Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodbye Arlington

It is official. LG, Mama, and Dada are moving to Ashburn, Virginia. We have enjoyed our time in Arlington (7 years) but we have outgrown our home so we are moving to the suburbs.

This blog is going to stay put but will not be updated. I will leave it as a resource for Arlington parents. If you happen to live in or around Ashburn, VA, I have good news! I will be starting a Get Out of the House (Ashburn, VA) blog soon. LG and Mama will have lots of new places to explore and new classes to take!

If you have another blog or website that provides helpful information to Arlington county parents, please feel free to leave the link in the comments section.

Thank you for reading about our adventures. We hope that we have helped you find some fun ways to Get Out of the House!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

California Tortilla - Kids Eat Free Day

~A post from Daddy

Looking for a lunch out with the kids today? I got the following email from California Tortilla announcing today's (June 10th) special promotion:
"Wednesday, June 10th is Kids Eat Free Day at California Tortilla! That's right--we'll give you a FREE kid's meal for each adult entrée that you purchase (go ahead--get thousands), plus we'll give each kid a fabulous new California Tortilla-centric kid's pack. Tell me that's not exciting."
They are also taking donations of $1 for the Make A Wish foundation and are handing out $1 off coupons for future visits. Not a bad deal.

We typically frequent the one located in Courthouse, but I've been to several and have never been disappointed.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Class: Family Yoga

Looking for some fun this Friday night? Why not try yoga with the whole family?

Family Fun Yoga

Friday, June 5

6:00 7:00 pm

$15 for the entire family!
A fun, energizing class to introduce your family to yoga. All ages are welcome.

Charlotte Raich is the instructor

Location: Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.
To register:

OR, contact Cornelia Lesh at 703.558.2409 or clesh@virginiahospitalcenter.com

LG and I are not familiar with this instructor but we do endorse yoga of all sorts and family yoga sounds like a lot of fun!

If you go, please leave a comment with your review!

Arlington County Class Registration

Sorry for the late notice but registration is TODAY! June 3rd just sneaked up on us didn't it?

Swimming classes are probably already full but there is still time to sign up for other fun classes for you and your tot this summer (most classes will start in July or August).

All registration information (including a catalog of classes) is available on the Arlington County Parks and Recreation site.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Special Event: Taste of Arlington

Sunday, May 17, noon-5pm
Tickets are $25 per pack of 8 (gets you 8 tastes)
Ballston, VA (by the Ballston Common Mall - click on image above to be directed to the site)

Come on out to Ballston and have a lovely lunch on Sunday. A great event for kids to try new things and see lots of people. The National Science Foundation is involved this year and apparently there is going to be some hands on activities for the children. Many area restaurants are participating.

I will warn those of you with food allergies (or have family members with food allergies) that this is a tricky event to navigate. You will not be able to special order foods at most places and cross contamination is pretty inevitable.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Class: Ballet Petite in McLean

We attended the open house at Ballet Petite in McLean this morning. Talk about fairy princess wonderland! LG had a great time dancing, pretending, and dressing up. The class was a little fast paced for LG - I think she would have preferred to play with each element for a bit longer- but we did our best to keep up. After class LG enjoyed a wonderful little tea party with Goldfish crackers and lemonade.

Trial classes are continuing daily for the rest of this week for only $5.00 per class and you can attend as many as you like. The mini-spring session (reminds me of May-mester in college) will run for the last two weeks in May and the first two weeks of June. A four week session costs $80.00. There will also be two 4 week camp sessions held this summer. Right now times are pretty flexible. They have teachers in place and will create classes based on demand.

Contact information:
Ballet Petite
3 0 1 - 2 2 9 - 6 8 8 2
6645 Old Dominion Drive
McLean, VA 22101
i n f o r m a t i o n @ b a l l e t p e t i t e . c o m

Friday, May 8, 2009

Class: Ballet Petite in McLean

Ballet Petite is opening in McLean, VA and to celebrate they are having $5.00 trial classes this week and next. Classes are offered for children as young as 18 months (mommy and me). Pre-registration is not necessary just stop in for the class that works best for you and try it out (see the schedule).

