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

Dec 14

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 14

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Dec 14

Pokémonature Connections

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come explore the world of Pokémon at Potomac Overlook Regional Park for December's community day! Learn about (and meet!) some real animals and plants that inspired some of Pokémon's little pocket monsters.

1:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Dec 15

Christmas Bird Count

Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA

Join our roving naturalist, in partnership with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, on a citizen science quest to count and record as many species and individual birds as you can!

7:00am to 10:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
  • Sport, Fitness & Health
Event Details
Dec 15

Christmas Bird Count

Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, VA

Join our roving naturalist, in partnership with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, on a citizen science quest to count and record as many species and individual birds as you can!

1:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
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
Dec 28

Christmas Bird Count

Rust Sanctuary, Leesburg, VA

Join our roving naturalist on a citizen science quest to count and record as many species and individual birds as you can!

8:00am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Dec 29

Christmas Bird Count

Pohick Bay Regional Park, Lorton, VA

Join our roving naturalist on a citizen science quest to count and record as many species and individual birds as you can!

8:00am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
  • Roving Naturalists
Event Details
Dec 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, nature and more!

2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • 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 2020 as we hike the trails and enjoy all the New Year has to offer!

9:00am to 10:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 5

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 8

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 2019. 

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 9

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 11

Birds in Winter

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
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 11

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 12

Trivia Night at the Nature Center

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Have plenty of knowledge about animals, the environment, and more, but don’t know where to use it? Join us for a Potomac Overlook trivia night and enjoy light refreshments and snacks as we quiz you and your team / family about anything nature related! Who will win?

6:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 15

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 2019. 

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 18

Night Hike and Campfire - Nocturnal Animals

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Join our Naturalist after the sun goes down and the 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! 

6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 22

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 2019. 

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 23

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 25

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. Be sure to hop on down to this toad-ally cool program!

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

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 29

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 2019. 

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Jan 31

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
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 2

Recycling Do’s and Don’ts!

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

We all know recycling is important, but do you know why? Are you curious about where your recycling goes and how its processed? Are you positive you know what is and isn’t recyclable depending on where you live? Come out to this brand new program that will leave you feeling like a recycling pro!

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

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 2019. 

10:15am to 11:00am
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 6

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 8

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
  • Community & Volunteers
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 12

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 15

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!

1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 20

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • History & Educational
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details
Feb 22

Animal Feeding: Cutest Critters

Potomac Overlook Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Come help our naturalist feed some of the most adorable animals our nature center houses! Box Turtles, Tree Frogs and our Eastern Screech Owl aren’t just lovable; they’re hungry and ready for dinner!

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

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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Free
  • 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
  • Camps & Programs Guide
  • Community & Volunteers
  • Kids & Family
  • Nature
  • Nature Nuts
Event Details