Is everyone out there as busy as I am?  There’s always rom for some fun- here are some ideas to get you out of the house!

Tuesday, November 15th    Recess at the Rink

9:20am – 10:50am @ Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Arlington

This special public skating session is a great opportunity for young children to get acclimated tothe rink before summer skating camps and lessons!  An instructor will be available throughout the session to assist skaters as needed.  Kids can play hockey with foam hockey pucks, mini-nets, and mini-sticks, use buckets, and write on the ice with special markers!  All young skaters must wear gloves. Helmets are recommended. Adults not required to be on ice with children, but they do skate for free with children.  Beanie Babies, buckets, ice markers, and foam hockey pucks will be provided for kids to play with while skating! Plus free hot drinks!*  Kids ages 2 to 8 skate for $7.  Parents and caregivers skate free with child!  Includes skate rental for all! Limit one adult per child.

Wednesday, November 16th   Kids Club

10:30am @ Aurora Hills Branch Library, Arlington

Come and listen to stories by Dav Pilkey and Mo Willems! There will be an egg toss and children will go home with balloon animals created by Antoine from the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs department. For more information, call 703-228-5715.

Wednesday, November 16th    Special Drop-In Holiday Storytime “Off Campus”

10:30am @ Giant Supermarket, Arlington

A special holiday storytime. Drop-in, no registration. Daycare classes are welcomed to attend. At the new Giant supermarket off Columbia Pike, 2501 9th Rd. S. For more information, call 703-228-7761.

Wednesday, November 16th    Fairies, Fables and Funny Folktales

4pm @ Columbia Pike Branch Library, Arlington

Storytime includes multicultural folktales, puppetry, readers’ theater and crafts. A drop-in program for grades K-5. No registration required. For more information, call 703-228-7761.

Wednesday, November 16th    Wild Ones: On the Turkey Trail

4pm – 5pm @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Your child is invited to join our exciting nature club which meets twice a month. Choose just a few programs or attend them all! Gobble gobble? Trace the tracks of the turkey as we trail this big bird through the woods. Learn to tell a Tom from a Hen, where they can be seen in our area, and more! For more information: 703-228-3403. Ages 6 – 10.

Thursday, November 17th    Nature Detectives- Turkeys

10am @ Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria

Learn about these impressive birds through an activity, and a craft. Reservations required

Friday, November 18th    ‘Tis the Season

7:30pm @ David M. Brown Planetarium, Arlington

This annual holiday favorite, where you learn how people throughout time dealt with the shortened days of winter.  The show equates the darkness of the winter solstice with the multi-cultural practice of using festive lights to celebrate the holiday season.



Monday, July 25th    Nature Center at Libraries: A Tale of Tails
1:30pm – 2:15pm @ Glencarlyn Library, Arlington & 4:30pm – 5:15pm @
Cherrydale Library, Arlington
Long Branch Nature Center takes its show on the road for the Arlington County Libraries’ Summer Reading Quest. This year’s theme is “One World, Many Stories”. They will concentrate on the many tales around the world about animal’s tails.  Naturalist Alonso Abugattas from Long Branch Nature Center for stories of foresty friends.  Hear some of these stories and even get a chance to meet some animals with some interesting tails to be told about!  Get Caught Reading summer performances are designed for children entering kindergarten through 5th grade.  Tickets are required for all participants and will be distributed only to age appropriate children and one accompanying adult per child.  FREE TICKETS will be available at each location on the day before the performance on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.



Tuesday, July 26th    The Wonder of Whales 

10:30am – 11:30am & 3:30pm – 4:30pm @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Preschoolers will learn about these amazing mammals of the ocean.  Parents are invited to stay and observe, or those with younger siblings may visit the rest of the building during the program. Parents must remain on-site.  There is a $5 fee due upon registration.  Ages: 3 – 5 years.


Tuesday, July 26th    Kofi Dennis Djembe Storytelling

1:30pm @ Shirlington Library, Arlington & 7pm @ Central Library, Arlington

Wolf Trap Institute artist, Kofi Dennis, brings creative dramatics, movement, and storytelling through Djembe drumming.  Get Caught Reading summer performances are designed for children entering kindergarten through 5th grade.  Tickets are required for all participants and will be distributed only to age appropriate children and one accompanying adult per child.  FREE TICKETS will be available at each location on the day before the performance on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.



