Reston, VA

Virginia to Change Vaccine Scheduling Systems — Fairfax County residents will finally follow the same approach to obtaining COVID-19 vaccine appointments as the rest of the state, as the Virginia Department of Health says its statewide system will also be retired on Sunday (April 18) in favor of self-scheduling through Vaccine Finder. [Patch]

Lawsuit Filed over Virginia’s Unemployment Benefits — “Several legal groups filed a federal class-action suit on Thursday against the Virginia Employment Commission for its failure to reach residents with unemployment benefits, and abruptly cutting off payments to others without explanation.” [DCist]

Fish Released into Lake Thoreau — Reston Association stocked Lake Thoreau with 80 triploid grass carp this past Sunday (April 18). RA says that the fish are part of its plan to “help manage aquatic plants such as hydrilla” in the lake and must be released if caught while fishing. [RA/Twitter]

Reston Nonprofit to Give Free Food to Those in NeedCornerstones will hold a free food distribution event tomorrow (Saturday) in the parking lot of the Fairfax County Department of Family Services building at Lake Anne (11484 Washington Plaza West). The grocery bags will contain toiletries as well as fresh produce, and they will be distributed from 10 a.m. to noon, though spaces are limited. [Lake Anne Elementary School]

Hunter Mill District Bike Tour Sold Out — Tickets for the inaugural Tour de Hunter Mill sold out yesterday. Scheduled for May 15, the event will take cyclists on a scenic tour from Reston to Vienna and back, but attendance was capped at 150 riders to ensure social distancing. [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling/Twitter]

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Monday, April 12 

  • Rock the Park (10-11:30 a.m.) — Find a new pet rock! Join NoVa Parks staff for a hike down to the stream at Potomac Overlook Regional Park to introduce yourself to a new rock friend. Then, paint it in whatever colors and designs you like. Afterward, search the nature center for more pet rocks hidden by staff.

Tuesday April 13 

  • Cicadas in Your Garden (7-8 p.m.) — Prepare your garden for Brood X. Adria Bordas, a horticulturalist with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, will help local gardeners prepare — and protect — their gardens from the millions of cicadas that are set to emerge in our area come May. This is a virtual event.

Wednesday, April 14

  • Fundamentals of Falling (6-7 p.m.) — Learn how to take a fall safely while exercising. This course from Fairfax County Public Library and the Virginia Spine Institute will help you learn movement patterns and techniques to reduce the risk of injury when you inevitably fall while exercising.

Thursday, April 15

  • Yoga with the Magnolias (5:30-6:30 p.m.) — Take a small, socially distant, in-person yoga class at Carlyle House Historic Park’s Magnolia Terrace in Alexandria. The class is limited to six students to ensure proper spacing. Find a gentle flow while peering into the beautiful scenery.

Friday, April 16

  • World of BBQ (6 p.m.) — Hear James Beard Award-winning chef Rodney Scott talk about the secrets of barbeque in this virtual event hosted by Barnes and Noble and accessible via the store in the Mosaic District.

Saturday, April 17

  • Pollinator Garden Dedication (10 a.m.) — Join in-person or virtually for the dedication ceremony of the new Margaret Kinder Education and Pollinator Garden at Lake Accotink Park. The pollinator garden has 800 plants of 14 varieties with a number of interpretive signs. Kinder, its namesake, is a county educator, naturalist, and a longtime volunteer at the park.
  • Nature Kayaking (2-4 p.m.) — Paddle Lake Fairfax in a kayak with a Fairfax County Parks Authority naturalist. Learn about all the flora and fauna in the lake and what might be swimming underneath your kayak. A single kayak rental is included in the cost.

Sunday, April 18

  • Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Join fellow birders for an early morning walk around Bright Pond in Reston. A limited number of participants are allowed, and masks must be worn at all times.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday, April 5 

  • Comic Camp (6 p.m.) — Grab your pencil, paper, imagination and let’s head off to comic camp! Join Fairfax-based comic artist John Gallagher as he provides a drawing lesson, answers questions, and tells a joke or two. The event is hosted by Politics & Prose.

