Burke Lake Marina with Dad

Summer Fun with Dad and Father’s Day 2017 in Northern Virginia

We’ve rounded up special Father’s Day 2017 events plus anytime ideas for fun Northern Virginia outings with Dad all year long. We have suggestions that are active or relaxed, kid-friendly or adult-focused, and even some activities that are great for hard-to-please teens.

Adults Only?

Active Hikes with History, Wine, and Food

Combine a little history, a shady hike, and a relaxing glass of wine with a trip to Charming Clifton, including a hike on the Bull Run – Occoquan Trail, and a visit to Paradise Springs Winery or one of the restaurants in the center of town. We love the burgers and BLTs at the Main Street Pub.

Bull Run Occoquan trail Clifton Va

Bull Run Occoquan trail

Paradise Springs Winery Clifton Va

Paradise Springs Winery

Main St Pub BLT Clifton Va

Main St Pub BLT

 

For a more challenging hike, the 3 mile Great Falls Loop Hike follows trails along Difficult Run and the Potomac River in a less-visited section of Great Falls Park. History buffs open to a longer hike will enjoy the First Manassas Loop Trail, a 5.5 mile hike through sites of the battle of First Manassas, followed by a visit to the historic Winery at Bull Run. Or pack a picnic lunch and take Dad on a short hike to a gorgeous Virginia view. If the day is hot, we recommend the shady Great Falls hike over the open fields at Manassas Battlefield.

Potomac view from Cow Hoof Rock, Great Falls Park

Potomac view from Cow Hoof Rock, Great Falls Park

Manassas Battlefield loop hike

Manassas Battlefield loop hike

Relaxed Parks, Cold Drinks and Scenic Drives

For a relaxing stroll, head over to the beautiful wetlands boardwalk at  Huntley Meadows Park. It’s less than a mile from the Visitor Center to the observation tower along an ADA-compliant woodland path and half-mile boardwalk over a unique hemi-marsh. Or take a scenic drive on the Unpaved Roads of Loudoun County, stopping at farm stands, historic sites, and wineries along the way. Closer to DC, a scenic drive on Georgetown Pike and the George Washington Memorial Parkway offers a wealth of interesting views and stops.

Huntley Meadows boardwalk

Huntley Meadows boardwalk

Unpaved road Loudoun County VA

Unpaved roads of Loudoun County Virginia photo credit: Charles McCool

George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

Enjoy the unique brews at Ocelot Brewing Company in Ashburn and Caboose Brewing Company in Vienna. Both breweries offer a wonderful line-up of delicious craft beers in sleek, relaxed spaces, and Caboose is right on the W&OD bike trail. The LoCo Ale Trail has a large and growing collection of great breweries spread throughout Loudoun County. There are so many Northern Virginia craft breweries popping up, why not plan a regular outing with Dad?

Caboose Brewing Company Vienna

Caboose Brewing Company in Vienna VA

If Dad prefers wine, you can sip with a view at these Northern Virginia wineries.

Bluemont Vineyards view

Bluemont Vineyards view

Father’s Day 2017: Now in its 13th year, the Manassas Jazz Festival features headline artist Marcus Johnson with other special guests. Spend an intimate and relaxing afternoon enjoying great jazz and tasting wines from award-winning Virginia farm wineries and craft brewers. Advance tickets are $30/$20 for tasters/non-tasters. 12:00 – 7:00

Kids Included?

Little Ones with Energy to Burn

Lakes and festivals are always fun for the little ones. In addition to boating and fishing, Burke Lake features a miniature train, a carousel, and mini-golf. At Lake Fairfax Park you can enjoy a picnic, watch the action at the skate park, explore the lake from a paddleboat, then cool off at the Water Mine water park. Or rent a kayak on Lake Anne, then let the kids cool off in the waterfall sculpture.

Burke Lake Marina with Dad

Burke Lake Marina

Lake Fairfax paddleboats

Lake Fairfax paddleboats

 

Father’s Day 2017: Take foodie Dad’s to the Taste of Reston, where you can sample delicious food and drink, enjoy live entertainment, and entertain the kids at Reston Town Center. The festival is open Friday 3:00 – 11:00 and Saturday noon to 11:00.

