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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!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Darnall's Chance House Museum Gingerbread House Contest and Show

2008 Child and Adult winners--they're edible and gorgeous!

I can't wait to oooh, aaah and drool over the amazing gingerbread house creations at the 11th Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Show at Darnall's Chance House Museum. It's the first "outing" on our Advent Activity Calendar.

You, too, can check out the houses and cast your vote for the Viewer's Choice Award Thursday, December 2nd through Sunday, December 5th and again December 9th through 12th from 12-5pm each day. Admission is $1 per person.

Darnall's Chance House Museum
14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Activity Calendar

via Martha Stewart

Inspired by Amy at Teach Mama and Jordan at Oh Happy Day, I've put together an Advent Activity Calendar for our family this year. Each day, December 1 through December 25, when Lucas opens that day's drawer on our first-ever advent calendar he'll find a fun activity for that day.

Several of the activities are things we already planned to do or attend: the town Christmas Tree lighting, a visit with Santa, his nursery school's Christmas program and our parents' group holiday party. Other things are easy and fun things we would have done anyway: shop for our giving tree gifts, dance to holiday music, make paper snowflakes, write a letter to Santa, watch a Christmas movie, deliver treats to friends, bake cookies.

A few things are easy but will blow his mind: camp out on the living room floor under the Christmas Tree, drink hot cocoa with marshmallows for breakfast.

And, several more are local holiday activities which I'll be writing about over the next few days.

{So sorry for my very long absence. I undertook a big venture over the past eight or so months that didn't leave much time for blogging. But, I'm now back, hopefully regularly.}

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Friends and Family Fun Day at the Washington Youth Garden

The National Arboretum is one of our favorite places. In fact, so many DC-ers don't even seem to know it is there, and it is so close to the Prince George's County line, that should just claim it for our own!

If you're looking for something fun to do this Saturday, July 24, head over to Friends and Family Day at the Washington Youth Garden at the National Arboretum. You can enjoy fresh, healthy snacks from the garden (perfect for Maryland's Buy Local Challenge this week!), meet honeybees, enjoy some kid-friendly gardening activities, listen to live music and tour the garden.

Additional Details:

Friends and Family Fun Day at the Washington Youth Garden
National Arboretum
Saturday, July 24 from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm
For directions to the WYG inside the National Arboretum, click here.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shakespeare in the Parks: Romeo and Juliet

Pack a picnic and take your family to see a free outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet this summer! There are several locations so you can choose the one closest to you or see it several times.

Wednesday, July 21 @ 7pm
Magruder Park
40th & Hamilton Streets, Hyattsville
Rain location: St. Jerome's School, 5207 42nd Place, Hyattsville

Thursday, July 22 @ 7pm
Watkins Regional Park
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro
Rain location: Largo/Kettering/Perrywood Community center

Friday, July 23 @ 7pm (sign interpreted)
Montpelier Mansion Grounds
9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel
Rain Location: Deerfield Run Community Center
Note: this performance also has a 6pm opening act by the Prince George's Children's Theatre

Saturday, July 24 @ 6pm
Stephen Decatur Community Center
8200 Pinewood Drive, Clinton

Sunday, July 25 @ 3pm
Bowie Center for the Performing Arts
15200 Annapolis Road, Bowie
Note: this performance is indoors!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Wednesdays

The US Marine Band performs at 8pm on the west steps of the US Capitol every Wednesday evening this summer through August 25. Weather permitting.

Parking is challenging on Capitol Hill so plan to take Metro to Union Station or South Capitol.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Tuesdays

Head over to the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol Building for a free concert performed by the US Air Force Band every Tuesday this summer at 8pm. Parking is a challenge in that area so Metro is recommended; the closest stops are Union Station or Capitol South.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Mondays

The US Navy Band performs every Monday evening at 8pm on the west steps of the US Capitol through August 30.

Parking is challenging on Capitol Hill so plan to take Metro to Union Station or Capitol South.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Sundays

The only Sunday offering I could find is close to home for me at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park. This is a lovely setting on an important urban watershed. Please note, this series is includes more than music--there are plays and a family movie night!