Tuesday, April 6 

  • Fast Fiction (4:30-5:30 p.m.) — Join this four-week workshop to learn how to take a big idea and tell it more concisely. Taught by George Mason University MFA writers, this course will help you distill a fiction story into 1000 words or less.
  • Police Chief Public Input Session (7 p.m.) — Weigh in on Fairfax County’s search for a new police chief at this virtual public forum hosted by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk. The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 16 and stream on McKay and Lusk’s Facebook pages.

Wednesday, April 7

  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (6:45 p.m.) — Get a behind-the-scenes (virtual) look of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland. Join the museum’s chief curator and Smithsonian Associates as they tell the story of how people and the Bay have become dependent one another through the years.

Thursday, April 8

  • Karate Family (7 p.m.) — Learn self-defense as a family. This ten-week karate course is designed for the whole family. Put on by Fairfax County Parks Authority, the class promises to help students with their confidence, leadership, and fitness.

Friday, April 9

  • Campfire Camaraderie (6:30-8:30 p.m.) — Sit around the spring campfire with the whole family. Smell the woodsmoke, watch the flickering flames, and roast marshmallows during this evening at the Walker Nature Center in Reston.

Saturday, April 10

  • Scott’s Run Clean-up (9:30 a.m.) — Help keep the Potomac clean by joining this clean-up at Scott’s Run. Hosted by the Potomac Conservancy, there’s only space for ten volunteers to ensure proper social distancing.
  • Founder’s Day (12 p.m.) — Reston’s annual Founder’s Day is going virtual again in 2021. Learn about Reston history, listen to music, and celebrate public art from the comfort of your own home via Youtube.

Sunday, April 11

  • A Song and a Slice (6:00 p.m.) — Groove outdoors with a pizza slice in-hand. Vienna’s Jammin Java is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a second year of free outdoor concerts. Enjoy thin-crust pizza from the music venue’s Union Pie pizza shop while listening to local blues band “Fast Eddie and Slowpokes.”
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After a year spent largely cooped up inside (if you were lucky), even the most introverted individuals might feel a surge of anticipation at the prospect of mingling with a crowd in celebration or leisure.

The warming spring weather and accelerating pace of COVID-19 vaccinations suggest major communal experiences could once again be a reality. Starting today (Thursday), Virginia is easing limits on social gatherings, recreational events, and entertainment venues.

However, large, public events like ballgames and music concerts will still not be free of risk. Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement that public health restrictions would be relaxed came amid declining COVID-19 transmission rates and increasing vaccine distribution, but cases have already started to tick back up again around the state.

As of March 31, Fairfax County was averaging 168.3 new COVID-19 cases over the past seven days. The county recorded its lowest weekly average of 2021 with 133.6 cases on March 15.

On top of health concerns, event organizers must grapple with logistical and financial challenges.

For instance, the fate of this year’s Friday Night Live! — Herndon’s annual free summer concert series — remains uncertain in part because it depends on public services that could see their funding slashed in the town’s new budget.

Chairman Laura Poindexter believes having the series live and in-person is critical to local businesses and the community, but she also told Reston Now earlier this week that it would be hard to justify the expense of putting on the concerts if they are limited to under 50% capacity.

When taking all these factors into consideration, how do you feel about the possibility of crowded, public events returning? Are you ready to take in a game at Nationals Park or a local rock concert? Or should everything wait until herd immunity is reached?

Photo by Mikey Tate

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The Town of Herndon’s popular free Friday Night Live! summer concert series may have to stop rocking, the event’s chairman fears.

After moving to a streaming format last year, the hoped-for 2021 plan is to return to live shows in July with limited capacity.

However, budgetary challenges may prevent that from happening.

In a letter to supporters, the series’ chairman Laura Poindexter wrote that specific line items would need to be approved in the upcoming Town of Herndon’s fiscal year 2022 budget in order for the concert series to continue.

While the event is produced by the Herndon and Dulles Regional chambers of commerce, organizers work very closely with the town, since it takes place on town property and requires public government services, such as a police presence and public works support for trash pick-up, fencing, and set-up.

