Bright Horizons at Democracy Center is celebrating one year in Bethesda! Over the past year the center has grown to nine classrooms for infants, toddlers, early preschool, preschool, and Kindergarten Prep for students ranging in age from 6 weeks to 5 years old. The staff has also grown to include over 20 educators.
Strong family partnerships have been a focus of the whole Bright Horizons team. The center has hosted events like Pizza on the Playground, a playgroup for infants and their families, and several art-themed events to build community and beautify the center. Center Director Natalie Newell has also developed partnerships with several community groups in their first year, including Thrive Yoga, the Davis Library, the Center for Children and Families, and the Chamber of Commerce.
You’re invited to celebrate with the staff, children, and families at their birthday party on Friday, September 13, 2019, from 4-6pm. There will be children’s activities, refreshments, raffles, and a special performance by crowd favorite Baba Ras D. Visit the center website for more information and RSVP to the center at email@example.com. You can also visit the Facebook event page.
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.
[Note: This is a Sponsored Guest Post contributed by Alia Goodyear of the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, MD.]
My 4 year old amazes me — what she knows and is capable of doing. I am also amazed at how often she is insistent about something and is 100% wrong, a great reminder of how young she is in her development as a human being.
We’ve seen the push and pull around when to introduce academics to children. While the trend was younger and younger, there has been significant research showing that play-based education is best for social/emotional development, building executive functions, and developing the imagination. One recent study warns about the likelihood of an early ADHD diagnosis when the child is probably just developmentally unprepared for the curriculum.
A similar debate swirls around the use of technology in schools. Some fear that without the most advanced technology at a young age, their child might lag behind. However, not knowing what the future will bring, it is essential that we give our children the inner tools to master whatever is to come. Notable Silicon Valley leaders send their children to Waldorf schools where technology is restricted until later grades.
The Waldorf teaching philosophy is almost 100 years old and is grounded in the careful observation of each child, providing pedagogical tools for teaching the child according to their developmental stage. Waldorf educates the whole child – head, heart, and hands.
– Early Childhood education grounded in imaginative play and outdoor time – including an outdoor Kindergarten option.
– A rich Lower School (1-8) curriculum with deep roots in the humanities, arts, and sciences.
– The introduction of technology in the classroom in 6th grade with a focus on creating responsible digital citizens.
– A High School where graduates matriculate at distinguished colleges and go on to a wide range of professions.
Visit a WWS open house in January to see our approach in action!
This post is sponsored by the Washington Waldorf School, however, I only promote programs, places, and events that I genuinely believe in and think will be of interest to KFDC readers.
Whether you want to pay tribute to those who have served on Veterans Day weekend or are looking for fun, enriching activities with the kids, these recommendations will have you covered. And if you want even more ideas, particularly for the day off school Friday, the Everyday Play page is full of them. Happy Weekend!
Tour the Memorials
Where: National Mall, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Observe Veterans Day by visiting the sites that honor those who have served. Make the rounds on the Mall at your leisure or attend a special ceremony — one will take place at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 1pm, and the World War II Memorial and the Korean War Memorial are easy walks from there.
National Veterans Day Ceremony
Where: Arlington National Cemetery | Arlington, VA
When: Saturday, 11am
The National Veterans Day Ceremony begins at 11am with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. A prelude by the United States Air Force Band starts in the amphitheater at 10:30am. Free and open to the public, attendees are encouraged to get there by 9:30am. Read more about Arlington National Cemetery in this post about a KFDC experience there.
Mount Vernon Salutes Veterans
Where: Mount Vernon Estate | Mount Vernon, VA
When: Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: Free/military; $18/adult, $9/child, free/under 5
Special activities at George Washington’s former estate include a wreath laying ceremony, a concert by the Harmony Heritage Singers or the United States Air Force Strings before greeting General and Lady Washington. Throughout the day, write a thank you letter to an active duty service member in the Vaughan Lobby. Honored guests are also invited to place a flower at Washington’s Tomb. (Above admission fees are for online; prices are slightly higher on site.)