The summer session starts at the end of June and runs until August. I do not have information about pricing, but I will update this post once I do.

LG and I are going to check out a class next week. Tutus and fairy wings here we come!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Music: McLean FREE Concerts

The McLean Central Park FREE Concert series, Jammin Jrs, has started up again and now that LG takes a later nap we are super excited to partake in some of these events.

Here is the schedule for May:

May 6

Billy Jonas

May 13

Two of a Kind

May 20


May 27

Alex & the Kaleidoscope Band

Wednesdays in May at 12:30pm
McLean Central Park Gazebo
1468 Dolley Madison Blvd
McLean, VA 22101
Cost: FREE

We are SO happy that Milkshake is coming! They are one of our favorite groups! We love the CD Bottle of Sunshine (pictured).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Class: Tykes Yoga


We (LG and Mama) are so in love with this class. I swear I often feel as though it is as if LG created the curriculum herself. It is the perfect speed for her (read: it is fairly quiet and slow). She loves the fact that everyone has their own mat (she is the rare breed of two year old that respects personal space) and that it is a small group of children.

Dare I say that she enjoys this class more than gymnastics? I have to say that I do. The main reason? I don't have to say "no" as in "no don't go over there; no don't touch that." There isn't any equipment to worry about it is just an open room. I find this class to be so relaxing for me because I can just enjoy my time with LG.

The teacher, Kim Blackmon, is wonderful. She just has a way of engaging the children. You can absolutely tell that each child is special to her and what is really important is that the children can tell too. She watches what they do and she builds on it. She incorporates each request (benefit of a small group) and praises each child. In short, Miss Kim respects the children.

I cannot offer enough praise for this class. It is offered at the Virginia Hospital Center and new the early summer session is available for sign up now. If you are not in Arlington, check out the Itsy Bitsy Yoga website to find your local instructor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Flying a kite at the Iwo Jima Memorial

~A post from Daddy

This past Sunday, LG and I needed an outdoor activity to burn off some of her Easter chocolate energy. Given the sunny and breezy afternoon, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to head down to the USMC War Memorial and Netherlands Carillon to go fly a kite.

We had a great time and got the kite up pretty high when the winds were up. LG had plenty of space to run and got quite a workout. Even if you don't have a kite, it's a neat place to let a little one run free. There are scattered old, big trees and lots of grass with a great view down the hill to the Lincoln and Washington monuments and DC (it's a very popular spot to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July!). There are also a pair of bronze lions by the Carillon that LG really enjoyed "riding".

Parking isn't too much of a problem, you can look for a spot on N Meade St, or find a space down in the circle around the Iwo Jima Memorial. It's also a quick walk from the Rosslyn Metro.

View Larger Map

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Outside Activity: Mini Golf

Wahoo! Spring has sprung! It is officially time for Mini Golf at Upton Hill Regional Park. The pool doesn't open until Memorial Day but the batting cages and mini golf course currently have limited hours (see website).

We took LG out for some mini golf today. She had her own method of playing but she had a great time.We love this course because it is somewhat challenging but not frustrating. There are definitely a couple of possibilities for a hole in one.

Price: $6.00 for adults; $5.00 for children (although they let LG 'play' for free)

There are also picnic tables available so we let LG enjoy her lunch outside, which was a great treat on this beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classes: Water Tots & Water Babies

~A post from Daddy!

It looks like LG and I are on the waiting list for Water Tots this time around. Make sure to sign up in the early morning whenever registration begins. (this reminds me of the competition for classes in college!)

Although I won't be swimming on Saturday mornings this spring, I figured I might as well post an overdue review of the classes.

I really enjoyed both Water Tots and Water Babies. It gave me an assigned time with my daughter every week and gave her something to look forward to doing with daddy. I also learned the delicate skill of changing a diaper on a locker room bench.

Water Tots is designed for kids ages 1.5 to 3 years old and teaches them some basic swimming skills like paddling and kicking and just gets them more time in the water. Water Babies is for babies 6 months to 1.5 years. The only major difference is the skills you are working on, with the Babies class mostly focused on getting used to the water and having fun in it.

