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Back-to-School Basics

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety

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After a summer of sleeping in and doing things on their time, the morning alarm and school bell can be a tough transition for students going back to school.

Whether they dread it or love it, the end of summer can be hectic for your whole family. This newsletter contains some tips to ease the transition.

First Day Mania

The first day of school tends to be hectic for kids of all ages, adjusting to a new classroom or schedule and trying to remember all the books and supplies they need. Or perhaps your child is transitioning to middle or high school, which is even more stressful for some children. Plus, just the transition from summertime freedom to structured schooldays can be a difficult one. Here are several tips for parents to ease first-day stress for their kids:

  • Walk younger students to their classroom and stay with them until they are settled and feel comfortable. Introduce them to their teacher, show them their desk, locker, etc. Leave once they feel at ease.
  • Arrange a visit beforehand if your child will be going to a new school. Explore all the areas of the school and get a map to help direct him or her on the first day.
  • Pack backpacks the night before so no one is scrambling at the last minute looking for books and supplies. Also, have lunch packed or lunch money ready in advance.
  • Make sure you complete any school forms that were mailed to your child over the summer, such as immunization records, permission slips and class schedules – and put in a safe folder for your child to turn in.
  • As your child gets older, appearance and what he or she wears on the first day of school becomes very important. To make the morning smoother, pick out clothes the night before. This will help keep everyone on time while getting ready and prevent last-minute rushing in the morning.

Backpack Safety

Backpacks are a popular and practical way for students to carry their books and supplies. When used correctly, the backpack’s weight is distributed to some of the body’s strongest muscles, and it can be an efficient way to carry the necessities of the school day. However, if backpacks are too heavy or worn incorrectly, they can cause back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems.

To choose the right backpack, look for the following:

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps. Narrow straps can dig into shoulders, causing pain and restricting circulation.
  • Two shoulder straps. Backpacks with only one cannot distribute weight evenly.
  • Padded back. This protects against sharp edges from objects inside the pack and increases comfort.
  • Waist strap. It can distribute the weight of a heavy load more evenly.
  • Lightweight. The backpack itself should not add much weight to the load.
  • Rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be good for students who must carry heavy loads. Just remember, rolling backpacks must be carried up or down stairs.

To prevent injuries when using a backpack, remind your children of the following guidelines:

  • Always use both shoulder straps.
  • Tighten the straps so that the pack is close to the body.
  • Pack as lightly as possible.
  • Organize the backpack so all of its compartments are being used.
  • Stop often at your locker and remove any unnecessary books or items.
  • Bend down using both knees while the pack is on.

Parents can also help in the following ways:

  • Encourage your child or teenager to tell you if he or she is in pain or discomfort because of a heavy load in the backpack.
  • Talk to the school about lightening the load and/or be sure the school allows for enough time for your child to stop at his or her locker throughout the day.

Researchers found that the average weight of a child’s school backpack was 18 pounds, or 14 percent of his or her body weight. Studies have found that children carrying backpacks exceeding 10 percent of their body weight are more likely to lean forward while walking—potentially increasing their risk of back pain. Talk with your children and make sure they are using their backpacks correctly!

Playground Safety

It’s that time of year again—summer is over and it’s time for kids to go back to school.

Each year, over 200,000 preschool and elementary children are injured on the playground, according to the National Program for Playground Safety. Following is a checklist you or your child’s school can use for quick reference, so before your child heads out the door for the playground, you can be sure that:

  • Supervision is present. Many playground injuries are related to inadequate supervision. Adult presence is needed to watch for potential hazards and help keep all the children safe.
  • All children play on age-appropriate equipment. Preschoolers ages 2 to 5 and children ages 5 to 12 are developmentally different. These two groups should play on separate, age-appropriate equipment.
  • Surfaces are cushioned. The National Program for Playground Safety found that nearly 70 percent of all playground injuries are related to falls to the group. Acceptable surfaces include hardwood fiber/mulch, pea gravel, sand and synthetic materials such as rubber mats or tiles. Concrete, asphalt, grass, blacktop and packed dirt or rocks are not recommended.
  • Equipment is safe. Check to make sure the equipment is anchored safely in the ground, not damaged or broken, S-hooks are entirely closed, bolts are not protruding, there are no exposed footings, etc.

