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 2024 in Fairfax County. What are you most excited about for the new year?


Pick Your Interest:

History & Culture | Arts & Entertainment | Family Friendly | Wellness & Recreation | Food & Drink

 

History & Culture

George Mason's Gunston Hall - Gardens
Image courtesy Gunston Hall
 

  • George Mason’s Gunston Hall has opened its magnificent river-side garden, enhancing the authenticity of the historic property, revealing much about the Founding Father himself, and providing 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 and will be a great addition to spring garden tours and events.
     
  • The Potomac Banks area of Fairfax County continues to develop. A new Visitor Savings Pass has been rolled out – this time free to visitors and residents – that features exclusive discounts on admission to historic sites like George Mason’s Gunston Hall and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, as well as discounts on museum shops, gift stores, facility rentals, and breweries. No apps to download, no email subscriptions – just go to www.fxva.com/potomacbanks for your pass.
     
  • USA Guided Tours offers visitors a new biking and touring package. Rent gear from Unlimited Biking and pedal to colorful, historic Mount Vernon. From there, take a mini coach back to Alexandria, where you can walk in the footsteps of George Washington in his adopted hometown.

 

Arts & Entertainment

Workhouse Arts Center - LOVEwork sign
Image courtesy @boboandchichi for Visit Fairfax
 

  • 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 24, 2024 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.
     
  • Wolf Trap will unveil a new multi-level facility called Meadow Commons in the summer of 2024, opening in time for the Summer 2024 season. This new building adjacent to the Filene Center will offer expanded food service, additional and upgraded restrooms, a new gathering space, convenient drink fill-up stations, and additional picnic terraces overlooking the stunning National Park meadows. In the meantime, check out who is playing at their winter venue, The Barns at Wolf Trap, this year.
     
  • ArtsFairfax, the local arts agency for Fairfax County, unveiled a free new interactive web app that identifies and maps public art in Fairfax County, empowering county residents to share what they see as public art and upload images and descriptions directly to the platform. For art lovers, they can use the app or desktop version to filter art by category, neighborhood, and more.
     
  • ArtsFairfax has also partnered with Macerich, the owners and developers of Tysons Corner Center, to showcase local artists, artist teams, and arts organizations of Fairfax County through a series of free public art installations at the highly trafficked shopping area. Past and current exhibits have included a series by ArtLords, a collective response of Afghan artists that seek to challenge taboo topics, and “Overboard” by Andy Yoder that features 250+ sculptural “sneakers” crafted from reclaimed and recycled materials that explore the connection between art, fashion, and sustainability.  
     
  • LOVE is all around Fairfax County. Visit Fairfax has brought several new LOVEworks signs to the destination, 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, Merrifield, Springfield, and Vienna. A new LOVEworks Trail will be unveiled soon.
     
  • Escape Room Herndon will open an expansion in early 2024, featuring a new game: "Cryptid Grove," which is based on mythical creatures, verdant wilderness, and a mysterious cabin. Visitors will find the new space just a few doors down from its main location on Elden Street. 

 

Family Friendly

Encanto x CAMP - Tysons Corner Center - Press Photos
Image courtesy Disney Encanto x CAMP
 

  • The interactive Hot Wheels Champion Experience is now open at Tysons Corner Center, through at least February 2024. Combining exhilarating digital and hands-on play in a 16,000 sq ft immersive environment, visitors of all ages will imagine, create, and experience Hot Wheels like never before! Using the latest 3D multimedia projection technology, guests at Hot Wheels Champion Experience can accept the challenge.
     
  • Disney Encanto x CAMP has arrived at Tysons Corner Center as part of the grand opening of the new permanent CAMP retail shop opening in the iconic shopping center. CAMP is part toy store, part party venue, and part immersive theater space. Behind CAMP's signature Magic Door, guests will be able to spend an enchanting and exciting hour at the Familia Madrigals' Casita, where they can climb Antonio's rainforest, spin through Isabela's flower-filled room, slide down the Courtyard steps, and more, all while singing beloved Encanto tunes. Currently open through April 2024.
     
  • The highly anticipated LEGO Discovery Center is now open at Springfield Town Center. The 32,000-square-foot indoor LEGO attraction features millions of LEGO bricks and multiple attractions, like a 4D Cinema, an Imagination Express ride, a toddler-specific playground, and more. Learn more about what to do at this new family-friendly attraction.
     
  • NOVA Wild, Northern Virginia’s premier zoofari (now under new ownership), recently announced the arrival of two new sloths. The sloths will reside in a newly built, interactive habitat designed to provide an immersive experience while teaching visitors about these animals’ natural habitats, conservation status, and behaviors. Guests can book an exclusive sloth encounter. Other encounters and experiences are also now available to purchase, including Capybara and Kangaroo Encounters and seasonal Goat Yoga.
     
