Get the Latest on Facebook!

You can get the best of Out by Ten (and much, much more!) on Out by Ten's Facebook page "Family Friendly Prince George's."

I'm now a full-time work-outside-the-home mom and while we're still going on TONS of family adventures, making time for the adventures (verses making time for writing about them!) has taken priority in my life right now.

But have no fear! Our new Facebook page is a great resource for all the wonderful family-friendly stuff happening in Prince George's County and the greater Metro DC area. Be sure to check out the Out by Ten archives on the right for lots of great activities!

Head over and give me a like and I'll see you on your wall soon!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ICE! At Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor

Photo from here.

Have you been to ICE! at National Harbor yet? I'll admit that we haven't gotten there but it is still on my must-do list this holiday season. And, lucky for all of us who are, um, slightly behind in our holiday preparations, it is open until January 10!

I really can't wrap my brain around what this attraction must be like in real life. I mean, 15,000 square feet, 2 million pounds of ice and 1,400 specially designed LED tube lights: it must be incredible! And, it's right here in Prince George's County!

ICE! has gotten rave reviews from the Washington Post, but even more trust-worthy, in my opinion, is the rave review it got from Jessica over at A Parent in Silver Spring (read about her family's visit here.)

If you are one of the thousands of visitors who has already experienced ICE! I'd love to hear about it--please leave a comment!


Additional Details:
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD

ICE! is open daily through Sunday, January 10, including holidays.

Children ages 3 and under are admitted free of charge with adult ticket purchase. Walk-up ticket sales will be available during the attraction's regular operating hours. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance, as many days are expected to sell out.

Tickets range from $14-$24.50 per person.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Break Camps

Are you having trouble finding childcare coverage for your kids while they are off from school but you still have to work? Or, do you know that you'll all go stir-crazy at home for so many days after Christmas?

The M-NCPPC Department of Parks & Recreation is coming to your rescue! They are offering more than 30 different Holiday Break Camps this year.

Finding the camps is a little challenging but persistence on the website will pay off. To find programs you have to go to www.pgparks.com, click on the SMARTlink logo, select your language, click on the word browse, then click on Day Camp. You can also call the Help Desk at 301-699-CALL(2255).

Here are just three examples of the types of camps being offered:

Tennis Camp at the Watkins Tennis Bubble
Ages 6-12, $90 for residents of Prince George's or Montgomery Counties
Meets December 28, 29 and 30 from 9am-4pm

Figure Skating Camp: Freestyle
Herbert W. Wells Ice Rink
Ages 6-17, $90 for residents of Prince George's or Montgomery Counties
Meets December 28, 29 and 30 from 7am-6pm

Also, many of the community centers throughout the county are offering camps for kids to enjoy "games, crafts and holiday fun." For example, South Bowie is offering a 1-day camp on December 28 from 9am-4pm for ages 5-12. It's only $20 for residents.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Train Displays

Growing up, my siblings and I loved running my dad's old Lionel model train around the Christmas tree and now Lucas has fallen in love with The Polar Express. So trains = holiday magic in our family! There are some lovely train displays in Prince George's County, DC and Baltimore this year. Here are the details for several.

College Park Aviation Museum Holiday Planes and Trains
December 19 - 26, 10am-5pm

During the holiday season, the College Park Aviation Museum gets ready for festivities as miniature trains, villages, tunnels, and depots spark the imagination and bring history to life. The National Capital Trackers bring a fascinating and constantly moving display of model railroads to the Museum. All ages. FREE with museum admission

Click here to read more about why we love the College Park Aviation Museum.


Union Station Norwegian Christmas Model Train Display
Mondays-Saturdays 10am-7pm, Sundays 10am-6pm

Enjoy the giant Norwegian model train display and the 32-foot Norwegian Christmas tree at Union Station in Washington, DC.

Free!


U.S. Botanic Garden Holiday Magic
Daily through January 10, 2010
Conservatory East Gallery and Garden Court

This amazing display of trains, Washington, DC landmarks and storybook gardens is a Washington tradition. It gets better each year!

Free!



B&O Railroad Museum Holiday Festival of Trains

The annual Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore takes place through Sunday, January 10, 2010 (except Christmas Eve & Day and New Year’s Day). It features weekend train rides with Santa and Frosty the Snowman, different model railroad exhibits each week, holiday photos (packages start at $13), train ornament craft projects ($1 each) and a Santa's Secret Shop for children (items range from $0.25 to $12). Regular museum admission applies but you can click here to print a $1 off coupon.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights


Last week I raved about the National Zoo's ZooLights in conjunction with my giveaway of a family pack of tickets. But, did you know there's another amazing light show right here in Prince George's County?


This is the 23rd year for the Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights! A very nice aspect of this wonderful display is that it is a drive through event. You and your family can enjoy it in the rain or snow or freezing temps from the cozy comfort of your own vehicle. (And, if you're like me, with Christmas music blasting!) As you slowly drive through the park, you drive under light displays and will have a lot of fun spotting them on all sides of the road. This year's display features more than one million twinkling lights as well as new displays like Santa flying a helicopter and driving a fire truck.

The Festival of Lights is open nightly from 5-9:30pm through Sunday, January 3.

Additional Details


Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights
301 Watkins Park Drive/Rte. 193
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Admission Fees:
$5/car or van
$10/multi-visit, transferable pass for car and vans (3 visits)
$15/mini-bus or limo
$25/bus
Multi-visit passes on sale nightly at the gate
FREE! On December 25

Please note: canned goods are accepted nightly as donations to local food banks.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giveaway! Tickets to ZooLights at the National Zoo on Saturday, December 12

Congratulations to Anna Lovejoy and her family! Random.org selected Anna's response as the winner. Thanks to all who entered!

Tickets to ZooLights are only $5 for members and $8 for non-members. And, active duty members of the miltary and their families get in free on Military Nights simply by showing their military ID at the entrance!



Do you love the National Zoo?

Do you love Tai Shan (the baby panda)?

Are you looking for something fun to do with your family this Saturday, December 12?

Then ZooLights ZOOTRITION Night is for you!

This is the 3rd year for the National Zoo’s annual winter celebration featuring dazzling light sculptures, keeper talks, strolling musicians, costumed characters, and performances. ZooLights is taking place Friday and Saturday nights through December 13 and every night December 18-January 2 (except Dec. 24, 25, and 31) from 6-8:30 p.m.

This Saturday, December 12, is ZOOTRITION Night, sponsored by Giant Food. You and your family can enjoy a Zoo-wide scavenger hunt for kids, delicious giveaways, hands-on demonstrations by the Zoo’s commissary (that’s like a grocery store for the animals), and tons of live entertainment. The scavenger hunt is designed to be a fun way to get kids thinking about healthy eating for both animal and humans.

You may have heard that Tai Shan, the Zoo’s beloved baby panda, will be returning to China in early 2010. Fortunately, the Zoo tells me that the Panda House will be open for extended hours throughout ZooLights so that we can all can bid farewell to Tai Shan.

