16 happenings at local parks for early summer fun

The 10th Annual Firefly Festival, an antique car show and a closer look into how rainbows form.

Photo courtesy of Sully Historic Site

Birding Shenandoah National Park 
June 12, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.  
Travel to the Shenandoah National Park and walk along trails and rivers looking out for black bears, bobcats and other wildlife. Participants must be over 18 years of age and should dress appropriately for hiking activities. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars. Tickets are $48. // Long Branch Nature Center at Glencarlyn Park: 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington

Pollinator Patrol
June 13, 3-4 p.m.
As part of National Pollinator Week, use nets and bug boxes to catch and examine native pollinators at work and learn more about how important pollination is in natural ecosystems. Tickets are $5. // Gulf Branch Nature Center & Park: 3608 N. Military Road, Arlington

June 13, 9 p.m.
Walk through the meadows and forest edges at night to witness bats feeding on insects while learning more about the local bat population. Bat detectors will be used to hear echolocation. Tickets are $6 per person and children must be supervised by an adult. // Lake Accotink: 7500 Accotink Park Road, Springfield

Morning Baby Goat and Llama Feeding
Thursdays, 9 a.m.
Feed baby goats, cuddle with young farm animals and help alpacas and llamas get fed while enjoying tranquil views of the farm and lake. // Little Goat Farm at the Lake: 8954 Burwell Road, Nokesville

Storytime on the Hill
June 15, 7 p.m.
Take in the spectacular sunset views from Historic Huntley in your pajamas, sitting on blankets and listening to stories from the past. Tickets are $5 per child. // Historic Huntley Plantation: 6918 Harrison Lane, Alexandria

Friday Night Hikes: The Return of the Fireflies
June 15, 7:30 p.m.
Bring a flashlight and watch as the fireflies return to the NoVA region on a hike through Bushy Point Trail at Leeslyvania State Park. Participants should meet at the Bushey Point Trailhead at Marina #1. Register 24 hours in advance by calling 703-583-6904. // Leeslyvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge 

Water in the Landscape: Creating an Oasis
June 16, 10 a.m.
Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener Magazine editor, talks about installing water features in home gardens and how they can help with stimulating mindfulness, sustaining native wildlife and blocking out background noise. Tickets are $18 per person. // Green Spring Gardens: 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria 

Potomac Blockade Boat Tour
June 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
For $45 (a ticket price that includes lunch) embark on an exploration of the Potomac River while local historians point out areas that played a large part in the Confederate blockade of Washington, D.C. Reservations are required and can be made at 703-792-4754. // Prince William Historic Preservation Foundation: 17674 Main St., Dumfries 

Music on Mill Summer Concert Series: Cheley Tackett
June 16, 6-8 p.m.
Cheley Tackett, a country music artist, will be performing at River Mill Park for free. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcomed. // River Mill Park: 458 Mill St., Occoquan

Living History Demonstration at Manassas Battlefield
June 16-17
Watch history come to life as camp life, drills and historic weapons are fired at Manassas battlefield. Demonstrations will take place at Henry Hill. Check website for exact firing times. // Manassas National Battlefield Park: 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas

45th Annual Antique Car Show
June 17, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Just in time for Father’s Day, check out approximately 400 classic and antique cars at Sully’s Annual Antique Car Show, which costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. Also browse wares at the Flea Market, sample food from local vendors and listen to music from the heyday of automobiles. // Sully Historic Site: 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly

Rainbows, Haloes & Glories
June 20, 7:30 p.m.
Ever wonder how rainbows form? Or how magnificent shades of magenta and coral occur naturally in the sky? Learn more about some of nature’s most obscure phenomena with park rangers. Tickets are $8 per person. // The Turner Farm: 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls

Colonial Children’s Games
June 21, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Children ages 4 and up can play a game of catch called Graces, test their hand/eye coordination with a game of Cup and Ball and learn more about other fun ways that children used to pass the time during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars at this event. // Leesylvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge  

Great American Campout
June 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Enjoy the great outdoors with The National Wildlife Federation by coming together with other area families, pitching a tent and participating in a variety of outdoor activities for all ages. Park rangers will also be on hand to discuss camping procedures, camping gear and survival skills. // Leesylvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge

Orb and Sceptre
June 24, 1 p.m.
It has been 65 years since Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Great Britain. Learn more about the symbolism, traditions and pomp that goes into the coronation ceremony. // Green Spring Gardens: 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria   

10th Annual Firefly Festival
June 24, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Celebrate the return of the fireflies by learning how they light up and participating in activities that include bug hunts, games and crafts. Make the evening a bit more romantic by bringing a picnic blanket, dinner and watching the night sky light up with natural lights as the sun goes down. Tickets are $7. // Fort C.F. Smith Park: 2411 24th St. N, Arlington


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