The classes are fairly small (about 8 kids if I remember correctly) and only last about 30 minutes. Adults get in the water with their child and move them around the water while the instructor tells you what activity/skill to be working on. LG most enjoyed playing with the toy ducks and doing the hokie pokie each week. She also got pretty good at kicking and paddling by the time the class was done.

There are lockers in the changing rooms, so I recommend bringing a lock to keep your gear in. I took the class at Washington-Lee HS and always found parking available.

Oh and kids are required to wear a swim diaper. I brought a training diaper by accident once and LG's bathing suit blew up like a balloon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Class: Abrakadoodle (Twoosy Doodlers)

We have attended the Abrakadoodle Twoosy Doodlers classes this session and we really liked them. Given how much they cost we should probably be getting a lot more out of them, but they are a fun way to spend a Monday morning. The projects (except for one) are completely appropriate for toddlers and LG really looks forward to going to 'painting' class. The instructor is patient and encourages creativity. We did have a good time, however, I don't think we will sign up again for two major reasons:
  1. Inappropriate furniture. This class takes place in a room intended for adult use. The table is high and the chairs are huge. Kids need to kneel or stand on the chairs in order to reach the table. This isn't safe and it isn't ideal since the kids have trouble reaching everything they need. I think a toddler class needs to happen in a toddler room.
  2. Cost. These classes are way too expensive for a parent and child class. You could easily recreate the experience in your own home for a fraction of the price. I don't know why these classes are more expensive than gymnastics which has specialized equipment and specially trained teachers but I imagine it has something to do with overhead charges.
Like I said, this class was fun. LG adored it! But we'll be signing up for gymnastics next session :).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Easter Egg Hunts

Are you ready for some Easter fun?Freeman House Museum, Vienna, VA
Saturday, April 4
10:30am -11:30am
Link: Freeman House Events

Hip Hip Hip Hooray it is that time of year again. Hop on over to the Freeman Store on Saturday, April 4th with children under 12 and celebrate in some old fashioned fun with your youngsters. The Easter Egg Hunt starts promptly at 10:30 followed by storytelling. Event ends at 11:30. Bring your favorite basket! Call for more details at either 703.255.6360 or 703.938.5187. Arrive early.

Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church
Saturday, April 11
Link: Special Events at Cherry Hill Park

The Easter Egg Hunt is held Easter weekend each year in Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Avenue). In addition to scrambling for eggs, children ages 11 and younger participate in a make-your-own-candy-bag craft project and have a chance to meet and take pictures with the Easter Bunny. This event is free to all participants.

Reston Zoo, Vienna, VA
April 11 and 12
Children: $8.00
Adults: $10.oo
Link: Special Events
More details to be announced on the website.

Tudor Place, Washington DC
Saturday, April 11
10:00am - 12:00pm
Member children: $7
Nonmember children: $10
Adult Chaperones: $3
Link: Eggstravaganza at Tudor Place!
Details from the website:

Celebrate Spring and Easter at Tudor Place's Third Annual Eggstravaganza! Children of all ages enjoy the largest Egg Hunt in Washington D.C. and a thrilling Egg Roll Contest. After the exciting games, spend the morning decorating festive eggs and building a spring basket! The Easter Bunny is available for pictures all morning. Visitors also enjoy a self-guided tour of Tudor Place's 5 ½ acres of glorious gardens. The Egg Hunt begins at 10:30 a.m. and the Egg Roll follows at 10:45 a.m. Bring your own basket, spoon, and one hard-boiled egg per child.

*Updated to add* Thank you Robin B.!*
Mason District Park, Annandale, VA

Spring Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 11, 2009
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Rain or Shine
Start Times: 11:10 a.m. (2 yrs & younger);11:30 a.m. (3-4 yrs);11:50 a.m. (5-6 yrs);12:10 p.m. (7-9 yrs)
Mason District Park
6621 Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 941-1730

Booked: Upton Hill Regional Park, Arlington, VA

Places that had hunts last year but have not released information for this year:
Colvin Run Mill, Great Falls, VA

For more options (especially those in MD and Loundon) check out the Washington Post.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Toddler Yoga Anyone?

