Servicing DC, MD & VA

Fall Festivals and Orchards

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Fall Festivals and Orchards | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

It’s that time of year! Crisp winds, fun fall outfits, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and jumping in leaves. It also means making memories at apple orchards and picking pumpkins. We’ve created a short list of the closest places to take your Bambino. Have a favorite place to add to our list? Let us know! We’ve even included a few festivals happening this weekend.

Butlers Orchard (22200 Davis Mill Rd, Germantown, MD 20876)
Spider Web, Twisted Pumpkin Corn Maze, Corn Box, Hayrides, Straw Maze, Corn Hole, Giant Slides, Pumpkin Coach, Jump in the Hayloft, Visit Barnyard Buddies, Pumpkinland, Pedal Tractors, Playground, Pumpkin Cannon, Pony Rides, Face Painting, Kids Crafts, Pick Your Own Pumpkins $0.65/lb, Festival Food and a Farm Market as you exit the Orchard.

Homestead Farm (15604 Sugarland Rd, Poolesville, MD 20837)
Pick-Your-Own Fruit

Ticonderoga Farms (26175 Ticonderoga Rd, Chantilly, VA 20152)
Admission includes hayrides, activities and access to the pick your own pumpkin field. Noah’s Ark, log cabins, hillside slides, ponds, swings, fire pits, hayrides, tire play, hay forts, rolling tunnels, s’mores roasting, animals, enormous jump and bounce pillow and so much more.

Cox Farms (15621 Braddock Rd. Centreville, VA. 20120)
5 Giant Slides, World Famous Hayrides, Farm Animals & Their Babies, CORNundrum ® Cornfield Adventure, Rope Swings, Kiddie Zone, Goat Village, Local Apples & Fresh Cider, Straw Tunnels, A Patch Pumpkin to take home, Live Entertainment, 90 acres of fun!

Summers Farm (5620 Butterfly Lane Frederick, MD 21703)
Open in the Fall each year with an old-fashioned Harvest Festival — featuring a Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, more than 30 activities, live weekend music, fireworks, finger-lickin’ good food … and lots more!

Larriland (2415 Woodbine Rd, Woodbine, MD 21797)
The Straw Maze, built with over 1000 bales of straw, is a delightful place to get lost. The Straw Maze is open every day the farm is open in October. The Boo Barn is for children ages 4 – 6. It is a dark passage in the bottom of the Red Barn and is filled with animated, not too scary ghosts and goblins. The Boo Barn is open every day the farm is open in October. They offer a pumpkin hayride on weekdays and weekends in October. This wagon ride fords the stream, goes through the woods and includes a stop at the pumpkin field where everyone selects their favorite pumpkin. The farm is decorated for Halloween with ghosts and goblins to delight and scare you. The fields are laden with crisp, succulent vegetables. The orchards are bent down with apples.

Great Country Farms (18780 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, VA 20135)
Apple Gala  and Cider Fest is every weekend in September. Celebrate with tastings of this season’s best ciders and demonstrations of our antique cider press. The Corn Maze features Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors right here in Bluemont, VA. Pick your pumpkins and apples, fire pumpkins from a cannon, enjoy cider donuts, get lost in a corn maze and visit with the pumpkin princess at Pumpkin Harvest Festival from September 26-October 31 and bring your leftover pumpkins to Pumpkin Chukin November 1-3

Clark’s Elioak Farm (10500 State Rte 108 Ellicott City, MD. 21042)
Petting farm animals, Hayrides, Cow Train Rides, Pony Rides, Birthday Parties, Educational Tours, Enchanted Pine Tree Forest, Special Weekend Events, Enchanted Forest Attractions and Fall Season Pumpkin Patch. Open Tues-Sun.

Leesburg Animal Park and Pumpkin Village (19270 James Monroe Hwy, Leesburg, VA 20175)
Giant hill slides, hay wagon rides. pet and feed animals. free apple and cider snack, free mini-pumpkin, kids maze, camel rides and live entertainment on weekends.

