Category: Washington, DC

July 15, 2011

Howdy, DC!

Sarah-Ava-CharlieMy family and I have been in Austin, TX since fall 2009, but I'm grateful to have remained so connected to Washington and to you all - thanks to the magic of the Interwebs, my ongoing consulting work with DC clients, and old-fashioned visits.

The Revised 2nd Edition of the DC BABY book (November 2008) is still available from - and right here. It's also still selling at DC-area bookstores, and is available for purchase as an e-book. (Looks nice on Kindle!)

We can also now connect on DC BABY's Facebook page, where I'll be sharing favorite events and resources, as well as updates to book content. In time the page will grow into a hub for DC moms and dads to share info and support. So come check it out, and say hello. I'd love to hear from you.

Posted by Sarah at 12:20 PM. Permanent link to "Howdy, DC!."

July 29, 2009

Last love letter to Washington

Washington, I miss you already!

Tomorrow morning I'll be on a plane to Texas with my children. Between now and then we have the dreaded, inevitably tearful goodbyes with our our dear friends, their son (our daughter's best pal and pseudo-sibling), and the beloved caregiver who has been part of our family for the past four+ years. Ava and I were already in tears this morning. It's that kind of day.

I hate goodbyes more than the average person, I think. Maybe it's because I'm a child of divorce, but they just kill me. But I need to formally, finally thank you all for reading this blog, for buying my books, for lending your tips and input over the years. I will miss this work, and I wish all the very best to you and your families. I appreciate the way you helped make DC BABY a success.

As for DC itself. This has been my second stint calling it home, and I still say this city is a knockout. It's like no other on earth. I'll miss the thrill of driving across the Memorial Bridge toward the white columns of the Lincoln, with the sun bouncing off the Potomac and the breeze blowing through my open windows. I'll miss Eastern Market on a Saturday morning, and cheering on the bagpipers on the streets of Old Town at Christmas. I'll miss riding the metro and showing off our museums to out-of-towners. I'll miss the politicos and their politics. I'll miss knowing Ben's Chili Bowl is 15 minutes away. I'll miss spring's big blooms and winter's whiteness, and the reds and oranges of fall. I will miss calling it "mine."

Take care of this fabulous city, and take care of each other.

Posted by Sarah at 4:39 PM. Permanent link to "Last love letter to Washington."

July 28, 2009

Where will you turn? Here's where!

This one's for all of you who have (very kindly) written to me about your dismay that the DCB blog will no longer be updated after my move to Austin (now less than 2 days away).

While it's genuinely gratifying to know that what I've spent the past four+ years working on has been useful and well-liked... and while I will miss you, too... I just want to let you know that there's no shortage of other web-based resources for parents in the DC metro area. Each has its own style. Browse around and find some that suit you. Here are some of our favorite online parenting resources with a local focus - several of which are also featured in my book:
The champion, gold-star resource. Can't say enough good things. Love the free website and love the weekly subscription e-newsletter even more. Worth EVERY penny, and then some. Local mom-owned and mom-staffed.

Daily Candy DC-Kids
Hip, concise, and stylishly select. We've always loved Daily Candy as a decadent treat, and the DC-Kids edition is no exception.

Washington Parent magazine's website
The online supplement to the local print magazine. Nice features and columns, and some calendar listings.

Washington Family magazine's website
The online supplement to the local print magazine. Access to features, etc. - but also some blogs penned by DC-area mamas.

Washington Post's Going Out Guide, Kid-Friendly section
Subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter, or just check out their web page when you're looking for coming events and ideas for seasonal outings.

Washington Post's KidsPost
Great for young school-age children.

A Parent in Silver Spring blog
Nice local blog penned by a Silver Spring, MD mom.

DC Urban Moms & Dads (DCUM)
The original big-ass Mother of All DC Parents' Listservs... but it now also has its own standalone site, topic-specific message boards, sub-listservs, and a blog.

DC Metro Moms
A blog penned by a talented, interesting gaggle of Beltway mamas.

GoCityKids - Washington, DC edition
A relative newcomer, but getting better all the time. The site has potential as a go-to resource.

Feel free to post info about your own favorite online resource for DC-area parents in the "comments." And I challenge and encourage any of you who are toying w/ the idea of starting your own blog, or establishing your own listserv, to fill the info gaps: You can do it! All it takes is one mama (or daddy) with a good idea, who is willing to follow through and be patient while it grows. If you start it, they will come. They really will.

Posted by Sarah at 9:45 AM. Permanent link to "Where will you turn? Here's where!."

July 27, 2009

Save the date: Great Zucchini back @ the Avalon

Later this month, one of our personal favorites, The Great Zucchini, will return to the Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Ave. for an all-ages show. August 29th at 10 a.m. Also performing: Barry the Magician.

Last time Zucchini performed at the Avalon, it sold out in advance, so be sure to get your tickets well ahead of time if you'd like to catch the show.

And, especially if you're among the yet uninitiated, check out this fun Great Zucchini video with your kids. Believe it or not, preschoolers and kindergarteners go wild with laughter at this stuff in a live, group setting! It's infectious.

Posted by Sarah at 10:25 AM. Permanent link to "Save the date: Great Zucchini back @ the Avalon."

July 21, 2009 reviews + free e-books of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition

So as most of you know from recent monthly newsletters, the clock is ticking on my time as a Washingtonian. We will be leaving for Austin, TX on the 30th.

While the blog will fall quiet, the four years of archives will remain here for your reference. And my book will still be available for sale at local stores and online (including here at But I have to admit that, considering how nicely the books have been selling since the Revised Second Edition came out last year, I feel a little dejected saying farewell with no reader reviews on It's a trifling thing, sure... But it sure would feel nice to have some of the many kind comments about the book you've emailed to me shared on Amazon in support of my work.

So here's my offer. If any of you who have read my book, DC BABY, and found it useful are willing to post a reader review on the book's Amazon page - I will gladly send you a (free) e-book copy as a "thank you." Just send me an email (sarah-at-dc-baby-dot-com) after posting your review and I'll reply with a nifty PDF copy attached.

I'll be blogging through next Wednesday the 29th. Stay tuned. And thanks again for your 4+ years of support and friendship!

Posted by Sarah at 3:08 PM. Permanent link to " reviews + free e-books of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition."

July 15, 2009

NEW, comprehensive registry service from Dawn Price Baby

Dawn Price Baby (Capitol Hill & Georgetown) just announced a new service for local moms-to-be registering for baby gifts through the store. It's the antidote to having to register at multiple stores to get both the boutique items and unique keepsakes you really want and the superstore gear and necessities you really must have.

Dawn Price Baby Concierge Services allows you to sign up for a baby registry through DPB, and then add on select items from Great Beginnings, including pack 'n plays, mattresses, Diaper Genies, and more. Dawn Price Baby has put together a comprehensive catalogue covering essentials that are both in the store and available at Great Beginnings. Expectant parents can flip through the sections, read up on specific products, and choose what's right for you. (If they don't have a specific item you want in the catalog, they'll check to see if they can get it!)

There are no fees associated with the new service - You pay retail at the time of purchase, just like usual. But it does streamline the process for you and your family/friends/baby shower planners.

How do you take part? Call DPB to book a consult and they'll go over the baby registry items with you. Or drop by to look around the store on your own and browse the catalog on your own. If you can't make it in person, they'll work with you over the phone or by email to identify the items you need and set up your registry.

p.s. FINAL DAY! Please vote for DC BABY!

Posted by Sarah at 1:52 PM. Permanent link to "NEW, comprehensive registry service from Dawn Price Baby."

July 3, 2009

Weekend Watch: Get a jumpstart on your kid-friendly Fourth

If you've been-there-done-that with the insane crowds on the National Mall, or just want something with less hassle and more for little kids, here's a nice alternative:

The Gaylord Resort at the swanky National Harbor is hosting a family-oriented "July 3rd Celebration" TONIGHT from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

There will be a Kid Zone with carnival rides, face painting, balloon sculpting, and caricature artists; great food options (including Lefty's BBQ); live rock/country/ and Caribbean music, a wine garden for the adults, and a 15-minute fireworks display over the Potomac after sundown.

Not a bad way to low-key the holiday, while still giving your children their promised fireworks fix.

p.s. I will be offline for the next week, but the blog will return Monday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 29th when I depart for Austin.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Posted by Sarah at 4:58 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Get a jumpstart on your kid-friendly Fourth."

June 26, 2009

Weekend Watch: Celebration (& a good sale) on the Hill

At long last, Saturday is the big grand re-opening celebration at the historic Eastern Market, with face-painting, magicians, balloon-twisters, live entertainment, tours of the restored market, and of course all the great local food, flowers, arts/crafts/antiques dealers. Some of the streets around the market will be closed to traffic to make extra space for the festivities, so plan accordingly if you'll need parking.

Joining the celebration, Eastern Market neighbor Dawn Price Baby will celebrate with sales that include 50 to 70 percent off select floor models, furniture, bedding, and nursery accessories (Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Their spring and summer infant and toddler clothes and accessories will be 30 percent off all weekend.


Posted by Sarah at 2:35 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Celebration (& a good sale) on the Hill."

June 24, 2009

The Folklife Festival is here!

Outing alert: It's opening day at the Folklife Festival on the National Mall.

Free admission for all, but with yummy food and drinks available for purchase, if you like. Loads of live music and dance demos are on the schedule.

Check this link for activities specifically for kids.

Posted by Sarah at 12:46 PM. Permanent link to "The Folklife Festival is here!."

June 19, 2009

Weekend Watch: Dad's Day & the Waterfront Festival

Happy Father's Day, DC dads! Hope it's a good one. If you're taking Pop out for a good meal this weekend, check OpenTable's list of who's open and who's doing special menus.

With the weather looking decent for the weekend, our pick is the 28th Annual Waterfront Festival in Alexandria, to benefit the Red Cross. Year after year, this is our daughter's favorite outing of the summer, with loads of kids' carnival rides, good food, and live music by the Potomac.

Our best advice for families with young children is to arrive as close to opening time as possible (10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday), before it gets too crowded...and in time for the kids' music acts: This year featuring two of the favorites I've blogged about. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo performs Saturday from 11:30 to 12:30, and Rocknoceros on Sunday from 12 noon to 12:50. Kids can also tour a tall ship, learn about the life of pirates with authentically-attired "pirate guides," and make Father's Day cards and get their little faces painted in the arts & crafts tent. If your children are old enough to stay up late, there will be fireworks Saturday night!

Advance tix online are just $10 per adult - and two children get in free with each paying adult. All kids under age three get in for free.

Posted by Sarah at 10:23 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Dad's Day & the Waterfront Festival."

June 16, 2009

Summer book love

When I was a kid growing up in extra-sweaty Texas, summer meant extra-many trips to the (air-conditioned) library with my grandmother and my cousin, where we piled stacks so high we could barely carry them home. Hot afternoons were for snuggling under a cotton quilt on the day-bed and escaping into a good book.

While it's not quite as miserably sweaty here in Washington, summer's still a great time to luxuriate in books with your little one(s). Unfortunately some (though not all) of the DC area's public libraries are cutting back on their hours and storytime offerings due to budget woes - but you can still check out books to your heart's content.

Here are some of my other local faves for falling in love with new books this summer:

Politics & Prose storytime: Mondays @ 10:30 a.m. They also offer a discount on a "signed book of the week." Check out the current selection in the store or on their website.

Hooray for Books storytimes: Saturdays from 10:30 to 11 a.m. (for ages two and under) and from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon (for ages three to five). Also, they've added Tuesday storytimes for all ages in Japanese - from 10:30 to 11 a.m. And check out a day-long anniversary party at the store this Saturday, the 20th, with balloons, face painting, raffles, and special visits from local children's authors.

The Pajama Squid summer storytimes: Fridays at 10:30 a.m. until August 28th, with fabulous reader Karen Payne and occasional guest-reader Jessica from the "A Parent in Silver Spring" blog. Geared toward ages three to six years, but all ages are welcome. The store also stocks a brilliantly select offering of books - a mix of classics and will-be-classics. Check out owner Tiffany King's video book reviews on their homepage.

Aladdin's Lamp storytimes: This Saturday the 20th, local author Laura Melmed will celebrate Father's Day by reading her new book, "My Love Will be With You," @ 11 a.m. (suggested for ages three+).

Kinder Haus storytimes: Every Monday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. with "Ms. Laura" - and they have a nice book section in the store, too.

Feel free to post your own favorite storytime or book-related events in the "comments."

Posted by Sarah at 2:44 PM. Permanent link to "Summer book love."

June 15, 2009

Thumbs up for "Dinosaur Pop"

An outtake from our recent newsletter that's well worth sharing again on the blog:

DC-area dad and musician Paul Legrady, inspired by his young son's dinosaur mania, is the dominant talent behind a new kids' CD, "Dinosaur Pop." We recently had the opportunity to test-drive the music with the most discerning critics we know... our very own five-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. It was a hit!

Think pop-rock composition and instrumentation reminiscent of early R.E.M., with dinosaur-themed lyrics that hook the younger set. A welcome antidote to the much of the tired, uninspired "children's music" on the market. Check out their website, sample the tunes, and buy your CD at

Posted by Sarah at 9:10 AM. Permanent link to "Thumbs up for "Dinosaur Pop"."

June 9, 2009

Kids (& moms) eat free tomorrow @ California Tortilla

We really like locally-owned California Tortilla for yummy affordable meals out with our children... So we were happy to hear that tomorrow - Wednesday, June 10 - is "Kids Eat Free Day" at all California Tortilla locations. One child eats for free with each adult purchase. And all stores will be collecting donations for Make a Wish, rewarding donors with a $1-off coupon for their next visit.

At the Cleveland Park location only (Connecticut Ave. next to the metro entrance), tomorrow is "Moms AND Kids Eat Free" from 1 to 2 p.m. Just say "Mama Mia" to get your free meal(s). They'll also have some extra goodies on hand for families.

Posted by Sarah at 1:51 PM. Permanent link to "Kids (& moms) eat free tomorrow @ California Tortilla."

June 8, 2009

Children's portrait mini-session, part deux. . . & a contest

Photographer Stacey Vaeth is hosting another of her extra-popular (and economical) mini-sessions for summer, with 20-minute time slots available for the morning of June 27 and the early evening of June 28, both at Montrose Park in Georgetown, and again July 11-12 at a DC-area location TBD.

Here's how it works: Sitting fee is just $35 for each child and $15 for each additional person to be photographed, 20 minutes, your time spot reserved in advance. All images are made available online after the shoot for ordering and sharing, and participants get a 10 percent-off coupon for a family session.

Also: Stacey is doing a little contest to get creative ideas for a great summertime mini session location for the July 11/12 shoots. The individual who submits the winning idea gets a free mini-session for two. She says the sky's the limit... anything within 30 miles of the District. A fountain, a sprinkler, a swingset, a field of flowers? Send your suggestion via email: info-at-staceyvaeth-dot-com.

For more info or to book your mini-session, ring Stacey at 202.276.2481.

Posted by Sarah at 8:42 PM. Permanent link to "Children's portrait mini-session, part deux. . . & a contest."

June 4, 2009

June 13-21 = Kids' Restaurant Week in DC

This month Cookie and Gourmet magazines are co-hosting Kids' Restaurant Week events in Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago. June 13-21, you can take advantage of early seating times (5 to 7 p.m.) and fixed-price menus (kids "pay their age"), with a portion of proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organizations.

It's an opportunity to eat at some of the best restaurants in town without having to find a babysitter, in a "kids welcome" atmosphere. Make a fancy dress-up family date of it! For the complete DC schedule and to book your reservations, click here.

A kick-off party for Kids' Restaurant Week DC is set for Saturday, June 13th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Eastern Market, with children's activities, as well as demos and tastings from top DC chefs.

Our local Kids' Restaurant Week will benefit the still-struggling-to-rebuild Eastern Market, one of the city's historic gems in Capitol Hill... as well as Miriam's Kitchen, a 26-year-old organization providing meals and support for 4,000 of DC's homeless individuals.

Posted by Sarah at 10:17 AM. Permanent link to "June 13-21 = Kids' Restaurant Week in DC."

June 2, 2009

2 weeks only: BIG summer book sale

Preparing to move to Austin! For you, that means a big book sale. Through June 14th only, your online order of DC BABY: Revised Second Edition in paperback is 35% off PLUS free shipping. (That comes to just $14.92.)

