Skating at RTC /Photo Courtesy of Reston Town Center

Still looking for a place to ring in 2014 right here in Reston? There are a couple of events and specials happening around town.

Vinifera  — Four-course Prix Fixe wine dinner at the Westin Reston Heights. $85 per person. Reservations required. 703.234.3550

Mon Ami Gabi — New Year’s Day PJ Brunch. Roll out of bed and head right to Mon Ami Gabi for New Year’s Pajama Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Guests who dine in their pajamas will receive a Mon Ami Gabi certificate equal to the price of their meal.  For reservations call (703)-707-0233.

Passionfish — Four-course prix fixe menu will be available from $60-$85 per person.  Price varies based on entrée choice.  Midnight Champagne Toast and Party Favors for guests in our final seating. Reservations are available from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Reservations:  703-230-3474.  

Clyde’s — New Year’s Eve cocktail party 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. There will be a premium bar and food, as well as a DJ and dancing. Purchase tickets in Clydes or email nyereston@clyde’

Hyatt Regency Reston — Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a four-course dinner Tavern64,  champagne toast at midnight, and overnight accommodations including breakfast for two the following morning, and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine. $299/couple. Taxes and gratuities are not included – SPECIAL OFFER CODE: NYEVE. Reservations: (703) 709 1234.

New Year’s Day 5K — Start 2014 with a race at Reston Town Center. Starting time is 10 a.m.

Reston Town Center — Most restaurants will be open for business New Year’ Eve and New Year’s Day. The skating pavilion and Bow Tie Cinemas will be open as usual.

Did we miss anything? Let us know of any other New Year’s Events in Reston by posting them in the comments section.


New Year's Day 5k/Credit: PR RacesDoes your New Year’s resolution involve a pledge to move more?

Then kick off 2014 like you planned by running the New Year’s Day 5K at Reston Town Center.

The race time is 10 a.m., so you can sleep in and still make it to the starting line.

Here is what you need to know:

The race is limited to 700 entrants, so sign up soon.

Pre-registered runners receive a long sleeved-shirt.

Finishers receive a New Year’s Day 5K pin.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age group. The race is open to kids 14 and under as well.

To register, visit the race website.

And good luck!

Photo of New Year’s Day 5K courtesy of PR Races


Recycling Christmas Trees/File photoDoes your post-Christmas cleanup include taking down the trees in a few days. Here is what to do if you receive trash pickup from Fairfax County:

If you receive curbside pickup of trash and recycling, you can recycle your live Christmas tree (less than 8 feet) on your normal collection date. The cost is included as part of your regular, paid collection service, says the Fairfax County Government.

For larger trees, contact your collector for recycling instructions.

Christmas trees may also be recycled during the first two weeks in January at either the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex. There is a small processing fee of $2 per tree.

Please remove tree stands, ornaments, tinsel, lights and tree toppers before recycling.

Many Reston homes and clusters are on private trash removal contracts. Check with your trash company for their recycling instructions.

Read more tree recycling tips on

Photo courtesy of Mother Earth News


Christmas presents/Credit: Jennifer C., Flickr

Northern Virginia malls and other shopping centers are sure to be crowded Thursday as people hurry to redeem gift cards, return wrong-sized gifts and take advantage of post Christmas sales.

A Target spokeswoman says Dec. 26 is the most popular day to redeem gift cards.

The site says the best things to buy right after Christmas include apparel and Christmas decorations. Some of the best sales today may be at Banana Republic, Club Monaco, GAP, Old Navy, and French Connection, which have extra discounts from 30 to 50 percent on top of prices already cut by 75 percent.

Retail analysts say holiday shopping was down about 30 percent, which makes it likely stores will encourage after-Christmas sales to boost the bottom line.

Find any great deals? Tell us in the comments.

Take our poll: Are you going shopping today?




Fairfax County

The holiday season is officially here. If you need Fairfax County services this week and next, bookmark this guide to what is open Dec. 25-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1.

County Government –

  • Dec. 24 – Closed at noon (exceptions noted below).
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

Animal Shelter –

  • Dec. 24 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

Courts –

  • Dec. 23 – All courts open. (Circuit Court Clerk’s Office closed.)
  • Dec. 24, 25 – All courts closed.
  • Dec. 26 – Closed, except for Circuit Court.
  • Dec. 31 – Closed, except for Circuit Court.
  • Jan. 1 – All courts closed.