Tuesday, July 26th    Singalong Party 

11am @ Barrett Branch Library, Alexandria

Music with Barbara Effron & Lisa Springer.   All programs at Barrett Branch are recommended for kids ages 2 & up


Wednesday, July 27th    Tiny Tot

10am – 10:45am @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Tiny Tot programs provide a wonderful opportunity to interact one-on-one with your child while discovering the wonders of nature. Each fun and educational program will engage your child with hands-on learning, and may include a variety of activities like songs, crafts, finger plays and mini-hikes. Tiny Tot programs are offered throughout the year at both Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Centers. Each program has a theme, but themes are not published ahead of time so that we have flexibility in exploring and incorporating all of the amazing and changeable aspects of the park and its wildlife into our programs. The theme for each program is repeated during the month, so please register for only one program at each nature center per month. Adults must remain during the entire program. $5 fee due upon registration.  Ages: 18 – 35 months with adult.

Wednesday, July 27th    The Three Not-So-Little Pigs  

3:30am @ Duncan Branch Library, Alexandria

Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performs.


Wednesday, July 27th    4-Day Family Fest: Owney

11am – 3pm @ Postal Museum, Washington, DC
All aboard for a rail-riding good time with Owney the dog! This celebration includes fun, hands-on activities the kids will love.  Owney and the U.S. Postal Service invite you to celebrate the issuance of a Forever stamp celebrating this lovable dog. Enjoy remarks by special guests and the opportunity to purchase Owney stamps and first day covers. After the ceremony, enjoy Owney Fest hands-on activities for families including:
  • Design a tag for Owney
  • Race to sort mail in the Railway Post Office
  • Make a topical stamp collection to take home
  • Do a scavenger hunt and win a prize


  • 11 a.m. – Noon: First Day of Issue Ceremony and Remarks
  • Noon – 3 p.m.: Owney Festival (hands-on activities and family fun)
  • 1 p.m. – Book reading by Mona Kerby, author of Owney, The Mail-Pouch Pooch
  • 2 p.m. – Book talk by Dirk Wales, author of A Lucky Dog: Owney, U.S. Rail Mail Mascot

Thursday, July 28th    Stories at the Park

10:30am @ Under the shade trees, Walter Reed Community Center, Arlington  Get caught listening with drop-in stories for preschoolers–”Stories in the Park” at the Walter Reed Community Center.  Bring a blanket and your picnic if you like!All ages welcome.  No reservations needed.


Thursday, July 28th    Dance Party!

11am @ Barrett Branch Library, Alexandria

“DanceParty” w/scarves, shakers & more!  All programs at Barrett Branch are recommended for kids ages 2 & up


Friday, July 29th    Tales from the Deep Dark Woods
7:30pm – 8:30pm @ Long Branch Nature Center Amphitheater, Arlington
The whole family is invited to the Long Branch amphitheater for lots of old-fashioned fun.  Margaret Chatham tells stories from forests in Africa, Sweden, and Japan.  Eclectic teller of ethnic tales, Margaret Chatham is a founding member of Voices in the Glen, the Washington-area storytelling guild. Winner (with her husband) of the 2003 National Storytelling Network Oracle Award, has she got some stories to tell you!!  For information: 703-228-6535. Families. Register children and adults; children must register with an accompanying adult.
Free event!



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.



Tuesday, July 5th    Family Gaming

4pm @ Westover Library, Arlington

Stop in the Westover Meeting Room to play board games, card games and Wii with your family. All ages welcome. No registration required.


Wednesday, July 6th    Wednesday Lunchtime Concert Series

11:45am – 1:30pm @ CentralSpace, Arlington

Every Wednesday until August 31st, local musicians will perform a variety of music genres including jazz, blues, funk, pop, folk and more.  This Wednesday is the Levi Stephens Duo.


Wednesday, July 6th    The Princess and the Frog

4pm @ Westover Library, Arlington

Get Caught Reading 2011 presents the family friendly tale of Tiana, who in a Jazz Age-era New Orleans setting, kisses a frog prince who would rather be human again. A Disney film, rated G, 97 minutes.  No tickets or reservations required.


