12 Best Things to Do Near Reston, Virginia

The town of Reston, Virginia, was founded in 1964 as part of the Garden City movement and has since grown into one of the most popular areas in the capital region to live, work, play, and visit.

If you're looking for a place close to Washington, D.C., that won't break the bank but still offers a wide variety of recreational activities, a vast number of public parks, and easy access to the Dulles International Airport, Reston has it all.

From the Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole water park to the SkateQuest ice rink, Reston offers tons of fun activities for adults and children alike. Whether you're taking a day trip from the Capital or plan to spend an entire weekend of family fun in town, Reston makes for a great vacation destination in Fairfax County.

01 of 12

Get Wet at the Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole

Water Mine
Fairfax County, Virginia
1400 Lake Fairfax Dr, Reston, VA 20190, USA
Phone +1 703-471-5415

One of the most popular attractions in Reston is the Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole water park, located just east of town near the Roer's Safari in Lax Fairfax Park. The Water Mine features water slides, flumes, sprays, showers, and a lazy river and is open during the summer starting Memorial Day weekend every year.

Adjacent to the water park, Lake Fairfax Park features a 20-acre lake with a carousel, picnic areas, campgrounds, athletic fields, and a marina that offers pedal boat and canoe rentals. Both are operated by the Park Authority of Fairfax County.

02 of 12

Meet Animals at Roer's Zoofari

Roer's Zoofari
Roer's Zoofari
1228 Hunter Mill Rd, Vienna, VA 22182-1300, USA
Phone +1 703-757-6222

The 30-acre petting zoo is just across the way from the Water Mine and located in the heart of Fairfax County, Virginia. Roer's Zoofari provides an up close and personal experience with animals such as alligators, camels, reptiles, zebras, antelope, bison, and ostrich, and you can also bottle-feed lambs and piglets or hand-feed goats and llamas. Additionally, you can enjoy carousel rides, a wagon ride, and a walk through the Budgiery Adventure Aviary to feed the birds.

03 of 12

Shop at Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center
Payton Chung/Flickr
11900 Market St, Reston, VA 20190, USA
Phone +1 703-579-6720

Reston Town Center is the town's outdoor shopping mall, offering several unique shops, more than 20 restaurants, and an outdoor ice skating rink (open seasonally). The town center features a wide range of family-friendly events throughout the year. The Pet Fiesta in May and summer concerts in June through August are a great way to celebrate the summer, and you can partake in Oktoberfest and Thanksgiving events in the fall.

04 of 12

See One of Virginia's Best Natural Landmarks

Great Falls Park Virginia
9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102, USA
Phone +1 703-757-3101

Nearby in McLean, Va., Great Falls Park is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The national park has incredible views, hiking trails, a variety of outdoor activities including rafting, and a visitor center with nature exhibits. Located along the Potomac River that separates Virginia and Maryland, this 800-acre park features three overlook views of the falls including two wheelchair accessible spots.

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05 of 12

Visit the National Air and Space Museum

Udvar-Hazy Center
Dane Penland/Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA 20151, USA
Phone +1 703-572-4118

Located on the property of Dulles International Airport, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is also known as the National Air and Space Museum. This Smithsonian museum displays the massive space shuttle Discovery, the Lockheed SR-71, and numerous aircraft, spacecraft, and other space-related artifacts. The museum also offers a wide range of programs for all ages.

06 of 12

Learn About Rural Life at Frying Pan Farm Park

Frying Pan Farm Park Photo
Rachel Cooper
2739 West Ox Rd, Herndon, VA 20171-3807, USA
Phone +1 703-437-9101

The park interprets rural community life in the 1920s to the 1950s, which included the advent of the tractor, the milking machine, and mechanical bailers. There is a visitor center, country store, wagon rides, and Kidwell Farm with horses, chickens, peacocks, rabbits, sheep, goats, cows, and pigs. The park offers camps, classes, birthday parties, and special events.

07 of 12

Explore the Reston Museum

Reston Museum
Reston Historic Trust and Museum
1639 Washington Plaza N, Reston, VA 20190, USA
Phone +1 703-709-7700

The Reston Museum is operated by the Reston Historic Trust and offers community exhibits and archives, walking tours, and public events including the Annual Home Tour and the annual Founder's Day festival. Long-term exhibits explore life in the Reston community as well as rotating exhibits showcasing the work of students of all ages.

08 of 12

Visit Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Nova Parks
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182, USA
Phone +1 703-255-3631

The 95-acre botanical garden, operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, includes unique native plant collections, walking trails, lakes, gazebos, a visitor center and a restored 18th-century cabin. During the holiday season, the garden comes to life at night with its Christmas light display, known as the Winter Walk of Lights.

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09 of 12

Immerse Yourself in NatureWalker Nature Center Sanctuary

Walker Nature Center Sanctuary
Walker Nature Center Sanctuary
11450 Glade Dr, Reston, VA 20191-4419, USA
Phone +1 703-476-9689

Located on 72-acres of hardwood forest, the Walker Nature Center Sanctuary in Reston provides a variety of educational and recreational resources, programs, and facilities. The park contains over a mile of trails as well as several picnic areas, demonstration gardens, and outdoor displays. You can also put in a special request for a program lead by a Nature Center expert for your class, group, or family or rent out a multi-purpose room, pavilion, or the fire ring for gatherings, meetings, and business retreats. Additionally, the annual spring festival is a big hit and takes place in early May.

10 of 12

Play Games at Dulles Golf Center and Sports Park

Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park
Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park
21593 Jesse Ct, Sterling, VA 20166, USA
Phone +1 703-404-8800

This family recreation center features a golf practice range, a miniature golf course, baseball and softball batting cages, volleyball courts, instruction courses, and leagues for all ages. Open year-round and featuring seasonal events, discounts, and special classes, Dulles Golf Center is a great place for sports enthusiasts to spend the afternoon near the airport.

11 of 12

See a Performance at NextStop Theatre Company

NextStop Theatre Company's Industrial Strength Theatre
NextStop Theatre Company
269 Sunset Park Dr, Herndon, VA 20170, USA
Phone +1 703-481-5930

The 114-seat black box theater, located in nearby Herndon, Virginia, is a professional, not-for-profit company that produces theatrical performances and educational programs throughout the year. The company celebrated its 30th season in 2018, with shows like "Fallen Angels" and "Singin' in the Rain."

12 of 12

Hit the Ice at SkateQuest

SkateQuest Ice Rink
1800 Michael Faraday Ct, Reston, VA 20190-5303, USA
Phone +1 703-709-1010

SkateQuest is located to the southeast of Reston and offers public skating, figure skating, hockey, lessons, and group sessions year-round. This ice skating center also has a full-service pro shop, café, and party rooms to rent. Check the schedule for open skate times and remember to sign up for lessons far in advance as spaces are likely to fill up—especially in the off-season for hockey.

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12 Best Things to Do Near Reston, Virginia