Free Concerts in Prince George's County

Bladensburg Waterfront Park Arts at the Waterfront
4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg

Every Sunday through August 15 from 6-7:30pm; please note this
July 4 - DeAndrey Howard's Collectors Edition (classic jazz)
July 11 - Sportaculture (six short plays about local sports)
July 18 - Mambo Combo (Salsa, Mambo, Rumba and Samba)
July 25 - Prince George's County Police's Rhythm 'n Blues Band
August 1 - N2N Band (Soul, Rhythm & Blues)
August 8 - US Naval Academy Band
August 15 - Oasis/Island Sounds
August 27 - Family Movie Night (title TBD call 301-937-6631 for information)

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Saturdays

Free Concerts in Prince George's County

Beltsville Community Center Jazz Under the Stars
3900 Sellman Road, Beltsville

July 17 @ 7pm - James King Quartet
August 21 @ 7pm - Ndelible

National Harbor Sounds of Summer Concert Series

Every Saturday from 2-4pm through August 28

July 3 - Steel Drum Trio
July 10 - Bruce Middle Group (jazz)
July 17 - John Luskey (country)
July 24 - Blues 4 Piece
July 31 - Savoir Faire (cajun)
August 14 - Southern Maryland Concert Band
August 21 - Hudson & Watson (variety/pop rock)
August 28 Bruce Middle Group (jazz)

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Fridays

If you are looking for free outdoor music on Fridays this summer, you are in luck! You can pick your favorite venue and become a regular or go to a different venue each Friday throughout July and into August, there are just so many to choose from.

Friday Concerts in Prince George's County

Bowie Town Center Outdoor Concert Series
Bowie Town Center Food Court
15606 Emerald Way, Bowie

Every Friday in July from 7-9pm

National Harbor Summer Concert Series
National Harbor Waterfront

Bring your own chair or blanket; no alcoholic beverages allowed; no outside food allowed but there are lots of dining options.

Every Friday in July and August from 5-7pm

July 2 - Blues 4 Piece
July 9 - Roosevelt Smith Duo
July 16 - Hudson and Watson
July 23 - Pete Fields Duo
July 30 - Roosevelt Smith Duo
August 6 - Blues 4 Piece
August 13 - John Luskey
August 20 - Steel Drum Trio
August 27 - Pete Fields

Montpelier Mansion Summer Concert Series
9652 Muikirk Road & Rt. 197, Laurel

July 9 @ 7:30pm - BG & The Mojo Hands (Blues, Swing and Rockabilly)
August 6 @ 7:30pm - Jennifer Rose & The Mixx (Country Rock)

Friday Concerts in Washington, DC

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Jazz in the Garden
7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Every Friday through September 10 from 5-8:30pm

Outside alcoholic beverages, large coolers and tables prohibited; food and alcohol for sale

July 2 - Bio Ritmo (hot salsa)
July 9 - James King Ensemble (jazz bassist)
July 16 - Incendio (Latino jazz from Los Angeles)
July 23 - Young Lions (fusion rock/jazz)
July 30 - John Jensen (jazz trombonist)
August 6 - Bjorn Solli (Norwegian jazz guitarist)
August 13 - Carsten Boe Trio (Django jazz from Oslo, Norway)
August 20 - Pete BarenBregge (ensemble avante-garde)
August 27 - Miles Stiebel (smooth jazz violinist)
September 3 - Miles Stiebel (smooth jazz violinist)
September 10 - Bruce Swaim (jazz saxophone)

Friday Concerts in Arlington, VA

The United States Air Force Band Summer Concert Series
Air Force Memorial, Arlington, VA

Plenty of free, on-site parking or take Metro to Pentagon City or Arlington Cemetery

Every Friday at 8pm through August 31.

The United States Army Band
West Steps of the U.S. Capitol

Every Friday through August 13 at 8pm
Metro recommended: Union Station or Capitol South

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts: Thursdays

Summertime is the time to enjoy wonderful outdoor music in Prince George's County and DC and I've done some research to dig up free outdoor concerts almost every night of the week through July and into August! Over the next few days, I'll publish the venues by day of the week then will put together one big summary post at the end. Enjoy!

Thursday Concerts in Prince George's County

Riverdale House Museum Jazz on the Lawn
4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale Park, MD

Bring your own blanket or lawn chair; refreshments will be sold. In case of rain, concerts held indoors.

July 15 @ 7pm - Oklahoma Twisters
August 19 @ 7pm - Buck Hill Quartet

Watkins Regional Park Concerts in the Park
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD

Bring your own blanket or lawn chair; refreshments will be sold.

July 8 @ 7pm - Higher Hands
July 15 @ 7pm - The Mary Shaver Band
July 29 @ 7pm - Tom Newman Project
August 5 @ 7pm - Patrick Alban Band

Thursday Concerts in Washington, DC

National Zoo Sunset Serenades

Bring your own picnic or purchase from zoo vendors.

