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by Kalina Newman — July 21, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

While the days will be hot this weekend, the evenings will be “cool.”

Enjoy outdoor summer fun at Reston Station this weekend as part of its “Summerbration” series. Tonight from 7-9 p.m., By & By will perform. Saturday night from 8:30-10:30 p.m., there will be a free screening of “The Lorax.” The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)

Saturday night, Reston Town Center will continue its summer concert series with Scythian, a gypsy folk rock group. Parking at RTC is free on the weekends.

There are tons of other great events around Reston this weekend. Be sure to take a look and stay cool.

  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August. Also this weekend, Dr. Tuliza Fleming, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will visit Reston for a discussion with Bailey. That free event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • The Reston Community Center’s July exhibit, “Nature’s Allure,” will continue to be on display through the end of the month at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.).
  • On Sunday, there will be an Art in the Park event at Reston Town Square Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory. From 7-8 p.m., join Robert Larsen for a special evening of jazz trio standards. If jazz isn’t your speed, there will be another Art in the Park event Sunday at 3 p.m. that’s a bit more hands-on. Called “Basic Bead Making,” the event invites children of all ages to come together to transform scraps of paper and magazines into beads.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, bring the kids out for Family Games Day at Herndon’s Town Hall Square. Cornhole, sack races and more will be part of the free family activity, which starts at 10 a.m.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through this month. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Join Berthold Academy and Eastern Ridge School on Saturday and Sunday for a workshop that dives deep into the topic of connecting your children to nature. Experts from Eastern Ridge School will talk to attendees about how to keep children deeply rooted to nature and the outside.
  • Keep exercising Sunday with Athleta in the Reston Town Center pavilion for a free barre class that welcomes anyone.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night; CraftHouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Kalyspo’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from Lawn Dart Incident tonight from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Saturday night, DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits.
  • Children’s music artist Guava Jelly will be at Reston Town Center Saturday at 10 a.m. for a free show. The artist creates and performs music infused with a lively island feel meant for both kids and adults.
  • If you’re in Leesburg this Saturday, making sure not to miss the Village at Leesburg Block Party. The free party runs from 3-8 p.m. and will feature music, food and family activities.

by Kalina Newman — July 18, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

One of the rarest forms of water buffalo in the world can be found right here in Reston at Roer’s Zoofari.

The zoo (1228 Hunter Mill Road) recently acquired a pair of lowland anoa, endangered dwarf water buffalo from Indonesia that are so rare there are only about 70 in the United States.

“We work with several breeding programs to ensure that the Zoofari has adequate environments for these threatened, endangered or even vulnerable animals,” said Vanessa Stoffel, one of the zoo’s owners.

Anoa are characterized by their small, stocky bodies covered with thick, dark hair. They almost look like a brown cattle crossed with a woodland deer. They eat aquatic plants, ferns and grasses. Similarly to other water buffalo, they like to bathe in pools of water and mud.

While the species is technically protected under Indonesian law, its endangered status comes from hunting and habitat loss. In the past, their skulls and horns have been harvested by these hunters and sold for use in traditional medicine.

Visitors to the former Reston Zoo can enjoy the rare animals in a new barnyard area that has lots of fresh air for the animals. Another new addition is the use of buses to transport guests around the zoo, instead of the tractors that were formerly used.

“It was getting difficult to find someone who could control a tractor in Reston,” Stoffel said.

The buses are easier to maintain, she said, and visitors can still experience alpacas and other animals walking up to the buses as they go on the Zoofari.

The zoo also features an interactive exhibit with a camel and giraffe. At certain times, visitors can pay $5 to feel the animals. Patrons are able to go up close and personal with the animals during these encounters.

“If you hold your palm flat [to the camel], he’ll even give you kisses,” said zookeeper Alisha Benack as she monitored the camel encounter. On cue, the camel kissed and nuzzled her just as friendly as a dog would.

Roer’s Zoofari is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with times for special exhibits and encounters available daily. Visit its website for ticket information or call 703-757-6222.

by Kalina Newman — July 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

Walking down a path in the area and spot a small, hand-painted rock?

Don’t ignore it, because it was probably placed there for a good reason — for you to find it.

Herndon Rocks-Painted Rock Share! is a new Facebook group meant for Herndon-area residents to craftily paint rocks and leave them for others to find, share and trade. Since starting last month, it has grown to more than 200 members who are engaged in the family activity, which is growing in popularity across the country.

In Herndon, even the mayor is in on it. On Sunday, Lisa Merkel posted in the group, “OMG. I love this!!! How can I help promote it?”

The details of the painted rocks range from simple designs to elaborate small paintings, such as those pictured above, which were painted by the niece of the group founder, who goes by the name “Monet Flower” on the site.

