With Thanksgiving coming this Thursday, it is a perfect time to show how thankful you are for your local parks. Whether you want to get in a quick round of golf or take in the local wildlife, here are seven local park events to show your appreciation.
Wednesday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Spend your extra time off outdoors this Thanksgiving with the park’s photo contest. Head over to Mason Neck State Park to take amazing photos of your outdoor adventures. This annual event awards the winner a $500 gift certificate to Virginia State Parks and other prizes. // Mason Neck State Park: 7301 High Point Road, Lorton; free
Thursday, 8 a.m.-noon
Get in a quick round of golf before your turkey day feast at the Pohick Bay Golf Course. The fee includes a round of golf and cart rental. Participants can register for the tournaments at the Pro Shop. // Pohick Bay Golf Course: 10301 Gunston Road, Lorton; $40
Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Instead of shopping, head outdoors this Black Friday for a fun competition. Make your way to the golf course to see who can get closest to the pin and who has the longest drive. Participants can sign up at the Pro Shop. // Algonkian Golf Course: 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling; free
Saturday, 10-11 a.m.
Take your little ones on a search for wild turkeys at the park. Walk through the cedar forest to learn about their habits and secret ways as you look for wild turkey signs. // Ellanor C. Lawrence Park: 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly; $6
Sunday, 10 a.m.-noon
Tap into the local history this weekend with a hike around Fort C.F. Smith Park. During this two-mile hike, participants will learn about the creation of the District, and the surrounding boundary markers that still exist in the neighborhood. Registration is required. // Fort C.F. Smith Park: 2411 24th St. N., Arlington; free
Sunday, 11 a.m.-noon
Put on your hiking boots for the annual Tundra Swan Hike. The one-mile walk will take participants to the bird blind to see one of Northern Virginia’s largest concentrations of Tundra Swans. Sturdy shoes are recommended. // Mason Neck State Park: 7301 High Point Road, Lorton; free
Through Jan. 3, times vary
With the holidays coming up, it is the perfect time to get in the spirit. Start off your holiday festivities with the annual Ice & Lights display in Alexandria. Spend hours walking through the lights, ice skating and checking out the new love letters. // Cameron Run Regional Park: 4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria; $9.35
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