Fairfax County Fairfax County offices are closed Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas and Friday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.

Some county departments will be on a different schedule. Here are some to note:

Public schools (including offices) are closed until Jan. 2.

Fairfax County Public Libraries will be closed Dec. 24 and 25. Branches will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 and will be closed on Jan. 1.

Some Fairfax County Parks will be closed on Dec. 24. All will be closed Dec. 25. See the Park Authority website for information.

Reston Community Center Hunters Woods will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 24 and will be closed on Christmas Day. It will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 and noon to 5 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

RCC Lake Anne will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

For more information, see the Fairfax County website.


New Year's Day 5K 2015/Courtesy: PR Running Flickr

Who is ready to kick off 2016 with a race?

Potomac River Running is sponsoring the New Year’s Day 5K Jan. 1 here in Reston.

It doesn’t even begin that early — race time is 10 a.m. — so it may not even interfere with your New Year’s Eve plans.

Online registration is $35 and open through Dec. 30. Race day registration (if not sold out) will also be available for $40.

The race starts and finishes at Reston Town Center. The course is on town center streets and Reston Association paths, so no major roads will be affected.

There will be music and New Year’s Day celebrations post-race at RTC.

Lifetime Fitness in Reston is also hosting a New Year’s Day Commitment Day 5K that is open to non members.

New Year’s Day 5K 2015/Courtesy: PR Running Flickr


Holiday Lights/Credit: FlickrLake Thoreau residents – there is still time to show your holiday spirit in lights for a good cause.

The Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association invites all residents of the lake to participate in the third annual Lake Thoreau Festival of Winter Lights. The association’s goal is to have as many houses, townhouse, boats, and condos to light up their lake-facing side.

Last year’s festival raised more than $10,000 for nonprofits.

To get maximum participation, anonymous donors will donate the following for each condo, house, and boat that lights up the night:

  • $15 to Road Dawgs and Outward Bound Baltimore grant. Road Dawgs is and anti-gang initiative sponsored by the Fairfax County Police. Outward Bound is a wilderness program that teaches self reliance
    and develops confidence. You can found out information on both with the by clicking
  • $10 to to Cornerstones.

In addition, the association invites anyone who wants to become an additional donor to one of the above organizations or to another charity on a per-house basis. Choose your own pet cause and have the light up the lake challenge decided your contribution. Any amount would be appreciated (even a dime per home or boat).

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NutcrackerReston’s Conservatory Ballet makes holiday magic come to life this weekend with its 43rd annual production of The Nutcracker.

Performances began Wednesday and will run through Sunday at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.

Want to see the holiday classic performed by students? Here is what you need to know:

There are toddler matinees Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at noon. These shows are 90 minutes. Tickets: $22.00 for adults and $17.00 for youth (12 & under)

Full-Length matinee performances are Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $20.00 for youth (12 & under)

Full-Length Evening performances are Friday and Saturday at at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $20.00 for youth (12 & under)

Tickets are available online or one hour before performance at RCC.

To purchase online, click the links below.


Friday, December 11th at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 12th at 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, December 12th at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 12th at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 13th at 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 13th at 3:30 p.m.

For additional ticket information, visit Conservatory Ballet’s website.



Holiday SoberRides Start Friday

SoberRide Holiday campaignFairfax County is joining regional and national efforts to combat drunk driving over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

SoberRide, a project of The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), is offering its Holiday SoberRide program starting beginning tonight — Friday, Dec. 11 and running through New Year’s Day.

Every evening on these days, free cab rides will be available for fares up to $30 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Residents who have been drinking and need a safe ride home can get their free ride by calling 1-800-200-TAXI toll-free. Those who have AT&T cellular service can also dial #WRAP to get the service.

“Last December, nearly 1,200 Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” said WRAP President Kurt Gregory Erickson in a statement.

Erickson said on New Year’s Eve alone, SoberRide gave 420 rides — or removed a would-be drunk driver from the road every 68 seconds.

To see more specifics on SoberRide (where it will pick up and drop off, participating cab companies), visit the WRAP website.

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Horse-drawn carriage at Reston Town Center/Credit: Reston Town CenterChristmas is getting closer, Chanukah is nearly over and pretty lights and carriage rides are for everyone.

There are a bunch of things to do iat Reston Town Center this weekend, however you celebrate.

Mini train rides down Market Street will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pickup is in front of Talbots. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.

Horse-drawn carriage rides beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday (But it will be 60 degrees, so no dashing through the snow). Pick up is in front of Talbots. A $5 donation per person benefits local charity (children 5 and under ride free).

The Reston Chorale will be performing in the Promenade  (by Mon Ami Gabi) at noon and 1 pm. Saturday. Sunday performances include the Northern Virginia Ukulele Society (2 p.m.) and teen band Catchin’ Toads at 3 p.m.


Special screening of A Christmas Story at Bowtie Cinema Reston Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. Fee: $5.50.

