Category Archives: Playgrounds

Clara’s Birthday Party at BusyBees!

5 years old! FIVE YEARS! I can’t believe the one who made me a momma is now 5, a whole hand big! Clara started talking about her birthday a couple months ago and likes to make a big deal out it. But I can’t blame her. I’ve realized these years go by in the blink of an eye and are so precious when they are little, so full of life, and excited about everything! It only seemed fitting that we celebrate her 5th birthday at BusyBees, one of her favorite indoor playgrounds in the DC area.

If you haven’t yet been to BusyBees, then check out this article with all the details. You will definitely want to take your kids to play there soon because it’s a happy place to play for both kids and parents!

Planning the party at BusyBees was so easy and stress-free. We chose the private party option so that we would have the entire space to enjoy with all of Clara’s classmates and friends. They offer four different party packages with weekday and weekend options and exclusive or shared playground space. More information can be found here.

As an added bonus, I didn’t even have to plan the party decor and tableware! That was all taken care of by Simply Genie – a DC based company that offers designer parties in a box. They partnered with BusyBees to offer a personalized BuzzytheBee party package option. As you can see from the photos, it was absolutely adorable and they didn’t miss a detail. Stripes and polka-dots happen to be one of my favorite combinations! And better yet, the prices are so reasonable. They had everything set up when we arrived, so we felt like we could fully enjoy our guests.

BB_tableware (1 of 1)

The package included customized water bottle wrappers, bamboo cutlery, plates, cups, straws, and napkins. It also included the adorable place mats featuring BuzzytheBee himself. And these place mats have a coloring page on the backside, so the staff wiped them down after the kids ate and everyone got to take theirs home! How cool is that?

BB_cupcakes (1 of 1)

The party package by Simply Genie also included customized cupcake toppers. Seriously, adorable!

BB_partyroom (1 of 1)

The customized Happy Birthday banner and bright pom poms added a festive punch to the party room.

BB_happybirthday (1 of 1)

Pure joy!

BB_mae (1 of 1)

The embarrassing little sister!

BB_play (1 of 1)

BB_balloonroom (1 of 1)

BB_clara (1 of 1)

BB_playground (1 of 1)

The kids all had a blast playing together in the playground and didn’t want to leave when the party was over. It was the best feeling in the world to watch Clara having fun with all of her friends. We made some wonderful memories at Clara’s 5th birthday party thanks to BusyBees and Simply Genie! I really can’t recommend them highly enough! The owner of BusyBees is truly a wonderful person who sincerely cares about creating the best party experience for her guests. They offer a complimentary party concierge service to handle all the planning and will even order the food if you prefer. Or if you are a party planning extraordinaire, you can always bring in all your own stuff.  You really can get the exact party you are looking for at BusyBees!

BB_bubbles (1 of 1)

 



December 2015 – Monthly Roundup

IMG_6771

 

Happy New Year! December was a fun filled month and a great one to end the year. There are so many fun holiday events throughout the month in the DC area and we tried to do as many as possible. I love experiencing the magic of Christmas through my children. These years when they are little and truly believe in Santa is precious and I want to make the most of this time. So, we went to few different Santa events, a couple of light displays, a gingerbread house workshop, and a few different holiday shows in the theaters for a thoroughly festive Christmas season.

Below is a recap of where our adventures took us this month. Dumbarton Oaks was one of my favorite new (to us) places we explored and my girls really loved it too. The best part is that it is free during the winter months, so take advantage and check it out on a warmer winter day. You can also take your kids to the playground at Montrose Park right next door while you are there. The National Postal Museum was also surprisingly nice! No crowds and lots of different interactive exhibits for kids. And it’s right across the street from Union Station where you can grab lunch.

Places we visited:

Dumbarton Oaks
Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Union Station – (Christmas tree & train display)
South Mountain Creamery
Glen Echo Park Aquarium
Potomac Library

Events we attended:

Winter Lights Festival – Seneca Creek State Park
Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas – BlackRock Center for the Arts
Santa and Mrs. Claus’ visit at BusyBees
Garden of Lights – Brookside Gardens
Garden Railway Exhibit – Brookside Gardens
Walkersville Santa Train
Gingerbread House Workshop at Tudor Place
The Nutcracker – Metropolitan Ballet Theatre & Academy
The Nutcracker – The Puppet Co

Classes and camps we attended:

My Gym Potomac
Kids First Swim SchoolBlog post here
Tennis – Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center

Parks we played at:

Montrose Park – Georgetown
Glen Echo Playground
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD - #41 –  top 50 playgrounds in the US
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Avenel Park – Potomac, MD

I hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. Thank you for following along on our adventures and for all your support over the past year! Wishing everyone a wonderful 2016!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog



November 2015 – Monthly Roundup

IMG_4565(1)

Well, November went by in a flash. I really can’t believe I’m already recapping another month! I didn’t have much planned for November because I thought we would slow down a bit before all the holiday activities and events. But we ended up going on a bunch of spontaneous outdoor outings to make the most of the warm fall days.