On the Facebook page, Flower describes the group as “meant for people to paint rocks and then hide them around town, in public places or on the edge of property.” Participants are requested to put a note on the back of their rocks directing those who find them to take a picture and post it on the Facebook page before re-hiding the rock.

Group member Melory Mika is hoping that the group will grow and develop throughout the community.

“Our goal is that we want to give families a real-life treasure hunt and bonding time,” Mika said.

She said that given the relatively small number of people currently in the group, and the fact that everyone can’t be painting rocks all at once, it might be a little hard at first to find these painted objects.

“Since we are a new group, we are working hard in creating our hidden treasures at the moment,” Mika said. “Once we have grown and more people become involved, finding these will become easier.”

While the group may be new, the craze isn’t. Participation in rock-painting groups has exploded across the country in recent months. Reston Now editor Dave Emke even stumbled upon a painted rock on the W&OD Trail near Town Center Parkway a few months ago.

Someone left this piece of good advice on a W&OD signpost today. #RestonVA #WODTrail

A post shared by Dave Emke (@emkedave) on

Flower said she became hooked on the pastime when she discovered it through her grandchildren while visiting them in Southern California.

“For me it’s about a nice way for the community to get outside, participate in a craft activity, and share in fun,” she said. “It’s an inexpensive way to get outside in nature and connect with other Herndonites.”

No matter the age, Mika said, everyone and anyone is welcome to join, paint, discover and trade with Herndon Rocks.

“It’s hard to find 100 percent family-friendly things for all ages, but rock finding and painting is great for everyone,” she said.

Images via Herndon Rocks on Facebook

by Katherine Berko — July 14, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Embrace your inner child this Saturday at one of Reston’s most mystical events: The Fairy Festival at Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive).

Sip fairy tea, hang out with the fairy queen, dress up like a fairy and admire fairy houses in the woods. People can submit homemade fairy houses to win either the best child’s fairy house or the best adult’s fairy house. There will also be a fairy costume contest as well. There is still room in the 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. slot; register here.

There are lots of fairy-free events going on around the area too. Here are some fun things that are happening around Reston this weekend:

  • Reston Station’s “Summerbration” series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with a free concert by Oasis Island. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., head to a free outdoor showing of “Pete’s Dragon” on the plaza. The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)
  • Reston Town Center’s summer concert series continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. with The Adrian Duke Project (hits from the 1950s to today). The show will take place at the Town Center’s pavilion.
  • Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) will have its official opening party Saturday at 5 p.m., with live music, giveaways, special drafts on tap and more. Events are also being held at Crafthouse’s Fairfax Corner and Ballston locations.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • There’s a “French Classics” cooking class at Mon Ami Gabi on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will learn to make chilled gazpacho, BLT salad with jalapeño bacon, buttermilk blue cheese dressing and fried onions and berry-brioche bread pudding with raspberry-caramel sauce. The class is $55 per person and includes wines paired with the meal.
  • This Saturday, join Berthold Academy for an Open LEARN session (an open house) at 10 a.m. The event will take approximately one hour and you will have the chance to learn all about this Reston school.
  • On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, participate in untangling the Oriental Bittersweet, an invasive species growing rapidly throughout Reston. Meet across the street from 11300 Stones Throw Drive.
  • The Family Fun Entertainment Series at Reston Town Center will continue this Saturday with classic comedy by Mark Lohr. The event will be a fast-paced, side-splitting family vaudeville show filled with audience participation and circus skills with a sprinkling of magic thrown in the mix.
  • The Reston Community Center’s July exhibit, “Nature’s Allure,” will continue to be on display through the end of the month at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.).
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through July. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night; CraftHouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • The Reston Community Center will host its Sunday Art in the Park series Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. This weekend’s theme is “Dip and Dye.” Learn how to use natural dye techniques to create your own piece of textile art. Design your own piece of small fabric to take home. Following that, from 7-8 p.m., there will be a concert featuring Great Britain’s Jonathan and Su Snowden.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight at 9:30 p.m. from Tommy & The Pickles. Saturday night, DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits.

Image via Walker Nature Center on Twitter

by RestonNow.com — July 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

The Fairfax County Park Authority is inviting kids and adults alike to learn more about the county’s history and potentially win prizes in the process.

The Discovery Trail Map activity invites participants to visit and explore 12 parks across the county in celebration of its 275th anniversary. There are multiple ways to get involved in the distribution of prizes for participation, which will continue through Labor Day.