With the town preparing to unveil a budget proposal on Thursday (April 1), the concern that these items will not be included stems from town budgetary concerns as well as other Herndon events already being canceled, including the Herndon Festival.

In her letter, Poindexter asks supporters to provide input and not to “delay letting your voice be heard” about how much Friday Night Live! means to the community.

The concert series first began in 1995 and is thought to be the longest-running free outdoor concert series in the D.C.-area. It traditionally starts the first week of May and runs through August, though the current plan for 2021 is to start on Friday, July 2.

Most often, the concert series hosts rock cover bands because they draw the largest crowds, Poindexter notes. 

Poindexter tells Reston Now that up to 2,500 people attend the concerts held each Friday night in normal years. Two thirds of them typically come from outside of Herndon.

“It’s an economic development tool, to bring people to downtown Herndon,” she says. “That’s why it was created. I believe downtown businesses benefit greatly and rely on us. This year, after COVID, not to have it would be a shame.”

In a statement on the town’s website, Mayor Sheila Olem alludes to needed cuts due to budget constraints related to the pandemic:

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant, devastating impact on local economies, and Herndon has not been immune. While our sound fiscal practices have buffered the impact somewhat, we are — like jurisdictions across the region — experiencing decreases in most revenue categories. Accordingly, our budget planning is focused on continued provision of the core services our citizens expect and value – public works, public safety and those services that are integral to our infrastructure and day-to-day lives.

While Poindexter and other Friday Night Live! organizers did also send a letter to the town council highlighting their concerns, she says she has not heard one way or another if those needed line items will be included in the proposed budget. She did reiterate that the event has had a long-running, great relationship with the Town of Herndon.

“We just felt it was important for our fans to make their voices heard in relation to the budget,” she said.

Overall, Poindexter says it costs about $10,000 to put on each individual Friday Night Live! event. With about 16 or 17 dates a summer, that’s about $160,000 to $170,000 a season.

“Friday Night Live! is a fantastic community event, but it’s an expensive event to put on,” she said. “There’s a lot of costs involved. Besides town services and security, there’s port-a-potties, there’s music licenses, there’s bands.”

While the event is free to attendees, alcohol and other concessions are sold to bring in revenue.

Poindexter says organizers are planning for 50% capacity. Currently, Virginia allows for 30% capacity at outdoor entertainment venues, but she anticipates that changing to match the governor’s capacity restrictions from last summer.

If capacity is limited to under 50%, it would be hard to the concert series financially worthwhile, Poindexter acknowledges.

All in all, she’s confident that the town will realize how important Friday Night Live! — and other outdoor events like it — is for Herndon businesses and residents this year.

“We think [the series] is so important for not only the downtown businesses, especially the restaurants that really need to have a fantastic summer, but the emotional health and well-being for our fans,” Poindexter said. “We haven’t been able to get out and do things like outdoor events. So, I think that it’s needed on multiple levels.”

Photo courtesy Laura Poindexter

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Monday, March 29

  • Draw Nature (4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m) — Get out your pencils and get ready to draw the trees, sky, and birds around you. Join naturalist and artist Margaret Wohler on the trails of Fairfax County’s Huntley Meadows Park. Learn basic skills, color theory, perspective, shading, gesture, contour and realistic rendering. This is a four-week class.

Tuesday March 30

  • Storytelling, Roots of Resistance (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) — Explore the role of folktales in resistance with local storyteller Diane Macklin. She’ll talk about the history of storytelling as a means of liberation and introduce the audience to American folk hero High John. This virtual event is presented by the Fairfax County Public Library.

Wednesday, March 31

  • Scrawl Books Trivia (8:00 p.m.) — Experience another version of virtual literary trivia, hosted by Scrawl Books in Reston and emcee Kate Clark. This time, though, there will be new competitors looking to take the prize from Twice-Told Tales New and Used Books in Kansas.

Thursday, April 1

  • Egg-stravaganza (10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.) — Join the Reston Association for a woodland walk to find all the Easter Bunny’s eggs. Start the journey at Walker Nature Center and search high and low for those eggs. At the end, grab a selfie with the Easter Bunny or the nature center’s mascot, Walker the Woodpecker. Face masks and social distancing are required.