If you've been planning to buy the book or have an upcoming baby shower/gift need, now's the time. Thanks f/ your support, and thanks f/ reading!

Posted by Sarah at 10:49 AM. Permanent link to "2 weeks only: BIG summer book sale."

May 31, 2009


It was bound to happen, eventually. I gave in and joined the Twitter revolution.

Is it just me, or is this simultaneously the most promising and claustrophobic technology EVER? And what mother has the time or the stomach to tweet every mundane move of her day, anyhow? I sure as heck won't be bombarding myself and others with anything approaching a complete transcript of my tedium. I'm not convinced that I want to stalk and be stalked by my friends, associates, and loved ones "in all those moments between the emails and the blog posts and the IMs and the phone calls," as the Twitter promo video tells me I should. I'm a girl who likes to be unplugged, unreachable, and unknowable on a regular basis, thank you very much. So I mostly consider my Twitter account a noble experiment in staying young. Join me in it, dear readers, if you're game.

Posted by Sarah at 5:33 PM. Permanent link to "Tweet."

May 30, 2009

Do you have a cover-baby? Win a Hela Spa package!

Our friends at Hela Spa (Georgetown & Chevy Chase) are searching for their next beautiful "spa baby." Enter their Facebook photo contest by sending your favorite baby pic via email to: info-at-helaspa-dot-com by Monday, June 1. The winning baby/mama will receive an indulgent spa package. The final vote will take place via Hela Spa's Facebook page, so ask your friends and family to join and vote.

Also check out their Baby Spa Menu, to see the adorable face of their current "spa baby."

Good luck!

p.s. Check our June e-newsletter for details on what Hela Spa's offering for Father's Day specials!

Posted by Sarah at 7:40 AM. Permanent link to "Do you have a cover-baby? Win a Hela Spa package!."

May 28, 2009

Expectant mamas: "Meet the Doulas" this weekend in DC

Are you pregnant and considering hiring a birth and/or postpartum doula? Plan to attend a FREE "Meet the Doulas" event on Capitol Hill this Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 628 5th St. NE.

Whether this is your first baby or you're a veteran parent who has never used a doula, this is a great opportunity to learn more about how having a doula at your birth can help reduce your chances of ending up with an emergency c-section, shorten your labor, reduce your need for epidural or other drugs, and reduce the chances you'll need a forceps delivery. You can also learn more about what postpartum doulas do, and how they can help you at home during those joyful but exhausting early weeks with a newborn.

Birth and postpartum doulas who serve the DC metro area will be on hand to talk with you about their services, which can help save you a LOT of time and effort in the search/interview/selection process, should you decide to go the doula route. As someone who has used a doula myself, I highly, highly recommend the experience. I can tell you that their services are in demand in this area, and that they book up EARLY. So it's never too soon in your pregnancy to find someone.

This "Meet the Doulas" event is sponsored by ICAN of DC, a nonprofit group "dedicated to supporting safe birth and lowering the rate of unnecessary cesareans."

Posted by Sarah at 9:42 AM. Permanent link to "Expectant mamas: "Meet the Doulas" this weekend in DC."

May 27, 2009

NCM hosts free summer fun @ the National Harbor

The long-anticipated National Children's Museum still isn't open...but the good news is, they're bringing back their summertime family programs at the National Harbor. The free-admission events take place Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., now through September 5, at their "Launch Zone."

Each Saturday's activities center around a different theme. Our picks for the preschool set in their early summer lineup:

This Saturday, May 30, Puppet Day, with an original children's theater performance, "The Truth About Bunny."

And June 13: Make your own birdfeeder and learn about what different birds eat on Feed the Birds Day. And take part in a fun benefit for the Washington Animal Rescue League. Bring your old (but clean) blankets and towels to donate toward making comfy beds for rescued pets, and make your own dog or cat toy to share with shelter animals.

So is this new and improved museum EVER going to open, you ask??? (You and the rest of the child-endowed city.) The latest projection is 2013. So it's not exactly "right around the corner." But the free, museum-without-walls programs they offer in the meantime are all worth taking advantage of...and will help keep the dream of a revived National Children's Museum on the public radar while we wait.

Posted by Sarah at 9:10 PM. Permanent link to "NCM hosts free summer fun @ the National Harbor."

May 22, 2009

Weekend Watch: Memorial Day weekend

Two great, FREE Memorial Day events appropriate for young kids this holiday weekend: On Monday, check out the 28th Annual Parade & Festival in Falls Church or the National Memorial Day Parade in downtown DC.

The Falls Church event runs all day on the grounds of City Hall, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with live music, carnival rides, pony rides, food vendors, and arts & crafts booths. Parade starts at 2:00.

The DC parade begins at 2 p.m. and moves down Constitution Ave. It's huge - and so are the crowds - so take metro and leave early.

Enjoy a fun and safe extended weekend!

Posted by Sarah at 2:24 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Memorial Day weekend."

May 18, 2009

An evening of family fun from the Washington Jewish Music Festival

An evening of fun for local Jewish families: On Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m., the Washington Jewish Music Festival invites you to a Family Shabbat Service and Dinner at the DCJCC in DC, with a performer and music educator ShirLala (aka Shira Kline). After services, a Kosher, traditional Friday night dinner will be served with kid-friendly foods "to satisfy event he pickiest eaters."

The event is geared toward families with children ages two to six. Cost for the dinner (which starts at 6:45 p.m.) is $15 per adult and $7.50 for children (advance reservations required). For your tix, click here or call 202.777.3251.

Thanks to DCB reader Lili G. for sharing this with us!

Posted by Sarah at 10:02 AM. Permanent link to "An evening of family fun from the Washington Jewish Music Festival."

May 15, 2009

Weekend Watch: Dragon Boats & May Fair in DC

IF the rain stays away tomorrow and Sunday, take the kids to check out the Dragon Boats Festival on the Potomac, departing from the docks of Thompson Boathouse on the Georgetown waterfront. The boats and races are amazing and fun for young kids to watch, but also worth catching are the dance, music, and other cultural groups.

Also this weekend is Turtle Park's Annual May Fair on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the AU Park/Tenley neighborhood. We went last year and had a great time. Our daughter loved the pony rides and the inflatables/slides, and we had a good lunch there. It does get quite crowded, so we recommend arriving as close to opening time as you can manage. The funds raised keep Turtle Park the beautiful, welcoming play space that it is! Still one of our very favorite playgrounds in the entire DC area.

Posted by Sarah at 2:36 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Dragon Boats & May Fair in DC."

May 14, 2009

The parenting pain of weekend rain

The Washington Post's "Capital Weather Gang" meteorologist (and DC dad) Dan Stillman has been blogging about the parenting pain of weekend rain. And brother, I empathize.

Since it looks like we'll get yet more of the wet stuff this weekend, be sure to check out the reader comments beneath Stillman's entry for rainy-weekend tips and commiseration from other local parents - and be sure to add your own! We also recommend consulting the stellar compilations of indoor play areas and indoor pools/water parks from the Our Kids website.

Posted by Sarah at 2:57 PM. Permanent link to "The parenting pain of weekend rain."

May 13, 2009

Please vote for us!

I'm honored that Nickelodeon has selected my blog as a finalist in its "2009 Parent Picks" awards for the Washington, DC area!

Fine, loyal readers that you are, will you cast your votes for DC BABY?

You can vote once a day, every day, until July 15, 2009. No registration is required to cast your votes. But while you're there, be sure to enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win $2,000 cash. Your very own stimulus package!

Recognition like this makes the four+ years of hard (and often uncompensated) work feel worthwhile! Thank you to Nickelodeon for nominating the DC BABY blog!

Posted by Sarah at 10:52 AM. Permanent link to "Please vote for us!."

May 12, 2009

Limited time only: Special discount on Our Kids membership!

Just for you, DC BABY readers - and for a limited time only: The area's best local resource for families, Our Kids, is offering you a discounted membership. Until May 31st, enter promotion code DC2 to receive $2 off your subscription price.

We've been Our Kids members since 2005, and it's still, hands down, our go-to source for information about kid-friendly DC-area events and activities, reviews, special discounts and raffle giveaways, calendars of upcoming consignment sales and camp/school open houses, support programs for parents, classifieds...and the list goes on.

Yes, Our Kids also provides a great free service through its accessible website...but subscription to the weekly newsletter comes with many additional perks and gives a wealth of information not found by searching the website alone. The volume of information and weekly offers makes the modest subscription price worth every penny, and then some.

The Our Kids weekly e-newsletter is genuinely comprehensive...covering DC, suburban Maryland, and NoVa in equal measure...and it's handy for parents with kids of ALL ages - from infants to tweens. At our house, we've discovered that the newsletter really grows with us over time. There's as much good content for the parents of school-agers as for families with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. And it's a mom-founded, mom-owned, mom-powered business that we're proud to support.

For all these reasons and more, I wrote rave, first-hand reviews about Our Kids in both editions of my book. Enjoy your discounted subscription!

Posted by Sarah at 2:11 PM. Permanent link to "Limited time only: Special discount on Our Kids membership!."

May 11, 2009

Best Mother's Day yet - + "Moms Do Lunch" tomorrow in NoVa

Hope you all enjoyed a Happy Mother's Day!

This year, with the help of my husband, I took my own sage advice. I slept (after booting my 14-month-old son out of my bed at 7 a.m. and luxuriating in being able to both stretch out and turn over in the bed at will!), didn't get dressed until almost noon, skipped or postponed or delegated the usual Sunday chores, planned zero family fun...and best of all, in the afternoon got help for my stiff neck and knotty shoulders with a massage from Mary at the fabulous Hela Spa. Thumbs up!

While I was there, I got a look at Hela's extensive new Baby Spa Menu. In short, it rocks. Along with several prenatal and postpartum massage and body treatments for mamas, the menu also features creative services for baby showers and gift packages. (I love the Seated Massage, where every gal at your baby shower gets a chair massage, with extra special treatment for the mom-to-be). And infant massage and couples' massage instruction. And express treatments and add-ons to ease some of the the uniquely unpleasant stresses of pregnancy. And Hela is providing free skincare consultation with any other Baby Spa Service, to help expectant moms care for the changes that often come with crazy hormones.

New topic: DCB friend and our official photographer Elizabeth Dranitzke will be at the "Moms Do Lunch" event tomorrow, May 12, at 11 a.m. at Generous George's Positive Pizza in Herndon (2321-C Dulles Station Blvd.). Come with OR without your children. Elizabeth will be on hand doing free portraits of the kids and a drawing for a free portrait session.

The event starts with door prizes and a snack for the kids, followed by a short program on "Estate Planning and Selecting a Guardian for Your Children," led by Carrie Tipton of the Arbor Law Firm, and plenty of time for moms to network.

Posted by Sarah at 10:35 AM. Permanent link to "Best Mother's Day yet - + "Moms Do Lunch" tomorrow in NoVa."

May 7, 2009

Weekend Watch: Mother's Day

Can I be frank? I recommend that my fellow mamas plan to attend zero kid-friendly events this weekend, and to orchestrate zero family outings. It's Mother's Day, and mothers need to take a little self-ish time. Really.

But feel free to forward this info to the dads, so that THEY can orchestrate the weekend's family fun:

In the May DCB newsletter I covered the International Children's Festival at DC's Meridian Center, set for Saturday. Check it out!

Don't forget National Train Day events @ Union Station.

Local award-winning children's author Erica S. Perl will do an interactive storytime and signing for her funny new picture book, Chicken Butt!, Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Barnes & Noble in downtown Bethesda (4801 Bethesda Ave.) . Her first picture book, Chicken Bedtime is Really Early, got a starred review from Booklist and was featured in Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos. She followed that success with Ninety-Three in My Family, which received the Reuben Award and was a Book Sense Pick. (Thank you to Apple Seed co-owner Elleni for turning me on to Erica's work!)

Or catch the French storytime on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Hooray for Books children's bookstore in Old Town Alexandria. Expanding the cultural horizons is free for all.

And if the weather holds, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. head to the FREE Stead Park Day Celebration (1625 P St. NW near Dupont Circle), sponsored by DC Parks & Rec and Friends of Stead. There will be carnival activities, face painting and kid-friendly snacks. This year's event will unveil some long-awaited renovations, inclduing two age-appropriate playgrounds for toddlers and older children, a climbing wall, a turf picnic zone, and a resurfaced basketball court.

Happy Mother's Day, moms! May you all have a relaxing, rejuvenating day.

Posted by Sarah at 10:28 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Mother's Day."

May 6, 2009

FREE children's portrait session @ The Pajama Squid

Children's photographer Rebecca Drobis will be shooting portraits at adorable Takoma Park boutique The Pajama Squid on Sunday, May 17 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Best of all, your 5-10 minute sitting is FEE-FREE. (Not a typo.)

With no obligation to buy, you can view your proofs online with the option to purchase prints from the session. AND one participating family will be drawn at random to win a print-package worth over $125!

Rebecca Drobis is an award-winning photographer who specializes in natural, spontaneous images of kids. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post magazine, the LA Times and on the Discovery Channel. The Pajama Squid is located at 7320 Carroll Ave. on the Maryland side of Takoma Park, near the red line metro station. Featured in the Revised Second Edition of my DC BABY book, they've got a nice selection of unique, handmade wooden and plush European and American-made toys and books, and beautiful, unique clothing (several of whose brands benefit mothers and children in countries such as India and Morocco).

Posted by Sarah at 12:06 PM. Permanent link to "FREE children's portrait session @ The Pajama Squid."

May 5, 2009

National Train Day @ Union Station

If your kids love trains, you need to go: Amtrak will celebrate 140 years of American train travel at the Second Annual National Train Day event at Union Station in DC, this Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This FREE event is family-oriented and will be emceed by American Idol judge Randy Jackson. The celebration includes magicians, face painters, Radio Disney, train exhibits, The Georgia 300 (Prez Obama's historic inaugural private train car) and The Dover Harbor.

Also in honor of National Train Day, Amtrak riders will earn double Amtrak Guest Rewards points on each of the first four Amtrak train trips and triple points for the fifth trip and beyond, now through May 8, 2009. And you can earn quadruple points for any trip taken on National Train Day, Saturday, May 9, 2009.

Posted by Sarah at 9:40 AM. Permanent link to "National Train Day @ Union Station."

May 1, 2009

Weekend Watch: So many choices!

LOTS going on this weekend for families with young children, including...

Kentlands Day in Gaithersburg (complete with a parade!), Family Day at Glen Echo Park, a big Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on the National Mall, Bird Fest at the National Zoo, a Celebrate Mothers Day Open House at Hot Mama Fitness Studio and the Celebrate Mama event, both in downtown Bethesda.

And my colleague/friend/DCB reader Heather Alderman is hosting an Usborne Book Fair at her home in Arlington on Sunday at 2 p.m. (418 N. Granada St.) - All are welcome, but please RSVP by the end of the day TODAY if you plan to stop by: fishfacegirl-at-yahoo-dot-com. We really like the Usborne books...Highly recommend them.


Posted by Sarah at 1:24 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: So many choices!."

April 27, 2009

Baby-Mommy (& Daddy) Happy Hour in DC

Heads up, District parents: One of our fine mama readers is organizing a Baby-Mommy (& Daddy) Happy Hour at Nellie's (U St. and 9th St. NW, a block from the Shaw-Howard metro station) this Saturday, May 2, from 2 to 5 p.m.

DC moms and dads of little ones are all welcome to join the fun! For more info or to RSVP, please contact the organizer by email at: deepashley-at-gmail-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 11:02 AM. Permanent link to "Baby-Mommy (& Daddy) Happy Hour in DC."

April 25, 2009

Tomorrow: Fishing fun for kids @ the C&O Canal

It's a lovely weekend to take your kids on a first fishing trip...And the Family & Youth Casting Call event takes place this Sunday the 26th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fletcher's Boathouse on the C&O Canal in DC.

This fun all-ages intro to fishing is hosted by the American Fly Fishing Trade assoc., the National Park Service, and others working to connect kids with nature. A section fo the C&O Canal is netted and stocked with native fish to ensure that every child who attends will get the chance to reel one in - as well as to take part in other related activities, like fly tying and casting, fish art, touch tanks, scavenger hunts, the chance to earn a National Park Service Junior Ranger badge, etc. Something for every age group.

Happy fishing!

Posted by Sarah at 4:01 PM. Permanent link to "Tomorrow: Fishing fun for kids @ the C&O Canal."

