Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Centreville, VA

  • Published 2023/02/21

Centreville is one of the small communities in Fairfax County, Virginia, surrounding Washington D.C.

While Centreville may lack in size, its history and heritage says a lot about itself.

With that in mind, Centreville is a hidden destination for travelers fascinated with history.

Historically, Fairfax County became a major battlefield during the American Civil War.

Many of the Civil War’s remnants, artifacts, and stories are contained in Centreville.

Besides its history, this place is home to numerous outdoor attractions such as parks, wildlife habitats, and trails which calls for an outdoor adventure.

Above all, Centreville’s attractions offer free entry to tourists.

Explore this historic community with this list of free things to do in Centreville, Virginia.

Wander the Bull Run Regional Park

A short bridge at Bull Run Regional Park

refrina /

Bull Run Regional Park is a massive outdoor attraction that borders numerous towns and communities, including Centreville.

You can visit the park’s Centreville portion along Bull Run Drive.

The park spans over 1,568 acres and serves as a multi-use outdoor recreation area operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Visiting this park upon arriving in Centreville is highly recommended to get acquainted with the community’s most famous attraction.

The waters of Bull Run Regional Park

Cvandyke /

Enjoy plenty of outdoor activities such as picnicking, jogging, hiking, wildlife viewing, and historical sightseeing.

In addition, Bull Run Regional Park was once a major battlefield during the American Civil War, making it a treasure trove of history.

Drop by this park upon arriving in Centreville to start your adventure on a high note.

Civil war shelter at Bull Run Regional Park

refrina /

Meditate at the Van Hanh Center

Head to the Van Hanh Center for a tranquil experience amidst a gorgeous landscaped temple.

You can find this Buddhist temple along Bull Run Drive.

The temple serves as a major religious center for Vietnamese locals in Centreville, operating for many years.

Besides being an important Buddhist temple, this place is also a popular tourist attraction.

Explore this temple’s gorgeous and well-maintained pagodas, gardens, and praying areas.

This temple is an idyllic place to meditate because of its tranquil atmosphere.

Spend an hour or two touring the Van Hanh Center for a one-of-a-kind travel experience.

Watch Soccer Games at Arrowhead Park

Arrowhead Park is the best place to watch live soccer games featuring various local tournaments.

You can visit this park along Arrowhead Park Drive.

The park has two standard-sized soccer fields.

It’s home to numerous tournaments that cater to various age groups, from toddlers to teenagers and grownups representing their soccer clubs.

If you want to watch how locals play sports, go to Arrowhead Park since it regularly hosts local matches.

Besides soccer, the park has various amenities for picnicking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Follow the Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail

Nature trail at Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail is a popular hiking and jogging destination.

You can visit this trail at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

The trail covers multiple towns and communities across Fairfax County, stretching over 11 miles.

Hiking this trail allows you to explore many natural areas, such as urban green spaces, picnic areas, playgrounds, parks, and neighborhoods.

Trees at Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a great way to explore Centreville and neighboring towns while enjoying the beauty of nature.

Pack your hiking gear when visiting Centreville because you might find yourself hiking through the Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail.

Of course, stop by the parks and other scenic areas along the trail for a more worthwhile experience.

Bond with Your Family at Centre Ridge North Park

Check out Centre Ridge North Park for a wholesome outdoor experience with your family.

You can visit this community park along Field Encampment Road.

The park is best known for its peaceful atmosphere, nice playground, and ideal picnic area.

It’s a nice place to take a break from exploring Centreville and enjoy bonding with your family or friends.

Like most excellent community parks, this one has a nicely-manicured greenery ideal for picnicking and other sports activities.

Centre Ridge North Park is an ideal place to spend time outdoors because of its amenities and surroundings.

Bring Your Dog to Heritage Forest Dog Park

Heritage Forest Dog Park is part of Heritage Forest Park, another community park in Centreville.

You can visit this park along Revolution Road.

Like most dog parks, this one has a fence and a separate dog park for small and bigger dogs, making it a safe place for your pet to run around.

The dog park has a huge green open space for your pup to run around and play with you.

At the same time, it has a separate children’s playground nearby, which is another ideal place to check out with your kids.

Drop by the Heritage Forest Dog Park for an awesome time with your dog.

Spot Birds at the Cub Run Stream Valley Park

Trail with wooden railing at Cub Run Stream Valley Park

Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Cub Run Stream Valley Park is another huge outdoor attraction popular for various recreational activities.

You can visit this park along Stillfield Place.

The park covers over 800 acres of natural areas.

It comprises forests, trails, swamps, and streams, home to dozens of flourishing flora and fauna.

Many parkgoers love to visit this park for hiking and birdwatching.

Within its 800 acres are dozens of bird species that you can easily spot with your binoculars.

You’re likely to spot or come across woodpeckers, owls, kingfishers, and even small reptiles in their natural habitat.

Besides the local wildlife, the Cub Run Stream Valley Park is also home to rare and exotic plants.

See the Sights at the Virginia Chase County Park

Virginia Chase County Park is a beloved place for locals in Centreville.

You can visit this park along Awbrey Patent Drive.

The park offers a tranquil atmosphere, plenty of trees for shade, nice greenery, and picnic areas.

However, many parkgoers love to return to this park for wildlife viewing and sightseeing.

The park has a thickly wooded area with trails perfect for some nature hiking.

