Provided by Prince William County Parks, Recreation & Tourism
The winter Leisure magazine is jam-packed with events, classes and programs for you and your children to participate in, and some for no cost at all. Read on to find out about some of the low-and-no cost events happening during the first couple months of the new year.
Dale City Farmers Market
Did you know that this award-winning farmers market is open all year round? Come take a stroll through one of the largest open-air markets in the region—the Dale City Farmers Market. With 20+ in the winter (and nearly 50 in the summer) you never know what goodies you may find. Since 1987, the Dale City Farmers Market has been at the forefront of serving Prince William County residents. In 2022, the market was once again voted ‘Best Agritourism Attraction/Event’ in Prince William County. This is the sixth year the market has won the award, having previously won in 2015 through 2019.
Historic Preservation Events
The Office of Historic Preservation serves as stewards of County-owned historic structures, cultural and natural resources, historic landscapes, and artifacts. The Office builds community identity alongside local partners by telling the story of the people of Prince William County. The Office of Historic Preservation’s goal is to show the connections between our history, our present, our future, and our growth as a community.
Lecture Series: Prince William County’s “Boy Major,” Joseph Latimer – Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (ages 10+) – FREE
Brentsville native Joseph Latimer was a 19-year-old artillery major when he received a mortal wound at the Battle of Gettysburg. During this free lecture at the Old Manassas Courthouse, find out how this young man rose to prominence and rank during the Civil War from Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide William Griffith.
Barnes House Open House – Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ages 2+)
Come explore the Barnes House. Built in 1797, the Barnes House is an average Prince William County residence, but the people who lived here were anything but typical. First used as a tavern, in 1899 Eppa Barnes bought the house where he was born into slavery. Join local historians for an open house to explore the exhibits highlighting the site’s diverse history and an amazing story of historic preservation in Prince William County.
Tastes of Home: African American Culture and American Cuisine – Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (ages 13+) – $10.00
Many Southern dishes have their roots in west and central African culture that enslaved workers brought to America. Participants will be able to prepare and taste African and Southern dishes in the historic slave quarter at Ben Lomond. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather. Advance registration is required. Register here.
Who were they? The Enslaved People of Rippon Lodge – Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 to 2:00 p,m,
Continuing with Rippon Lodge Historic Site’s 275 years of history, come learn of the untold stories of the enslaved population during February, Black History Month. Tours will focus on the primary documentation found for both the colonial and early Victorian eras. Space is limited. $10 fee and you may purchase tickets here.
Lecture Series: The Preserve: Reconstructing an African American Neighborhood in The Bull Run Mountains – Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. (ages 10+) – FREE
Historian and archaeologist Patrick O’Neill will share his research on local African American communities in the Bull Run Mountains. Lecture will take place at the Old Manassas Courthouse.
Lucasville School Open House – Saturday, Feb. 25 & 26, 2023, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ages 2+)
Reconstruction in the wake of the Civil War brought with it new opportunities for African Americans in Prince William County. Four years before they had been barred from learning to read and write by Virginia state law, though that did not stop them from learning on their own or others teaching them despite the severe punishments possible. Now schools would open for the instruction of all who wished to attend. These early schools faced many obstacles, from irregular funding, teacher shortages, political threats, and even open violence. Commemorate African American History Month at historic Lucasville School and visit the reconstructed 19th century school for a discussion about how people met these challenges and overcame them to help build a better future.
Outdoor Fun and Fitness
Bundle up and get outdoors! Whether at Harbor Drive Wellness Park or Neabsco Creek Boardwalk for a stroll, or to go for a hike at one of the many trails; there are so many options you can still enjoy despite the cold winter temperatures. Want to get a good outdoor workout in? Neabsco Regional Park offers free fitness equipment to use along the park trail.
Check out the stars in the evening at Neabsco Creek Boardwalk on Saturday, Feb.18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for some stargazing* and hot chocolate. $12 fee. Register here. *May be cancelled/rescheduled if inclement weather.
Looking to challenge yourself and have some fun with the kids? The Warrior Challenge Course at Locust Shade Park is fun for people of ages. Or, in February, head to a Family Adventure Day – Wildlife is Everywhere program at James Long Park. On Saturday, Feb. 4, 10:00 to 11:30 a,m,, parents and children can discover the wildlife at our Gro Nature Preschool. Ages 2-5, $15 per child. Click here to register.
Do you have a future park ranger in your home? Sign your junior ranger up to join the park naturalist for this fun one-hour hike* on Thursday, Feb. 23, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., to explore winter forest ecology, animal habitats and local wildlife. Take-home journal and magnifying glass included. *Program may be cancelled/rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. For ages 4-7. Click here to register.
Or maybe your child is interested in golf? In partnership with First Tee, there’s Intro to Golf class for children ages 7-17. In addition to learning the fundamentals of the game of golf and the golf swing, First Tee teaches young people life skills and character education through the game of golf. Learn more or sign up here.
Indoor Fun and Education
Or if you prefer to stay indoors for some water fun, parents along with their children under age 5 can enjoy “Splash ‘N Play” time on Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center or at Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $4.50. Two adults free with each child. Toys are provided.
Ready to clear your mind for the new year and learn more about the mind-body connection? Join the free mind-body education workshops at Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center, with the first one on Jan. 15. The workshops are free to members; $12 fee for non-members. Learn more and register here.
You can read more about all the upcoming classes and programs in the winter issue of Leisure.