Where: U.S. Navy Museum | Navy Yard, DC
When: Throughout the weekend
There may not be a special event happening, but it’s an apropos day to visit the museum dedicated to the history of the Navy. The fascinating displays range from replicas to the real thing — model ships, genuine periscopes, images from major exhibitions, and much more. Be sure to read this post about our experience there for more insight and an inside look.
Where: National Parks around the DMV (and nation)
When: Saturday & Sunday
It’s the last fee free day of the year for national parks, which means there’s no entrance fee where they usually charge to get in. Take advantage of complimentary admission and hit the trail at Shenandoah or Great Falls, take a ride on Skyline Drive to see the mountains covered in autumn colors, visit Harpers Ferry, or see the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry.
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Celebrate the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, in this family workshop. Explore artworks from the Indian subcontinent on an educator-led tour. Then, return to the studio to create your own colorful book featuring a traditional rangoli design with teaching artist Sushmita Mazumdar from Studio PAUSE. This program is designed for children ages 6-12 and adults to enjoy together.
New to You Yard Sale
Where: Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten | Reston, VA
When: Saturday, 7:30am – 2pm
Score some great items and support a local preschool! Thousands of babies and children’s gear is sold at unbeatable prices, including clothing up to size 10, strollers, bikes, kitchen sets, doll houses, trains, toys of all kinds, high chairs, exercisers, books, DVDs, children’s furniture, bottles, etc. More than 100 families from the LANK community donate the gently used items. Doors open at 7:30am and everything will be 50% off from 12-1pm. LANK Preschool is located at 12021 North Shore Drive in Reston.
Race to the Moon
Where: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center | Chantilly, VA
When: Saturday, 10:30am – 4pm
Admission: Free, but parking is $15
Race to the Moon at the Dulles arm of the Air & Space Museum! The free alternate reality game, offered every Saturday and the second Friday of each month, explores the exciting race to space by the first American astronauts during the thrilling era of early spaceflight.
Kingdom of Colors
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: $15/adult, $8/12 & under
ARTECHOUSE presents yet another immersive visual experience that plays with color, light, and sound. Lie back on bean bags and watch trippy, beautiful scenes projected on the walls around. See floors flow like lava lamps as you walk over them. And don’t miss the interactives that let you manipulate light and sound as the push of a button, swipe of a touch screen, or wave of the hands — the kids will especially love them!
A Visit with Miss Manners
Where: Room & Board | 14th Street NW, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
You’re invited to a kid-friendly morning of table manners and etiquette at Room & Board. Children (and parents) will enjoy a 45-minute session with our own Miss Manners. A long time DC protocol expert will review children’s etiquette just in time for the holidays, from being a good helper to table manners at the grown ups’ table. Great for ages 5-7. RSVP for the 10:15am session here.
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: Saturday, 11am
Take a time trip in honor of Veteran’s Day at the Library of Congress. Actor Douglas Taurel will draw directly from Irving Greenwald’s WWI Diary, held in the collections of the Veterans History Project and currently on display in the exhibition Echoes of the Great War, for a live reenactment performance of life during the First World War at 11 a.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium. Free tickets are available via Eventbrite, but are not required.
Where: St. Jane de Chantal | Bethesda, MD
When: Saturday, 9am -4pm
Get started on holiday shopping at St. Jane de Chantal’s 12th Annual Christmas Bazaar, a fundraiser to benfit the school Kick off the Christmas season and shop local! Unique items from more than 30 vendors with jewelry, home decor, accessories, personalized gifts ,and much more! Plus there will be a thrift shop, children’s book fair, food trucks, bake sale, and raffles! Get free pictures with Santa just in time for holiday cards and enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus. Located at 9525 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda.
Where: National Gallery of Art | National Mall
When: Saturday, 10:30am & 12:30pm; Sunday, 11:30am & 2pm
Inspired by the art of Henri Matisse, Color’s Garden is a play that celebrates the joys and discoveries of making a new kind of art. Featuring projections, playful animations, and a lively jazz score, this theatrical fantasy brings the elements of art to life and offers new understandings about their expressive power. Following each performance, families will be invited to make collages in our hands-on artmaking space and will be provided with self-guiding resources to explore the elements of art in the Gallery’s collection. All performances are free and will take place in the East Building Auditorium, which seats 450 people. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Recommended for ages 4+.