LG and I have enrolled in a toddler yoga class that is supposed to start on Monday. The trouble is that we are one kiddo short of a class so it may not happen! Boo!

If you are at all interested in trying out the Itsy Bitsy Yoga program, check out their website to find a class near you! It is appropriate for any child between the ages of 0 months and 4 years - different classes for different ages.

LG and I did Itsy Bitsy Yoga together when she was only 10 weeks old. It was terrific! An incredible bonding experience and it really helped her sleep. I highly recommend the class and the book to any new mommy. Our teacher, Kim Blackmon, is the same teacher we had for our baby class. I remember really liking her and always feeling calmer in her presence.

But now we want to try yoga for an older child. We hope you do too!

pretty please.

UPDATED to reflect that the class is now full! I will post a review once we have started!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cherry Blossoms!

I love Cherry Blossom season. It is beautiful and marks the start of the really fun spring season in the DC metro area.

If at all possible, I do recommend that you check out the blossoms on a weekday. The weekend crowds are large and it can be difficult to maneuver a family around the tidal basin.

This will be our third Cherry Blossom season with LG and I think we are finally ready to try some of the events :).

Here are some important dates to mark your calendar with:

There are tons of other Events as well and depending on the age/crowd tolerance of your child you may be able to spend a few weekends enjoying the beautiful buds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Arlington County Classes for Spring

The new catalog is available and registration begins on March 19th. You can mail in registration or register online.

If you plan on registering online, take the time to set up an account now. Some of the very popular classes fill up quickly. More information about registering is available here.

We are currently undecided about what classes we will sign up for but we are excited for possibly returning for another round of Water Tots and/or Tumbling Tots. We are also considering giving soccer a try but since the classes fall a bit too close to nap time this may not be an option.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Special Event: St. Patrick's Day

Looking to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your little one? Since taking toddlers out to the bar is not appreciated or recommended, why not head out to the parades?

Old Town Alexandria
March 7, 2009
Car Show: 10:00am
Fun Dog Show: 10:30am
Parade: 12:30pm - 2:30pm

Washington DC
March 15, 2009
Parade: Noon-2:30pm

Click on the links for parade routes and more detailed information.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Scooped by the Washington Post

Well the Washington Post has me beat. Check out their article: Bouncing off the Walls? for ideas of things to do to survive these cold winter days.

I have to say that I think hanging out at the airport is a stretch and not something that I would ever choose to do but more power to you if you find that fun. :)

Happy snowy ice days!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baby Gorilla at the Zoo!

There is a new member of the family in the ape house at the DC National Zoo! You can read more about the baby gorilla here.

I find that the winter is a great time to visit the zoo. Nearly all the animals are inside and much easier to view (especially for little ones who cannot pick them out of their natural surroundings). It is also significantly less crowded which makes it easier to navigate. The zoo keepers are also frequently on hand to answer questions. It is a great way to get out of the house in the winter.

Some winter zoo tips:
  1. Look at the map before you go and determine exactly where you want to go. Pick a few things that are close together to visit. If you are driving, make sure you figure out which parking lot is closest to your exhibits as well.
  2. Bring the stroller. Even if your child doesn't particularly like to ride. You might find that in cold weather your child might actually like to ride to minimize the time outside (or get to the next animal even faster!). Strollers are also very useful for storing all the outdoor gear when you are inside looking at the animals.
  3. Dress warmly but in items that are easy to get on and off. You will want to remove coats and such when you are inside. The animal houses can be warm.
One of our favorite itineraries:
  • Park in Lot B.
  • Head into the Elephant House to see the elephant bath at 10:30am.
  • Go down to the Ape House to visit with the gorillas.
  • Start walking back to the lot and stop at the Small Mammal House to see the meerkats, prairie dogs, and shrews.
  • Home by lunch :)

Map of Parks