Here is a recap of where our adventures took us this month. The Wizard of Oz playground at Watkins Regional Park was definitely a highlight for my girls. There is so much to do there it is worth the drive. We also went to a new (to us) children’s museum – The Original Playhouse Museum, which is the cutest place for children to use their imaginations. I’m sure we will visit again this winter when it’s too cold to play outside. We also went to one of my favorite holiday exhibits at the end of the month – Seasons Greetings at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Places we visited:

United States Botanic Gardenblog post from last year here
Ticonderoga Farms
Lake Frankblog post here
The Original Playhouse Museum
Bowl America Gaithersburg
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Locust Grove Nature Center
Tysons Corner Ice Rinkblog post here
Rockin’ Jump Gaithersburg
Brookside Gardens
Mobu Kids - blog post here

Events we attended:

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Acadamy
Hansel and Gretel at Encore Stage & Studioblog post here
“Meet the Animals” at Brookside Nature Center

Classes and camps we attended:

My Gym Potomac
FS Soccer
USTA Tennis – Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center

Parks we played at:

Watkins Regional Park – A must-see Wizard of Oz themed playground
Rockville Civic Center Park
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD - #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Avenel Park – Potomac, MD

I hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. So much to look forward to this month. I’ve posted a lot of holiday events and activities on the calendar.   Happy December!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog



August – Monthly Roundup

IMG_4890

August – summer’s grand finale, was such a good month. I genuinely had so much fun with my girls this summer and am sad that preschool is starting this week. Thinking about how much these little people change in a year and how each summer with them is going to be so different, just makes me want to savor it more. Even though I will miss all the free time for adventures, I will love having a little bit more time for my own projects.

Here is a recap of what we were up to this past month. The BEACH at the National Building Museum was quite a unique experience and is still open through September 7. We also had a fun day trip to Baltimore where we visited the National Aquarium and Pierce’s Park. And another summer tradition of ours in August is the Montgomery County Fair.

Places we visited:

The “Beach” at the National Building Museum
Georgetown Waterfront Park
National Aquarium in Baltimore
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Larriland Farm
Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
Carousel at Glen Echo Park
Rehoboth Beach, DE

 Events we attended:

Garfield the Musical at Adventure Theater - no longer showing but next up is Caps for Sale The Musical Sep 11-27 – Blog post here about attending a previous show at Adventure Theatre
Fairfax County 4H Fair and Carnival at Frying Pan Park
Montgomery County Fair

Classes and camps we attended:

Geneva Day School Summer Camp
My Gym Potomac
Ballet Petite

Parks we played at:

Pierce’s Park - Baltimore, MD
Palisade’s PlaygroundBlog post here about the hidden glass forest at this park
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD - #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD

Hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. We are looking forward the fall! Cooler temps means spending time at the farms picking apples and pumpkins and going for hikes through the fall colors. Happy September!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog



BusyBees Indoor Playground

BusyBees
6110 D Arlington Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
www.busybeesplay.com
 

Busybees is the newest, coolest, and most unique indoor children’s playground that just opened last week in Falls Church, VA. The owner contacted me a few months ago to tell me about her new business she was working on opening. I was immediately very excited! I started telling all my friends about this new play space that would be especially perfect for those days when it’s raining or too hot or too cold to play outside. Then last week I had the opportunity to preview the space and play with my girls at Busybees for the first time. I can honestly tell you, there is really nothing like this in our area! You must check it out if you have small children under 4 feet tall.

As soon as you step in the door, Busybees will put a smile on your face. The space is designed so beautifully in crisp white with pops of blue and green. It’s just the right size – not too big and not too small; so it’s easy to look after multiple children here. The structures in the playground are so incredibly unique – everything spins, moves, or flies.

Busybees1Busybees2
BusyBees6BusyBees7BusyBees8Busybees9

My girls especially loved this little space filled with flying balloons. Pure joy in here!

Busybees4IMG_9164Also, the staff members at Busybees were all very friendly. When we entered the play space the attendant asked for my girls names and made an effort to remember them. And they were there to help the kids climb up or get down from a structure when needed.

And as Busybees states, here are 7 reasons to love them:

  1. Everything at BusyBees moves, spins, or flies!

  2. We offer the most Funtabulous parties!

  3. In-N-Out-N-In… $15 all day play

  4. Adults and kids under 1: Always free

  5. Sparkling Clean every 3 hours!

  6. Complimentary coffee/tea for the sleep deprived

  7. And of course, there is free wifi

Definitely lots to love about Busybees. This is a place we will be returning to many times!



