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

Aug 12

BIRDS THE WORD

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM HAS 3 SESSIONS STARTING AT 10AM, 12:30PM AND 3PM

Have you heard about the birds? Learn about our local avian species, and how we can help protect birds and their biodiversity. Check out our nature center’s bird feeder and learn how to make your own! We’ll hike out into the park and play a game of “bird bingo” while identifying the species we see. Participants will even get their own pair of small folding binoculars! 

10:00am to 4:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 14

POTOMAC POLLINATORS

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM HAS 3 SESSIONS STARTING AT 10AM, 12:30PM AND 3PM

Learn all about our local pollinators in a program that will have you buzzing with excitement! Observe some of our native pollinators and learn what makes them so important. Get to see our observation bee hive and explore our gardens, and even plant some native seeds to help our butterflies. We’ll end the day by making our very own pollinator houses! 

10:00am to 4:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 19

SURVIVAL SKILLS

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM HAS 3 SESSIONS STARTING AT 10AM, 12:30PM AND 3PM

Calling all young survivalists in the making! Join us for a class all about primitive skills needed to survive and thrive in the wild. Explore sensory awareness, search for hidden “critters” with a camouflage game, and learn how to track. Discover how to make a fire with a bow drill, and even create your very own plaster track cast to bring home with you! 

10:00am to 4:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 20

THE HISSTORY OF SNAKES

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM HAS 3 SESSIONS STARTING AT 10AM, 12:30PM AND 3PM

Slither on down to a program all about our local serpents! Learn about the natural history of our snakes, why they’re so important (and often misunderstood) and what makes them such incredible animals. Watch our naturalist feed our snakes mice and then finish the program by making a snake craft! You’ll be saying fangs for the memories after this one.

10:00am to 4:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 23

LEARN TO LETTERBOX

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Letterboxing is a family friendly scavenger hunt style adventure that takes you to interesting locations all over the world solving clues and searching for hidden treasures. Participants will learn where to find the clues, how to decipher them and receive hints on what to look for. Then off on an adventure around the park to find the boxes hidden here. Participants will also get a chance to carve their own personal stamp and receive an introductory logbook.

10:00am to 11:30am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 26

ROCK THE PARK

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM HAS 3 SESSIONS STARTING AT 10AM, 12:30PM AND 3PM

See just why our park rocks in a class that combines crafts and geology! Hike on down to the stream with our naturalist and learn about geologic processes and our local rocks and minerals. Find your own rock, and paint it whatever fabulous design you would like! Then head back out into the park to look for the painted rocks that our staff have hidden! You’ll be going stone cold crazy for this program.

10:00am to 4:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Aug 28

TALKIN BOUT TURTLES

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM HAS 3 SESSIONS STARTING AT 10AM, 12:30PM AND 3PM

Come out of your shell and join us for a turtley awesome program! Meet some of our resident turtles and learn about their adaptations, habitat, and what sets them apart from each other. Make your very own turtle craft, and then help us “race” our turtles with some live food to see who is the fastest (or rather the least slow!)

10:00am to 4:30pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details