Looking for something fun to do this weekend around Northern Virginia? There are plenty of activities to choose from:
Friday, Feb. 21
Campfire Friday – Eyeshine: Explore the park with a naturalist in search of glow-in-the-dark eyes. Program concludes with a campfire and s’mores. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Hidden Pond Nature Center. $7/person. Register online. For information call 703-451-9588.
Family Skate Nights are held on Friday nights, 6:30 to 8 pm in the Vienna Community Center gym. The cost is $1 per person and is appropriate for the whole family! Participants need to bring their own skates and safety equipment; no scooters; roller skates and in-line skates only. Parents are required to stay and are invited to participate!
Capital Home and Garden Show at Dulles Expo Center. Tickets are $10 or $7 if purchased online; $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Hours Friday are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (The show continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
See the world premiere musical "Beaches" at Arlington's Signature Theatre in the Village of Shirlington. Here's a synopsis: Based on the beloved book, Beaches follows two extraordinary friends through 30 years of camaraderie, laughter and sorrow. From pen-pals to roommates to romantic rivals, Cee Cee and Bertie’s oil-and-water friendship perseveres through even the most tragic trials. Evening performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday; matinee Sunday at 2 p.m. Get ticket info here.
Saturday, Feb. 22
The Oscars are coming up, but you say you haven't seen any of the movies? You can see 'em all with AMC's 2014 Best Picture Showcase, kicking off with a 10-plus hour marathon Saturday in Alexandria at the AMC Hoffman Center 22. Tickets are $30 to see: Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave. The fun begins at 12 noon. Ticket info here. Next Saturday, the films showing at AMC Hoffman will be: Nebraska, Captain Phillips, Her, American Hustle and Gravity. Same start time; last film will begin at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $40.
Cartoon Skate From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Every Saturday share the ice with Scooby-Doo, Cat in the Hat and more. Fun for all! Reston Town Center, Ice Skating Pavilion, Reston
Master Naturalist Lecture – Astronomy: This exciting master naturalist lecture gives a deeper look into astronomy. From 10 a.m. to noon at Hunter House at Nottoway Park. Ages 16 and up. $15/person. Register online. For information call 703-324-8513.
Skull Lab From 11 a.m. to noon. Have you ever found a skull and wanted to know what animal it was? Join us in the "Skull Lab" to learn what teeth can tell us about an animal's diet. Discover how eye position reveals if an animal is predator or prey. Preregister by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Walker Nature Center, Reston
EcoSavvy Gardening Symposium: Learn how to meet the challenges of gardening in the suburbs where lots can be small, views unattractive, conditions harsh and gardening is limited. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. Lunch included in the $70/person fee. Call the site for a vegetarian meal request. Register online or call 703-642-5173.
Hands-On Nature: Drop off your child for an hour of natural adventure to explore the worlds of animals and plants, and enjoy games and craft activities. From 2 to 3 p.m. at E.C. Lawrence Park. Ages 5 to 11. $5/child. Register online. For information call 703-631-0013.
Grand Dérangement: The bow fires up the fiddle and the sparks fly when this Acadian band ignites the stage. In an explosion of lights, sound, contagious rhythms and amazing step-dancing, Nova Scotia’s young, hip ambassadors defy you to sit still. From 8 to 10 p.m. at The Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center. $20/person. Buy tickets online. For information call 703-790-0123.
Vera Bradley Bingo! Come out for a day of fun, play to win Vera Bradley items and help raise money in the fight against breast cancer. “Play for a Cure,” Saturday. Doors opening at 11:30 am at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street S. The cost to play is $30 in advance or $35 at the door. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Food and drinks will be available. For tickets or more information, contact Jen Schwab at email@example.com or (703) 560-9782.
Northern Virginia Summer Camp Expo: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Explore summer fun opportunities for kids of all ages. This two-day event allows families to meet with representatives from day camps, sleepaway camps, summer programs and summer fun destinations, all under one roof! FREE Dulles Town Center Mall, Dulles
Sunday, Feb. 23
Under the Canopy Kids 4 and younger. 10:30 a.m. Under the Canopy is a 20 minute, interactive, nonverbal show. Imagine a theatrical world designed especially for babies and young toddlers to enjoy, inspired by the wonders of the rainforest. Whistling flowers, a clacking caterpillar, and brightly colored umbrella birds await. Tickets online. The Athanaeum, Alexandria
Winter Hike – Wetland Waterfowl: Hike the boardwalk to the observation tower and look for green-winged teals, pintails, swamp sparrows, winter wrens and hopefully a bald eagle. From 1 to 3 p.m. at Huntley Meadows Park. Ages 9 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $6/person. Register online. For information call 703-768-2525.
Chili Cook Off, Sunday, 5-8 p.m. $8 at Vienna’s American Legion Post 180, 330 Center Street, N. Call (703) 938-9535 for information.
Maple Syrup Boil-Down: The sap is rising and the maple trees are tapped. Now it’s sugaring time! Watch and learn as sap is boiled down into sweet syrup over an open fire. From noon to 2 p.m. at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. Sample the delicious combination of maple syrup over fresh-baked cornbread while supplies last. $3/person. Pay at site. For information call 703-759-2771.
Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: Get to know Beatrix Potter the gardener. Explore the plants and places that inspired the classic children’s tales of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck. Author Marta McDowell leads you through the origins of Potter’s love of gardening and plants and how this passion was reflected in her work. A book sale and signing follow the lecture. From 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens. Ages 18 and up. $10/person. Register online. For information call 703-642-5173.
Wild Winter Scavenger Hunt and Hike Kids ages 6 and older. From 1 to 2:15 p.m. Are you tired of winter and itching to just get outside? Let's hike and run those winter blahs away! Get outside and take a nice little winter hike and complete a wild winter scavenger hunt along the way! Please dress in layers for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. Preregister. Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington
NSO Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf Kids ages 5 and older. Performances at 1 and 3 p.m. Sergei Prokofiev's timeless musical tale of boy vs. wolf comes roaring to life with the NSO and a vaudeville-inspired performance by actor Michael Boudewyns from theater ensemble Really Inventive Stuff. Come early for Musical Instrument "Petting Zoo." Stay after the 3 p.m. concert for "Kids' Chat. Tickets online. Kennedy Center, Washington DC.
Barred Owl – Stream Valley Hunter: Meet a live barred owl and learn to recognize its call, as well as how to spot them in our woods and how they are well-adapted hunters of the night. From 2 to 3 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center. $5/person. Register online. For information call 703-941-1065.
Young Soloists Recital: Spend a Sunday afternoon with talented student musicians Victor Pan, Evan Hu, Kevin Wang and Adam Heins on piano and Shankar Balasubramanian on violin. From 3 to 4:30 p.m. at The Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center. Free admission. For information call 703-790-0123.
Sunday Soirée Dance Series – My Funny Valentine: As inexpensive and enjoyable dates go, they don’t get better than this! Come hear the music of The Wayne Tympanick Trio as you try out your favorite dance moves and enjoy appetizers and other refreshments. From 3 to 5 p.m. at The Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center. $5/person; pay at site. For information call 703-790-0123.