The U.S. Botanic Garden’s Season’s Greenings train exhibit this year celebrates National Parks and Historic Places with plant-based sculptures and installations of replicas of famous features of national parks and of buildings and monuments. The exhibit is open through January 2, 2017, including on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Get a glimpse of some of the highlights in our photoblog and be sure to see it yourself in person!
Annmarie Sculpture Garden‘s 7th annual the Fairies in the Garden exhibit, which opened in April and closes on September 5, is a delightful attraction at an always-magical venue. With an outdoor natural play area under towering pines and an indoor Art Lab, Nature Nook, and exhibit gallery space, Annmarie is a great day trip for all ages.
A visit to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens during July or early August is a must for families in Metro DC. The majesty and beauty of the blooming lilies and lotus flowers are magical. Peak bloom is now through early or mid-August, and the Gardens is hosting its annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival on Saturday, July 16. Read More
The botanically-created and inspired Season’s Greenings train exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden, on display through January 3, has outdone itself with this year’s theme: “Pollination Station.” A gorgeous tribute to bees, butterflies, and bats and the leafy and petal-heavy beauties they pollinate, the plant-created world is as magical and whimsical as ever. As the images in our photoblog attest, the exhibit is a must-see for all local parents, especially those who want to inspire in their children a love of nature and a respect for all the world’s interdependent ecosystems. Read More
It’s easy to tell from the cold morning temps that winter is on its way. With the end of Daylight Savings Time November 1, the days will be feeling a lot shorter. So even though the leaves are still gorgeously colorful here in Metro DC, it’s time to start thinking ahead to winter.
We here at Mindful Healthy Life are putting together a list of Winter Activities to appeal to healthy- and natural-minded families. Post outdoor activities, nature craft workshops, healthy living talks and demos and conferences in our calendar. Once they are there, we will add them to our compilation, and we just might share them on our Facebook page, too! If you have a list of a bunch of events, you can also send them to us so we can add them easily to our compilation.
As holidays and the New Year approach, we also want to promote local and sustainable companies in our first Green & Healthy Gift Guide. Send us your suggestions for locally-sourced food, skincare, eco-art, toys, clothing and other green-minded or health-promoting — or healthfully delicious! — goodies to info (at) mindfulhealthylife (dot) com by November 24 or reach out to us via Facebook.
What are you plans for summer? Here is the first attempt by Mindful Healthy Life to capture some of the great summer 2015 opportunities of special interest to natural-minded and mindfully-inclined parents in Metro DC, otherwise known as all the cool stuff I wanted to catch this summer or to remember to look for next year!
Please comment below or on the Mindful Healthy Life Facebook page with suggestions and we will add all we can!
All events are subject to change. Please follow the links and check the sponsoring websites for complete information and updates.
Sunday, June 21 – Father’s day and lots of yoga opportunities to commemorate the summer solstice. See http://www.virginiayogaweek.org/ for more information
Wednesday, June 24 – Sunday, June 28 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall
Saturday, June 27
- Waldorf Wonder-days at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Alexandria, VA. Repeats the following Saturdays: July 11, July 25 and August 15
- Barefoot Boogie Jam at Beloved Yoga in Reston, VA, 6:00-7:30
- The Farm Effect at Whiffletree Farm, Warrenton, VA, 3- 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 21-28 – Family HEART Camp West Virginia
Monday, June 29-Friday, July 3: Drop-in outdoors and arts camp with Christy and Amrita in Arlington, 9-1
Tuesday, June 30 – Thursday, July 2 – World Children’s Festival of activities and performances with the International Child Art Foundation on The Ellipse next to the White House. Most days 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday 10-5, closing with a drumming ceremony. Day Themes: Tuesday: Environment & Health; Wednesday: Creativity and Imagination; Thursday: Peace & Leadership. Awards Banquet Friday, July 3.
Wednesday, July 1 – Sunday, July 5 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall
Friday, July 10 – first day of four-week Herb Camp for Kids at Centro Ashe Farm, Bryans Road, MD, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Saturday, July 11 – Lotus & Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, Washington, DC, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, July 25
- Family Fun: Hummingbird Garden at Green Springs Garden Park, 1 p.m., Alexandria, VA
- Dinofest in Nature Playce at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale, VA, 1 p.m.
Saturday, August 1 – Big Latch On, Cloverdale Park in Woodbridge (22192), 10:30 a.m.
Monday, August 3 – Family Yoga at Arlington County Library with Cathy Burke, 1:30 at Glencarlyn and 4:30 at Cherrydale. Repeats 8/4 at 4:00 at Shirlington, 8/5 at 4:00 at Westover and 8/6 at 4:00 at Aurora Hills and 7:00 at Central
Wednesday, August 5 – Summer Reading Puppet Show at Green Springs Garden Park, Alexandria, VA, 10 a.m.
Friday, August 7 – Hum Along with Hummingbirds Campfire at Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington, Virginia 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 15 – Family Fun: Wildlife Habitat at Green Springs Garden Park, 1 p.m., Alexandria, VA
Saturday, August 20 – MommyCon, DC Convention Center, 9-5
Saturday, August 22
- Lubber Run Amphitheatre performance by Groovy Guy, Guy Collins, Arlington, VA, 4 p.m.