Friday, April 2

  • Movie Under the Stars (7:00 p.m.) — Grab a blanket and chair to take in a Hollywood blockbuster under the stars. “Lego: Batman” is the first in a series of movies presented by the Reston Association at Hunter Woods Park. Concessions will be available to purchase, but a threat of rain will cancel the event.

Saturday, April 3

  • Dino Safari (9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) — Take a trip back in time and see dinosaurs. Head to National Harbor for a drive-thru adventure across a Jurassic safari populated by robot T-Rexes and lost Spinosauruses.
  • Anime Movie Days at the Wharf (3 p.m. & 7 p.m.) — Cherry blossoms aren’t the only symbol of the U.S.’s and Japan’s friendship. Come to downtown D.C. to watch one of Japan’s most loved exports — anime movies! Over the next 10 days, a series of popular anime movies will be played outside on the 20-foot LED screen at the Wharf.

Photo by Annie Spratt

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(Updated 3/29) This May, bicyclists will get a chance to pedal around Hunter Mill District with Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

Fairfax County is planning its inaugural “Tour de Hunter Mill” for May 15 starting at 8:30 a.m. Alcorn will host the scenic bicycle tour of the district that he represents.

“This will allow people to explore parts of Hunter Mill District that they haven’t before,” Alcorn said on a call with reporters talking about the event.

After starting at Reston Community Center, the ridealong will take bikers along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the Vienna Metro station before following quiet trails to the Spring Hill Metro station. Then, the route will circle back to Reston Community Center.

All in all, this “long” route encompasses about 20 miles. There’s also an option to board the Metro at Spring Hill to come back to Reston, which shaves about six miles and 475 feet of climbing from the trip.

Families or more inexperienced riders can also take a route that’s less than five miles through the Reston Association’s pathway system.

The tour costs $25 per adult, but the price includes a pair of “Tour de Hunter Mill” socks and a $5 donation to Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling.

Safety and health protocols will be followed, adhering to Virginia Department of Health’s current guidelines. Riders will be capped at 150 people and must stay at least six feet apart. Ride marshals and Fairfax County police will follow along as well.

The event will take place rain or shine.

Photo Courtesy of Fairfax County

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Monday, March 22

  • Get a Book, Return a Book (10 a.m.) – For the first time in a year, all Fairfax County libraries are reopening for express service. All visits will be limited to 30 minutes and capacity is reduced. Users can pick up a book, drop one off, and use the computer. Masks, of course, are required.

Tuesday March 23

  • Astronomy Webinar (7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) – Have you ever wondered what’s out there among the stars? Take this astronomy webinar through Colvin Run Mill Park in Great Falls and maybe you could get closer to some answers.

Wednesday, March 24

  • Forest Bathing (12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m) – Take a bath in the forest, no water needed. Join Smithsonian Associates and certified forest therapy guide Melanie Choukas-Bradley to learn about the meditative, Japanese practice that will re-connect you to nature.

Thursday, March 25

  • Women in History(7:00 p.m.) – Celebrate Women’s History month with best-selling nonfiction author Marie Benedict, the writer behind The Mystery of Mrs. Christie about the mysterious disappearance of the famed author. Buy a signed copy of the book from One More Page Books in Arlington and check out the online talk through Fairfax County Public Libraries.

Friday, March 26

  • Animal Sleepover (5 p.m.) – Drop off your best stuffed friends to Scrawl Books at Reston Town Center for stuffie sleepover where they’ll dance, snack, and play games. Then, at 7:30 p.m., join all the furry pals for a reading of That’s Not a Dog Toy.

Saturday, March 27 

  • Peter and the Wolf (7:30 p.m.) – Start streaming Manassas Ballet Theater’s newest production. Peter and the Wolf was first composed in 1936 as a way to introduce children to orchestral instruments.
  • Underwater Egg Hunt (12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.) – The Easter Bunny has lost hundreds of eggs, but somehow they’ve been found… floating in Reston Community Center’s pool. Kids from six months to nine years old are invited to take a dip and find those eggs.

