The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday ( Dec. 7)

  • Free Ballet Classes — (December 7-30) at Conservatory Ballet Foundation (11495 Sunset Hills Road) — Participants of ages two and above and enjoy two weeks of free live and virtual ballet classes. To register, use this link.

Tuesday (Dec. 8)

 

Saturday (Dec. 12)

  • Martial Arts Class — 11 a.m. at Life Champ Martial Arts of Reston (11160 South Lakes Drive) — Kids can enjoy a free martial arts class and receive a free t-shirt. To register, use this link.

Photo via Life Champ Martial Arts of Reston/Facebook

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Around 400 acres of Reston Association Natural Areas are now certified as Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuaries. The association announced the new Wildlife Sanctuaries on Twitter yesterday afternoon.

Over 1,300 acres of natural areas are currently maintained by Reston Association, according to the website, including:

  • 800 acres of woodlands
  • Four lakes
  • Four wetlands
  • Three ponds
  • 50 meadows
  • 20 miles of streams

Audubon Society of Northern Virginia works to “conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity,” the website said.

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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This holiday season will look different with social-distancing, face coverings and other safety measures and recommendations from the Fairfax County Health Department.

For the first three weeks of this month, Reston Community Center will be hosting virtual events every Tuesday and Thursday that will get you active, creative and in the holiday spirit, according to its press release.

The following events will take place on the Reston Community Center’s Facebook page and registration is not required:

For more information about RCC’s virtual holiday events, visit the center’s website.

Other holiday festivities will take place in Reston this month, including the Christmas Festival in Herndon. This free event will take place at Emily Rose Lewis Ministries (503 Carlisle Drive). Guests will be able to enjoy free food, drinks, festive decorations and a free Christmas photo, according to the website.

This Sunday only, families of five or less can receive a free holiday photo from Worldgate Centre (13007 Worldgate Drive). All guests will have their temperature taken and are required to wear a face covering until their photo is taken, the website said.

For the first three weekends of this month, families can receive another free family photo from Santa’s Workshop at Woodland Park Crossing (12960 Highland Crossing Drive).

Guests are also encouraged to donate new and unwrapped toys during this time as the company raises donations for Toys for Tots. Toys will be accepted at Woodland Park Crossing until Sunday (Dec. 13).

Train rides will be available every Saturday and Sunday of this month in Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.). The cost is $20 and each ride will run for approximately 15 minutes. Guests are also required to wear a face covering throughout the duration of their ride.

Photo via Reston Town Center/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Dec. 1)

  • Herndon Book Club (Online) — 6:30-7:45 p.m. — Discussing Mrs. Everything: A Novel by Jennifer Weiner, the group will meet via Zoom. Club members should call the Herndon Library (768 Center S.) during the Curbside Pickup times (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to have staff check out and set aside your copy or visit the branch, the website said. To register, use this link.
  • Holiday Craft Class (Online) — 11-11:30 a.m. — Reston Community Center will host a card making class on its Facebook page. Participants should have the following items ready before the class begins: two or three sheets of card stock, colored paper, markers, crayons, scissors and cookie cutters.

Wednesday (Dec. 2)

  • Best of 2020 Book Discussion (Online) — 10:30-11:30 a.m. — Great Falls Library will meet via Zoom to discuss the best reads of 2020, the website said. To register, use this link.

Thursday (Dec. 3)

  • Zumba Gold (Online) — 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Reston Community Center will host a virtual Zumba Gold class on its Facebook page.

Saturday (Dec. 5)

  • Magical Moments at Woodland Park (December 5-20) — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Woodland Park Crossing (12960 Highland Crossing Drive) — Families can stop by Woodland Park Crossing to revel in lights and a festive scene of Santa’s Workshop, the website said. Family photos are available with preregistration.
  • Reston Town Center Holiday Performances — 12-4 p.m. at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.) — Holiday characters, still walkers and jugglers will be on hand to entertain and make for fun socially distanced holiday selfies, the website said.
  • Christmas Festival — 3-8 p.m. at Emily Rose Lewis Ministries (503 Carlisle Drive Suite 275) — Kingdom Living Ekklesia & Academy is hosting an indoor/outdoor Christmas Festival, the website said. Participants can enjoy free food and drinks.

