November 2019, Vol. 19, No. 11

Winter Holidays in the Parks

Holidays and parks go together. 

Santa visits, shopping days, holiday trips,  memories of holidays past, seasonal events, lights, holiday trains, wreaths and celebrations – all amid the beauty and peacefulness of parkland.

No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, there's something for you in parks. See the holiday programs in parks online.


Fall Campfires

Owls and hikes and stars and s’mores and reptiles and rides. They’re all part of the wide range of subjects at campfire programs in the parks.

Colorful trees, cool evenings and warm fires are a perfect way to wrap up a cool November day.

Program themes vary by park, and topics may range from animals and stars in the skies to critters that run on the ground. Park campfire programs are ideal for family outings and date nights. Try one this fall.


Winter Bird Feeding

A bird feeder can make birdwatching an entertaining winter activity. A lot of traveling birds visit our area in winter to join our year-round residents. This is an opportunity to watch, enjoy and learn.

You may be surprised at the number of avian neighbors near you, especially when they turn out after a snowstorm. To be a successful birdwatcher, just keep your feeder clean and filled.

Here’s a blog with photos and information about backyard birding all year long.


What's Going On in that Park?

You walk through a park and you see construction here, people digging there, and trees being planted up ahead. A lot of work is performed in parks, and there’s a web page that explains the projects that have taken place on trails, around athletic fields and in playgrounds. Here’s an interactive map with details about projects that were in parks near you. For more information, contact the Public Information Office at (703) 324-8662 or at


Commercial Photography in Parks

A reminder for professional photographers conducting business on Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) property – you need a photography permit. They’re good for one year. Check the expiration date on yours. Information about purchasing the $25 Commercial Photography Permits is online at Commercial Photography in the Parks.

Permit holders automatically become part of the Photographer's Ambassador's Club, which includes a subscription to SNAPSHOTS, our newsletter about photography in parks.


Farmers Market End Dates

Fall produce is still available at farmers markets.

Here's a list of market closing dates.

• Herndon – November 14
• Lorton – November 17
• Oak Marr – November 13
• Annandale -- November 7
• McLean – November 15
• Mount Vernon – December 18
• Reston -- December 7
• Burke – December 21
• Wakefield – Closed
• Kingstowne – Closed


Colvin Run Honors Longtime Advocates

The barn at Colvin Run Mill has been officially named in honor of long-time park advocates Marjorie and Robert Lundegard. Marjorie started volunteering with the park in 1988, and Robert volunteered until his death in May of this year. They also raised tens of thousands of dollars for the site.

The renaming ceremony took place at the historic site on Oct. 26. Ceremony photographs are online.


Hidden Oaks Celebrates 50 Years

Chainsaw artist Andrew Mallon smiles as children look at his Hidden Oaks sculpture.Hidden Oaks Nature Center (HONC) celebrated its 50th anniversary on Oct. 19. HONC was Fairfax County’s first nature center, established as the Park Authority started emphasizing interpreting and teaching about natural resources. 

See photos from the day's activities online. 




Things To Do in Parks

November Calendar of Events
Guided Hikes and Walks
Fall Camps for School Holidays
Deer and Driving Safety Tips
artiFACTS: History at Great Falls Grange
50+: The Top Picks in Parks for Older Adults
Nov. 2, 3, 9 & 10: Fall Foliage Boat Tours
Nov. 2 & 16: Watershed Cleanup Days
Nov. 10: MILL-itary Appreciation Day
Nov. 11: Transit of Mercury
Nov. 16: Register for the Birds & Birdies 6K
Nov. 30: Visit with Santa at Sully
Fall Color Photo Tips in SNAPSHOTS Newsletter
2020 FCPA Board Meeting Schedule



Other Holiday Stuffings

Programs for Scouts

Campfire Programs in Parks

Park Authority Newsletters and Publications

Register for Classes

Volunteer in a Park

Subscribe to ResOURces

Subscribe to the Park Blog


Colvin Run Mill Hidden Oaks Nature Center Sully Historic Site
E.C. Lawrence Hidden Pond Nature Center RECenters
Frying Pan Farm Park Huntley Meadows Lake Accotink
Green Spring Gardens Riverbend Park Lake Fairfax
  Golf Courses Burke Lake



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Fairfax County Park Authority | Fairfax, VA 22035 | (703) 324-8695 | Fax (703) 324-3996 | TTY 711 |