Category Archives: Babies

Winter Theatre Offerings for Ages 6 Months – 1st Grade at Encore Stage & Studio!


Turn your winter into a theatrical winner with Encore Stage & Studio! The theatre company in Arlington offers class opportunities for students ages 6 months and up, emphasizes the excitement of discovering the power of imagination and storytelling for the youngest students.


Parent & Me Classes for Ages 6 months – 2 years

Share, grow and learn with your child during this special time in their life! Through creative play, movement and music, children will sharpen critical social and physical skills in a fun and imaginative environment. Parent & Me classes are held Tuesday mornings, 10:30 am – 11:15 am. Monthly registration preferred: $10 per class; $15 walk-in rate.
Register here!


Classes for Ages 3-5


Students will enjoy a 45-minute class designed to develop their confidence to share a story with a beginning, middle, and end, while working together as a group. Class titles include Adventures of Curious George and Stories & Fairytales. Saturday morning classes are held January 25 – March 7, 9:00 – 9:45 am. Tuesday afternoon classes are held February 4 – March 17, 4:00 – 4:45 pm. Fee: $110.
Register here!


Classes for Grades K-1st Grade
Students will explore the magic of movement for musicals in our Broadway Kids class. In The Tales of Beatrix Potter, students will discover the classic tales of characters such as Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck as they learn to act out stories, learning about life’s important lessons along the way. Saturday morning classes are held January 25 – March 7. Fee: $110.
Register here!


Classes are held at Encore’s Main Campus in Arlington, VA. Enrollment is available online or by calling (703) 548-1154.

Planning ahead for summer?
Don’t miss Encore’s Summer Camp Open House on Saturday, January 4, 2020 from 10am – 12pm! Students ages 3-18 will experience 30-minute sample classes of Encore’s award-winning camps. Open House registration is free.



Learn more about Encore’s offerings for students in elementary through high school by visiting www.encorestage.org.


This post is sponsored by Encore Stage & Studio, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, Babies, Camp, Class, Educational, Gradeschoolers, Music, Play, Preschoolers, Professional Service, Theatre, Virginia, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Giveaway: Enter to Win Eight Free Classes with MOCO Movement Center!


With the cold months ahead of us, many parents will be seeking indoor places for their kids to play, and MOCO Movement Center is one to put on your list! Located in Kensington, MD, it’s a pediatric therapy practice as well as an athletic center, offering movement classes for children of all ages and abilities.

Morning classes for children ages 3 months to 5 years are hosted daily Monday through Friday. MOCO Motion helps kids acquire foundational skills such as jumping, skipping, climbing, and running. Move and Groove is designed to encourage a child’s natural musical abilities in a safe, fun, and supportive environment while exercising. Kids in Motion has children and caregivers participate in early learning and preschool activities while having fun in the obstacle course inspired gym. And Sporty Tots focuses on foundational sports skills for toddlers.

MOCO Movement Center also offers individual training for children, developmental screenings, and birthday parties. Visit the website to learn more about all of their services and take a virtual tour, and be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win 8 weeks of classes!

MOCO Movement Center
5268A Nicholson Lane, Kensington MD 20895
301.770.KIDS (5437)

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Giveaway: For a chance to win eight (8) weeks of weekday morning classes for your child age 5 or under at MOCO Movement Center, simply leave a comment below telling me her/his favorite sport or physical activity. The winner will choose the class, and their child will attend once a week for eights weeks (new students only). This giveaway will run through October 16, 2019, then a winner will be picked at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under 2019, Babies, Class, Giveaway, Indoor Play, Maryland, Preschoolers, Professional Service, Toddlers, Weekdays

Bright Horizons at Ballston Opening Early 2020!


Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool is excited to announce a brand new child care center: Bright Horizons at Ballston. Located in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington, VA, the new center will be opening in early 2020 and is now accepting registrations for enrollment. The center will have classrooms for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and will be open year-round.