Bring a canned good and receive discounts at the gift shop. Tickets are only $5 for Friends of the National Zoo members and $8 for nonmembers. On select Military Nights, tickets are free for military families. Proceeds support the National Zoo. Visit www.fonz.org/zoolights.htm for tickets and details.

OR enter below to win tickets for your family to attend ZooLights ZOOTRITION this Saturday from 6-8:30pm! This is a very quick contest--you must enter by Thursday, December 10 at 4pm. Enter by filling out and submitting the form below. The winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries and will be notified on Thursday evening. Good luck!





Disclosure: I was offered a free pack of family tickets to keep or to giveaway to a lucky reader. I decided to give them away and was not compensated in any other way for this post.

Thanks for reading Out by Ten!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Events This Weekend

Many wonderful holiday events are taking place at special locations throughout Prince George's County this weekend. Here's a list of several that look very nice.


Darnall's Chance House Museum Gingerbread House Contest and Show
December 10-13, Noon - 5pm

Vote for your favorite kid and adult entries at this wonderful display of Gingerbread Houses!

Darnall's Chance House Museum
14800 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro
$1 per person

Montpelier Mansion Hands-on History Day
Saturday, December 12, 10am - Noon

Children can make crafts, play games and enjoy holiday treats from the traditions of Maryland's earliest immigrants from Europe, Africa, and Central and South America.

Montpelier Mansion
9650 Muirkirk Road, Laurel

$7 per child

Belair Mansion "Kids Kandelight"
Saturday, December 12, 4pm - 7pm

A special holiday evening for kids; they'll make a take-home craft.

Belair Mansion
12207 Tulip Grove Drive, Bowie
Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Bowie Food Bank.

Once Upon a Time
Saturday, December 12, 5pm - 7:30pm

The Marietta's House Museum's rooms have been transformed into scenes from beloved fairy tales, nursery rhymes and children's stories.

Marietta House Museum
5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale
$5 per person



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kids' Night at Chick-fil-A


Last week we stumbled upon Kids' Night at the Chick-fil-A at Vista Gardens Marketplace. What fun! If you, like me, have a practically empty fridge from being away for Thanksgiving weekend or if you were the one hosting and cooking all weekend then you might just want to head over to Chick-fil-A tonight.

Here's the scoop. Every Tuesday night from 5-8pm the Chick-fil-A at Vista Gardens Marketplace offers a free 4 piece kid's nugget meal with the purchase of any combo or a dinner and medium drink. Okay, so a free kid's meal is great, right? But, nothing too special. The best part, in my opinion, is that they also have someone there doing face painting or balloon animals (I believe this rotates each week) for the kids for FREE! I know nothing excites Lucas more than a balloon animal (or hat!).

The fine print is that the child, age 12 or under, must be present and you get the free meal in the dining room only (not via the drive-thru). No coupon is necessary.

This Chick-fil-A is already one of our favorite lunch destinations because of the fun indoor play area but now we have another reason to head over on the occasional Tuesday evening.

Additional Information:

Chick-fil-A
Vista Gardens Marketplace
10631 Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway
Bowie, MD 20720
301-805-9880


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wee Wonders at the National Children's Museum -- December Events


The Wee Wonders program at the National Children's Museum (NCM) Launch Zone continues in December!

You can practically create your own preschool for your toddler with the help of the National Children's Museum and their Wee Wonders program. Each month, the NCM is offering programs on a different theme for children ages 2-3. According to the NCM, "these fun, fast-paced learning events typically include stories, games, art, music, experiments, drama, and movement around a different theme."

Please note: each month the same program is offered multiple times. But knowing how much my own son loved repetition as a toddler, you may want to visit more than once a month!

December 1, 8, and 15 from 10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Wee Wonders' Winter Wonderland

Discover what happens during the winter including winter weather, ice and snow, and how different animals adapt to the changing season.

Additional Details:


National Children's Museum Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745

Limit two children per adult; all non-infant children with an adult must pay and must participate; additional siblings are not permitted.

Fee: $10 per child. Pre-registration and advance payment (by check or credit card only) is required by the Friday prior to the event.

Please call 202-675-4120 or email RSVP@ncm.museum to register.

Website: http://www.ncm.museum/

For more information about visiting National Harbor and The Launch Zone, please check out my previous post. For the full schedule of Wee Wonders programming, check out this post.



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review and Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to review four wonderful books from Pretty Please Press. Of course, how could I pass up the opportunity when the founder of this company is a woman named Lauren Aimee Garn? (I'm a total sucker for anyone and everything that uses the name Aimee spelled just like me!) But, seriously, I love reading with Lucas and love discovering new books so immediately said Yes!

Pretty Please Press was founded in 2001 and publishes children's books that are designed to be read aloud and talked about. Each book contains a message about character and values that helps parents and children think and talk about a variety of issues. In addition, the website offers parents and teachers additional free resources like vocabulary guides, reading comprehension materials and lesson plans for each book.

I know that especially during this time of year we parents are trying hard to make our celebrations about more than food and presents and general excess. But, it's tough, isn't it?

For our family, the strategy isn't One Big Talk but rather trying to incorporate discussions about our values into the every day throughout the year. And, with that, Pretty Please Press is here to help.

Each of the four books above is lovely and thought-provoking. The one Lucas and I have come back to several times since receiving our copies is Kick Block Punch. Lucas is already a pretty rough and tumble kid. Add to that his recent obsession with the movie Kung Fu Panda and we've got a budding martial artist on our hands. There are many areas for discussion within Kick Block Punch but I've been able to use it to discuss the fact that real martial artists don't pick fights or practice on their friends or siblings. In fact, in real life they'd run away from a fight or a stranger.

At almost four, Lucas is definitely on the young end for taking advantage of all that the books from Pretty Please Press have to offer. I am certain we'll keep them in our collection and come back to them again and again over the next few years with each reading leading to a rich discussion.

And, now, dear readers, Pretty Please Press and Out by Ten have a great offer for you! Leave a comment below and you'll be entered to win your very own set of four Pretty Please Press books! Even if you aren't the lucky winner, you can take advantage of a special discount price: 4 books for the price of 3 or 20% off the list price of all books purchased. Click here to order, offer expires December 31.

Here's the fine print:

This contest is open to readers in the United States (sorry, overseas shipping is just a bit too pricey). Leave a comment, any comment, on this post by Monday, November 30 at 8pm. You must include an e-mail address on the comment form or in your comment so that I can reach you. Winner will be chosen via random.org and notified by Tuesday, December 1 and will have 48 hours to respond with their shipping address. If I am not able to reach the winner via e-mail or if I do not hear back from them with a shipping address within 48 hours then I will select another winner.

Disclosure: I received free review copies of these four books from Pretty Please Press. They are also providing four free copies to the lucky winner. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

National American Indian Festival: Saturday, November 14



image of Clayton Old Elk via Reznet



Are you or your children interested in American Indian heritage? Then you're in luck! November is National American Indian Heritage Month and a great FREE event is taking place right here in Prince George's County this Saturday, November 14.

The National American Indian Festival will take place this Saturday from 10am until 3pm at the Patuxent River 4-H Center in Upper Marlboro. Come on out to the festival to learn all about the culture and history of the people of the First Nations.