Sunday, March 28

  • Art in Bloom (any time) -The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a mix of in-person and hybrid activities this year. Head to National Landing to gander at a series of five-foot-tall bloom statues created by a host of local artists, including a few from Northern Virginia.
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Monday, March 15

  • Fly Bessie Fly (2 p.m.) — In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license in the United States. This virtual one-woman show presented by the Fairfax County Public Library and American Historical Theatre tells her story by bringing the famed pilot to life. All scouts who attend earn a FREE women make history patch.

Tuesday March 16

Wednesday, March 17 

  • St. Paddy’s Day at Home (9 a.m.-3 p.m.) — On St. Patrick’s Day, Reston Association is offering a fun-filled, low-contact egg hunt to members. Their good friend Lucky the Leprechaun will personally deliver and hide two dozen eggs in your yard for all to find. For those who are not members, there is an option for Lucky to simply drop off eggs to be hidden by those at home.
  • Two By Sea Outdoors (6 p.m.) — Join local folk and country rock band Two by the Sea for an outdoor St. Patrick’s Day concert at the State Theater in Falls Church. This is an all-age show entirely outdoors to lower the risk of COVID-19 spread. It will have very limited capacity. Admission is free, but the venue is asking for a donation or a food purchase.

Thursday, March 18

  • Viola, Harp, and Flute (2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.) — Meet the artists of Beau Soir, a trio of musicians who play viola, harp, and flute. Known for their “unique audience interaction,” the ensemble will perform live, both to a limited audience at the Hunter Woods Community Center and virtually on Facebook.

Friday, March 19

  • Women’s Storytelling Festival (4:00 p.m.) — Friday is the first evening of the 2021 Women’s Storytelling Festival, which will feature more than 30 performers. Presented by Better Said Than Done, a community of storytellers based in Fairfax, this year’s edition is all virtual. “Is it kid-friendly?,” the website asks. “Probably not,” it answers.

Saturday, March 20

  • Spring Equinox Celebration (11 a.m.) — After a pandemic winter, spring is finally here. Join Fairfax County Parks for a spring equinox celebration at Turner Farm Park in Great Falls. Look through a sun telescope and take a (socially distant) walk to learn more about what an equinox is.
  • A Drive-In (6:45 p.m.-9:45 p.m.) — The Reston Association is holding their first-ever drive-in movie. The film will screen at the Isaac Newton Square parking lot starting at 7:30 p.m., though the lot entrance will open at 6:45 p.m. Admission also includes one free bag of popcorn per person. The featured film is still to be determined, but it will be family-friendly.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Cygnus921

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The weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining longer, but spring really arrives in D.C. when the thousands of cherry trees around the Tidal Basin start to bloom.

Organizers announced on March 1 that this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 20 through April 11. The National Park Service currently predicts that the flowers will be in peak bloom sometime between April 2 and 5.

With COVID-19 still posing health risks after mostly shutting down last year’s showcase, the 2021 festival has been reimagined in a less concentrated format with a combination of in-person and virtual activities that will encompass the entire D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

In addition to promoting regionwide events, such as the “Art in Bloom” sculptures and “Petal Porch Parade,” Fairfax County will host events of its own in coordination with the larger festival, many of them designed to showcase local gardens and parks or celebrate the coming of spring.

Supported by Visit Fairfax, the county’s official tourism organization, the festivities include:

  • Festival Central (March 20-April 11): The Fairfax County Visitor Center at Tysons Corner Center will provide free cherry blossom-themed souvenirs and information about the festival. It will also host its annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Day from 1-3 p.m. on March 27, which will feature a calligraphy demonstration.
  • The Science Behind Flowers (March 20-April 11): A program on botanical chemistry, invasive and native plants, ecological restoration, and other flower-related topics will stream online throughout the festival, courtesy of the Children’s Science Center.
  • Spring Fling Tour (March 27): Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon will have “special stations” throughout its nature trail “to build a fairy house” and provide Japanese tea at its meeting house.
  • Wabi-Sabi: Embracing Imperfection (March 28): Alexandria’s Green Spring Gardens will host a program on wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy focused on finding beauty in an imperfect natural world. Attendees will get tea samples and traditional sweets in an optional tea box. The event costs $12-24 and requires advance online registration.
  • Spring-Themed Drive-in Movies (April 3-4): Mosaic District is resuming its drive-in movie screenings with a pair of double features, starting with “Mary Poppins” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” followed by “Hop” and “42.” Tickets cost $28 per car and can be purchased online.
  • Community Market and Workshops (April 10): The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton will feature cherry blossom-inspired artwork, a marketplace, and various workshops, including origami crafts, haiku contests, and Japanese drumming.
  • Plants & Design (April 10): Led by horticulturalist Bevan Shimizu, Green Spring Gardens will offer a virtual, hour-long program about Japanese-style garden design. The program costs $18 and requires advance registration.

