Songs, stories and s’mores at NoVA campfires this summer

This summer, sit fireside, tell stories and search for constellations at local parks and nature centers.

Photo courtesy of Olesia Bilkei/Adobe Stock

Summer means different things to different people. To some, it means trips to the beach and lounging poolside, and to others it means barbecue and cookouts. And to some, summer is synonymous with sitting by a campfire, toasting marshmallows, telling spooky stories, joining in sing-alongs and searching the sky for constellations. In the upcoming month, there are plenty of opportunities to sit fireside at Northern Virginia’s parks and nature centers. 

Riverside Campfire – American Indians
May 26, 6:30 p.m.

All ages are welcome to this campfire to learn more about American Indian culture. There will be games and s’mores. // Riverbend Park: 8700 Potomac Hills St., Great Falls

American Indian Stories Campfire
May 26, 8 p.m.

Hidden Oaks will also explore American Indian history at this campfire. Participants can toast marshmallows while listening to traditional American Indian stories. // Hidden Oaks Nature Center: 7701 Royce St., Annandale

Wild Dogs Campfire
May 27, 7 p.m.

At this campfire, visitors will learn more about the nondomestic brethren of man’s best friend, including wolves, coyotes and foxes. // Long Branch Nature Center: 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington

All About Bats Campfire
June 3, 8 p.m.

Campfire leaders will share facts about bat species native to Northern Virginia and tell the American Indian story of how bats got their wings. While listening, visitors can toast marshmallows. // Hidden Oaks Nature Center: 7701 Royce St., Annandale

Campfire Fridays – Stream Study
June 9, 7:30 p.m.

On Fridays this summer, Hidden Pond will host campfires focused on a specific subject. On June 9, visitors will trek to Hidden Pond’s streams and learn more about them and enjoy fireside s’mores. // Hidden Pond Nature Center: 8511 Greeley Blvd., West Springfield

Summer Astronomy Campfire
June 10, 8 p.m.

Those who want to learn more about the night sky are encouraged to come to this campfire at Hidden Oaks. In addition to looking through a telescope and identifying the moon, stars and constellations, visitors will learn about how ancient cultures looked at the stars and can make s’mores by the fire. // Hidden Oaks Nature Center: 7701 Royce St., Annandale