Ready for School to Start? Five Free Activities for Kids in Northern Virginia

Chapendra creative commonsThere’s over a month of summer vacation left for kids in northern Virginia, and you might be running low on ideas to keep your family entertained. To help make the most of the last days of summer, we’ve compiled our favorite list of fun activities for kids in Northern Virginia. Best of all, everything on the list is free:

Watch the Planes Take off and Land at Gravelly Point Park

Just outside of Arlington, Virginia, Gravelly Point Park is the perfect place to watch places coming and going from nearby Ronald Reagan National Airport. The park also features great views of the Washington Monument and the US Capitol Building, as well as access to the Mt. Vernon Trail.

Learn the Hidden History of Alexandria at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum

Did you know archaeologists have discovered a 50-foot long ship from the 1700s underneath the Indigo Hotel in Old Town Alexandria? Learn about local history and how Alexandria’s archaeologists, volunteers, and students are working to unearth the community’s past. Plus, hands-on and interactive activities are great for younger visitors.

Greater Reston Arts Center

Forget tree houses! Artist Patrick Dougherty’s 14-foot tall Bird In the Hand installation is a human-sized bird’s nest of sorts. Check out his interactive installation and other free exhibits at the Greater Reston Arts Center this summer. Dougherty’s outdoor exhibit is perfect for museum-goers with extra energy!

Rocknoceros Children’s Concert 

Popular children’s band, Rocknoceros, performs a free concert Saturday, August 20 at River Mill Park in Occoquan, Virginia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Enjoy the music, as well as beautiful and historic Occoquan.

Splish-Splash: A Wet and Wonderful Vacation Bible School

What’s summer without some water? Join Immanuel Presbyterian Church for 5 evenings of a Wet and Wonderful Vacation Bible School focusing on some of the wonderful water stories of the Bible. Kids will enjoy games, art, mission projects, and lots of watery fun! Dinner will be included each night: August 8 – 12, 5 – 8 pm, for ages 3 through 6th grade. Email Susan Graceson, Interim Director of Children’s Ministries, at for more information.

Susan Graceson, Interim Director of Children's MinistriesSusan Querry Graceson works as Interim Director of Children’s Ministries at Immanuel. She is also a candidate for ordination and a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary.  She is originally from Eastern Kentucky (a coal miner’s daughter!) but has lived in the DC area for many years. Susan is an ordained ruling elder, and has served local churches as educator, pulpit supply preacher, retreat leader, and worship coordinator. She enjoys volunteering with a number of social service organizations.  Susan and her husband David live in Falls Church with their sons Sammy and Carter. Contact her at


Featured photo by Chapendra

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