Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Best Splash pads in the DC Area

Last summer, I decided the kids and I would visit a different splash pad every weekend.  This was the best decision ever.  I was able to get a tan while the kids ran around.  And best of all, it was free and I did NOT have to get in a bathing suit.  We cannot wait to finish our list this summer!

1. Yards Park

2. Our Special Harbor Playground

3. Georgetown Waterfront Park

4. Virginia Highlands Park

5. Potomac Yard Park

6. South Germantown Splash Ground (not free)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Kid Friendly Activities in the DC Area

People always ask me for DC activity suggestions when they have friends/family coming to visit with kids.  Half the time I blank and mumble something about the zoo.  When a friend asked me this a few weeks ago, I decided to finally write down an entire list including restaurant options.  This way, it's easy to plan an afternoon with a dinner option close by!

Like a local


1. East City Bookshop

2. The Wharf DC

3. United States National Arboretum

4. Beauvoir Playground

5. Meridian Hill Park

6. Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium


1. Glen Echo Park

2. Be With Me Playseum

3. ClimbZone

4. College Park Aviation Museum


1. Gravelly Point

2. Flight Trampoline Park Springfield

3. Upton Hill Regional Park

4. Torpedo Factory

Highly recommended

1. Hirshhorn Museum

2. Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

3. International Spy Museum

4. National Museum of African American History & Culture

5. National Geographic Museum

6. Museum of the Bible

7. National Postal Museum

8. Smithsonian National Zoo

9. Mount Vernon Estate in Virginia

10. National Building Museum

11. National Gallery of Art - East Building Giftshop


1. 2 Amys

2. 7th Hill Pizza Palisades

3. Timber Pizza Company

4. Little Pearl

5. We the Pizza

6. Union Market

7. Chadwicks in Old Town

8. Busboys & Poets (several locations)


6. Ice Cream Jubilee

7. A Baked Joint

8. Baked & Wired

9. Pretzel Bakery

10. Kilwin's in Old Town

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Interview with an 8 year old about Camping

A few weeks ago we went on a family camping trip to First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. It’s a beautiful park on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  This was our second time camping as a family.   We do what I call tent camping but my husband calls it car camping.  It was FORTY degrees the first night, and 50 the second.  Enjoy this interview with my 8 year old daughter!

Q. What was your favorite thing we did while camping?

A. When we walked on the beach because I like the way the sand feels.

Q. What is your happiest memory from our trip?

A. Climbing the tree at our campsite.

Q. Tell me two things we did as a family on our trip?

A. Went hiking and sat around the campfire.

Q. Did you see any animals?

A. Besides birds?  Yes, ants.

Q. Tell me a funny thing that happened on our camping trip?

A. When I was swinging on a branch, it broke.

Q. What is one word to describe camping?

A. Fun!

Q. What advice would you give other kids about camping?

A. Bring a sweatshirt and a rain jacket.

Q. What do you love most about camping?

A. The nice warm fire.

Q. What do you think makes a fun camping trip?

A. If you have someone to play with.

Q. What is the grossest thing about camping?

A. Nothing is gross.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Old Town Alexandria Gift Guide

All of our family lives out of the DC area, so we love bringing gifts from Old Town Alexandria.  I’m always scrambling at the last minute though and trying to remember what I found where.  To solve this I went exploring on a recent day off and struck gold!

1. AR Workshop Alexandria 107 N. Fairfax Alexandria, VA 22314

This Boutique DIY studio has a great selection of ready to purchase Alexandria themed gifts such as pillows, coffee mugs, and wine tumblers.  Love the “Tipsy in the 22314” ones! Be sure to check out their awesome chalk clipboard events calendar while you are there.

2. Alexandria Visitor Center 221 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314

Right next to AR Workshop is the Alexandria Visitors Center in the historic Ramsey house.  They sell gifts such as koozies, totes and Virginia Peanuts.  This group also branded the amazing Instagram hashtag “extraordinaryALX”.  The staff here is so friendly!

3. The Old Town Shop 105 S. Union Street Alexandria, VA 22314

You can’t do a gift guide post without mentioning this place!  This was actually my first time at Old Town Shop and I couldn’t get over how many gift options there are.  I especially like their selection of local food such as honey, steak sauce, and spice rubs. They even have an adorable kiddie corner so this is a great pit stop.

4. Reunions 1709 Centre Plaza Alexandria, VA 22302

I have religiously shopped at Reunions for years.  Baby shower gifts, kids birthday gifts, 30 year old birthday gifts, etc.  Such one of a kind and reasonably priced items.  They also have a few Alexandria theme gifts even though they are not in the heart of old town.  My own Mother has an Alexandria pillow in her Texas living room.  Happy shopping!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Best Beaches near DC

There are several options for getting in some waves and sun here in the DC area.  Most are average 3.5 hour car ride, which for us means one stop at Chickfila.  Typical with the DC area, there is ALWAYS horrible traffic getting to and from the beach in the warmer weather.  Please note that my drive time estimates are for non-rush hour, summer months.

1. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (3 hour drive)

Just a short car ride over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, this is the closest beach to the DC area.  We love Rehoboth as there is a boardwalk, several kid-friendly restaurant options and Funland.  Street parking is metered and can be a competition to secure.  Rehoboth is the best day trip beach option!

2. Ocean City, New Jersey (4 hour drive)

When you say Ocean City in the DC area, most folks assume you mean Maryland.  NOPE - there is a nicer and smaller Ocean City in the southern Jersey Shore, and it is the ultimate family friendly environment.  OCNJ is best for weekends or week long rentals.  Most rentals come with beach tags.  Yes, beach tags.  A foreign concept to this Texas girl originally.  There are several restaurants and a boardwalk for evening entertainment.
Fun fact: you can take a ferry from Lewes, Delaware which is very close to Rehoboth, to get to Ocean City by way of Cape Mays!

3. Virginia Beach, Virginia (4 hour drive)

The first option south of DC for salt water is Virginia Beach.  We haven't spent a lot of time in Virginia Beach as compared to Delaware and Jersey, but it doesn't disappoint.  The best part about Virginia beach is the playground ON the beach.  There are several hotel options right on the beach with parking included. 



4. Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina (5 hour drive)

Heading down south to the land of the pine, going my way to North Caroline... Outer Banks is a great option for splitting a beach rental with family/friends.  Huge perk: several rentals come with a pool and hot tub.  I grew up spending the morning at the beach and the afternoon at the pool.  The best!

5. Dewey Beach, Delaware (3 hour drive)

We went to Dewey Beach over Spring Break to check it out.  It was cold but we loved it!  It's a mix of hotels, residential, and good restaurants.  The town is about 8 blocks so you could get away with not driving once you have arrived.  We cannot wait to come back in the warmer months!

Hyatt Place Breakfast Area