Public Schools and School Offices –

  • Dec. 23 to Jan.3 – No school for students and teachers.
  • Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 – Twelve-month personnel off.

Library –

  • Dec. 24 – Closed at 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Dec. 31 – Closed at 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

Fairfax Connector –

  • Dec 24 – Regular weekday schedule.
  • Dec. 25 – Sunday schedule.
  • Dec. 31 – Regular weekday schedule.
  • Jan. 1 – Sunday schedule.

Fastran –

  • Dec. 24, 25 – Not in service.
  • Jan. 1 – Not in service.

Park Authority –

  • Dec. 24 – RECenters will close at noon. George Washington RECenter, nature centers, historic sites, Frying Pan Farm Park and Green Spring Gardens – Closed all day.
  • Dec. 25 – All facilities closed.
  • Dec. 31 – RECenters will close at 4 p.m. George Washington RECenter, nature centers, historic sites, Frying Pan Farm Park and Green Spring Gardens – Closed all day.
  • Jan. 1  – RECenters open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. George Washington RECenter, nature centers, historic sites, Frying Pan Farm Park and Green Spring Gardens – Closed all day.

Teen and Senior Centers –

  • Dec. 24 – Closed at noon.
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

Community Centers –

  • Dec. 24 – Closed at noon.
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

McLean Community Center and Old Firehouse Teen Center

  • Dec. 24 – Closed at 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 25, 26 – Closed.
  • Dec. 31 – Closed at 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

Reston Community Center Hunters Woods and Reston Community Center Lake Anne –

  • Dec. 24 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Dec. 31 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Jan. 1 – Noon to 5 p.m.

County Trash and Recycling Collection – For residents receiving Fairfax County collection service for trash and recyclables, there will be no trash or recycling collection on Wednesday, Dec. 25. Trash collection for Wednesday customers will occur on Thursday, Dec. 26. Please have your trash and recycling to the curb by 6 a.m. to ensure collection.

Recycling and Disposal Facilities at I-66 and I-95 –

  • Dec. 24 – Closed at 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 25 – Closed.
  • Dec. 31 – Closed at 2 p.m.
  • Jan. 1 – Closed.

Reston Real Estate column banner

This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now.

I live, work, and socialize on Lake Anne, so my idea of an adventure is to head over to Reston Town Center (which is only a mile away, but feels like a different world).

On New Years Eve, Reston Town Center is an idyllic place to be with the twinkling lights and sounds of laughter echoing down the streets. It’s beautiful. As I’m making my own plans for New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d share my idea of the perfect New Years at Reston Town Center:

 Skating at RTC /Photo Courtesy of Reston Town Center1. Strap on your skates — The skating rink at town center will be open until 8:00 p.m. on New Years Eve. Take a few spins before and reconnect with your inner child. Click on the rink’s site for more details. After you’ve fallen a few times, head over to Clyde’s, Paolo’s, or any of the other restaurants nearby to warm up.

2. Treat yourself to an evening of dining and decadence — When you’re done skating (and après skating), relax in your hotel room before heading out for a gourmet dinner and party. Every year the Hyatt Regency offers spectacular New Years Eve specials (4 course dinner at Tavern 64, room, and breakfast @ $299 per couple—what a deal!). For me, getting a hotel room less than a mile from my home is the ultimate indulgence—a mini vacation with no worry of stressful travel. Check out the specials on the Hyatt’s website.

 3. Start the new year right with a 5k run — Okay, so you’ve indulged and had your fun. Now it’s time to start the new year right. Or at least start it with 700 other crazy souls willing to strap on their sneakers and go for a fun around town center. The New Year’s Day 5K presented by Potomac River Running is always a fun event. And if you really don’t want to run, then grab a coffee and come cheer the runners on! Find registration details  on the PR Running site.

Whatever you choose to do, have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve in Reston.

Like Us on Facebook!

For every new Like to our Facebook fan page in the month of December we’ll donate $1.00 to Cornerstones, formerly Reston Interfaith. Like us so we can give!


hava nagila the movieTuesday night is Christmas Eve, and most places will be closed so families can celebrate.

But a couple of events are happening nearby on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — most of them geared towards Jewish people.

So, if your holiday was Hanukkah, which started the day before Thanksgiving this year and ended in early December, here are a couple of ideas for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fun.