  • Anyone who visits eight of the 12 sites, collecting special stickers at each one, will receive a prize packet containing nine tickets to summer park activities. The prize packet is valued at $93.
  • Everyone who qualifies for the prize pack is also entered in a drawing to win a bicycle and safety helmet. Four winners will be chosen.
  • Lord Fairfax VI, the county’s namesake, will be “visiting” parks on the Discovery Trail. Anyone who posts a selfie with him on Instagram using the hashtag #WhereIsLordFairfax will be eligible to win a choice of two RECenter passes or two mini golf passes valid at any FCPA RECenter or mini golf course. One winner will be chosen each week. Follow the Park Authority’s Facebook page for clues about Lord Fairfax’s whereabouts.

Discovery Trail Maps are available at any staffed Fairfax County park, RECenter, nature center, historic site and golf course. They are also available at any Fairfax County Public Library and all five Northern Virginia Spokes Etc. stores, while supplies last. They can also be downloaded from the Park Authority website.

Parents or guardians of youth bike winners, along with one adult bike winner, will be notified by email or by phone. Winners will be publicly announced in September.

For more information, call 703-324-8662.

Image courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

by Katherine Berko — June 23, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

It’s Friday and school is officially out!

To celebrate, you may want to go to the “School’s Out for Summer Party” at the Hunter Woods Recreation Area this evening. The event will take place from 4-7 p.m. and there will be a pool party and cookout.

Tomorrow, continue your celebrations by heading to Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dulles 28 Centre (22000 Dulles Retail Plaza, Sterling). There will be music, amusement rides, balloons, inflatables and much more.

Finally, top off a wonderful weekend by going to Scrawl Books on Sunday. The shop is having a special event from noon-6 p.m. There will be storytelling, games and a distribution of summer reading challenge cards for the kids.

There are plenty more events for the Reston area this weekend. Here is just a sampling of the events you can enjoy:

  • Reston Station’s “Summerbration” series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with a free concert by King Teddy. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., head to a free outdoor showing of “Sully” on the plaza. The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)
  • Reston Town Center’s summer concert series continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. with a performance by Matuto, a Brazilian roots, rock, funk band. The show will take place at the Town Center’s pavilion.
  • Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit Reston Station’s BLVD for an open house (with free mimosas!).
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Reston Town Square Park will be hosting The Uncle Devin Show as a part of their Family Fun Entertainment Series Saturday morning at 10 a.m., for a free show. It’ll be fun for all ages as Uncle Devin takes children on an interactive musical adventure.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through July. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • This is the last weekend for “Urinetown: The Musical” at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon). Performances this weekend are tonight at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2.p.m. General admission tickets start at $40.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night, CraftHouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday form 6-10 p.m.
  • Reston Town Square Park (corner of Market and Explorer streets) is hosting an “I Hear America Singing” event, with selections of music from the American Songbook, from 7-8 p.m. Sunday.
  • Scout and Molly’s Fashion Boutique (11944 Market St.) is having its grand opening Saturday and Sunday. There will be refreshments, snacks and raffle prizes at the event.
  • Habitat Heroes’ Slow Mile-A-Minute Weed event will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a volunteer project to pull invasive species out of Reston’s parklands.
  • Reston Association will host an open house for the Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.) Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.

by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

The stage is being set for next week’s 37th annual Herndon Festival.

The annual outdoor festival, on Lynn Street in the town, is set for June 1-4. The free event averages attendance of 80,000 annually, according to its website.

“Every year we throw ourselves a big town party,” said Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. “Thursday night is a local favorite, where tons of neighbors walk downtown to kick off the festival. The rest of the weekend we welcome people from across the D.C. region. Three stages of entertainment, great crafts and, of course, funnel cake! What’s not to love?”

This year, in addition to the 5K and 10K races, carnival atmosphere and musical entertainment, there will be an event called Country on the Green on the new Herndon Municipal Center stage. The event goes from 11:30 a.m to 6 p.m on Sunday, June 4. The daylong celebration will consist of music, line dancing, barbecue and drinks.

The music stages at the festival are the Cafe Stage, the Depot Stage and the Kids Alley. Concerts range from bluegrass to rock and children’s music. Check out the full entertainment lineup here.

Ticket prices for the carnival will be $1.25 for a single ticket, with bundle deals and an all-day pass available. A minimum of $5 worth of tickets must be purchased for those who want carnival access.

Carnival hours will be:

  • Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
  • Friday, 5-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There is also fun on the docket just for kids. Little ones can enjoy themselves with hands-on art exhibits and projects, children’s entertainers, a model train display, fireworks shows and more.

The festival’s Arts and Craft Show starts Friday, June 2 and continues throughout the weekend, featuring booths selling items such as jewelry, furniture and folk art. In addition to arts vendors, there will be several food vendors selling items throughout the festival, including the Big Cheese food truck, Jason’s Mini Donuts and Robeks Fruit Smoothies.

For more information about the festival, visit its website or call 703-787-7300.

by RestonNow.com — May 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

The “Take A Break” summer concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will feature shows every Thursday night from June 15 to Sept. 14.