Good Homework and Study Habits

After a long summer, your child may have trouble getting back into the swing of homework. Parents should help children establish healthy study habits as soon as school starts, rather than waiting until they notice problems or until their child’s work load becomes overwhelming. The following tips can help you promote good study habits in your children:

  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework, such as a permanent work space in the child’s room or in another part of the home that offers privacy.
  • Set a schedule for when homework will be done. Ideally, your child should have a chance to unwind after school or participate in after-school activities, so he or she feels rested before started homework.
  • However, make sure after-school activities don’t consume the whole evening or get in the way of homework time.
  • Establish a household rule that the TV stays off during homework time.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for him or her.
  • Find out what works best for your child. Some work better in several short sessions, while some are more productive completing work in one chunk.
  • Have your child take a 10-minute break every hour and do something else to alleviate eye, neck and brain fatigue.
  • Set up a tutor for your child if he or she is struggling in a particular subject and you aren’t able to help enough yourself. Be sure to discuss this option with your child’s teacher first.

Other Helpful Suggestions

The following suggestions include important information—such as health conditions and emergency contacts—that need to be shared with your child’s school but can sometimes slip through the cracks.

  • Give the school an up-to-date list of emergency contacts for before, during and after school hours.
  • Give the school nurse and/or principal a list of medications your child is currently taking. If it’s a medication the child needs to take during school, be sure it is in the original container and clearly marked (not in an envelope, for instance).
  • Report any health problems your child has to the school nurse and/or principal. Allergies are a good example of a health problem the school needs to know about in advance, since there are so many allergies now to food, plants, trees, bee stings or latex.
  • Inform the school nurse and/or principal of any physical restrictions your child may possess, such as asthma, and how this may affect his or her physical activity.

Resources Available

The following websites are helpful resources parents can use to make the transition of going back to school easy for everyone.

For many children and teens the beginning of every school year can be a little bumpy. Change is exciting, but it can be scary, too. However, with your guidance, understanding and patience, your child or teen should have an exciting, successful and rewarding school experience.

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Backpack Safety

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety

shutterstock_96304748According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 5,000 individuals visit the emergency room each year as a result of backpack injuries. This may seem almost unbelievable, yet what’s more startling is that these injuries can manifest into long-term problems. Carrying a backpack can alter the mobility of the spine, leading to restrictive back movement.

BackpackSafetyTo better explain, think about this scenario: If a child carries a backpack weighing 12 pounds and lifts that pack 10 times per day for the entire school year (180 days), he or she will have lifted and carried 21,600 pounds in total. This is the equivalent of six mid-sized automobiles.

To ensure that you and your family avoid backpack injuries, consider these safety suggestions:

  • Make sure backpacks are sturdy and are sized properly. Purchase a child-sized version of a backpack for children ages 5 to 10. These styles weigh less than one pound and have shorter back lengths and widths so they do not slip while being worn.
  • Select backpacks that have padded shoulder straps and waist straps to stabilize loads.
  • The maximum weight for a loaded backpack should not exceed 15 percent of the individual’s body weight. This means that the carrier should be able to stand up straight without any discomfort.
  • When loading a backpack, try to balance its contents. This will assure that the body does not shift into unnatural postures to compensate for an awkward load.

Lifting Recommendations

Here’s how to properly lift a backpack to avoid injuries:

  • Face the backpack in front of you before the lift.
  • Bend at the knees.
  • Using both hands, check the weight of the backpack. If it is too heavy, remove some of its contents.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Put one shoulder strap on at a time and always use both straps.
  • Make sure the shoulder straps are snug, but not too tight. Buckle the stabilizing strap around the waist.