Sunday (Dec. 6)

  • Reston Town Center Holiday Performances — 12-2 p.m. at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.) — Reston Town Center tradition returns this year for holiday songs performed by members of the Reston based Northern Virginia Ukulele Society, the website said.
  • Holiday Family Portraits — 12-4 p.m. at Worldgate Centre (13007 Worldgate Drive) — Take a holiday family picture and go home with a free print. Participants can enjoy holiday favorites and free giveaways.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Nov. 23)

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive (November 1-23) — Patrons, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other items at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community, the website said. View this link to see the most needed items.

Tuesday (Nov. 24)

  • Spanish Chat (1-2 p.m.) — Residents can practice Spanish conversation informally online at this virtual event, which is organized by Great Falls Library. A Zoom invite will be sent to registered participants one day before the discussion.

Friday (Nov. 27)

  • Chocolate Factory Band (7 p.m.) — The Chocolate Factory Band will grace the stage of P.J. Mulligan’s once again. Patrons are encouraged to come early as COVID-19 restrictions will be in effect at the location (2310 Woodland Crossing Drive).

Saturday (Nov. 28)

  • Carriage Rides (November 28 – December 19) – 4-9 p.m. at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.) – For $30, enjoy a journey along the streets of Reston Town Center and benefit local charities, the website said. The carriage will depart from the Pavilion on Market Street. Groups are limited to five people and masks are required. To register, use this link.

Sunday (Nov. 29)

  • Train Rides (November 29 – December 20) – 12-3:45 p.m. at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.) – For $20, enjoy a mini train ride with the family through the streets of Reston Town Center and benefit local charities, the website said. The train will depart from the Pavilion on Market Street. Groups are limited to four people and masks are required. To register, use this link.

Photo by Wade Gilley

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This holiday season, Fairfax County Police Department’s Victim Services is raising donations for children of victims involved in violent crimes.

Victim Services at FCPD supports victims’ families in many ways, according to Supervisor of Hunter Mill District Walter Alcorn. This holiday season, the division will be working to eliminate some of the financial hardship for some families.

“The Fairfax County Police Department’s Victim Services Division provides critical services to child victims and witnesses of domestic and sexual violence,” Alcorn wrote in a recent newsletter.” Many of these children will not get to celebrate holidays this year due to the financial burden that comes with being a victim of crime.”

FCPD is accepting gift cards from stores for children of all ages, Alcorn says, from stores including:

  • Giant
  • Target
  • Safeway
  • Walmart
  • TJ Maxx
  • Kohl’s
  • Local restaurants
  • Other clothing stores

Gift cards can be dropped off at the Reston District Police Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) or mailed to the station addressed as:

C/O Victim Services/ PFC Horita

Reston District Police Station

1801 Cameron Glen Drive
Reston, VA 20190

For more information about FCPD’s Victim Services, visit its website.

Photo via the Fairfax County Government website

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Next month, Reston Association will be conducting its annual lake inspections on Reston lakes.

The association announced the inspection in a press release Tuesday (Nov. 17). Starting the second week of December, if weather permits, Lakes Anne, Audubon, Newport and Thoreau will all have inspections inside and outside the bodies of water, according to the press release.

“We contract with an engineering firm specialized in this service whose team inspects the inside and outside of the structure and uses divers to look at areas underwater,” the press release said. “To accommodate this inspection, each lake is lowered slightly to prevent water from spilling over the concrete lip that is at the regular lake pool surface level. This lowering typically does not impact activities or boats on the lake.”

Reston Association Watershed Manager William Peterson says these inspections are performed to look for several possible areas of concern.

“Regardless of whether a part of the riser structure is under water or out of the water, we are looking for similar things,” Peterson said. “Essentially, anything that might create a concern. This could include cracks in the concrete, leaks in the control gates, corroded metal for any of the gears, pipes or grates, proper operation of the gates and valves, and more. We want to make sure that our dams are well maintained to ensure the safety of our community and those downstream of each of our lakes.”

Restionians living near any of the four lakes – Anne, Audubon, Newport and Thoreau – should not expect to be affected by the inspections, according to Peterson.

“Typically, the inspections do not affect the residents living near the four lakes,” Peterson said. “Although each riser structure has gates to control the water level, they are always closed except for maintenance purposes. The level of the water for the lakes is typically right at the concrete threshold that allows the lakes to have continuous flow downstream. For the inspections, we lower the levels slightly, typically about a foot, so that water is not flowing inside of the riser structure during the inspection. This helps the inspectors identify possible leaks.”

