a fun, free resource for DC area families

Mother Daughter PJ Party on Saturday: Pajama Glam DC


I know many of us have been spending a good deal of time in our PJs, what with all of the crazy snowed-in days. So why not wear them out of the house with your daughters on Saturday night for a great cause?

Tigerlily Foundation Pajama Glam Party
aturday, March 8, 2014
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites
DC Convention Center
900 10th Street, NW Washington, DC

The Tigerlily Foundation presents its annual Pajama Glam Party, a sparkling, all-ages fun event that invites women and girls of all ages to dress in their favorite pajamas and celebrate their “fabulousness.” At the party girls and moms will learn about health, wellness and prevention, and also enjoy a glamorous line up of activities including music, pamper stations, glam stations, sweet treat stations, wellness activities, celebrity appearances and more.

The event was originated last year by Tigerlily’s Founder’s Maimah Karmo’s then 10-year old daughter Noelle Karmo, who wanted to design an event to attract and educate young girls about their breast and body health, while raising awareness towards the younger generation.

Tickets are $30/adult, $20/child 18 and under.

I think my girls are already getting in the Pajama Glam spirit!


Family Offerings at Atlas Intersections Festival


February 21 – March 8


The Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival from February 21 – March 8, 2014 is a unique all-arts festival which brings together more than 100 performing groups over eight days to offer intersections of music, theatre, dance, film, opera and spoken word.

I have culled from the INTERSECTIONS website and press release the information about Celebrate Family performances and Family Saturdays events for families and children.  To see the full line up of performances, visit IntersectionsDC.org.

Saturday Feb. 22 at 1:30pm

Zaniness reigns when a mischievous pack of pound puppies and their comic genius partners, Scott and Joan Houghton, present a circus comedy dog act meets hilarious canine thrill show.  Returning to the festival after charming a sold-out house in 2011, this family friendly show is sure to leave you howlin’ for more.  Come support two great causes – the Atlas’ family programs and DC animal rescue. Enjoy some free family activities with our friends from DC Actors for Animals, Metro Mutts and Atlas Vets in the lobby before and after the show.

50 minutes
$15/$12 student/senior
For ages 2+
The Singing Lizard
A Free Café Concert for the Very Young
Liz DeRoche works her musical magic for the youngest concert goers with her rocking keyboard and fabulous vocals.  Hosted by Boogie Babes.
Saturday, Feb 22 at 12:00pm – 12:45pm
Right before Mutts Gone Nuts
Kogod Lobby
Check out the full line-up of free cafe concerts — many of them family-oriented!

Arts on the Horizon 
Under the Canopy

Touch and explore the wonders of the rainforest in an interactive, non-verbal show especially for babies and toddlers.
Friday, Feb 28 at 10:00am & 11:30am
Saturday, Mar 1at 10:00am & 11:30am
Sunday, Mar 2 at 11:30 am
Friday, Mar 7 at 10:00am & 11:30am
Saturday, Mar 8 at 10:00am & 11:30am
Lab 1
35 minutes
For ages 0 – 2 (and ages 3 – 4 friends)


Gala Hispanic Theatre & Wit’s End Puppets
Fabulous Mayas
A bilingual adaptation of traditional Mayan legends and fables featuring puppets, movement and song from an innovative puppet company and award-winning Hispanic theatre.
Saturday, Mar 1 at 10:00am
Saturday, Mar 8 at 1:00pm
Lab 2
50 minutes
For ages 5+


Quynn Johnson
 Lucky’s Tap Dancing Feet 

Lucky’s Tap Dancing Feet

Will Lucky the horse learn to tap dance? Find out in this delightful family show featuring young actors and tap dancers created Quynn Johnson based on her popular children’s book.
Saturday, Mar 8 at 4:00pm
Sprenger Theatre
50 minutes
$16.50/$11 student/senior
For ages 5+

A 2014 INTERSECTIONS Multi-Show Pass is a good way to save if you plan to attend or bring your family to three or more performances — you will receive 20 percent off. You can obtain a multi-show pass at the box office or by calling 202.399.7993 ext. 2. 

Disney on Ice This Weekend: All Shows On!


