Work on Your Axe
6632 Electronic Drive
<bt>The Space is Springfield's newest music venue/practice facility. It's a place where musicians can rehearse, meet like-minded performers or enjoy the latest, up-and-coming band.
Hail Hair Metal Bands
Jaxx Concert Hall and Night Club
6355 Rolling Road
Bands like Blue Oyster Cult, W.A.S.P., the Misfits, Molly Hatchet and Kix headline this Springfield rock club, which is dedicated to keeping the legacy of metal rock alive — although the club also features the occasional hip-hop act and acoustic show. Oh, and Vanilla Ice, too. Shows with prominent names frequently sell out. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 202-432-SEAT. The club features a full menu that ranges from nachos to Shrimp Fra Diavlo, a.k.a. Shrimp of the Devil.
Listen by the Lake
Braddock Nights Music Concerts
Lake AccotinkSpringfieldRoyal Lake Fairfax
<bt>Three different venues offer free summer entertainment every Friday night during the summer (weather permitting). Classic rock, roots rock, pop, bluegrass, swing, country ... even polka and sea chanteys were featured in this season's lineup. The concerts are billed as a celebration of the community in concert, and that's exactly how they feel. Performances are from early June to late August, and begin at 7:30 p.m. — in fact, it's encouraged that concertgoers have a flashlight handy for leaving the facilities. Call 703-425-9300 for more information.
Sing with the Barbershop Quartet
Liberty Middle School
6801 Union Mill Road
The Centreville chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quarter Singing was founded in 1995 and formally chartered in 1996 as the Centreville chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. The Sounds of America chorus competes in singing competitions in the Mid-Atlantic District. Rehearsal is every Wednesday from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Liberty Middle School.
Food & Drink
Satisfy Your Inner Wonka
15th Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival
Old Town Fairfax
Augustus Gloop may want to avoid Old Town Fairfax on Feb. 3 and 4 in 2007, lest his gluttony for chocolate goodness again get the best of him. The Chocolate Lovers Festival will again feature the Taste of Chocolate, in which vendors sell a variety of sweet treats; the Chocolate Challenge, an art exhibition in which chocolate is the medium; as well as several children's and family activities around town. The festival, created to bolster interest in both Old Town and in community participation, donates a portion of its proceeds to a selected charity every year. For more information, call 703-385-1661.
Pile Up Some Scoops
Woody's Ice Cream
4005 Stonewall Ave.
This ice cream stand is practically a landmark in the City of Fairfax. Started in 1998 by Woody Lashley, the stand offers cool standards such as soft serve and sundaes. At the end of October, Lashley throws a massive party to close the season.
Choose Farm Fresh
Clifton Farmer's Market
Chapel Road next to the post office
Find fresh produce at this petite farmer's market in Clifton. It runs Sundays from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. until Nov. 20.
Buy Bushels in Burke
Burke Farmer's Market
5671 Roberts Parkway
<bt>Featuring fresh produce and meats, this farmer's market is held on Saturdays through Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to noon. Visit www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/farm-mkt.htm for more information.
Enjoy a 3-Alarm Dinner
3988 University Drive
Located in the heart of the Fairfax Historic District, the Firehouse Grill offers food, music and libations in an historic setting. Housed in an old firehouse built in the early 1900s, the restaurant is decorated with firefighting equipment and memorabilia.
Find Food Fit for a Kingstowne
Kingstowne Farmer's Market
Kingstowne Towne Center
5955 Kingstowne Blvd.
Located near the Uno Chicago Grill, this farmer's market is open on Fridays through Oct. 27, from 4-7 p.m. Call 703-642-0128 for more information.
Head to Heart in Hand Restaurant
7145 Main St.
This restaurant is a wonderful place for any celebration or special occasion. They have special dinners on most holidays and are opened every day but Monday. The Heart in Hand Restaurant also caters and has a cookbook for purchase. The restaurant was originally founded in 1982 to arouse interest in the Clifton area with tea and lunch, but after popularity grew, dinner and holiday meals were added due to customer demand. Many celebrities and distinguished figures have dined there such as Nancy Reagan and the cast of CATS, and they have catered several notable people as well, including Toni Morrison and Maya Angelo.