Very respected elder Clayton Old Elk will emcee a program featuring live music from Ron Warren and Janice Torres. Never heard of them? Me either, but apparently they are pretty renound Native American musicians performing on the flute and vocals/percussion, respectively.

You can also try some archery and canoeing (try not to fall in, I bet the water is pretty cold these days!). There will be artifacts, exhibits and demonstrations. You can make crafts, play games and listen to stories. And, of course, you can eat! Yummy food including including Indian tacos, fry bread and more will be available.

Did I mention it's all free? (Well, probably not the food, but that's to be expected.)

Additional Information:

National American Indian Festival
Saturday, November 14
10 am-3 pm

Patuxent River 4-H Center
18405 Queen Anne Road, Upper Marlboro 20774

Free!
All ages welcome.



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Birthday Party Ideas



Lucas's birthday is just a few days before Christmas and so the poor guy is doomed to have his birthday coincide with frantic Christmas preparations, holiday travel and, most years, no in-school cupcakes on his actual birthday. Thus far in his short little life, we've never even been home for his birthday! His birthday celebrations have been lovely affairs but also have been very low-key with guest lists comprised of grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

This year one of the items on my "To Do Before Baby" list is "throw Lucas a real birthday party with his friends." The only problems are that by the time his birthday rolls around, I'll be a solid 8 months pregnant, it will be very cold outside, and our not-very-large house will (hopefully!) already be decorated for Christmas. (Christmas tree + lots of preschoolers = trouble.) All these factors combined with the fact that his grandmothers completely funded birthdays #1, #2 and #3 have led me to want to splurge for birthday #4. We're going to throw Lucas's party at a fun location in Prince George's County!

Here are some local out-of-the-house birthday party options I've discovered in my research. After the big par-tay I'll let you know which one we chose and how it went.

College Park Aviation Museum
I've already professed my love of the College Park Aviation Museum. Hopefully you've taken my advice to visit. But, did you know they offer birthday party packages as well? Packages include access to the museum and party room, aviation carnival games, gift bags, a t-shirt for the birthday boy or girl and a craft. Click here for all the details.


Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex
You know how much I love the open gymnastics at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex but they have so much more to offer, including a leisure pool. You can host a birthday party there for kids ages 3-12. Features include a one-hour open swim and additional hour in the party room. They provide invitations, tablecloths, plates, cups, silverware and napkins. However, based on their website information, it appears that you can not supply your own homemade food. Food must be prepared by a "licensed food service manager." Click here for all the details.


Pump It Up!
Lucas and I had a blast at the Lanham-Bowie location's Pump it Up Pop In Playtime last winter and I imagine this would be a really fun place to have a birthday party. They have several birthday party packages with weekday parties being cheaper than weekend parties. All packages include plenty of time with the inflatables and the use of a private party room. Additional amenities include free full color invitations, complimentary paper products, party set up and clean-up. Click here to see the package options.


Watkins Park Nature Center
Watkins Park would be our top pick for a summer birthday party. We'd have a picnic and then take the kids on a carousel and miniature train ride. But, those just aren't options during the winter. Luckily, the indoor Watkins Park Nature Center offers a great winter (and year round!) destination for a birthday party. Their "Wild Things" birthday package includes a 30-minute animal show, private use of the workshop room for the party and a coloring book for each guest. Of course guests can also enjoy the public Nature Center exhibits. Click here (and scroll down) for all the details.


Please help me make this a great resource for other parents! Tell us where have you celebrated your child(ren)'s birthdays. Where have you attended fun birthday parties hosted by others?


Original post by Smiling Mama at Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex Gymnastics Workshops


Photo via http://www.pgsportsandlearn.com/gymnastics.html


Lucas and I went to an Open Gymnastics Workshop at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex for the first time in March 2008. That afternoon, I wrote a post titled $6 = 3 hour nap = Priceless. Seriously, that $6 and the many more $6 I've spent on subsequent visits have been some of the best money I've ever spent on Lucas.

The Gymnastics Center at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex is truly a first-class facility. They have a complete set of competition-grade men's and women's gymnastics equipment as well as wonderful tot-sized equipment and fun extra things like a rope swing.

Each week, the Sports and Learning Complex offers open gymnastics workshops for children ages walking to 12 years old. This is unstructured, free time for your kids to basically run around and go crazy! Some of the professional equipment (full-size uneven bars, horse, etc.) are off-limits but there is still so much to do! Kids can jump on the trampolines, walk on the balance beams, run and jump on the practice mats, swing on the rope swing into the foam pit, etc. Trust me, they--and you!--will burn off a ton of energy in one hour of open gymnastics.

Two cautions: First, it is really up to you to keep your child safe. There are 1-2 employees on duty during open gymnastics but they seem to only enforce rules occasionally. Be ready to move quickly to keep up with younger children. Second, jump into the foam pit at your own risk! You'll see your child and others quickly climb out of the pit. For you, it will be another story: think quicksand!

Now through December 19, Open Gymnastics Workshops will take place:

Tuesdays from 11:30am-12:30pm (no workshop on Nov. 24)
Wednesdays from 11:30am-12:30pm (no workshop on Nov. 11 or Nov. 25)
Fridays from 4:30-5:30pm (no workshop on Nov. 27)
Saturdays from 1:30-2:30 pm (no workshop on Oct. 31, Nov. 7 or Nov. 28)

Spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a limit of 30 kids total and a maximum of 3 children per adult. Parents are required to be on the floor with their children. Fee: $6 per child.

Additional Information:

Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex
8001 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD 20785

Phone: 301-853-2400; TTY 301-853 2483
Website: http://www.pgsportsandlearn.com/






Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wee Wonders at the National Children's Museum -- November Events



The Wee Wonders program at the National Children's Museum (NCM) Launch Zone continues in November!

You can practically create your own preschool for your toddler with the help of the National Children's Museum and their Wee Wonders program. Each month, the NCM is offering programs on a different theme for children ages 2-3. According to the NCM, "these fun, fast-paced learning events typically include stories, games, art, music, experiments, drama, and movement around a different theme."

Please note: each month the same program is offered multiple times. But knowing how much my own son loved repetition as a toddler, you may want to visit more than once a month!

November 3, 10, and 17 from 10am - 11:15am
W
ee Wonders' Fall at the Farm

It's harvest time at the pretend NCM farm! Little farmers will tend to pretend animals and crops and celebrate nature's autumn surprises. Explore apples, pumpkins, and farm animals.

Additional Details:

National Children's Museum Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745

Limit two children per adult; all non-infant children with an adult must pay and must participate; additional siblings are not permitted.

Fee: $10 per child. Pre-registration and advance payment (by check or credit card only) is required by the Friday prior to the event.

Please call 202-675-4120 or email RSVP@ncm.museum to register.