Visit Fairfax also advises residents and visitors to take the opportunity provided by the festival to tour the county’s parks, including Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, which has a lake surrounded by more than 100 cherry trees.

Though the format is different this year, Visit Fairfax president and CEO Barry Biggar says the influx of tourism that typically accompanies the annual cherry blossom festival has long benefitted not just the nation’s capital, but also the D.C. region as a whole.

“The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the nation’s greatest celebrations of spring and Visit Fairfax has been a proud supporter for many, many years,” Biggar said. “…People may come because they are familiar with the blossoms along the Tidal Basin, but we encourage visitors and residents to also explore some of the wonderful cultural events and attractions, spacious gardens and parks, and beautiful cherry trees that exist beyond the city.”

The festival will kick off at 6 p.m. on March 20 with a virtual opening ceremony. A full programming guide can be found on the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

Photo courtesy Visit Fairfax

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Monday, March 8

  • Living in Reston A Long Time Ago (6 p.m.) – Join the Reston Historic Trust and Museum for a trivia night put on by a South Lakes High School student who wanted to learn more about the town she grew up in. It will focus on Reston’s history and what it was like living in Reston in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Tuesday March 9

Wednesday, March 10

  • Paint like Van Gogh (6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m.) – Create your own Vincent Van Gogh-inspired masterpieces. Join the Fairfax County Public Library staff in using the technique called “impasto,” meaning to lay paint on thickly to make it stand out from the canvas. All art materials will be provided and available for pick-up.

Thursday, March 11

  • Cains Branch (11 a.m.) – Hike the trails in Chantilly and learn the hidden history of this Fairfax County park. Follow the waterway to discover more about the life of early inhabitants who made this area their home.

Friday, March 12

  • Eye of an Eagle (7 p.m.) – Be it date night or family night, see if you can spot the animal by its anatomy at this virtual trivia night hosted by the Reston Association.

Saturday, March 13

  • Drive-Up Movie Night (6 p.m.) – Take a trip to Tysons for a baseball-themed drive-up movie night. Entry cost supports the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and DC Take Steps Program. It’s a double family-friendly feature of “Field of Dreams” & “42: The Jackie Robinson Story.”

Sunday, March 14

  • Birding for Beginners (9 a.m.) – 2021’s hottest new hobby… is birding? As the spring migration season takes flight, join fellow birders at Lake Fairfax to learn how to spot feathered flyers.
  • Founder’s Day (2 p.m.) – A new exhibit at Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery imagines the beginnings of Reston. The art focuses on the seven principles outlined by Reston founder Robert E. Simon. On Sunday, there’s also a reception celebrating the exhibit which will be on display until April 30.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Challah Bread (Photo via Pixabay/dinar_aulia)

Monday, March 1

  • Reston Association Board Election (5 p.m.) – Month-long voting begins at 5 p.m., with residents able to vote online or via their mailed ballot (which is being sent out on March 1). Five candidates are certified for three open seats on the 2021 Board of Directors. Results will be announced in April at the Annual Members’ Meeting.

Tuesday March 2

  • Suburban Space to Natural Oasis (7–8 p.m.) – Kim Young, a naturalist at Annandale’s Hidden Oaks Nature Center, is teaching how to turn a “typical suburban yard into a native plant wildlife habitat.” She’ll go over processes and what plants are right for your suburban space. This is a two part virtual program.