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Sept. Events in the DC Area

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Redskins

The Washington, DC area and its surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia host lots of annual festivals and special events. All dates, prices, and activities mentioned are subject to change, so please check the website or call to confirm information.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Through Oct. 19, 2014. Crownsville, MD. A 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances, games and lots more.

Labor Day Weekend
August 30-Sept. 1, 2014. Find some family fun at great outdoor events going on this Labor Day Weekend.

Amaluna – Cirque du Soleil
Through Sept. 21, 2014, National Harbor, MD.  The unique show features signature Cirque gravity-defying acrobatics, coupled with cutting-edge technology and good old fashioned elbow grease to transport the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon.

Prince George’s County Fair
Sept. 4-7, 2014. Upper Marlboro, MD. Carnival rides, live animals displays, family circus, fireworks, live entertainment, food.

DC Brawlers (Washington DC’s Professional Grid League)
Sept. 6, 2014. Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA. The new sport kicks off this August. The Washington DC team features both male and female athletes who go head to head in 11 functional/competitive fitness races progressing across the four quadrants of a “grid”.

Maryland Seafood Festival
Sept. 6-7, 2014. Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD. Weekend event with great food, music, and family fun.

Rosslyn Jazz Festival
Sept. 6, 2014, 1-7 p.m. Enjoy a day of jazz concerts in Rosslyn, VA.

Greek Festival
Sept. 6-7, 2014. Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Silver Spring, MD. Celebrate Greek culture with authentic fare, live music, as well as a Greek Marketplace offering books, jewelry and trinkets.

Silver Spring Jazz Festival
Sept. 6, 2014, 3:30-10:30 p.m. See a variety of jazz performances in downtown Silver Spring, MD.

Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star Spangled Banner
Through mid-September 2014. Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia will celebrate these related historic events this summer with a variety of patriotic festivals and exhibits. Check out concerts, reenactments, children’s activities, fireworks and much more. Don’t miss the finale event in Baltimore Sept. 6-16.

Nation’s Triathlon
Sept. 7, 2014. The sporting event includes a scenic course that winds through the National Mall, a 1.5k swim in the Potomac River, 40k bike course through the streets of Washington and Maryland, finishing with a 10k run past the city’s historical landmarks. The weekend includes a Health and Fitness Expo that is open to the public.

Takoma Park Folk Festival
Sept. 7, 2014, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Community festival with games, food, crafts, dancing and music.

Cambodian Community Day Festival
Sept. 7, 2014, noon to 6 p.m. Silver Spring, MD. Explore the Cambodian culture through displays of traditional Cambodian arts, crafts, paintings, souvenirs, and food.

Anne Arundel County Fair
Sept. 10-14, 2014. Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, Crownsville, MD. Monster truck rides, carnival rides, farm animals, pig races, antique saw mill, pie eating contest, talent show and much more.

September 11 Memorial Events
Sept. 11, 2014. See the schedule of special commemorative events in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Charles County Fair
Sept. 11-14, 2014. Charles County Fairgrounds, 8440 Fairgrounds Road. La Plata, Maryland. (301) 932-1234. Farm animals, displays, demonstrations, food, entertainment, carnival rides, games and activities for all ages.

The DC Shorts Film Festival
Sept. 11-21, 2014. Film festival in Washington, DC featuring short films and discussions with filmmakers.

Fall For the Book Festival
Sept. 11-18, 2014. The regional celebration of literature and the arts features events at George Mason University’s Fairfax, Virginia Campus and at multiple locations throughout the capital region. The festival welcomes nearly 150 authors including some of the nation’s most exciting and provocative writers.

Great Frederick Fair
Sept. 12-20, 2014. Frederick Fairgrounds. Musical entertainment, tractor pulls, equine expo and showcase, agricultural events, food.

Taste of Georgetown
Sept. 13, 2014, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sample dishes from 30 Georgetown restaurants, while enjoying live music and children’s activities.