Website: http://www.ncm.museum/

For more information about visiting National Harbor and The Launch Zone, please check out my previous post. For the full schedule of Wee Wonders programming, check out this post.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Publick Playhouse: Buy Tickets Now for Upcoming Shows


The Prince George's Publick Playhouse for the Performing Arts is a true gem! They have several wonderful shows coming up. Because the Publick Playhouse is a favorite for local preschool and elementary school groups, it's never too early to buy your tickets: Call the box office today at 301-277-1710. There is a $3 service fee per order so order tickets for several shows at once to save on additional fees.


Seussical -- almost sold out!
Tuesday, October 27 and Wednesday, October 28, 12:15am and 12 Noon
Recommended for grades Pre-K through 4
$6 per person

The Cat in the Hat is the host and emcee (and all-around mischief maker) in this romp through Seuss classics. Adapted from the Broadway version, Theatreworks USA's show presents Dr. Seuss's best-loved stories in a musical caper.


The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon
Wednesday, November 4, 10:15am and 12 Noon
Recommended for grades Pre-K through 3
$6 per person

Enchantment Theatre's production of this beloved story will take you on a wild ride as Harold jets to Mars, joins a circus, and meets a king in an enchanted garden.


Mooseltoe
Tuesday, December 1 and Wednesday, December 2, 10:15am and 12 Noon
Recommended for all ages
$6 per person

Loveable, 12-foot-tall, costumed characters sing and dance through the story of Mooseltoe's plan to fly with Santa's reindeer.


Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration
Tuesday, December 10, 10:15-11:30am
Recommended for all ages
$5 per person

The African Heritage Dancers and Drummers will lead a pre-Kwanzaa lecture/demonstration featuring the history of Kwanzaa, dancing and drumming.


The Shoemaker and the Elves
Tuesday, December 15, 10:15am and 12 Noon
Recommended for grades K through 5
$6 per person

A heartwarming, holiday musical! Theatre IV puts a yuletide spin on this classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Delight in the magical story of a poor shoemaker and the magical elves who show him the true meaning of Christmas.


Season's Greetings
Thursday, December 17, 10:15am and 12 Noon
Recommended for grades Pre-K through 5
$6 per person

Celebrate the holiday season with this fun-filled magic show presented by Theatreworks USA. This spectacular performance features a magic elf, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, upbeat music, toy soldiers, and magically appearing white doves--all set in a winter wonderland.


Additional Information:

Prince George's Public Playhouse
5445 Landover Road
Cheverly, MD 20784
Box Office 301-277-1710; TTY 301-277-0312


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Activities: Cheverly


As always, the Cheverly is planning some great Halloween fun! Here's the schedule of events.


Special Halloween Playgroup sponsored by CPRC
Friday, October 30th, 9:30am-11:30am
Community Center gym

Kids can put on their Halloween costumes for this special Halloween playgroup. Bring something yummy to share.


Halloween Parade and Party sponsored by the Cheverly Recreation Council
Saturday, October 31, 3:45-6pm

The annual parade and party sponsored by the Cheverly Recreation Council is tons of fun for kids and parents alike. Kids (and adults!) can put on their costumes and meet at Gast Park around 3:30pm. The parade begins (never promptly!) at 3:45 and proceeds down Park Way then up Forest Road to the Town Hall for some fun activities from 4:00-6:00pm. This year the Recreation Council will be serving dinner so the kids aren't trick or treating on an empty stomach.

This annual event is enjoyed by kids of all ages but is a must for kids who are too young to go out trick-or-treating later in the evening. Personally, I think it would be a blast if town residents lined the parade route to cheer on the Cheverly ghosts and goblins (or, more likely, the Cheverly princesses, animals, fire fighters and Thomas the Trains)!


Trick-or-Treating
Saturday, October 31, 6pm-8pm

Trick-or-Treating will take place in Cheverly from 6-8pm on Saturday, October 31. Children up to age 13 or 8th grade are welcome to participate. Residents who want kids to come to their homes will turn on their porch lights. Please do not visit homes without lights on.



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Activities: National Building Museum and Madame Tussauds

Many of the museums in DC are getting into the spirit of Halloween. Here are two fun-sounding events for older kids.



Haunted Halloween at the National Building Museum
Saturday, October 24, 10am-Noon and 2pm-4pm
$10 members/$15 non-members (adults are free)

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween as you build and design your very own haunted house. Fun for the whole family, the festivities include crafts, treats, and ghosts stories (more silly than spooky!) about the Museum. Ages 6+. Pre-registration required by Friday October 23.



Spooky Move Nights at Madame Tussauds
October 29 and October 30, 5:30pm-9pm
$10 per person (this special deal gets you admission to the museum and the movie!)

Children and families are invited to explore Madame Tussauds and enjoy a special sceening of The Addams Family (October 29) and Monster House (October 30). Children (and adults!) are encouraged to wear their costumes. Concessions and other ghoulish treats will be available for children and children-at-heart. Arrive early because visitors will also be able to explore the attraction and take photos with all of its historical and pop-culture wax figures. The movies will begin promptly at 7:00pm.



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Activities: Prince George's County Community Centers



Did you know that almost every community center in Prince George's County is offering free (or very cheap) Halloween activities for families and children? It's true!

Click here for a full list of almost 40 events taking place at 21 community centers throughout Prince George's County. There are events for young children, teens, seniors and families. Just a bit of caution, though, don't take your kids to every one of these events or your holiday shopping budget may go to paying the dentist instead!

(Psst! Don't forget to enter my giveaway for 4 tickets to Boo at the Zoo!)


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween Activities: Prince George's County


Welcome to another day featuring wonderful halloween activites in the area! Today I'm focusing on some of the many fantastic events happening in Prince George's County. (Don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway for 4 tickets to Boo at the Zoo!)


Witches, Wizards and Wands at the National Children's Museum
Friday, October 23 and Friday, October 30, 3pm-5pm
Free!

Enter an imaginary world of witches, wizards, and most importantly, magic wands! Come to the NCM Launch Zone for special programming where kids ages 12 and under can make cool props to turn themselves into magical people. Activities will vary each week. Read more about why we love the National Children's Museum and National Harbor here.


The Great Jack 'o Lantern Campfire
Saturday, October 24, 7pm
Marietta House Museum, 5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale
$2 per person

Enjoy the warmth of a fall campfire as we roast marshmallows and listen to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Afterwards, kids can go on a pumpkin hunt to search for hidden jack-o’-lanterns. Find all the pumpkins and win a prize! Popcorn and hot cider provided.


Hands-On History: Edgar Allan Poe's Apprentice
Friday, October 30, 10am
Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park
$15 resident of Prince George's or Montgomery Counties, $18 non-resident

Children ages 10-14 will spend their day off from school engaged in writing, crafts and other activities inspired by author Edgar Allan Poe, who was born 200 years ago. This is a 5 hour program. Advance registration required by October 23.


Halloween Harvest at Watkins Nature Center
Saturday, October 31, 12-3pm
$3 per person, ages 2 and up (reservations not required)

Enjoy a special event featuring fall and Halloween themed crafts, animal and puppet shows. Costumes are optional.


Harvest Festival at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex
Saturday, October 31, 1-4 pm
$7 ages 3 and older, free ages 2 and under

Enjoy an afternoon of harvest fun, filled with food, games, arts & craft activities, a hayride, ponies and a pumpkin patch. All ages welcome.