Wayside Farm (5273 Harry Byrd Hwy, Berryville, VA 22611)
Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and other Justice League members will be welcoming families and friends into the LEGO superhero theme corn maze.The farm offers hayrides, pig races, slides, and playgrounds. In addition to offering plenty of entertainment, this working farm has an 8-acre u-pick pumpkin patch. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wayside Farm is an idyllic farm setting for families looking for the ultimate farm adventure this fall. Wayside Farm would like to offer our readers 20% off admission this fall- mention Beltway Bambinos at the booth!

Source: beltwaybambinos.com

Tricks and Treats Around DC

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Tricks and Treats Around DC | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

I can’t count the number of times our son wore his “Max” costume from Where the Wild Things Are  two years ago. Between parades, school, special celebrations and on Halloween he got lots of practicing saying, “Let the wild rumpus start”! Here’s a guide that will help your child get mileage out of their costume(s) this year. Of course, check out our guide to Festivals and Orchards, as many of them have a special Halloween celebration as well as their day-to-day happenings. DC Library also will have a variety of Halloween celebrations, including Haunted History & Ghost Hunts!


*Events are listed in order of which they occur to help you plan

Oct. 10-11, 17-18 and 23-25 and Oct. 28-31- Wheaton Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel
If you enjoy heart-racing, adrenalin-pumping, throat-constricting Halloween activities, we have a train (and carousel) for you. Who–or WHAT?–lurks in the dark Wheaton woods as you ride the Haunted Train? And what’s that perched on the ghostly horse silently screaming next to you on the Creepy Carousel? We promise to do our very best to scare the pants (metaphorically speaking) off you. We’ll show free frightening movies, and have snacks for sale, too. Purchase tickets online.
The Wheaton Haunted Train and Creepy Carousel is truly not suitable for kids under 8. Please check out the Cabin John “Eye Spy” Haunted Train instead!

Oct. 10-11, 17-18 and 23-25 and Oct. 28-31- Eye Spy Train at Cabin John Regional Park
Looking for something fun to do this Halloween that won’t give your younger kids nightmares? Ride the “Eye Spy” Halloween Train at Cabin John Regional Park! Your kids will have fun looking for familiar friends and animals hiding in the woods and marking them off their “Eye Spy” card, while you sit back and enjoy the ride! We’ll show family-friendly Halloween movies each night, too! A not-so-scary train for kids under 8. Purchase tickets online.

Oct. 16– 6:00pm-9:00pm- Spooky SPY Family Night at International Spy Museum
Ditch your Halloween costume and change your whole identity! Has your brother been spying on you?  Is grandma really a secret agent? Does dad really have lethal ninja skills?  Now’s your chance to find out as your family of spies gains exclusive afterhours access to the Museum.  Test your family’s spy skills as you run top secret missions, go deep undercover and transform your appearance with the help of professional make-up artists, challenge yourself in Code Cracker competitions, explore all forms of spy tradecraft, and enjoy SPY snacks.  Come in disguise as your favorite spy! Ages: 5 and up (one adult required for every five KidSpy agents) Ticket price includes exclusive after-hours admission, SPY snacks, scavenger hunt, prize competitions, and more! Complementary custard generously donated by Shake Shack.

Oct. 23-25– 5:30pm-8:30pm-Boo at the Zoo 9ce33da8661483bfdcc1c33ee5a9690dBoo at the Zoo is Washington DC’s favorite Halloween treat. With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. New this year will be an entertainment stage with musicians, jugglers, and a DJ spinning Halloween favorites. Also, don’t miss a themed hay maze and scarecrow field. Purchase tickets here. 

Oct. 23-24 (various times)- 2nd Annual Pumpkin Hunt at Lee-Fendall House
Alexandria’s ghosts and goblins will fill the Lee-Fendall House garden with hundreds of colorful toy-filled Halloween pumpkins for local children to discover. Other activities include crafts, refreshments, spooky stories, and a costume parade. All children of elementary school age or younger are eligible to participate in the Halloween Pumpkin Hunt. Older children and adults are welcome to enjoy all other activities. Tickets are available for sale online.