Nation’s Football Classic
Sept. 13, 2014. RFK Stadium. The event is a black college football game held annually in Washington, DC. Additional events will be held around town throughout the weekend.

Alexandria King Street Art Festival
Sept. 13-14, 2014. King Street becomes an outdoor gallery featuring 200 of the nation’s top award-winning artists.

Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival
Sept. 13, 2014. Annapolis, MD. The event features beer tastings, seminars, live music, food and arts and crafts exhibits.

Hyattsville Arts Festival
Sept. 13, 2014, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. More than 50 local artisans will display their works alongside feature performances by musicians, dancers, and street performers.

Virginia Wine Festival
Sept. 13-14, 2014. Centreville, VA. Sample wine from 60 Virginia wineries and enjoy gourmet food, seminars, arts and crafts, live music and more.

Adams Morgan Day
Sept. 14, 2014, Noon-7 p.m. Annual street festival in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Washington Redskins Opening Game
Sept. 14, 2014, 1 p.m. The Washington football team plays against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their home opener. Enjoy the football season and cheer for the Redskins.

National Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Celebrate the culture and traditions of Spanish speaking residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

WalkingTown & BikingTown DC
Sept. 15-21, 2014. Enjoy free guided tours of the neighborhoods of Washington DC. More than 100 walking tours and 11 bike tours are available offering a great way to explore the nation’s capital.

Korean Festival
Sept 19-21, 2014. Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA. The festival features Asian cuisine, musical performances, a taekwondo demonstration, a talent show, a singing contest, and more.

Capital Home Show
Sept. 19-21, 2014. Dulles Expo Center. 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA. See what’s new in building, remodeling, and decorating. Meet experts and shop, compare and save on all of your home improvement projects.

Fall Theater in Washington DC
With dozens of performances around the region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the 2014 season.

Arlington Festival of the Arts
Sept. 20-21, 2014. Clarendon, VA. The new arts festival features vibrant paintings, contemporary and whimsical art, life-size sculptures, photography, handcrafted jewelry and much more.

Mount Vernon’s Colonial Craft Fair
Sept. 20-21, 2014, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The fair is a re-creation of an early American marketplace with artist demonstrations, family entertainment and 18th-century amusements.

H Street Festival
Sept. 20, 2014, noon-6 p.m. The festival includes musical and dance performances, children’s activities, crafts, international foods and more.

Charity Walks in the Washington, DC Area
The MS Challenge Walk and the Walk for Kids are great charities to support while improving your own health. See these and more walks coming up this fall.

Latino Festival – Fiesta DC
Sept 21, 2014, 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Washington DC. Celebrate the Latino culture with one of the largest festivals in the nation’s capital. International cuisine and lots of live entertainment.

Fiesta Musical at the National Zoo
Sept. 21, 2014, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a celebration of Latin American culture and wildlife through a variety of family-oriented activities, live music and dance, special keeper talks, and a Latin American food court.

DC Fashion Week
Sept. 24-28, 2014. The week-long event includes fashion industry networking parties, an outdoor festival showcasing local designers, designer trunk shows, and an educational seminar.

Calvert County Fair
September 24-28, 2014. Prince Frederick, Maryland. The fair includes a wide range of activities including farm animals, exhibits, musical, entertainment, food, carnival rides, contests and a 4H auction.

Oktoberfests Near Washington, DC
Find German folk festivals with great beer, food, and live entertainment.

National Public Lands Day
Sept. 27, 2014. The nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands includes special events to get volunteers to work together to build trails, bridges, remove trash and invasive plants, restore water resources and plant trees. See the events in the DC area and pitch in.

Washington DC Tour de Cure Bicycling Event
Sept 27, 2014. Washington, DC. Bike across the nation’s capital and help raise funds and awareness for the American Diabetes Association. All experience levels welcome.

Turkish Festival
Sept. 28, 2014, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC. Celebrate Turkish art and culture with a variety of family-friendly activities, food, crafts and more.

