Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to get outdoors, enjoy the amusement parks and places to cool off, the wonderful state parks, and all the historical things to do the area has to offer. Here are some ideas to add to your summer bucket list.
Alexandria celebrates turning 274, along with feting the U.S.’ 247th birthday on Saturday, July 8. The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs and the fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. 100 Madison St., Alexandria
Rock out to Night Ranger at Capital One Hall on July 7. It’s the band’s 40th Anniversary Tour. The band released its 12th studio album called ATBPO, or “And the Band Played On,” an ode to making music during the pandemic. 7750 Capital One Tower Rd., Tysons, starting at $39.75
Wrestling enthusiasts can see Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Damian Priest, and others at EagleBank Arena July 15. Highlights include a WWE Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match with Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair. 4500 Patriot Cir., Fairfax, starting at $20
The self-guided, 75-mile driving tour through Spotsylvania County includes sights that are important to telling the county’s story of the history of the African American community. There is an interactive map for the 12 stops and 52-page brochure to guide you along. Spotsylvania County
The community-oriented farm in Prince William County is a great place to head for some weekend fun. Most weekends this summer include yoga by Lake Manassas and live music. And, of course, there’s the wine. Guests need to be at least 16. 15850 Sunshine Ridge Ln., Gainesville
Check Out First Friday Wine at Arterra Wines
Every first Friday through October, visit Arterra Wines in Delaplane for its “First Friday Wine Until 9” event. You can enjoy a flight of wine while watching the sunset and listening to a live folk music band. The winery can accommodate outdoor groups of up to 12 people and indoor groups of six. 1808 Leeds Manor Rd., Delaplane
Who knows, maybe Fido may be your good luck charm for this weekly, Thursday trivia night at Barkhaus, a dog-friendly bar. Trivia runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Members are free (one ticket per dog) and non-members pay $10. All dogs attending must be registered with Barkhaus with proof of vaccinations. 529 E. Howell Ave., Alexandria
Celebrate Carnivale at King’s Dominion
Beginning June 24, head to King’s Dominion for its Grand Carnivale, an international celebration with games, crafts, lots of food, and interactive street performers. The amusement park offers add-on packages to normal admission during the celebration, which runs through July 9. Extras in the add-ons include Grand Carnivale food tastings and free parking. Packages online start at $39.99. 16000 Theme Park Wy., Doswell
The Vola Lawson Shelter, operated by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, welcomes small groups for shelter tours to learn about animal care and animal welfare issues. Tours are appropriate for children ages 6 and older, and last between 30 to 45 minutes. Tours are offered based on availability and must be booked ahead of time, with a reservation fee of $50, which includes meeting animals and a question-and-answer session. Virtual tours are also an option. 4101 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria
Widewater State Park in Stafford sits on over 1,000 acres and includes, picnic shelters, playgrounds, hiking trails, and primative camping sites. Widewater is located on a peninsula where Aquia Creek and the Potomac River meet and has plenty of canoe-kayak launches for on-the-water fun. 101 Widewater State Park Rd., Stafford, $7 weekday vehicle admission fee, $10 on weekends
Get ready for a sunflower extravaganza this July and August at Great Country Farms. Cut-your-own sunflowers are $1 per stem, with the option to add on a mini French bucket with 10 cut-your-own stems. There will be a photo contest in July. 34345 Snickersville Tpk., Bluemont
Every third Friday in June through September, enjoy Chillin’ on Church in Vienna. The block partystyle celebration from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. typically has six to 10 food trucks and lots of family-friendly activities. 144 Maple Ave. E., Vienna
Go to the Loudoun County Fair
Mark your calendars for July 25–29 and head Loudoun County’s annual county fair. There will be rodeos, rides, a demolition derby, alligator shows, and a petting zoo. 17558 Dry Mill Rd., Leesburg, $5 cash parking
Take a Lick
Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? The Northern Virginia area has plenty of delicious options, including The Dairy Godmother in Alexandria, Great Falls Creamery, and Nathan’s Dairy Bar in Manassas. Various locations
Whether it’s David Engel, the Alphabet Rockers, or Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards, Wolf Trap’s children’s theater lineup is a great option for some fun. Most performances are in the morning. 1551 Trap Rd., Vienna
Summers here can get excruciatingly hot. Cool off at one of NoVA’s water parks. At SplashDown Waterpark, one of the largest, you’ll find the four-story slides of Pipeline Tower. 7500 Ben Lomond Park Rd., Manassas
The area has plenty of options if you’re looking to watch a movie outdoors. Free options are available in Rosslyn, Reston, Loudoun, South Riding, and Tysons.
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