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Votes

Fun in Reston and Herndon -- Part 3

Wander the Wetlands

<lst>Sunrise Valley Wetland Park

www.reston.org.

<bt>It’s like Reston’s version of the Everglades, but very few people seem to know about it. Invisible from the road, Sunrise Valley Wetland Park still remains a secret to most Restonians. The park is tucked away on the left or west side of the ASG Software Solutions parking lot off of Sunrise Valley Drive and west of the Monroe-Herndon Park and Ride. Turtles and lily pads fill the shallow marshland, attracting one of Reston’s most diverse display of birds. With a nifty boardwalk stretching through the center of the wetland, visitors will be sure to see wildlife.

<ro>Tour a Favorite Beaver Hangout

<lst>Glade Stream Valley

www.reston.org.

<bt>Beavers, armed with their signature mouthful of teeth and a paddle for tails, have found a friendly home at Glade Stream Valley in Reston for the past 20 years. Beaver activity is the norm along a stretch of Reston Association paths, which follow a creek through the valley. Pick up the path at the intersection of Twin Branches Road and Glade Drive and walk through the valley early morning or late evening. Keep an eye out for wildlife other than the industrious local beaver population. Deer and birds of prey also find the spot attractive.

<ro>Sled Reston’s Black Diamond

<lst>Mt. Reston

Isaac Newton Square.

<bt>It’s the winter’s steepest, fastest ride in Reston. On any given snow day, hundreds of sledders make their way to what is affectionately known as Mt. Reston, which is located behind the northwest corner of Isaac Newton Square. Everyone, from novices on snow tubes to experts on snowboards, swarm the massive hill for fun in the snow as long as it lasts. Beat the rush and arrive early.

<ro>Have an Adventure at Lake Fairfax

<lst>1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston.

703-471-5415

<bt>Lake Fairfax is 476-acre park that includes a lake, campgrounds, picnic areas, a water park, an amphitheater, soccer and softball fields, and a carousel. The park is open year round, from 7 a.m. to dark, except Christmas day. The 136-site campgrounds are open year round as well, and reservations must be made ahead of time to use the campgrounds. There are varying rates throughout the year, with prime rates applicable Memorial Day to Labor Day. The fees range from $11 - $25. Electricity charges are separate. The park amphitheater is home to Arts in the Parks all summer long, with puppet shows, bands, and various acts performing a few times each month from June through August. Boating is generally allowed on the lake, but due to recent renovations, it would be wise to check with the park ahead of time. Various picnic sites are also available for renting. For more information, visit the Lake Fairfax web site at www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/lakefairfax.

<ro>Visit Lakes Audubon, Anne, Thoreau, and Newport

<lst>Reston's Lakes

www.reston.org.

<bt>Reston is home to four man-made lakes that cover more than 125 acres. The lakes are open year round, and are open to boating, fishing, and picnicking. Residents may rent electric paddle boats, kayaks, paddle boats, canoes, or row boats from Memorial Day to Labor Day at Lake Anne. Prices vary from $6 to $8 per hour. Residents may launch private boats at any of the lakes. For more information on boating, call 703-437-9580. Fishing is also permitted in all of the lakes, although certain species are protected in certain lakes. Anglers over 16 years old must have a Virginia Fishing License. Picnic sites surround the lakes, and there are 55 miles of paths that are also open to the public. For more information, and for trail maps, visit www.reston.org/parks_rec/p_lakes.htm

<ro>Know Your Farm Animals

<lst>Kidwell Farm at Frying Pan Park

2709 West Ox Road, Herndon.

703-437-9101.

<bt>At Kidwell Farm, there are many opportunities to meet farm animals and learn more about what makes them tick and how they contribute to society. Classes, workshops and special events are available through the year. Get lucky and one might even see the birth of a calf. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit www.fairfaxcountry.gov/parks/fpp.

<ro>Visit Runnymede Park

<lst>Runnymede Park

Herndon Parkway, a quarter-mile north

of Elden St., Herndon.

<bt>Herndon's 58-acre forest preserve is one of Northern Virginia's most diverse natural parks, with more than 450 native plant species spread out over 11 different ecological habitats. Parkgoers can experience the vast complexity of nature by taking hike on the more than one mile of trails in Runnymede, enjoying a picnic with family and friends or taking a tour with official guides who can point out all of the features that make Runnymede distinct to the region. Observant visitors might catch a glimpse of the variety of animals that dwell in the park including beavers, red foxes and painted box turtles. For more information about Runnymede Park nature programs, call the Herndon town naturalist Susan Lilly at 703-435-6800, ext. 2113.

