Glen Echo

It looks like it is going to be a beautiful week, so get out of the house and enjoy!!

Monday, June 13th    Paint-a-plate

6:30pm – 9:30pm @ Art Studios at Thomas Jefferson Community Center, Arlington

This sounds like a great low-cost way to spend time with your family and create something memorable!  You can create custom plates (or mugs or bowls) for gifts or for a special occasion.  The cost is $12 per plate, and plates are available for pick-up 1 week later.  Make a reservation by calling 703-228-5918.

Tuesday, June 14th    Lunchtime with Piranhas
2pm @ National Aquarium, Washington, DC

Watch as the piranhas hunt for their meal and learn more about their feeding behaviors at the piranha feeding.

Wednesday, June 15th    Hovering Hummingbirds
3:30pm – 4:30pm @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Preschoolers can learn about hummingbirds in this highly interactive program to include stories, a craft, and a short hike.

Wednesday, June 15th    Stroller Happy Hour

3pm – 5pm @ Twisted Vines, 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.

Wednesday, June 15th    Civil War Discovery Series: You’re in the Army Now
6pm – 7pm @ Fort C.F. Smith Park, Arlington
Enlist in the Civil War army and use replica wood rifles to learn to “load in nine times”, and how to march as a well drilled unit.  They will also conduct a skirmish drill. For more information: 703-243-4342.  For ages 7-11.  Cost is $5- registration is necessary.

Wednesday, June 15th    Garden Talk: How to Grow a Pizza

7pm @ Central Library Community Garden, Arlington

Children and their adults will learn how one of their favorite foods is closely connected to the garden. They can also help plant pizza ingredients in containers that will then be given away. It is a great way to encourage young people to think about where their food comes from and increase their interest in gardening.

Thursday, June 16th    The Great Dinosaur Mystery

10am & 11:30am @ Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo, MD

Come see a fun new puppet show at the Puppet Co, and then head to the carousel and playground after.  This puppet show is set in the basement of the Natural History Museum.  A mysterious box is found, and in it is a giant shoe thought to belong to a dinosaur! Suddenly dinosaurs begin appearing with messages from a mysterious character named Tootsie.  What does it all mean?  It’s all a Great Dinosaur Mystery!  Cost per ticket is $10 for ages 2 and up.  Running time is 50 minutes, and it is recommended for kids ages 3 1/2 and older.


Friday, June 17th    Olympic Day

5pm @ Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center, Alexandria

This celebration will feature sporting activities, a visit from an Olympian, and a musical performance by NU ERA.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Summertime is upon us, and it is a great time to get out of the house and take a ride (or watch one).  WIthin just a few miles, there are several miniature trains to ride, beautiful carousels to enjoy, and places to watch planes take off and land.



Burke Lake Regional Park Train, Fairfax Station, VA

This train is a one-third-scale replica C.P.Huntington.  It costs $2.50 for ages 3 and up (2 and under are free), and is open every day from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The ride is over 1.75 miles and takes 10 minutes.  It reaches speeds of 10 to 12 miles per hour, and runs on the 15 and 45 past the hour.  The first train leaves at 11:15am and last train ride is 5:45pm

Cabin John Train, Rockville, MD

This miniature train is really affordable- $1.75 for ages 3 and up, free for 2 and under with adult.  The train is a replica of the 1863 C.P. Huntington, a 4-2-4T steam locomotive.  The train leaves on the half hour and hour, and is around a 15-minute ride.  Check out the talkative trash-eating pig and the hippo water fountain after the ride.  The train depot is just across the parking lot from the huge playground, so after the train you can head to the playground where there are 7-8 play areas within the shaded playground.  It is huge- there are places to climb, slide, run, and swing for all ages of kids.  There’s a lot of open space to run around.  You can also have lunch at one of several picnic tables.  This is one of our favorite parks!!  The train runs Monday – Thursday, 10am – 5:30pm (1st train at 10:30) and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays, 10am-7pm (1st train at 10:30; last train at 7:30pm) from June 1st – August 28th. 

Tysons Corner Center Train, McLean, VA

Tysons Corner Express indoor train is trackless and takes two loops around the 3rd level on the 8-minute ride.  Tickets are $3 each or $5 for two tickets.  The train starts out at the soft play area, and runs beside TGIFridays, by the movie theaters, and along the food court area.  The train is self-contained, and runs on batteries, which are charged overnight at the mall.

