With a fresh new year comes a fresh new perspective – and some pretty incredible things to look forward to here in Fairfax County.
Here’s a preview of what’s new in 2023 in Fairfax County. What are you most excited about for the new year?
Pick Your Interest: Transportation | History & Science | Family Fun & Entertainment | Sports & Recreation | Special Events | Beer, Wine & Spirits | Food & Restaurants
Courtesy Instagram user @housethacker
- The Silver Line Metrorail extension opened to the public in mid-November 2022, finally connecting Washington Dulles International Airport and several new stations in Herndon, Reston, and into neighboring Loudoun County with the existing Washington Metrorail service, making it easier than ever to get around the National Capital Region.
History & Science
Courtesy The Winery at Bull Run
- Fairfax County’s southern banks, adjacent to the Potomac River, has been established as Potomac Banks: Fairfax South after a multiyear destination development assessment. Tourism assets found here include two Founding Fathers’ homes, museums, historic and cultural sites, and state parks. A new savings pass unlocks admission and discounts to various places in the area.
- George Mason’s Gunston Hall is restoring its magnificent river-side garden, which will enhance the authenticity of the historic property, reveal much about the Founding Father himself, and provide an educational setting as distinctive as Mason’s original garden design for the signature landscape feature of his home – the Home of American Rights. The restoration is the culmination of more than four decades of archaeological research. A ribbon cutting is expected in early Fall 2023.
- The Winery at Bull Run’s unique connection to the American Civil War has informed its decision to open a new Civil War museum in its barrel room, displaying hundreds of thousands of artifacts found in the region and offering exclusive wine + history tours.
- A new space center with a focus on STEM programming aims to open in Reston with a 40,000-square-foot center in the next year or two. The Interstellar Dreams Space Center will feature a mission command, space station, and planetary habitat in the form of floor-to-ceiling LED walls and educational programming meant to expand the future space workforce by promoting STEM to young students. Until a stand-alone center is built, groups can explore Interstellar Dreams programming at George Mason University’s Observatory.
Family Fun & Entertainment
Courtesy LEGO Discovery Center Washington, DC
- In mid-summer 2023, Springfield Town Center will welcome the opening of the LEGO Discovery Center, a 32,000 square-foot indoor LEGO attraction that features millions of LEGO bricks and 12 attractions, including the Imagination Express ride, Duplo Park, a 4D Theatre, cafe and much more. Billed as the ultimate indoor LEGO playground, this center will be the first of its kind in the country and is the very first LEGO Discovery Center in the Greater Washington, DC area and in Virginia.
- In Herndon, the new Hashtag Gaming Arena is the perfect destination for the gamers in your life. Billed as the largest board game and collectibles retailer in the Mid-Atlantic, this first-of-its-kind facility hosts events for tabletop games, eSports, game education programming, and a host of retail experiences.
- Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly has added a new kid-focused walking trail to its landscape with Storybook Trail, a 0.15-mile ADA-accessible path filled with eight reading stations that tells a story about a squirrel and a chipmunk in their natural habitat. The story is available in English, Spanish and Korean.
- Roer’s Zoofari is under new ownership and will be rebranded as NOVA Wild starting this year.
- LOOK Dine-In Cinemas arrives at Reston Town Center in March 2023 with a new moviegoing experience that includes a complete food, beverage, and cocktail menu. In other film renovations, Tysons Galleria will also open CMX CineBistro with a similar concept in early 2023.
- LOVE is all around Fairfax County. Throughout 2023, new LOVEworks signs will pop up around Fairfax County, helping to promote the Virginia is for Lovers tourism brand and also making the case for the importance of tourism in Fairfax County through interactive video snippets. Visitors can pose with these Instagrammable signs in Lorton, Tysons, Reston, Vienna, and many other locations to come.
Sports & Recreation
Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority
- Coming in spring 2023, Capital One Center will open The Ballpark – a baseball diamond equipped to host College Regular Season and Tournament games, high school tournaments and The Potomac League. The 2023 season schedule is live, but stay tuned for further information.