This year, according to Peterson, Lake Audubon will be lowered a lot more to accommodate the water-overflow.

“Lake Audubon’s water level will be lowered six to eight feet to conduct an inspection on the Thoreau dam outfall, which is on the Lake Audubon side of the dam, Peterson said.” “This is on the opposite side of South Lakes Drive from Thoreau. Although Lake Thoreau will be lowered to prevent water from flowing over the threshold mentioned above, it will not be lowered substantially like Lake Audubon is and should not impact boats on Lake Thoreau.”

For more information about the upcoming lake inspections, visit Reston Association’s website.

Photo via Restion Association/Facebook

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The annual Herndon Festival scheduled for Spring of 2021 has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Herndon’s Parks and Recreation Department announced the cancellation in a press release yesterday morning. This would have made 41 years that the festival had been held.

Director of the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department Cindy Roeder said she is hopeful that the town will be able to have the festival again in the future.

“We hope that next year this time, we can again be talking about carnival rides and souvenir shirts, funnel cakes and deep-fried turkey legs, community, and fun,” Roeder said.

Last year, the annual festival brought activities such as a carnival, 5K and 10K races and arts and crafts shows.

The entire press release is below: Read More

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Nov. 16)

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive (November 1-23) — Patrons, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other items at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community, the website said. View this link to see the most needed items.

Tuesday (Nov. 17)

  • Herndon Teen Book Club (Online) – 6:30-7:30 p.m. – Discussing Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, the group will meet via Zoom. Club members should call the Herndon Library (768 Center S.) during the Curbside Pickup times (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to have staff check out and set aside your copy or visit the branch, the website said. To register, use this link.

Wednesday (Nov. 18)

  • Reston Farmers Market – 3-7 p.m. at St. John Neumann Church (11900 Lawyers Road) – The farmers market offers a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, charcuterie, sausages, bread and prepared food, the website said.

Thursday (Nov. 19)

  • Meet the Artists – 2:15-3:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — Beverly Cosham and her musician friends collaborate to perform their favorite songs, the website said. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Nov. 21)

  • Scotch Whisky Tasting – 3-5 p.m. at Colvin Run Mill (10017 Colvin Run Road) – The cost is $45 per person. Participants will learn about the ancient history of Scotch whisky and the fine art of making and tasting it, the website said. To register, use this link.

Photo via Fairfax County 

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Spotify, the audio-streaming and media services provider, recently agreed to acquire Reston-based Megaphone, a podcast hosting company, for $235 Million earlier this week.

The company announced the acquisition on its website Tuesday (Nov. 10).

“The acquisition of Megaphone represents the next step in Spotify’s expanding the possibilities of this intimate and screen-less medium,” the company said.

Megaphone is currently headquartered in Reston Station.

CEO of Megaphone Brendan Monaghan and Spotify’s VP of Global Ad Business and Platform, Jay Richman, spoke about the acquisition and the future of the two companies.

Megaphone provides publishers with a suite of tools and technology to distribute, monetize and measure their shows wherever podcasts are listened,” Monaghan explained. “At the same time, we created a marketplace to aggregate unsold ad inventory from our publishing partners and sell that inventory to premium advertisers based on desired audience segments (demographics, psychographics and even geography).”

The acquisition will allow the company to continue to do this, in a new way.

“The acquisition will allow us to provide products and services to publishers and advertisers in more depth and at a faster pace than we have in the past,” Monoghan said. “We’ll be able to bring new products to our partners, like Spotify’s SAI technology to support even greater revenue generation for publishers and another way for advertisers to reach their desired audience.”

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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A new program for planning and designing public spaces is coming to Reston Historic Trust & Museum later this month.

The museum announced the program, Placemaking in Fairfax County, in a press release yesterday morning (Nov. 9). The discussion about the upcoming program is planned to take place next Wednesday (Nov. 18) at Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza).

According to the press release, the program presented by Deputy County Executive of Fairfax County Anne Rachel Flynn will emphasize:

  • The importance of “placemaking”
  • Planning and designing public spaces in the community
  • Creating great neighborhoods and community centers

Fairfax County residents can register online to attend this program next week with Reston Community Center, using the registration code “702000-1B,” the press release said, or by calling the center at 703-476-4500.