Its trails take some scenic natural areas and wildlife habitats in Centreville.

Remember to spend some time at Virginia Chase County Park for some worthwhile time with nature.

Dive into the Past at Old Stone Church in the Historic Town of Centreville

Old Stone Church in the Historic Town of Centreville is a significant historical site in Fairfax County.

You can visit this 19th-century church along Braddock Road.

The church’s architecture may not be as grand as other churches you’ve come across.

Still, this one in Centreville is full of history.

Formally known as the Church of Ascension, this place was constructed around 1854 by the Anglican Catholic Church.

Incidentally, the church was built during the American Civil War.

Instead of being a place of worship, it became a field hospital that treated Union and Confederate soldiers wounded in battles.

Hundreds of casualties were brought to the church for treatment during the battles of Manassas and Blackburn Ford.

Today, it’s a fascinating place to learn about faith and history.

You can step inside the church to have a self-guided tour to learn about its past.

At the same time, enjoy a solemn time inside the Old Stone Church in the Historic Town of Centreville to complete your experience.

Hike the Cub Run Stream Valley Trail

Scenic view of Cub Run Stream Valley Trail

David Byron Keener /

It’s no surprise that your Centreville itinerary takes you to trails and natural areas.

It’s mainly because of the massive regional parks surrounding this small community.

So, with that in mind, head to the Cub Run Stream Valley Trail.

Despite being part of the Cub Run Stream Valley Park, this trail is its attraction.

Stepping stones at Cub Run Stream Valley Trail

David Byron Keener /

It features a roughly 11-kilometer looped trail that takes you to the best birdwatching, hiking, and fishing areas in Fairfax County.

Enjoy the solitude while hiking this trail either by yourself, your family, or fellow hikers.

At the same time, enjoy Cub Run Stream Valley Trail’s gorgeous natural area, immersing you in nature.

A bird at Cub Run Stream Valley Trail

David Byron Keener /

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

Outside Centreville is the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., a major tourist attraction nationwide.

Besides that, Centreville’s neighboring towns and communities have full of hidden gems.

Check out these free things to do near Centreville, Virginia, for more adventures.

See Rocket Ships at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Exterior of Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center /

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

You can visit this museum in Chantilly, Virginia, after a ten-minute drive north of Centreville.

The museum houses some of the most amazing space and aviation aircraft within its massive facility.

Interior of Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

James Mayo /

It’s home to the Blackbird SR-71, featured in many Hollywood movies, the Space Shuttle Discovery, and many other modern and vintage aircraft.

Visiting this museum, especially with your family or friends, allows you to see and even touch these aircraft.

Remember to list the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with these spectacular aircraft.

Space shuttle displayed in Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Serge Yatunin /

Commune with Nature at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Exterior of U.S. Botanic Garden conservatory

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The U.S. Botanic Garden is North America’s oldest botanic garden in Washington, D.C.

Built in 1820, this garden is roughly a 32-minute drive east of Centreville.

The garden was built to promote the importance of plants and nature to humankind by the United States government.

Sculpture at U.S. Botanic Garden

TJ Brown /

Today, the botanic garden remains one of the nation’s top tourist attractions, drawing millions of visitors annually.

The garden, which also serves as a conservatory, houses millions of plants from native to exotic species, which are all fascinating to see.

Check out the U.S. Botanic Garden for a therapeutic experience seeing gorgeous plants and flowers thriving.

Flora at U.S. Botanic Garden

Rachael Martin /

Browse the Workhouse Arts Center

Visit the Workhouse Arts Center for a colorful and relaxing art-related tour.

You can visit this art center in Lorton, Virginia, 22 minutes from Centreville.

The entire art center spans 55 acres.

It comprises galleries, art campuses, theaters, and workshops featuring the region’s finest aspiring artists.

More than a hundred professional and emerging artists thrive in this art center.

Amazingly, most of their artworks are displayed in one of its galleries which you can see up close during your visit.

Remember to include the Workhouse Arts Center in your itinerary to see impressive paintings, sculptures, and other artworks up close.

Visit Washington D.C.’s Monuments and Memorials

Washington Monument at Washington D.C.

Kamira /

Seize the chance to visit the famous Washington D.C. monuments and memorials since it’s a few miles from Centreville.

More than a hundred memorials and monuments of prominent personalities and heroes are scattered throughout this city.

Lincoln Memorial at Washington D.C.

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Seize the chance to see each of them up close and pay tribute to their great contribution to the nation.

Some must-see Washington D.C. monuments and memorials are the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Albert Einstein Memorial, Peace Monument, Veteran’s Memorial, World War II Memorial, etc.

Albert Einstein Memorial at Washington D.C.

Orhan Cam /

Explore the Freedom Museum

Signage of Freedom Museum

refrina /

The Freedom Museum is in Manassas, Virginia, 15 minutes from Centreville.

This museum details the heroic stories of the American servicemen and women on the front lines.

Visiting this museum is an awesome place to learn about war history.

Read the personal accounts of the heroic soldiers whose stories are displayed in this amazing place.

The most fascinating stories you’ll encounter inside the Freedom Museum are from World War II, Vietnam War, and the present wars and conflicts.

Final Thoughts

Centreville is not just your typical sleepy community home to office workers and professionals from Washington, D.C.

It’s also a one-of-a-kind travel destination with plenty to offer regarding the history and the outdoors.

Check out the free things to do in Centreville, Virginia!

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