- Bat Fest, Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington. 6:30-9:00. Register for a half-hour slot. For information: 703-228-3403
Sunday, August 23 – Lubber Run Amphitheatre Interactive Family Concert with Levine School of Music, Arlington, VA, 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 27 – Summer Night Hike at Fort C.F. Smith in Arlington, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
More outdoors ideas:
- Meadowlark Botanic Gardens, Vienna, VA
- National Arboretum, NE Washington, DC
- Natural Play Area at Beverly Hills Cooperative Preschool in Alexandria, VA
- Natural Places to Swim around DC by The Natural Capital
- National Cathedral Herb Garden and nearby Beauvoir School Playground
- Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Solomons, MD – The 6th annual Fairies in the Garden exhibit runs through September 7 (See photos from last year in this post)
Here are some quick links to more children’s programs at a few locations
- Green Springs Garden Park, Alexandria, VA
- Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale, VA
- Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington, VA
Regular all-ages events at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens including Creature Feature and Garden Walks. Lilies and lotus are in bloom in July and into early to mid-August
Gulf Branch Nature Center programs in Arlington County Library Summer Reading Program, July 20-23.
Campfires at Gulf Branch and Long Branch Nature Center, various Fridays and Saturdays, 7:00-8:00 p.m. See The Snag for dates and themes
- Lubber Run Amphitheatre concerts in Arlington include several family shows in August and September
- Potomac Overlook Regional Park concerts are held outdoors in Arlington on select Saturdays, 7-9 p.m.
- Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda has outdoor concerts and daytime backyard children’s performances
- Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre in the Woods in Vienna has daytime performances
List of some area Virginia Nature Centers & interesting features of note
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, Fairfax. Animal exhibits, hiking trails (some with blackberries). Closed Tuesdays.
Gulf Branch Nature Center, Arlington (north). Animals, Native American exploration area, pollinator garden. Closed Mondays
Long Branch Nature Center, Arlington, VA (south). Trail to Glencarlyn Park and W&OD and Four Mile Run trails; children’s book display on trail; creek and pond; center with small play house, books and activities; animals. Closed Mondays
Hidden Oaks, Annandale. Outdoor Nature Playce area, trails, indoor dress-up and play along with animals. Closed Tuesdays
Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria. Trails including boardwalk over wetland area with bird viewing, nature center and gift shop. Visitor Center closed Tuesdays.
Riverbend Park, Great Falls. Trails with river views, Native American exhibits. Visitor Center closed Tuesdays.
Family & Kids Yoga
lil omm yoga studio in NW DC offers the following classes:
- Family yoga for crawlers through age 2, Saturdays, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
- Family yoga for ages 3-8, Saturdays, 10:30-11:15
- Crawlers, Walkers & Me (age 8-24 mos), Mondays 10:45-11:30
- Little Kids Yoga & Dance (drop off class), Mondays 3:30-4:15 p.m.
- YogaFIT Playtime (children may join), Mondays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
- Yoga Flow/Playtime (children may join), Tuesdays 10:45-11:45, Thursdays 12:30-1:30, and Fridays 10:45-11:45: “Yoga Flow/Playtime is an energetic flow class that everyone can enjoy. This unique class is geared toward adults and welcomes children of ALL ages into the room during practice to either sleep, play, watch or participate. Older children are also invited to entertain themselves without supervision in the childcare room. Yoga Flow/ Playtime is an adult flow class for all levels.”
- Walkers, Jumpers & Me (up to 4 yrs), Thursdays, 10:45-11:30 (and also Wed., July 1 at 4:00)
- Other prenatal and baby classes available, and childcare also available.
“If your kid/s are home for the summer and you need a place to practice, this is for you. This practice is a bridge between gentle and vigorous yoga, and explores a variety of foundational poses (standing, seated, and on the floor) and breathing exercises. It provides low-key circulation, deep restoration, and your children are allowed in the room. You are responsible for your child/ren and may bring a toy/book/quiet game for them to play with, or they may practice with you!”
Mommy & Me, Mommy & Movers and prenatal classes are offered at Mind the Mat in Alexandria.
Yoga offerings for children, tweens, teens and families available at Dream Yoga Studio & Wellness Center in McLean, VA
Arlington Library Summer Reading Program Yoga in the Libraries, August 3-6, various locations.
Also see the Our Kids Guide to Yoga in/around DC
Yoga photos courtesy of lil omm yoga studio
Great Falls Park seemed like the perfect excursion on a sunny day during a long holiday weekend when we’d all eaten too much and not gotten outside nearly enough. Each pairing in our family of four needed to be broken up every 20 minutes. I hoped watching the water tumble over rocks would be good for all of our souls.
It was. The trip even garnered my son’s “favorite part of Thanksgiving” when asked today by the dentist. But that doesn’t mean it was perfect. My daughter, aged four, is not one to go long without whining these days. She’ll turn it off on an instant if we find the right antidote: a race, a “look over there,” and sometimes things I don’t care to share! She’s spunky and opinionated, and not accustomed to the kind of long hikes I thought I might take my kids on all the time if I hadn’t had so many postpartum (and lingering) health issues. Fortunately, her older brother has more stamina than he did when I read and wrote about the memoir Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure, but I still marvel to think about how long Patricia Ellis Herr’s 3- and 5-year-old hiked with her. And how often!
Unlike those treks to peaks in New Hampshire, our short excursion in Northern Virginia was alternately beautiful and blissful and incredibly annoying. Mostly due to the finicky nature of my four-year-old. The path was fun until her brother outpaced her and me.
The reflection of a tree north of the falls was pretty cool until she complained she was hungry (which will happen if a child doesn’t eat her lunch and her parents don’t give in to piling her with snacks instead as they might on weaker days).
The view of the kayakers was impressive and garnered lots of commentary, but once we left the overlook, it was all downhill, so to speak.
I thought we might last more than 90 minutes and actually get a little ways down the River Trail. I recalled her brother scrambling over rocks at not quite her age and enjoying it. But alas, she had to pee. And we didn’t learn until later that further into the park, just before entering the woods, was a building with a flush toilet. Read More