The traditional Gingerbread Village will be on display at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

On Sunday, Chabad of Reston-Herndon will mark the end of Chanukah with Chanukah on Ice from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Reston Town Center ice skating pavilion.

There will be ice skating to Chanukah music; a grand menorah lighting to commemorate the end of the holiday; latkes, donuts and gelt; and a grand raffle.

Kosher boxed dinners (hot dog, snack, juice box) available for purchase at $3.50.

The event is free. Skate rentals are $12.

Visit Reston Town Center’s events calendar for a full schedule for December.


Christkindlmarket/Courtesy German Armed ForcesWant to feel like you are celebrating the holidays in Bavaria without traveling far?

Then stop by the German Armed Forces annual Christkindlmarket Thursday evening.

Each year, the German Armed Forces, which has an office in Reston (where you can also see a piece of the Berlin Wall on display), turns over the parking lot the office building at 11150 Sunrise Valley Dr. into a traditional German outdoor Christmas fair.

The festival, which runs from 4 to 9 p.m., is fun for the whole family. There are games, crafts to purchase, entertainment and traditional German food and beer.

The event is free, but some of the food, beer and merchandise costs money. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities.

The event is outdoors and happens rain or shine, so dress appropriately.

Reston Christkindlmarket/Credit: German Armed Forces


Santa at Lake Anne/Courtesy Jingle on Lake Anne

In true Reston fashion, Santa arrives in Reston via lake barge on Saturday.

St. Nick’s ride is the highlight of Jingle on Lake Anne, Lake Anne Plaza’s annual family friendly holiday festival. The day features strolling carolers, wine tastings, merchant specials, cookie decorating and much more.

Jingle on Lake Anne is free and will take place rain or shine.

Here is the schedule of events for Saturday, Dec. 5:

  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m – Farmers & Craft Market
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Reston Art Gallery Make-Your-Own Ornament Kids Crafts
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Reston Art Gallery Holiday Sparkle Exhibit
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Gifts from the Heart: Shopping Event and Reception at Reston Community Center Lake Anne
  • 11 a.m to 2 p.m. – Cookie Decorating, Crafts and Plaza Activities
  • Noon – Santa arrives by barge
  • 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Pictures with Santa
  • 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Pet Photos with Santa at PetMAC
  • 6:30 p.m. – Tree Lighting and Caroling

Photo: Santa on a barge/Courtesy Jingle on Lake Anne


Chanukah on Ice/ChabadChanukah begins this Sunday at sundown, and there are a couple of festive events for Reston-area Jews next week.

Chabad of Reston-Herndon is hosting its annual Chanukah at Reston Community Center Lake Anne Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Chabad is building a Menorah of Kindness out of Kosher canned food, which will be donated to Cornerstones.

This event is also a memorial to Reston founder Bob Simon, who died in September, says Chabad. Simon traditionally lit the outdoor menorah the last several years.

Participants are encouraged to bring a few cans of food to add to the menorah. There will also be kids activities; latkes, donuts and chocolate gelt; and other holiday cheer for the whole family.

The Chabad Hebrew School will also perform at this free event.

Since Chanukah lasts for eight days, there will be more opportunities for holiday fun.

Chabad is also hosting Chanukah On Ice from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13 at Reston Town Center’s ice skating rink.

There will be ice skating to Chanukah music; a grand menorah lighting to commemorate the end of the holiday; more latkes, donuts and gelt; and a grand raffle.

Kosher boxed dinners (hot dog, snack, juice box) available for purchase at $3.50.

The event is free. Skate rentals are $12.

Also on Dec. 13, the community is invited to a 4:30 p.m. Chanukah concert with the Robyn Helzner Trio at Congregation Beth Emeth, 12523 Lawyers Rd. in Herndon. The event is part of the congregation’s 36th anniversary celebration. Tickets are $18 on Beth Emeth’s website.


Gingerbread Man Mile/File photo by Reston Town CenterKick off the holiday season with a kids’ race at Reston Town Center.

The 15th annual Gingerbread Man Mile for kids starts at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27. It’s the start of a full day of holiday fun, including the annual holiday parade (11 a.m.) and the lighting of the tree.

Here is what you need to know about the race, which is for children 14 and under:

Registration is $8 and in available online through Tuesday, Nov. 24.

All Registrants will receive:

  • Commemorative race t-shirt
  • Commemorative runners bib
  • Custom Finisher’s Ribbon
  • Gingerbread Man Cookie
  • Other post race snacks

The course is an untimed one-mile loop around Reston Town Center. Four- and five-year olds will go a half mile. Children under 4 will take part in a “Tot Trot” of two blocks.

Winners in their age categories will receive a special honor of riding in the parade.

Potomac River Running is also partnering with One Warm Coat this season. They will be accepting clean, gently used children’s coats at this year’s Gingerbread Man Mile and distributing them to people in need.

Can’t make it Friday? There is also the Turkey Day 5K at South Lakes High School.


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