April 24, 2009

Weekend Watch: Annual KIDSTUFF sale, NCM event, + a Lily & Serena trunk show

On Saturday, Mt. Olivet Preschool in Arlington will hold its mondo 13th Annual KIDSTUFF sale. Stop by for great finds at great prices. Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church is super easy to find, at 1500 N. Glebe Rd. near its intersection w/ 66. Proceeds will go to benefit the school's programming.

Both Saturday and Sunday, the still-under-development National Children's Museum at the National Harbor will host a Grand Opening Celebration for its "Launch Zone," where kids can enjoy free performances, make a recycled art/craft project, and make chalk drawings.

Also this weekend...One of our favorite Old Town shops (owned by local mama Amy Rutherford), Red Barn Mercantile, will host a Serena & Lily trunk show on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m., with a 15% discount on purchases. Designers will be on hand - as well as a Serena & Lily rep - to help you choose bedding and design your rooms. Serena & Lily does crib/nursery all the way up to king-size bedding, so there's something for everyone. And it's beautiful stuff! Treats and bevs will be served.

Posted by Sarah at 2:36 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Annual KIDSTUFF sale, NCM event, + a Lily & Serena trunk show."

April 23, 2009

FREE parenting workshops in Tenleytown w/ Jen Kogan, LICSW

One of the great local therapists I've recommended especially for moms, Jen Kogan, LICSW, is offering two FREE parenting workshop sessions, "How to Handle Your Child's Intense Feelings," for parents and caregivers of kids ages three to 14.

A daytime session is set for Saturday, May 9 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and an evening session will be offered Tuesday, May 12 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Both will meet in Tenleytown, NW DC, near the red line metro station at 4000 Albermarle St., Suite 504.

Jen says the workshops will focus on what we can do for ourselves and our children as we grapple with normal-but-difficult emotions like anger, worry, and fear. Participants will work on identifying what pushes your buttons, handling conflict constructively, teaching your children how to identify emotions, expressing anger safely, improving family communication, and building stronger relationships.

No cost, but you must register by calling Jen at 202.215.2790 or sending email to: jenko108-at-gmail-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 12:01 PM. Permanent link to "FREE parenting workshops in Tenleytown w/ Jen Kogan, LICSW."

April 20, 2009

THE face painter you must hire for your next kids' party!


Last weekend we celebrated our daughter's birthday with a gang of 4- and 5-year-olds. It was a beautiful day to eat cupcakes and romp at the park...but the highlight was the discovery of our new favorite face painting artist for children, who was THE hit of the party. Erica Exline, who also happens to be a local mama of young children, was brilliantly talented, friendly and patient with the kids, and a great pleasure to work with.

Thumbs up - We love her work! And we're not talking about a lame little rainbow or smiley face drawn on your cheek (of the caliber I would personally produce, if asked to paint children's faces)... We're talking full-face paint that transforms the kids into the most creative, elaborate animals, princesses, fairies, butterflies, you name it. It was fun to watch our daughter and her party guests take on the "roles" of the animals and other characters they'd become, as they played happily and independently for a solid two hours and gave the parents the little leisure of chatting and eating leftover cupcakes.

Once upon a time I wrote rave reviews for local artist and face painter Greta Gonzalez, whose work I also love...but unfortunately she's moving out of the DC area. While I'm sad to see Greta go, I am thrilled to know about Erica's talent, and honored and to be able to give her a personal recommendation.

To get more info or to hire Erica Exline for your next party/festival/special event, send email to:, or call 703.946.0203. Visit her site at And tell her you were sent by her biggest fans at DC BABY.

Posted by Sarah at 8:40 PM. Permanent link to "THE face painter you must hire for your next kids' party!."

April 17, 2009

Weekend Watch: Earth Day party on the Mall + Face painting @ IKEA

If Saturday's your shopping day, you should know that the Woodbridge/Potomac Mills IKEA will host free face painting for kids from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., upstairs in the restaurant area.

Also this weekend, Earth Day will be celebrated on the National Mall this Sunday from 12 noon through the evening. Free admission, lots of live musical performances (including headliners The Flaming Lips that night, if you've got a sitter!), and activities for all ages throughout the afternoon.

Posted by Sarah at 5:01 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Earth Day party on the Mall + Face painting @ IKEA."

April 15, 2009

Join The Momoir Project: Starts April 16!

Talented DC writer and mama Jessica Stockton Clancy will lead a new series of classes in The Momoir Project starting TOMORROW evening, April 16 at Circle Yoga.

Classes meet every-other week for six sessions (4/16, 4/30, 5/14, 5/28, 6/11, 6/25) and will support, inspire, and guide you toward telling whichever of your many motherhood stories you choose to explore - the good, the bad, the ugly, and all that falls somewhere in between. Space is limited to 10 participants, so you'll get plenty of personal attention and group feedback. Cost is $360 for the series.

Jessica is an award-winning writer and the parent of a three-year-old daughter. Pre-motherhood, she lived in Los Angeles and worked in the film industry, producing TV commercials, music videos, and an independent feature film. She has been pubished in the Washington Post and contributes to Washington Parent magazine. For more info or to reserve your space, send email to: jessicastockton-at-verizon-dot-net.

Posted by Sarah at 2:01 PM. Permanent link to "Join The Momoir Project: Starts April 16!."

April 11, 2009

Weekend Watch: Cherry Blossom festival goes out with a bang

TONIGHT: The farewell event of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

If you're willing to keep the kids up a bit late, the Cherry Blossom Fireworks are set for 8:30 to 9 p.m. near the Southwest waterfront. Best viewing from East Potomac Park or the Southwest Waterfront promenade. You can take metro to the Waterfront/SEU stop, but there's also said to be parking available on-site this time. (I suspect there will also be plenty of nice remote views for families from just across the Potomac near the airport and at some of those higher elevations in Arlington overlooking the Potomac.)

A fireworks Prelude Party with family-friendly activities, food, and music by military and local groups, takes place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Waterfront Park (600 Water St. SW). Again, we're told parking will be available on-site.

Posted by Sarah at 11:41 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Cherry Blossom festival goes out with a bang."

April 2, 2009

Weekend Watch: Cherry Blossom Parade, Street Festival, + Extreme Egg-Hunt

April 2009 001.jpg

The weather forecast looks lovely! And the blooms are at their peak. So even if you didn't line up those advance tix to sit in the bleachers for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, you and your little one(s) can still grab a FREE spot on the sidewalk all along the parade route this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon along Constitution Ave. (from 7th to 17th Sts. NW). Best metro stops: Navy Memorial or Federal Triangle.

After the parade, hit the free-admission Sakura Matsuri Street Festival along Pennsylvania Ave. (between 12th and 14th St.s NW), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Performances on multiple stages (including martial arts demos), traditional Japanese arts and crafts, and restaurant booths offering Japanese specialties. Best metro stops: Federal Triangle or Metro Center.

Also this weekend...Alvey Elementary School in Haymarket, VA will host a FREE mondo Easter egg hunt for ages two+ on Sunday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. A helicopter will drop 5,000 treat-filled plastic eggs onto the schoolyard...where another 25,000 eggs will already be pre-hidden. (Is it just me, or is this the recipe for mayhem?) There will also be a moonbounce, face painting, and games. A canned food donation is requested for the Haymarket Food Pantry.

Posted by Sarah at 4:40 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Cherry Blossom Parade, Street Festival, + Extreme Egg-Hunt."

March 20, 2009

Weekend Watch: Celebrate spring with FREE dessert in Columbia Heights, + BABY film fest in Silver Spring

To celebrate the first day of spring, today, Friday the 20th is FREE Italian ice day at the fabulous and family-friendly Rita's Water Ice in NW Columbia Heights. Just stop by between 12 noon and 10 p.m. to receive your free regular size treat.

This new-to-us treasure of a destination opened in 2007 and is co-owned by local mama and DCB reader Tammy Davis. Located at 3237 14th St. NW (across from DC USA and Giant), Rita's serves frozen dessert ices in 42 flavors. Their ice is made fresh daily on-site, and they feature eight to 12 different flavors each day. Rita's also does frozen custard and additional desserts.

Perhaps the best part during tough times? A family of four can have homemade dessert at Rita's for under $15. Hard to find. You can reach Rita's Water Ice at 202.251.1014. Enjoy your free Friday afternoon or evening treat!

Also this weekend: The BABY International Film Festival and BABY Fair takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Crowne Plaza in Silver Spring. The event focuses on a progressive, new approach to the experiences of pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.

Posted by Sarah at 7:52 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Celebrate spring with FREE dessert in Columbia Heights, + BABY film fest in Silver Spring."

March 19, 2009

Children's portrait special @ the Tidal Basin

One of DCB's featured child/family photographers, Stacey Vaeth, is offering her annual "Cherry Blossom Mini-Session" on Saturday, April 4 between 7 and 10 a.m. at the Tidal Basin.

For the low, low sitting fee of $35 (which includes all images available online for ordering and sharing, and a 10% discount coupon toward a family session), Stacey will capture a portrait of your child that could only be taken in DC at cherry blossom time.

And get this: Stacey will provide animal crackers, juice, water, and a few blankets for you to relax on as you wait for your session - You're also welcome to bring your own picnic and toys.

Spaces are limited, so you need to RSVP pronto if you want to take part: info-at-staceyvaeth-dot-com or 202.276.2481.

Posted by Sarah at 11:06 AM. Permanent link to "Children's portrait special @ the Tidal Basin."

March 16, 2009

Cherry blossoms on the way!

It's about time. Winter's on the way out...and cherry blossoms are on their way in, with the National Cherry Blossom Festival just around the corner.

The festival's Family Day and Opening Ceremony is set for Saturday, March 28 at the fabulous National Building Museum, with family activities from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, with loads of performances by martial artists, dancers, and children's groups such as young performers from DC's Levine School of Music. Families can enjoy origami and other arts and crafts, explore a floating Japanese tea room and build your own mini tea house, plant a seedling, and more.

At the Opening Ceremony from 4 to 5:30 p.m., watch live performances by The Washington Ballet and a mix of local and international musicians. It's all FREE and open to the public.

The '09 National Cherry Blossom Festival runs March 28-April 12, with the parade and the Japanese Street Festival set for Saturday, April 4.

Posted by Sarah at 9:06 PM. Permanent link to "Cherry blossoms on the way!."

March 13, 2009

Weekend Watch: DC's St. Patrick's Day Parade + TotSwap consignment sale

This weekend, check out another parade and a massive consignment sale.

DC's St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place Sunday at 12 noon on Constitution Ave., from Seventh to 17th St. NW, with bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, fire engines and vintage cars, motorcycles, military, and lots more.

And it's the massive TotSwap kids/baby/maternity consignment sale at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, today through Sunday. Free admission and lots of on-site activities, in addition to the bargain shopping on gear, clothing, toys, furniture, et al.

p.s. For those of you having trouble with the discount code for circus tix... Word I got back is that you need to be sure to enter the discount code into the correct field in the Ticketmaster system when you check out. The correct box to enter the code reads: MC Promotion. Hope this helps!

Posted by Sarah at 10:02 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: DC's St. Patrick's Day Parade + TotSwap consignment sale."

March 11, 2009

Next week: Pachyderm Parade + special discount on circus tix

It's an annual tradition in DC: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Pachyderm Parade on Capitol Hill is set for next Tuesday, March 17 - complete with a bagpiper to mark St. Patrick's Day.

Scheduled start time is 10 a.m., and the route is: East on Virginia Ave. SE (by Garfield Park), north on 4th St. SE to East Capitol st., continuing north on 4th St. NE to Stanton Park. It will then continue west on Mass Ave. NE to Columbus Circle (in front of Union Station), to E St. NW, and down 3rd St. NW to G St. NW to the Verizon Center.

Important sidenote: I'm told that due to unpredictable train schedules, the start time and route are subject to change. Continuous updates will be available on the Animal Walk Hotline: 1.866.683.3670.

The circus will be in town at the Verizon Center March 19-22, at the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore March 25-April 5, and at the Patriot Center in Fairfax April 8-19. Special discount: Use the coupon code "mom" (no quotation marks) to get four tix for $44.

Other special events at this year's DC dates: On opening night, Thursday March 19, there will be a special tribute to the troops, with Ringling Bros. honoring wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. And on Friday the 20th at 5 p.m., Ringling Bros. will partner with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to host an on-site naturalization ceremony for new citizens.


Posted by Sarah at 11:10 AM. Permanent link to "Next week: Pachyderm Parade + special discount on circus tix."

March 9, 2009

Last day for celebratory book discount

Happy first birthday to my baby boy! Today is the last day to take advantage of the 25% off (+ free shipping) discount for online orders of the paperback, DC BABY: Revised Second Edition.

The new book's cover features a photo I took of my son when he was just a few months old. And how he has grown and changed since then. You mothers know what I mean when I say that the first year is the hardest, the most draining, and the most amazing time. More than any other phase of parenting, during that first year the days have a way of simultaneously grinding forward tediously and slipping away too quickly. And poof, suddenly babyhood is gone. Granted, I'm really ready to start regaining some freedom and sense of "myself" again...But he's my last baby, so these days do feel extra precious. [Sob!]

Posted by Sarah at 2:07 PM. Permanent link to "Last day for celebratory book discount."

March 5, 2009

Time for spring consignment sales

'Tis almost the season for spring consignment sales.

Thanks to DCB reader Lisa R. for tipping me off to the Montgomery County Parents of Multiples (MCPOM) Semi-Annual Children's Clothing and Gear Sale, set for Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Julius West Middle School in Rockville (651 Great Falls Rd.) Most items will be half-price near the end of the sale, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They'll have clothing (preemie to 5T, maternity, summer clothing, swimsuits), childproofing gear, strollers, high chairs, playpens, bathtubs, toys, furniture, and more. Cash and checks accepted. Admission at the door is $2/person, to benefit MCPOM, a not-for-profit organization. For more info, call 301.419.8008 or send email to: sale-at-mcpom-dot-org.

For more great spring consignment sales for maternity, baby, and kids' stuff, you've got to consult the local online bible for such things, courtesy of Our Kids. Their list is continually updated - So If you're involved with a sale not already listed there, be sure to email the Our Kids staff to have your event added.

Please also feel free to post a "comment" here, at the end of this blog post, to let DCB readers know about your own neighborhood sales!

Posted by Sarah at 10:38 AM. Permanent link to "Time for spring consignment sales."

February 26, 2009

Can you help? Need gently-used cribs & baby items for local families

Have baby stuff you've outgrown? Can you give it a new home? A fabulous local nonprofit group, A Wider Circle, is in need of cribs and baby items for low-income moms and infants.

Cribs and gently-used baby items in good condition can be dropped off at their Center for Community Service in Silver Spring (9159-C Brookville Rd., 20910) - OR you can call to schedule a pick-up of items that can not be dropped off. Send email to: contact-at-awidercircle-dot-org.

Here's the scoop I received on the situation and the needs:

"Mothers having to put their babies in laundry baskets to sleep - that is what one local agency told us they have to advise these days. They and many other agencies just can not find the cribs they need. But we know there are enough gently used cribs in good condition in our homes, and I am hoping you can help us to get them in the hands of these young moms.

"We have received more than a half dozen calls in the last week from agencies that can no longer find or provide basic need/essential items for young mothers and their babies. Fortunately we have been able to respond with cribs, changing tables, strollers, etc. We will continue to respond with the grassroots, volunteer-led system we have in place for other furniture and home goods, and we are creating partnerships with some of the agencies that have called so we can work together to ensure their clients get what they need."

Hope some of you generous DCB readers might be able to help!

Posted by Sarah at 11:49 AM. Permanent link to "Can you help? Need gently-used cribs & baby items for local families."

February 23, 2009

Spring Break camps for preschoolers

We've compiled a few of our favorite Spring Break day-camp options for preschoolers:

Andy's Parties will offer Spring Break Camp the week of April 6-13 at their Gaithersburg and Great Falls locations. Half-day programs for ages three to six meet in the morning, while older kids, ages five to eight, have camp in the afternoon. You can participate just one day, or the entire week.

The Tiny Dancers preschool dance program offers a Bunny Hop Camp April 6-10 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, with games, crafts, and treats in addition to the dancing fun.

Several of the metro-area YMCA locations are offering Spring Break Camps for preschoolers and older kids. Check with your neighborhood branch office for details.

Know of others? Please post a "comment" after this blog post to share the info with DCB readers.

Posted by Sarah at 1:05 PM. Permanent link to "Spring Break camps for preschoolers."