Although Thursday’s Disney On Ice shows at the Verizon Center had to be canceled due to the snowstorm (full refunds or exchanges were granted to Thursday ticket holders), the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday shows are ON! This is a fab, and very apropos way to find some indoor family fun during this snowy weekend. 

You will see 65 of Disney’s most unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, the beloved Disney Princesses and other favorites including Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and many more.

ickets are still available for the following Verizon Center shows:

·       Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

·       Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

·       Sunday, Feb. 16 at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

·       Monday, Feb. 17 (President’s Day) at 12:30 p.m.

Get tickets!



Disclosure: I received tickets for giveaway and review and an invitation to a media party. No additional compensation received. 

Winterfest Children’s Carnival Saturday

Learning Center for Young Children, 10123 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington

Escape the cold with your kids at the Winterfest Children’s Carnival in Kensington.  Hosted by The Learning Center for Young Children (LCYC). This event is geared towards families with children in preschool and elementary school.

Acclaimed local entertainer Frank Cassel, “The Banjo Man,” will play his blend of folk, bluegrass and children’s music.  (Tickets for Cassel’s performances are $3 and will be sold at the carnival.)

Fun-filled activities for kids include a moon bounce, face painting, crafts, carnival games. A family photo booth captures the memories and a silent auction offers a chance to sample some of the area’s best restaurants, entertainment, and services.

Lunch is served by Armand’s Pizza and goodies are available at the bake sale. If you’re feeling lucky, you can try your luck at the 50/50 RAFFLE.

LCYC and Winterfest are located in the Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church — 10123 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington, MD.

All proceeds benefit this non-profit, cooperative preschool.

GIVEAWAY: Disney on Ice Family Four Pack



I used to see the television promotions for Disney On Ice when I was a little kid back in the early eighties. I thought the show looked so beautiful as I watched the commercials. But although my parents were great about taking us kids to lots of shows and amusements, we never got around to seeing those Disney characters on ice skates live and in person.

So while I claim that I now attend Disney on Ice to entertain and delight my own children, often the kid in our family who is most excited is me. But as I have written about previously, my kids thoroughly enjoy the Disney on Ice shows, and they are happy to introduce little sister Alice to this favorite family outing, too.

Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic  is here in Washington, D.C. at the Verizon Center February 12-17.  The show features a retrospective of kids’ favorite Disney characters over the past century, beginning with ol’ Steamboat Willie himself and all the way up to the gang from Toy Story. Eve is especially looking forward to her favorite girl warrior Mulan. And my cheesy heart is ready to see the  figure skating art is choreographed to old school Disney songs I adore like “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

Show Times:

·       Wednesday, February 12 @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Thursday, February 13 @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
·       Friday, February 14 @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Saturday, February 15 @ 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
·       Sunday, February 16 @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
·       Monday, February 17 (President’s Day) @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $80.00 (Front Row)/ $55.00 (VIP)/ $30.00 / $20.00

To enter to win the family four pack, enter the form below! The winner will be drawn on February 4th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Miss Nelson is Missing at Adventure Theatre MTC


Currently on the syllabus at the Adventure Theatre MTC? Miss Nelson in Missing, a musical adaptation of the book beloved by kids (and substitute teachers.) 

Room 207 is terrible. Awful. Their behavior frankly stinks. And they have the nicest, most patient teacher, Miss Nelson. Watch what happens when Miss Nelson goes missing and witchy substitute Viola Swamp takes over the class.

Parents and children alike will love the humor, the catchy songs, and the Adventure Theatre’s patented style of cast members playing multiple parts and creative use of the compact set. The actors were top notch,  and the music and choreography were enjoyable.

The play is recommended for kids age five and up. I think preschoolers with the attention span to sit through a movie at the theater will also enjoy.  My second grade companions to the play give the show an A+.

The play runs through March 9. Get your tickets now!

Pssst, grownups deserve to see shows too! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to see G. Love and the Special Sauce at the 9:30 Club. TWO winners will each win a pair of tickets. 


I received media review tickets; no compensation received. 

