Today marks the fifth day children around Metro DC have been home from school for the snow in what is being called Snowzilla 2016. Where I live, school has already been called off for tomorrow, effectively making this experience a seven-day weekend! No on was surprised about the amount of snow, but the slowness of some counties to get their plows to neighborhoods has been filling my Facebook feed. Other frequent posts by parents? References to wine and coffee. Here’s the story of how I’ve managed a little better this year than with previous snowstorms. Read More
Even if this is a mild winter here in D.C., we’re still likely to have days when the school officials decide it’s too cold for kids to go outside to play. In fact, that’s already happened at my kids’ school! And yet, we all know that gross motor activity and connection to nature are super important for little beings, and really for all of us! So how to we make sure outdoor activity happens when temps our low? 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
For anyone looking to start or expand a school gardening or nutrition program, the Growing Green Schools event at Fairlington Community Center was the place to be Monday afternoon. Aimed at providing parents and school staff in Arlington with the necessary resources to promote gardening and nutrition education, the event was a treasure trove for anyone in Northern Virginia. Read More
What a relief to have some warm temperatures and sunshine to start off the week. It was no fun to have such a warm day last Thursday and then shiver back into our winter coats again on Friday. This week is spring break for many around our area. Others’ breaks will start on Friday. If you’re anything like me, the biggest “break” about a break from school is not having to cook so much that you have enough leftovers to send in your child’s lunch the next day! I normally feel like I could never hack it as a homeschooler, but whenever I get a break on food prep, I can see the appeal!
Still, there are a lot of reasons why I have my children in public school, and one of them is because I want to be an agent for change and an advocate for healthy living for all children. Next week, two events will showcase efforts to expand the reach of gardening and nutrition programs and outdoor learning in Northern Virginia.