Flight Night at the College Park Aviation Museum
Saturday, October 31, 7-9pm
$4 per person

Wear your costumer and join in the Halloween fun at the annual Flight Night. Activities include arts, crafts, hayrides and spooky fun for kids of all ages! Read more about why we love the College Park Aviation Museum here.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hallowen Activities: Boo at the Zoo Giveaway



Updated: Congratulations to Margaret and her hockey player son, Vincent, who won the tickets! Enjoy Boo at the Zoo.


Can you believe that Halloween is less than two weeks away? Do you have your costume picked out? Do your children know what they're going as? If your family is anything like my family was growing up, you have one kid who has had their costume planned for month, another kid who rejects every possible suggestion with tears and tantrums, and another kid who will throw on some ripped clothes and fake blood on the 31st and call it a costume! I'll let you decide which of those was me as a child. But, for a hint, you should know that I've been planning Lucas's costume for more than a month!

There are dozens of excellent events taking place in Prince George's County and the DC-area now through October 31 and I'm kicking off a week of Halloween related posts. I'm starting with a bang--and a giveaway--by highlighting Boo at the Zoo!


Don’t miss your chance to go trick-or-treating at the home of DC’s creepiest and cuddliest creatures! The 11th annual Boo at the Zoo will take place October 23-25, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

With enhanced eerie lighting and 47 stations serving up a variety of candy, healthy, and organic goodies, this popular family Halloween party features talks about tarantulas, cockroaches, and scorpions, and playful demonstrations of lions and tigers using their predatory skills.

Boo at the Zoo is already sold out for Saturday night, but Friday and Sunday night tickets are still available! Tickets are $15 for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) members and $25 for nonmembers. Proceeds support animal care, conservation science, education, and sustainability at the Zoo. For more information and tickets, click here.

Giveaway! Win four tickets to Boo at the Zoo on Sunday, October 25! Simply leave a comment below telling me what you (or your child!) is dressing up as for Halloween this year.

The contest will close at 9pm on Thursday, October 22, and the winner will be notified via e-mail on Friday, October 23. You must include your e-mail either in the comment or on the comment form to be eligible to win. Good luck!


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Open House and Family Arts Day at Joe's Movement Emporium: Sunday, October 18



Joe's Movement Emporium is a wonderful community resource located in Mt. Rainier, MD.

"Using the arts as a tool for building communities, Joe's works to provide social opportunities and teach life skills to local youth as well as promote family involvement in neighborhood restoration."

This weekend Joe's Movement Emporium will celebrate the grand opening of their new 3,200 sq. ft. performance theatre and the successful completion of their $3 million capital campaign to transform a warehouse facility in into a thriving performing arts center and educational resource. If you've never been to Joe's, this Sunday is the perfect time to visit and check them out!

Open House & Family Arts Day at Joe's Movement Emporium
Sunday, October 18, 12pm-4pm
Free!
Featuring performances, workshops and hands-on arts experiences for the entire family!

Additional Information:

Joe's Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Road
Mount Rainier, MD 20712

Phone: 301-699-1819
Website: http://joesmovement.org/

Click here for directions.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watkins Nature Center


I've written before about our love of Watkins Park. Now, however, the carousel and miniature train are closed for the season and it is getting a bit too chilly to hang out at the playground or enjoy a picnic. But that doesn't mean that Watkins Park doesn't have great activities to offer you and your family! In fact, the Watkins Nature Center might just be the perfect place to visit if you're looking for a fun and easy indoor activity!

Lucas and I visited the Nature Center last week and he had a blast looking at the snakes, turtles, reptiles and owls. He even put on a little puppet show for me. Outside you can see several large birds of prey and look for frogs in the ponds. Visiting the Nature Center during regular hours is free!

If you're looking for a more structured activity, the Nature Center offers plenty of those as well at very reasonable prices. Here are some programs taking place through November. Please note that advanced registration is required for all of these programs.

Friday, October 16, 11am-12pm (SMARTLink #146193)
Campfire! Ages 2 and up will enjoy roasting marshmallows, hearing stories and seeing a live animal show. Parents/chaperons must also register.
$2 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $3 non-resident

Saturday, October 24, 10-11am (SMARTLink #146180)
Nature Craft: Ages 2-10 will enjoy a story, meet a live animal and make a craft
$2 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $3 non-resident

Friday, October 30, 10-11am (SMARTLink #146211)
Live Animal Show: Ages 2 and up will meet some of the center's animals up close. Parents/chaperons must also register for this program.
$1 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $2 non-resident

Friday, November 6, 10-11am (SMARTLink #146190)
Small Fry Club: Ages 2-4 will enjoy stories, crafts, games and hikes around the theme of Down on the Farm.
$3 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $4 non-resident

Saturday, November 7, 10-11am (SMARTLink #146173)
Family Discovery Hike: Ages 4 and up can join a naturalist and enjoy a seasonal hike while looking for wildlife and plant life. Parents/chaperons must also register for this program.
$1 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $2 non-resident

Saturday, November 21, 10-11am (SMARTLink #146186)
Creature Feature: Raptors: Ages 2 and up will meet and learn about various birds of prey, including hawks and owls. Parents/chaperons must also register for this program.
$1 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $2 non-resident

Wednesday, November 25, 1-2pm (SMARTLink #146184)
Puppet Show: Ages 2-10 can enjoy a seasonal themed puppet show and meet a live animal
$2 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $3 non-resident

Saturday, November 28, 10-11am (SMARTLink #146212)
Live Animal Show: Ages 2 and up will meet some of the center's animals up close. Parents/chaperons must also register for this program.
$1 resident of Montgomery or Prince George's County, $2 non-resident


Additional Information:

Watkins Nature Center
301 Watkins Park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

http://www.pgparks.com/
301-218-6702

Regular Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-5 pm; Sundays & Holidays: 11 am-4 pm

Visiting the center is free. Most programs cost a small fee and require advance registration.

To register for programs requiring advanced registration, you must have a SMARTLink account. There is no fee to set up the account but proof of residency and age verification is required. (This means a birth certificate for children.) You can set up an account at most MNCPPC public facilities such as community centers, sports center and the nature center.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Learn the Thriller Dance and Be Part of "Thrill the World 2009"


Have you heard about Thrill the World? It's an annual worldwide simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson's “Thriller.” This year, of course, it's an extra-special tribute to Michael Jackson and organizers have a goal of 270,000 participants worldwide in order to break the current Guinness World Record for Largest Simultaneous Dance.

Some local organizations are getting in on the fun to teach you and your family the dance.

Dance lessons in Cheverly:

October 9, 16 and 23
7-8pm for children ages 5-14
8-9pm for anyone over 14
Cheverly United Methodist Church, 3rd Floor
$30 per person, or $50 for families
Additional details here.

Thanks to ChvChick for the scoop!

Dance lessons in Mt. Rainier:

Joe's Movement Emporium
3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier
Sunday, October 18 at 12:30pm-2:30pm
All ages and experiences welcome.
Free!
Additional details here.