Rob Tannenbaum’s “Good for the Jews” show — Tanennbaum and David Fagin return to Vienna’s Jammin’ Java with their humor and music show. Tuesday, 7 p.m. Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna. Tickets: $20. Visit Jammin’ Java’s website to purchase tickets.

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is hosting  J Fest on Wednesday (Christmas Day). The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  at 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax. This annual family event features  games, arts and crafts, and a moon bounce. Kosher  food will be served. Cost: $20 per family/ $15 JCCNV members.

Also on Christmas Day, the JCC will hold a screening of “Hava Nagila (The Movie),” a documentary about  the history, mystery and meaning of the iconic Jewish song.  The movie will air at 3 p.m. at the JCC. . Tickets are $9/$6 for JCCNV members. Visit the JCC’s ticket site for advance purchase.

Most movie theaters in the area will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Visit sites for Bow Tie Reston Cinema 11 or AMC Phoenix Worldgate 9  to see showtimes close to home.

The DC Jewish Community Center is holding its annual Day of Service on Wednesday. Want to get involved? Visit the DCJCC website to see what projects are happening and how you can sign up to help.


Model Trains at Colvin Run Mill/Credit: FCPAColvin Run Mill Historical Site will hold its annual G-gauge model train holiday display Dec. 28-29.

Trains wind their way through a miniature western town decorated for the holidays. The annual model trains display has grown over the years to encompass the entire length of the barn.

The display is organized by Jim and Joanne Stapleton, who, along with the Model Train Society, have shared their trains with park visitors for 22 years.

The trains will be on display 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Colvin Run Mill is located at 10017 Colvin Run Rd. in Great Falls.


Beltway Traffic/Credit:

Hitting the road for the holidays? The American Automobile Association says you will be among 2.7 million Virginians who will be traveling this week.

On average, travelers will move 965 miles to celebrate with friends and family as compared to 765 miles last year — a 26 percent increase in total miles traveled. Additionally, spending is up by five percent as Virginians will spend $842 this year versus $801 last year, AAA says.

“Gas prices will clearly not impact holiday travel plans as nine out of 10 Virginia travelers will drive nearly a thousand miles for upcoming holiday celebrations,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Says AAA:

Gas prices have been somewhat of a see-saw in recent weeks within the commonwealth with latest trends showing gas prices going down as we approach the new year.  Over 2.4 million Virginians, or 91 percent of holiday travelers, will choose to drive to their holiday celebrations. Gas prices in Virginia today average $3.14, three cents higher than the average last year.

Air travel in Virginia will decrease by 1.6 percent, as just over 150,000 (150,149) holiday travelers will take to the skies. Those traveling by air will find lower airfares according to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index.  During Christmas week the average lowest round-trip rate is $199 for the top 40 U.S. air routes compared to $204 last year.

Caught in airport delays or road blocks Monday or Tuesday? Help out your fellow travelers by tweeting us reports @Restonnow or adding your thoughts in the comments below.


This house on Stone's Throw Drive in North Reston has one of the area's top light displays

The Reston Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee is sponsoring a bike ride around Reston to take in the holiday lights on Saturday.

The family event begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Lake Anne Plaza parking lot and will take about 60 to 90 minutes, organizers said. The route will be on North Reston paths and secondary roads.

The ride will be cancelled in case of  ice/rain/snow, temperatures below 35F or wind above 14 mph. In case of weather, meet Sunday at the same time and place.

Required: Front and Rear Bike Lights; Helmet recommended and required if under 15 years old; signed waiver available at event start.

For more info, contact Dan Kole 571-383-5771, or Burton Griffith 408-705-2652,


With temperatures expected to warm up later in the week, it is the perfect time to take a stroll through Meadowlark Gardens’ Winter Walk of Lights.

The Northern Regional Park Authority has teamed with Dominion Virginia Power to turn the grounds of the Vienna park into a holiday oasis with thousands of LED lights illuminating the paths. Visitors take a half-mile stroll through nature-themed lights, then are treated to an animated light show by the lake. “Lakeside Lights” features 40,000 LED lights on 200 circuits changing colors to five holiday songs.

Winter Walk of LightsMeadowlark Botanical Gardens is located at 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna.

Here is what to know if you go:

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m., seven days a week until Jan. 6.

Timed tickets required. Click Here to Buy Tickets.