February 20, 2009

Weekend Watch: "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" on stage

CORRECTION: Just got word that the email we received from the organizers of The Great Zucchini event had the wrong date listed for the show! It actually takes place on Saturday, MARCH 7, at 10:30 a.m. Our sincere apologies to any DCB readers who were inconvenienced by this error.

This weekend a new production of one of our favorite children's books opens in Maryland, and rock-star magician The Great Zucchini performs in Georgetown as a fundraiser to help rebuild that neighborhood's beloved public library.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..., adapted from the popular kids' book, makes its stage debut this weekend (and runs through March 20) at the fabulous Adventure Theater in Glen Echo Park. Our advice for first-timers attending a show at Adventure Theater: Buy your tix well in advance, and get there EARLY for the best seat. The theater typically fills up rapidly as soon as the doors open, and the riser-style seating is first come, first served.

The Great Zucchini will perform a show geared toward toddlers to six-year-olds at Dumbarton United Methodist church (on Dumbarton St. just east of Wiconsin), Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $25 per family, to benefit the Georgetown Library Recover Fund and earmarked for the rebuilt library's children's room. Tix available in advance or at the door. Send email to: georgetownprojects-at-gmail-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 10:38 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" on stage."

February 18, 2009

New early childhood movement classes in Foggy Bottom

Kudos to DCB reader Kerri B. for sharing this news: The Sports Club/LA at the Ritz-Carlton in Foggy Bottom is launching a new gymnastics program for children ages two to six. They also offer swimming lessons for toddlers and older kids.

Membership at the club is not required to join a class, though members do receive a discounted registration fee. Management at the club says if this first gymnastics program does well, they plan to add more movement/athletic classes for young kids in the future.

I've often heard from expectant and new parents who live in Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, and surrounding neighborhoods that finding early childhood movement classes and swim lessons can be difficult. There just aren't a lot of options, though there are plenty of families with young kids living in these neighborhoods. So here's your chance to show the club at the Ritz-Carlton that you want and need this programming!

Posted by Sarah at 2:32 PM. Permanent link to "New early childhood movement classes in Foggy Bottom."

February 17, 2009

Free life-coaching session for mamas

Local professional life coach Amy Goslee recently launched her own coaching practice, focused on the needs of moms. And she's offering a FREE 30-minute sample coaching session for those of you curious about the coaching relationship and how it can help you.

Amy's work focuses on dealing with and triumphing over the common feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious as mothers, and addresses the overlooked personal needs that can affect all areas of mothers' lives.

The website for Amy's practice, Embracing Transformation, is under construction. You can also contact her at 703.568.1763 or by email at: agoslee-at-embracingtransformation-dot-net.

Posted by Sarah at 1:25 PM. Permanent link to "Free life-coaching session for mamas."

February 13, 2009

Weekend Watch: Washington's Birthday Parade in Old Town

This Valentine's and Presidents Day weekend, the hot ticket for kids is George Washington's Birthday Parade on Monday the 16th in Old Town Alexandria from 1 to 3 p.m. It's the biggest parade celebrating Washington's birthday in the U.S. And, with any luck, the weather will cooperate for the parade, whose route starts at S. St. Asaph at Wilkes St. and ends at the intersection of Fairfax and Gibbons Sts.

To celebrate the holiday, historic sites in Old Town will be open and FREE of charge on Monday, including the Friendship Firehouse Museum on S. Alfred St., Gasby's Tavern Museum on N. Royal, and the Lyceum on S. Washington St. Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the History Center and Museum Store (101 N. Union St.), local children's author Cheryl Barnes will be on hand to sign copies of her books Alexander the Old Town Mouse, Woodrow the White House Mouse, Woodrow for President, and President Adams' Alligator, all of which will be available for purchase. And kids can have their picture taken with Woodrow, the White House Mouse, while they're there.

Can't make it on Monday? Mt. Vernon is hosting its own Breakfast with George and "America's Smallest Hometown Parade," complete with fife and drum and "General Washington" himself, Saturday and Sunday.

p.s. Don't forget the V-Day Gustafer Yellowgold show at the Avalon Theater. Tix are still available. And tomorrow is your LAST DAY for the 25% discount + free shipping for online orders of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition.

Posted by Sarah at 10:57 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Washington's Birthday Parade in Old Town."

February 12, 2009

New: Song & activity books from Classic TNT

Classic Tales 'n Tunes, reviewed in DC BABY as one of the best early childhood enrichment programs in the DC area, has published two new books of songs, rhymes, and activities for the whole family - a perfect antidote to the cold, cabin-fevered winter weather scheduled to return any minute now.

Both books include selected works in English with Spanish adaptations, American Sign Language (ASL) and colorful art and photographs. More than 100 photos of ASL signs are included in each book, as well as a Spanish pronunciation guide. Ideal for infants to age six. We have the first of the books at home, and have found it a fun resource for cooped-up days.

You can preview the books, read reviews, and purchase at the Classic Tales 'n Tunes site.

Posted by Sarah at 3:28 PM. Permanent link to "New: Song & activity books from Classic TNT."

February 11, 2009

Boogie Babes still going strong at Sova

Live in the District and haven't checked out Boogie Babes yet? Head to the fabulous Sova coffee shop on Capitol Hill to join this fun group of parents and young children next Monday the 16th at 10:30 a.m. with performer Mr. Skip, or Wednesday the 25th at 10:30 with one of our personal favorites, Oh Susannah.

Founded by two Hill moms who recognized how insane it was to have to drive out to the 'burbs to attend children's musical events, this is good family fun in the heart of the city with an early-childhood attention span: Events run 45 minutes to an hour.

Cost to participate in Boogie Babes is $5 per child. Sova's at 1359 H St. NE (between 13th and 14th Sts). And their espresso is, well, renowned.

Posted by Sarah at 4:12 PM. Permanent link to "Boogie Babes still going strong at Sova."

February 9, 2009

Happy V-Day from DCB

We heart our readers. So, as our valentine thank-you, it's 25% off + free shipping on website orders of the paperback DC BABY, Revised Second Edition - this week only, through Saturday, February 14.

Thanks for your 3+ years of supporting a local mom-author! Your readership and friendship makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Posted by Sarah at 2:57 PM. Permanent link to "Happy V-Day from DCB."

February 6, 2009

Weekend Watch: Old-fashioned lantern show & Locks of Love benefit

Saturday and Sunday, the National Gallery of Art hosts a FREE Kids' Magic-Lantern Show for ages four+ and their families. Staged by Terry Borton of the American Magic-Lantern Theater, it's an authentic late-nineteenth-century big-screen production of the type that preceded silent movies. The show includes favorite Victorian stories like Alice in Wonderland and sing-alongs including "Old MacDonald." Show time is 11:30 a.m. both days.

Also this weekend...On Saturday, Bella Bethesda salon hosts a (free) kick-off party launching their week-long benefit for the fabulous national nonprofit organization Locks of Love, which provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under the age of 18 with medical hair loss due to disease, burns, and cancer. Because of the great response from the community, Bella was able to donate a total of 640 inches of hair to Locks of Love, which helped more than 2,000 children across the country.

Last year there was great participation from Bethesda-area schoolchildren, and this year a number of students from an elementary in Bethesda plan to come to Bella to donate their hair. On Saturday to kick off the benefit, Bella Bethesda will offer free treatments and discount deals on hair products. And throughout next week, individuals who donate 10 or more inches of hair will receive a free haircut, blow dry and a makeover. For those interested in donating but who do not have 10 inches yet, Bella will offer a pledge board, so individuals can redeem their free makeover and donate their hair later in the year.

Posted by Sarah at 2:49 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Old-fashioned lantern show & Locks of Love benefit."

February 5, 2009

New Apple Seed program: Doing great things with your used maternity & baby stuff

We are thrilled to share the news that one of our favorite local boutiques, Apple Seed in Old Town, has launched a new program partnering with the DC-based Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, channeling your gently-used maternity and baby items to families in need - and offering you an extra incentive, to boot (beyond feeling great about helping your neighbors, and clearing out your unneeded clutter).

Maternity and infant clothing and gear - from any store or retailer - may be brought to Apple Seed, who will handle transport of them to Mary's Center. AND, as a thank-you for making this tax deductible donation to benefit your neighbors, you can earn Apple Seed dollars toward any purchase in the boutique ($1 per donated item, up to $50 max).

I am personally familiar with the Mary's Center through my work in communications consulting, and I know them to be an effective, class-act community health clinic with excellent staff and programs that truly make a difference. They provide affordable, culturally competent, personalized prenatal and parental care to low-income DC-area residents, with an emphasis on immigrant and other underserved populations.

Guidelines for the Apple Seed Donation Program:
1) All items MUST be cleaned prior to donating.
2) Undergarments (including nursing wear, bras, tanks, Bella Bands, and underwear) cannot be accepted. Items with stains, holes, rips, or missing buttons also cannot be accepted.
3) All items will be examined and are subject to review by the Apple Seed staff before donations are accepted.

Questions about the program and what they can or cannot accept? Call Apple Seed at 703.535.5446, send email to: shop(at)appleseedboutique(dot)com, or stop by the shop at 115 S. Columbus St., Alexandria.

Posted by Sarah at 9:57 AM. Permanent link to "New Apple Seed program: Doing great things with your used maternity & baby stuff."

February 4, 2009

Podcast: Amy Miller on Parents' Perspective radio show

The fabulous Amy Miller, local mama and owner of our favorite resource, Our Kids, was just on the national radio show Parents' Perspective, discussing outings and activities with and for kids of all ages. And she very kindly gave a shout-out to DC BABY as a resource for Washingtonians, as well as for tourists visiting DC! (We are very flattered.)

Amy also shared some of her favorite locally-owned and -operated websites and publications for finding activities in major cities across the country, including Boston, Chicago, NYC, Seattle, and San Francisco. And she gives some great tips on finding and enjoying age-appropriate fun, wherever you live - and how to find a healthy balance between scheduled fun vs. free play and unstructured downtime.

Lots of great insights you'll want to hear: Listen to the podcast here.

Posted by Sarah at 4:09 PM. Permanent link to "Podcast: Amy Miller on Parents' Perspective radio show."

January 29, 2009

Weekend Watch: New kid-friendly ice rink, & Chinese New Year parade

While we're reveling in all things cold and wintry: The new outdoor ice skating rink is open at Rockville Town Square, located downtown across from the Regal theater and a block from the Rockville metro station. The rink uses a synthetic, environmentally-friendly ice that is said to be more safe and forgiving for children and beginners.

Also this weekend, the Chinese New Year Parade in DC's Chinatown takes place Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., with the giant firecracker scheduled to go off at 3:45. Head to H St. NW, between 6th and 8th Sts. The Chinese dragon dances are beautiful. And it's FREE.

Posted by Sarah at 1:42 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: New kid-friendly ice rink, & Chinese New Year parade."

January 28, 2009

This Saturday: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo @ Jammin' Java

Get your tickets now: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will perform his live show for kids at Jammin' Java this Saturday, January 31 at 10:30 a.m. Tix are $8.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo's positive hip hop, a.k.a. "KID HOP," is showcased on his hot-selling, one-year-old debut release, "Easy," which has been number one on XMKids and Kids Korner, reviewed by Cookie magazine as "a revelation," and praised by in Philly as "one tremendous musical experience."

He's known for genre-bending production and great storytelling, putting on a dance party mixing classic breaks with fun, reggae, and even bluegrass. Adults who really know hip hop will appreciate the writing and delivery, but the kids will appreciate the dragons, mermaids, robots, and sea monsters. Secret Agent 23 Skiddoo was a professional, nationally-touring hip hop artist long before he became a dad and created a niche especially for the wee ones - So he knows what he's doing.

Take a listen at

Posted by Sarah at 9:42 AM. Permanent link to "This Saturday: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo @ Jammin' Java."

January 27, 2009

Wanted: Your changing station reviews & news

A couple of ingenious local parents have put together a new website that researches and rates local diaper-changing facilities in restaurants and shopping areas.

It's, and they'd love to have your input! Know of a great changing spot in the DC area - or want to warn others away from places that are lacking, or particularly foul? Help them help others via this handy compilation of insider knowledge.

As those of you who bought the first edition of my book (back in 2005-2006) will remember, I included a brief and thoroughly unscientific "Changing Table Tour," reviewing a random sampling of public baby-changing facilities throughout DC and its suburbs. The results were mixed... but I understand at least one of the major offenders has made significant improvements since I gave them the thumbs down. (Connection? I'd like to think so!)

Three+ years after my Changing Table Tour, your mileage may vary. But at the time, I gave thumbs-up to the facilities at Nordstrom's department stores (especially Pentagon City and Tyson's), the National Museum of Natural History, Buy Buy Baby stores in Springfield and Rockville, Babies R Us locations throughout the area, Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Barnes & Noble on Rockville Pike, and the Chinquapin Rec Center in Alexandria.

The National Cathedral facilities got mixed reviews, as did many Starbucks locations (which are hit-or-miss). At the time, the big thumbs-downs went to RFK Stadium, the Tenleytown McDonald's on Wisconsin Ave., Dulles Airport, and American City Diner on Connecticut Ave. I'm told that RFK mended its ways about a year after the first edition of my book came out. (Bravo!)

Posted by Sarah at 1:44 PM. Permanent link to "Wanted: Your changing station reviews & news."

January 26, 2009

In memory of Lisa Flaxman, local mom & founder of musiKids

I'm saddened to share the news that community leader, Chevy Chase mom, and founder/president of the wildly popular musiKids program Lisa Flaxman has died after a valiant battle with breast cancer. Lisa leaves behind her three children and husband, as well as a strong legacy as an advocate for kids and a patron of the local arts.

To honor Lisa's life and continue her work, you can contribute to the Lisa J. Flaxman MusiKares Fund for the Celebration of the Performing Arts, through the Montgomery County Community Fund. The funding will be used to support performing arts celebrations, elementary school artist-in-residence programs, public school performances, and scholarships for local students to attend performing arts institutions or to gain access to private arts instruction. You can donate online - or make a check payable to "Lisa J. Flaxman MusiKares Fund/MCCF" and mailed to:

Lisa J. Flaxman MusiKares Fund/MCCF
c/o The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Attention: Kenny Emson
1201 15th St. NW, Suite 420
Washington, D.C. 20005

Our thoughts and prayers are with Lisa's family. She will be missed.

Posted by Sarah at 1:54 PM. Permanent link to "In memory of Lisa Flaxman, local mom & founder of musiKids."

January 23, 2009

Weekend Watch: Baby races in Fairfax, & Chinese New Year in DC

This just in for News of the Weird: Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA will host a "Diaper Derby" Saturday morning, in which crawlers under 14 months old will race to the finish line, winning you tix to the Nissan Pavilion or a two-night stay at the Gaylord Resort at the new National Harbor. Co-sponsored by local radio station 98.7 WMZQ.

I'm so serious. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the race starts at 11:00. You must bring legally-valid proof showing that the baby is younger than 14 months.

For those of you not into jockeying your baby, there's the Chinese New Year. The Smithsonian American Art Museum downtown will host a FREE, all-ages celebration Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Check out the amazing Lion Dance Parade and the Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe, plus martial arts demos and the chance to make your own red paper lanterns. Happy Year of the Ox!

Posted by Sarah at 10:03 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Baby races in Fairfax, & Chinese New Year in DC."

January 22, 2009

Children's parties, Confetti-style

A fantastic new-to-me resource for stress-free, fun, and memorable kids' soirees: Confetti Event Planning, based out of Alexandria to serve the DC metro area, founded and operated by attorney-mom Brandy Falk.

Confetti's high-profile clients have included CEOs and the U.S. military, but the parties Brandy creates for children and families are extra-special works of art, with themes like "Ahoy Matey," "Pink Princess Tea," "Safari Soiree," "Garden Fairies," "Barnyard Bash," "Under the Sea," and "Picasso Paints."

Depending upon your needs, Confetti does some - or all - of the party-planning, invitations, decorations, entertainment, favors, and food for your event. And they can handle parties held in your own home or at another location of your choice. Confetti's online photo album, which includes several shots from their children's parties, is a must-see!

Posted by Sarah at 10:10 AM. Permanent link to "Children's parties, Confetti-style."

January 19, 2009

Inauguration countdown!

