Dear Night Writer: We're newcomers to the area, and one of our favorite outings was a picnic and show at Wolf Trap this summer. But we've already gotten a taste of autumn temperatures, and as transplanted Southerners, we're not sure we're looking forward to winter. Does Wolf Trap continue to entertain in the snow? -- Cold Feet

Dear Feet: Yes and no. That is, the Northern Virginia winters are a trifle too bracing for open-air performances, but Wolf Trap has a full fall/winter schedule of weekend concerts indoors at The Barns. (In fact, you reminded us just in time: The season opens this weekend with country-folk singer Lyle Lovett appearing Friday and longtime club circuit-rider Kenny Rankin Saturday.)

However, while the main Wolf Trap amphitheater and its hillsides are beloved as a Petit Trianon of the picnic crowd, with the more exuberant diners toting candlesticks, caviar and champagne, and the trendy American Cafe supplying box dinners, The Barns has no dinner or catering service. There is a bar inside and "munchies" at the concession stand, but that's it.

Scheduled for the next couple of months: Maureen McGovern on Friday, October 23 and a Montreaux Jazz/Windham Hill evening Saturday, October 24; ex-Airplane/Starship guitarist Jorma Kaukonen October 29, native son Steve Hudson October 30 and local heroes the Charlie Byrd Trio October 31; the "progressive acoustic" John McCutcheon October 6 and folkie Christine Lavin October 7; folk trio Schooner Fare October 13 and 14; more progressive acoustic with Trapezoid November 20 and gonzo-folkie David Bromberg November 21; flutist Paula Robison November 27 and blues/jazz artist Corky Siegel November 28; and cabaret star Karen Akers December 3-5.

The Barns, a 350-seat theater constructed from the timbers of two 18th-century barns, actually has very nice acoustics. The Barns also hosts regular children's performances, called Barnstorm!, the first Saturday of every month. Concert tickets are available through Ticket Center outlets, The Barns box office, or by mail. Call 255-1916 for more information.

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