Weekday Rates (Monday-Thursday excluding Holidays):
Age 13+: $12 | Ages 3-12: $7 | Under 3: Free

Weekend & Holiday Rates (Friday to Sunday):
November 28, 29 | December 24, 25, 31 | January 1
Age 13+: $13 | Age 3-12: $8 | Under 3: Free

At the Door:
(Please note, only a limited number of tickets are on sale at the door each night. No discounts may apply. Admission is not guaranteed.)
Age 13+: $14 | Age 3-12: $9 | Under 3: Free

Groups (20 or more):
Monday-Friday ONLY. Please contact [email protected] to make your reservation (Required)
Age 13+: $9.00 | Age 3-12: $5.25 (Must present one payment for group to receive this price)

Upcoming special events:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 18: Dinner with Santa at the Atrium
  • Friday, Dec. 20: Enjoy a visit from a Potomac Overlook naturalist, who will do a demonstration with live animals
  • Saturday, Dec. 21: Crafts and face painting with an Abrakadoodle artist
  • Sunday, Dec. 22: A visit from Santa Claus

Herndon Reston FISHHerndon-Reston FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help) has a record number of requests for food baskets this holiday season. For Thanksgiving, 500 baskets were distributed and the same number will be distributed in December. Although FISH has held several successful food drives, the nonprofit is short of food for the December baskets.

FISH needs donations of food or money to buy food (please mark cash donations for food baskets).

Donations should be left before Friday, Dec. 13 at:

Bargain Loft (Operated by Herndon-Reston FISH),  336 Victory Parkway Drive, Herndon

FISH needs:

For families: Costco sized flats of tuna fish, peanut-butter and soup. They will be spilt up across may food baskets.

For seniors: baskets with the following items listed below, which can be provided separately or as a complete food basket.

2 cans low sodium soup

3 cans 8 oz vegetables or two cans 15oz

1 or 2 cans tuna or protein (salmon, chicken or peanut butter)

1 can low sodium chili ( or main dish)

Beans (1 package dry or 2 small cans)


1 macaroni and cheese

1 package pasta

1 small spaghetti sauce

1 box cereal

1 small juice (juice boxes)

1 Jello

1 tea/coffee – suggest small individual packs

1 small fruit – canned or set of single serve of apple sauce

Know a group that needs holiday help, either through volunteers or donations, this season? Tell us at [email protected].


GIfts from The Heart/Credit: RCCHoliday shopping season is in full swing, but two Reston events this weekend give opportunities to purchase gifts that will make a difference.

Reston Community Center Lake Anne will be a marketplace of food and gifts during the Gifts from the HeART Holiday Gift-Shopping Event on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is in conjunction with the 15th AnnualGifts from the HeART Exhibition, which showcases original works of art in a variety of media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, collage, stained glass, ceramic, sculpture, and mixed media, in a wide range of sizes and prices. The holiday reception on December 7 will offer the community a chance to purchase artwork and get into the holiday spirit with gift shopping and holiday refreshments.

Proceeds will help Cornerstones (Formerly Reston Interfaith) to help programs at Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the Laurel Learning Center and their Community Services Outreach, which includes job counseling, emergency food, and youth programs. Since the annual exhibit was first held in 1999, Gifts from the HeART has raised approximately $6,000 for the organization.

Also on Saturday, Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston (UUC) will hold its 13th annual Alternative Gift Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will more more than 30 booths featuring socially conscious gift ideas from local and international charitable organizations such as Heifer International and Amazon Adopt-a School Project. Check out the “Shopping List” on the church’s website to see a full list.

Donations are tax deductible. Cash and checks accepted.

UUC is located at 1625 Wiehle Avenue.

Photo of Gifts from the Heart 2012 Courtesy of Reston Community Center.


Santa at Lake Anne Plaza in 2012/Photo: Lake Anne Plaza

Santa on a Boat!

Jolly old St. Nick returns to Lake Anne Plaza Saturday — making his customary Reston barge arrival at Jingle on the Lake.

Reston Association president and Lake Anne residentKen Knueven will be piloting the boat that brings Santa to town at 12 p.m. sharp.

Jingle on the Lake runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature strolling carolers, a petting zoo, music, wine tastings, merchant specials, children’s crafts, cookie decorating, holiday arts & crafts market, holiday entertainment and much more.

The holiday event is hosted by Lake Anne Merchants. Admission is free. The event will be held rain or shine.


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