Newsletter
Fireworks (via Jorgen Kesseler/Flickr)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday, Dec. 28

  • Open Mic — 6 p.m. at Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive) — Grab some beer and hear from a mix of musicians.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

  • Outdoor Sharpie Tile Art for Kids — 5-6 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — Create a design with Sharpies in a program for kids ages 5 to 10.

Thursday, Dec. 30

  • ‘Make Me Happy’ — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Falls Church Arts Gallery (700-B W. Broad St.) — Check out the works of three dozen artists, centered on works that make people smile. Free. Continues through Jan. 30.

Friday, Dec. 31

  • Countdown to None 5K — 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Old Red Caboose (204D Mill St. NE) — A fundraiser for type 1 diabetes research, the virtual 5K concludes with an in-person race and celebration in the Town of Vienna. There will be music, food, and more, with all proceeds going to the organization JDRF.
  • NYE ’80s Glow Party with DJ D — 8 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) — Get your ’80s-inspired neon outfits out to win prizes and enjoy this retro dance environment. Tickets start at $35. Doors open at 7 p.m.
  • The 8th Annual Grandiose NYE Gala — 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (7920 Jones Branch Drive) — Celebrate New Year’s Eve with three ballrooms of entertainment featuring complimentary lite fare, a champagne toast, and more. Cost starts at $80.

Saturday, Jan. 1

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights — 5-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens — Enjoy lights and holiday scenes in this annual transformation, which has its last day on Sunday (Jan. 2). Tickets for those ages 2 and over are $18 each.

Sunday, Jan. 2

  • The Gift of Language — 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mosaic District (920 District Ave.) — A cultural immersion program shares stories in Spanish, games, and arts and crafts at FRESHFARM’s weekly farmers market.

Photo via Jorgen Kesseler/Flickr

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The Winter Walk of Lights in the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (courtesy NOVA Parks)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday, Dec. 20

  • Winter Break Trip: UNO’s Pizza Making & Movie — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. day trip to Union Station in D.C. and AMC theatres — Students ages 10 through 14 can learn how to make deep-dish pizza at UNO’s and then enjoy a movie afterward, thanks to the Old Firehouse Teen Center in McLean. Cost is $65 for residents.
  • Holiday Yarn Trees — 3-5 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — Library staff will provide all the supplies needed to craft winter-themed tree decor in this activity for people aged 8 to 18. With room capacity limited to 40 people, advance registration is required, and masks remain mandatory in all Fairfax County facilities.

Tuesday, Dec. 21

  • Jammin Java Songwriters Circle — 8 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) — Local singers and songwriters share stories and music. Cost is $16. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 22

  • Needlecraft Circles — 1-2 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Library (7415 Arlington Boulevard) — Join other older adults to learn a new needlecraft. Supplies provided.

Thursday, Dec. 23

Friday, Dec. 24

  • Photos with Santa — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — It’s your last chance to ask Old Saint Nick what you want for Christmas. He will accept walk-in visits on Dec. 23 and 24 after hearing from good boys and girls daily by reservation since Nov. 12.

Saturday, Dec. 25

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights — 5-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) in Wolf Trap — Enjoy lights and holiday scenes in this annual transformation, which goes through Jan. 2. The tickets for those ages 2 and over are $18 each.

Sunday, Dec. 26

  • “Traveling While Black” — noon-6 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — A virtual reality movie shows participants’ part in the struggle for racial justice. One-hour appointments are available for the exhibit, which runs through Feb. 12.
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The historic farmhouse at Cherry Hill Farm (via City of Falls Church)

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday, Nov. 22

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights— 5:30-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) in Wolf Trap — Enjoy lights and holiday scenes in this annual transformation, which will stick around through Jan. 2. For those ages 2 and over, cost is $16 plus fees or $20 for an onsite ticket.

Tuesday, Nov. 23

  • “Let’s Get Loud” — 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave. East) in Vienna — Up-and-coming guitarist and singer Zach Person shows off his unique brand of bluesy rock after an opening by D.C. experimental band Tired All The Time. Tickets start at $12 plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test from the previous 72 hours is required.

Wednesday, Nov. 24

  • History of Broadway — 1 p.m. at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — A six-part documentary continues with an episode about the history of the Broadway musical. Registration required.

Thursday, Nov. 25

  • Virtual Thanksgiving Family Storytime (Online) — 11-11:30 a.m. — Public facilities and most businesses will be closed for the holiday, but for families with young kids in need of entertainment, the Kingstowne Library staff is here to help, with half an hour of books and songs. Register a day in advance to receive the Zoom link.

Friday, Nov. 26

  • Holiday Tree Lighting + Santa Firetruck Parade — 7-9 p.m. at Strawberry Park at the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave.) — Santa and firetrucks come to the Mosaic shopping area for a tree lighting. Kris Kringle will also meet with visitors at the Target lobby afterward, and a showing of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will start at 7:30 p.m. at the park.
  • “Secret Things” — 8 p.m. at 1st Stage Theatre (1524 Spring Hill Road) — A journalist investigates mysterious tips in her hometown involving Mexican-Americans and Judaism. Tickets are $50 with steep discounts available. Following the debut performance, the show runs through Dec. 12.