July 22 @ 6:30pm - The Steve Scott Project
July 29 @ 6:30pm - GHZ Band and Show
August 5 @ 6:30pm - The Grandsons

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sleepover at the Smithsonian

Way back when I was a Girl Scout, our troop joined other troops from central Pennsylvania to sleep at one of those hands-on type museums in Harrisburg, PA. I have no idea if the museum still exists or what it was called, but to this day, I vividly remember spending the night there. It was seriously one of the coolest experiences ever.

But you know what would be WAY more cool? Spending the night at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!

I don't usually write about the things that PR reps send to me, but, my friends, even though Lucas is too young to join in on this adventure, it has crossed my mind to do it myself!

That's right, the Smithsonian is offering a limited number of spots for a limited number of sleepover nights at the National History Museum in July and August. According to the website, you get to screen an IMAX film, join a scavenger hunt, have a guided tour then sleep in the Sant Ocean Hall, Mammal Hall or Hall of Dinosaurs.

So, it is a bit pricey, $125 general admission or $115 if you are a resident member and you have to be 8-12 years old (chaperons must be 21 or older). But, if you can swing it, I am sure this would be a true once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Juneteenth Celebration

On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after Lincoln proclaimed the freedom of all slaves in the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers finally brought the news to Galvestan, TX that the war was over and all the slaves were freed. Until that point, there were not enough Union soldiers in Texas to enforce the new law, but the additional troops under the leadership of Major General Gordan Granger were finally able to enforce freedom for every slave. (Read more here.)

Now, Juneteenth is a day for all people to come together to acknowledge a truly horrid period of US history and to focus on education and achievement.

Come celebrate this Saturday, June 19, at Watkins Regional Park from noon until 5pm. This free Juneteenth celebration features live entertainment throughout the day (Jazz, Blues, Gospel and lots of dancing!), guest speakers, arts and craft and--of course!--great food. (I imagine there are nominal costs for the food and arts and crafts.) You can attend a "Footprints and Roots" genealogical and historical workshop or bring your chessboard and meet and learn from Chess Instructor/Coach Ted Fagan of the Eagle Chess Academy.

Don't forget your picnic blanket or lawn chairs!

Additional Details:

Juneteenth Celebration
Saturday, June 19, noon-5pm
Watkins Regional Park
301 Watkins park Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cheverly Community Market: Now Featuring a Kids Corner

You'll want to be sure to get out by ten this Saturday for this season's 2nd Cheverly Community Market!* That's because the Cheverly Parent Resource Center will kick off their Market Kids Corner this Saturday at 10am!

At every market this season, CPRC will sponsor a storytelling or craft event featuring one or two of the market vendors. For this Saturday's kick-off, a volunteer will read The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and all the kids in attendance will receive a coupon for 50 cents off a jar of deliciousness (aka Martha's Jam!). In addition, all kids who sign up for the Kids Corner will receive a card, each time they participate they will receive a sticker and--as if stickers aren't prize enough!--when they get five stickers they will receive a small prize from a vendor.

Photo by Kathryn Andrews. Martha's Jam: Also great on cake!

What a great way to get your kids interested in and excited about local, fresh and delicious food!

*Don't forget this Saturday's Market is also Market on the Avenue--the market will take place on Cheverly Avenue at Legion Park from 8am-Noon instead of the regular location next to the Community Center.

Additional Details:

Cheverly Community Market
Saturday, June 12, 8am-Noon
Cheverly Avenue at Legion Park, Cheverly
(And every other Saturday through the fall at the Cheverly Community Center.)

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beltsville Agricultural Research Center Field Day: Saturday, June 5

Have you ever driven by the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center on your way to Ikea and wondered what goes on there? Well, this Saturday is your chance to find out!

It is their 100th Anniversary and they are celebrating with fun for the whole family including hay rides; animal, farm machinery and research exhibits; and, hands on demonstrations. Best part? It's all free! (But, as usual at things like this, light refreshments will be for sale.) We haven't been to this in the past, but a quick perusal of their photo gallery of past field days make it look like it will be a really great event!

The event will take place rain or shine as they have large tents for the displays and exhibits.

Additional Details:

Beltsville Agricultural Reserach Center Field Day
Saturday, June 5, 2010
10am until 5pm

10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705
Click here for directions.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cheverly Day (aka The Most Wonderful Day of the Year!)