List of Local Hills for Sledding

Since beginning this blog I have hoarded lists of hills recommended by other local parents. I have only launched my children and myself down a couple of them. I would just like to say that I accept NO LIABILITY for any injuries incurred. I do knot that none of the hills listed dump children out into oncoming traffic. Sled at your own risk, supervise the kiddies, mind the icy roads, and stay safe today!


The hill behind the Silver Spring library leading into Ellsworth Urban Park

Rosemary Hills-Lyttonsville Local Park – The park next to the Gwendolyn-Coffield Community Center

Forest Glen Neighborhood Park

Sligo Avenue Park

Sligo Cabin Neighborhood Park

The hill behind Woodlin Elementary

The hill by Takoma Park Middle School

Woods near Nolte Park


Sligo Middle School’s sports field hills

Indian Springs Park

Long Branch-Wayne Park

The park right by Parkside Headquarters

The hill near Dennis Avenue leading into Sligo Dennis Avenue Local Park

Forest Glen-Dallas Avenue Park (Argyle Local Park) in Four Corners

Pinecrest Park – in Woodmoor

North Four Corners Local Park

Seven Oaks Park


Getty Park

Wheaton Regional

Forest Grove Neighborhood Park – the hill going towards the preschool

Kemp Mill Estates Local Park


Capital View-Homewood Local Park


Stonegate Elementary

Falls Road/Hadley’s Playground in Potomac

The hill behind Strathmore


Montgomery County Park Facilities Open Today

Brookside Gardens - Open today. Programs occurring as scheduled.
Brookside Nature Center - Opening by noon. Programs canceled.
Cabin John Ice Rink - Open today. Programs occurring as scheduled.
Meadowside Nature Center - Opening by noon. Programs canceled. 
Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center - Open today. Programs occurring as scheduled.
Wheaton Ice Arena - Opening as normally scheduled on January 22 for the 12:30-2:30 p.m. public session. 
Wheaton Tennis
 - Open today. Programs occurring as scheduled.

Do you know of others? Please leave in the comments! Stay warm!

GIVEAWAY: Monster Jam 2014


Start your kids’ year off with a trip to check out the Monster Trucks!

Monster Jam is happening at the Verizon Center on January 24 and 25th. The last time Monster Jam was in DC was in 2011, so apparently this is a rare chance to see the massive trucks race, jump and crush.

I will be heading to the show for the first time with my son Charlie and Jeep Momma and her son. We are excited to experience an American phenomenon. All I know of monster trucks is from a few TV promotions and catching a glimpse of Grave Digger on our annual drives to the Outer Banks.

According to my pre-show reading, the definition of a monster truck is a custom-designed pickup with 66-inch-tall tires and a minimum weight of 10,000 pounds. Monster trucks are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and can jump 130 feet into the air – crazy!

Attendees of the Saturday 2pm show with Pit Passes ($10 additional) are welcome to attend the Party in the Pits from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. During the Party in the Pits fans and families have an opportunity to see the trucks up close and take photos and get autographs from their favorite drivers. 

Show Dates:
Friday, January 24, 2014 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 25 – 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Buy Tickets through Ticketmaster. Ticket Prices: $65.00 VIP/ $25.00/ $20.00/ $10.00 Kids. All tickets are $2 more on the day of show. Additional fees may apply. Kid’s tickets are not valid on VIP seats.  Pit Passes $10 additional.

The Monster Jam folks have generously given me FOUR tickets to give away to a lucky A Parent in Silver Spring reader family!

Enter the form below and hope you win! The winner will be drawn on Friday January 10 at 9am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was offered four personal tickets. No additional compensation received. 

Winter Break Washington DC Kids Outing Ideas


Merry Christmas, happy holidays and loads of love from the A Parent in Silver Spring family! We hope you have a wonderful winter break, and that these suggestions keep the fun coming!

Christmas Eve Only: Water-Skiing Santa at 1 p.m. FREE. This crazy fun event has a water-skiing Santa, flying elves, the Jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman performing on the Potomac River.  Best view of Santa and crew is from National Harbor. No matter the weather, this event is on!