Oct. 24– 12:00pm-4:00pm- FALLoween at Market Commons
A day of fun the entire family can enjoy! Immediately following the conclusion of the Howl-O- Ween dog walk, FALLOWEEN will kick-off with live music and strolling characters. The much-loved petting zoo will return as well as face painters, balloon artists, and a FALLOWEEN photo opportunity. Throughout the day, tenant giveaways will be announced and trick-or- treating will take place with children and parents visiting Market Common Clarendon tenants!

Oct. 24– 1:00pm-4:00pm-  5th Annual Little Goblins Parade
Assemble at Logan Circle at 12:45pm. The parade will begin at 1:00pm and make treat stops at local businesses up and down P Street. At 2:00pm the parade will arrive at Stead Park for games, festivities and entertainment. WEB10763-2007_carousel1

Oct. 24– 2:00pm-7:00pm- Air and Scare at National Air and Space Museum (Virginia Location)
See the spooky side of air and space at our annual Halloween event! Arrive in costume for safe indoor trick-or-treating, creepy crafts, spooky science experiments, and other Halloween-themed activities. The tiniest visitors can check out the Tot Zone to play dress-up and hear a story. Pose for a photo with your favorite Star Wars or Ghostbusters character. Air & Scare is fun for the whole family!

Oct. 24– 3:00pm-5:00pm- Rollingwood Neighborhood Halloween Party at The French School
PARADE led by Chevy Chase Fire Truck at 2:30pm. (meet at Leland & Summit). Join us for our annual neighborhood tradition! Live Band, “Out of Line”, bounce houses, photo booth, face painting, crafts, games, food and much, much more. Cost is $20 per family for non-Rollingwood neighbors.

Oct. 25– 2:00pm- 19th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade
Don your best Halloween costume and march in the 19th Annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, which historically has attracted thousands of participants. Awards will be given for Best Pet Costume, Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home, and Best Decorated Stroller. Awards will be presented in a brief ceremony after the parade, along with refreshments and goodie bags for the children. Adults, children and dogs are all welcome to join.

Oct. 25– 2:00pm and 4:00pm- National Symphony Orchestra Family Concert: A Sleepy Hallow-eenat The Kennedy Center
All Hallows’ Eve has arrived for Ichabod Crane! Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke leads all the ghoulishly attired orchestra members in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, his riveting reimagining of the classic ghost story.

Oct. 30– 3:30pm-6:30pm- Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon
Join the costumed cast of interpreters for a special opportunity to trick-or-treat in the historic area. A special scavenger hunt is available for our more adventurous guests. All trick-or-treaters are invited to join in the children’s costume parade around the Mansion at 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best “George” and “Martha” costumes!  Participate in a Halloween craft activity in the greenhouse. Special trade demonstrations, like 18th-century wool carding, spinning and fish net making, will take place in the historic area. Listen to Halloween-themed stories in the straw bale amphitheater, enjoy colonial games and dancing demonstrations, and take a wagon ride. $10/adults and $5/child.

Oct. 30– 7:00pm-9:00pm- Haunted Hangar at College Park Aviation Museum
Wear your costume and join in the Halloween fun at the annual Haunted Hangar event. Arts, crafts, hayrides, and spooky fun are waiting for kids and families. $5/per person.

Oct. 31– 10:00am- Rosedale Pumpkin Carving Party
Bring your blankets and pumpkins. Rosedale will provide all the child-safe carving tools, plastic gloves, and tons of designs to make your Halloween pumpkin super special!

Oct. 31– 10:00am-12:00pm- Trick or Treat at Tudor Place
Halloween is “spooktacular” at Tudor Place! Wear your costumes (optional), and wander the estate’s many meandering paths to find treats (not tricks!) in every corner of the enchanting North Garden. Paint pumpkins and enjoy other crafts, face painting, and active period games amid lovely autumn color. Register online ahead of time. 

