All Ages


Monday, July 11th    Rio

4:30pm @ Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse, Arlington

Rio is showing at Arlington Drafthouse, and it’s only $1.00!  The Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse is in an historic 1930′s Art Deco Theater that has been converted into a fun restaurant/theater.  With comfortable chairs and table-side service, the full menu is available in the theater.  Every seat has access to a table or counter inside the theater. The kids’ menu includes chicken fingers, pizza, and hamburgers, and are all around $5.  Doors open at 4pm.  From the makers of the hit ICE AGE series comes RIO, a comedy adventure about taking a walk on the wild side.


Tuesday, July 12th    The Magic of Hans Christian Andersen

10:30am – 11:15am @ George Mason Regional Library, Annandale

Applause Unlimited presents “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes” told with puppets and masks.  All ages.  Registration is not required; tickets will be distributed beginning 30 minutes before the event; first come, first served.

Click here for more info.


Wednesday, July 13th    Stroller Happy Hour

3pm – 5pm @ Twisted Vines, Arlington

It’s that time of the month again.  Bring the little ones to a kid-friendly meet & greet with other Arlington parents. Snacks will be provided for the kids… great happy hour specials for the kids at heart.


Thursday, July 14th    The Great Zucchini

11am @ Barrett Branch Library, Alexandria

As a part of the Alexandria Library’s SummerQuest, The Great Zucchini will be performing.  This is a free event, and no registration is required. 



Friday, July 15th    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

10:30am – 11am and 4pm – 4:30pm @ Kinderhaus Toys, Arlington

The Very Hungry Caterpillar will make a special appearance and you will also read caterpillar stories and play fun games.


Although there are no fireworks blasting off from Arlington, there are many great spots where you can view the National Mall fireworks.

Air Force Memorial is located on Columbia Pike by the Navy Annex.  There is a free Air Force Band concert beginning at 8pm.  The closest metro stations are Pentagon and Pentagon City.  It’s not too bad of a walk.  You can also park at Navy Annex parking lots or park at Pentagon Mall and walk over.

Gateway Park is a 3-acre park in Rosslyn just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown.  Bonus of restrooms at the park!

Gravelly Point is a great spot because it is directly across the river from the National Mall show, and reflection of the fireworks in the Potomac is amazing.  It is a fairly spacious grassy area along the Mount Vernon Trail.  No glass bottles or alcohol are allowed anywhere along the Parkway.  If you decide to drive, reaching the parking lot can be difficult. Head south on GW Parkway until you reach Reagan National Airport.  At the airport, circle back to head north onto the Parkway towards the 14th Street Bridge.  About a quarter of mile before the bridge, turn right into the parking area.  Parking in the lot is difficult as there are minimal spots, and bicycling and metro are great alternative options.  Crystal City metro is around a 20 minute walk along the Mt. Vernon Trail.  You can also take the Reagan National airport metro station, but you do have to walk through the airport and parking lots.

The Iwo Jima Memorial is also near the Rosslyn Metro station.  Iwo Jima is only around 5 blocks from the station.  As with all of these spots, you have to get there early to get a good spot!   Some people get there as early as 4pm.  Bring a blanket and picnic to pass the time.

Key BridgeAlthough there is no seating on the bridge, you can stand on the sidewalks.  There are pedestrian walkways on either side of the bridge to watch the show.

Lady Bird Johnson Park is a little tougher to get to than some of the other spots, but it is less crowded and has really great views.   Take the Arlington Cemetery metro station, and walk the bike path down toward the Columbia Island Marina.  Restrooms are open.  If you want to drive, head south on GW Parkway and turn right into Marina after signs for Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove and Columbia Island Marina (before the Humpback Bridge).

Mount Vernon Trail  Yes, Gravely Point is a great spot, but there are many other places along the Mount Vernon Trail to watch the fireworks.  Simply walk along the trail and stake out a spot free of trees.

Another option is the Falls Church fireworks!  The show is at George Mason High School, with live music starting at 7pm, and fireworks will follow at 9:20pm.



Many neighborhoods in Arlington hold community parades on Independence Day.

  • Albemarle Street @ 9am- starts at 32nd and Albemarle Streets.
  • Barcroft Neighborhood @ 10am- starts at the Barcroft Community Center at 8th Street S. and S. Buchanan Street.
  • Bellevue Forest @ 9am- starts at Roberts Lane and Oxford Street.
  • Douglas Park @ 10:30am- starts at S. Monroe Street and 14th Street S.
  • Dover Crystal and Riverwood @ 10am- starts at 25th and Pollard Streets.
  • Fairlington Village @ 10am- S. 31st Street and S. Abingdon Streets.
  • Lyon Village @ 11am- starts at Key Boulevard and Highland Street.