Thursday, July 7th    Drop-In Stories in the Park

10:30am @ Walter Reed Community Center (under the shade trees), Arlington

Join the special drop-in storytimes on Thursdays from July 7 to August 11 outside under the shade trees at the Walter Reed Community Center.  Bring a blanket and picnic (if you like). Call 703-228-5710 for more information.


Friday, July 8th    Animals Underground

10am & 2pm @ Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale

Dig down deep and investigate who lives in the dark, damp world under the forest floor as we learn about moles, earthworms, termites and the many other creatures of the soil.  For more information call the park at 703-941-1065.


Friday, July 8th    Turtle-Time Campfire

7pm – 8:15pm @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington

The whole family is invited to Gulf Branch fire ring for lots of old-fashioned fun. This program will be filled with entertaining activities, to include stories, special animal guests, games, songs and of course, treats like s’mores.  There is a $5 fee per person due at registration- $20 max per family. Register at  Program #: 642851-H  For more info, call 703-228-3403.







Monday, June 27th    Kids Read to Dogs

5:30pm – 6:30pm @ Central Library, Youth Services “Rabbit Hole” Room, Arlington

Children ages 6-12 are invited to read to therapy dogs. Each “Paws to Read” child is given a 15-minute session where they will be paired with a canine listener. Volunteers (both owners and dogs) are part of PAL (People. Animals. Love.), an animal therapy organization. All participating dogs are trained and certified. Studies have shown that reading to a dog (or other non-judgmental audience) can help improve a child’s reading level and increase their enjoyment of reading. Please register for a slot by calling (703) 228-5946.


Tuesday, June 28th    Summer Movie Express- Astro Boy & Megamind

10am @ Kingstowne Stadium 16, Alexandria and Ballston Common Stadium 12, Arlington

Want to see recent kids movies for only a dollar this summer?  Head to Kingstowne Stadium 16 or Ballston Common Stadium 12 for Summer Movie Express 2011.  They will offer two G or PG rated movies for only $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am from June 28th – August 24th.  This week’s movies are Astro Boy and Megamind.


Wednesday, June 29th    A Tale of Tails

4pm – 4:45pm @ Westover Library, Arlington

7pm- 7:45pm @ Columbia Pike Library, Arlington

Long Branch once again takes its show on the road for the Arlington County Libraries’ Summer Reading Quest. This year’s theme is “One World, Many Stories”.  They will concentrate on the many tales around the world about animal’s tails.  Hear some of these stories and even get a chance to meet some animals with some interesting tails to be told about.  For families with children ages 4 and up.   This event is free.  Call Westover Library (703-228-5260) or Columbia Pike (703-228-5710) to register.


Thursday, June 30th    Rock at the Row

June 2-August 25. 6-8pm6pm – 8pm @ Pentagon Row, Arlington

Head to Pentagon Row in Arlington for a family friendly Rock at the Row Summer Concert Series.  This Thursday is Dan Haas a Lounge Pop band.  Go to this post for more info.


Friday, July 1st    City Dance and Milkshake

Wolf_Trap_Logo.gif10am @ Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA

Wolf Trap Foundation and the National Park Service are presenting Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods performances from late June through early August.  This week is City Dance and Milkshake!  City Dance is at 10am, and the mystical world of the Amazon will unfold before your eyes through Brazilian music and modern dance as dolphins, monkeys, and jaguars come to life around the Dreaming Tree.  Dance to the music with Milkshake at 11am.  Sing along with Grammy-nominated songs in the style of the White Stripes, the Beatles, and more.  Tickets for both performances are only $8.




Believe it or not, it might actually feel like Spring this week!  There will be a little rain, but it is April after all.  Check out these ideas to get you out of the  house!


Monday, April 4th    Garden Sprouts: Dirt Dwellers

11am @ Green Spring Gardens Park, Alexandria

Get dirty and learn more about dirt and how the things that live in dirt help gardens grow.  Kids will create their own dirt farm to take home.  Ages 3 – 6.

Click here for more info.