Pumpkin Festivals
Some of the region’s pumpkin patches open at the end of September. Find out where the best pumpkin patches and fall festivals are in the Washington, DC area and plan an early visit before the crowds.

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Identity Theft: Protecting Yourself

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Discount & Coverage Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that about 10 million people are victims of identity theft every year.

How it Happens

IdentityTheftIdentity thieves get information in a variety of ways, including:

  • Stealing personal items such as a wallet, purse, laptop, personal digital assistant and mail
  • Picking through garbage for discarded credit card statements, bank statements, and pre-approved credit card offers
  • Hacking into computers
  • Posing as someone else to obtain personal information from a bank, credit card company, etc.
  • Conducting telephone and email scams

Stay One Step Ahead

To minimize your risk, the FTC recommends the following precautions:

  • Check your home mailbox daily, and drop your outgoing mail into a secure U.S. postal mailbox only.
  • Since fewer credit card solicitations in your mailbox mean fewer opportunities for theft, you can opt out by calling 888-567-8688.
  • Carry only what you need in your wallet or purse, and leave your Social Security card at home in a safe place. Keep an itemized list on paper of all the items in your wallet, make front and back copies of your credit cards, calling cards, driver’s license, insurance card, passport, etc.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles, as identity thieves may change your billing address on your credit cards, so late bills may indicate a problem.
  • Give out your personal information on a need-to-know basis and to legitimate businesses only. Do not print your Social Security number, home phone or driver’s license number on your checks. If requested, use your work number. If you are required to use your Social Security number as an account number, request to use an alternate identifier.
  • Update your virus protection software. It is also a good idea to use a firewall program.
  • When shopping online, make purchases from a secure browser, indicated by https://, and do not use automatic log-in features.
  • Before disposing of an old computer, delete your personal information using a wipe utility program, which cleans all the information off your hard drive.

DidYouKnow

Report Identity Theft

If your wallet or some of its contents are stolen:

  • Determine what’s been stolen, and call all creditors immediately to cancel your accounts.
  • File a police report. This will help provide proof of immediate action to your credit card providers.
  • Call the three national credit reporting bureaus, as well as the Social Security Administration, so that a fraud alert can be placed on your name and Social Security number.

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Healthy Aging Month

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

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agingSeptember has been designated as Healthy Aging Month—an annual observance designed to focus national attention on the positive aspects of growing older. Healthy aging involves developing new skills and interests, learning to adapt to change, staying physically active and being connected to your community and loved ones, instead of being consumed with anxiety about aging.

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy as you grow older. All older adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and those who participate in any amount of physical activity gain health benefits. Government health agencies recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise for all adults. Additionally, eating a low-salt, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber can reduce your age-related risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases. Whatever improvements you undertake, do so with determination and remain positive.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather

August 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

shutterstock_51978685July and August are typically the hottest time of the year in most areas of the United States, and these months are often packed with long days at fairs and festivals, family vacations and numerous trips to the pool or lake. While you’re out having fun in the sun, watch for signs of heat illness.

According to the National Weather Service, heat is one of the leading weather-related causes of death in the United States, with men more susceptible than women to heat illness because they sweat more. The elderly and children are also at higher risk if they are not careful in the sun.

Sweating is one of the body’s key reactions to heat, but if you lose fluid from sweat that isn’t replaced by drinking enough water, your body temperature can spike dangerously. When the temperature and humidity both rise, your body’s ability to cool itself is also affected because sweat can’t evaporate fast enough to cool your body.

Heat illness occurs along a spectrum, ranging from heat cramps and fainting to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a life-threatening condition. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include headache, dizziness, cramping, excessive sweating, pale and clammy skin, and rapid but weak pulse. If someone is suffering heat exhaustion, get him or her out of direct sunlight so he or she can cool down and rehydrate.