Bright Horizons knows working parents and is ready to be your partner in parenting with amenities and features designed to make life easier for busy modern families.
· Snacks and a catered lunch included in your tuition
· Dedicated drop-off and pick-up parking, as well as car seat and stroller storage
· On-site playground and an indoor Movement Zone with structured health and wellness curriculum
· A secure app which delivers real time updates about your child’s day straight to your mobile device



Are you wondering what makes Bright Horizons curriculum different? They believe that children are natural scientists, inventors, and explorers, so teachers build on the children’s interests to make learning meaningful and fun! With a play-based, emergent curriculum set in our beautifully appointment learning environments Bright Horizons aims to capture the joys of childhood, nurture each child’s individual growth and development, and pave the way for success in school and life.

There are lots of ways to learn more about Bright Horizons at Ballston. Visit the center website at brighthorizons.com/ballston. Like and follow the center on Facebook to stay up to date on center events and activities. Or contact an enrollment specialist at (571) 397-3933 to learn more about the registration process and how Bright Horizons can be a part of your family’s education journey.


This post is sponsored by Bright Horizons Early Education and Preschool, however, I only promote programs, places, and services that I genuinely believe in and think will appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under 2019, 2020, Babies, Child Care, Daycare, Educational, Preschoolers, Schools, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays

Tips for Visiting Smithsonian Museums with Young Children (Ages 0-6)

[Note: This is a Guest Post contributed by Jennifer Liao, local mom and founder of Family Trip Guides. As my own kids are now well past the little kid stage, Jennifer brings a fresh take on navigating the National Mall’s museum scene with younger children.]

I started taking my kids to the Smithsonian museums as a tactic to survive the long summer, but it turned into the highlight of the season! We set a goal to visit all 12 Smithsonian museums with my then 2- and 5-year-old and made a passing grade of 8 over the summer and finished this past year. At first, my goals were to escape the suburbs and enjoy the free, world-class museums, but I wasn’t prepared for how much we would grow to love our visits! Now my kids regularly ask which museum we’re going to this week: The Dinosaur One? (Natural History), the Vehicle One? (Postal Museum), or the Inventions One? (American History).

Channeling Julia Childs at Wegmans Wonderplace in the American History Museum

The museums sparked so much curiosity and wonder in my kids that it became contagious. They were excited to share with kids and adults alike about what they discovered that, by the end, we were bringing neighbors with us on our museum trips. I started to get lots of questions from my friends about taking kids into DC by themselves, where to park on a weekday, and food options outside the museums. So, I started texting my tips to friends, which turned into emails, then ultimately created Family Trip Guides for the top five museums.
I love lists so below are: 1) My 3 favorite things about visiting Smithsonians with young kids, 2) Trip tips, and 3) Favorite museums for this age.

Exploring the African Art Museum

My 3 Favorite Things about Visiting Smithsonians with Young Kids

1. Following Their Wonder: I LOVE watching kids’ faces light up when they explore something new! I often follow behind my children when we first enter a gallery and listen to their oohs and ahhs and have them lead me to what they want to explore. Most recently, in the African Art Museum right behind the Smithsonian Castle, my 3-year-old was so transfixed by the beautiful gold exhibit from the Wolof in Senegal, commenting that one necklace looked kind of like a cupcake!

2. Free = No Pressure/No Guilt: All the Smithsonian museums are free which relieves a lot of the pressure to “see everything.” If you need to leave because of nap time or a tantrum, you have a guilt free pass to do so. We used to live in Chicago where the Field Museum is $26 for the basic admission per person so you wanted to get your money’s worth, i.e. you stayed awhile, even if the kids were no longer into it. The Smithsonians can be a great pop-in destination whether you live nearby or not.

3. Connection: Visiting a museum with younger kids requires a lot more attention for the parent or caregiver (why is Obama’s portrait at toddler-touch-level at the Portrait Gallery?!), but it leads to incredible moments of connection with your child. My kids help me live in the moment and see the wonder in the nature, art, and artifacts.