Wheaton Regional Park Train, Wheaton, MD

This is another great Maryland miniature train.  This train is a replica of the 1863 C.P. Huntington, a 4-2-4T steam locomotive.  A 12-minute ride, this train tours the park’s forests and meadows, through a tunnel, over a trestle bridge, and past Pine Lake.  It is located in the Shorefield Area of the park.  The train station is just a short walk from the parking lot, and tickets are $1.75 each (children age 2 and younger with a paying adult ride free).  The tickets are actually good for the carousel as well.  From May 1- August 28, the train is open 7 days a week.  From Monday – Thursday it runs from 10am – 5:30pm (1st train at 10:30; last train at 6pm), and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays it runs from 10am-7pm (1st train at 10:30; last train at 7:30pm).  The park also has a playground with many different play areas.  Check out Our Kid’s review–



Gravelly Point, Arlington, VA

One of the best places to see Reagan National (DCA) planes take off and land is Gravelly Point in Arlington.  Check out this post for more info.

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, Chantilly, VA

If you are closer to Dulles (IAD), go to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum in Chantilly.  You can watch planes land and take off from the Donald D. Engen observation tower.  Admission is free to the museum, but is is $15 to park.  After 4pm parking is free.





Burke Lake Park Carousel, Fairfax Station, VA

This carousel runs on the hour and half hour, with the first train running at 11:30am.  The fee is $1.75, and from Memorial Day through Labor Day it is open every day.  To find both the train and carousel, as you drive into Burke Lake Park, stay left and follow the signs for the train and carousel.

Clemyjontri Park Carousel, McLean, VA

This wheel chair accessible carousel runs from 9:30am – 1pm on weekdays  and 9:30am – 6:30pm on weekends from May 30th – Sept. 5th.  The cost is $1.75 per ride.  Kids under 42 inches must be accompanied by an adult, but this adult does not need a ticket to ride.  There are chariots, a spinning tea cup, and 14 prancing horses.  The carousel is recessed to ground level so that it is wheelchair accessible.

Frying Pan Farm Park Carousel, Herndon, VA

This carousel arrived just this year.  It is a 20-horse antique Allan Herschell carousel was built in 1918.  Tickets are $1.75.

Glen Echo Carousel, Glen Echo, MD

This Dentzel Carousel was built in 1921.  The cost is $1.25 per ride, and all riders require a ticket.  There are jumping and standing horses, a giraffe, a lion, ostriches, rabbits, a tiger, a deer), and 2 chariots.  From June – August the carousel is open 10am – 2pm Wednesday – Thursday (also open on Fridays in July and August), and 12pm – 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Inner Harbor CarouselBaltimore, MD

It is an1906 antique Herschell-Spillman carousel with horses, dogs, pigs, roosters, zebras, frogs, and chariots.  It is located in downtown Baltimore at Inner Harbor next to Maryland Science Center.  Cost is $1.25 per person.

National Mall Carousel, Washington, DC

There are 60 animals (horses, cats, lions, zebras, dragons and more) on this Allan Herschel carousel, which was built in 1947.  Cost is $3.50, and an adult must ride with those under 42″.  It is open 10am – 5:30pm daily.,1027953.html

Wheaton Regional Park Carousel, Wheaton, MD

This is an Ovid Hazen Wells Carousel built by the Herschell Spillman in 1915. There are horses, zebras, and chariots.  It is under a pavilion, which allows it to operate in the rain.  From May 1- August 28, it is open 7 days a week- Monday – Thursday from 10am-5:30pm, and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays from 10am-7pm.  Tickets are $1.75 each, and children age 2 and younger with a paying adult ride free.

Saturday, April 30th

Mount Vernon Big Flea

8am – 3pm @ Mount Vernon Community Center, Alexandria

Check out this large flea market fundraiser to benefit the Mount Vernon Community School PTA.  There will be furniture, kids gear, electronics, household items, collectibles, jewelry, and more.  The MV Big Flea doors open for early admission at 8am ($10) with general admission (free) starting at 9am. At noon, everything is half off and at 2pm everything left over is free!  They are also raffling off a classic 1986 convertible ($10 per ticket).

Alexandria Earth Day

10am – 2pm @ Ben Brenman Park, Alexandria.  

