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A Sidewalk Stroll by Encore Stage & Studio

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A Sidewalk Stroll is Encore’s second play in their new preschool series. I took my girls to a performance this weekend and they loved it! The show stars “professional artists who bring park adventures and friendly animals to life, all while teaching your little one about navigating through life’s surprises.”

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At this show, the audience members sit on the floor, right in front of the actors. It really keep the kids engaged and feel as though they are a part of the performance too. The play is only about 20 minutes long, so it’s perfect for the tiniest of theatre goers. After the show, the actors invite the children up on stage to interact with them and play with their props. My girls especially loved this part! It’s not often they get the chance to do this at other children’s theaters!

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Grab your friends and head to the show for a fun little play date!  There is even a playground right outside the church where the performances are held.

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Remaining performances:

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 10:30am
Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:30 & 11:45am
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 4:00pm
Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:30 & 11:45am

Location:
All performances are held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (4000 Lorcom Ln Arlington, VA 22207)

Tickets:

$10 general admission. Includes all box office fees. Purchase tickets online here.

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Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court
Vienna, Virginia 22182
 

My girls have been so excited to spend time playing outdoors this spring, especially after the winter we had. They absolutely love looking at (and picking) flowers. So, last week on an exceptionally beautiful day we headed out to Vienna, Virginia to explore Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.

Inside the visitors center are a few tanks with turtles and fish, so we stopped to look at those first.

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After paying the entrance fee, we headed outside to explore the gardens. At first, Clara and Mae were disappointed when I told them they couldn’t pick any of the flowers but they got over it quickly. There was so much else for them to look at and do here. And we did find a few wildflowers growing by the lake that I let them pick. That seemed to keep them satisfied with their flower picking desires!

We stopped to admire the fairy garden right outside of the Visitors Center. Then I told Clara that there was a children’s garden area, so of course that was the spot she wanted to check out next. We took the path down to the whimsical area next to the Gardiner lake.

My girls were immediately drawn to the deck area that had a little wooden chairs and a table with tea cups. Such a perfect spot for a lakeside tea party!

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There is a second tea garden area with another cute table and chairs. The children’s garden also has “touch and smell” areas for the children to explore.

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My girls loved watching the geese in the lake and spotting all the turtles – lots and lots of turtles! Clara had fun counting them all.

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From the children’s garden, Clara spotted these totem poles out in an open field and ran over to them. Mae tried to follow as quickly as she could! It looked like these were put there just for them – big sister and little sister totems!

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We continued around the path and enjoyed the cherry blossom trees along Lake Caroline. We walked out onto the gazebo and the girls loved looking at the Koi fish.

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By this point, we had been at the gardens for close to two hours and Mae (who hadn’t yet napped) was on the verge of a meltdown. So we skipped the Korean Bell Garden and a lot of other areas. We started to walk back towards the visitors center but stopped briefly at this garden full of golden daffodils. It was too pretty to not enjoy.

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There is so much more to explore at Meadowlark! We will definitely return to see everything we missed during our first visit. I imagine that it’s a different experience with each different season.

Good to Know:

•Admission: free under age 6, $2.50 age 7-17, $5.00 age 18-54, $2.50 age 55 and older
•Free parking
•Bring a stroller for little ones. It is a lot of walking, so even if they don’t want to sit in the stroller at first, they might want it towards the end of your visit. There is a paved pathway throughout.
•There is a gift shop in the visitors center where they have drinks, snacks, and small toys available to purchase.



Burke Nursery’s Pumpkin Playground

Burke Nursery’s Pumpkin Playground
9401 Burke Road
Burke, VA 22015
www.pumpkinplayground.com
 

Tuesday was such a beautiful day that I wanted to take the girls to do something outdoors, especially since I saw rain in the forecast for the following day. I was looking to find somewhere new and not too far away. So I did a little research during nap time and came up with Burke Nursery’s Pumpkin Playground for the afternoon outing. This was just a quick 25 minute drive from the Maryland suburbs.

The entrance is perfectly adorned with every type of fall decoration including mums, pumpkins, and corn stalks.

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The entrance takes you through the market, which sells a lot of cute fall decorations, local jams, jellies, dressings and pumpkin carving supplies.

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Clara has been really into decorating our house for Halloween. We’ve been on the look out for some ghosts to hang on our front porch and were excited to find them at Burke’s.

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After paying for admission in the market, we headed out to the playground area. There are several fun playground structures including a castle, monster truck, pirate ship, train, and a few more. Lots of various slides, swings, and old school merry-go-rounds.

Burketruck         Burketrain Burkepirateship         Burkecastle

There are also a bunch of those riding toys you see at malls or supermarkets that you normally have to put a quarter in to start but here you just press a button and the kids can ride as many times as they want.

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There are a couple sets of giant slides; one set that is bigger and a smaller set that has a cute Wizard of Oz theme for the younger children.

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Included in admission is a hayride through a haunted forest where there are different spooky scenes with ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. The ride lasts about 10 minutes.

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There isn’t a pumpkin patch at Burke’s, but there are lots of little pumpkins to choose from before you leave and its also included in the admission price. They also have bigger carving pumpkins available to purchase.

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This is a really fun fall activity, especially great for toddlers and preschoolers. I would say Burke’s would be best enjoyed by children up to age 8. Its on the smaller scale for fall festivals so its much easier to manage if you have multiple little ones. It wasn’t too busy when we were there, which is always nice so try to go on a weekday if you can. My girls had a lot of fun and were entertained for a couple hours but could have stayed longer if we had the time. Hurry, it’s only open through October 31st.

Good to Know:

•Admission on weekdays is $9/person, weekends is $13/person, age 2 & under are free.
•Open from October 1 through October 31st.
•Hours: Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm, 9am-9pm Fri-Sat, 9am-8pm Sun
•Food and snacks are available to purchase and there are a couple of picnic pavilions.
•Pony rides and face painting are additional activities available on the weekends.
•Portable restrooms only.
•Diaper changing area available.