Cheverly Day is fast-approaching on Saturday, May 22, and if you live in town, or in the local area, it is a must-attend family-friendly event! The festivities kick off with the Cheverly Day Dance (aka the Cheverly Prom) on Friday evening. I won't be writing more about that because: first, it is sold out; and second, it is an un-family friendly event because no kids are allowed. (Don't fear, though, Cheverly Day features lots of family-friendly music and dance opportunities!)

All activities take place in and around the Cheverly Town Hall and Cheverly Town Park, located at 6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD.

Saturday kicks off with the Cicada Crunch and continues with the infamous East v. West Softball Game at 11am (arrive early to warm-up; the organizers plan to start promptly this year, breaking all past Cheverly Day traditions!)

By 11:30 you can indulge in fantastic food and at noon it's time to start drinking the St. Ambrose Men's Club Beer Garden!

Information tables hosted by local groups, organizations--and, I venture to guess, numerous political candidates--will be open from 1pm-6pm. For the second year in a row, the Cheverly Parent Resource Center will host a "Tots Corner" during this time as well. This is a welcome space just for younger children who may be a bit overwhelmed by the action of the midway.

Speaking 1pm head over to the tennis courts which will be transformed into a carnival midway for lots of fun games for the kids. Buy your Cheverly Day t-shirt there early. It's extra-cute this year and is expected to sell out. Games close down at 5pm.

Between 2 and 4pm you and your kids can get up close to some raptors (birds of prey) demonstrated by Watkins Park staff members.

At 6pm, head over to the Community Center Gym for a new-this-year Family Dance Party with DJ Iana.

Yes, enjoying all that is Cheverly Day is is a marathon, not a sprint. (Unless, that is, you hope to claim first place in the Cicada Crunch!).

But wait! There's more! Check back tomorrow for all the details about the live music and fireworks!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cheverly Day Cicada Crunch: Register today!

Do you remember 2004? The year of the 17-year cicadas? Remember how they landed on your head and crunched under your feet?

That was the same summer the Cheverly Day 5K run was born and the runners dubbed the event the "Cicada Crunch" -- a name that has stuck!

Since then, runners from all over the region have come to Cheverly to take part in the annual event. The infamous hills of Cheverly make it especially challenging--and oh-so-rewarding! Another reward is knowing that your registration fee benefits a wonderful local organization, the Friends of Lower Beaverdam Creek, which helps to protect an important tributary to the Anacostia River.

The 2010 Cicada Crunch will take place on Saturday, May 22 at 10am. Registration is only $25 for the 5K ($5 off for Prince George's Running Club members) and only $10 for the 2K walk. Kids 12 and under doing the 2K walk are free!

Visit the Cicada Crunch website for all the details, race (and elevation!) maps and to register! (On-site registration will be accepted as well.)

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seussical the Musical presented by the Cheverly Young Actors Guild

Buy your tickets today!! The Cheverly Young Actors Guild is presenting Seussical the Musical this Thursday through Sunday at the Cheverly Publick Playhouse. The show, which is performed by local children ages 5 and up, is led by the Cat and the Hat who takes the audience on a romp through Seuss classics.

Show times:

Thursday, May 13 at 7:3opm
Friday, May 14 at 7:30pm
Saturday, May 15 at 2pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, May 16 at 2pm and 6:30pm

Purchase Tickets:

Call the box office at 301-277-1710 to purchase tickets

$10 children 12 and under
$12 students and seniors
$14 adults

All patrons, including infants, must have a ticket.

Publick Playhouse
5445 Landover Road
Cheverly, MD 20785

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 26, 2010

13th Annual Cheverly Truck Touch: Saturday, May 1

If you have a kid who knew the difference between a dump truck and a digger by age 2 or if you've ever slowed down or sped up to get in the lane next to a garbage truck for your child's enjoyment, this Saturday, May 1, THE place to be is at the 13th Annual Cheverly Truck Touch!

This annual fundraiser for Cheverly's Weekday Nursery and Mother's Day Out programs will feature over 20 vehicles for your kid to explore--they can climb aboard, sit in the driver's seat and honk the horn in vehicles including firetrucks, an ambulance, a garbage truck, a dump truck and a back hoe. There will be classic cars and a race car, delivery trucks, an oil truck, a school bus and an RV. And, this year, the Maryland National Guard is sending over a state-of-the-art HUMVEE!

In addition to exploring the trucks, there will be games, face-painting and balloons. Volunteer parents will be grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers for sale for lunch.