Can't get to a rehearsal? Download the dance moves and practice at home!


After you master the moves, you and your zombies can join others in the DC-area for the official, local dance event at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 24. There will be a final rehearsal at Freedom Plaza that morning at 11:30am. Registration begins at 4pm. The event is free but donations to the Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Research Foundation are encouraged. The official performance will take place at 8:30pm.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Local Fire Stations Celebrate National Fire Prevention Week with Open Houses



The lovely and amazing Jessica McFadden of A Parent in Silver Spring had an article in the Washington Post this weekend about open houses at fire stations around the area. Jessica writes, "The activities vary from station to station. Handouts such as plastic fireman hats, hot dogs and popcorn, hugs from such costumed characters as Sparky the Fire Dog or Terry the Traumasaurus and a jump in a moon bounce are all common features at the open houses."

According to the article, here are the upcoming open houses at Prince George's County fire stations:

Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department Open House Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 6200 Belcrest Rd. 301-927-5770. http://www.hvfd.com/

Morningside Volunteer Fire Department Open House & Recruitment Drive Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 6200 Suitland Rd. 301-736-4343. http://www.morningsidevfd.com/

Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department Annual Open House Oct. 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. Station 31, 4911 Prince Georges Ave. 301-883-7731. http://www.beltsvillevfd.com/

But National Fire Prevention Week isn't just about letting your kids see a firetruck up close or getting to spray a fire hose: Don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and talk with your kids about what your family would do if there was a fire. Here are some good resources.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wee Wonders at the National Children's Museum--October Events

The Wee Wonders program at the National Children's Museum (NCM) Launch Zone continues in October!

You can practically create your own preschool for your toddler with the help of the National Children's Museum and their Wee Wonders program. Each month, the NCM is offering programs on a different theme for children ages 2-3. According to the NCM, "these fun, fast-paced learning events typically include stories, games, art, music, experiments, drama, and movement around a different theme."

Please note: each month the same program is offered multiple times. But knowing how much my own son loved repetition as a toddler, you may want to visit more than once a month!

Wee Wonders' Sense-ational!


October 6, 13, and 20 from 10am-11:15am

Children will begin to understand how their bodies work by investigating their five fabulous senses. Explore smells, textures, sounds, sights, and tastes with your toddler.

Additional Details:

National Children's Museum Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745

Limit two children per adult; all non-infant children with an adult must pay and must participate; additional siblings are not permitted.

Fee: $10 per child. Pre-registration and advance payment (by check or credit card only) is required by the Friday prior to the event.

Please call 202-675-4120 or email RSVP@ncm.museum to register.

Website: http://www.ncm.museum/

For more information about visiting National Harbor and The Launch Zone, please check out my previous post. For the full schedule of Wee Wonders programming, check out this post.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Upcoming Events: October 3 and 4

In addition to the Capital Book Fest, lots of great events are happening this weekend in Prince George's County!



Second Annual Jump Off!
Saturday, October 3,
11am - 4pm
National Harbor
Performances will take place on National Harbor’s Plaza Stage.
Jump rope making at the NCM Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745

If your kids have energy to burn then jump on over to National Harbor this Saturday! There will be exhibition performances by nationally recognized double Dutch jump rope teams, including the Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. (Sensational, Inspiring, Talented, Youthful) Stars, a world-wide award-winning jump rope team from Prince George’s County!

At the National Children's Museum Launch Zone, children can make their own custom jump ropes (while supplies last) and learn the latest moves, like the “heel exchange” or the “leg-over cross,” from the jumping performers.

Representatives from WPGC radio will be giving away prizes and other give-aways; and NCM friends and Harbor partners will offer discounts from NCM friends and partners at the Harbor. DC-area sports teams mascots will be making appearances and you can enjoy regional foods, crafts, fashion, and much more at American Market at National Harbor.

All that jumping make you hungry? You're in luck: National Harbor’s McCormick & Schmick’s will offer one free kids menu item for each adult entree purchased between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the festivities. (Limit one child ages 10 and under per adult [parent or guardian]; dine-in only.) CakeLove at National Harbor will give one free chocolate chip cookie to the first 100 kids ages 12 and under who “jump” with their new jump rope from the Launch Zone to the bakery. In addition, Aromi d'Italia Gelateria & CafĂ© will offer a free sampling of cookies at the Launch Zone (while supplies last) along with “buy one get one free” cookie coupons.




Doggie Dive-In
Saturday, October 3, 10am - 2pm
Ellen Linson Swimming Pool
5211 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740

The dog days of summer are official over. Or, are they? Area pools are closed for the summer so now it's time for your pooch to enjoy a dip! The Ellen Linson Swimming Pool is hosting a Doggie Dive-In on Saturday, October 3 from 10 am-2 pm.

Dogs must be friendly, social, and curbed before entering the pool. Proof of up-to-date vaccination must be shown at entry. Admission fee is $4/dog. Please note that a maximum of 2 dogs will be admitted per person. For more information call 301-277-3717.

Kinderfest @ Watkins Regional Park
Sunday, October 4, 12-5pm


We love Watkins Regional Park! If you've never been there before or if it is an old favorite, head on over this Sunday for Kinderfest. In addition to the usual train rides, carousel rides and live animals offered at the park you can enjoy midway games, onstage entertainment, roving entertainment, exhibits, an NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition and more. Admission is FREE although fees are charged for some activities and for food concessions. For more information 301-218-6700 or click here.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bowie Train Station Museum


Recently at playgroup a grandmother mentioned how much fun her grandchildren have playing at the red caboose at the Bowie Train Station so of course Lucas and I had to check it out!

This is a very easy and low-key destination for anyone whose children love trains.

The Train Station Museum is basically four small buildings: the welcome center, depot museum, tower and caboose. At the moment the depot museum is pretty empty and the tower is closed. The staff person on hand told me that the museum will be getting a new exhibit in December and that the tower is currently being renovated and will be open later this winter as well.

It didn't matter to Lucas, however, that those buildings didn't have much to offer because there was a caboose! A red caboose!

Inside, the caboose is basically empty except for a train table, a train table which he was totally excited to play with despite that fact that the one he has at home has been gathering dust recently. Isn't that always the case?


The true highlight for this destination, however, is the fact that the caboose is located very, very close to actual train tracks and MARC, Amtrak, Acela and freight trains speed by on a regular basis. In fact, the train schedule is posted inside the caboose so you know about when to expect them. We spent about an hour playing in and around the caboose and saw about 10 trains speed by. Lucas literally jumped with excitement at each and every one.

Next time we visit, I'll pack a lunch. There are a few picnic tables located on a grassy area near the caboose and tracks. What's better than watching the trains from the back of the caboose? Watching trains as you eat your lunch!

If you are looking for a low-key, free and easy activity to engage your kids for about an hour, the Bowie Train Station Museum is a great stop.

Additional details:

Bowie Train Station Museum
8614 Chestnut Avenue, Bowie, MD

301-809-3089

Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Cost: Free

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Smithsonian Free Museum Day: Saturday, September 26

We have gotten quite spoiled by living in the DC Metro area with access to dozens of world-class free museums through the Smithsonian Institution: We hate paying for museums! And yet, we've found some smaller, off-the-beaten-path museums that we really love and are willing to pay to enjoy. The College Park Aviation Museum and B&O Railroad Museum are two examples.

