Park Alerts

Nature Nuts

A region-wide program to reconnect children with the outdoors

Nature Nuts is a regional initiative that seeks to provide a meaningful outdoor experience to children throughout Northern Virginia. Nature Nuts is made possible through funding from the NOVA Parks Foundation. The mission of Nature Nuts is to expand and improve programs and facilities that help children recreate in a natural environment. But for kids, the idea is simple - tell me about all the fun ways we can get outside at our favorite NOVA Parks venues and enjoy nature!

Find your next adventure!

This website is a great way to tour all the terrific spaces that NOVA Parks has to offer! You can use the things to do menu or you can choose your favorite park and figure out where you're headed next. Here's a look at some kid favorites!
 

Boating & Fishing!

Enjoy a day along the water at your favorite park - whether your fishing or just skipping stones, our local waterways are a great source of enjoyment for kids of every age. Want to explore a little further? Bring mom or dad and rent a kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard!

Explore

 

Camps & Special Programs!

Camp NOVA offers some of the region’s most unique and innovative summer camps in the area. Offering four distinct experiences with the NOVA Parks system, NOVA Camps can turn any summer into a summer to remember. Programs at great parks like Potomac Overlook, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Temple Hall Farm, Carlyle House and more!

Explore

 

Camping & Cabins

There's not better way to get the full nature experience than by spending the night. NOVA Parks has camp sites and cabins at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton as well as Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville. Sit around the campfire and roast marshmallows, or come in the summer and visit one of our great waterparks while you're there. A great time awaits! 

Explore

 

Reggie says!

... a few handy tips for kids when exploring outside

  • Bring a friend!  Inviting along one or more of your friends is a great way to enjoy nature. Plan out your exploration route or activity, sing songs and enjoy your time outdoors! Plus, you might be opening a whole new world to a friend. It's a great way to make memories that will last a lifetime!
  • Always bring along extra food and water! A picnic lunch can be a great reason for an outing. Keep it simple by serving pre-made food like granola bars and sandwiches! Most importantly, don’t run out of water! Take as many water bottles as you can. And always remember to clean up any litter after your meal!
  • Don't be afraid to explore! Trails, kayaks, nature tours - don't be afraid to try something new! Stay overnight - talk to your parents about arranging a camping trip and enjoy nature from a new perspective - in a tent or a cabin, under the stars and around the camp fire!

 

Online Donations

Nature Nuts is funded by NOVA Parks, which accepts charitable donations to generate new sources of revenue that will enable us to expand, improve and conserve Northern Virginia’s special natural and historic places and parklands. These donations are used exclusively by NOVA Parks to charitably further the cause of environmentalism and land preservation. Our government support is minimal and we rely on the generosity of our neighbors who share our commitment to ensuring that future generations can enjoy the true beauty and natural resources of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Your tax-deductible donation will go a long way toward providing a place for our children and grandchildren to learn to swim, golf, canoe, kayak, hike and enjoy nature. Our programs also instill a sense of the rich history of our great state.

To make an online donation to Nature Nuts, visit our donation page.

Learn More

Jun 25 to Jun 29

Nocturnal Naturalist Camp

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Nocturnal Naturalist's will participate in a variety of activities including nocturnal animal study, camera trapping, astronomy, live animal presentations, stream surveys, campfire snacks, and an evening field trip to another park. We invite you to join us for an end of camp potluck/party that will take place on the last day of camp at 9:00 pm.

6:30pm to 10:00pm
  • Camps
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 1
Pohick Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey Kayak Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Join us on a paddle adventure in search of bald eagles, ospreys and other birds of prey found along the waterways of Pohick Bay Regional Park.
8:00am to 10:30am
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Jul 1
Fountainhead Kayaker

Sunset Kayak Tour

Fountainhead Regional Park, Fairfax Station, VA

Explore the wildlife found along our local waterways during a picturesque sunset. The aquatic wildlife along with the variety of birds and raptors that abound make for a most memorable nature experience.
6:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Jul 7

Animal Feeding- Raptors

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Take flight with this program about our local birds of prey, including our Red tailed Hawk, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl.  Learn how our Naturalist safely feeds our birds and how these amazing animals hunt and survive in the wild.

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 14
Tree Hike

Summer Tree ID Hike – Site Characteristics and Growth Habits

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Leaf your cares behind and come on down to this Poplar summer program! Learn how to identify our native trees, how they grow, what external threats they face, and more in this class that will have you pining for more dendro knowledge.  

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 14
garden demonstration

Gardener’s In!