Admission is only $5 per child (which includes 4 game tickets) and parents are free! The festivities will last from 10am until 2pm.

Additional Information:
13th Annual Cheverly Truck Touch
Cheverly United Methodist Church Parking Lot (behind the church)
2801 Cheverly Avenue
Cheverly, MD 20785

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Visit the NASA Goddard Visitor's Center in Honor of WhyMommy

This post was originally published in September 2009. I am re-posting it today in honor of Team WhyMommy's Virtual Science Fair. Susan Nieber, aka WhyMommy, is a mom and an astrophysicist who has been fighting inflammatory breast cancer and educating others about it since 2007. Today she is undergoing surgery to remove a local regional recurrence of cancer in the lymph nodes under her arm pit. I hope that Susan, this post, and the dozens more at the Virtual Science Fair, inspire you to get out and do something science-related with your kids today!

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

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:

Additional Details:

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, Md., 20771

Click here for directions.


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 Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Saturday, April 3: Childern's Day Adventures at The Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park

Whew! Try to say that title three times fast!

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend that is outdoors and perhaps egg related but doesn't involve copious amounts of candy or kids running wild in search of plastic? Check out Children's Day at Piscataway Park sponsored by the Accokeek Foundation on Saturday, April 3.

The day begins at 9am with a Chicken and Egg Workshop at the Barnyard (bonus: children get to dye eggs with natural dye!). There's a "Wally the Water Bottle" puppet show and mini river clean-up at 11am; you can also take part in "Where's Ben?" a guided search around the farm at noon.

Learn more and check out all the details here.

Additional Information:

The Accokeek Foundation at Piscataway Park
3400 Bryan Point Road
Accokeek, MD 20607

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bowie Baysox Free Family FunFest this Saturday, March 27

This Saturday, March 27 from 10am until 2pm, the Bowie Baysox (the AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) will host their annual Family FunFest. It's a day of free fun for the entire family!

Highlights include: inflatables, interactive games, a scavenger hunt, live music, face painting and a chance to run the bases (weather permitting). In addition, the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department and Bowie Police will be there with a firetruck and activities.

While you're there, you can purchase regular season tickets and don't forget to register your kids for the Louie Kids Club. It's free to join and every time your kids visit the ballpark this season, they'll get a Louie Fun Pad (an activity booklet) and just for registering they recieve a special gift. It looks like there will be lots of great kid-friendly events at Bowie Baysox games this season.

Additional Details:

Bowie Baysox
Prince George's Stadium
4101 Craine Highway
Bowie, MD 20716

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rosalind Wiseman’s Girl World with Giveaway

Congratulations!'s random integer generator chose comments number 1 and 2: Andrea and Teresa!

Yesterday I bought Lucas and Nathaniel matching outfits for Easter--plaid button up shirts with navy sweater vests and tan pants. Abel had a few hours free during the day so he was with me at the store. As I was searching back and forth between the baby section and the boy section for perfect matches, he asked, "Do they really have to match exactly?"

My reply: "Look, I have two boys and that means no dresses, no bows, no ribbons, nothing! Matching holiday outfits is all I have!" He laughed, and agreed, then helped me look.

To all you lucky ladies who get to shop in the twice-as-large girl clothing section: I'm a little jealous. But, I have a feeling that when we hit the tween years, I won't be quite so jealous. I'm told it's tough to be the mother of a tween girl.

So if you are in the throws of the drama that is life with a tween girl (defined here as ages 8-14) then I've got a treat for you! Dove go fresh deodorants and body wash has offered me two sets of mother-daughter tickets to Rosalind Wiseman's Girl World Tour on April 6. This two hour workshop at Georgetown Day School will be filled with mother-daughter bonding and features an interactive discussion about confidence, friendships and how to navigate those "sweat-inducing" moments (ha ha, hence the deodorant sponsorship!). Parent attendees will receive a copy of Wiseman's book, Queen Bees & Wannabees. Girl attendees will receive a copy of her new young adult novel, Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials. There's also a great gift bag for everyone and Ms. Wiseman will be signing her books that evening! Awesome, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 7-9pm
Georgetown Day School
4200 Davenport Street, NW
Washington, DC

Tickets are $40 per mother-daughter pair (note: any adult is welcome to attend with the tween in their life--fathers, Girl Scout leaders, aunts, etc. are welcome!)

You can purchase tickets to the Washington, DC Workshop at Georgetown Day School here. Or, better yet, leave a comment below to win one of the two sets I am giving away!

