at the Gardeners Holiday Open House. There’s a little something for everyone: botanic decorations, a train display, Santa, antique toys and holiday collectibles, a children’s puppet show, refreshments and a gift shop. This festive day is for gardeners of all ages, individuals and families. Noon to 4 p.m. Green Spring Gardens. Free. Register in advance for the puppet show Rufus the Red Nosed Raindog. Cost is $3/person. For information or to register call 703-642-5173.
  • Bluegrass Barn Concert: Since 1975, Patuxent Partners has brought an exciting brand of bluegrass music to festivals, dances, concerts and special events throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Band members Tom Mindte, Bryan Deere, John Brunschwyler, Jack Leiderman and Victoria McMullen are taking the stage at Frying Pan to share their musical stylings. Doors open at 6 p.m.; showtime is 7 p.m. Frying Pan Farm Park. $15/person at the door, $12/person in advance. Purchase tickets online or call 703-437-9101.
  • Hop, Slither and Crawl — Reptiles and Amphibians: Can’t wait for spring? Neither can the Potomac Overlook naturalists! Join them to learn about the frogs, lizards, snakes and salamanders that you can find in the woods when warm weather arrives. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Free. For information and reservations (required) call 703-528-5406.

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