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join a Master Gardener for a summer tour of our Demonstration Organic Garden while learning about pollinators, composting, gardening tips and more. 

10:00am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Community & Volunteers
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 14
Sunset paddle

Sunset Stand Up Paddle Board Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

The exciting sport of Stand Up Paddle Boarding will explore the magical wildlife found in the marsh wetlands as we "walk on water" through nature. Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.
6:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Jul 15

Summer Sundays Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Take a break from the doldrums of summer and come explore with us! Learn about our animals, make crafts, play games and more!

2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 23 to Jul 27

Nocturnal Naturalist Camp JR

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Nocturnal Naturalist's will participate in a variety of activities including nocturnal animal study, camera trapping, astronomy, live animal presentations, stream surveys, campfire snacks, and more! We invite you to join us for an end of camp potluck/party that will take place on the last day of camp at 9:00pm.  This camp session is for campers ages 8-10.

6:30pm to 10:00pm
  • Camps
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 27
kayakers Night

Full Moon Kayak Tour

Fountainhead Regional Park, Fairfax Station, VA

Enjoy a kayaking adventure under a moonlit and starry night to explore the natural beauty and diverse wildlife found along our gentle waterways. This program will be lead by NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist, David Garcia. 

7:30pm to 10:00pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Jul 28

It’s Your Watershed!

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Learn about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, its importance, and how we impact it in this meaningful watershed educational experience.  Participate in activities such as stream netting for macro invertebrates, a live animal talk with aquatic wildlife, and get hands-on with our augmented reality watershed exhibit!

10:00am to 12:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Community & Volunteers
  • History & Educational
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 28
hikers at night in the forest

Night Hike and Campfire - Astronomy

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join our Naturalist after the sun goes down as we explore our park, learn about nocturnal wildlife, see the stars and more in this night-time adventure.  Program concludes with a campfire and s’mores. 

7:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jul 28
Pohick Moonlight Paddle

Full Moon Kayak Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Enjoy the natural beauty and diverse wildlife of Pohick Bay under a starry night and full moon. Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.

8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Aug 4

Animal Feeding- Water Turtles

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Learn what makes some turtles better adapted for life in water than land and how to identify them in the wild.  Care for our resident Musk and Painted turtles with our Naturalist and learn what these reptiles like to eat. 

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 11
paddleboarding in the marsh

Pollinator Stand Up Paddle Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

This special SUP tour will take you deep into the marshes to look at a unique area, which hosts numerous butterflies as they pollinate the flower clusters that can be found there. Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.
8:00am to 10:30am
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Aug 11
Tree Hike

Summer Tree ID Hike – Insects and Disease

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Leaf your cares behind and come on down to this Poplar summer program! Learn how to identify our native trees, how they grow, what external threats they face, and more in this class that will have you pining for more dendro knowledge. 

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 11
garden demonstration

Gardener’s In!

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join a Master Gardener for a summer tour of our Demonstration Organic Garden while learning about pollinators, composting, gardening tips and more. 

10:00am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Community & Volunteers
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 12
perseids

Perseids Meteor Shower Kayak Tour

Fountainhead Regional Park, Fairfax Station, VA

This is a kayaking adventure to observe the night sky and the Perseid meteor shower. It's one of the brightest meteor showers of the year. In addition, participants will experience the abundant wildlife found along the forest woodland surrounding the Occoquan Reservoir.

7:30pm to 10:00pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Aug 19

Summer Sundays Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Take a break from the doldrums of summer and come explore with us! Learn about our animals, make crafts, play games and more!

2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 25
hikers at night in the forest

Night Hike and Campfire - Native Americans

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join our Naturalist after the sun goes down as we explore our park, learn about nocturnal wildlife, see the stars and more in this night-time adventure.

7:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 25
SUP at Night

Full Moon Stand Up Paddle Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Enjoy the exciting sport of Stand Up Paddle Boarding under the light of a full moon!. Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.

8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Aug 26
Saturday Morning Pohick

Morning Paddle Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Enjoy a kayaking adventure to observe the natural beauty and local wildlife found along our gentle waterways. Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.
8:00am to 10:30am
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Sep 8
Pohick Moonlight Paddle

Night Sky Kayak Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Enjoy a kayaking adventure under a starry night sky to explore the natural beauty and diverse wildlife found along Pohick Bay Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.
8:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Sep 9

Gifts from the Forest

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

What does nature really do for us? Discover the recycling miracles in the soil, the benefits we receive from birds to insects and much more. 