To be a part of the discussion virtually, participants should email [email protected]

Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Nov. 9)

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive (November 1-23) — Patrons, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other items at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community, the website said. View this link to see the most needed items.

Tuesday (Nov. 10)

  • Spanish Chat (Online) – 1-2 p.m. – Great Falls Library will practice Spanish conversation informally via Zoom, the website said. To register, use this link.

Thursday (Nov. 12)

  • Virtual Trivia Happy Hour (Online) — 5:30-6:45 p.m. – Reston Regional Library hosts a virtual trivia program twice a month via Zoom. This event is for adults. To register, use this link.
  • Transgender Virginian’s Story (Online) – 7-8 p.m. – Reston Regional Library will host members of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau, for an evening of community and learning as they share their story as a transgender person followed by plenty of time for dialogue and questions, the website said. The group will meet via Zoom. To register, use this link.

Friday (Nov. 13)

  • Virtual Chess Club (Online) – 4-5 p.m. – Reston Regional Library invites school-age children and teens to earn and improve chess skills using online Lichess tactics, the website said. The group will meet via Zoom. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Nov. 14)

  • Great Falls Virtual Studio Tour (Online) – 11 a.m. – Great Falls Studios will host local artists and their artwork online. Viewers can shop and connect with artists, the website said. The virtual tour will be available November 14-30.
  • The Young Actors Theatre – 3 p.m. at Reston Community Center (230 Colts Neck Road) — The Young Actors Theatre (YAT) Program trains young actors (ages 7 – 15) in voice, dance and acting over the course of 10 weeks of classes and rehearsals, culminating in a final performance of fully produced original musicals, the website said. The group will perform The Wizard of Oz. To receive free tickets, email [email protected]
  • Native American Campfire Cookout – 3-4:30 p.m. at Riverbend Park (8700 Potomac Hills St.) — Discover some native recipes and cooking techniques as you help prepare native dishes to taste, the website said. The cost is $12 per person and children must be accompanied by an adult. To register, use this link.

Photo via Great Falls Studios/Facebook

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After cancelling this year’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival due to the pandemic, Greater Reston Arts Center is preparing for next year’s annual festival by opening the applications for artists.

GRACE announced the opening of the application in its newsletter via email earlier this week.

The 30th annual festival will run from May 14-16 of next year, with new health and safety modifications, according to the newsletter.

Artists are encouraged to apply before the deadline, Dec. 27, including the following information on their application:

  • $55 application fee
  • Four high-resolution photos of recent artwork (Artwork created in the last five years)
  • A description of each piece (1,000 words or less)
  • An artist statement explaining their creative process and referencing one piece of artwork that was submitted (3,000 words or less)
  • Choosing one of ten categories of which their artwork best falls under (Ceramics, Glass, Jewelry, Digital & Multi-Media Art/ Drawing/ Mixed Media 2D, Painting, Photography, Sculpture/ Mixed Media 3D/ Metal, Textiles, or Wood)

The complete newsletter is below:

Now in its 30th year, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival has a long-standing reputation for showcasing high quality, hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind artwork in a dynamic outdoor setting. The Festival provides an opportunity to engage directly with exceptional artists, as juried in by leading art practitioners and artists in the visual arts field, that meet a high level of artistic standards. This unique open-air event is presented in Reston Town Center and attracts affluent patrons and knowledgeable collectors from the Washington, DC metropolitan region and beyond. This year, the 2021 Festival will implement new health and safety adaptations for the care and consideration of all.

Artist applications are accepted through ZAPPlication through December 27, 2020

Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center/Facebook

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A public meeting was held last week to discuss the changes to the Town of Herndon’s Heritage Preservation Program.

Last Thursday (Oct. 29) the town’s consultants and staff invited the public to review new district guidelines that affects property owners and the Architectural Review Board.

The Heritage Preservation Program is designed to provide “a mechanism to ensure conservation of the town’s traditional neighborhoods and older commercial structures, providing a community identify apart from the suburban growth of the urbanizing region,” the website said.

Deputy Director of Community Development Bryce Perry noted that the town is considering a name change for the program.

“The change is not formally adopted, but is reflected in the guidelines,” Perry said.

Mel Price of Work Project Architects, and Paige Pollard and Katie Paulson of Commonwealth Preservation Group have all contributed to the project in some way.

Price said her firm was responsible for “the 3D modeling, graphics, and details of the buildings.”