Heat stroke occurs when the body becomes so hot it loses its ability to cool itself. Heat stroke is typified by headache, dizziness, confusion, hot and dry skin, throbbing pulse, shallow but rapid breathing, and sometimes unconsciousness. If someone is suffering heat stroke, get medical assistance immediately.

Because summertime includes many fun activities out of doors, you don’t want to miss out. Follow these guidelines to stay cool and safe in the sun:

  • Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and limit intake of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Wear a hat and lightweight clothing, preferably cotton.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn, which interferes with the body’s cooling mechanism.
  • Find shade or an air-conditioned building where you can take a break from the heat, especially during midday.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows open.
  • Let your body acclimate to the heat before attempting vigorous exercise.
View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Summer Bucket List

August 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

9 Things to Add to Your Summer Bucket List

From hiking trails and swimming pools aplenty, to monuments and ice cream parlors galore, there’s certainly no shortage of fun things to do in the D.C. metro area during the summer. If anything, sifting through all of the warm weather options can be a bit overwhelming. But don’t sweat it. We’ve consulted with the experts (our D.C. staffers) to find out what ranks highest on their coveted summer bucket list.

sandy-point-beach-family

Sandy Point Beach. “We aren’t able to take a week trip to the ocean this summer and the popular Ocean City can get too crowded for my liking, so we want to make a day trip to Sandy Point Beach in Annapolis, Md. We’ve never been and we’ve heard enough interesting tidbits about it (like it has beautiful views and calm water) to make it worth the hour drive from D.C.” —Amanda Rodriguez, writer
Online: maryland.gov

goodies-frozen-custard-dc

Goodies Frozen Custard and Soda Bar. “Whenever I catch the Goodies Frozen Custard truck parked in D.C., I can’t help but snag a sundae (it’s a problem). But, the truck can be hard to catch up with since it parks in different spots each day. Thankfully, the owners just opened a super-cute kiosk—that blasts fun 50’s music—at National Harbor. Now, I can split a sundae, float, or shake with my tot whenever the craving strikes. Afterwards, we can work off the custard sugar at the sand pit across the street.” —Ayren Jackson-Cannady, editor
Online: mmmgoodies.com

montgomery-county-agriculture-fair

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. “We can’t let the summer pass without checking out this animal lovers festival. We love being able to get up close and personal with the animals in the stalls, checking out the Hog Race (they’re so cute!), and getting a peek from the top of the Ferris Wheel.” —Lisa Ng, writer
Online: mcagfair.com

pirates-cove

Pirate’s Cove. “Normally I am not as stoked about a water park as my kids are. This one is an exception. It has giant water cannons to blast each other with, water slides (because who can resist that), and a huge sand area where kids can ‘dig’ for buried treasure. There are also random pirates that just walk around the park in character.” —Hilary Riedemann, writer
Online: piratescovepohick.com

potomac-point-winery

Potomac Point Winery. “This kid-friendly winery is literally around the corner from my house, but we’ve never been. They have a Lil’ Buds Room where kids can explore and play while you fill your glass in the tasting room next door. And on occassion they’ll have a bounce house set up. It’s brilliant.” —Jamy Bond, writer
Online: potomacpointwinery.com

williamsburg-fireworks-va

Colonial Williamsburg. “We like to go to Williamsburg the weekend of Independence Day and watch the fireworks over the Yorktown River. A few minutes later Williamsburg does their fireworks and then Busch Gardens puts on a show. It’s amazing to see three sets in a row all off the river. The trick is either being on the Yorktown River or bridge or finding a spot on a pier.” —Victoria Mason, writer
Online: colonialwilliamsburg.com

pinkalicious-theater-glen-echo

Adventure Theater. “This summer they’re performing Pinkalicious, a musical about a girl who loves everything pink. My 4.5 year old daughter is obsessed with pink and Pinkalicious (she has to wear something pink everyday), so needless to say she will be stoked to see the production.” —Heather Selig, writer

Online: adventuretheatre-mtc.org

nationals-park-dc

Nationals Park. “We REALLY want to get out to a Nats game. There is nothing better than a hotdog, a cold beer (for the grown-ups), and the family hanging out at one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country!” —Tanisha Ferguson, account manager
Online: washington.nationals.mlb.com

kperry

National Portrait Gallery. “I’m probably more excited to see the new Katy Perry painting at the Portrait Gallery than my girls are. Yes, I’m serious.” —Besa Pinchotti, writer
Online: npg.si.edu

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Shore Thing: Fun Beach Towns

August 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Shore Thing: Super Fun Beach Towns Near D. C.

