Tag Archives: Alexandria Public Library

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 31-November 4

Happy Halloween!

Monday – Get little ones ready for the big night at a public library, where Halloween-themed story times and arts & crafts sessions are happening throughout the day at many locations.  Find out what’s on the schedule at one near you by checking calendars at these links: DC Public Library, Alexandria Public LibraryArlington Public Library, Fairfax County Public LibraryMontgomery Country Public Library, Howard County Library. And if you’re looking for an alternative to evening trick-or-treating, Tudor Place still has space left for its Historic Halloween Spooktacular.

Tuesday – The National Building Museum is hosting its Book of the Month program at 10:30am & 11:30am with readings of Urban Animals by Isabel Hill along with a hands-on activity. Get there early for play time in the Building Zone, as they now have timed entries that start on the hour. And don’t forget that admission is $3/person.

Wednesday –  Explore imagiNATIONS, the American Indian Museum’s new family activity center.  Weave a giant basket, build an igloo, check out models of native dwellings, read children’s books about American Indian culture, and more. This post from a couple of days ago has more details and photos of the new space.

Thursday – Take the kids to play at Clemyjontri, the brilliant, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Pack food for lunch in the picnic pavilion (the few vending machines only serve juice and water).  Admission is free, hours are 7am to dusk.

Friday – Engage in imaginative play in the various themed rooms and crafts areas at the Playseum. Admission is $6/person (siblings under 10 months are free) and is good for the whole day. Locations in Capitol Hill and Bethesda are convenient to many eateries for lunch before or after, depending on when you go. 


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Filed under Babies, DC, Educational, Free, Halloween, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays

The Local Library – Check it Out

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I visited my local library before having kids. (Quick background: I have lived within the same few-block radius for well over a decade, and the library is an easy, five-minute walk away.) This obviously is no reflection of my love for books and reading; rather, Jeff Bezos is a really, really smart guy and completely capitalized on my deep affinity for online shopping and having packages delivered to my house. (Even though I know they’re coming, because—duh!—I ordered them, it still feels like a surprise when the UPS guy knocks on the door with box in hand. “Oh, wow! Is that a package for moi?”) In short, I bought my books on Amazon.

But back to the library. When my son, Owen, was born just over four years ago, I didn’t have a clue as to what to do with him beyond taking him for walks in the stroller and breastfeeding while watching every Food Network show televised (perhaps that explains his odd obsession with kitchen tongs). Luckily, my neighborhood has an incredible community of parents who stay connected via listserv. Through this group, I found out about activities like play groups, baby yoga, and Story Time at the library.

We started attending the weekly children’s book readings and sing-alongs when Owen was about three months old. I was ambivalent at first, since he pretty much slept or ate the entire time. But I’d read all the literature about how wonderful reading was for babies, even in the early months, so I stuck around. (Not to mention, a little space from Emeril and Giada was probably a healthy thing.) Over time, I could see Owen’s interest pique, and he eventually became an avid participant in the sessions. Even better, trips to the library became regular outings for us. Whether we attended Story Time, read books, or hung out with friends, I was—and still am—thrilled that he found the library a fun place to spend time.

Owen is now in preschool full-time, but my one-year-old daughter, Sasha, is getting the grand introduction to all our local biblio haven has to offer. As for me, I have to admit Amazon still wins for its enormous selection, online convenience, and because I like to receive presents packages in the mail. But I do regularly check out library books—mostly for the kids and, every now and then, for myself. I even have a late fee to prove it.

Find more info on your local library:
DC Public Library
Arlington Public Library
Alexandria Public Library
Fairfax County Library
Montgomery Country Public Library
Howard County Library

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Filed under Babies, Educational, Preschoolers, Toddlers