Giveaway details: Leave one comment per person on this post by Wednesday, March 24 at 5pm to be entered. I must have a way to contact you if you win or your entry will be disqualified. If you have a blogger account please be sure your e-mail address is linked to the account. Or, you can also leave your e-mail address in your comment. I will choose two winners at random and notify the winners by Friday, March 26. Your names will be left on the Will Call list at the event. Good luck!

Edited to add: if you have trouble commenting (for example, if you get a message that your comment couldn't be published) try just hitting "submit" again. I have found that it sometimes takes two tries to get the word verification to come up. If you still have trouble, feel free to e-mail me at and I'll add your comment myself. Thanks :)

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this post. I was offered two sets of tickets to giveaway to readers.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Pachyderm Parade

The circus is coming to town! Did you ever stop to think about how they get those big animals from the trains to the venue? They walk them right through town!

Last year I took Lucas into DC to watch the elephant parade. It was a very fun, free way to enjoy the elephants (and clowns and a few other animals) in a unique way. Unfortunately, in an attempt to avoid the crowd that had gathered on one side of the street, we got the back end of their little show.

That big one on the right did give us just the kind of show a 3 year old boy would love. Ahem.

You can catch the Pachyderm Parade this Tuesday, March 16. The parade is tentatively scheduled to begin at 1pm.

The walk will start at Virginia Avenue, SE then will head Northwest on Washington Avenue, SW. It will then head West on Independence Avenue, SW, past the Congressional Office Buildings and the Capitol. They'll turn North on 3rd Street, SW and continue on 3rd Street NW before heading West on G Street, NW. Finally, they will go North on 6th Street, NW and into the loading dock at the Verizon Center.


Organizers are encouraging press to be at 3rd Street between Jefferson Drive, SW and Madison Drive, NW at approximately 1:20pm. That's the West front of the Capitol Building. My guess is that this is where you'll want to be as well, to catch a little show. The Federal Center SW Metro stop is the closest stop to this location.

Another option, if you want to take the Metro, is to get off at Judiciary Square and catch the parade at the corner of 3rd Street, NW and E Street, NW.

Timing is subject to change. Call the Animal Walk Hot Line at 866.683.3670 or follow them on Twitter @DCAnimalWalk for arrival time updates.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Let your kids bounce out their energy at Pump it Up

Oh my, spring is just SO close we can almost taste it! We're so ready to be outside every day exploring our local playgrounds and parks. But, until the warm weather really arrives, we are still in need of some indoor locations to help burn off some energy. Pump it Up is a great place to do that!

I took Lucas to the local Pump it Up about a year ago and yesterday afternoon he was there again for a birthday party. Not only did he have a blast, even the sugar high from the birthday cupcake didn't stop him from falling right to sleep last night and even sleeping in a bit this morning!

Pump it Up is basically two huge rooms filled with inflatables--moon bounces, obstacle courses and amazing slides--for kids to jump, bounce and climb to their heart's content. Parents are welcome to get in the game, too! It's a great work out (trust me!). Other than hosting or being invited to a party at Pump It Up, families have three opportunities to visit each week.

Pop-In Playtime Pre-K
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-11:30am
Ages 2-6
$7 per child

Family Jump Time
Tuesdays from 5pm-7pm
All ages welcome.
$7 per child

Parents are free for all sessions and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Socks and waivers are required. Space is limited: first come first served.

Additional Details:

Pump it Up of Lanham-Bowie
4230 Forbes Blvd., Suite H
Lanham, MD 20706


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center: Nature Club, Puppet Shows and Campfires

The Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center (read a review here) is offering a pre-school Nature Club, puppet shows and campfires this spring. Here are the details and dates:

Nature Club

A nature club for pre-schoolers and their parents to experience nature through seasonal-themed activities such as stories, hikes/explorations, crafts, games or other activities.

Ages 1-4

Thursdays: March 4, March 18, April 1, April 15, April 29, May 13, May 27

Puppet Theater Show

Enjoy a puppet show and craft activity.

Ages 3 years and up

Saturdays: March 20, April 17, May 15


Enjoy nature tales and roasted marshmallows. Bring hot dogs if you like.

Ages 1 year and up
$2 per person

Saturdays: April 24, May 22

Additional Details:

Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center
4701 31st Place
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712
Phone: 301-927-2163

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm (closed Sundays and Mondays)

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center

I have to admit, with a new baby in the house and all the recent snow, this Smiling Mama hasn't been getting "out by ten" very often! But last weekend we were all ready to get out to explore something new. I thought the Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center would be a good place to check out: it's close to home and looked like it would be pretty low key. Both turned out to be true.

The Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center is a very small center located near historic Mt. Rainier. It is perfect for pre-schoolers or young elementary-aged children. I'd be willing to put money down on the bet that on any given day your family will be the only visitors. That ended up being a nice bonus for us since we had 6 week old Nathaniel with us--he was fast asleep in his car seat so we could set him down while we explored and simply move him from room to room with us: there are only three rooms so he wasn't moved often!

Lucas enjoyed looking at snakes, salamanders, turtles (the alligator turtle was a big hit!) and frogs. We all had fun watching the rabbit eat and the adults got a big kick out of the poem and lesson on scat (aka poop!). There is a great book corner with lots of books for your kids to look at and for you to read to them. There are also lessons about Native Americans, recycling and insects.

And, to fulfill the "recreation" designation: there's an air hockey table and Foosball table. Just ask the front desk for the balls/pucks and, with an adult present, they'll hand them over. We enjoyed several spirited games!

If you are looking for an interesting, but low-key, free activity for about an hour (possibly 2 hours depending on your child's interest in spending time with the books or doing each activity), then the Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center is a great place to visit.

Later this spring, they'll be offering a pre-school nature club, puppet shows and campfires: come back to Out by Ten on March 1 for the dates and details. We also spied two fun-looking playgrounds nearby. After the snow melts (and mud dries up!) they would be fun to visit in conjunction with the Nature Center.

Additional Details:

Mt. Rainier Nature/Recreation Center
4701 31st Place
Mt. Rainier, MD 20712

Phone: 301-927-2163

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Surviving Snowpocalypse 2010: Homemade Gummi Candy

Can you believe school is closed in Prince George's County again Tuesday? I just did a little counting and from February 3 through February 16 school has been open only 1.5 out of 14 days! No wonder kids and parents alike are freaking out about another day at home!

I'd like to share another easy indoor activity to help you and your family survive Snowpocalypse 2010: make homemade gummmi candies!

Lucas loves gummi fruit snacks. Seriously, LOVES them. So, when I came across the recipe to make homemade gummi candy over at Skip to My Lou, I knew we had a winner. This is a super-simple and fun activity to do with your kids!

Click here for the very easy and detailed instructions.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surviving Snowpocalypse 2010: Tech Savvy Mama

In my personal opinion, Tech Savvy Mama is the best website out there that looks at tech gear and websites from the parent perspective. Leticia is not only awesome in real life (where I'm privileged to know her) but is fun and easy to read on-line. Spend a few minutes on Tech Savvy Mama today and you'll come away with tons of great ideas and resources for your kids.

Here are a few of the sites that I discovered through Tech Savvy Mama--you can find even more by spending a few minutes searching at Tech Savvy Mama or clicking on her post labels. Enjoy!

Meet Me At the Corner -- This site free virtual field trips for kids. Go someplace warm and sunny today!

Seussville -- Am I a horrible mom if I admit that I really dislike reading Dr. Seuss books to Lucas at bedtime? Well, maybe. But, I figure I can redeem myself my taking him over to Seussville, a website I discovered through Tech Savvy Mama!

PBS Kids and PBS Parents -- Leticia is also a community manager for PBS Teachers and regularly sings the praises of PBS Kids and PBS Parents. These sites should definitely be among your "favorites" and you can trust that the screen time your kids spend at PBS Kids will be fun and educational!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Surviving Snowpocalypse 2010: Celebrate the Winter Olympics

Did you know that Vancouver is suffering from a severe lack of snow? It's true! How about if we ship ours there? (That's not such a far-fetched idea--they really are flying and trucking snow in for the Winter Games which begin tonight!)

What better way to put a stop to cabin fever during Snowpocalypse 2010 than celebrating the 2010 Winter Olympics? Here are some fun ideas!

Make Gold Medal Cookies and an Olympic Torch (don't have gold foil on hand? Me either. Just shoot a little lower and make silver medals with aluminum foil!)

Check out these Olympic Craft Ideas

Meet the Vancouver 2010 mascots Miga, Quatchi and Sumi and check out games, activities, e-cards, crafts and more just for kids at this official Olympic site.