The National Independence Day Parade in DC starts at 11:45 and runs down Constitution Avenue from 7th Street to 17th Street.  The Parade consists of bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian & drill teams, VIP’s, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants. During the afternoon, live entertainment will be on the Mall, and at the

The Capitol Hill Parade will begin at 8th and I streets S.E.  There will be classic cars, Boy & Girl Scouts, marching bands, the Fairy Princess Patrol, and dancers! Following the parade is a community fair at Eastern Market Metro Plaza with food, entertainment, and kid’s games.  The route: 8th and I SE north to D St SE, left on D, right on 7th St SE, the Metro plaza is on the right.  Parade starts at 10am and lasts for about an hour, ending at the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.

Other 4th of July Activities

National Archives Building annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at 10am.  On the Constitution Avenue steps, between 7th and 9th Streets, veteran news broadcaster John Palmer will be emcee, with a keynote address by the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  The main attraction is the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence.  From 11am – 2pm there will be family activities inside the National Archives Building.  You can also meet historical figures in the rotunda, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abigail Adams, and members of the American Historical Theatre.  You can also sign a full-size facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, and listen to stories of our patriotic past in the Boeing Learning Center at 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm.

White House Visitor Center– from 10am to 3pm you will have the chance to be a “Signer of the Declaration of Independence for a Day,” with the help of NPS rangers and volunteers from President’s Park.  The day’s events include games, crafts, and other activities designed for both children and adults.  White House Visitor Center is located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, N.W., on the north side of the Commerce Department Building.

Every Sunday from June 26th – September 4th there will be free movies every Sunday just after sunset at National Harbor.  Bring a lawn chair, and leave your coolers and food/beverages at home.  There will also be kids activities before the movies!

June 26th – Grown Ups (8:37pm)

July 3rd – Apollo 13 (8:37pm)

July 10th – Mega Mind (8:35pm)

July 17th– Despicable Me (8:32pm)

July 24th – Shrek Forever After (8:27pm)

July 31st – How to Train Your Dragon (8:21pm)

August 7th – Tron Legacy (8:13pm)

August 14th – Jumanji (8:04pm)

August 21st – Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, Witch & Wardrobe (7:55pm)

August 28th – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (7:45pm)

September 4th – Wizard of Oz (7:34pm)

Happy Valentine’s Day week!  Have a great week as you go out and play….

Monday, February 14th    Family Bagging Night

6:30pm @ Arlington Food Assistance Center, Arlington

What a great way to spend Valentine’s Day with your entire family!  Help put donated groceries into bags for distribution to families in need.  Registration is required prior to attending.  Email Family Bagging Nights are great for kids ages 5-10.


Tuesday, February 15th    Wee Wonders’ Woo-Hoo, You at the Zoo!

10:30am – 11:45am @ The National Children’s Museum Launch Zone, National Harbor, MD

Check out this month’s Wee Wonder’s program focused on the zoo.  Activities typically include stories, games, art, music, experiments, drama, and movement.  For ages 2 – 4, and cost is $10..

Click here for more info.



Wednesday, February 16th    Disney On Ice: Princess Wishes

Enter a world containing your favorite Disney princesses like Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and more!  Check out my post for more info.


Thursday, February 15th   Walrus & Friends.

10:30am @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

A preschool program all about seals, sea lions and walruses.  Registration is required.  Cost is $5 per child ages 3 – 5.


Friday, February 18th Friday Night Movies

5:30—7:30pm @ Aurora Hills Community Center.

There will be snacks, and you can bring your sleeping bags and pillows to enjoy a family feature presentation. Movies start at 6:00pm, and doors open at 5:30pm.  There will be pizza and popcorn as well.  Come early to screen some video shorts from the Award Winning Gunston Film Club.  These Friday movie nights will occur every Friday through March 25th.

Take advantage of the warmish weather and amazing fall colors and take your kids to a park and snap away.  We took K to Triangle Park in DC to take pictures for the second year.  We loved the background of fall leaves and crisp blue skies last year, and were lucky enough to have similar weather this year.

When taking pictures outside, the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset (roughly) are a great time to get amazing pictures.  Called the magic hour or golden hour, the sun is close to the horizon at those times and creates soft warm colors.  This light is softer than later in the day when the sun shines a brighter light, which washes out details in your photos.  Sunrise pictures are tough to think about with young kids, so sunset is usually the best time.

To read more about the Magic Hour, head to Suite101: The Golden Hours of Outdoor Photography: Shooting Pictures Before Sunset and After Sunrise

It looks like it is going to be a beautiful weekend.  I’m not sure how this happened, but we are sneaking up on the holiday season.  To help get you in the holiday spirit, check out several events that kick of the season- plus more fun things to do!

Saturday, November 13th

Long Branch’s 38th Birthday Bash

2:00pm – 4:00pm: Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington.

The Long Branch Nature Center opened in 1972 in a converted 1940s house. In fact, one of the former residents was Mae Hickman, a pioneer in the field of wildlife rehabilitation. The nature center continues to be actively involved in the rehabilitation of injured wildlife, and Long Branch’s naturalists are licensed to treat injured and sick reptiles.