A few last minute tips for inauguration celebrations, whether you're braving the crowds with kids or hosting your own family-friendly inaugural ball at home:

For those of you who'll be taking children to the Mall for inauguration festivities: A heads-up that the Smithsonian offers several warm and inviting spaces you can duck into, when you need to escape the low temps and the huge crowds. Among the best options: The new Live Butterfly Pavilion at the Museum of Natural History, an 80-degree, 1,200-square-foot tropical setting featuring more than 400 tropical butterflies in flight. And the new Sant Ocean Hall exhibit, also at the Museum of Natural History - a 23,000-square-foot hall featuring 674 rare marine specimens, 97 models, anda 1,500-gallon coral reef tank. (We've been - It's amazing!)

Over at the Museum of American History, check out Abraham Lincoln's inaugural suit and top hat... plus the celebrated inaugural ballgowns of the first ladies! (Go, Jackie O.) Don't plan on ducking into the National Gallery of Art or the Holocaust Museum, though. Both closing for the day.

If you're staying home to celebrate in a more intimate style with the kiddies, be sure to check out Kids Off the Couch's "Bringing the Inauguration Home" guide.

Posted by Sarah at 11:51 AM. Permanent link to "Inauguration countdown!."

January 16, 2009

Weekend Watch: Children's Theater Fest, & National Day of Service

Get warm and cozy on Saturday at the Children's Theater Festival in Rosslyn, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rosslyn Spectrum. It's an all-day lineup of bilingual English-Spanish theater and fun from Teatro de la Luna, with activities including face painting, puppet-making, arts and crafts, and storytelling. Children ages four and under get in FREE.

Also during this long MLK and inauguration holiday weekend...If you're thinking of taking part in the National Day of Service to honor Dr. King, check out the online listings of opportunities and events happening across the DC metro area. Some are kid-friendly and would make for a good day out together as a family. In DC, click here. For those who live in the suburbs, enter your zipcode at this national website to look up the Day of Service events near you.

Posted by Sarah at 10:51 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Children's Theater Fest, & National Day of Service."

January 15, 2009

Gustafer Yellowgold's coming to town!

On Valentine's Day at 10 a.m., the historic Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Ave. will host Gustafer Yellowgold's "Mellow Fever Tour," an all-ages show applauded by Entertainment Weekly and dubbed "a cross between 'Yellow Submarine' and Dr. Seuss" by the New York Times.

Never heard of Gustafer Yellowgold, brainchild of NYC illustrator/songwriter/performer Morgan Taylor? The hero of the series of DVD/CD sets, Gustafer is a little yellow fellow who came to Earth from the Sun. His shows are a one-of-a-kind blend of live music and moving image, projected in vivid color onto a large screen. Catchy original songs and minimally animated illustrations are interwoven in a multimedia spectacle, with Taylor's wry narration and interaction with the audience. Part concert, part animated movie, party alternative comedy act.

Tix are $8.50, or $5.50 for Avalon members. Get more info or buy yours at 202.966.6000 or

Posted by Sarah at 10:19 AM. Permanent link to "Gustafer Yellowgold's coming to town!."

January 14, 2009

February 1: "Acupressure & Yoga for Labor" on Capitol Hill

Heads up, all pregnant gals and their partners: The fabulous Janet Brown, licensed massage therapist and certified prenatal yoga instructor, is offering a new workshop, "Acupressure and Yoga for Labor" at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill on Sunday, February 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Janet says the class will instruct you in how to use yoga poses for pain relief and an easier labor and delivery. You'll also practice positioning and breathing to help you during all the phases of labor, as well as many different approaches to pain management. You and your partner will learn a sequence of acupressure points, as well as how you can use aromatherapy for labor comfort. Pre-registration required. Contact Janet at 703.863.3156.

Janet Brown is also quite active volunteering her time with the DC chapter of nonprofit organization ICAN, which meets next on January 25 from 4 to 5 p.m., also at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill. No charge to attend, and all are welcome. The next meeting topic is "Chiropractic Care for Avoiding Cesarean." For more info, contact Janet at: jbrownlmt at yahoo dot com.

Posted by Sarah at 10:50 AM. Permanent link to "February 1: "Acupressure & Yoga for Labor" on Capitol Hill."

January 12, 2009

It's sale season

Now that the holidays are past and retailers are starting to focus on spring inventory, several of the boutiques recommended in my book(s) are hosting nifty sales. Here's a sampling:

The Pajama Squid's 30% off sale is on now, for both clothing and shoes, in their Takoma Park boutique AND online.

In our own 'hood, Pink & Brown's 30 to 50% off sale is underway now.

Also in our 'hood, Apple Seed has significant markdowns on maternity clothing, baby and toddler clothing, Hotslings, and more - BOTH in-store in Old Town and online.

In Bethesda, a clearance sale is now underway at Wiggle Room.

Piccolo Piggies in Georgetown and Bethesda currently has its clothing AND shoes marked down 30 to 60%.

Dawn Price Baby's semi-annual "crawl, walk, run sale" at both locations (Georgetown and Cap Hill/Eastern Market) goes now through March 15. Current discounts are 30 percent off, but will increase to 40 percent off in early February and 50 to 75 percent off after February 20. Best selection early on, deepest discounts later on.

If you know of other good local sales for maternity, infants, and kids, feel free to share them by posting a "comment" here at the blog entry.

Posted by Sarah at 9:44 AM. Permanent link to "It's sale season."

January 9, 2009

Weekend Watch: Planes in flight @ the Building Museum

In both editions of my book I heap praises upon the National Building Museum as one of the best places in the District to take young children - especially during wintertime. It's a beautiful space... with loads of room for little ones to romp, and rarely a crowd. You can also grab a bite to eat while you're there, browse great exhibits, shop in the gift store, and it's right across the street from metro.

Calling all airplane-loving kids (and parents): This Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Building Museum hosts "Flying in the Great Hall." The DC Maxecuters club will fly their model airplanes in and across the great hall. FREE for all ages.

Older kids (ages eight+) are invited to come early, from 9 to 11 a.m., to make your own model airplane with a group of cub scouts as your guides. (Tix required for kids; accompanying adults are free). For more info, call 202.272.2448.

Posted by Sarah at 7:32 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Planes in flight @ the Building Museum."

January 7, 2009

Kids @ the inauguration: Crazy, or what?

So here we are, locals living a stone's throw away from one of the biggest moments in American history. And we have kids.

I know I'm not alone in entertaining two lines of thought about the situation. They go something like this: 1) We MUST take our pre-k-age daughter to see this moment she'll tell her children and grandchildren about, and watching it on TV while we sit a few miles from the action is lame and lazy, 2) We are INSANE to consider taking our pre-k-age daughter into this crowd-control/security/transportation nightmare amid 2.5 million tourists in the dead of winter.

I don't know yet what I'll decide. And I'm not lucky or important enough to have tix to the swearing-in, so that's not an issue - It's the parade and the other unticketed mayhem I've been pondering. If you, like me, are trying to do the due-diligence and make an informed decision about taking children, of any age, to inaugural celebrations, here are a few online resources you should consult:

Comprehensive "Getting There" guide to deciding if you should attend - and planning your trip to the inauguration

Overview of several official events, including a lower-key thing @ the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday the 18th

Advisory for parents of young children attending swearing-in ceremony

Spectator info for the parade

Using the metro system during inauguration week

Issues affecting District of Columbia residents during inauguration week

Info on a free youth concert @ the Verizon Center on Monday the 19th (complete info forthcoming, but you can sign up for email updates)

More on the Verizon Center kids' concert from the Post

Tips for families from Chesapeake Family magazine

Nickelodeon kids' cable channel coverage of the inauguration

Know of other important info or resources on this topic? Please share with the rest of us by posting your "comment" at the end of this blog entry.

p.s. Tix to the children's inaugural ball hosted by the NCM are now SOLD OUT!

Posted by Sarah at 1:15 PM. Permanent link to "Kids @ the inauguration: Crazy, or what?."

January 6, 2009

Limited tix available to Children's Inaugural Ball

The National Children's Museum and the Every Child Matters Education Fund are co-hosting a first-of-its-kind Children's Inaugural Ball on the afternoon of Sunday, January 18, with live music, arts and crafts, food, interactive exhibits, play areas, a storytime stage and exhibitors including Friends of the National Zoo, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Aquarium, National Geographic Kids, and others.

The Children's Inaugural Ball will be held at the Historical Society of Washington, DC (801 K st. at Mt. Vernon Square). Tickets are FREE, but available in very limited supply; first come, first served.

Posted by Sarah at 10:25 AM. Permanent link to "Limited tix available to Children's Inaugural Ball."

January 5, 2009

New must-know resource: Mommy Blueprint

A new resource based out of Silver Spring, founded by three mamas (and sisters): Mommy Blueprint produces handy tablets and notepads for organizing your parenting and family life. A step beyond that crowded daytimer you're lugging around. Brilliant little tools, they are!

But in addition to their products, Mommy Blueprint also hosts an online community, e-newsletter, and blog where they share organizing and time-saving tips - as well as plentiful freebies you can take advantage of. No purchase necessary to enjoy these free perks.

Posted by Sarah at 9:43 AM. Permanent link to "New must-know resource: Mommy Blueprint."

January 1, 2009

This weekend @ the Kennedy Center: Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny

Have a quintessential Washington experience with your kids this holiday weekend: Take them to the Kennedy Center. The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia will present for a puppet production of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, based on the classic children's books by Margaret Wise Brown.

Saturday is sold out, but as of this posting, tix are still available for the Friday, January 2 shows (1 and 3 p.m.) and the Sunday, January 4 shows (1 and 3 p.m.). $18 per person. The production runs about one hour and is suggested for ages three+.

Posted by Sarah at 4:45 PM. Permanent link to "This weekend @ the Kennedy Center: Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny."

December 30, 2008

Last chance for Holiday Shopper discounts

It's your LAST CHANCE to take advantage of the discounts offered in our Holiday Shopper! Among the deals you can redeem through December 31st only:

15% off online orders of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition - PLUS free shipping

15% off your entire order from The Silken Thread (use code DCBABY08 at checkout)

20% off one item at Apple Seed (print our Holiday Shopper page and bring with you to the store to redeem)

20% off Serena & Lily nursery bedding at Red Barn Mercantile, in-store or online (print the page, or enter code serenalily at checkout)

15% off one item at Pink & Brown (print our Holiday Shopper page and bring with you to the store to redeem)

Complimentary mani and pedi with the purchase of a gift certificate from Hela Spa

$75 credit on a photo session booked with pregnancy/child/family photographer Elizabeth Dranitzke of PHOTOPIA

Discounted private/small-group infant/child CPR class from Safe Start Baby (just $40 per person) when you mention DC BABY and book by December 31st

Happy New Year!

Posted by Sarah at 2:51 PM. Permanent link to "Last chance for Holiday Shopper discounts."

December 27, 2008

New Year's Eve for kids, Capitol Hill & Alexandria

Two good options for celebrating NYE with children, in DC and Alexandria:

The Family Room on Capitol Hill will host a celebration on the 31st from 3 to 7 p.m., with a "countdown" and sparkling cider toast at 6:00. They provide the food and drinks and noisemakers...You supply the kids. Discounted tix in advance, until the 28th.

Also on the 31st is First Night Alexandria, a multi-venue, family-oriented, alcohol-free celebration of the arts with live entertainment and activities for children of all ages in and around Old Town. Choose from 65 acts at 38 indoor stages, plus opportunities for face painting, moonbounces, arts and crafts, balloon animals, etc. Tix required for adults, but kids age 12 and under get in FREE.

Posted by Sarah at 9:11 PM. Permanent link to "New Year's Eve for kids, Capitol Hill & Alexandria."

December 19, 2008

Weekend Watch: Countdown to Hanukkah & Christmas

Hanukkah's almost here and it's the last weekend before Christmas... so there's plenty happening around town. Also, orders for copies of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition placed today should arrive by December 24 to households in the DC/MD/VA area. All orders are shipped via priority mail, and the book is discounted 15% - plus free shipping - through December 31 only.

Sunday, December 21 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Fairfax Corner kicks off the Festival of Lights with a FREE "Magical Hanukkah" event for kids. It includes a performance by The Great Zucchini, live music, the lighting of a giant menorah, Hanukkah storytelling, and a paint-your-own menorah or dreidel craft. Stores in Fairfax Corner will also participate with small giveaways.

The lighting of the National Menorah at the Ellipse near the White House is set for Sunday, December 21 at 4 p.m. The event is free, but tix are required. Call 202.332.5600 for info.

Also on the Ellipse, now through January 1, is the beautifully lit National Christmas Tree. Nightly live holiday music performances by local choirs and groups are scheduled through Tuesday the 23rd.

Posted by Sarah at 1:28 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Countdown to Hanukkah & Christmas."

December 18, 2008

Trains & holiday cheer @ the National Botanic Garden

If you've never taken your little ones to see the FREE walk-through holiday display at the National Botanic Garden on the Mall, now's the time.

The traditional December setup includes an elaborate train display and a garden court with miniature National Mall landmarks and monuments (all crafted from natural plant materials, believe it or not). There are hundreds of blooming seasonal plants, a beautifully decorated tree, and a smaller train display with a Capitol Hill neighborhood in miniature.

Windows to Wonderland is on display through January 4. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the garden stays open until 8 p.m. with live holiday music. For more info, call 202.225.8333.

Posted by Sarah at 2:48 PM. Permanent link to "Trains & holiday cheer @ the National Botanic Garden."

December 17, 2008

New resource: Preschools guide for Montgomery County, MD

Great new resource for Montgomery County parents: The MCPOM has published a comprehensive preschool guide. A must-have for anyone beginning the preschool search - or looking to swtich schools - in suburban Maryland.

The 80-page guide will be available for purchase starting this Sunday, December 21. It contains detailed info on approx. 250 preschools in Montgomery County, and a few in nearby Washington, DC - including program offerings, affiliation/teaching philosophies, admission priorities and processes, interview requirements, tuition rates, app fees, sibling discounts, and application timeslines.

Schools are listed alphabetically but are also cross-referenced by geographic area and philosophy/affilitation. The guide contains important and helpful information on different types of preschools, steps in the preschool search, questions to ask during visits to preschools, practical advice from parents who have gone through the preschool search and how children can best prepare to enter kindergarten.

Copies of the guide are $10 plus $2.50 postage, and may be purchased with PayPal or a check. They start mailing out to purchasers next Monday, December 22, and will also be distributed on Sunday at a location in Rockville. Proceeds help to fund club services and support to families with multiples in the DC area.

For more information and to purchase your copy of the guide, go to Direct questions to: mcpom-at-mcpom-dotorg or 301.419.8008.

Posted by Sarah at 1:29 PM. Permanent link to "New resource: Preschools guide for Montgomery County, MD."

December 12, 2008

Weekend Watch: Hanukkah fun, + Christmas live nativity on the Hill

UPDATE: How great is the interfaith friendliness of DCB readers? I love it. Thanks to Deborah S., who passed a sign for this on her way to the Washington Hebrew Congregation and sent the info my way: On Sundays December 14th & 21st from 6 to 8 p.m., Christ Church on Embassy Row in DC is hosting an outdoor "Living Nativity." Petting zoo animals, live characters, music, cookies, hot chocolate, and good cheer. Sounds like it'll be v. child-oriented.

To all of you who celebrate it, Happy Hanukkah! There's a ton of kid-oriented fun for the holiday this weekend. Here are our favorite picks:

The Washington DCJCC at 16th and Q Sts. in the District will host its Community Hanukkah Celebration on Sunday, the 14th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a recommended donation of $10-15 per family, your children can enjoy a sing-along with kids' musician Joanie Leeds, arts and crafts, face painting, dreidel games, and faux tattoos.

On Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., Chevy Chase Pavilion's Hanukkah Celebration features the Lox and Vodka klezmer band, dreidel games, blaloon sculptures, and arts and crafts. Free admission.

And at the JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville on Sunday from 1 to 3:30 p.m., Hands-On Hanukkah will feature edible treats, arts and crafts, a treasure hunt for school-age kids, and more. The event will have a range of activities for ages two+. Adults and toddlers under age two get in free. Kids ove rage two are $7 each 9with a $20 per family max).

Also this weekend, families who celebrate Christmas will enjoy a live nativity scene and Christmas pageant at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. Saturday, the 13th, from 4 to 6 p.m. We're told there will be beautiful choir music, live animals, a manger scene, and hot chocolate and cookies served. Free admission. Sponsored by National Community Church and Ebeneezer's Coffee.

Do you know of other Hanukkah or Christmas events for kids and families happening this weekend? You can share them with other readers by filling in the "comment" field below this blog post. Don't be shy, people! Others would really appreciate hearing from you, and I'd love for all of us to make better use of this interactive feature on the DCB site. Happy holidays!

