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Things to Do in Fairfax, VA

From museums to shopping and dining to outdoor recreation, there's plenty to do in Fairfax.

By Jessica Walker Boehm on October 2, 2017


Located just outside the nation’s capital city, Fairfax, Va., is a must-visit community filled with exciting attractions and engaging activities for residents and visitors of all ages and interests. If you’re overwhelmed with options, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. In no particular order, here are 10 fun things to do in Fairfax:

1. Make Learning Fun

Spend a day exploring the Children’s Science Center in Fairfax that’s home to interactive exhibits, fun activities and collaborative learning opportunities. The center also hosts special events for children of all ages, along with seasonal celebrations open to the whole family.

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2. Enjoy the Show

Take in live entertainment presented by The Hub Theatre, which puts on performances throughout the year at the New School of Northern Virginia’s John Swayze Theatre. Past performances have included popular plays such as “Birds of a Feather,” “Big Love” and “The Clockmaker.”


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3. Take a Swing

Play a round of golf at Penderbrook Golf Club, an 18-hole, par-71 course in Fairfax’s Penderbrook community. Designed by famed golf course architect Ed Ault, Penderbrook Golf Club offers a challenging experience with seven water holes and more than 60 bunkers.

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4. Catch a Concert

Watch your favorite musicians take the stage at EagleBank Arena, a 10,000-seat venue on the George Mason University campus that’s hosted performers like Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban and Bob Dylan. The arena also hosts women’s and men’s basketball games, family shows and other live acts.

5. Step Back in Time

Discover local history at destinations like the Ratcliffe-Allison-Pozer House, which is one of Fairfax’s oldest residences and now serves as a museum, and the Historic Blenheim estate that comprises a Civil War house museum and an open-air park.

6. Eat, Drink, Shop

Head to shopping and dining destinations such as Old Town Plaza, located in downtown Fairfax, and the Mosaic District that lays claim to independent fashion boutiques, healthy grocers, an art house cinema and more. There’s also Fairfax Corner, a modern mall with national retailers and restaurants.

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7. Get Outside

Take advantage of Fairfax’s more than 220 acres of parkland that includes 25 parks and 28 miles of trails. For example, 48-acre Daniels Run Park is a perfect place for hiking, biking and jogging, while Old Town Square’s splash pad is a top spot for kids to cool off during warm-weather months.


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8. Support the Arts

Visit George Mason University’s Center for the Arts to see performances by national and international artists as well as accomplished faculty and emerging student artists. The Center for the Arts is also the performing home for the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

9. Celebrate the Community

Make plans to attend the Celebrate Fairfax! festival, Northern Virginia’s largest community-wide celebration. Held each June, the three-day festival features as many as eight stages of entertainment, food vendors, a petting zoo, carnival rides and nightly fireworks.

10. Tour a Museum

See centuries-old guns at the National Rifle Association’s 15,000-square-foot National Firearms Museum. The museum has 15 galleries, each evocative of a period in American history, including a gallery with 120 actual guns used in movies and television over the past 80 years. For even more ideas, check out the city’s event calendar.

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