Saturday, Nov. 27

  • A Very Victorian Christmas Open House — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave.) in Falls Church — Enjoy period decorations with costume-wearing reenactors and learn how former owners of the property, the Blaisdell family, celebrated the holiday in the 1860s. Free.

Sunday, Nov. 28

  • “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical” — 3 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) in Tysons — From original songs to choreographed dancing, start the Christmas season with this heartfelt two-act musical. Tickets start at $32.95 plus fees.
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Morning Notes

Editor’s Note: Tysons Reporter is following a lighter publishing schedule today (Friday) for Veterans Day weekend.

Falls Church Police Seek Man in Sexual Assault Case — “The City of Falls Church Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the pictured individual who was in the area at the time of an assault. Late night on Wednesday, November 10, an adult female was sexually assaulted in the vicinity of 444 W. Broad St.” [City of Falls Church]

County to Add Veteran Services Coordinator — “Today, I’m excited to share that we will be hiring a Veteran’s Services Coordinator to improve the well-being of veterans in our community. This person will help vets access resources and advocate for new tools to help our veterans. Thank you to our vets for your service!” [Chairman Jeff McKay/Twitter]

See Marshall HS Veterans Day Display — “Students, staff, and parent volunteers at Fairfax County’s Marshall High School set up close to 400 American flags outside the school on Wednesday afternoon. The display is a tradition at Marshall, installed twice a year ahead of both Veterans Day and Memorial Day.” [ABC7]

County Adopts Plan to Eliminate Waste — “On Nov. 9, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Fairfax County Government and Schools Zero Waste Plan. This sets county government and Fairfax County Public Schools on a path toward zero waste by 2030 with two goals: diverting 90% of waste away from landfills or incinerators and decreasing the total amount of waste generated by 25%.” [Fairfax County Government]

Meadowlark Replaces Korean Bell Garden Totems — “Four freshly carved wooden totem poles — representing a king, queen, bride and groom — now stand guard over the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in the Vienna area. NOVA Parks officials held an installation ceremony for the poles Nov. 8…Traditionally placed at the entrances of Korean villages, the totem poles symbolically protect residents from misfortune.” [Sun Gazette]

Roaming Rooster Grand Opening Tomorrow — “Great news RR Fam! Rooster #5, our first VA location, officially hatches in Tysons Corner this weekend. As part of our grand opening, we will be giving out free samples, RR merch, and $20 gift cards randomly throughout the day on Sat & Sun. Come check us out!” [Roaming Rooster/Twitter]

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Forget the Tidal Basin. Fairfax County has a few prime cherry blossom-viewing sites of its own.

This includes Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Reston’s Van Gogh Bridge, and along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

The blooming, pink-tinged flowers have long served as a symbolic announcement of spring’s arrival in the D.C. area, but the sight might be especially welcome this year after a winter that proved challenging for reasons only partly related to the weather.

“It [always] gets quite busy here this time of the year,” Meadowlark park specialist Jeff Hill said. “But this year, there’s a slight edge of frenziness to it.”

Run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks), Meadowlark is home to at least 60 to 80 cherry trees, a number of which are the same species as the ones at the Tidal Basin (Yoshino). The oldest ones were planted back in the late 1980s, while other cherry trees were planted more recently over the past several years.

Hill says that, particularly in the last four or five years, the trees have grown “exponentially in popularity.”

They are scattered throughout the 95-acre property, but mostly concentrated near the Visitor’s Center and down by the lakes.

According to Hill, the ones closer to the Visitor’s Center are already in bloom and are nearing their peak. The trees by the lakes just started to open earlier this week, so those blossoms should be nearing peak bloom as well by this weekend.

However, the recent cold weather could majorly impact them.

“Anything that’s in full bloom right now, will probably be affected the hardest,” Hill said. “Not only is it cold, they’ve been calling for pretty significant winds.”

However, he says that, since they haven’t fully opened up yet, the trees by the lakes “maybe able to skirt by” and remain on schedule to bloom come this weekend.

In terms of care, the staff at Meadowlark rarely interfere with the cherry trees aside from periodic pruning, monitoring for insects and fungi, and mulching.

“We try to leave things to be as natural as possible,” Hill says.

With the gardens expected to be very busy this weekend, Hill recommends visiting during the week if possible. Capacity limits are in effect, but since the grounds are so large, crowds should be minimized if people spread out.

“With the Tidal Basin so busy and popular, people are just looking for an alternative site,” Hill said. “[Meadowlark] is a great place because you have the water, you have the cherry trees…everything you need for a cherry blossom-style festival.”

As for the cherry trees near Van Gogh Bridge at Lake Anne in Reston, one is owned by the Waterview Cluster and the others by the Washington Plaza Cluster Organization.

Those trees date back to at least the early 1980s, according to the Reston Association, which does not own the trees, but occasionally prunes them to keep pathways clear.

The Van Gogh bridge was built in 1965 to link the Waterview and Washington Plaza clusters. It was designed by William Roehl, who also designed the nearby Swing.