<ro>A Walk in the Woods

<lst>Sugarland Run Trail, Herndon

<bt>Paved and natural surface trails follow Sugarland Run 2.2 miles along the Herndon-Reston border from Sugarland Road south to Herndon Town Line — Wiehle Avenue crosses overhead midway. Access can be gained through neighborhood entrances and Runnymede Park. Concrete stepping-stone columns enable walkers to cross the stream at several junctures which, if wet, can be slippery. Unlike the mostly tree-less W&OD trail, Sugarland Run's canopy of leaves provides a cooler walk.

<ro>Pick This Pocket Park

<lst>Spring Street Park, Herndon.

703-435-6868.

<bt>Spring Street Park, at the corner of Spring and Van Buren streets, is a 1.5-acre, passive park. Original green ash trees have been preserved, and evergreen trees line the frontage of the park. The park has walking trails and benches, and is close to the W&OD Trail. There is no parking available at the park site. For other parks in Herndon, see www.town.herndon.va.us

<hdr30>Fun for the Mind

<ro>Magical History Tour

<lst>Lake Anne Village Center

1639 Washington Plaza, Reston.

703-709-7700.

<bt>Did you know that the land Reston is built on was owned by A. Smith Bowman, a Kentucky bourbon distiller in the early 1900's? Much can be discovered about the history of Reston at the Reston Museum. From fun facts to a visual timeline of news coverage and photographs covering Reston's growth, visitors can even look at primary documents which explain the rich history of Robert E. Simon's creation. Visit www.restonmuseum.org for more.

<ro>Rooting Out Ancestors

<lst>Herndon Fortnightly Community Library

768 Center St, Herndon.

703-437-8855.

<bt>Genealogy research is one of the many programs offered at Herndon Fortnightly Community Library throughout the year. Participants, age 13 and older, can learn how to use the Ancestry and Heritage Quest databases to research family history. Call 703-437-8855.

<ro>Visit Civil War sites

<lst>Old Train Depot

717 Lynn St.

Herndon, Va. 20170

703-437-6366

<bt>Herndon is filled with battle sites and historical building associated with the Civil War. Visit the Herndon Station, known during the war as the First Vermont Cavalry and also as "Hendrick's Station." Civil War history buffs can revisit the war through the eyes of Laura Ratcliffe, Herndon's Civil War spy who is credited with saving war hero John Mosby's life, by visiting her restored home just 1.7 miles south of the Herndon Depot — another war relic. The Herndon Depot Museum is famous for its railroad memorabilia and information on Commander William Lewis Herndon. For more information on civil war sites and locations call the Herndon Depot Museum at 703-437-6366.

<ro>Speaking Your Mind

<lst>Reston Presents

Reston Community Center,

Lake Anne, 1609 Washington Square Plaza.

703-390-6157.

<bt>Ever wonder what your neighbors are up to? We live in an area that draws from all walks of life and Reston Presents is a great way to hear about interesting people in the community. Topics vary — highlighting cooking demonstrations, war veterans, and book signings with local authors. This is a great way to learn more about the world from the people around you. Reston Presents takes place Mondays from 7-9 p.m. at RCC, Lake Anne. Free.

<ro>Use Reston's Resources

<lst>United States Geological Survey

950 National Center, Room 1D100

12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston.

703-648-4302

<bt>The United States Geological Survey is the largest library and resource center for the earth sciences in the world. Founded in 1879, the USGS has four library locations nationwide, one of which is in Reston. The library is home to over one million books and journals and 450,000 maps, as well as countless other resources. The Reston Library is also a designated official depository for U.S. government publications. The libraries have experts on geology and biology, and cartographers and topographers on-staff who are open for consultation. The library is also open for tours.

<ro>Local Architectural Gem

<lst>Herndon Fortnightly Community Library

768 Center St, Herndon.

703-437-8855.

<bt>Walk into Herndon Fortnightly Library front entrance at 768 Center Street to the center of the first floor and look up.

<hdr30>Farmers' Markets

<ro>Going Organic

<lst>The Reston Farmers Market

Lake Anne Village Center, Reston.

<bt>The Reston Farmers Market happens every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon from May 7 to Oct. 29. The market features freshly picked locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as baked goods, eggs, dairy products, meat, honey, and cut and potted flowers and plants. The Reston Farmers Market also features a Master Garden Plant Clinic, to which customers can bring plants or pesticides for pest and pesticide identification.

<ro>Food & Fun

<lst>Farmer's Market

Lynn Street (next to Old Town Hall), Herndon.

703-787-7300.

<bt>The Herndon Parks and Recreation Department presents free performances for children attending the Farmer's Market, 10:30-11:15 a.m. Thursdays through Aug. 10. The farmer's market hours are 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. The performers for this summer are: Michael Rosman, juggling and clowning around, July 6; Spinny Johnson, basketball tricks, July 13; Flumpa and Friends Live, music and science about the rainforest, July 20; Paul Hadfield, comedy, July 27; Micheal Shwedick, Reptile World Inc., Aug. 3, and Kebin Brown, vaudeville variety, Aug. 10.