Posted by Sarah at 2:08 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Hanukkah fun, + Christmas live nativity on the Hill."

December 10, 2008

Discount from Onesies DC

Onesies DC - about which I wrote a glowing review in the revised second edition of my book - is offering a 15% discount on their winter session if you register before December 20. (They're also offering program gift cards, which make nice holiday presents for new mothers.)

Onesies DC is six weeks of a rotating sampling of DC-area enrichment programs, with plenty of opportunity to make new playdate friends during the ride. As I say in the newest edition of DC BABY: "Brilliant! Long overdue!...This innovative program exposes both newbie and veteran moms to a wide variety of early childhood and parent ed opportunities...saving potentialy expensive trial-and-error while making new friends...No commitment needed to a single program or a long session that might or might not turn out to be the right fit. Onesies DC partners with local favorites like PEP and Hot Mama Fitness to offer you a smorgasboard of baby fun."

Among its many other program partners, Onesies DC has recently joined forces with the JCC of Greater Washington and with Kidville (a popular new import from NYC). So their lineup is continually expanding. Hope some of you will be able to take advantage of the winter discount.

Posted by Sarah at 2:39 PM. Permanent link to "Discount from Onesies DC."

December 9, 2008

Tree Top Kids, now in Friendship Heights

Thanks to Sonya S. for tipping me off to this one: There's a new Tree Top Kids location at Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights. On Wisconsin Ave., on the bottom level of the mall across the street from Mazza Gallerie, next to World Market.

Sonya and I agree that this is a long-overdue addition to Friendship Heights, since there's been little in the way of children's shopping in the neighborhood. And if you've never been to a Tree Top Kids store, now's the time. They're a great independent local retail chain featured in both editions of my book. They carry a big selection of toys, games, arts and crafts supplies, books, baby and kids' clothing, accessories and gifts. And they host some of the best in-store events in the DC area - many of them free.

In addition to the new Friendship Heights location, you'll find Tree Top Kids in the AU Park neighborhood at Foxhall Square, in Potomac at Cabin John Mall, in Bethesda at Wildwood Shopping Center, additional spots in Maryland, and throughout NoVa (with stores in Arlington, McLean, Falls Church, Fairfax, etc.). To find the TTK nearest you, click here.

Posted by Sarah at 1:13 PM. Permanent link to "Tree Top Kids, now in Friendship Heights."

December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 14: Georgetown Jingle

Get your tix now: This Sunday is the v. family-friendly Georgetown Jingle at DC's Four Seasons Hotel, which raises $$ for the pediatric bone marrow transplant program and pediatric cancer survivorship program at Georgetown University Hospital.

From 4 to 8 p.m., families can visit with Santa Claus and friends, decorate cookies, make holiday crafts, enjoy tastings from some of the best local restaurants, dance to kids' bands Rocknocerus and Jack Frost, and bid on over 200 (really, really good) silent auction items for your holiday shopping. All proceeds benefit the selected children's health charities. Great fun for a great cause.

Purchase tickets online. Or you can call 202.726.0504 for more info.

Posted by Sarah at 11:03 AM. Permanent link to "Sunday, December 14: Georgetown Jingle."

December 6, 2008

Next weekend: Breakfast w/ Santa @ the Hard Rock Cafe

Congrats to Tracey K. of DC, winner of our ticket giveaway for next weekend's Breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock Cafe! There was a huge response to the contest, announced in the December 1 DCB newsletter. Thanks to all of you who entered. Here's the complete scoop on how you can join the fun:

Next Saturday and Sunday, December 13-14, the Hard Rock DC (located downtown, a short walk from Metro Center, next to Fords Theater and across from the FBI building), will host little rockers and their families for a buffet-style breakfast and photos with Santa, plus goodie bags to take home. Two seatings each day, at 8 and 10 a.m.

Tix are $13.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids (which includes both tax and gratuity). Toddlers/babies under age two are free with a paying adult. To reserve your spot or get more info, email Jordan Rosenblatt at the Hard Rock: jordan_rosenblatt-at-hardrock-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 11:30 AM. Permanent link to "Next weekend: Breakfast w/ Santa @ the Hard Rock Cafe."

December 5, 2008

Weekend Watch: This & that around town

The weekend's picks are an eclectic bunch of goings-on, with events in Old Town, NW DC, and Wolf Trap's Filene Center.

This afternoon, Friday the 5th from 12 noon to 4 p.m., Anne Leslie Silhouettes is at Hooray for Books children's bookstore in Old Town Alexandria. Her last appearance of the year! Anne's art is unique and memorable... and makes a much better grandparent gift than, say, another necktie. The silhouettes are hand-cut, and surprisingly affordable for the detail and quality of the work. It's also Scottish Walk Weekend in Old Town... our favorite neighborhood tradition every year. (With Willard Scott as grand marshal, no less!)

Thanks to Heather A. for sharing this one: Tonight, Friday the 5th from 6 to 10 p.m., the University of DC's David Clarke School of Law will host another in its series of Eco/Justice Cafe events, at the university's Firebird Inn on Connecticut Ave. NW. Heather tells me it's a v. kid-friendly happening with lots of children's activities - including a play area with toys and games for all ages, stamps and ink, modeling clay, craft materials/glue and glitter, bubble wands, and milk and juice to drink. A tabling area for the grownups features environmental and social justice organizations and businesses. There's also "live music, poetry, an open mike session, god food, good beer, good people, and good karma!" Accessible from the Van Ness/UDC red line metro stop, west exit. Suggested donation $15/$10 students/$5 kids.

And don't forget that Sunday at 4 p.m. is the FREE-admission annual Holiday Sing-Along @ Wolf Trap in NoVa. Quite the beautiful spectacle and a fun time... complete w/ music from the U.S. Marine Band. Bring your own jingle bells and candles. Arrive early - Parking is free but fills up quickly. And dress WARMLY - you'll be outdoors.


Posted by Sarah at 10:08 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: This & that around town."

December 4, 2008

Kids Eat Free - with Santa - @ Austin Grill

As anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows, deep down I'm still an Austin girl, even after years in Washington. We eat at Austin Grill in Old Town with perhaps alarming frequency - It's as close as I can get to "home food" in DC, and they are exceptionally kid-friendly.

This month they're hosting "Kids Eat Free" evenings with Santa Claus (including photo opps w/ the bearded man) at several DC-area locations:

Friday, December 12 at the Centreville, VA Austin Grill
Wednesday, December 17 at the Silver Spring, MD Austin Grill
Wednesday, December 17 at the Springfield, VA Austin Grill
Thursday, December 18 at the downtown Bethesda, MD Austin Grill
Thursday, December 18 at the Old Town Alexandria, VA Austin Grill
Thursday, December 18 at the Annapolis, MD Austin Grill

Happy Tex-Mex Xmas.

Posted by Sarah at 10:25 AM. Permanent link to "Kids Eat Free - with Santa - @ Austin Grill."

November 28, 2008

Special discount from Pineapple Grove

Local-mama-owned Pineapple Grove Gifts is offering a special discount to DCB readers this holiday season: 15% off online purchases. Just enter discount code CUSOON15 at checkout.

We love their personalized gifts (especially the children's plates) for holiday giving... as well as their fun selection of stationary and papers, and sweet hair clips for girls.

Happy shopping.

Posted by Sarah at 6:44 PM. Permanent link to "Special discount from Pineapple Grove."

November 27, 2008

More Black Friday sales

Three more post-Thanksgiving sales you should know about: At Dawn Price Baby, with two locations in DC (Capitol Hill near Eastern Market and M St. in Georgetown), Wiggle Room in Bethesda, and Pink & Brown in Old Town.

Friday only, Dawn Price Baby is offering 20% off fall and winter clothing, furniture floor models, bedding, and other select items.

All weekend, Friday through Sunday, Wiggle Room is offering 15% off ALL Melissa & Doug toys. We love these. They're classic, safe, colorful... and non-plastic. Wiggle Room just got a new shipment of M&D toys, including blocks and puzzles, so the stock is plentiful.

Friday only, Pink & Brown is offering 15% off your total purchase from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Their only exclusions are furniture, mattresses, and strollers.

Happy Turkey Day.

Posted by Sarah at 8:44 AM. Permanent link to "More Black Friday sales."

November 26, 2008

Early Santa sightings in Georgetown & Old Town

The holidays are officially upon us. And for families who celebrate Christmas, the guy in the red suit is on his way to town. Here are our favorites among his early appearances:

Welcome a new local tradition this year, when Santa takes to the Potomac by boat. The Christmas Attic in Old Town is partnering with The Potomac Riverboat Co. to offer Christmas cruises with Santa... Saturdays and Sundays starting this weekend, November 29, through December 21. Three departure times daily. You start on Union St. at The Christmas Attic, a block from the waterfront, to pick up your tix and get treats and hot chocolate. Then your group will proceed - led by a friendly elf, no less - to the boat where you'll meet Mr. Claus and take a cruise with him to the new National Harbor. There will be holiday sing-alongs and stories from Santa during the ride, and the opportunity to have your child's picture taken. For more info, contact Jill Walker at 703.684.0580 or jwalker-at-potomacriverboatco-dot-com. Reservations are required, and you can make them online at

Santa will also make appearances at the Georgetown Mall this weekend. I'll say this: I'm generally not into mall Santas - or the mall, period. But I do like this Santa, at this mall. It's not so huge, loud, and chaotic as, say, Pentagon City or Tyson's Corner (neither of which I can tolerate myself, much less subject my children to). There's a parking garage, so you're doing city shopping without having to search for a street space. The crowds are more reasonable. Santa's setup is relatively classy and simple. Plus, you have easy access to good restaurants and strolling on M St. while you're there. Anthropologie - in the mall, and my personal "happy place" - has the sweetest Christmas ornaments and children's specialty clothing this year. And for the kids, there's the new Creativity inside the mall - Definitely worth a visit!

These are just a couple of our faves to kick off the season. We recommend checking out for holiday happenings in the District, NoVa, and suburban Maryland. On their website, under "Seasonal Activities," you'll find extensive lists of Santa sightings, holiday shows, and holiday lights. Subscribers to their weekly newsletter get all that, and loads more.

Happy Thanksgiving! And may you reign victoriously on-budget this Black Friday.

Posted by Sarah at 10:54 AM. Permanent link to "Early Santa sightings in Georgetown & Old Town."

November 23, 2008

New discounts added to the Holiday Shopper, + Black Friday sale in Old Town

Two additions since our Holiday Shopper went live last week: 20% off all Serena & Lily nursery bedding at Red Barn Mercantile, and 15% off the cover price of DC BABY, Revised Second Edition in paperback (plus free shipping!).

You can shop the fabulous Red Barn Mercantile online (use coupon code "serenalily" at checkout to redeem your 20% off), or at their store in Old Town, next door to Apple Seed (which is offering 20% off any one item in the store).

If you plan to shop for bargains the day after Thanksgiving, several of the best Old Town retailers are participating in a Black Friday Sale - A great alternative to crowded malls and big-box stores. If you shop in any of the Old Town Boutique District's member stores on November 28, you get 10% off your entire purchase at all the other participating stores. So... If you buy something at Apple Seed, you pay full price. But then you go to Red Barn and get 10% off your entire purchase. And then you go down King St. to Nina's Closet and get 10% off everything you buy. And so on and son on. No limit on how many stores you can redeem your 10% off at. But it's one day ONLY. So strike while that iron's hot.

Posted by Sarah at 7:13 PM. Permanent link to "New discounts added to the Holiday Shopper, + Black Friday sale in Old Town."

November 21, 2008

Weekend Watch: Ice skating, parade, & free kids' yoga

This weekend: Cold weather fun on the National Mall, a Thanksgiving parade in Silver Spring, and free kids' classes in Alexandria.

Downtown, the outdoor ice skating rink at the National Gallery's sculpture garden is OPEN for the season. Saturdays the skating starts at 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. on Sundays. Enjoy the music while you're teaching the little ones to skate, and grab a hot chocolate or cider at the pavilion cafe next to the rink. While you're in the neighborhood, you can check out the grand re-opening (at last) of the Museum of American History, with special activities planned for all ages.

On Saturday, Silver Spring holds its annual Thanksgiving Parade from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Huge helium balloons, floats, and marching bands.

Sunday in Del Ray, Alexandria, the fabulous new Mind the Mat studio offers two FREE classes: Kids' Yoga at 4:15 p.m. (ages 5-8) - and if you happen to have an older child, check out their free Tween Yoga at 3:30 (ages 9-12).

Posted by Sarah at 9:03 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Ice skating, parade, & free kids' yoga."

November 20, 2008

Special discount from JuneBee Baby

We love love love the sweet and soft handknitted clothes from JuneBee Baby. And they're offering a special discount to DCB readers, through December 31: Enter promo code HOLIDAY08 for 25% off your order of anything in their stock, which includes sizes 0-6 months to 3T. Plus, free shipping on all domestic orders

JuneBee Baby is a mom-founded online boutique whose products are handmade with 100% natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, cashmere, and wool - Each piece is one-of-a-kind. They've been featured recently by American Baby magazine, The Daily Stroll, Urban Baby, and SheFinds. As the Urban Baby reviewer says, "Designs are whimsical and classic; most styles feature hand crocheted decorations..All are soft and cozy, can be dressed up or down, and are hand-me-down worthy. Keep in mind they'll be plenty of time for ironic T-shirts, designer jeans, and cropped shirts in loud colors when they're tweens, but the era of sweet strawberry pockets passes quickly."

Enjoy the discount!

Posted by Sarah at 11:45 AM. Permanent link to "Special discount from JuneBee Baby."

November 19, 2008

Save the Date: African children's concert in NW DC, December 7

Thanks to DCB reader Erin for sharing this: Temple Sinai Nursery School in NW DC will host its annual Winter Benefit Concert featuring acclaimed African children's musical duo Anansegromma (ah-non-se-groma). Takes place Sunday, December 7 at 10:30 a.m.

Anansegromma, aka Kofe Denis and Kwame Ansah-Brew, has performed at the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Wolftrap, and the Folklife Festival. Their music, talking drums, percussion, storytelling, and games magically "transport kids to an African village."

Tix are just $8 in advance or $10 at the door. To reserve them in advance, call 202.363.6394, ext. 3. For more info, contact Robin Gellman at: robingellman-at-yahoo-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 10:30 AM. Permanent link to "Save the Date: African children's concert in NW DC, December 7."

November 18, 2008

November 22: Kaydee Puppets in Georgetown

Heads up for the talented Kaydee Puppets, performing a children's show in Georgetown this Saturday morning, November 22.

Tix are just $25 per family, with proceeds benefiting the Georgetown Recovery Fund of the DC Public Library Foundation, earmarked for the reconstruction of the Children's Room. (As all who love the Georgetown library will remember, a devastating fire caused extensive damage in 2007.)

The puppetry fun takes place at St. John's Episcopal Church, 3240 O St. NW. To buy your tickets, send email to: georgetownprojects-at-gmail-dot-com.

Posted by Sarah at 4:40 PM. Permanent link to "November 22: Kaydee Puppets in Georgetown."

November 17, 2008

Great deals in the DC BABY Holiday Shopper

It's live! Check out our 2008 Holiday Shopper for some nice perks this shopping season.

Among the special offers for DC BABY readers:

* 15% off an item at Pink & Brown
* 20% off an item at Apple Seed
* 15% off an entire order from The Silken Thread
* $75 credit on a photo session with Elizabeth Dranitzke of PHOTOPIA, when you book by 11/30. (Some recent pics of our own little fam are now on Elizabeth's blog, where you can see samples of her beautiful work. We are happy clients!)
* Complimentary manicure/pedicure with the purchase of a gift certificate from Hela Spa
* And in the practical-and-important-department: A private, small-group CPR class discount from Safe Start Baby - Just $40/person (when you mention DC BABY and book by 12/31)
* + more!

Thanks to these local, independent retailers (and artist!) for offering great deals to our readers - I hope you'll support them with your holiday shopping dollars.

If you are a local retailer or service provider serving children/pregnant gals/families and would like a spot in the Holiday Shopper, drop us a line at: sales(at)dc-baby(dot)com.

Posted by Sarah at 4:48 PM. Permanent link to "Great deals in the DC BABY Holiday Shopper."

