The Great Outdoors
Campfires aren’t just for summer nights. Lake Accotink Park in Springfield invites everyone who loves the outdoors to Campfire Saturdays. Adventure awaits as you explore the woodlands and Lake Accotink spots where wildlife hides and resides. Program ends with a cozy campfire. Bring whatever you like to roast. S'mores provided. Scheduled campfires start between 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 27, March 26, April 16 and May 14. Topics vary each month. Cost is $8 and $10. Lake Accotink Park is located at 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield. Register at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/lake-accotink/.
Not to be outdone, Royal Lake Park also offers Campfire Saturdays on Feb. 20, March 12 and April 30. It starts between 6:30 to 7 p.m. Royal Lake Park is located at 5344 Gainsborough Drive, Fairfax. After a nature program, come to the campfire with delicious things to roast. S’mores provided. Cost is $8 and $10. Register at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/press/html/psa067-15.htm.
Take a Night Hike at Burke Lake Park, 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, on Sunday, Feb. 21. A naturalist will guide you in a search for wildlife. Warm up with campfire and s’mores after perambulating the winter woods. The hike starts at 6:30 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. Cost is $8. To register, go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/burkelakepark/rides.htm.
If you’ve had your fill of terrestrial creatures, see some celestial sights at Burke Lake Park’s Astronomy Campfire on Sunday Feb. 7 and Campfire Saturday: Stargazing on Saturday, March 5. Enjoy a stroll along the shores of the lake and learn about the constellations, their stories and other features of the night sky. Learn what ancient cultures saw in the stars. An astronomical naturalist will identify the stars for you, along with having some telescopes on hand for folks to try out. After the program gather around the fire where s’mores are provided. Bring hot dogs, if you like. Program starts at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $8. The park is located at 7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station. Children must be accompanied by an adult registered in the program. To register, go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/burkelakepark/rides.htm.
For more active pursuits, the Spring Backyard Burn Trail Running Series takes place in some of the best trail networks in the area--Laurel Hill and Pohick Bay in Lorton and Hemlock Overlook in Clifton. This is a four series race and they are scheduled on March 6, 13 and April 17. The fourth race will be in Lake Fairfax Park in Reston on May 1. For more information, visit http://www.ex2adventures.com/byb-spring.php.
Happy New Year! Nope, it’s not late, it’s just in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year. On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6 and 7, Fair Oaks Mall will hold the 13th Annual Lunar New Year Festival from 1 to 5 p.m. Presented by the Washington Hai Hua Community Center, the event is one of the largest of its kind with free performances, ceremonies and exhibitions. The mall is located at 11750 Fair Oaks mall, Fairfax. For more information, go to http://www.shopfairoaksmall.com/events.
For more lunar new year celebrations head on over to NWBI 2016 Chinese New Year Celebrations on Sunday, Feb. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Johnson Center Newberry Hall at George Mason University located at 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. There will be dragon dances, dumpling cooking lesson, riddles, Chinese painting. Cost is $2 to $6. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Another beginning is Lent but before that there is Mardi Gras 2016 at Fat Tuesday’s on Tuesday, Feb. 9. Doors open at noon. Nine bands beginning at 3 p.m. and a special Mardi Gras menu will be on hand. Fat Tuesday’s is located at 10673 Braddock Road, Fairfax. Find out more at http://www.fatsfairfax.com/.
Ah, love is in the air at the Annual Valentine’s Day Banquet sponsored by the Family Ministry of the Greater Little Zion Baptist Church in Fairfax. The celebration is from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Waterford Receptions, 6715 Commerce St., Springfield. All couples and singles are invited to fellowship and enjoy an evening of fine dining, music, dancing and featured entertainment. Cost is $60 due by Feb. 7. Call 703-763-9111 to reserve.
Out of the Frozen Earth
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Merrifield Garden Center-Fair Oaks presents Fun with Roses. Enjoy an interactive demonstration of design secrets for romantic and friendship inspired rose creations on Sunday, Jan. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. The garden center is located at 12101 Lee Highway, Fairfax. Refreshments will be served. Call 703-371-9351 for more information.
For less ornamental flora, there is Grow Your Health, a home gardening, sourcing organic and local food, and nutrition and wellness event that will be held on Saturday, March 5 at Fairfax High School from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This is a family focused event that includes education and entertainment for children of all ages. The school is located at 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax. For more information, go to http://www.growyourhealthnova.com/.
Sights and Sounds
George Mason University presents performances that will entertain, amuse and enlighten. Below are some highlights of the winter season.
*Shhh! At Mummenschanz, artists perform in complete silence on a blackened stage with common household objects and simple forms to create ingenious illusions and amusing narratives that provide light-hearted insights on life. The show will be at GMU’s Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax on Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. Tickets are from $29 to $48 and are available by calling 703-993-2787 or going to cfa.gmu.edu.
*Be in the presence of greatness when the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and piano prodigy George Li come to GMU’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. Twenty-year-old George Li was a silver medalist in the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition and winner of the prestigious XIV Concours International Grand Prix Animato 2014 Paris. He joins the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra as part of their series featuring all of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos. The program includes Kernis: Musica Celestis, Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring George Li, and Mozart: Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter." Tickets are $34 to $58 and can be purchased by calling 703-993-2787 or going to cfa.gmu.edu. GMU’s Center for the Arts is at 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax.
*A photojournalist’s firsthand reflections while covering war will is the subject of the film “Kandahar Journals.” Filmmaker Louie Palu will hold a question and answer and share his experiences with several Canadian and American regiments in Afghanistan. This free screening on Monday, Feb. 22 will be at 7:30 p.m. at GMU’s Johnson Center Cinema, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. For more information, go to http://fams.gmu.edu/events/5705.
Finally, “A Touch of Irish” will remind you that spring is almost here. Part of the Bonita Lestina Performance Series at the Old Town Hall--3999 University Drive, Fairfax--The Woodbridge Flute Choir has twenty-five members who play flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute and contrabass flute. The woodwind extravaganza will be on Friday, March 11 at 8 p.m. For information go to www.fairfaxva.gov.