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

Apr 28
potomac overlook moonlight hike

Full Moon Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Celebrate the April Pink Moon at Potomac Overlook Regional Park!  Join our staff for a hike on the trails after dark.  Learn what wildlife is lurking in the woods in the early spring!

7:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
May 18
preschooler planting a flower

Preschool Nature Nuts - Flowers are Blooming!

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens , Vienna, VA

Preschoolers (and their parents) will explore nature through games, stories, crafts, and garden exploration at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 18, 2018.

10:30am to 11:30am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
May 19

Animal Feeding 101- Treefrogs

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Stick around for our monthly animal feeding program.  Learn the amazing adaptations that our Green and Gray Treefrog use to hunt and catch food.

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jun 2

Animal Feeding- Frogs and Toads

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join our naturalist as we feed our jumpy amphibian friends.  Learn the differences between frogs and toads and help us care for and feed our resident croakers.

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jun 9
Tree Hike

Summer Tree ID Hike – Identification Tips

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
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jun 9
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
Jun 15
preschooler with his nature hunt craft

Preschool Nature Nuts - Let's Go on a Nature Walk!

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens , Vienna, VA

Preschoolers (and their parents) will explore nature through games, stories, crafts, and garden exploration at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, June 15, 2018. The program fee for each child is $7. There is a $3 transaction fee. Space is limited to 12 children, and online registration is required.

10:30am to 11:30am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jun 17

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
Jun 23
hikers at night in the forest

Night Hike and Campfire – Nocturnal Wildlife

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
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
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 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 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 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
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
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 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