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

Sep 19

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at Potomac Overlook for a class offered just for Homeschoolers! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! Ages 6-12 yrs. $50 for series / $15 drop in. Meet at the nature center. Meets on September 19th, October 3rd, 17th, 31st

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 21

Potomac Rangers

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us for a program that shows you what it is like to be a naturalist at our park; learn about the animals we have at the center and how to interpret them, feed them, and more in this program that is great for prospective volunteers or future naturalists!

4:00pm to 5:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Community & Volunteers
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 25

Wednesday Wonders

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 2019. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning. Appropriate for parents with children 2-5 years old. $40 for series / $12 drop in. Meet at the Nature Center.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 28

Animal Feeding - Raptors

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Soar on down to this program about our local avian predators! Learn about our native birds of prey and the amazing adaptations they use to hunt. Watch our naturalist feed our live birds in an experience you won’t forget! Sign up soon; the program is gonna be a real hoot of a time. Appropriate for families with children ages 4 & up. $5 per participant. Meet at the nature center.

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Sep 29

Agents of Discovery

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come and 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 and nature! Meet at the nature center where our naturalist will help you download and learn how to use the app, and then you can set off into the park to complete as many challenges as you can! Complete all challenges and report back to our naturalist to receive a special prize! Please make sure you come with a mobile device that is ready to download the app or have the app pre-downloaded. Program is FREE to all participants and registration not required. All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 2

Wednesday Wonders

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 2019. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning. Appropriate for parents with children 2-5 years old. $40 for series / $12 drop in. Meet at the Nature Center.

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

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at Potomac Overlook for a class offered just for Homeschoolers! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! Ages 6-12 yrs. $50 for series / $15 drop in. Meet at the nature center. Meets on September 19th, October 3rd, 17th, 31st

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 12

Birds in Fall

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come see what our avian friends are doing this season! Join our naturalists as they show you what birds are currently around and explore the park for native birds with our binoculars!

8:00am to 9:30am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 14

Columbus Day Boat Race

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us as we make our own exploratory vessels with cardboard and other materials! Then hike down with our naturalist to the stream as we race our boats and see who’s is most sea-worthy! 

12:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 17

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at Potomac Overlook for a class offered just for Homeschoolers! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! Ages 6-12 yrs. $50 for series / $15 drop in. Meet at the nature center. Meets on September 19th, October 3rd, 17th, 31st

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 19

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 and learn about nocturnal wildlife. Learn what makes these creatures so adapted to night-life and meet a few of them up close! Program concludes with a campfire and smores. Reservations required. Appropriate for families with children ages 6 and up. $10 per participant. Meet at the nature center.

7:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 26

Halloween Party and Haunted Nature Center

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at the park for a grand Halloween party, snacks, games, arts and crafts, storytelling, and guided hikes through the woods.  People of all ages are welcome! Cost is $15 per participant.  Children 3 and under are free.  Advanced reservations and payment required.

6:30pm to 9:00pm
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 27

Agents of Discovery

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come and 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 and nature! Meet at the nature center where our naturalist will help you download and learn how to use the app, and then you can set off into the park to complete as many challenges as you can! Complete all challenges and report back to our naturalist to receive a special prize! Please make sure you come with a mobile device that is ready to download the app or have the app pre-downloaded. Program is FREE to all participants and registration not required. All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Oct 31

Homeschool at the Park

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at Potomac Overlook for a class offered just for Homeschoolers! Accompany our naturalist as we explore the park, learn about animals, do hands on activities and more! Ages 6-12 yrs. $50 for series / $15 drop in. Meet at the nature center. Meets on September 19th, October 3rd, 17th, 31st

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
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! Candy will be provided to participants as well! Ages 4 and up. $5 per participant. Meet at the nature center.

4:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 3

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. $10 per participant. Appropriate for people ages 6 and up. Meet at the nature center.

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 12

Night Hike and Campfire: Full Moon Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us as the lights go down and the moon goes up! Explore our park at dark with our naturalist as we hike the trails and get a glimpse at a full moon. Learn about the moon and why it’s so full tonight, and how it affects the wildlife as we conclude our program with a campfire and smores.

6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 16

Animal Feeding - Turtles

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Don’t be shy, come on out of your shell and join us! Our turtles are ready to chow down. Learn what the differences are between our land and water turtles and how to identify them in the wild. Care for our resident Box Turtles and Painted Turtles (and see our Snapping Turtle!) with our Naturalist and learn what these reptiles like to eat. 

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Nov 22

Winter Survival Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you a survivalist? Got what it takes to survive in the cold, harsh winter months? Join our naturalist as we learn about edible and poisonous plants and animals, how to track, build shelters and more!

4:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Nov 24

Agents of Discovery

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come and 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 and nature! 

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 6

Winter Survival Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you a survivalist? Got what it takes to survive in the cold, harsh winter months? Join our naturalist as we learn about edible and poisonous plants and animals, how to track, build shelters and more!

4:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 20

Winter Survival Series

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you a survivalist? Got what it takes to survive in the cold, harsh winter months? Join our naturalist as we learn about edible and poisonous plants and animals, how to track, build shelters and more!

4:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details