Wednesday, March 3

  • Home Fermenting (1–2 p.m.) – Fermenting vegetables at home have become somewhat of a fad during the pandemic. Join Kathryn Strong from the Virginia Cooperative Extension to learn how to properly do it and the equipment needed.

Thursday, March 4

  • Tom Stoppard (5 p.m.) – Join Smithsonian Associates as they talk with author Hermione Lee about her new biography about one of the greatest living playwrights, Tom Stoppard. He’s the author of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and co-writer of the 1998 Oscar winner Shakespeare in Love.

Friday, March 5

  • Drawing Comics (4–5:30 p.m.) – Let the creative juices follow as cartoonist Bud Little guides students through a four-week comic strip class. Students will learn how to create and illustrate basic cartoons using their own characters and settings. The class is intended for kids. It’s being put on by the Arts of Great Falls, it is in-person, and there’s a 7-student maximum.

Saturday, March 6

  • American Girl (11 a.m.) – Authors Erin Teagan and Terry Catasus Jenning are talking girl power with the introduction of their new books. Jennings is introducing her new series Definitely Dominguita and Teagan is talking about her new series about the American Girl Doll of the Year Kira’s adventures. During this Zoom event, four American Girl dolls are being raffled off, including 2018’s American Girl of the year Luciana.
  • Cider Tasting (5 p.m.) – Drink up with a virtual apple cider tasting. Join authors Dan Pucci & Craig Cavallo of the book American Cider: A Modern Guide To A Historic Beverage as they talk and walk through a virtual cider tasting featuring ciders from D.C.’s ANXO.

Sunday, March 7

  • Challah Challah (11 a.m.) – Hannah Wolfman-Arent, baker for popular Sonny’s Pizza in D.C., leads a challah workshop. She’ll teach how to make the classic egg loaf as well as variations like one with garlic jam. A full recipe, an ingredient list, and a step-by-step guide will also be provided prior to the online class.

Photo via Pixabay/dinar_aulia

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Monday, Feb. 22

  • Undefeated (2:30-3:15 p.m.) – Meet Kwame Alexander, one of the hottest young adult book authors writing today. The New York Times best selling and Caldecott Medal-winning author (for his 2019 book “The Undefeated“) will talk about his writing process and give a short reading.
  • Brothers Gupta (6:30-7:30 p.m.) – After being rejected many times, Suneel Gupta dives into the question of if “charisma”can be learned. He gets into a conversation with his brother Sanjay Gupta, and famed CNN medical correspondent, about his new book focusing on this topic. This virtual event is hosted by Politics and Prose.

Tuesday Feb. 23

  • Burn (6-7 p.m.) – In October 1933, George Armwood of Princess Anne, Maryland was lynched. It was the last known lynching in a state with a horrific history of the crime. Join filmmaker Will Schwarz – and founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project – as he virtually screens and discusses his documentary film, “Burn: The Lynching of George Armwood.” This event is for adults.

Wednesday, Feb. 24

  • Backyard Bats (7-8 p.m.) – Learn about the enchanting life of the world’s only flying mammal from Leslie Sturges, President of the Save Lucy Campaign. She’s teaching participants about the seven bat species that call this region home and how to spot the animals in your own backyard. This event is virtual.

Thursday, Feb. 25 

  • A Reckoning (Noon to 1 p.m.) – This virtual event from Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House in Alexandria features four poets giving voices to the erased lives of those who were enslaved at Woodlawn. Readings are accompanied by music from harmonica player Cliff Bernier.

Friday, Feb. 26

  • Asteroid (3 p.m.) – Last October, a NASA spacecraft touched down on Bennu, an asteroid, and collected samples of the rock. Hear from Dr. Ben Ashman, a member of the mission’s navigation team, about how they did it.

Saturday, Feb. 27

  • Geocaching (2 p.m.) – Go on a Global Positioning System-led treasure hunt at Lake Fairfax. Geocaching continues a much-beloved activity, especially during the pandemic since it’s almost entirely done outdoors. Bring your own GPS and learn how to find your own treasure.

