If you’re ready to create the ultimate Northern Virginia family holiday photo this year, look no further than these six great options. Start planning for the next nice afternoon, don your holiday best, and head to these parks from Alexandria to Vienna and in between.
Jones Point Park is located on the Potomac River and at one point was a critical piece of Alexandria’s history as one of the nation’s largest centers for shipping, manufacturing, and transportation. Its lighthouse was built in 1855 and is the last riverine lighthouse in the state.
Photography-wise, it has lots of interesting nature, architecture, and a big open field. Golden hour makes for lovely shots but if you have kids that behave better in the earlier hours, mornings are gorgeous as the sun rises over the water. Jones Point Drive, Alexandria
Featuring a spectacular memorial rose garden with over 100 varieties of roses, Bon Air Park Rose Garden is a great choice for family pictures. Whether the flowers are in bloom or not, the park is full of meticulously groomed lawns and brick paths begging for adorable portraits of your loved ones. 850 N. Lexington St., Arlington
The quiet 95 acres of land features wooded trails, colorful plants, and a pond. It doesn’t disappoint in December, either — the garden comes to life with nature-inspired light displays. Don’t forget to plan ahead — portrait photography reservations are available for two-hour sessions for $50 plus the cost of admission for each guest. You can book a reservation here. 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna
This 650-acre park includes forests, streams, and a pond. In warmer months, you can make a day of your photo session by exploring a pollinator garden, historic kitchen garden, and more. The land has a history that extends back 8,000 years. FYI: make sure to tell your photographer that they must obtain a photography permit for $25 (this can be purchased online). More information on photography rules can be found here. 5040 Walney Rd., Chantilly
Over 1,000 acres of space makes Bull Run Regional Park a great place for family photos. If you’re feeling extra festive, you may want to wear red to compliment all the lush greenery in the park. If you book a late enough session, you can stick around to drive through the Bull Run Festival of Lights before you head home. Now through January 11, the park closes at 4:30 p.m. due to the light show. 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville
Nestled into 800 acres along the banks of the Potomac, Great Falls Park is steeped in history. If you’re interested in a place with a lot of intriguing background information, the park is a wonderful option for family portraits this holiday season. Great Falls Park was at one time a trading place, fishing area, canal, and town in itself. Up until the early 1970s, there was an amusement park there, too! Keep in mind, there are permits needed for certain activities within the park, including filming. More on those can be found here. 9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean
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