Catch Aquarium at Imagination Stage, a production for little patrons. The show runs through January 26, 2014 and is part of its My First Imagination Stage season. With gentle music, beautiful puppets, and props, friends Jack and Calypso lead children to a magical, interactive world. Show happen at 10:30 and 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, and 10 and 11:15 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  Each performance runs approximately 45 minutes. Appropriate for ages 1-5, tickets are $10-$12, with a $5 lap seat for children under 12 months. Tickets may be purchased online at www.imaginationstage.org, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660.

Get out of the house and play at the Playseum in Bethesda and DC with kids baby-elementary, the Playseum UPSTAIRS for tweens age 8-14. Click those links for holiday break hours and special family New Year’s Eve party info! We had my son’s birthday party at the Playseum UPSTAIRS (post coming – it was awesome!) and my kids love the crafts, games, and older kid fun offered. Toddlers, preschoolers and young elementary kids of course will go ga-ga for the fun in the original Playseums.

Enroll in the December 30 Pony Pal Holiday Camp at Wheaton Stables! Spaces still available for this Monday 12-2pm riding session for children age 3-7. Activities include a Pony Pal riding lesson, barn tour, hands-on horse grooming and art projects. Cost is $40. Space is limited. Dress warmly and bring a snack. To register, contact dndwalto@aol.com. Located at the Wheaton Park Stables.

Go to a holiday show at Jammin Java. New children’s artist Uncle Devin is a singer and drummer and his percussion-driven songs are high energy and super fun for young children. This special holiday themed show is Saturday December 28, 2013 10:30AM. You can also celebrate New Years Eve with Rocknoceros! Rocknoceros is the most popular kids act in the region and these New Years Eve Family shows are a great opportunity to bring the whole family to a Rockno show. There will even be a full-fledged countdown to the new year and an apple juice toast for all. Choose either the Tuesday December 31, 2013 11:00AM or 2pm showtimes

Go bowling with these special AMF Jingle Bowl coupons. These deals will give you discounts on kids meals, pizza, nachos and more. AMF locations near us include AMF Waldorf, AMF Centreville, AMF College Park, AMF Capital Plaza, AMF Dale City, AMF Alexandria, AMF Marlow Heights and AMF Laurel. Or go duckpin bowling at the White Oak Lanes in Silver Spring on New Years Eve — stay up ’til midnight with glow in the dark bowling fun!

Enjoy discounted triple play at Shadowland Laser Tag locations. Sign up for the VIP Coupon Club and receive a coupon for three plays plus a bag of popcorn for just $19 a person. Valid through January 2. My kids adore both the Columbia and Gaithersburg locations.

Hit the road for a Lancaster County Pennsylvania holiday getaway.  The Strasburg Railroad, Dutch Wonderland and more make for a lovely, and reasonable!, way to mini-break with the family.

Mount Vernon is open all winter break – including Christmas Day with lots of holiday-themed fun and Christmas Candlelight Tours. 

Seasons Greenings at the United States Botanic Garden. See the outdoor train garden, enter the Conservatory and enjoy a colorful display of poinsettias and other winter-blooming tropical plants, and the National Mall in miniature, a replica created with natural plant materials, as well as icons from Worlds Fairs past. 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC at the foot of the U.S. Capitol. Regular hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Open until 8 p.m. with live music on Tuesday Christmas Eve and Thursday December 26.

In the mood for a good ol’ fashioned ice skating party? You can be a Washington cliche and go ice skating in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden ice rink on the Mall (be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time or you’ll spend your “skating evening” like we did one year drinking Guinness at the Dubliner with our skates unused under the table). Or you can head to Silver Spring Veterans PlazaRockville Town Square, the Montgomery County rinks at Cabin John or Wheaton, or other more suburban rinks.

Want to wow your out of town guests with something they won’t see many other places? Move it, move it to National Harbor to view Ice! ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and check out all of the other Christmas on the Potomac holiday revelry at the Gaylord.

Feeling a yen for a holiday lights stroll? Bundle up and head to Zoolights at the National Zoo (free admission!) or Brookside Gardens Garden of LightsBoth displays begin on Friday after Thanksgiving.

Ready to experience holiday lights…but want to stay within the warmth of your cozy car? Drive through Howard County’s Symphony of Lights, Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival or Prince Georges County’s Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights displays.