Tysons Corner, VA

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods is back at Wolf Trap for a new series of concerts and shows aimed at children and their parents.

Since 1971, the program has been an annual tradition at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Acts vary from puppetry to dance and music.

The first performance will be David Engel’s Willy Wonka-themed magic show on June 18 and 19. The event is planned to include bubble-play and puppetry.

Performances run Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m., beginning June 18 and running through August 3. Tickets range from $10 to $12 and children under two may attend free of charge.

Other upcoming shows include:

For the adults, this summer’s concert series feature Lionel Richie and other big-name acts.

Photo via Wolf Trap

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This summer, you can find love touring around Fairfax County — a tour that will start next month in Tysons.

As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, Fairfax County received a $10,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to send series of letters spelling out “LOVE” around the county.

According to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority:

Fairfax County will receive its first permanent ‘LOVEwork’ sign, which will embark on a Summer of LOVE tour to county attractions. The LOVE tour will kick off on the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center from May 9 to May 19, coinciding with National Travel & Tourism Week.

The sign is also scheduled to be displayed at Caboose Commons in Merrifield from June 26 to July 1.

It will make an appearance in the Tysons area at Wolf Trap, where it will be displayed from July 12 to July 24, before eventually being sent to the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton as part of a permanent display.

Photo via Virginia Tourism Corporation

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The Filene Center at Wolf Trap has an extensive summer lineup featuring famous rockers and R&B groups from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, along with some well-known country artists.

Tysons Reporter rounded up the noteworthy concerts coming to the outdoor amphitheater.

Photo via Wolf Trap 

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April performances at The Barns at Wolf Trap feature a mix of music, from folk to acapella to instrumental.

Omara Portuondo, an 88-year-old Cuban singer and dancer who has been compared to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, will bring her signature flair from April 23-24. Tickets start at $50.

The Secret Sisters (real-life sisters  Laura and Lydia Rogers) are set to bring their haunting folk songs to the stage on April 19. Their 2017 album “You Don’t Own Me Anymore” earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. The stop at Wolf Trap is a part of the duo’s current tour. Tickets cost $25.

Singer-songwriter Storm Large will also take to the stage to perform a range of songs, from Cole Porter to Pat Benatar.

You might have seen her as a contestant on the CBS reality television show “Rock Star: Supernova.” Large has an eclectic background. She started as a rock artist before transitioning into the theater and cabaret world. Tickets are $55.

The list of Wolf Trap events in April:

The full Wolf Trap schedule is available online.

Photo via Wolf Trap 

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It’s a season of duets and intimate conversations for The Barns at Wolf Trap.

First up is Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti and her mother, former Broadway star Linda Benanti, for a musical performance about the relationship between mothers and daughters. Laura Benanti performed in several Broadway productions like “Gypsy”, for which she won Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Linda starred in the 1981 revival of Brigadoon. The show will have two performances on March 9. Tickets start at $40.

Comedy troupe The Second City will also have five improvised comedy shows from March 20-23. Alumni of the group include Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell and Bill Murray. Tickets start at $30.

Finally, the venue will host “An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash” on March 25, 27 and 28. Nash is a singer-songwriter and a founding member of Crosby, Stills & Nash and The Hollies. Among his many accolades, Nash is a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Award winner, New York Times bestselling author and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Tickets start at $85.

Here’s the full list of Wolf Trap events in March:

The full Wolf Trap schedule is available online.

Photo via Wolf Trap

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McLean, like nearby Great Falls and Wolf Trap, are all still in the Top 50 for Bloomberg’s 2019 Richest Places ranking, but the elite suburban communities took a dip in this year’s rankings.

McLean’s average household income is $283,992, a slight increase over 2016’s $280,225 and 2015’s $268,997, which was what the 2018 rankings were based on.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the locality from falling five spots in this year’s ranking. It was surpassed by newcomers like Rumson, a wealthy corner of Monmouth County in New Jersey.

Great Falls ranked higher than McLean, at number 16 in the rankings. It too took a hit, falling from a lofty 14th place with its $309,599 average household income.

Wolf Trap, currently ranked 42nd, fell three places. The neighborhood’s average household income is $251,610.

Overall, Fairfax County was ranked second in U.S. News & World Report’s richest counties, with a median household income of $117,515, between Loudoun County in first place and Howard County, Maryland in third place.

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After years of petitioning and planning, it looks like Wolftrap Elementary will finally be getting some long-requested sidewalk upgrades.

The school was included on a list of transportation alternatives project submissions from the county to receive state grants. The Wolftrap Elementary School Crosswalk Improvement Project was awarded a $200,000 grant, with a local cash match of $50,000 approved at yesterday’s (Tuesday) Board of Supervisors meeting.

According to the staff report:

The extreme width of the roadway encourages illegal passing of vehicles stopped for children in the crosswalk, whether manned by the School Crossing Guard or not. The project consists of 7-foot to 15-foot bump outs and an 8-foot median refuge for the crosswalk (including evaluation for potential pedestrian beacon device), and creation of a channelized southbound right turn lane, on-road bike lanes, and transitional median striping as road diet treatments.

Wolftrap Elementary is at the heart of the residential network between Vienna and its namesake Wolf Trap National Park to the north, but despite this prime location for walkability, the school can be a challenge.

There is currently only one crosswalk to the school across the busy Beulah Road and only one narrow, cracked sidewalk. The other side of the road drops off into a ditch or undergrowth.