  • Sandbox VR, a futuristic virtual reality experience for groups of up to 6, is now open in Tysons at The Boro and allows guests to see and physically interact from a full-body, Hollywood-style motion-capture experience with everyone inside the game. Inspired by Star Trek’s Holodeck, these exclusive worlds feel like you’re living inside a game or movie, and are built by EA, Sony, and Ubisoft veterans.
     
  • The Ballpark at Capital One in Tysons elevates America’s favorite pastime at a state-of-the-art facility with canopied club-style seating and picnic areas.

 

Wellness & Recreation

Balian Springs - Alexandria - Spa - Wellness
Image courtesy Balian Springs
 

  • Balian Springs is a first-of-its-kind, daily admission-based wellness and social club designed to transport guests to a tropical oasis. Boasting 100,000 sq. ft. of carefully curated space, the experience includes traditional spas, 16 healing hydrotherapy pools plus a rooftop infinity pool with a hinoki bath, 9 detoxifying saunas and 6 wellness lounges, 5 nutritious eateries, and extensive programming that encourages guests to seek a meaningful balance between mental, physical, personal, and social well-being.
     
  • Slated to open toward the end of 2024, Movement Fairfax will be a place for people to come together and share their passion for adventure through climbing and fitness. Featuring 37,000+ square feet of climbing, yoga, and fitness, plus 27,000+ square feet of climbing terrain, and many other amenities, Movement Fairfax will be conveniently located right off I-66 at the Fair Oaks Mall.
  • Reston welcomed its first CBD boutique this year to Lake Anne. OmBaked, from the minds behind Virginia’s famous gourmet peanut butter line, OmMade, brings an array of carefully curated products to the area, arranged according to the benefits they promote, from reducing anxiety and stress to treating aches and pains to aiding in sleep or focus, and more. OmBaked also hosts a slew of weekly community events throughout the year.
     
  • CitySwing will open at Reston Town Center in 2024, bringing an immersive indoor golf experience through top-notch golf simulation technology to players of all skill levels – plus food & drink! This woman-founded and Black-owned business will offer lessons, special events, and more.

 

Food & Drink

Sixty Vines - Reston - Restaurants - Food - WineImage courtesy Nina Palazzolo for Sixty Vines
 

  • Open Road Distilling Co., now open at Reston Town Center, features an operating distillery and serves a full Open Road Grill menu in a casual dining room with an indoor/outdoor patio bar, live music, and a tasting room with distillery tours. All bottling of handcrafted spirits, like Independence Bourbon, American Vodka, American Gin, and Eagle Eye Rye, is done by hand and receives a written batch number.
     
  • Heirloom, a hidden speakeasy restaurant concept, is located within Open Road Distilling Co. and features modern takes on traditional family favorites in a sophisticated and upscale setting. Now open at Reston Town Center.
     
  • Bunnyman Brewing Co., a self-serve brewery concept whose namesake is derived from an evocative urban legend, will open a second location in 2024 at the campus of Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center, a former prison with direct ties to the local legend itself.
     
  • Ornery Beer Co. has announced plans to open the Ornery Beer Company Public House at Arrowbrook Centre in Herndon in 2024. 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.
     
  • River Sea Chocolate Factory, based in Chantilly, will be expanding in 2024 by moving its chocolate production facility to Reston. The Chantilly location will continue to serve as its retail store and café. More information to come.
     
  • Innovative and chef-driven restaurant concepts are booming in Fairfax County. A slew of new dining experiences coming this year include:
     
    • Joon – a Persian/Iranian concept by Michelin-starred chef Christopher Morgan and Najmieh Batmanglij. Now open in Tysons.
    • The Maple Room – a new concept with a carefully curated menu employing locally sourced ingredients and showcasing flavors from around the world. Now open in Vienna.
    • Sixty Vines – wine-country-inspired cuisine and 60+ wines on tap in this restaurant group’s first-ever Virginia location and just the second on the East Coast. Now open at Reston Town Center.
    • Ometeo – The group behind The Salt Line and Dauphine’s will be opening an 11,000-square-foot Tex-Mex restaurant with outdoor space, an al fresco bar, and a high-style look. Now open at Capital One Center in Tysons.
    • Starr Hill Brewpub – The already popular Starr Hill Biergarten atop Capital One Center’s The Perch will expand in 2024, bringing a full Americana-themed menu, 20+ beers, cocktails, ciders, and wines in a 2-bar, 7,500-square-foot space to the lower level of Capital One Center.
    • Peter Chang  – legendary Chinese chef and restaurateur and James Beard award-winner Peter Chang will bring two famed concepts to Fairfax County, Peter Chang in McLean (now open) and one in Herndon, coming in 2024.
    • Neutral Ground Bar + Kitchen – Celebrity chef David Guas will open his first full-service restaurant in McLean in early 2024, aiming to capture the “very essence of American cuisine and culture.”
    • Ebbitt House – Washington, DC’s famous Old Ebbitt Grill will be expanding for the first time in its centuries-long history with its new concept, Ebbitt House, opening in Reston in 2025.