The free concerts are presented by Reston Community Center in cooperation with MSE Productions. In addition to the music, four of the nights on the schedule (June 15, July 13, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10) are designated as “Dance Nights” that will include dance demonstrations and instruction to accompany the tunes.

The full schedule of concerts includes:

  • June 15: Radio King Orchestra (big band) with swing dance instruction
  • June 22:  Sweater Set (contemporary folk)
  • June 29: Origem (Brazilian jazz with a twist)
  • July 6: Mystic Warriors (world music)
  • July 13: Cedar Creek (country) with line dancing instruction
  • July 20: Cheick Hamala Diabate (traditional West African music of Mali mixed with modern grooves)
  • July 27: Four Star Combo (rockabilly)
  • Aug. 3: Fresh Air (party dance hits) with no dance instructors
  • Aug. 10: Mambo Combo (Latin) with dance instruction
  • Aug. 17: Iona (Celtic)
  • Aug. 24: Anthony Swamp Dog (funk blues)
  • Aug. 31: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet (jazz)
  • Sept. 7: The Barretones (bluegrass)
  • Sept. 14: Texas Chainsaw Horns (R&B)

Each concert is scheduled for 7-9 p.m.

by RestonNow.com — May 24, 2017 at 10:15 am 2 Comments

Nothing says summer like a trip to the water park.

Reston’s own water park, The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive), will open for the season Saturday. Splashing, tubing, sliding and more will be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. all three days of Memorial Day Weekend.

Admission each day this weekend will be $15.95 for adults and kids over 4 feet tall; kids under 4 feet tall are admitted for $12.25; and children 2 and under get in free with a paying adult. Season passes are also available for purchase.

The park will be open only on Saturdays and Sundays until daily hours begin Monday, June 26. Weekend-only hours will return once school begins, and the last day of season will be Sunday, Sept. 10.

If you plan to go this weekend, the park recommends arriving before 10 a.m., as “the line begins filling as early as 30-45 minutes prior to opening. If you are arriving at other times, you may experience a wait of up to 45 minutes.”

by Dave Emke — April 28, 2017 at 1:30 pm 2 Comments

An indoor trampoline park plans to open in Franklin Farm Village Center later this year.

In a press release, Rhode Island-based Launch Trampoline Park says it plans to begin work on the facility in the summer. The park will “provide kids of all ages with endless fun, whether it is bouncing on trampolines, playing dodgeball in mid-air or falling into a massive foam pit,” the release states.

According to a permit issued by Fairfax County, the facility will be located at 13348 Franklin Farm Road, off Fairfax County Parkway. That’s the former location of Sears, which closed last year.

A website for the local park doesn’t provide a lot of information yet, but it does say it will be a 35,000-square foot indoor facility with 16,000 square feet of connected trampolines. Information provided by Franklin Farm Village Center owner Rappaport shows the former Sears building at 24,420 square feet.

Launch Trampoline Park was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Robert Arnold and former New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law.

by Dave Emke — January 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 11 Comments

W&OD Trail over Fairfax County Parkway

Name of Officer in Herndon Shooting Not Released — Pending further investigation, the Fairfax County Police Department is not releasing the name of the officer who shot and killed Mohammad Azim Doudzai on Jan. 16 in Herndon, ending a hostage/barricade situation. Doudzai had earlier shot and injured his two brothers. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Reston’s Family Rankings Not Flattering — Personal finance website WalletHub recently released its rankings of Virginia’s 82 largest communities for their friendliness to families. Reston ranked middle of the road (37th) overall, and was particularly low (71st) in the “Family Life & Fun” category. The community did rank well in affordability (20th) and socioeconomics (23rd). Other Northern Virginia communities swept the Top 5 overall: Falls Church, Leesburg, Vienna, South Riding and Great Falls. [WalletHub]

Massive Mixed-Use Development Pitched in Herndon — MRP Development has filed for 650,000 square feet of office, 1,701 multifamily units, 112 townhouses and 44,000 square feet of retail near the future Innovation Center Metro Station. [Washington Business Journal]

by Karen Goff — July 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm 3 Comments

Rocknoceros/Credit: Rocknoceros

Kid favorite Rocknoceros will be in concert Saturday at 10 a.m. at Reston Town Square Park.

The 45-minute show is part of Family Fun Entertainment Series presented by Reston Community Center

Rocknoceros is a Fairfax-based trio — Coach Cotton, Williebob and Boogie Woogie Bernie — that has been performing in the area for 10 years. The award-winning band writes its own music, with song favorites such as “I Wish We Used The Metric System,” “Brush Your Teeth,” and “Things Boys Save.”

Town Square Park is at the corner of Market and Explorer Streets. Admission is free.

Rocknoceros/Credit: Rocknoceros

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