5 upcoming park events to attend in October

Kick-start fall with events that’ll teach you about nature, NoVA’s history and more.

The Shenandoah Valley (Photo by Renee Sklarew)

Whether you’re interested in Civil War battles, taking in the fall foliage or creating fun memories with your kids, NoVA parks have what you need with these upcoming events.

Dance at The Mill
Saturday, Oct. 12; 5-9 p.m.
This hoedown-themed dance will benefit the Friend of Ball’s Bluff. Music will be performed by the Kirk Evans Band and dance instructions will be on-site to help you line dance like a true cowboy or cowgirl. // Aldie Mill Historic Park: 39401 John Mosby Highway, Aldie; $45 for Friends of Ball’s Bluff members, $55 for non-members

Columbus Day Boat Race
Monday, Oct. 14; noon-2 p.m.
Make your own cardboard boat and then hike down with a park naturalist to Potomac Overlook Regional Park’s stream to race your boat against others’ creations. This event is aimed toward children ages 4 and up. // Potomac Overlook Regional Park: 2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington;$15

158th Anniversary of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff
Saturday, Oct. 19; times vary
Celebrate the 158th anniversary of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, which will include cannon firing, a Civil War-era band concert, reenactors acting out events and more. The evening will end with the lighting of 259 candles along the former cart path to remember those who died in battle. // Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park: Ball’s Bluff Road, Leesburg; free

Night Hike and Campfire – Nocturnal Wildlife
Saturday, Oct. 19; 7-8:30 p.m.
Head to Potomac Overlook Regional Park after sunset to explore the park under the moon, and learn about nocturnal wildlife with the help of a naturalist. Participants will be educated on why some animals are nocturnal and what makes them adapted to nightlife. The event will conclude with campfires and s’mores and is appropriate for children ages 6 and up. // Potomac Overlook Regional Park: 2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington;$10

Fall Foliage Weekend Photography Workshop
Oct. 25-26; 6-9:30 p.m.
Professional landscape photographer Scott Turnmeyer will take a group of amateur photographers to Shenandoah National Park to give them expert tips on photographing Virginia’s fall. The weekend will include an evening sunset hike, lessons on shooting sunrises, a waterfall workshop and more. // Shenandoah National Park, Dickey Ridge Visitor Center: 3655 U.S. 211, Luray; $30-$189

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