- Fairfax County Park Authority teamed up with some of the best skate park designers in the country to complete a million-dollar renovation of the Wakefield Skate Park, adding a challenging concrete competition-style bowl, multilevel jump lines, hips, mini-ramp, A-frame, ledges, and more that caters to all skill levels of skateboarders, BMX riders, and other wheeled athletes. A grand opening will be held in spring 2023.
- Golf lovers rejoice! Rudy’s, a golf entertainment center with a driving range, interactive game technology, miniature golf, and a restaurant/sports bar, has opened in Kingstowne. Plus, in Reston, CitySwing will bring an immersive indoor golf experience to players of all skill levels – plus food & drink!
Courtesy Jurassic Quest
- Jurassic Quest, North America’s most popular interactive dinosaur experience, returns to Dulles Expo Center for a limited run from January 27-29, 2023. Kids and families will walk among life-like dinosaurs, participate in live shows and interactive art and science activities including fossil digs and even attempt to ride some dinos.
- Happening now through February 12, 2023, the new Winter Lantern Festival brings a dazzling world of light to Metro-accessible Tysons Corner with more than 10,000 handmade LED artisan lanterns that were created by over 100 artists, live performances, and on-site food vendors.
- In a new ongoing partnership with ArtsFairfax to highlight area artists, Tysons Corner Center will be displaying exhibitions and other activations throughout 2023. The first group to be selected is ArtLords, a global collective of self-styled “artivists” dedicated to promoting peace through art. The group has selected 30 artworks that have either been rescued from Afghanistan or painted by recently evacuated Afghan artists and are on display through February 2023 until a new partner is selected.
- Omnium Circus, the world’s first fully inclusive circus performing arts company, returns to Capital One Hall for a one-day-only production on February 25, 2023 at 2pm. The fully inclusive show features a multi-abled company performing gravity-defying aerial acts, contortion, comedy, and balance skills that will leave you thrilled. Omnium is also the only circus in the world to be presented bilingually in English and American Sign Language.
- Cirque du Soleil has announced that its newest touring show: ECHO, will hold its U.S. Premiere in Fairfax County. This is the first time in Cirque du Soleil's history that the Washington, DC area will host the U.S. debut. ECHO is a story about evolution and the symbiotic unions that our future depends on. The show will debut under the Big Top at Lerner Town Square in Tysons, VA on September 6, 2023.
Beer, Wine, and Spirits
Settle Down Easy Brewing - Oakton Tasting Room
- Bunnyman Brewing, a self-serve brewery concept whose namesake is derived from an evocative urban legend, announced it will open a second location in the Fall of 2023 at the campus of Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center, a former prison with direct ties to the local legend itself.
- Settle Down Easy Brewing Co., which has a popular Merrifield taproom, has opened a second taproom in Oakton. It differs from the brewery’s flagship location by offering a more intimate experience, focusing on Belgian drafts, a rotating selection from other Fairfax County breweries, regional wine & cider, and an exclusive partnership with The Fermented Pig to serve up gourmet paninis, salads, hot plates, Nordic Knot pretzels, and more.
- In central Fairfax, VA, Honor Brewing Co. and the Cordero Brothers have opened Honor Brewing Kitchen, a brewpub serving up delicious American cuisine, Honor brews among other local breweries, and a selection of wine and spirits. The group’s flagship brewery can be found in Chantilly as well.
- Northern Virginia’s first roaming outdoor lifestyle experience, Shipgarten, is now open in Tysons, VA. Shipgarten features four separate food and drink experiences, each out of its own 40-foot shipping container; surrounding the containers will be a quintessential Biergarten area, family corner, dog park, entertainment venue, and games area. Food and drink concepts include an authentic German Biergarten, a sushi and poke fusion bar, a traditional Persian fast-casual restaurant, and an over-the-top waffle and taco bar.
- Ornery Beer Co. has announced plans to open the Ornery Beer Company Public House at Arrowbrook Centre in Herndon in late 2023. This will be the brewery’s first foray into Fairfax County, and while taproom locations already exist in the City of Fairfax and Prince William County, the Herndon location will include a full-service restaurant and a three-barrel brewery.