There will be environmental display, food, jazz music, poetry, free parking, and a tree sale.  There will be 51 exhibitors – every one will have a hands-on children’s activity at their stand.  The main event is a Fashion from Trashion Show in which 200 youngsters from Alexandria will walk the catwalk in their designs made from trash.  Check out my post for more fun things to do to celebrate Earth Day this weekend.

Glen Echo Park Family Day

11am – 4pm @ Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD

This event celebrates the opening of the carousel and offers a full day of activities for families.  There will be magic shows with Barry Wood and Alex Wohl, Irish Dance Performances, Ballet Petite and Youth Performing Arts School presents “Cinderella”, Family Dancing, art projects, face painting, hula hoop fun, balloon animals, cake & lemonade, and lots more!  The Carousel operates from  12 – 6 pm, $1.25 per ride.

2nd Birthday of the Launch Zone

11am – 4pm @ NCM Launch Zone, National Harbor, MD

Happy birthday to the National Children’s Museum’ Launch Zone!  On Saturday, they will host a “birthday party”, with birthday hat decorating, a visit from a lovable Peep from the Peeps Store, face painting, rain stick making, party favors, and much more.  In addition, Wayne Alan, a well-known magician will perform two 45 minute shows at 12pm and 2pm.

Move Me!  Arts Experience Festival

2pm – 5pm @ Kenmore Middle School, Arlington

A fun, free, family friendly event (how’s that for alliteration?) that will celebrate local arts.  It is hosted by Bowen McCauley Dance, and brings together local arts organizations like Synetic Theatre and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts for an afternoon of family fun.  The event will feature dance, music, visual art, literary art, and fitness activities.  At 3pm the BMD Professional Company, the Kenmore Junior Company, and Dance for PD (Parkinson Disease) students will take the stage for a one-hour performance to music of Duke Ellington.

Click here for more info.


2:30pm – 3:30pm @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Learn all about Virginia’s hawks.  Join members of the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia as they share their knowledge and let you have a chance to meet some live birds.  This event is free, but donations to the Raptor Conservancy is encouraged.  This is for families with children ages 5 and up.  For more info call 703-228-6535.

Sunday, May 1st

Stories and Music in the Garden!
4 pm- 6pm, @ Mt. Vernon Unitarian Church, Alexandria
There will be performers presenting stories and songs, and there will also be a spring craft for children.  Brats, hot dogs, sweet treats, and more will be available.  Beer and wine will also be sold.  Proceeds support the Fort Hunt Preschool/MVUC natural playground project.

Choralis Cantus Youth Choirs’ May Day Concert

4pm @ Falls Church Presbyterian Church, Falls Church

The Choralis Cantus Youth Choir’s spring concert will feature each of the youth ensembles and the Cantus Primo Select Youth Choir.  It will be fun for the whole family.  A reception will follow the concert in the Fellowship Hall of the church.  Ticket prices for the concert are:  $10 adults, $5 for students 22 and under with ID; and free for ages 12 and under.

May Day Baskets

1:30pm @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

Join the tradition of making a May basket and fill it with flowers to hang on the front door of friends or neighbors as a May Day surprise.  Learn to identify some wildflowers and make art with flowers.

Click here for more info.

Saturday April 30th & May 1st

The Cat Who Went to Heaven

11am, 1:30pm, & 5pm on Saturday and 1:30pm & 4pm on Sunday @ The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

This is a children’s jazz puppet show, based on the 1931 Newbery Award–winning children’s book by Elizabeth Coatsworth.  This is a great introduction to jazz for children age 5 and up.  Cost is $18 per ticket.

Hope that you have a fun week!  Here are some ideas to get you out of the house…

Tuesday, April 26th    Wagon Ride – Wonderful Wildflowers    

10am @ Riverbend Park, Great Falls, VA

Come on the wagon for a wildflower scavenger hunt.  Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.  Registration is required.  Click here  to register.

Wednesday, April 27th    Tiny Tots: Teddy Bear’s Picnic

10am @ The Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo

Come to a Tiny Tots program designed for children under 4!  In Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Baby Bear has a picnic for his friends.  In all Tiny Tots shows, the lights stay on and the doors stay open.  The running time is 30 minutes.  Everyone must have a ticket, including babies.  Cost is $5 per ticket.

Thursday, April 28th    Snow White and the 7 Dwarves

10am & 11:30am @ The Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo, MD

Based on the Grimm fairy tale, this show offers another view of the story.  When Snow White meets seven vertically challenged bachelors, she discovers that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses; and that friendship and teamwork make any challenge smaller.  Cost is $10 per ticket.  Recommended for kids kindergarten through grade 6.