November 13, 2008

Mark the calendar: Shop & Tot @ the Capitol Collection in DC

This year's Capitol Collection of Holiday Shops in DC, sponsored by the Junior League of Washington, will feature a special event just for parents and families. Shop & Tot is set for Saturday, November 22 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park near the Woodley Park metro station.

They've lined up a morning of kid-friendly food, pictures with Santa, activities and crafts, storytelling with local children's authors, cupcake decorating, face painting, and live music. One of our favorite local kids' musicians, Mr. Skip, will perform at 10 a.m. All that in addition to hassle-free, stroller-friendly shopping for the grown-ups. (And coverage of football's "rivalry weekend" on a 60-inch Sony, lest any of you worry about missing a game.)

If you can't make it to Shop & Tot, general hours for the Capitol Collection are November 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and November 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Strollers will be welcome on the shopping floor any time during general hours - but there'll also be a stroller-check available if you decide to ditch the wheels.

Proceeds from this great event go to support literacy programs right here at home. For more details and tix, go to

Posted by Sarah at 4:15 PM. Permanent link to "Mark the calendar: Shop & Tot @ the Capitol Collection in DC."

November 12, 2008

Children's books about DC: Our faves

Election season has inspired us to read Washington, DC-centric books with our daughter - and to put together this list of our favorite picks for the kindergarten-and-younger crowd:

N is for Our Nation's Capital

Woodrow, the White House Mouse

House Mouse, Senate Mouse

Alexander, the Old Town Mouse

Clifford Goes to Washington

Call Me Madame President (authored by the owner of Arlington's Kinder Haus Toys)

Duck for President

DCB readers also recommend:

Underground Train (thanks, Melanie)

Goodnight Washington, DC (thanks, Sharon)

Our White House: Looking Out, Looking In (thanks, Martita)

Posted by Sarah at 4:19 PM. Permanent link to "Children's books about DC: Our faves."

November 8, 2008

Thanks, DC!

Mr. Knick Knack at book release party

Thanks to all of you who turned out to the book release party for DC BABY's Revised Second Edition at Hooray for Books this weekend!

We had a fun live show with Mr. Knick Knack (aka Steve Rossi), a storytime with the store's fabulous Mr. Patrick, and some good eats from Mom Made Foods and Whole Foods Market.

It was fun to get to meet some of you in person for the very first time. I appreciate your support of the book - as well as your support of a great independent children's bookstore!

If you didn't make it to the party but want a copy of the book, you can order online, here. Or at any of these DC-area booksellers and boutiques.

Posted by Sarah at 10:28 PM. Permanent link to "Thanks, DC!."

November 7, 2008

Weekend Watch: Our party in Old Town, + Kids' Euro Fest in DC

We hope you'll join us tomorrow morning, Saturday the 8th, for the celebration of the release of the revised second edition of DC BABY in paperback! Starts at 10 a.m. with a free show by kids' musician Mr. Knick Knack, followed by storytime at 11 a.m. and refreshments/signing/time to chat at 11:30. It all takes place at Hooray for Books children's bookstore in Old Town. RSVP to the e-vite.

Also this weekend, check out the Kids' Euro Fest in DC. It's a children's arts festival starring European kids' entertainers in more than 100 FREE performances taking place at locations throughout the District. Puppeteers, bubble-blowers, storytellers, mimes, a virtual name it. All in partnership with 27 EU embassies and more than a dozen cultural institutions. The festival is ideal for ages six+... BUT there are a number of performances that will be great for preschoolers, too. Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 2:27 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Our party in Old Town, + Kids' Euro Fest in DC."

November 6, 2008

New resource alert!, DC edition

New in the "What a great concept!" department: The Washington, DC edition of, where you can unload your gently used baby and kid gear, furnishings, and clothing... and find gently-used versions of what you need for your own growing rugrats.

You can buy, sell, give away for free, or donate to a worthy cause at this child-centric classifieds clearninghouse. The site is brand new, but already features a growing list of participants and items. So jump on board - and if you have friends or family with kids in other parts of the country (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, L.A., Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle), you can help spread the word.

Posted by Sarah at 10:22 AM. Permanent link to "New resource alert!, DC edition."

November 5, 2008

"DC Week" - & DC BABY - in Cookie magazine

Should the new President and First Lady happen to peruse Cookie magazine for insights on parenting Malia and Sasha Washington-style, they might stumble upon this little feature, part of the publication's recent "DC Week" guide.

Beyond the Beltway, Cookie's "Going Places" City Guides are helpful for moms and dads planning a vacation - or a relocation - anywhere in the country.

Posted by Sarah at 4:32 PM. Permanent link to ""DC Week" - & DC BABY - in Cookie magazine."

November 4, 2008

Sale alert! Savings @ Dawn Price Baby & DCB discount @ BabyEarth

First things first: Today, please VOTE. And after that, mark your calendar for two fabulous sales coming this month at one of our favorite baby and children's boutiques, Dawn Price Baby, with locations in Capitol Hill (near Eastern Market) and Georgetown (M St., in the former K Baby location).

At their Capitol Hill boutique only, Dawn Price Baby will host a November 13th "Mom's Night Out" shopping spree from 6 to 9 p.m., with 15 percent off your purchases (does not apply to strollers, stroller accessories, custom orders, or orders already in process). Wine and appetizers will be served! The day after Thanksgiving, November 28, DPB will host their first ever Black Friday Sale. Register for their email list at to get all the details.

Also, don't forget to take advantage of the discount being offered to my readers by Ten percent off (plus free shipping on orders over $99) when you enter code "dcbabyo8" at checkout. Expires November 14!

Happy (bargain) shopping!

Posted by Sarah at 10:12 AM. Permanent link to "Sale alert! Savings @ Dawn Price Baby & DCB discount @ BabyEarth."

October 31, 2008

Weekend watch: Happy haunting

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe, and memorable Halloween.

Friday evening starting at 5 p.m. is the informally-organized and irresistably cute Dupont Circle children's Halloween parade. Gather by the fountain, with the costumed little ones to start their walk at 5:15. Open to children of all ages, but is especially geared toward families with babies and toddlers who can't stay up late, can't yet trick-or-treat with the big kids, but would still enjoy a little Halloween fun. Participants can bring treats to hand out (but not required). Many parents come in costume, too - So don't be shy.

In MD, don't forget about kid-centric Halloween Rocks at the Kentlands, Halloween afternoon from 3 to 6:30 p.m., with a live show from kids' band Rocknocerus. In VA, Halloween night and Saturday, November 1 is the free and fabulous Halloween Art Show of elaborately carved and illuminated jack-o-lanterns in Vienna, from dusk to 10 p.m.

And before you head out, better safe than sorry: Check out this Halloween candy safety alert from MomsRising.

Posted by Sarah at 6:04 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend watch: Happy haunting."

October 30, 2008

Just for fun: DCB in the City Paper

Just when you suspect you've become irretrievably middle-aged, the local alt-weekly newspaper makes you feel almost cool and nearly relevant. DC BABY's in the City Paper this week, here (in the arts section in print and online) and again here (on The Sexist blog, which covers sex and gender in DC).

Many thanks to City Paper reporter Amanda Hess. I generally dread the role of interviewee...but this was fun!

Posted by Sarah at 2:00 PM. Permanent link to "Just for fun: DCB in the City Paper."

October 26, 2008

Join us November 8: Mr. Knick Knack performs @ our book release party!

Please come! We're celebrating the release of the Revised Second Edition of my book, DC BABY, with a (free!) performance by the fabulous Mr. Knick Knack - plus refreshments and book-signing and a chance for me to meet more of my readers in person - on Saturday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m. at Hooray for Books children's bookstore in Old Town Alexandria.

We named Mr. Knick Knack, aka Steve Rossi, our "favorite local children's performer" and we are thrilled to have him perform at the book release party. We're also thrilled to have the book available at our own neighborhood independent children's bookstore.

Here's the lineup:

10 a.m. Mr. Knick Knack live performance
11 a.m. Storytime (with a special Karen Katz theme)
11:30 a.m. Refreshments, book signing, chatting, and a jumpstart on holiday shopping

To RSVP that you can join us, please visit the e-vite. See you there!

Posted by Sarah at 10:16 PM. Permanent link to "Join us November 8: Mr. Knick Knack performs @ our book release party!."

October 24, 2008

Weekend Watch: Kid fun in the District

Several things happening in DC this weekend for the young ones: A Halloween magic show at the Smithsonian, a book fair in Georgetown, and an election-themed storytime and party at the DCJCC.

The lovely new Discovery Theater on the National Mall (on the lower level of the Ripley Center) will host "Halloween Magic" this Saturday at 12 noon. It's a holiday-themed magic show, plus face painting and other children's activities, to boot. Best for ages two to eight. Advance tix required: 202.357.3030.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Georgetown it's the St. John's Episcopal Preschool Book Fair and Family Fun, featuring storytime, music, games, face painting, and grilled lunches for sale. Plus the opportunity to shop a large selection of books and games for kids ages two to eight, including award winners and "teachers' picks." St. John's is located at 3240 O St., NW. For more info, call 202.944.2753.

Calling all future presidents on Sunday at 10 a.m. The DCJCC will host a FREE book event centered around a visit from Sue Pyatt, author of Call Me Madame President and President Amanda's Whistle-Stop Trip, who will read aloud and answer questions from the kids. PLUS a parade and election-related arts and crafts. No cost, but register here. For more info, contact Sarah Rabin Spira @ 202.777.3278 or: sarahr-at-washingtondcjcc-dot-org.

Posted by Sarah at 10:08 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Kid fun in the District."

October 23, 2008

Halloween @ Turtle Park

Heads up: For those of you who live in or near AU Park/Tenleytown...a tradition not to be missed. Turtle Park's annual Halloween Festival is set for Friday the 31st from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The highlight - the children's costume parade - starts around 4:30.

Turtle Park (known officially as Friendship Park), at 48th & Van Ness Ave. NW, is one of our all-time favorite destinations in the District. Such a great community of families who keep this city park/rec center/social hub beautiful and welcoming. In addition to their Halloween fun, we love going to May Fair each spring and playing in the "sprayground" on hot summer days. It's again listed among our favorite local playgrounds in the Second Revised Edition of DC BABY.

Posted by Sarah at 4:14 PM. Permanent link to "Halloween @ Turtle Park."

October 21, 2008

Halloween kicks for (little) kids: Our picks

It's that time! Loads going on in celebration of Halloween. Here are our picks for the little ones:

In Rockville, Cabin John Regional Park is doing their annual Eye Spy Halloween Train in the evenings from 6 to 9 p.m, Thursday the 23rd through Thursday the 30th. Just $4 with a canned food item to donate. (Intended for children under age 8, and not older-kid-scary like the Wheaton Regional Park train.)

Boo at the Zoo is also right around the corner, this Thursday the 23rd through Sunday the 26th. Limited tix are still available for all dates except Saturday (sold out). Metro strongly advised, unless you're a FONZ member and able to secure the (very limited) parking. Last year we scrambled to buy tix and second-hand parking at the last minute, only to have it rain cats and dogs. Bummer. Better luck to those of you giving it a go this year.

This Friday, the 24th at Fairlington Center in Arlington, Parent Child University will host their Annual Halloween Fashion Show - a fun chance for the little ones to don their costumes early - along with a FREE demo class from 10 to 10:40 a.m. Intended for infants to five-year-olds. No cost, but you must RSVP in advance. Send your name, names and ages of your children, and email address to: classes-at-parentchildu-dot-com or by calling 571.643.1002.

Saturday the 25th is the annual Fall Frolic at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, with trick-or-treating and a costume parade through the park, pumpkin painting, decorating trick-or-treat bags, and more arts and crafts fun. If you want to make a day of it, ride the carousel and catch the Three Billy Goats Gruff at the puppet playhouse or Harold and the Purple Crayon at the Adventure Theater (advance tix for both strongly advised).

Sunday the 26th in Alexandria is the annual Del Ray Halloween Parade, starting at 2 p.m. All are welcome to march down Mt. Vernon Ave. in costume - decorated strollers included! - to the Mt. Vernon Community School, where there will be live music and food to follow, as well as the Jaycees-hosted Goblin Games for all ages. We love this parade - So many kids and adults alike in a show of the most creative costuming! It's a BIG event with a big crowd, so get there early to hunt for parking.

Finally, on pumpkin night proper: It's the FREE-admission Second Annual Halloween Rocks Festival for kids at Market Square, Kentlands in Gaithersburg, October 31, 3 to 6:30 p.m. A concert by Rocknocerus, plus other live performances, a petting zoo, trick-or-treating, creative costume contest, face painting, carnival and moonbounces, crafts and games. A safe, fun, non-terrifying Halloween-day destination.


Posted by Sarah at 2:53 PM. Permanent link to "Halloween kicks for (little) kids: Our picks."

October 20, 2008

November 7: Lunchtime workshop on navigating the nanny-maze

You don't have to be an attorney - or a woman! - to attend a low-cost program on choosing a nanny and dealing with payroll/tax issues, to be hosted by the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia on Friday, November 7 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Howry LLP (1299 Penn Ave. NW, 2nd Floor, near Metro Center).

"The Insider's Guide to Finding and Keeping the Perfect Nanny (Including How to Decipher Taxes and Payroll)," organized by the WBA's Working Parents Forum, is open to all DC-area parents (and expectant parents). It's the first in a four-part series to focus on childcare options.

Great speakers whose knowledge could save you money and headaches going forward in the nanny process: Barbara Kline, president of White House Nannies (and author of the gossip-licious book White House Nannies: True Tales from the Other Department of Homeland Security), and Stephanie Breedlove, president of tax firm Breedlove & Assoc. since 1992. Breedlove & Assoc. specializes in tax and payroll services for household employers.

Cost to attend is just $10 for WBA members and $20 for non-members. An optional box lunch is available for $12 to those who register by Wednesday, November 5. You can RSVP at, or for more info call 202.639.8880 or send email to: admin-at-wbadc-dot-org.

Posted by Sarah at 9:31 AM. Permanent link to "November 7: Lunchtime workshop on navigating the nanny-maze."

October 17, 2008

Weekend Watch: Prime time for fall festivals

To celebrate the return of real fall weather this weekend, consider pulling that wool cardigan outta the closet and getting outdoors with the little ones, by visiting one of the festivals in the District or the 'burbs.

Our favorites are the Annual Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard in Germantown and the Fall Festival at Cox Farms in Centreville. For first-timers and the youngest children, Butler's Orchard is a good bet (especially the hayloft barn, where toddlers delight in jumping in the stuff until you drag them away). The Butler's Orchard extravaganza is slightly smaller in scale and may be less crowded than Cox Farms (which does have our favorite, longer hayride for preschoolers and older kids, plus a bazzillion slides of all sizes and pony rides). But at either place, you're wise to arrive EARLY, when the gates open, for the easiest parking and most tolerable crowds. At both places you should expect to pay an entrance fee, plus additional costs for food, pumpkin purchases, etc.

Also, in DC on Saturday, the Kids Corner nonprofit, bilingual daycare center will host its Second Annual Fall Fair at Mitchell Park in Kalorama (23rd and S Sts. NW) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food, games, music, dance, storytelling, and crafts from around the world, for all ages, with FREE admission (tix can be purchased for food and games). For more info, call 202.797.1555.

Posted by Sarah at 11:18 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Prime time for fall festivals."

October 9, 2008

Weekend Watch: Big consignment sales, Oktoberfests, & free class previews

A long holiday weekend, and plenty to do. Among the highlights: Two of the biggest and best consignment/benefit sales in NoVa, Oktoberfests on both sides of the Potomac, and free class previews in DC.

Among the weekend's biggest discount children's clothing and gear events are the mondo Dani's Duds sale @ Dulles Expo Center and the positively famous NoVa Parents of Multiples Semi-Annual Sale in Falls Church.

Oktoberfest celebrations are also happening this weekend at The Kentlands in Gaithersburg, in Accokeek, and Reston.

Last but not least, Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., Jonah's Treehouse is hosting more FREE preview classes for any child age six months to three years. A chance to learn about their program and meet other parents from Georgetown, Glover Park, Spring Valley, Palisades, Wesley Heights, Cleveland-Woodley-AU Park, and all over NW. You do need to call ahead to reserve your free preview spot: 202.298.6805. And take note of this bit of news: Jonah's Treehouse now offers a flex schedule allowing you to come to classes at different days and times throughout the session.

Enjoy your Columbus Day weekend!

Posted by Sarah at 9:50 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Big consignment sales, Oktoberfests, & free class previews."