Come help them celebrate their 38th year!  Long Branch party attendees can meet the animals on display, take part in a scavenger hunt, craft making, and help blow out the candles on the cake (cut at 3:00 p.m).  There is no program fee, but $5 donations per participant are encouraged. To register, call 703-228-4747 or go online at: Ages 3 & up.

Special Nutcracker Storytime and Mini-preformance by BalletNOVA

10:30am: Barnes and Noble, Clarendon Market Commons, Arlington

BalletNova Center for Dance is partnering with Barnes & Noble to offer a Nutcracker Storytime hour.  Costumed cast members from BalletNOVA’s Nutcracker will read one-on-one to the children, followed by a special preview performance.

8th Annual Pentagon Row Holiday Festival

5pm – 7pm: Pentagon Row, Arlington

Head down to Pentagon Row this weekend for for a fun start to the holiday season!  There will be hay rides, live music, a visit from Santa, store specials, and ice skating.

Red White, and Blue Holiday Cards

11am – 2pm: Postal Museum, Washington, DC

Hang out at the Postal Museum and create holiday cards for friends and family or donate a card to American military members through Operation Gratitude.  Cost is free, and is appropriate for kids 5 and older.

The Great Zucchini and Barry the Magician

10am: Avalon Theater, Washington, DC

One of DC’s most popular pre-school entertainers,The Great Zucchini will be performing along with the famous Barry The Magician at the Avalon Theater.m.
(202-966-6000). Tickets online at Adults and children, $8.50.

Saturday, November 13 & Sunday, November 14

Tea with Martha

3:00 – 4:30pm: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Alexandria
Sound like a little girl’s dream?  A re-enactor playing Martha Washington discusses 18th century tea customs, clothing and dancing.  Drink the museum’s special blend of tea, pound cake, dried fruit, and assortment of cookies. The fun part is, party attire requested!  Recommended for adult groups, mothers and daughters. $25 per person, $20 for groups of 6 or more with reservations.  Reservations (required) to 703-746-4242.

National Children’s Museum Celebrates Family Literacy Month

The Launch Zone, National Harbor, MD

The National Children’s Museum is celebrating Family Literacy Month with “A Celebration of Children’s Literature: The White House on the Waterfront”.  There are three author discussions planned (details below) on November 13-14. The three authors will engage families with an interactive discussion, a Q&A session, and a book signing. The Launch Zone will also involve children by offering a make-and-take craft.

  • Steven Kellogg, Regina Medal recipient, author, and illustrator of over 100 children’s books. (SESSION IS FULL)
  • Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal award winner for Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved – Saturday, Nov. 13, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal award winner for Sarah, Plain and Tall – Sunday, Nov. 14, 1-3 p.m

Advance registration is required. Families must register for individual authors’ sessions online at The event is free to attend and most appropriate for ages 6 to 12.

Sunday, November 14

Family Friendly Sunday Big Screen Brunch

11am: Eat Bar, Arlington

Every week Eat Bar shows a different kid friendly movie, so you and your family can hang out, eat a yummy brunch, and not have to clean up afterwards.  What could be better?  Movies begin at 11am.

So apparently I took the summer off!  Not planned, but we were super busy and the blog is what suffered.  I’m back, so let’s get right to it…

This week is going to be sunny  and low 60’s/high 50’s.  Take advantage of the warmish weather, and go out and play!


Tuesday, November 9th Geckos: Tails to Toepads – 9am – 5 pm daily (Free Admission on Wednesday) @ National Geographic Museum — This exhibit features from than 70 geckos More than 70 live geckos from 15 different species in re-creations of their habitats.  Visitors can experience gecko night vision, play at a coloring station,  listen to gecko sounds, read books about geckos, activate video clips of geckos in action, and build a custom gecko for various environments.  There’s also a gecko feeding at 2 p.m. daily.  Stay tuned for a review of the event after we go next week.


Wednesday, November 10th Stroller Happy Hour – 3pm – 5pm @ Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro, Arlington — Come hang out with other Moms and Dads for a kid-friendly meet & greet at Twisted Vines on Columbia Pike! Twisted Vines has toys out to entertain the kids while the adults can hang out.  Snacks for the kids will be provided. Twisted Vines says to feel free to have them bring their favorite toys to share with the others.


Thursday, November 11t Thursday is Veterans Day, so go pay tribute to Veterans by visiting DC Memorials.   Visit About DC  for a schedule of special events…




Thursday, November 11th Len Piper’s Pinocchio – 10am & 11:30am @ The Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo — This production is told with life-size marionettes and live actors, and is the story of a puppet who wants to become a real boy.  Show length is 50 minutes, and it is recommended for children in grades K – 6.



Friday, November 12 Northern Virginia Christmas Market – Friday & Saturday 10:00 – 6:00, Sunday 10:00-5:00 @ Dulles Expo Center –Get some of the Christmas shopping done early!  This arts and crafts market features 300 fine artisans from more than 25 states, and contains Christmas collectibles and thousands of home decorating ideas for the holidays.  View booths with fine arts, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, wood, photography, fiber arts, as well as thousands of one-of-kind Christmas collectibles.

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