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The weather is getting warmer and the sun is shining longer, but spring really arrives in D.C. when the thousands of cherry trees around the Tidal Basin start to bloom.

Organizers announced on March 1 that this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 20 through April 11. The National Park Service currently predicts that the flowers will be in peak bloom sometime between April 2 and 5.

With COVID-19 still posing health risks after mostly shutting down last year’s showcase, the 2021 festival has been reimagined in a less concentrated format with a combination of in-person and virtual activities that will encompass the entire D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

In addition to promoting regionwide events, such as the “Art in Bloom” sculptures and “Petal Porch Parade,” Fairfax County will host events of its own in coordination with the larger festival, many of them designed to showcase local gardens and parks or celebrate the coming of spring.

Supported by Visit Fairfax, the county’s official tourism organization, the festivities include:

  • Festival Central (March 20-April 11): The Fairfax County Visitor Center at Tysons Corner Center will provide free cherry blossom-themed souvenirs and information about the festival. It will also host its annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Day from 1-3 p.m. on March 27, which will feature a calligraphy demonstration.
  • The Science Behind Flowers (March 20-April 11): A program on botanical chemistry, invasive and native plants, ecological restoration, and other flower-related topics will stream online throughout the festival, courtesy of the Children’s Science Center.
  • Spring Fling Tour (March 27): Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon will have “special stations” throughout its nature trail “to build a fairy house” and provide Japanese tea at its meeting house.
  • Wabi-Sabi: Embracing Imperfection (March 28): Alexandria’s Green Spring Gardens will host a program on wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy focused on finding beauty in an imperfect natural world. Attendees will get tea samples and traditional sweets in an optional tea box. The event costs $12-24 and requires advance online registration.
  • Spring-Themed Drive-in Movies (April 3-4): Mosaic District is resuming its drive-in movie screenings with a pair of double features, starting with “Mary Poppins” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” followed by “Hop” and “42.” Tickets cost $28 per car and can be purchased online.
  • Community Market and Workshops (April 10): The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton will feature cherry blossom-inspired artwork, a marketplace, and various workshops, including origami crafts, haiku contests, and Japanese drumming.
  • Plants & Design (April 10): Led by horticulturalist Bevan Shimizu, Green Spring Gardens will offer a virtual, hour-long program about Japanese-style garden design. The program costs $18 and requires advance registration.

Visit Fairfax also advises residents and visitors to take the opportunity provided by the festival to tour the county’s parks, including Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, which has a lake surrounded by more than 100 cherry trees.

Though the format is different this year, Visit Fairfax president and CEO Barry Biggar says the influx of tourism that typically accompanies the annual cherry blossom festival has long benefitted not just the nation’s capital, but also the D.C. region as a whole.

“The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the nation’s greatest celebrations of spring and Visit Fairfax has been a proud supporter for many, many years,” Biggar said. “…People may come because they are familiar with the blossoms along the Tidal Basin, but we encourage visitors and residents to also explore some of the wonderful cultural events and attractions, spacious gardens and parks, and beautiful cherry trees that exist beyond the city.”

The festival will kick off at 6 p.m. on March 20 with a virtual opening ceremony. A full programming guide can be found on the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

Photo courtesy Visit Fairfax

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Nov. 10)

  • On Deck with Mercury — 5-7 p.m. at Vienna Community Center’s Southside Room (120 Cherry St. E) — This month’s community forum with Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton will focus on sidewalk projects, the Town says.
  • Mayor @ Your Service — 7:30 p.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St. S) — Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will talk about volunteerism during the COVID-19 pandemic in a presentation and conversation about Town programs and initiatives, Vienna history, or other topics of interest.

Wednesday (Nov. 11)

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walks of Lights — 5:30-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights is open nightly starting Wednesday (Nov. 11) through Sunday (Jan. 3), the website says. The price ranges from $9 to $15.

Thursday (Nov. 12)

  • Cross Stitch Crafternoon (Online) — 3-3:30 p.m. — Join the Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s Facebook page to get started on a cross stitch project, the City of Falls Church website says. Craft kits are available for pick up at MRSPL (120 N. Virginia Ave.) through Thursday (Nov. 19). The craft video will remain on the MRSPL Facebook page in the Crafternoon playlist.

Saturday (Nov. 14)

  • Yoga and Beer — 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Solace Outpost (444 West Broad St.) — Roll out your mat on the spacious patio of Solace Outpost, in the heart of Falls Church, for an hour-long mindful movement experience, the website said. The cost is $25, which includes the yoga class and one beer. Participants should bring their own mat and wear a mask.
  • Sing Books with Emily (Online) — 11-11:45 a.m. — Join the Mary Riley Styles Public Library through its Facebook page for a morning of stories and songs with Ms. Emily, the website said.
  • Snack and Paint — 1-3 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Snack and Paint is an instructor-led painting class for teens that have painted before or not at all, the website said. The cost is $35. Participants will paint a fall-themed picture. To register, use this link.

Photo via Meadowlark Botanical Gardens/Facebook

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