The new guidelines are designed to be user-friendly and clearly delineate where to go for contributing and noncontributing additions,  as well as new construction, she said. The current guidelines are text-heavy and do not offer sufficient ‘how-to’ information.

“The goal is to meet the community reservation vision to ensure that we are maintaining and enhancing the character of the town,” she said.

Pollard of Commonwealth Preservation Group said the new guidelines will provide:

  • A statement of purpose
  • Clarification of the process
  • Clear distinction between contributing, noncontributing, additions and new construction
  • A resource guide for maintenance, materials and vendors
  • Flexibility in material options
  • A basis for Herndon District Review Board to make consistent decisions

Many citizens were present to take advantage of the question and answer portion of the public meeting.

A wide-range of questions were asked, including where to find a list of contributing properties.

“The best way to find that is using the interactive GIS map that we do have on our website,” Perry said.

One resident asked about guidance on “light fixtures, mailboxes, and specific color or guidance on things like tin shingles, etc.”

“There is no guidance on mailboxes and light fixtures,” Paulson explained. “For tin shingles, the guidance is to match existing and beyond that there are a few steps if you can’t, and that’s up to the board to work through on their end.”

Other updates regarding the district were presented at the end by Perry, including a zoning ordinance and the development of a new process guide for applicants.

A zoning ordinance, including changing the name of the district and name of the review board, is being scheduled to review by the town’s council later this month, according to Perry.

“This is really to enforce that legally what we have is a historic district,” Perry said. “And we want to make sure that we’re consistent with what these types of districts are called at the state level and with the other local jurisdictions.”

The extension of approved applications was the last update discussed. Applicants now have five years, instead of just one year, to start a project.

“Right now if an applicant receives board approval for a project, they would have twelve months to have that project started, unless they return to the board for an extension,” Perry explained. “Projects, especially large ones like additions and new construction are almost always delayed, so having the ability to keep these approvals active for five years, instead of just the one year period, really gives some flexibility to the project management and can save the applicant, staff and board time by avoiding that need for the repeated extension request.”

For more information about the Herndon Historic District Guidelines or other updates, visit the town’s website.

Photo by Comstock

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Nov. 2)

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive (November 1-23) — Patrons, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other items at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community, the website said. View this link to see the most needed items.

Tuesday  (Nov. 3)

  • Gourds and Gobblers — 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Riverbend Park (8700 Potomac Hills St.) — Learn about wild turkeys and other animals and plants that are an important part of our Thanksgiving tradition, the website said. The cost is $8 per child. To register, use this link.

Wednesday  (Nov. 4)

  • Mystery of Your Choice (Online) — 10:30-11:30 a.m. — Participants each offer a short presentation of their selection, followed by discussion with Great Falls Library staff, the website said. To register, use this link.

Thursday  (Nov. 5)

  • Meet the Artists — 2:15-3:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — Shepherd University faculty member Brooke Evers performs a program of renowned art songs with pianist Marina Chamasyan, the website said. To register, use this link.
  • Intermediate German Class — 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Great Falls Library (301 Second Ave. N.) — Expand your German learning through exploring language, culture and participating in conversation, the website said. To register, use this link.
  • Reel Deal Film Club — 5:45-6:45 p.m. — The Reel Deal Film Club hosts lively discussions of must-see films, the website said. Discussing, The Campaign with Will Ferrell, the group will meet via Zoom. To register, use this link.

Friday  (Nov. 6)

  • Nature at Night — 5:30-7 p.m. at Riverbend Park (8700 Potomac Hills St.) — Enjoy nighttime hikes, get a peek at nocturnal critters, make an awesome craft, and learn how these animals wake up when we go to sleep, the website said. The cost is $8 per person. To register, use this link.
  • Campfire Fridays — 7-8:30 p.m. at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) — Participants can enjoy an evening campfire and s’mores for the whole family, the website said. The cost is $12 per person. To register, use this link.

Saturday  (Nov. 7)

  • Fall Watershed Cleanup Day — 12 p.m. at Riverbend Park (8700 Potomac Hills St.) — Join Clean Virgina Waterways and the Ocean Conservancy on an International Coastal Cleanup Event to keep our waters clean, the website said. Participants should expect to collect trash from streams and trails, and compile and report results on trash collected to contribute to a global snapshot of littered items. Email to Valeria Espinoza, [email protected], register.

Sunday  (Nov. 8)

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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