NEW Dave and Buster’s in Downtown Silver Spring

Theres a brand new Dave & Buster’s in downtown Silver Spring! Located on the 5th floor of Ellsworth Place (formerly City Place Mall), this was the biggest and most beautiful Dave & Busters we have ever played visited. It's 40,000 square feet of top-of-the-line video games and a modern sports-bar style restaurant. The A Parent in Silver Spring kids and parents enjoyed playing as many of the 160 Dave & Buster's games in the Million Dollar Midway as our $10 game cards would Read more...

ICE! at Gaylord National Harbor: Christmas on the Potomac

Since Gaylord National Harbor brought ICE! and the Christmas on the Potomac celebrations to the Washington, DC area, our family has made this visit a treasured holiday tradition. It's the perfect way to get excited for the season! This year the theme is especially magical, Christmas Around the World! Celebrate a world of cultures and celebrations, all done in amazing ice artistry. To experience ICE!, you walk through an ice wonderland village of over two million pounds of colored Read more...

Disney Springs with Kids This Holiday Season and All Year

Every time I get together with friends in the DC area and we talk family vacations, the conversation always turns to Walt Disney World. All of us are angling to get back there as soon as we can with our kids, and we are constantly comparing notes. Where should we stay? When should we go? How should we plan our days? It's hard not to become a bit obsessed with Disney after you realize how enjoyable and memorable it is for everyone in the family.  (And those $48-64 non-stop tickets from BWI-MCO on Read more...

Holiday Must-Do: Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens

It's not the winter holidays in the DC area without a visit to Brookside Gardens' Garden of Lights! This gorgeous holiday outdoor walk-through light exhibit celebrates its 19th season, and my family and I have attended with our children every year since Charlie was a one-year-old, clapping his hands with delight at all of the lights. Beginning November 25th through January 1st (except December 24th and 25th), families can enter this evening enchanted wonderland that is illuminated with more Read more...

Maryland Emancipation Day Weekend with Montgomery Parks

Election anxiety got you down? Looking for educational activities with the family that teach of a time when our country righted its wrongs? The line-up of family events hosted by Montgomery Parks this weekend, November 4-6, fits the bill. These historic learning opportunities celebrate Maryland Emancipation Day at historic sites throughout the county. On November 1, 1864, a Maryland state constitution freed all those held in bondage within its boundaries, abolishing slavery on the state level. Read more...

Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg: Waterpark and Wonder

Curious about Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg? A Parent in Silver Spring writer Guiomar Barbi Ochoa experienced the resort with her family and has the scoop for us.  Wolves and I are not great friends. I’m a child of the '80's,  and I distinctly remember a fiasco where my teenage aunts were babysitting a pack of us and they thought it would be a stellar idea to pop An American Werewolf in London in the VCR. The movie terrified me and I swore off wolves forever. That was until my kids Read more...

Is it time to improve our house?

The A Parent in Silver Spring crew have been living in our 1970 split-level home since 2009. Bought from the original owners, we have been steadily working to update the house as much as we can each year. But our list of necessary and desired improvements? It is still pages and pages long. Air conditioning unit that needs replacing? Gulp. Original pink tile and fixtures in the guest bathroom? Check. Cracked tiles in the kitchen? Yup. Drywall lines in the living room? Read more...

October Must Do: Hersheypark in the Dark

Two weekends remain for Hersheypark in the Dark Halloween fun! My family and I experienced HersheyPark in the Dark for the first time last weekend and it was an excellent two days to get out of town and get into the spooky (but not too scary) season. Even the Hersheypark characters are feeling Halloween in their costumes.  TRICK OR TREAT AT TREATVILLE  Kids 12 and younger are invited to dress up and enjoy a trick-or-treat adventure beginning throughout Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction Read more...

Roer’s Zoofari Park in Vienna, Virginia

On a day off from school, my kids and I celebrated with a trip to Roer's Zoofari. This 30-acre park in Vienna, Virginia is home to over 200 animals, and offers personal animal encounters and a safari ride. Formerly known as the Reston Zoo, since transitioning to Roer's Zoofari the new owners have added more animals, updated the barns and facilities, and added accessible asphalt pathways to accommodate the needs of all visitors. The park is now open year-round, too! Upon arriving at the Read more...