Don’t miss the Volunteer Carts for extra exhibits (and stickers!)

My Top 3 Trip Tips for Visiting Museums with Little Kids

1. Go at the Right Time: Parents and caregivers all know that timing is everything with this age group. Pick the time when your child will be the least tired, hungry, and overstimulated. For my kids, that’s in the morning, but I know some parents who visit museums after an afternoon nap. I aim to get to the museum right at 9:45am to get parking close to the museum (often right on the National Mall!) and get in line five minutes before the museum opens at 10am. This is my “magic time” before a lot of the school and tour groups seem to arrive around 11am, and tourists later in the afternoon. It gives my kids a couple of hours to enjoy a much less crowded museum and make a clean exit for lunch, either a picnic on the Mall or at an eatery close by. (I have 20+ food options categorized by each museum on my blog.)

2. Go to a Little-Kid Friendly Museum: There are 12 museums and an amazing National Zoo as a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex in the world! All of them are special and wonderful in their own way, but for this age group, I would highly recommend focusing on the most kid-friendly of them (see below), especially if you will need good changing tables and nursing areas.

3. Avoid the Gift Shop: Confession time… my kids have never been to a museum gift shop! I think my daughter knows they exist, because we had to walk by one and I diverted her to another gallery. We really avoid the gift shop because, as all parents know, it can be a drawn-out negotiation that takes time and energy I’d rather be spending on the exhibits. So, instead, I have included Gift Shop Alternatives for each age group and for each museum in my Guides. A few ideas for little kids: If you’re near the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall, take a ride on the historic Carousel — for $3.50 the only dilemma is which animal to ride. If you’re at Natural History or Air and Space Museums, ask the information desk where the Volunteer Cart is for the day — they might be giving out free stickers. If you’re near the Postal Museum, get a food treat at Au Bon Pain, Shake Shack, or another place in Union Station.

Start a stamp collection at the National Postal Museum!

My 3 Favorite Smithsonian Museums with Young Kids

1. National Postal Museum: This was the surprise favorite of our whole family during our summer challenge and definitely the “easiest” of the Smithsonians with kids. It has wonderful hands-on exhibits and the largest collection of stamps in the world — and they let you take a few to start your own collection! My 3-year old son calls this the “vehicle museum” because it houses a real train, a stagecoach, and an 18-wheeler truck to climb all around. The museum is located right next to Union Station, making it perfect for metro, parking, and dozens of food options from Shake Shack to Chipotle! 

2. American History Museum: This museum has so much to offer for all ages, plus the best enclosed play area for smaller kids. Wegman’s Wonderplace feels like a real museum (because it is!) with paintings and artifacts behind child safe glass and at their eye level. It is created for ages 0-6 and includes a kid-friendly bathroom, a nursing room in the back corner, a volunteer-staffed gate to keep kids inside, and an amazing kid-sized replica of Julia Childs’ kitchen! (Note: Wegman’s Wonderplace is closed Tuesdays.)

3. American Indian Museum: I love this museum because our kids don’t have much interaction with Native American cultures, and the museum does a great job at welcoming kids to learn more. We love the kids’ area called the imagiNATIONS Activity Center on the 3nd floor and The Mitsitam Food Court (which means “Let’s eat!” in the Native language of the Delaware and Piscataway peoples). It’s an extension of the museum with foods from different regions. (Note: imagiNATIONS is closed Mondays.)

I hope something in all these lists sparked interest in taking your kids (or neighbor kids!) to one of the amazing national treasures we call Smithsonian Museums.

Thanks so much, Jennifer!

KFDC community, what are some your favorite Smithsonian Museums? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jennifer Liao is a mom of two curious kiddos in Fairfax County who unabashedly loves museums. She created FamilyTripGuides.com to help other families have great visits with their kids. She also loves cooking with her husband and long bike rides.






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Filed under Babies, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Free, Gradeschoolers, Guest Post, Indoor Play, Museums, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Weekdays, Weekend