Pet Resort Open House
Where: Old Towne Pet Resort | Rockville, MD
When: Saturday, 10am – 2pm
Olde Towne Pet Resort, the region’s premier pet care, day camp, and boarding facility, is celebrating fall in their Rockville location with a fun-filled day for families and pets. Enjoy face painting, pet sketches by artist Cris Clapp Logan, Georgetown Cupcakes, and meet 94.7 FM’s Tommy McFly. Get your pet ready for the holidays with day camp evaluations, swimming demonstrations, and dog treats while you tour day camp rooms, the cattery, dog suites, lap pool, and playgrounds. RSVP for you and your furry friend. Proof of vaccinations required for all pet guests!
Tree Lighting & Street Party
Where: Downtown Silver Spring, MD
When: Saturday, 6-9pm
The annual tree lighting in Silver Spring always unveiling of a unique holiday tree, and this year’s “Good Energy Tree” is no exception! Focusing on the power and possibilities of the bicycle, visitors can light the tree by peddling bicycles provided by Capital Bikeshare at the tree’s base. The bikes are connected to a 300-watt generator which can provide power to a USB port and also allow visitors to charge their cellphones. There will be a street party, to boot, with food tastings, live entertainment, ice sculptures, games, and more!
Where: Tyson’s Corner | McLean, VA
When: November 11 – December 24
Admission: Free, but portrait packages start at $30
Get Santa portraits done early and enjoy even more holiday-inspired fun. This immersive and innovative experience includes visual elements that transport you straight to the North Pole. Enter the HQ to be scanned by the digital Naughty or Nice O’Meter, snap an “Elfie Selfie” in Santa’s workshop and star in your own holiday video. Then onto the North Pole Observatory to experience Elf-Ray Vision in a 3D environment…all before meeting Santa himself!
Skaters Gonna Skate
Where: Local ice skating rinks
When: Throughout the weekend
Admission: Varies by rink
Are you ready to glide under the sky? Many outdoor ice skating rinks are welcoming guests to skate the day away. This post has details on all of them (and indoor venues, too), including bonus activities while you’re there.
Where: Union Market Dock 5 | Northeast, DC
When: Saturday & Sunday
Admission: Tickets start at $15
Meet, eat, and shop at this two-day market and celebration of everything delicious. Last year over 95 artisans, producers, chefs, and restaurants showcased their wares, works, and culinary creations. It’s a chance to meet the people behind the brands, taste and learn about their products, and shop for unique edible gifts.
Holiday Season Kick Off
Where: National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD
When: Sunday, 12-7pm
Get the holiday season started at National Harbor with a full day of fun, topped off by their annual tree lighting. Spend the afternoon with Santa’s Frosty Follies, participate in Card Making for Our Deployed Troops, watch a holiday movie, take dog pictures with Santa, and enjoy chances to meet Santa at the Carousel. The Radio King Orchestra plays at 5:30pm, and the tree lighting ceremony starts at 6:30pm — followed by fireworks!
Gesher Green Day
Where: Gesher Jewish Day School | Fairfax, VA
When: Sunday, 12-3pm
Join Gesher Jewish Day School and PJ Library for an exciting afternoon enjoying the fall, the outdoors, as well as hands on activities for children Ages 0 – 12. Storytelling by Barbara From of Storytime Express, gardening, crafts, cobb oven demonstration, sports, and play. All are welcome to this free, fun event! RSVP here.
***MORE GOOD STUFF TO KNOW***
* ‘Tis the season to start planning for the holidays! The 2017 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC, posted earlier this week, has info and inspiration galore to help you prep for it all.
* Be sure to enter the latest KFDC giveaway for a chance to win a free hand cut portrait session with renowned silhouette artist Karl Johnson!
* Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Family Week, December 10-16, is a wonderful opportunity to introduce kids to the Bard and celebrate the themes, story and artists in Twelfth Night (running November 14 – December 16). Sign up for backstage tours, a sing-along, pre-show workshops, even a Mini-Summer Night’s Dream.
* Great place for date night/grown-up dinner: Sally’s Middle Name on H Street NE.