<hdr30>Golfing

<ro>Fore!

<lst>Reston National Golf Course

11875 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston.

703-620-9333.

<bt>Reston National Golf Course is an 18 hole with a 71-par course. The club also offers lessons, a driving range, a putting green, and rents equipment. Home to tournaments throughout the year, the club can also be rented out for various events. Many high schools practice on the course, and it is open five days a week. Prices range from $59 - $72 depending on time and day. Twilight prices are also available, and there is a $15 caddie fee. Tee times must be reserved seven days in advance. For more information, visit the course web site at virginiagolf.com/restonnational.html.

<ro>Play Herndon Centennial Golf Course

<lst>Herndon Centennial Golf Course

909 Ferndale Ave., Herndon.

703-471-5769

<bt>Named by Golf Digest's as one of its "Places to Play," the Centennial features an 18-hole par-71 course that has hosted the Men's USGA Public Links Section Qualifiers in 1996 and 1999. This bent grass public course brags country club caliber conditions at municipal rates. The course also boasts driving ranges, practice greens, and golf instruction by PGA Professionals. Special event packages are available for groups and include food and beverage service. For tee times call 703-471-5769 or visit www.town.herndon.va.us/HCGolf.html.

<ro>Sharpen Putting Skills

<lst>Woody's Golf Range

11801 Leesburg Pike, Herndon.

703-430-8337.

<bt>Woody's Golf Range off of Route 7 in Herndon is the perfect place to perfect a golf stroke, a baseball swing and a mini-golf handicap all within a few feet of each other as the 33-acre facility offers a full driving range, batting cages and 18 holes of mini-golf year-round. For the next Tiger Woods or Alfonso Soriano of the family, there are staff golf and baseball professionals accessible for lessons. Picnic grounds are available for families looking to eat together after fitting in the back nine on the mini-golf course.

<hdr30>Art

<ro>Painting the Town ...

<cl>Jo Ann Rose Art Gallery

Reston Community Center

2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston.

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) Gallery

Reston Town Center,

12001 Market Street, Suite 103.

<bt>Reston prides itself on a commitment to the arts and there is no better way to see that pride than by checking out the place where Reston artists hang their work. Home to the League of Reston Artists, the Jo Ann Rose Art Gallery has frequent shows and openings that cover all of the basic mediums including painting, photography, sculpture and more. Visit www.leagueofrestonartists.org.

The Greater Reston Arts Center, producers of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, is a meeting place for area artists. Their gallery holds annual juried shows, solo exhibits and more. Visit www.restonarts.org for more.

<ro>Embrace the arts

<lst>Council for the Arts of Herndon

P.O. Box 940

Herndon, Va. 20172

<bt>The Council for the Arts of Herndon, the Town of Herndon's local arts agency, presents an annual art festival as well as ongoing programs and opportunities for those interested in the arts. The council is also working with the Smithsonian Associates to put on a summer series in Herndon which includes educational programs starting in July and running through August. Programs include singing, painting, and arts and crafts. For more information about art in the Herndon area call 703-689-9535.

<hdr30>People Watching

<ro>Poetry, People Watching & Percolators

<lst>The Lake Anne Coffee House

Lake Anne Village Center, Reston.

<bt>The Lake Anne Coffee House holds open-poetry readings for locals every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m.. Meet other local poets and get some feedback about your writing. Not a poet? That's okay. The Lake Anne Coffee House is quite possibly the best spot for people watching in Reston. Situated on Lake Anne with plenty of outdoor seating, kick back with a sandwich, coffee or Java-based drink and watch the locals stroll by.

<ro>Place To People Watch, I

<lst>W&OD Trail/Herndon Town Green — Herndon.

<bt>Above the maddening crowds — at least during concerts on the town green over the summer — people watch from the side of the W&OD trail as it rises up to cross above Center Street.

<ro>Place To People Watch, II

<lst>Herndon/Monroe Park & Ride Lot

12539 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon.

<bt>With 1,745 parking spaces, the Herndon/Monroe Park & Ride Lot provides ample variety of people to watch during peak commuter times. To expand one's vistas, the fares are only $1 on Fairfax Connector buses and $3 for the Metro bus. www.linkinfo.org/park_ride.cfm

<hdr30>Wireless Internet

<ro>Get Wired, for Free

<lst>Cafesano

11130 South Lakes Drive, #M, Reston.

703-391-2100

Greenberry’s Coffee & Tea Co.

