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

Oct 27
Fall Colors Fountainhead

Fall Colors Kayak Tour

Occoquan 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. Tours offered to ages 14 and older with an accompanying adult.

2:00pm to 4:30pm
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
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
Dec 8
Tree Hike

Tree ID Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Leaf your cares behind and come on down to this Poplar program! Learn how to identify our native trees in the winter, how they grow, what external threats they face, and more.  This class will have you pining for more dendro knowledge!  Don’t stay rooted to the spot, come branch out and explore with us!  

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 9

Christmas Bird Count

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us at Potomac Overlook as we sample our park for our local avian species! Bring your binoculars, field guides and dress warm! FREE to participants.

8:00am to 11:00am
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 15

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.  $5 per participant. 

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 16

Open House at the Nature Center

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Our center is up and running again and we want to celebrate with all of our friends! Come on by and see live animals, enjoy some light refreshments and more as we welcome back our visitors and show off our renovated nature center! 

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Music, Culture & Festivals
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 1

New Year's Resolution Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

What are your resolutions for the New Year? Do they involve exercise? Being outside more? Visiting your local parks more often? We got you covered. Come on over and usher in 2019 as we hike the trails and enjoy all the New Year has to offer!

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Jan 5

Exploring the Night Sky

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join roving naturalist David Garcia for a night time adventure!  Take an interactive tour of the night sky from moons and planets of our local solar system to far away galaxies and star-forming regions. Participants will see through a 14 inch Orion Dobsonian to observe all the “Wow !” celestial objects found in the night sky

7:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Jan 9

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 Winter of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 10

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! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 12

Tree ID Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Leaf your cares behind and come on down to this Poplar program! Learn how to identify our native trees in the winter, how they grow, what external threats they face, and more in this class that will have you pining for more dendro knowledge.  Don’t stay rooted to the spot, come branch out and explore with us! 

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 13

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, nature and more!

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 16

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 Winter of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 19

Night Hike and Campfire - Winter Survival

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Do you have what it takes to survive the cold winter months? Learn how to track for animals, build a fire, identify helpful plants and more in this class for our future wilderness survivalists! Program concludes with a campfire.

6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 23

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 Winter of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 24

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! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 26

Animal Feedings - Snakes

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come 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! Learn about what makes snakes such amazing creatures and why they are so important to the ecosystem.

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 28

Junior Naturalist Day Camp

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Are you a junior naturalist camper who has always asked “what do Naturalists do in the winter?” NOW you can find out! Sign up for this special one day of camp and join the staff on an exploration of the park and nature center through the winter.

9:00am to 4:00pm
  • Camps
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 30

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 Winter of 2018. We will explore a new topic every Wednesday morning.

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 2

Animal Behaviors and Habitat Exploration

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join roving naturalist David Garcia for a program about animals and their surroundings! Take part on on a winter’s hike to reveal the various winter adaptions and animal habitats found in our wooded areas.

2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Feb 3

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, nature and more!

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 7

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! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 9

Tree ID Hike

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Leaf your cares behind and come on down to this Poplar program! Learn how to identify our native trees in the winter, how they grow, what external threats they face, and more in this class that will have you pining for more dendro knowledge.  Don’t stay rooted to the spot, come branch out and explore with us! 

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 13

Wednesday Wonders Valentine’s Day Special

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for people…our animals need love too! Join us for a special Wednesday Wonders offering as we celebrate our animals at the nature center, write them Valentine’s Day cards, make crafts, and more! 

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 16

Owl Love Feeding

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Love is in the air…and literally, for these beautiful birds of prey! Join us as we discuss the mating habits of these animals during their breeding season and get a picture with our resident barred owl! $5 per participant.

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 17

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, nature and more!

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 21

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! 

1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 23

Night Hike and Campfire - Nocturnal Animals

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! Reservations required.  

6:30pm to 8:00pm
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 28

Potomac Rangers

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join us for a new 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
  • Community & Volunteers
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details