June – Monthly Roundup

IMG_3052Summer is here! It’s true, time really does fly when you’re having fun; I can’t believe June is already over. We had a fabulous month and kicked it off with many of our favorite summertime activities. Clara attended camps every week this month so June wasn’t quite as full of activities as May, but we still did some really fun things. The highlights of this month were bottle feeding calves at South Mountain Creamery and hunting fossilized shark teeth at Brownie’s Beach. Both were really fun and unique experiences!

Places we visited:

Rocklands Farm
South Mountain Creamery
Franciscan Monastery
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Green Meadows Petting Farm – blog post from last fall here
Dawson’s Market Farmers Market
Potomac Village Farmers Market
Carroll Creek (downtown Frederick)
South Germantown Splash Park
Brownie’s Beach on the Chesapeake Bay

Events we attended:

Imagination Bethesda
Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Encore Stage & Studio
Art Explorers Family Studio at Glen Echo Park
Rocknocerous “Plymouth Rockers” Album Release at Jammin Java

Classes and camps we attended:

Geneva Day School Summer Camp
Georgetown Hill Summer Camp
Funfit Tots
F.S. Soccer

Parks we played at:

Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD - #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD
Cedar Lane Playlot (corner of Cedar Lane and Beach Drive) – Kensington, MD
Fallsgrove Park – Rockville, MD
Glen Echo Park – Glen Echo, MD

Hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list! We are kicking off July with a trip to Nebraska to visit our Midwest family and friends and celebrate the Fourth of July. Hope you all have a fun and safe holiday!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures on my feed.

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog

 



May – Monthly Roundup

May was a busy month full of fun adventures with my girls. We spent a lot of time outdoors at different farms and parks. It was filled with lots of flowers and happy moments. I’ve always thought fall was my favorite time in the DC area but I’m not sure anymore because this spring has been pretty amazing. We visited some really pretty places and made a lot of great memories!

IMG_1921Places we visited:

United States National Arboretum
Wegmeyers FarmOatlands Historic House and Gardens – blog post here
Homestead Farm – blog post from last fall here
Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens
Washington National Cathedral and Bishop’s Garden
Beauvoir Outdoors
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Fountains at Rockville Town Square

Events we attended:

• Day Out with Thomas – B&O Railroad Museum – blog post here
• Royal Tea Party – Thomas Farm Community Center
• Spring Market Fair – Claude Moore Colonial Farm
• Fairytale Ballet Tea Party – Metropolitan Ballet Theatre
• Hometown Holidays – Rockville Town Square

Classes/Camps we attended:

My Gym
Funfit Tots
FS Soccer

Parks we played at:

Meridian Hill Park – Washington, DC
Chevy Chase Playground and Splash Park – Washington, DC – blog post here
Clemyjontri Park – McLean, VA – blog post here#4 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD - #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD

I hope this roundup has given you some new ideas and inspired you to go out and explore with your kids! Have a fabulous June!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures on my feed.

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog

 

 



Summer Bucket List – 2015

We are ready for summer! There are so many fun things to do in the DC area and every summer seems to go by faster and faster. This year I decided to make a list of our top activities that we want to do. This is also Clara’s last summer before starting a full day pre-kindergarten program in the fall. So, we want to make this one count! In between trips to Nebraska and Rehoboth Beach, camps, pool time, bbqs, and tennis and swim lessons, we hope to fit these other fun things into our days. Some of these activities are our tried-and-true favorites and some are new things that we will be doing for the first time. I hope this gives you some good ideas of fun things to do with your family. Hooray for summer, it’s going to be a good one!

IMG_0974(1)

1. Go berry picking – Wegmeyer Farms, Homestead Farms, and Butler’s Orchard are a few of our favorite places to pick strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries

2. Play at splash parks – Chevy Chase Playground, Palisades Recreation Center, South Germantown Splash Park are some of our favorites

3. Go hiking – Croydon Creek Nature Center, Black Hills Regional Park, Lake Frank, Lake Needwood, Sugarloaf Mountain are some on our list

4. Attend the Hometown Holidays street festival at Rockville Town Square

5. Visit the United States National Arboretum (again)

5. Go see Encore Stage & Studio’s production of Alice in Wonderland

6. Attend at least one of the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods programs at Wolf Trap

7. Visit a new park – Temple Hall Farm Park, Meridian Hill Park, Yards Park, Burke Lake Park, and Fort Washington Park are on our list

8. Check out a few farmer’s markets – Potomac Farm Market, Rockville Farmer’s Market, Potomac Village Farmer’s Market, Garrett Park Farmer’s Market, and Dupont Circle are on our list