October 7, 2008

DC BABY discount: 25 percent off ANY service @ Hela Spa

Hela Spa really loves DC BABY. So much that they're giving my readers a generous 25 percent discount on any service! Just mention DC BABY when you call to make your appointment.

(You can also take advantage of their limited number of appointments for a special promotion: 45-minute massages for $50.)

Among their many services, Hela Spa offers prenatal massage, infant massage instruction (at both the Georgetown and Chevy Chase locations), and a monthly mother's tea where you can meet other DC moms and get your questions answered about prenatal and/or infant massage. They also host a monthly drop-in group you can sample an intro to infant massage without committing to an entire session of classes. Even a small lending library of books and DVDs that clients can borrow - And they've been known to lend a body pillow to an expectant mom with sleeping troubles.

Senior massage therapist Mary Szegda draws heavily on her previous work as a movement psychotherapist and licensed counselor, with an interest in developmental movement patterns and the non-verbal relationship between parents and young children. And she has hired infant massage instructors with similar backgrounds. According to one reviewer mom, "Going to Mary at Hela Spa for a pregnancy massage was heaven. I could not have survived the second and third trimesters without my regular visits... After my daughter was born, I signed up for the infant massage class...This was a great bonding activity and a wonderful way to meet other moms in the area."

Enjoy your 25 percent off Swedish spa experience! Contact Mary at: mary-at-helaspa-dot-com, or call 202.333.4445.

Posted by Sarah at 2:06 PM. Permanent link to "DC BABY discount: 25 percent off ANY service @ Hela Spa."

October 6, 2008

Mom Made goodness, online

Our friends at Alexandria-based Mom Made Foods have launched a beautiful, user-friendly new website with some swanky features, including yummy recipes and tips for fostering healthy eating habits (and dealing with eating challenges) for all ages - infants, toddlers, and big kids.

The site also includes an events section, where you can find out about Mom Made tastings and classes - such as their monthly class at the fabulous Breastfeeding Center in DC. You can also use the "find us" feature on the homepage to locate all the stores in your neighborhood stocking their tasty treats. And you can sign up for their free newsletter to get more recipes and info about events and special offers.

As I write in a review of Mom Made Foods in the revised second edition of my book, they're a local success story, founded and managed by local mama Heather Stouffer and featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and in the Wall Street Journal. You can find their line of organic foods for babies and children at Whole Foods, Balducci's, Wegmans, Super Targets, and more. We love their award-winning sweet potatoes!

Posted by Sarah at 11:34 AM. Permanent link to "Mom Made goodness, online."

October 2, 2008

New oceans exhibit at the Museum of Natural History: Our review


So yesterday after pre-K, I took my daughter to check out the big new oceans exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History - and it totally lived up to the hype! The exhibit is beautifully done, incorporating many types of media, realistic full-size models of some of the most amazing creatures, and loads of preserved specimens of the craziest-looking fish and sea life you didn't know existed. My four-year-old was fascinated by the exhibit, and we're so glad we made it downtown sooner rather than later.

Among our faves: The large tank of live coral reef and the colorful fish native to that habitat. (My daughter and some other girls her age squealed with delight at the "Nemos" and "Doris" in the tank, and Ava had to be dragged away after a good 15 minutes of hogging the best view.) Also the 24-foot-long giant squid suspended in a fluid-filled tank and the 45-foot-long North Atlantic right whale model hanging overhead the gallery. And the huge shark jaws. And I really appreciated the volunteer docents available on the exhibit floor - They were so friendly and shared fun facts, as well as some hands-on models, with the kids.

I will say that the exhibit was more crowded than I'd expected for a Wednesday afternoon in October - BUT, it just opened and it's been getting some much-deserved press coverage. In our experience, the crowd was manageable and did not take away from the fun. But I do suggest going on a weekday, or early in the morning when the museum doors open on weekends (10 a.m.).

Must see to appreciate. And plenty of eye-level marvels for young children. This is one of THE best things about raising kids in Washington, DC - So many museums, and so many of them FREE! Enjoy them to the fullest.

photo credits: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution

Posted by Sarah at 2:21 PM. Permanent link to "New oceans exhibit at the Museum of Natural History: Our review."

September 26, 2008

Weekend Watch: FREE kid fun on the Mall - National Book Festival & new ocean exhibit

Tomorrow, Saturday the 27th, rain or shine (and we're hoping for shine), there are loads of kids' events at the National Book Festival - as well as the grand opening of an impressive new ocean exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.

Sponsored by the Library of Congress, the National Book Festival takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Mall between 3rd and 7th Sts. Check out the children's pavilion and the teens tent for readings and book signings from some of the nation's most celebrated authors, illustrators and poets. Admission is FREE - no tix required!

Join PBS KIDS at the Book Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the "Let's Read America" pavilion near 7th St. (between the Navy Memorial and L'Enfant Stops on the yellow and green lines). Kids can have their photos taken with characters from PBS KIDS shows Sid the Science Kid, Martha Speaks, Clifford, WordGirl, Super Why, Curious George, Maya and Miguel, and many others - as well as free painted character tattoos. Plus hands-on activities tied-in with the shows, and info for parents and educators.

In the PBS KIDS area you can join 10:30 a.m./12:45 p.m./3 p.m. sing-alongs with SteveSongs, an 11 a.m./1:15 p.m./3:30 p.m. "Martha Speaks" drawing and storytelling with author Susan Meddaugh, 11:30 a.m./1:45 p.m./4 p.m. stage shows by (the newly revived) Electric Company, and a 4:05 p.m. reading with Arthur author Marc Brown in the Book Festival's children's pavilion.

While you're on the Mall with kids, you must check out the grand unveiling of the Museum of Natural History's newest and largest exhibition, Sant Ocean Hall, which has been five years in the making. You'll see seven-foot-tall prehistoric shark jaws, a 24-foot-long giant squid suspended in a fluid filled tank, and a model of a 45-foot-long North Atlantic right whale hanging overhead in the 23,000-square-foot- hall. See some pics here. Created with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it is the only exhibit in the country with an exclusively global view of the ocean. It also incorporates lots of cool technologies. We can't wait to check it out!

Posted by Sarah at 1:08 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: FREE kid fun on the Mall - National Book Festival & new ocean exhibit."

September 25, 2008

Sunday events: PPD Awareness Day at LUCY - and ICAN support group in DC

Two informative, supportive events this weekend specifically for mamas (and one of them comes with a shopping discount, to boot!):

The LUCY store (coolest, coziest women's fitness wear ever) at Pentagon Row in Arlington will host a PPD Awareness Day this Sunday, September 28, to benefit new nonprofit organization Postpartum Support Virginia. Just mention you're with Postpartum Support Virginia and you'll receive 25 percent off all purchases! Stop by LUCY at 10:30 a.m. for coffee and an informative discussion about postpartum depression (PPD), with an opportunity to get more info about free local support groups and other resources. Shopping to follow, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Also this weekend, the DC chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) is back in action. This free support group is open to all, and will meet this Sunday, September 28 at 7 p.m. at Healing Arts of Capitol Hill (320 G St. NE). The presentation and discussion session, "Healing After Cesarean: Postpartum Recovery and Beyond," will focus on a variety of post-surgical treatments and emotional support resources in the DC area - and will be led by Janet Brown, Licensed Massage Therapist and owner of Integrative Health Massage Therapy, and Laura Possessky, ICAN of DC leader and birth rights advocate. For more info, contact Janet at 703.863.3156 or jbrownlmt(-at-)yahoo(-dot-)com.

Posted by Sarah at 10:01 AM. Permanent link to "Sunday events: PPD Awareness Day at LUCY - and ICAN support group in DC."

September 24, 2008

It's here! DC BABY, Revised Second Edition, now in paperback

It's rolling off the press this week! I'm pleased (and exhausted) to announce that the Revised Second Edition of my book, DC BABY, is now available for pre-order! Copies ordered this week will ship via priority mail approx. October 1.

By mid- to late-October the book will also be on the shelves of DC-area bookstores and select baby boutiques. Also on

It's been a long time coming and a lot of hard work. The new edition represents a complete overhaul, with tons of updates, new information, and a more user-friendly organization. Did I mention it's over 300 pages?

Thanks to all of you who sent me your tips and recommendations over the past few years, since the book's first edition sold out in early 2006. You provided invaluable insight as I did the research that would make this handbook a more useful tool for expectant mamas and the parents of young children. I couldn't have done it without you! Thank you, THANK YOU again for your support. And thank you for reading!

p.s. For those of you who have purchased an e-book version of the Revised Second Edition any time this year... Yesterday you should have received a new email linking you to a FREE e-book that reflects the final additions and edits made to the paperback book before it went to press. The latest and greatest version, if you will. Our apologies that this email did not go out with an explanatory note. Rest assured, you were NOT charged for another e-book!

Posted by Sarah at 8:33 AM. Permanent link to "It's here! DC BABY, Revised Second Edition, now in paperback."

September 19, 2008

Weekend Watch: Fiesta Musical at the zoo

It's time for the National Zoo's annual Fiesta Musical, this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This FREE family party on the zoo property celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with delicious Latin American foods, live music and dance, costumed characters, arts and crafts (including beautiful items for sale, to jumpstart your holiday shopping), and, of course, animal demos.

As if you need reminding, parking will be a nightmare. The lots will fill up with FONZ members extra-early, so plan accordingly. Metro if possible. The weather is predicted to be lovely. Enjoy!

Posted by Sarah at 11:06 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Fiesta Musical at the zoo."

September 13, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Fever: Our review of Baby Loves Disco


So we were the lucky winners of tix to this weekend's Baby Loves Disco event in DC, thanks to a contest at our favorite parenting site, And we had a great time!

Once a month, the scrappy Rock & Roll Hotel on H St. NE near Capitol Hill gets transformed into a kid-friendly dance party, where a professional DJ spins 70s disco hits and the little ones gnosh on muffins, animal crackers, and juice boxes. Think dance club lights, a bubble machine, hoola hoops and percussion instruments... with another level of fun upstairs, where you'll find more kids' activities (balloon artist, face painting), yummy snacks more the grownups' speed, quieter rooms for chilling out with babies. And did we mention the cash bar serving grownup beverages?

Our favorite part was discovering talented face painting artist Greta Gonzalez, who specializes in working with children. She transformed our daughter into a stunning kitty-cat, while other kids became Spiderman, puppies, tigers, butterflies, and princesses. Greta also does amazing body art with pregnant women, as well as henna - Her portfolio is something to behold! And she's available for children's parties and special events. I was blown away by watching Greta work. Plus, as a mom herself, Greta is great with young children and adjusts her speed and level of detail to the attention span of her young subject. What a pro.

The crowd at today's Baby Loves Disco was a diverse mix of parents in their 20s-40s with children ranging from infants to 10-year-olds. But our take is that the event is ideal for kids ages two to five. It may be too loud and overstimulating for some babies and young toddlers, while children past Kindergarten might find themselves too "cool" to boogie with mom and dad. But your mileage may vary - we saw many happy partiers of all ages and stages. It does get crowded, so pace yourself.

It's also DC. Be smart. Parking is a challenge. Don't plan to walk from the nearest metro stop (Union Station), as it's a long trek. (But be aware that there IS stroller parking at the event.) If you're the type who rarely ventures east of Connecticut Ave. - or into the District at all - or if you're too far removed from your bar-hopping youth to appreciate a little rock n roll grunge, this might not be the place for you. Otherwise, get your dancin' shoes on. Baby Loves Disco is a lot of fun!

p.s. In related news...We're sad to report that a similar local event, Rock-n-Tot DC, is no more. They have canceled all the upcoming gigs, due to slow ticket sales.

Posted by Sarah at 9:17 PM. Permanent link to "Saturday Afternoon Fever: Our review of Baby Loves Disco."

September 12, 2008

Weekend Watch: Fall festivals in DC, Takoma Park, & Old Town

'Tis now officially the season for fall festivals - with several this weekend, great for getting outdoors with the kids. And each of these promises a decent dose of entertainers and activities for children.

Saturday is the Arts on Foot Festival in DC's Penn Quarter. Sunday is the Takoma Park Folk Festival and the Adams Morgan Day Festival. The Alexandria Festival of the Arts along Old Town's King St. runs both days.


Posted by Sarah at 6:24 AM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Fall festivals in DC, Takoma Park, & Old Town."

September 10, 2008

Free event at DCJCC: Children's author Richard Michelson

On Tuesday, September 16 at 10 a.m., the DC Jewish Community Center (DCJCC) will host a FREE children's book event aimed at two- to five-year-olds with a parent or caregiver.

Children's author Richard Michelson will be on hand to read his book A is for Abraham and engage with the audience. Here's a description of the event from DCB reader Lili:

"Join the 16th Street J's Early Childhood Center for a morning of storytelling, creativity and fun.Become immersed in the sing-song rhyming language as the author reads from his beautiful book. Act out some of the stories in the book, create your own alphabet illustrations and join our Pre-K classes in asking Richard Michelson about why and how he wrote this wonderful book for children, which shares the history of Jewish traditions and customs and explains how they are practiced today."

No charge, but click here to register your spot at the event.

Posted by Sarah at 4:52 PM. Permanent link to "Free event at DCJCC: Children's author Richard Michelson."

September 8, 2008

Put this on your fridge: National Capital Poison Center hotline

A must-know resource for all DC-area parents and kiddo-caregivers: The National Capital Poison Center in DC, 1.800.222.1222. If it's not posted on your refrigerator with all the other emergency numbers, it should be!

Each year The National Capital Poison Center receives 55,000 phone calls from residents and health professionals in the metro area - Most of them from mothers whose children have gotten into household products and who are panicked about what to do. The Poison Center is a nonprofit, non-government organization providing medical guidance in poison emergencies. Their services are FREE, and they are open all day, every day, providing confidential information. They even provide translation services for parents and childcare providers who don't speak fluent English.

I know how easy it is for me to fall into the "that stuff happens to other people" mindset. And I bet I'm not alone. Better to take a few moments to be prepared.

Posted by Sarah at 8:42 PM. Permanent link to "Put this on your fridge: National Capital Poison Center hotline."

September 5, 2008

Weekend Watch: Cool shopping opps & Imagination Stage open house

So it's not kid-centric - but the best news of the weekend is, the Georgetown Flea Market is back in Georgetown! During my younger, unmarried, pre-mommy stint as a Washingtonian, this was my favorite Sunday destination. And there's no reason you can't take the children, while you enjoy a bit of non-child treasure hunting. Check it out this Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A coupla miles up Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda... This Saturday it's the Second Annual "Bethesda Kids Block" Sidewalk Sale and Block Party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in conjunction with Imagination Stage's open house.

Head to the downtown block bordered by Del Ray Ave., Norfolk Ave., Auburn Ave., and Old Georgetown Rd. for big savings. Wiggle Room will host its big stroller and gear sale, plus face painting and 10 percent off purchases. Jabberu offers 10 percent of all store merchandise, $25 off your first month's tuition (new families only), and fun activities in Spanish, French, and Chinese. Musikids will offer demo classes and open play. Daisy Baby & Mommies Too will hold a sidewalk sale and offer 10 percent off all in-stock merchandise. LightWave Photography will offer a free portrait sitting and a 4x6 print of your child between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To sweeten the deal, Hard Times and Guardado's family-friendly restaurants will feature yummy specials. And Imagination Stage's open house runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for families with children ages 1-5, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. for families with kids K-5th grade.

Posted by Sarah at 4:09 PM. Permanent link to "Weekend Watch: Cool shopping opps & Imagination Stage open house."

September 4, 2008

Free preview classes at Jonah's Treehouse in DC

The fabulous Jonah's Treehouse in Glover Park, NW DC is offering a lineup of FREE preview classes - a chance for new families to visit the studio and get a taste of what classes are like before deciding on fall registration.

To see the schedule of free demos and to reserve your spot (a must), click here. Or call Jonah's Treehouse at 202.298.6805. You can leave a message on their voicemail to reserve your spot in a particular preview class after viewing the schedule online - but you MUST leave your call-back phone number and your child's name and age, or your spot can't be held.

Back in 2005 when Jonah's Treehouse was new on the scene, they hosted the launch party for the first edition of my book, DC Baby. It was a blast! We love founder Vicki Gersten and her staff, and we have first-hand appreciation for how bright, well-equippped, and spacious the play studio is. A great custom space with fun and challenges for all ages.

Posted by Sarah at 10:07 AM. Permanent link to "Free preview classes at Jonah's Treehouse in DC."