Craving a day by the beach, but don’t feel like scrambling for a hotel reservation? Pack up your mini mermaids and mermen and head to one of these waterways (with family friendly boardwalks, shops, and restaurants nearby) for a there-and-back day trip. Best part? You don’t even need a full tank of gas to get there.

delaware-beach-town

Cape Henlopen State Park
Known as the first town in the first state, Lewes is an historical beach city that offers all kinds of charms to visitors. It’s just as perfect for a romantic getaway as it is for a family beach excursion. You can spend all day romping in either the Delaware Bay or the Atlantic Ocean (the town of Lewes is located on Cape Henlopen which separates the two). Cape Henlopen State Park is a great place for families to relax and enjoy a day on the sand but it’s not the only beach in town. You can find your happy, sandy place at one of the other area locations. Also, dogs are welcome!

15099 Cape Henlopen Dr. (Lewes, De)
302-645-8983
Online: destateparks.com

South Beach at Sandy Point State Park
It’s not on the actual ocean, but that’s what makes it awesome. The waves are easier for little people to manage and the breeze from the bay keeps it comfortable. Located in Sandy Point State Park, the sandy beach areas provide visitors with access to the Northwestern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Portions of the beach are patrolled by lifeguards during the day and the beach also has other amenities, like a snack shack and a marina, as well as access to a ton of other activities, like camping, boating, bird watching, fishing and crabbing.

1100 East College Pkwy. (Annapolis, Md)
410-974-2149
Online: dnr2.maryland.gov

colonial beach municipal pier

Colonial Beach
Located in the Northern Neck of Virginia and known as the birthplace of our nation’s first president, Colonial Beach is a quaint but quirky little beach town that welcomes tourists for beachy vacations and special events throughout the summer months. Colonial Beach—situated on Monroe Bay and the Potomac River—families can enjoy sand and water romping on the second longest beach in the state. The marina is a great place to also enjoy shopping, boating, fishing, and crabbing. A fun twist for visitors is that you can park your car and get around town on the Colonial Beach Trolley.

6 N Irving Ave. (Colonial Beach, Va)
804-224-8145
Online: colonialbeach.org

Solomon’s Maryland
Solomon’s Island, another Chesapeake Bay city is a great place for a family beach adventure. It’s not a go to for those who want to enjoy sunbathing and sandy beach play, but this beach town is an awesome place to partake in boating, and fishing, and even some jet skiing fun. For those looking for adventure and who don’t mind a hike, you can head to Calvert Cliffs State Park and hunt for fossils. Kids love combing the hills for ancient shark’s teeth and other hidden treasures. Families who who like history can spend an afternoon exploring one of the local historic lighthouses like the Drum Point Lighthouse and the Cove Point Lighthouse, which are both open for tours.

Online: solomonsmaryland.com

breezy -point-beach-va

Breezy Point Beach and Campground
Noted as one of the widest public beaches in Southern Maryland, Breezy Point Beach, located on the Chesapeake Bay, offers a roomy shore front area for families to spread out and enjoy a day on the sand. You can buy food for the day from their concession area or plan to bring your own to eat and grill at one of the picnic areas. Best part? They have a netted swimming area to keep little swimmers safe from the jellyfish that tend to invade the waters in the later summer months.

5300 Breezy Point Rd. (Chesapeake Beach, Md)
410-535-0259
Online: co.cal.md.us

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August 1st, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in U-Tube