This Saturday, those museums and dozens of others are also free! That's right, Saturday, September 26 is Smithsonian Magazine Free Museum Day!

If you receive the Smithsonian Magazine, there's a tear-out coupon in your magazine. If you're not a subscriber or have already recycled your magazine, simply click here here to fill out and print the admission card to receive free admission for two. (Be sure to print out one card for every two people in your family!)

Then, head on over to one (or more!) of the museums that are free for the day this Saturday.

Participating museums in Prince George's County include:

College Park Aviation Museum
National Museum of Language

Radio and Television Museum


Additional participating museums in Maryland that are great for children include:

B&O Railroad Museum
Baltimore Streetcar Museum
Chesapeake Children's Museum


Click here for the complete list of participating museums in MD, DC, VA and across the country.



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Book Festivals Are Coming! The Book Festivals Are Coming!



The 2009 National Book Festival

Saturday, September 26 from 10am-5:30pm
The National Mall between 7th and 14th streets
Free!

Over the past eight years, the National Book Festival has developed a devoted following. Bibliophiles are certainly thrilled that First Lady Michelle Obama has continued this awesome annual event which was started by former First Lady Laura Bush.

The National Book Festival is an amazing opportunity to meet and hear from your and your kids' favorite authors. There's so much to do and see, I can't begin to cover it all. For more information, click over to the festival website at http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/. The schedule and list of state, author and book sales pavilions can be found here. The list of authors attending the festival can be found here. A PDF of the the pavilion map can be found here.

Lines can be very long, especially for the best-known authors. If you happen to miss one of your favorites, or if you aren't able to get to the National Book Festival in person, you can hear podcasts from many well-known authors here.


5th Annual Capital BookFest
Saturday, October 3 from 10 am-7 pm
The Boulevard at the Capital Centre in Largo
Free!

This event promises to be a fun and informative day of author readings, panels, publishing workshops, poetry, children's storytelling, teen programs and exhibitors right here in Prince George's County. This is a FREE event which is presented in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation. It also helps promote healthy homes for children in foster care through a partnership with the Prince George's County Department of Social Services.

The first 1,000 attendees will receive a FREE book!

For more information about the schedule of events and a list of the local, national and celebrity authors participating, visit http://www.capitalbookfest.org/.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 21, 2009

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

Lucas and I recently spent a fun morning at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center. He had a blast donning a space suite and stepping inside a Mercury capsule model to flip all the switches and begin the launch countdown.

The Visitor Center is easy to get to and is--what else would you expect from NASA?--simply packed with amazing photographs of outer space and all kinds of incredible information. While Lucas was busy playing with the model spaceships or putting together a puzzle of the solar system, I was reading as much as I could, just trying to take it all in.

After I finally dragged Lucas away from the Mercury capsule, kids area and beautiful images inside the visitor center, he was in awe of the Goddard Rocket Garden out back. It was so fun to get up close and even touch (the signs said no climbing but didn't mention touching so I took them literally, as any good scientist would!) rockets some of which had actually been to space and back. Lucas kept asking if they were going to blast off (with a mix of excitement and trepidation in his voice!) and so I think it would be great fun to bring him back for one of the Sunday model rocket launches (details below).

Overall, this was another great destination in Prince George's County: we're so lucky to have a part of NASA right in our backyard. As with many of these smaller museums/visitors centers outside of the Smithsonian, we practically had the place to ourselves. There was plenty of room and Lucas didn't have to share the kid-friendly exhibits/activities with anyone else.

I also loved the fact that the gift shop was in an entirely different building, a building that we successfully avoided making the visit truly cost free!

Additional events and activities offered by NASA Goddard:

The Sunday Experiment

Elementary school students and their families are invited to the Goddard Visitor Center on the third Sunday of every month, from September to May, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for a free afternoon of eye-opening, hands-on activities that will help you experience what it’s like to be a NASA engineer. Contact: Maria Acevedo-Rivera at Maria.E.Acevedo-Rivera@nasa.gov.

Model Rocket Launches

Like to build model rockets, but don’t have a launch pad? Now you do! Anyone can fly at the Goddard model rocket launches, and there are no costs or fees to participate. Rockets, motors and supplies are available at the nearby Goddard Gift Shop and you can even get rocket construction and launch tips from our on-site experts on launch day! Model rocket launches are held at the Goddard Visitor Center the first Sunday of the month. Launches start at 1 p.m. and are brought to you by the NARHAMS Model Rocket club: http://www.narhams.org/.

Additional Details:

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, Md., 20771

Click here for directions.

Hours:

September-June: Tuesday-Friday 10am-3pm; Saturday-Sunday 12-4pm
July-August: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 12-4pm

Cost: Free!

Phone: 301-286-3978


Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FREE Barbecues and Festivals This Weekend

Did you think summer was over? Think again! There are several free barbecues and festivals this weekend in Prince George's County. These are great opportunities to get outside, mingle with your neighbors and enjoy!


Port Towns Day
Saturday, September 19
12pm - 6pm

Bladensburg, Colmar Manor and Cottage City are collectively known as the Port Towns and everyone is invited to join them in celebration of Port Towns Day at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Highlights include crafts, food demonstrations, entertainment, live bands and a family movie at dusk. Admission is FREE; nominal fees will be charged for food. For more information please call 301-779-0371.


O'Malley/Brown Barbecue
Saturday, September 19

2pm - 5pm

Our Governor and Lt. Governor are hosting a FREE barbecue for residents of Prince George's County at the Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Road, Largo. Come on out to meet your elected officials and neighbors. RSVP to (410) 468-4004 or on-line at www.martinomalley.com/PrinceGeorges.


28th Annual Festival Hispano
Sunday, September 20
12pm - 6pm

Everyone is invited to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture in Prince George's County this Sunday at Lane Manor Park (7601 West Park Dr. & University Blvd., Adelphi 20783). Festivities will include carnival games, pony rides, arts and crafts, music, entertainment, and displays/exhibitors. Admission is FREE; nominal fees will be charged for food and craft vendors.

Free shuttles to the festival will be running between 11:30 am and 6:30 pm from Lot 1 at the University of Maryland, College Park (behind the Marriott) and the Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School. For additional information call 301-445-4500.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wee Wonders at the National Children's Museum Launch Zone


The National Children's Museum (NCM) invites you to participate in Wee Wonders at the Launch Zone at National Harbor!

You can practically create your own preschool for your toddler with the help of the National Children's Museum and their Wee Wonders program. Each month, the NCM is offering programs on a different theme for children ages 2-3. According to the NCM, "these fun, fast-paced learning events typically include stories, games, art, music, experiments, drama, and movement around a different theme."

Please note: each month the same program is offered multiple times. But knowing how much my own son loved repetition as a toddler, you may want to visit more than once a month!

Here's the schedule and a short description provided by the National Children's Museum. Programs take place from 10am-11:15am on the dates listed below.