Huntley Meadows and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens are both good destinations for young ones old enough to explore nature. We saw snakes, skinks, frogs, and a giant snapping turtle from the Huntley Meadows boardwalk, and there are giant turtles and koi in the pond at Meadowlark. The paths are stroller-friendly, and there are special places for kids to explore, and lovely spots to sit and relax with Dad.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens gazebo

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens gazebo

 

Inquisitive Big Kids and Tweens

The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum displays some of the most impressive items of their collection—including the space shuttle Discovery, a Concorde, and a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird—in two huge hangars at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.  Aviation buffs can easily spend a day exploring the displays, visiting the tower to watch planes land and take-off at neighboring Dulles Airport, and watching a movie at the IMAX.

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum catwalk view

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum catwalk view

AirandSpace-UdvarHazy-Aviation-event

Smithsonian Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Aviation event

 

Father’s Day 2017: Indulge Dad’s love of aviation at the Smithsonian’s Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display, perfect for adult and family outings. More than 50 vintage, recreational, military, and home-built aircraft will be on display, and pilots will be with their aircraft to answer questions. There will also be vintage cars on hand, paired with the planes of their decade, plus other interactive activities. Attendance is free; parking is $15. 10:00 – 3:00

History buffs will enjoy a visit to nearby Sully Historic Site, which highlights the early 19th century life of the Richard Bland Lee family, tenant farmers, and enslaved African Americans. Tour the main house and the outbuildings for a closer look at life in Fairfax County through the 20th century.

Father’s Day 2017: The 44th annual Sully Antique Car Show, the largest car show in northern Virginia, features foreign and American cars, trucks and specialty vehicles through 1990.  More than 400 antique and classic vehicles fill the grounds, accompanied by live entertainment, a food court, activities, and tours of the historic house and outbuildings. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. 10:00 – 3:30

Closer to DC, meet the Father of Our Country and explore history at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Just down the street, visit the 18th-century Gristmill and Distillery.

George Washington on Fathers Day at Mount Vernon

George Washington on Fathers Day at Mount Vernon

 

Father’s Day 2017: “General Washington” greets visitors and poses for photographs on Father’s Day weekend and discusses his role as husband, stepfather, and Father of Our Country in the program “Father to the First Family.” At the Gristmill and Distillery, demonstrations by costumed distillers take visitors through the historic process of whiskey-making in a reconstructed 18th-century distillery. Included with admission; 9:00 – 5:00.
Fairfax’s Day 2017: Head to Old Town to celebrate Fairfax County’s 275th Anniversary with fun and history on the grounds surrounding the Historic Fairfax Courthouse. Enjoy historically themed family-friendly activities, live musical performances, antique vehicles from the Police and Fire Departments, re-enactors and living history demonstration. 10:00 – 4:00.

Older Teens Who Crave Independence

Boating at Burke Lake gives older teens an opportunity to hang out with the family while maintaining a little independence. Teens 16 and older can pilot their own boat rental, so you’re together, but not too close.  There’s also an 18-hole disc golf course if you’re looking for a different sports challenge.

Canoeing on Burke Lake

Canoeing on Burke Lake

 

You and your teens can work up an appetite, then reap the rewards when you bike to barbecue on the W&OD. We’ve identified four options, from Purcellville to Reston, where you can score some ribs and other great bbq close to the popular bike trail. If you want to skip the exercise and just enjoy a relaxed meal on the patio, check out these spots for casual Outdoor Dining in Northern Virginia.

Carolina Bros bbq WandOD

Bike to bbq on the W&OD

 

Where do you like to spend quality time with a favorite Dad? Please share your tips in the comments below. We’re always looking for new places to explore in Northern Virginia.

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Northern Virginia events | We've rounded up special Father's Day 2017 events plus anytime ideas for fun Northern Virginia outings with Dad all year long.

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