- Herndon-based Juicy Brewing Co. has announced a partnership with Washington Capitals NHL star Evgeny Kuznetsov to release an exclusive beer called KUZY 777, a dry-hopped Vienna lager with strawberry and citrus aromas. Named for Kuznetsov’s lucky number seven and a career points goal he is inching toward clinching, the beer currently has limited availability but Juicy’s taproom has been deemed an official Capitals bar and fans can catch games there for the remainder of the season.
- River Sea Chocolates, Fairfax County’s only bean-to-bar chocolate factory, has begun offering chocolate and wine pairing classes highlighting local and international vineyards that follow sustainable growing practices. Each class is a guided experience where guests will sample five chocolate bars and three wines, as well as a glimpse into the chocolate production process.
- Open Road Distillery, along with a chef-driven, speakeasy-style restaurant called Heirloom, will bring new offerings to Reston Town Center in 2023.
Food & Restaurants
Courtesy Metropolitan Hospitality Group, El Bebe
- Metropolitan Hospitality Group has just opened not one, but two new concepts at The Boro in Tysons: Circa and Él Bebe. Both restaurants feature about 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and vibrant bar scenes. Circa serves contemporary American cuisine and signature cocktails in an energetic environment. Él Bebe focuses on bold creations inspired by Mexican flavors and handcrafted tequila-infused Mexican cocktails.
- The minds behind the cult-favorite brewery, Aslin Beer Co., have launched a brand-new scratch kitchen concept called IZZI. Chef Taylor Gates has perfected his naturally leavened dough and unique fermentation style, serving up some of the region’s best pizza along with other crowd-favorites like the house-smashed short-rib-blend burger, broccolini appetizers, and truffle and parmesan fries. IZZI also serves as a home roastery for Aslin Coffee, serving up pour-overs, house-made espresso beverages, and teas from Dani Moreno, a culinary industry vet and Level 3 Sommelier.
- Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse has opened its latest restaurant in Reston Town Center, featuring an open-air churrasco grill, soaring wine displays, dry-aged meat lockers for in-house aging, and a lively indoor bar as well as an outdoor dining patio. A unique feature of this location includes the Next Level Lounge on the mezzanine level for cocktails and cigars.
- Reston Station is the new home of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, a 13,000-square-foot, hospitality-forward concept from famed restaurateur Steve DiFillippo. Serving up a wide variety of Prime meat cuts, fresh seafood, and delectable Italian pasta with a dessert tray your eyes won’t believe, Davio’s is directly accessible off the Wiehle Metrorail station.
- Yard House is opening a new location of its famous tap room-style restaurant at Tysons Galleria on January 29, 2023, featuring 130 taps and 14,000 square feet of space, plus an outdoor patio.
- The Galleria will also welcome Jiwa Singapura, a 10,000-square-foot Singaporean and Malaysian restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef Pepe Moncayo. Diners can expect to see classic dishes like Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, and chili crab on the menu.
- Chef Moncayo is also set to bring a second new concept to Tysons with the opening of Santi, a 7,000-square-foot restaurant at Capital One Center focusing on Spanish culinary tradition.
- Sixty Vines will join the list of offerings at Reston Town Center, offering cuisine inspired by wine country and over 60 wines on tap. This will be the first East Coast location for the company.
- Popular Washington, DC restaurant Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar will open its first foray in Northern Virginia at the Reston Town Center. The gastrobar is inspired by Peru’s top eateries and will serve bold-flavored dishes and unique cocktails.
- The iconic fashion company Ralph Lauren just brought its coffeehouse concept to Fairfax County, opening a Ralph’s Coffee inside Tysons Galleria. This is the first location of the shop in the Washington, DC region, and just the fourth city in the U.S. to open one of these concepts.
- Rising star chef Paolo Dungca already has a number of successful ventures in Washington, DC but now will bring his skills to Annandale with the opening of Sari Filipino Kusina, an all-day comfort food spot that serves up Filipino-style barbecue and homestyle rice bowls.
- Kirby Club, from the team behind DC’s lauded Maydan and Compass Rose restaurants, is a new Mediterranean spot at Mosaic District brimming with favorite Lebanese- and Egyptian-inspired fare.