Thursday, April 28th    Shadow Puppet Making Drop-in

5pm – 7pm @ WIP Gallery, Artisphere, Arlington

Watch Nana Projects artists at work and create your own shadow puppets!  This is a free event for all ages.

Friday, April 29th    Garden Fair and Plant Sale

1pm – 4pm @ US National Arboretum, Washington, DC
There will be a huge selection of unusual plants, garden supplies, books and art.  There will also be activities for kids,  refreshments, entertainment, plus much more.  This is a free event! 

Big weekend ahead- football, birds, Chinese New Year and more!  What are you up to this weekend?


Saturday, February 5th


Bird Walks at the Zoo

9am @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

Join bird house keeper, Debi Talbott, as she hosts a bird walk through zoo grounds.  The grounds of the zoo are home to a variety of bird species.  Meet in front of the bird house.  The walk will last 1 hour.


NSO Pops: Disney in Concert

8pm @ The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

NSO Pops will perform selections from various Disney movies, like The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Aladdin, and The Lion King.  The show will also have short video clips and photos projected onto a screen above the stage, and there will be a chance to sing along to songs that everyone knows.


Sunday, February 6th


Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration & Parade

12pm – 5pm @ Chinatown Community Cultural Center, Washington, DC

To help celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of the Rabbit, head to Chinatown for the traditional lion dance parade.  The parade begins at 6th and I streets, NW, and goes through Chinatown and around the Verizon Center.  There will also be fireworks at 3:45pm.  Inside the Chinatown Community Cultural Center there will be displays, kids activities, martial art performances, and Chinese musical instruments.


Watch the Super Bowl!

6:30pm @ a TV near you

Yes, the commercials are fun, and the food is amazing, but the football is great too!  Especially this year- my team, the Steelers, is back in the Super Bowl!  Even if you are a Packers fan, have a great Super Bowl Sunday!


Saturday & Sunday, February 5th – 6th


Old McDonald’s Farm

10am @ The Puppet Co, Glen Echo

This week’s Tiny Tot’s puppet show is Old McDonald’s Farm.  Best for ages 4 and under.  Tickets are $5, and everyone needs a ticket (even babies).  The show is 30 minutes.  Running time is 30 minutes.


Is anyone else sick of this cold weather?!  I know that is is January, but it is REALLY cold out there. Try and stay warm!


Tuesday, January 25th    An Afternoon of Shopping at JW Tumbles

3pm – 6pm @ JW Tumbles, Alexandria

529.Kids.Consign, JW Tumbles, and Toka Salon & Day Spa are teaming up for an afternoon of fun for kids and moms.  There will be shopping for gently used and brand new designer children’s and maternity clothing, playing at JW Tumbles, and free product samples from the amazing Toka Salon and Day Spa.


Wednesday, January 26th    Snow Show

10am @ The Puppet Co. Glen Echo Park, Glen Echo, MD

Every Wednesday and Saturday at 10am, the Puppet Co. at Glen Echo Park has a special Tiny Tots performance specifically for those under 4.  This Wednesday’s show is, Snow Show, where you and your kids can enjoy a fun puppet show about snow- from snowmen to a snow bunny on skis.

The 30-minute Tiny Tots shows have dimmed lights and the kids sit on the floor.  The shows are performed by master puppeteer, Bob Brown, who founded the Smithsonian Puppet Theater (now called Discovery Theater).  The cost is $5 per person.  That includes babies in arms.  You can order tickets online as well as reserve them with no obligation.  They release the reserved tickets to the general public at 9:45.  A bit of advice- go ahead and pay for your tickets ahead of time.  The line for tickets is often long when you get to the theater, and it can sell out.  Call 301-634-5380


Thursday, January 27th    Over 2s Storytime

4:15pm @ Aurora Hills Library, Arlington

The Over 2s storytime program is for kids ages 2 – 5 years.  There will be songs, puppets, a flannel board, and books.  It is a pretty laid back storytime, but the librarians ask that you keep your children near you, and not to let them wander around.


Friday, January 28th    Family Fun Game Night

7pm – 8pm @ Hooray for Books, Alexandria

Join other families for games and activities.  Best for ages 4 and up.  Please call (703-548-4092) or email ( if you plan to go.

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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