Photo via alobenda/Pixabay

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Tuesday, Feb. 16

  • Bean-efit (4-6 p.m.) – On Mardi Gras, get a free meal from a local restaurant if you work in the hospitality industry. Organized by local restaurateurs (including Bayou Bakery’s David Guas), 25 restaurants across D.C. and Northern Virginia are providing a free bean dish to the first 100 restaurant workers to show up at each location. Among those participating is Taco Bamba in Vienna and Sonoma Wine Bar in Alexandria.

Wednesday, Feb. 17

  • The Black Arts Movement (7 p.m.) – Join Fairfax’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Lambda Kappa Omega Chapter for an online discussion of the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement. The event is sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library.

Thursday, Feb. 18

  • Girl Power! (7 p.m.) – Celebrate the launch of author Jen Petro-Roy’s new book Life in the Balance along with Reston’s Scrawl Books. Then, on March 25, join Scrawl Books and Petro-Roy to ask questions and discuss the book after reading it.

Friday, Feb. 19

  • Animal Predators (6-7 p.m.) – Owls, coyotes, bears, oh my! Learn about all the animal predators stalking the local woods. Afterwards, sit around the campfire at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly and roast up some s’mores.
  • The Places We Forgot (Anytime) – Inhabit once-abandoned locations at this new virtual exhibit from Workman Art Center in Lorton. Photograph artist Brendan L. Smith has taken pictures of abandoned places across the country and the results are enchanting.

Saturday, Feb. 20

  • Raising Ivy (11 a.m. to noon) – Local author Greg Manora details a family’s true story of coming from poverty, slavery, and segregation to football field and the halls of the Ivy League. This event is part of the Fairfax County Library’s series of Black History Month events.

Sunday, Feb. 21

  • Virginia is for Comedy (9 p.m.) – Laugh at locals as the Comedy Roadshow, a 30-minute virtual stand-up show every Sunday, makes its way to Virginia. This Sunday will feature only VA-based comedians, including funny people from Sterling, Arlington, and Richmond.

Photo courtesy of Bayou Bakery

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Monday, Feb. 8

  • Have a Heart (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – Give a heart to all of your Valentine’s. Using wet felt techniques (and no needles) create and decorate a heart as you see fit. Hosted at Sully Historic Site, the program is 30 minutes and can accommodate up to four people within the same family.

Tuesday, Feb. 9 

  • Indian Desserts, No-Bake (2:00 p.m.) – Join for a virtual demonstration on how to make popular easy, no-bake Indian desserts. Hosted by the Kings Park Regional Library in Burke, the event is designed for adults and teens.

Wednesday, Feb. 10

  • Before 1964: The History of Reston’s Predecessors (7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) – Travel back in time to learn about Reston before there was a Reston. Join the Reston Historic Trust & Museum to discover the origins of names like Baron Cameron, Wiehle, and Bowman.

Thursday, Feb. 11

Friday, Feb. 12

  • Date Lab Comes To Life (5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) – The popular Washington Post Magazine Date Lab column is coming to virtual life. Presented with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Date Lab writers and editors are discussing what it’s like to date during the pandemic. Plus, there’s a Q & A with a successfully matched Date Lab pair.

Saturday, Feb. 13

  • Afternoon with Culinary Historian Michael W. Twitty (3:00 p.m.) – Hear from famed author and historian Michael Twitty, who’s most known for tracing his culinary ancestry from Africa to America. The talk takes place at the Reston Community Center, but with very limited seating available and masks required.
  • Starting with Seeds (10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.) – Learn to grow your garden from seeds by heading out to Alexandra’s Green Spring Gardens. Staff member Susan Eggert will walk attendees through potting mixes, containers, seed treatments, lighting, fertilization, watering, sources, and timing. At the end, all will get a few seeds to take home and try themselves. Limited tickets available and masks required.

Sunday, Feb. 14 

  • Galentine’s Day Cycling (10:30 a.m.) – New Trail Cycling and Fitness Studio is hosting a fitness class and “virtual shop party” with local, women-owned businesses to celebrate Galentine’s Day (a holiday celebrating female friendships created by the show Parks & Recreation). 100% of ticket sales goes to Shelter House, a local non-profit dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse.

Photo via kaboompics/Pixabay

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