Now, if only digging our your car or dressing and undressing your kids in their cold weather gear were Olympic husband and I would have won multiple golds by now!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Surviving Snowpocalypse 2010: Teach Mama

Winter Wonderland or Kill Storm 2010? Has Snowpocalypse 2010 been a dream come true or a nightmare for your and your family? Either way, I'm sure you've already used up every creative idea you've ever had for keeping the kiddos entertained, both indoors and out, over the past six days of snow. With most schools closed in the region through at least Monday (oh, yeah, more snow is forecasted for Monday--eek!), we are all looking for new ideas. Out by Ten to the rescue! Over the next few days I'll be posting some great on-line resources for you and your family. Up first is Teach Mama.

Man do I love Amy over at Teach Mama. She's my inspiration for attempting new fun and educational activities with Lucas. I'll admit that I only get around to doing about one percent of the things Amy blogs about at Teach Mama, but even that small bit makes me feel like a rock star mama!

Of course she's one step and a few days ahead of me in helping you stave off cabin fever. That's right, she's already posted a round up of some classic Teach Mama indoor activities--most of which can be organized very easily and use things you have laying around the house. If you just do one or two of these, I guarantee you'll feel like a rock star mama, too!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Birthday Party at the Watkins Nature Center

Hosting a fun kid's birthday party during the winter can be challenging, especially when you live in a smallish house. Lucas's birthday is just a few days before Christmas and with the birth of Nathaniel we have an early January birthday as well so I have years of doing some creative-thinking for birthday parties ahead of me!

Back in October, I wrote about several indoor birthday party venues in Prince George's County. Based on that research I decided to host Lucas's fourth birthday party at the Watkins Nature Center at Watkins Park. It was a fantastic success and the venue exceeded my high expectations.

Here are the details.

The birthday party rental fee is $100 for residents of Prince George's or Montgomery counties. You get exclusive use of the party room which includes tables, chairs, a sink and refrigerator for a total of 3 hours (that timeline must include set-up and clean-up). You and your guests can also enjoy non-exclusive use of the nature center itself (though on our party day no other visitors came and we did have it all to ourselves!). One of the best parts, though, is that one of the staff naturists leads a 30 minute "Wild Things Animal Show" in the classroom for you and your guests. They also provide Watkins Nature Center coloring books for each of your guests (which we used as the basis of our favor). You also get 15% off in their gift shop on the day you make your payment or your party day if you want to purchase additional favors for your guests (or gifts for the birthday child!). You can have up to 25 children and up to 50 people total--by far the largest number allowed at any of the locations I researched. All the details can be found here (scroll down to the bottom).

This is how we set-up and decorate the room. You can read more of the
specifics about the theme and decor I chose for Lucas's party here.

The naturist did a great job with our Wild Animal Show--she really kept
the children's attention and 30 minutes was just long enough.

Lucas loved touching the snake--he still talks about the "proper" way to pet a snake!

If you are looking for a great, indoor birthday party location, we'd definitely recommend the Watkins Nature Center! And, even if you're not looking for a party venue, don't forget that the Nature Center has awesome weekday and weekend educational programming for kids all year long!

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

Disclaimer: We hosted and paid for this party with our own funds...the Nature Center had no idea I might blog about the event (and for all I know may never even discover this post!). I am just hoping this is helpful to other parents looking for indoor party venues or just a fun, educational activity for their kids.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 22, 2010

LEGO Aircraft Building Day at the College Park Aviation Museum

image via

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 23 is LEGO Aircraft Building Day at the College Park Aviation Museum. Our favorite local museum, by far, the College Park Aviation Museum offers something for everyone. And if your kids (or you!) love LEGOs then you just have to stop by tomorrow between 11am and 4pm.

The museum provides all the bricks to fuel your imagination and to build your best aircraft-inspired creation. They'll take a photo of your creation so you can remember it forever and if yours is one of the best, it will be put on display for all to admire!

The event is free with regular admission: $4 adults; $3 seniors; $2 ages 2-18; free for under 2.

Get all the details about the College Park Aviation Museum and read more about why we love it here.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Back at Out by Ten

I apologize for my longer-than-planned hiatus here at Out by Ten. We were away for the holidays then were very busy making last-minute preparations for our newest arrival who indeed arrived early. I'm so excited to welcome baby boy #2 for our family, Nathaniel!

Since his birth, we certainly haven't been getting "out by ten" but I look forward to including him on our many adventures soon. In the meantime, I will be posting about some fun indoor activities and will finally break the suspense (I just know you've been dying to know!) about what wonderful indoor location we chose for Lucas's 4th Birthday party in December.

Thanks for your understanding about the break and please check back soon!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!