Tuesday, April 5th    Book of the Month

10:30am & 11:30am @ Building Zone, National Building Museum, Washington, DC

Come to the Building Zone for an interactive reading of Deb Pilutti’s, The City Kid & The Suburb Kid.  See what happens when two kids, one from the city and one from the suburbs, change places with each other for a day.  There are two readings- one at 10:30am and another at 11:30am.  This is a free program!  It is recommended for ages 3 to 5.


Wednesday, April 6th    Get Out and Explore: Going with the Wind

4 – 5pm @ Bluemont Park Caboose, on the W&OD Trail near Wilson Blvd and N. Manchester St

Experience and discover nature through simple activities guided by Arlington Regional Master Naturalists. Stop by and explore trees, insects, wildflowers, and birds in Bluemont Park. This free program is for adults, families, and children of all ages and will focus on time to play, learn, and discover in the natural world. The program will take place rain or shine. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  The Bluemont Park Caboose is located on the W&OD trail near the intersections of Wilson Blvd. and N. Manchester Street. There is parking available near the tennis pavilion accessible from N. Manchester Street.  The caboose is located across the stream from the Ranger Station and tennis courts.  Click here for a map of the park.  For more info call 703-228-6427 or


Wednesday, April 6th    Hans Christian Anderson Storytime

4:00 – 4:45pm @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Celebrate Han’s Christian Anderson’s birthday as you read some of his classic tales.  For children ages 3 and up.  This is a free event!  Call 703-228-6535 for more info.


Thursday, April 7th    Spring Excitement

10am & 3:30pm @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington

It’s Spring, and you can learn about all the exciting things happening outside at Gulf Branch.  For ages 3 – 5.


Friday, April 8th    Rascally Rabbits Campfire

6:30 – 7:45pm @ Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Come with the whole family at the Gulf Branch fire ring for lots of old-fashioned fun. There will be stories, special animal guests, games, songs and s’mores.  Call 703-228-3403 for more info.  There is a $5 fee per person, or $20 max per family- payable at the program.

Guess what?  No snow in the forecast for this week!!  Yes, there is a lot of rain and it’s not going to be warm, but let’s keep a positive spin on things.


Monday, March 28th    The Great Zucchini

10:30am @ Jammin’ Java, Vienna

The Great Zucchini is a well known preschool performer in the DC area and performs an entertaining hands-on, interactive magic show.  We have been to his shows before and it is a LOT of fun.  Check out my review for more info.  It is a 40-minute show, and cost is $5 per person over the age of 1.


Tuesday, March 29th    Storytime

10:30am @ Borders – Baileys Crossroads

Come for stories and activities that will spark your child’s imagination as one of their children’s specialists reads the newest picture books.  Best suited for children under 6.

Click here for more info.


Wednesday, March 30th    Long Branch Puppet Theater

4pm – 4:45pm @ Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington

Come for an exciting show at the Long Branch Puppet Theater.  Watch as stories come to life and stick around to meet the cast and (live animal) characters afterward. Call 703-228-6535 for more info.  Registration is required.  Cost is $5 fee per child.  For kids ages 3-12


Wednesday, March 30th    NatFest

4pm @ Nationals Stadium, Washington, DC

NatsFest will feature an open practice and chance to meet the 2011 Washington Nationals. The Centerfield Gates will open to the public at 4pm.  There will also be a special Kids Zone, with a moonbounce, games, face painters, and balloon artists.  Cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12.


Thursday, March 31st    Ranger Led Cherry Talks

11am, and 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm @ Jefferson Memorial Parking Lot and FDR Memorial steps at the Tidal Basin, Washington, DC

Join park rangers to learn more about the history and culture associated with the Japanese gift of flowering cherry trees. How did a shipwrecked 14 year old boy contribute to the original treaty of friendship between the United States and Japan? What is the link between the samurai and the cherry blossoms? Different talks cover different topics – enjoy more than one.  Cost is free.


Friday, April 1st Doktor Kaboom!

7:30pm @ Kennedy Center, Washington, DC

Join Doktor Kaboom for a sidesplitting journey of increasingly spectacular, and often successful, experiments and demonstrations that will keep you riveted with interest and rolling with laughter. Doktor Kaboom! is an amazing educational tour of the modern scientific method, using humor and comedy while demonstrating spectacular applications of the physical sciences.  Best for ages 7 and up.  Cost is $18.

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