Oct. 31– 11:00am-6:00pm- Spy Fright at International Spy Museum
Go deep undercover this Halloween at the Spy Museum where spooks of every kind will be on the prowl. Spend the scariest night of the year at the place where disguises aren’t just for Halloween! Everyone is invited to arrive in disguise on October 31st between 11:00AM and 6:00PM in the Spy Museum Store. Acclaimed professional make-up and disguise artist, Roger Riggle, will be on hand to teach the tools-of-the-trade necessary to transform guests in preparation for a night of tricks and treats. Demonstrations are free-of-charge and include quick disguise applications meant to help guests create their own undercover masterpieces. This is a FREE EVENT! The Spy Store is chock full of fun and unusual Halloween Disguises including: moustaches, glasses, hats, tees & more!

Oct. 31 — 11:00am-6:00pm- Trick or Treat with the Boo-tiques!
Start trick-or-treating early and stop by the dozens of shops of the Old Town Boutique District dishing out treats to goblins and ghouls of all ages!

Oct. 31– 1:00pm-4:00pm- Glen Echo Fall Frolic
Fall Frolic is the Glen Echo Park Partnership’s annual Halloween-themed family event. It’s open to the public, and visitors of all ages are invited to the Park to explore the arts through hands-on crafts, Halloween activities, trick-or-treating and visiting open studios. It’s a safe and fun Halloween event with something for everyone! For the kids, there will be pumpkin decorating and face painting ($1 fee for pumpkin; $1-$2 for face painting). All other craft activities and trick-or-treating are free! Adults will enjoy strolling through the Park’s open studios and galleries, including Glen Echo Pottery, the Art Glass Center, Photoworks, Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery, and more. The celebration will conclude at 3:30 with a costume parade through the park.

Oct. 31– 1:30pm-3:30pm- Halloween Workshop presented by The French Academy at The Baptist Church of Chevy Chase
They have prepared various activities for the children no matter their level: crafts, scary stories, creative acting… funny witches, nice monsters or other vampires are all welcome. Bring your costume too! $25.

More details on the following events to come soon:

Oct. 25– 10:00am-12:00pm- Forest Hills Playground Halloween Party

Spooktacular Trick or Treat along Connecticut Ave
Sponsored by the businesses along the Avenue. Kids can safely walk up the street “trick-or-treating” as the businesses are set-up outside. Starting at Livingston St and going up towards Chevy Chase Circle.

Glover Park Halloween Parade
The parade is a great way to kick off Halloween, and we will conclude in time for trick or treating. Strollers, wagons, etc. are welcome. Meet at the stairs outside Stoddert Elementary (Calvert Street side). If you live on the parade route, come out to cheer for the children in the neighborhood!

Halloween on the Hill
The block of 7th Street SE next to Eastern Market will be closed to traffic. Hayrides, moon bounces, goody giveaways, and even a mini carousel. Come out and see all of the kiddos dressed up and having a ghostly time.

Source: beltwaybambinos.com

Sleep and Your Health

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Sleep and Your Health | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

shutterstock_90898871Many people fall short of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night. With busy schedules, it may be tempting to stay up late, but sleep is an important factor in overall health. A good night’s sleep allows bodies to rest, repair cells and fight off illness.

The body undergoes certain changes during sleep. Heart rate and breathing slow, body temperature drops, and yet the brain remains incredibly active. In fact, sometimes the brain is even more active during REM sleep (a state of deep sleep usually associated with dreaming) than it is during the normal waking state.

Insufficient sleep can cause many negative side effects, including drowsiness, loss of productivity and impaired judgment. In addition, losing sleep can affect mood and increase the risk of accidents and injury. Long-term side effects of not getting enough sleep include weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Your lifestyle, your schedule and stress can affect how much sleep you get each night. However, if you are having trouble sleeping, there are several steps you can take:

  • Stick to a schedule to help regulate your body’s internal clock.
  • Exercise.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading.
  • Keep the TV out of your room as bright light can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.
  • Have comfortable bedding and pillows.
  • Keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees.

Getting enough sleep will boost your immune system and help you stay alert and productive throughout the day. With cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s now more important than ever to make sleep a priority.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Medicare 101

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Medicare 101 | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Medicare 101

If you’re nearing retirement age, or are over 65 and still working, you may have questions about Medicare. Read on for the information you need to know.

