Top 5 Outdoor Activities for Families in NoVa

Top 5 Outdoor Activities for Families in NoVa

Explore NoVa with Your Family! Looking for the perfect outdoor adventure in Northern Virginia? We've got you covered! Check out our list of the Top 5 Outdoor Activities for Families in NoVa and make unforgettable memories together. Whether it's hiking scenic trails or exploring local parks, there's something fun for everyone. Don't miss out on these exciting activities—get outside and start exploring today! 

1. On the Water

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center – Whether it's tubing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, or taking on their aerial adventure course, Harpers Ferry Adventure Center in western Loudoun offers something fun for every family member. Nestled on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, it's the perfect spot for a tranquil afternoon on the water.

Penguin Paddling & Hampton’s Landing Marina – Enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating on the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers. These activities provide a great way to soak up the sun while exploring the water.

Fairfax County Lakes and Parks – Rent kayaks and explore the scenic lakes, bays, and waterways of Fairfax County. From eagle-watching at Mason Neck State Park to enjoying the serene lakefront parks at Burke Lake or Lake Fairfax, there's plenty to see and do.

Alexandria Waterfront Parks – Have a family picnic with takeout at one of Alexandria's vibrant waterfront parks along the Potomac River.

2. Farm Visits

Great Country Farms – Take a scenic drive to Great Country Farms. With 400 acres, it offers pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, animal visits, mini-golf, and fishing in the pond.

The Little Goat Farm at the Lake – Located on beautiful Lake Manassas, this farm in Prince William County offers sustainable food and products from goats, alpacas, llamas, bees, and free-range chickens. Enjoy special events like Goat Yoga, Open House Farm Tours, Private Tours, Newborn Snuggling, and Private Parties. Reservations are required.

Arcadia Farm – Plan a volunteer day at Arcadia Farm. Help build garden beds, tend to chickens, seed and weed, and learn about farm life.

Frying Pan Farm Park – Spend quality time with farm animals at Frying Pan Farm Park, which preserves farm life from the 1920s to the 1950s. Enjoy the country store, old-time carousel, equestrian center, and nature trails.

3. Hiking & Biking

Theodore Roosevelt Island – Escape to the outdoors with a visit to Theodore Roosevelt Island, a 91-acre wooded sanctuary with trails for hiking and running, right in the heart of an urban environment.

Neabsco Creek Boardwalk – This ¾-mile boardwalk offers access to wetlands where tall grasses and marshes filter river pollution and provide rich habitats for local wildlife. It's also part of the Potomac Heritage National Trail, an 800-mile network stretching from Pennsylvania to Virginia.

Gravelly Point – Walk or bike along the Mount Vernon Trail to Gravelly Point, where you can watch planes fly to and from Reagan National Airport. It's one of the best spots in the U.S. for airplane-spotting. Bring a picnic, frisbee, or bike and enjoy scenic views of Washington, D.C., and the Potomac River.

Fairfax County Bike Trails – Support local bicycle businesses by grabbing a coffee or juice before hitting the trails. Check out Green Lizard Cycling in Herndon and The Bike Lane in Reston, both located off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, a 45-mile paved path through three counties.

Unlimited Biking & Pedego Electric Bikes – Rent bikes from Unlimited Biking or Pedego Electric Bikes in Alexandria and ride into D.C. or along the Mount Vernon Trail. While cycling, look out for fish, turtles, and bald eagles in the tidal marsh.

4. Camping

Leesylvania State Park

Leesylvania State Park offers five tent-only campsites, including one large group area and four individual spots for those arriving by canoe or kayak. The group campsite features picnic tables, benches, running water, and a large fire pit with a grill top, along with plenty of space for recreational activities. Individual sites include a picnic table, a fire pit with grill top, and a lantern hook, all near a small boat launch. The park is well-known for its excellent fishing, swimming beaches, and historical hiking trails.

Amenities include:

  • Universally accessible fishing pier

  • Playground

  • Boat launch and storage area

  • Snack bar and store

  • Visitor center and gift shop

  • 20-station fitness trail

  • Canoe and kayak rentals

Algonkian Regional Park

In Loudoun, you can rent one of 12 vacation cottages along the Potomac River at Algonkian Regional Park. Each cottage offers decks, grills, full kitchens, and multiple bedrooms, making it perfect for a secluded getaway. During your stay, enjoy the park's 18-hole golf course, hiking trails, and boat launch for water activities.

Prince William Forest Park

Prince William Forest Park boasts 3 front-country campgrounds, 1 back-country campground, and 5 cabin camps, ideal for both tent and RV camping in the Northern Virginia/DC area. Visitors can explore 15,000 wooded acres rich with wildlife and over 300 years of human history. Activities include hiking on 37 miles of trails, on and off-road biking, bird watching, orienteering, and fishing in streams and ponds (permit required and available at the Visitor Center).

5. History, Parks, and More

Great Walks in Alexandria

Explore Alexandria's self-guided Great Walks, with themes ranging from centuries-spanning architecture to photo-friendly artwork and expansive Black history. Use our accompanying Google Map to plan your route, but feel free to take detours and discover hidden gems along the way.

Air Force Memorial

Situated on a beautiful hillside, the Air Force Memorial honors the service and sacrifice of U.S. airmen with three stainless steel spires that evoke the image of jet and space vehicle flight. Admission and parking are free, and it's located close to Arlington National Cemetery, about a mile from both Pentagon City Station and Pentagon Station.

Gulf Branch Nature Center & Park

This 38-acre wooded area is a sensory delight for young children, featuring a log cabin, interactive exhibits, and a working blacksmith’s forge. If you're short on time, nearby urban playgrounds like Quincy Park in Virginia Square and Rocky Run Park in Clarendon offer great alternatives for burning off energy.

Go Ape! Zip Line & Treetop Adventure

Experience the thrill of soaring through forests on one of four courses designed for both adults and youth. It's an adventure you won't forget!

Roer’s Zoofari

This local zoo is home to Waffles the Giraffe, lemurs, zebras, kangaroos, cheetahs, and more. If you prefer not to leave your car, book a spot on the Self-Drive Safari Tour. You'll get up close with nine different species, including bison, llamas, fallow deer, and more.

Colvin Run Mill

A hidden gem, this 19th-century historic site features a working waterwheel, miller’s house, blacksmith forge, scenic walking areas, and a general store where you can purchase cornmeal and flour produced on site.

George Mason’s Gunston Hall

Discover the life of Founding Father George Mason, often called the father of the Bill of Rights, at his iconic home, Gunston Hall. The mansion tour includes opportunities for archaeology and hiking, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

(571) 517-2012

12923 Fitzwater Dr. Nokesville, VA 20155 
(703) 594-3800 |

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