2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Sep 12

Wednesday Wonders Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you ready to experience the natural world with your little one?  Here’s your chance at Potomac Overlook!  Join us as our early childhood journeys continue into the Fall of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 13

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us for our first ever class offered just for Homeschoolers at Potomac Overlook! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • History & Educational
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 19

Wednesday Wonders Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you ready to experience the natural world with your little one?  Here’s your chance at Potomac Overlook!  Join us as our early childhood journeys continue into the Fall of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 22

Prehistoric Park Rangers

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Love dinos? Fascinated by the creatures of the past? We have the program for you!  Join us as we dive into the world of yesterday and learn about what life was like millions of years ago.

2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 23
hikers at night in the forest

Night Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join our Naturalist after the sun goes down as we explore our park and learn about a variety of topics.  Appropriate for families with children ages 6 and up.

7:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 26

Wednesday Wonders Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you ready to experience the natural world with your little one?  Here’s your chance at Potomac Overlook!  Join us as our early childhood journeys continue into the Fall of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 3

Wednesday Wonders Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you ready to experience the natural world with your little one?  Here’s your chance at Potomac Overlook!  Join us as our early childhood journeys continue into the Fall of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 6

Prehistoric Park Rangers

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Love dinos? Fascinated by the creatures of the past? We have the program for you!  Join us as we dive into the world of yesterday and learn about what life was like millions of years ago.

2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 7

Animal Feeding – Woodland Critters

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at the nature center as we feed our animals that call the woods their home! Learn how these animals find food, adapt to their environment and thrive in our park habitat. You wood be silly to miss this program!

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 11

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us for our first ever class offered just for Homeschoolers at Potomac Overlook! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • History & Educational
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 20
Fall Colors Fountainhead

Fall Colors Kayak Tour

Fountainhead Regional Park, Fairfax Station, VA

Experience the changing of the seasons and enjoy the natural beauty of the Occoquan Reservoir. A fun and memorable outdoor experience while highlighting natural and historical features unique to the area.

12:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Oct 20

Prehistoric Park Rangers

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Love dinos? Fascinated by the creatures of the past? We have the program for you!  Join us as we dive into the world of yesterday and learn about what life was like millions of years ago.

2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 21
pohick_bay_fallcolors

Fall Colors Kayak Tour

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Experience the changing of the seasons and enjoy the open waters as we view the beautiful fall colors and the changing of the leaves. This is a very specific timeframe for ideal fall colors, so don't miss out on the opportunity.
10:00am to 12:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Oct 21

Nature Hike – Changing Seasons

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Learn about our native animals and how they adapt to the changing of the season! Join our naturalist as they lead you round the park examining changes in plants, animals and the environment as winter begins to arrive.  

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 28
Fall Colors Fountainhead

Fall Colors Kayak TOur

Fountainhead Regional Park, Fairfax Station, VA

Experience the changing of the seasons and enjoy the natural beauty of the Occoquan Reservoir. A fun and memorable outdoor experience while highlighting natural and historical features unique to the area. . This program will be led by NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist, David Garcia.

12:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Oct 31

Snake Feeding

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Looking to get spooked? Not a fan of our slithery serpents? Come scare yourself silly and get an up close look at our amazing snakes as we feed them mice! You’re bound to go hiss-terical at this program!

4:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 8

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us for our first ever class offered just for Homeschoolers at Potomac Overlook! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • History & Educational
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 10
box turtle in his water bowl

Animal Feeding – Box Turtles

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come on out of your shell and join us for a program about our most common turtles! Learn where to find box turtles, how to ID them, and more as you’ll meet them up close and get to feed them! 

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 11

Grandparents Day Hike – the Wisdom of the Elders in the Woods

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Just like how grandparents can offer wisdom from years of experience, so too can the elders of the woods offer us much in the form of nature mentoring. 

2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Nov 17

Animal Feeding – Owls

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Soar on down to this program about our local nocturnal predators! Learn about our native owls and the amazing adaptations they use to hunt.  Watch our naturalist feed our live owls in an experience you won’t forget! 

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 23

Night Hike and Campfire – Nocturnal Animals and the Full Moon

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join our Naturalist after the sun goes down and the full moon goes up as we explore our park and learn about nocturnal wildlife.  Learn what makes these creatures so adapted to night-life and meet a few of them up close! 

7:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 24

Agents of Discovery

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us as we play Agents of Discovery, a fun and educational mobile based app that takes you across our park as you complete challenges and learn about animals, nature and more!

12:00pm to 1:30pm
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details