9. Attend one of the Backyard Theater for Children shows at Strathmore

10. Play at BusyBees, a new indoor playground opening in Falls Church

11. Go to a Nationals baseball game

12. Ride the Cabin John train

13. Play in the Fountain at Rockville Town Square

14. Attend the Summer Market Fair at Claude Moore Colonial Farm

15. Take a Boomerang Pirate Ship Cruise on the Potomac

16. Tour the National Cathedral and Bishop’s Garden and play at nearby Beauvoir Playground

17. Explore a new farm during the Montgomery County Farm Tour

18. Visit South Mountain Creamery

19. Ride the carousel at Glen Echo Park

20. Go on rides and visit the animals at the Montgomery County Fair



DC’s Hidden Glass Forest

Palisades Recreation Center
5200 Sherier Place NW
Washington, DC 20016
 

After reading about a secret glass forest on Kid Friendly DC and Thrillest , I was really curious and wanted to check it out. We pulled into the small parking lot at the Palisades Recreation Center and my girls immediately saw the playground so we went there first. It is a really nice, gated playground with the rubber surface and it also has water features in the warmer months. The playground is best suited for ages 2-5.

Palisadesplayground

After playing for about an hour, I told the girls we were going on a hike through the secret glass forest and they were excited for the adventure. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was, since there are no signs anywhere. A description I read online said that the trail basically starts behind the backyards of nearby homes, so we headed in that direction. I saw picnic tables and decided to keep going. Then we came upon big bunches of leaves tied together and hanging down from a tree branch and beyond that I saw some pieces of mirrors, so I figured we were on the right trail.

glassforest

Scattered throughout the forest are at least 10 or so different sculptures made from natural materials, scrap metal, plastic pieces, old parts, mirrors, and glass. It is really pretty strange and almost creepy. Like the Thrillest article mentions, it does have a sort of Blair Witch vibe. There is even a chair like piece with some sort of animal fur thrown over it…very, very odd! However, Clara had fun discovering new surprises as we walked along. And little Mae was happy picking wildflowers. Parents should know that it isn’t the safest place to take kids. There are broken glass and mirror pieces all over the ground, so you have to really watch little ones.

glassforest1

I wouldn’t consider this as a “must see” but it is interesting for sure! The playground is great, so if you are already there its worth taking a little walk into the woods.

glassforest2



Clemyjontri Park

Clemyjontri Park
6317 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 388-2807
 

Clemyjontri is hands down the best playground we have visited in the area. I first discovered the park a couple years ago and have been taking my girls here ever since. It is so colorful and full of fun equipment. Yesterday, we made another visit to the park to meet our friends for a play date.

IMG_3573

Open daily 7am to dusk

The parking lot directly next to the park is small and often fills up quickly. There is additional parking just across Georgetown Pike. Sometimes, this lot is also full and in that case there is more parking further east on Georgetown Pike at the Langley Fork Park.

For my girls, the highlight of this park is the carousel. Tokens are $1.75 per ride. The carousel is lowered to ground level so that it is accessible for wheelchairs. This was the last week the carousel was open during the week days. In September and October it is only open on the weekends.

IMG_3604

Located in the center of the park

IMG_3584

My girls!

IMG_3616

Includes Chariots, a spinning teacup, & 14 horses

The playground is amazing in that it was designed so that children of all abilities can play side-by-side. The park was made so that children in wheelchairs, walkers or braces, or who have sensory or developmental delays can have an equally fun playground experience. The special features of Clemyjontri include:

• Ramps connecting structures
• Wide openings for easy access to play areas
• Rubber ground surface
• Sensory rich equipment
• Lowered monkey bars
• Swings with high backs, arm rests, & safety features

The 2-acre playground consists of 4 outdoor “rooms”. The first room is the Rainbow room. Clara actually calls this park the “Rainbow Playground” because of this archway.

IMG_3602

Rainbow Room also includes a variety of swings

The next room is the Schoolhouse and Maze.

IMG_3594

Maze includes learning panels

IMG_3606

Teaches “where am I” with maps and a globe

The Moovin & Groovin area is next.

IMG_3608

Includes transportation themed equipment such as planes, trains, & cars

The last room is Fitness & Fun.

IMG_3610

Includes the largest jungle gym

IMG_3577

There is also a musical area with various drums & noisemakers

IMG_3575

Structures designed to challenge physical strength

There is very little shade on the playground. However there are a few tent sails over picnic tables and benches.

IMG_3601

Picnic table area

Other helpful information:

• Picnic Pavillion can be rented out for parties, etc
• Bathrooms include changing tables
• Vending machines on site
• No bikes or scooters allowed on playground
• Playground does get very busy between the hours of 10am-3pm