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance for people who are age 65 or older, under 65 with certain disabilities, or any age with End-stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure).

Types of Medicare

There are four types of Medicare. Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice and home health care. Generally there is no monthly premium if you qualify and paid Medicare taxes while working.

Medicare Part B helps cover medical services like doctors’ services, outpatient care and other medically necessary services that Part A doesn’t cover. You need to enroll in Medicare Part B and pay a monthly premium determined by your income, along with a deductible.

Many people also purchase a supplemental insurance policy, such as a Medigap plan, to handle any Part A and B coverage gaps.

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are combination plans managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. They typically are a combination of Part A, Part B and sometimes Part D coverage, but must cover medically necessary services. These plans have discretion to assign their own copays, deductibles and coinsurance.

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage and is available to everyone with Medicare. It is a separate plan provided by private Medicare-approved companies, and you must pay a monthly premium.

Medicare 101Getting Started

Medicare sends you a questionnaire about three months before you’re entitled to Medicare coverage. Your answers to these questions, including whether you have group health insurance through an employer or family member, help Medicare set up your file and make sure your claims are paid correctly.

If your health insurance or coverage changes at any time after submitting the questionnaire, call the Medicare Coordination of Benefits Contractor at 800-999-1118 to update your file.

Once you start Medicare, you should schedule a free preventive visit within the first 12 months to assess your current health status and provide a health roadmap for the future.

Also, create an account on Medicare.gov to access your information and keep track of claims. If you want your family or friends to be able to call Medicare on your behalf, fill out an Authorization Form to allow them to do so.

Coordination of Coverage

If you have Medicare and another type of insurance, the question of who should pay or who should pay first can be tricky. For example, generally a group health plan would pay before Medicare, but there are several exceptions. Contact the number above for specific answers for your situation, or visit www.medicare.gov for additional information.

Apps to Help Keep Your Kids Safe

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Apps to Help Keep Your Kids Safe | Posted in Family Health & Safety

Last year, University of Virginia student Hannah Graham was murdered. Now three new smartphone apps are available for free download to help prevent such tragedies: Companion, Circle of 6 and LifeLine Response.

On Tuesday, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen demonstrated how they work:

  • Companion can send a message to anyone anywhere, showing them your child’s exact location. The app uses the phone’s motion sensors to send an alert if the user starts running, drops the phone, or has his or her headphones yanked out.
  • Circle of 6 goes even further, beaming the location of the phone’s user to six people at a time if the user is in trouble.
  • LifeLine Response not only tracks a phone user, but will even call the police instantly if the user’s thumb is removed from the screen.

All three apps are available free in the app store. LifeLine Response gives you 30 days free, then charges $4.99 per month.

Source: today.com

Don’t Forget To Fall Back!

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Don’t Forget To Fall Back! | Posted in Misc

Fall Back Poster

Choosing the Right Provider

October 7th, 2015 | Comments Off on Choosing the Right Provider | Posted in U-Tube

Choosing the right provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your health care. We can help you find the right one.

Remember, you’re looking for a provider you can trust and work with to improve your health and well-being, so take time to think about what you need. Depending on how complicated your health care needs are, you may need to see more than one type of provider.

Primary Care Providers: You’ll see a primary care provider first for most health issues. They’ll work with you to get your recommended screenings, help you manage chronic conditions, and refer you to other types of providers if you need them. Your primary care provider may be called a family physician or doctor, internist, general practitioner, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Your child or teenager’s provider may be called a pediatrician.

Specialists: You’ll see a specialist for certain services or to treat specific conditions. Specialists include cardiologists, oncologists, psychologists, allergists, podiatrists, and orthopedists. You may need a referral from your primary care provider before you go to a specialist in order for your health plan to pay for your visit.

Here are some tips for finding a provider where you live:

  • If you already have a provider you like and want to keep working with, call their office and ask if they accept your coverage.
  • Call your insurance company or state Medicaid and CHIP program. Look at their website or check your member handbook to find providers in your network who take your health coverage.
  • Ask your friends or family if they have providers they like and use these tools to compare health care providers in your area.

Source: healthcare.gov