Countdown to Mardi Gras
Fat Tuesday's N'awlins Saloon
10673 Braddock Road
Fat Tuesday's is one of those places that tries to make every day Mardi Gras. But c'mon — Mardi Gras comes but once a year. When it does, this N'awlins Saloon is ready with beads flying and bands playing. The bar offers daily specials with Cajun and Creole style cooking — foods like oysters, shrimp, crawfish, catfish, gumbo and Po'Boys. There's live entertainment at night from Wed. to Sat. For more information, call 703-385-5717.
Crawl the New Pub
Auld Shebeen Pub
3971 Chain Bridge Road
Formerly the very popular Ned Devine's — a split in the bar's ownership precipitated the change — this pub has a mix of traditional Irish fare and some great nightlife. There are 14 beers on tap at the pub, which also features some signature dishes like Guinness beef stew and a breakfast platter that includes eggs, sausage and black-and-white pudding. The bar also has a basement that features dancing and music. Call 703-293-9600 for more information.
Peruse Fresh Produce in Fairfax
Fairfax Farmer's Market
Van Dyck Park
Downtown Coalition Farmer's Market
10500 Main St.
Take a long lunch break and visit the Fairfax Farmer's Market. The market is open on Tuesdays through Nov. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon. It's located off Old Lee Highway in Van Dyck Park. The Downtown Coalition market is Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. until Oct. 28.
Get Crafty for the Holidays
Annual Holiday Craft Show
Fairfax High School
Conducted annually at Fairfax High School, this year’s edition of the Holiday Craft Show will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission to last season’s event was $3 per day. The show features dozens of tables with different holiday crafts, plus food for sale and (in previous years) the opportunity for children to get their picture taken with Santa Claus. Call 703-385-7858 for more information.
Enjoy a Night Out at Fairfax Corner
Monument Drive and Government Center Parkway
Fairfax Corner is a great area with a large collection of shops and restaurants, not to mention a movie theater, a gym for children, and a studio for painting your own pottery. Fairfax Corner also hosts tons of events including their summer concert series held every Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. There are also various other events throughout the year that can be found on their website at www.fairfaxcorner.com.
Shop Tysons Corner Center
1961 Chain Bridge Rd.
McLean, Va. 22102
One of the premier shopping malls on the East Coast, Tysons Corner — features two malls in Tysons I and Tysons II — has over 250 stores, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Hecht's, Lord & Taylor, L.L. Bean and Banana Republic.
Bordered by the Potomac River, Rock Creek and Glover Park, Georgetown's heart is located on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue in North West D.C. It's home for high-fashion stores, outdoor bars and restaurants, boat races, as well as some embassies.
Other landmarks include Dumbarton Oaks, where the United Nations was outlined in 1944, and the oldest structure in D.C. — Georgetown Old Stone House. It is also the place where the movie 'The Exorcist' was filmed in 1973. The film's famous staircase scene was located between Prospect Street and M Street.
Celebrate the Holidays
Festival of Lights & Carols
Old Town Hall
3999 University Drive
On Dec. 2-17, the City of Fairfax becomes a winter wonderland with lights, decorations, caroling, musical performances and activities for the whole family. Santa pays a visit to Old Town Hall for a Saturday morning children's breakfast. St. Nick stays through the festival to meet with children. Visitors may partake in hot mulled cider while warming their hands by the Yule log.
Ring in the New Year
Old Town Fairfax
This annual event offers family friendly fun on the night of Dec. 31. Events last year included ice-skating, carriage rides, comedy shows, laser light shows and areas specifically designed to entertain children of all ages. Food vendors are on hand, and the only fees the festival charged last year were for food purchases and skate rentals. Because a number of streets are closed for the event, shuttle buses are offered from both George Mason University and Fairfax High School.
Celebrate at Burke Centre
Burke Centre Festival
6060 Burke Centre Parkway
The annual fall festival in Burke takes place on Sept. 9-10 this year, from late morning to about 5 p.m. This family-friendly affair features food, rides, games, and giveaways. There's live entertainment, and a large arts and crafts show with dozens of antique vendors. In the past, the festival has included live animal shows, wine tastings and local radio personalities.