September 15, 22, and 29: Wee Wonders' Remarkable Rivers
With a beautiful view of the Potomac, the Launch Zone is the perfect spot to introduce your wee ones to everything fun about rivers! Explore river animals, fish, boats, and the properties of water alongside your young child in this exciting program.

October 6, 13, and 20: Wee Wonders' Sense-ational!
Children will begin to understand how their bodies work by investigating their five fabulous senses. Explore smells, textures, sounds, sights, and tastes with your toddler.

November 3, 10, and 17: Wee Wonders' Fall at the Farm
It's harvest time at the pretend NCM farm! Little farmers will tend to pretend animals and crops and celebrate nature's autumn surprises. Explore apples, pumpkins, and farm animals.

December 1, 8, and 15: Wee Wonders' Winter Wonderland
Discover what happens during the winter including winter weather, ice and snow, and how different animals adapt to the changing season.

Additional Details:

National Children's Museum Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745

Limit two children per adult; all non-infant children with an adult must pay and must participate; additional siblings are not permitted.

Fee: $10 per child. Pre-registration and advance payment (by check or credit card only) is required by the Friday prior to the event.

Please call 202-675-4120 or email RSVP@ncm.museum to register.

Website: http://www.ncm.museum/

For more information about visiting National Harbor and The Launch Zone, please check out my previous post.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kids Fest at the B&O Railroad Museum September 12 and 13




After spending lots of time dancing and singing along to Play! and Great Day by Milkshake, Lucas and I couldn't be more excited to see them live in concert at Kids Fest at the B&O Railroad Museum this weekend. Milkshake will be performing on Saturday and Sunday at Noon in what the group promises will be high energy, surprise-filled performances!

The B&O Railroad Museum's Kids Fest will take place on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 from 10am - 5pm and is free with regular museum admission.

In addition to the Milkshake concerts, highlights of Kids Fest include:
  • Kiddie Train Rides
  • Kids' "All Aboard" Calling Contests
  • Balloon Twisters
  • Children's Games, Arts, & Crafts
  • Contests and giveaways throughout the weekend including a trip to Rye Creek Lodge in Montana courtesy of Modern Babies and Children.
  • Mile One Express Train Rides ($2 adults, $1 children 2-12, free for B&O members)
  • Guest Mascot appearances by Amtrak's Arte & Bowie Baysox Louie
  • Souvenir family photos at Dr. Coupler's Railroad Photorium with packages starting at $12.95

Read more about why DC-area parents love the B&O Railroad Museum at Being Savvy DC and A Parent in Silver Spring.


Additional Information:

B&O Railroad Museum
901 West Pratt Street in Baltimore, MD

Admission rates:
Adults - $14; Seniors (60+) - $12; Children (ages 2-12) - $8; B&O Members - Free

Click here to print a coupon for $1 off admission for each person in your group during Kids Fest!

Parking: Free!

Want to check out the B&O Railroad Museum but can't make is this weekend? Plan to visit on the first Tuesday of any month for their "Thrifty Tuesday" half-price admission!

Website: http://www.borail.org

Blogging disclaimer: The B&O Railroad Museum sent us four free coupons for museum admission so we can attend this event.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Milkshake's newest CD, Great Day. You have until Saturday to enter--click here!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival: September 4-7

The Greenbelt Labor Day Festival has been taking place for 55 years! This annual weekend event is the largest event of its kind in Maryland and has events and exhibits sure to please every member of your family.

Here are just some of the things you and your kids won't want to miss! (Click here for a full schedule.)


Friday, September 4 -- Opening Night

6-11pm CARNIVAL MIDWAY OPENS
Midway. Rides by Rosedale Amusements. Games, food, sale & information booths organized by Greenbelt organizations. Booths constructed and wired by Greenbelt Public Works Department.

Ride tickets - $1.00; 25 for $20.00; $20.00 unlimited rides from 11:00am to 4:00 pm on Saturday or noon to 4:00 pm on Sunday.

7-8pm ROVING CLOWN
Midway. Notlim the Clown will greet children. Notlim has been a mainstay of the Festival and this year celebrates his 30th year bringing joy to the children!

9-11pm GREENBELT IDOLS
Stage. Finals for the first annual Greenbelt singing idols! If you, your tweens or teens love watching American Idol, you'll certainly enjoy seeing the finalists for the first annual Greenbelt Singing Idols perform live!


Saturday, September 5 -- Kids' Day!

9-11am KIDS' GAMES
Greenbelt Community Center front lawn. (Rain Location-Community Center gym.) A variety of games will take place in a carnival-style setting.

11am-11pm CARNIVAL MIDWAY OPEN

1-3pm BETTY MAY BALLOONS
Midway. Betty May the Clown will make balloon animals for children.

1-2pm MELISSA SITES
Stage. Sing along all the old favorites with Greenbelt's leading children's singer!

3-4pm ROCKNOCEROS
Stage. Rock and roll for children of all ages. Read more about why so many DC area families love Rocknoceros over at Tech Savvy Mama.

4-5pm GREG MAY MAGICAL MAYHEM CIRCUS
Stage. Greenbelt's favorite clown will amaze and amuse you!


Sunday, September 6 -- Family Day

noon-11pm CARNIVAL MIDWAY OPEN

1-3pm "MY ISLAND" ART CARTS
Midway. Make Island-themed crafts with the Community Center's Artists in Residence. Part of an Artful Afternoon. FREE.


Monday, September 7 -- Labor Day

9:30-10am LIONS CLUB BIKES & TRIKES
Roosevelt Center. Decorate your bike or trike and ride it in the parade! All contestants meet at the Mother and Child statue. Sponsored by: Greenbelt Lion's Club.

10am-noon 55th ANNUAL GREENBELT LABOR DAY PARADE
Crescent Rd. The 55th Annual Labor Day Parade will entertain you with a variety of groups, demonstrate community spirit, and accentuate diverse cultural backgrounds. There will be Floats, Bands, Fire trucks, Color Guard, Community Organizations and the Miss Greenbelt participants. The Grand Marshall is Greenbelt's Outstanding Citizen. Sign language interpreter at the Reviewing Stand across from the Municipal Building. Parade Route: Down Crescent Rd from Greenhill to Centerway. Parade is marshaled by the Central Maryland Amateur Radio Club (CMARC) and Prince George's Amateur Radio Club (PGARC) of MD.

noon-6pm CARNIVAL MIDWAY OPEN

noon-2pm LUNCHEON ON THE LAWN
Greenbelt Community Church, Corner of Hillside & Crescent Rd. After parade. Barbeque sandwich or hot dog, baked beans, slaw, chips, drink and dessert for one reasonable price.


Additional Information:

All events will take place in the Roosevelt Center parking lot unless otherwise noted. (Here's a map.)

You can avoid parking issues by taking the FREE Festival Shuttle. Vans will pick-up at parking locations at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt Elementary School, Green Ridge House and the Greenbelt Armory & deliver the riders to the festival area. (Here's the shuttle schedule.) The festival is also just a 10- minute walk from Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

Questions? Call Festival Information at (301) 345-0147

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!