11790 Baron Cameron Ave., #A, Reston.

703-437-7800

Panera

1825 Discovery St., Reston.

703-437-6022

<bt>Greenberry’s Coffee and Tee Company, Panera and Cafesano offer free wireless connections to the Internet, attracting laptop-toting customers who like to stay connected. Grab a latte and surf the web at Greenberry’s. Or search Google while enjoying a wood-fired cooked pizza at Cafesano. Or head to Panera and choose between nearly a dozen types of bagels topped with one of six cream cheese spreads before checking e-mail.

<hdr30>Dog Parks

<ro>Doggedly Free

<lst>Baron Cameron Dog Park

11300 Baron Cameron Ave., Reston.

Chandon Dog Park

900 Palmer Drive, Herndon.

<bt>Turn your K-9 loose in either of these Fairfax County-supported dog parks. On any given day, residents from all over the area come out to these parks to let their dogs burn off some energy and socialize with their neighbors. These are off-leash facilities that provide the opportunity for fun puppy play and friendly frolicking. See all varieties of breeds and sizes. For more information about rules, regulations and hours of operations visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/offleash.htm.

MISC ITEMS.........................

<ro>Pose with Reston’s Founder

<lst>"Bronze Bob"

Lake Anne Village Center, Reston.

<bt>While visitors to Lake Anne Village Center may have a decent chance of bumping into Reston’s Founder, Robert E. Simon, who lives at Lake Anne’s Heron House, they can be sure to get a picture with him. What is affectionately known as “Bronze Bob” greets all who enter the heart of the village center in Washington Plaza. “Bronze Bob,” a statute of Simon smiling and sitting on a bench, is a recent addition to the center. The statue, which is just a stone’s throw away from the shores of Lake Anne, is perfect for fun photos with the family or just a good spot to sit and relax.

<ro>Shoot Pool in Herndon

<lst>Hard Times Cafe

428 Elden St., Herndon.

Carpool

208 Elden St., Herndon.

<bt>Relax with any one of more than a dozen different draft and micro-brewed beers and a burger while playing pool in the Carpool and the Hard Times Cafe billiard halls, both located on Elden Street in Herndon. With a total of more than 20 pool tables between the two locations there are plenty of opportunities to exhibit cue stick skills until each location's 2 a.m. closing time. Enjoy live sporting events on the several televisions at Hard Times Cafe or live local music for a $5 cover every Friday at Carpool. For more information contact Carpool at 571-203-7995 or Hard Times Cafe at 703-318-8941.

<ro>Hunt for Comics

<lst>Pheonix Comics

678 Elden St., Herndon.

703-437-9530.

<bt>Sift through the largest selection of comics and collectibles in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area at Phoenix Comics and Toys on Elden Street in downtown Herndon. The store features an assortment of comics and graphic novels, as well as collectible action figures, statues and role-playing game accessories. Recent guests for signings have included Fathom comic book creator and former Witchblade artist Michael Turner and cartoonist Frank Cho.

<ro>Party Like 1865

<lst>Dranesville Tavern

11919 Leesburg Turnpike, Herndon

703-938-8835.

<bt>In 1865, the Alexandria Gazette described Dranesville Tavern as "one of the finest roadside inns in the State of Virginia." This National Historic Landmark, located on Route 7 between the Reston and Fairfax County parkways, is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority and available to be rented for weddings or parties. Dranesville Tavern, with its seven rooms, sandstone fireplaces and country porch, can accommodate a dinner party of up to 75, cocktail reception of up to 99, or a garden party of 150.

<ro>Lights, Camera, Action

<lst>HCTV

730 Elden Street, 2nd Floor, Herndon.

703-689-2323.

<bt>Want to learn about video production while helping keep the community informed? Herndon's own HCTV — Channel 23 on Cox Communications cable network — offers on-the-job training. The non-profit organization needs volunteers to produce, direct, and run cameras and other television equipment. See www.hctv.org

<ro>Catch the Herndon Police Car Show

<lst>Herndon Municipal Center

Lynn and Center Streets, Herndon.

703-437-1278

<bt>This auto flea market is sponsored every year by the Herndon Police and benefits the Herndon Police Citizens Support Team. In September, hundreds of cars will corral into the Municipal Center for showing. Pre-registration for cars is $12 by and registration at the gate is $15. The festivities also include food, music, silent auctions, raffles, and trophies to place winners. For more information contact the Herndon Police Citizens Support Team at 703-437-1278.

<ro>Show Off your Muscles

<lst>Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull

Dulles International Airport Fed-Ex Terminal, behind buildings 5 and 6

Dulles, VA

703-359-4301

<bt>Each year, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police Department challenges teams of family and friends to pull 150,000 pounds of machinery, at the Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull at Dulles International Airport. Each team donates $1,000 to the Special Olympics of Virginia, to get the chance to pull an airplane. The team that pulls the plane the farthest, wins. The day also includes face painting, food, and a car show. Visit www.planepull.com for more information.