According to the school’s Parent-Teacher Association website, traffic on Beulah Road has increased over the last few years as GPS applications have increasingly directed drivers onto the once-quiet street into a shortcut from the Dulles Toll Road to Route 123 as part of an unofficial mini-beltway around Tysons. As county staff stated in their report, the PTA website indicates local parents witnessed the same issue.

“It is safest to cross if our crossing guard is present, but unsafe before and after her approximately 15-20 minute shift in the mornings and afternoons,” the PTA said. “Some drivers even ignore her, driving through the crosswalk when she directs cars to stop.”

The PTA website also indicated that cars frequently speed around the site, empowered by unclear speed limit signage.

“Cars are driving very fast, and the speed limit is ambiguous, either 25 or 35 mph,” the PTA said. “The speed limit is only definitively 25 mph when the lights are flashing around the time of morning arrival and afternoon dismissal from school.”

The PTA said the heavy traffic and unsafe crossing conditions currently confines traffic across the intersection to the few hours where it is monitored by a crossing guard.

Under the agreement, the county will manage the construction and maintenance of the improvements.

Photo via Google Maps

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Miss your chance to see Marvel mega-hit and Best Picture-nominated Black Panther? It’s coming back to AMC theaters this weekend, including the theater in Tysons Corner Center, for free.

Screenings are at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Feb. 1-7.

Today (Friday) also marks the start of celebrations for the Chinese New Year. TenPenh Tysons is offering a special Chinese New Year meal from today until Tuesday (Feb. 5). The offer includes four dishes — like lion’s head soup and vegetable lo mein noodles —  representing different virtues. The meals are $36.68 per person.

Several local bars are also hosting Super Bowl parties, including Blackfinn Ameripub, Greenhouse Bistro, Caboose Tavern, and the Tysons Biergarten.

Saturday (Feb. 2)

  • Deer Management Strategies (10 a.m.-12 p.m.) — Roger Zinn, Merrifield plant specialist, will host a discussion at the Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Highway) on how to handle deer in your gardens, from water resistant plants and deer repellents.
  • The Princess Bride – Family Flashback (10 a.m.-12 p.m.) — The Angelika Film Center in the Mosaic District (2911 District Ave) will hold a screening of The Princess Bride. Tickets are $12.50 and seating is reserved.
  • Lunar New Year Celebration (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) — The Tysons Corner Center will host a cultural performance and celebration of the Year of the Pig in the court outside the Nordstrom. Arts and crafts will be available, with family-friendly activities.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1 p.m.) — The Alden Theater in the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave) will host a production of The Wizard of Oz by Vital Theatre. The one-hour is a family-friendly musical. Tickets are $15 or $10 for McLean residents.
  • Vienna’s African American History (2-3:30 p.m.) — Gloria Runyon and Sylvia Taylor from Historic Vienna Inc. will share insights on the African-American historic presence and contributions to Vienna and surrounding areas at the Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Ave E).

Sunday

  • Post Office Passport Fair (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) — The Merrifield Post Office (8409 Lee Highway) will host a passport photo to help locals obtain or renew a passport. Appointments are not required. A full list of necessary documents is available online
  • Winter Forest Trail Walk at Wolf Trap National Park (1-3 p.m.) — Friends of Wolf Trap will host a winter hike through the park. Tickets are free but RSVP is required. The two-mile hike is open to families and leashed dogs. Sturdy shoes are recommended. The Hike starts at the Filene Center Box Office (1551 Trap Rd).
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If you’re one of the commuters who likes to rush along the twists and turns of Bellview Road, your joyriding days may be numbered.

Bellview Road is a two-lane street running through a neighborhood north of Wolf Trap littered with mansions, but it also has the distinction of being a favored route of various map applications connecting Old Dominion Drive to Leesburg Pike.

“It’s a windy, narrow road and one that deals with a significant amount of cut-through traffic,” said Supervisor John Foust.

A series of traffic calming measures approved at yesterday’s (Tuesday) Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting will add seven new speed humps along Bellview Road and one on Ingleside Avenue, closer to downtown McLean.

As VDOT was planning its restrictions of cut-throughs in McLean, Ingleside Avenue was considered but was ruled ineligible for some of the larger restrictions but was considered qualified for other traffic calming.

In November, the Dranesville District Supervisor confirmed that the local community was in support of the traffic calming measures. Foust said there’s no specific date determined for when the speed humps will be installed, but said they would be installed “as soon as possible.”

Photo via Google Maps

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The Barns at Wolf Trap don’t feature as many big names in February as in previous months, but there’s plenty of excitement in next month’s musical lineup.

Most of the biggest performances are tributes to classic rock, folk and classical performances.

On Feb. 2, Dustbowl Revival will be performing a mashup of traditional Americana music with modern dance music in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Band. They will be performing alongside Austin-based Hot Club of Cowtown, a jazz and western swing band. Tickets range from $32 for rear orchestra or side balcony seats to $37 for prime orchestra or prime balcony.

While you’ll never get a chance to see The Beatles live, the next best thing might be the cover band 1965 The Tribute, performing on Feb. 14 and 15. The performance starts at 8 p.m. and tickets range from $38-$42.

On Feb. 22, Pianist Wu Han will lead a small ensemble in an “exploration of Schubert’s oeuvre.” Following the performance, attendees will have a chance to meet the artists at a dessert reception. Tickets are $40.

The list of Wolf Trap events in February:

The full Wolf Trap schedule is available online.

Photo via Wolf Trap

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