Lake Accotink Park
and Various Locales in Springfield
Each June, the Springfield community throws a party for itself. The annual, four-day event includes a Miss Springfield Pageant at the Springfield Mall, a pet parade and a Heritage Festival at Lake Accotink Park. The long-weekend culminates in the Cardboard Boat Regatta, in which amateur sailors of all ages venture out onto Lake Accotink in their homemade boats. It’s a soggy, but enjoyable voyage for all.
Sort Out the Mixing Bowl
Springfield Interchange Information Center
The "Mixing Bowl" — that mish-mash where I-395, I-95 and I-495 all meet — is a $676 million project. Naturally, there are going to be some questions about such a large operation. A public information center is located in the Springfield Mall, right next to the DMV. The center is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It has a model of the completed interchange, aerial photos of the area, as well as road maps and travel guides for all of Virginia. It's a great place to get caught up on the project, and for any kid-at-heart that still yearns for those days in the sandbox with a Tonka truck.
Learn about Fairfax
Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center
10209 Main St.
<bt>Located in the former Fairfax Elementary School, the Visitors Center offers information about restaurants, transportation and lodging as well as natural attractions and special events for those new to the city and those that have been here a while. The Museum offers exhibits about city history. In the spring and fall, Museum staff members conduct walking tours of Old Town Fairfax. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m., except New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The Museum is open half a day on Christmas Eve.
Civil War Encampment
During the first weekend of May, the City of Fairfax offers Civil War-related activities at the Blenheim Mansion. The encampment weekend includes a military muster, period music and family-oriented demonstrations. For more, call 1-800-545-7950 or visit www.fairfaxva.gov.
Explore History on the Rails
Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
11200 Fairfax Station Road
This museum houses artifacts and exhibits from the Civil War, the Red Cross, and a collection of historic railroad memorabilia. In 1975, a group of volunteers created a non-profit organization that sought to save the Fairfax Station railroad depot, which was the last operating railroad station in Fairfax County. After collecting contributions from several civic and government groups, the station was rebuilt a short distance away from its original site. It's now a museum, and a tribute to the area's rich railroad history. It features model train displays and sponsors Civil War tours throughout the year. Call 703-425-9225 for more information.
Discover Franconia's Past
A museum dedicated to remembering what the Franconia road section of the county used to be — a rural road for Virginia tobacco farmers who made their way to Alexandria's ports. It was also home to several significant events in the commonwealth's history. The museum protects and shares that history through a collection of pictures, artifacts, and the stories shared by its volunteer work force. It’s always looking for more of all three. The official Franconia History Day is in November.
Debunk the Bunny Man
Bunny Man Bridge
This suburban legend — involving, among other things, the ghost of an escaped convict and a vandal in a rabbit costume terrorizing the neighborhood — dates back to 1904. So is there a ghostly Bunny Man haunting the one-lane cement covered bridge in Fairfax Station? Some folks swear the bridge (and, for that matter, most of Clifton) is haunted. Recently, a historian for the Fairfax County Public Library published an essay that claimed the legend was nothing more than rumors that spread after some guy in a bunny suit in the 1970s decided to scare the locals and dabble in some vandalism. Curious locals frequently visit the bridge around Halloween.
18th Century Fair at Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, Va. 22121
An annual fair that goes beyond the usual arts and crafts sales. Visitors are able to witness Colonial-attired artisans demonstrate 18th-century crafts before having a chance to purchase baskets, woodcarvings, tin and iron work, leather workings and furniture. Live music, fire-eating, sword-swallowing, puppet and magic shows, rat-catchers and gypsies make this more than just a marketplace. Details can be found at www.mountvernon.org.
Tour the National Mall and Memorial Parks
Established in 1965, the National Mall in D.C. is home to such icons as the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial and Capital Reflecting Pool.
Also visit Ford's Theatre — the house where Lincoln died — and the mall's various museums, including The Smithsonian.
For more information, go to the National Park Service on-line at www.nps.gov/nama.
D.C. Museum Tour
District of Columbia
One could literally spend days trolling through the Art, Science and Nature, as well as History and Culture museums offered in the nation's capitol. The most popular facilities include the Smithsonian Institution's collection of 16 museums and galleries, including the National Air and Space Museum, The Holocaust Memorial Museum, and The National Museum of American History. One of the district's newest additions is the International Spy Museum — a spy exhibit which offers an interactive experience for kids and adults. For more information on museums in the District of Columbia call the Smithsonian Institution at 202-633-1000.