Fall Celebrations in Washington, D.C.

capitol_fallLooking for something fun and happy to do in Washington, D.C., this fall?  There’s a lot going on, as always, but the fall is a great time to check out some of the different events and sights in the capitol.  Here are just a few things you can do.

You can see some amazing fall foliage in the area, so if you love the outdoors, now’s the time to go hiking, biking, or running.  Some of the best places to go include the U.S. National Arboretum, Shenandoah National Park, and the Rock Creek Park.  If you’re going to one of the parks like Shenandoah, which is out of the main metro area, you might want to take a picnic and make a day out of it.  Since it’s a bit cooler now, be sure to take a jacket with you.

Don’t like the crisp fall weather?  Stay indoors by checking out some of DC’s museums and theaters.  There are a lot of really neat exhibits.  The National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the Corcoran Gallery, one of the oldest in the country, are all great options.

If theater is more your thing, you’ll find some amazing shows at The Kennedy Center, the Signature Theatre, and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Finally, don’t forget football!  the Washington Redskins will be starting their season soon at FedEx Field!

Flowers make everyone happy, too, so bring some happiness to your home with our great fall flowers in Washington, D.C.

March Madness and You

ncaa-march-madness1March Madness is upon us!  But you don’t have to be a huge basketball fan to fall into March Madness.  The term has come to also refer to the activities many people start in the spring after winter is over.

March Madness and Men

If your man loves basketball, expect him to be parked in front of the TV for much of March.  The NCAA Men’s Division I championship is held throughout the month.  But another form of March Madness comes with the change in the weather.  Since it’s warmer, a lot of men can’t wait to get outdoors and start tinkering with their cars, riding their motorcycles, or playing a little basketball themselves.  Of course, they probably won’t be thinking about starting in on your home repair list!

March Madness and Women

Some women get into basketball as well, but many find other things to do during the month.  Many like to get a start on their spring cleaning.  They go through their clothes and get rid of anything they haven’t worn in a while.  Then, since they’ve gotten rid of a chunk of their wardrobe, they’ve got to go shopping!  Some women like to get their gardens or flowerbeds started up, although you never can tell if there will be a late March freeze or not.

Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Sometimes, the whole family sits down to watch the games, but if you can’t get everyone together for basketball, you can do other March Madness activities.  You can spend a lot of time outdoors, go play at the park, or go to the zoo.  It all depends on how the weather is.

We’ll help get your March Madness going with some beautiful spring flowers in Washington, D.C.!

Summer Happenings in DC

While it’s incredibly hot outside, there’s still a lot going on in Washington, DC, in August.  The Dog Days of Summer are blazing down on us, but if you stay at home all the time, you’ll start going stir-crazy!  Here are some things going on in DC that you might want to brave the heat for.

Go on a picnic.  Yes, it’s hot outside, but there are some cool days here and there, and there are plenty of parks and other areas that are perfect for lunch.

Another activity you can do with your family is to visit the local museums.  It’s air conditioned!  While you may have been to some of them before, most have new rotating exhibits.  Plus, as kids get older, they may learn new things from exhibits they’ve seen before or appreciate them in ways they haven’t before.

There are also a lot of free summer concerts in the DC area.  The Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps bands perform almost every week on different nights, so there are plenty of concerts for you to attention.  There are also musical performances at the National Mall, the Capitol, Farragut Square Park, and more.  Some are held at noon, while other performances are in the evening.

Likewise, there are always shows and plays being performed at the National Theatre and other theatres in the metro.  Take a break from your summer to enjoy a night out at the theater and one of these amazing performances.

A lot of different places in the metro also screen movies once a week during the summer.  One of the biggest screenings is the Screen on the Green at the National Mall.  Most of these screening events are free, and many either allow you to bring your own snacks or have a snack bar set up.

Bring some of the beautiful colors of summer into your home with some Summer Flowers in Washington, DC.

Things to Do and See in DC This Time of Year

As the weather starts to get colder and colder, it seems like there just isn’t that much to get out and do any more.  While it’s true that this may not be the best time of year to take a stroll through one of our capitol’s parks, there are still plenty of things to do.

Shopping, of course, is on many people’s minds right now.  There are many different places to shop, and you’ll find everything from small boutiques to national chains to specialty shops in DC.  Georgetown features a full mall and many fashionable shops, while Dupont Circle is full of small art boutiques.  The National Mall is full of gift shops and museum stores, and it’s perfect for those looking for a holiday souvenir from Washington, DC.

Going to see a movie is another good activity for this time of year.  There are a number of big titles that just came out in November, plus more coming in December.  Get some popcorn, settle in, and enjoy some of the best films this year has to offer!

After the movie (or before), head out to one of DC’s best restaurants for a great meal.  You’ll find everything from fast food to fine dining in DC.  There are many different ethnic restaurants, as well, so you’ll find just about every type of food you can imagine.  There’s certainly something for everyone.  Head out to your favorite restaurant, or try something new.

If you want something a little faster paced, DC has many different night clubs and bars for you to explore.  You’ll find plenty of different places to dance and enjoy yourself.

These are just a few things to do this time of year.  Naturally, there are many different holiday events coming up for you and your family to enjoy.  So don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors—get out and have some fun!

Fall Foliage and Scenic Drives Near DC

There’s a lot to see in the fall, especially near DC.  Many parks and scenic drives exist in and around the area.  If you’ve got an afternoon free, why not take a drive through some of these areas and check out the beautiful oranges, red, and yellows.

Just outside of the city is Theodore Roosevelt Island.  This park (it’s not really an island) features elm, maple, ash, oak, and other trees.  It’s 88 acres of amazing fall foliage.  If you want, you can even park the car and explore the area or have a nice picnic lunch.

Another great scenic drive is to take the George Washington Parkway from Form Marcy, then go south down interstate 123.  The trees along these highways are amazing, especially during the fall.  Just note that during rush hour, many people use the Parkway to commute to and from their offices in DC.

One interesting scenic drive opportunity that exists in the DC area is the Thomas Jefferson Country Tour.  This 11 hour bus tour goes from Charlottesville, Virgina, to Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson.  It also stops at the University of Virginia and at Michie Tavern for lunch.  It’s a great historical adventure as well as a nice scenic drive.  What’s even better, you don’t have to do any of the driving!

If you take Skyline Drive, you can see some of the best parts of Shenandoah National Park.  This road twists and turns along Blue Ridge Crest.  You’ll see the Shenandoah Valley on the west side and the Piedmont on the east.  If you’re looking to see the many colors of fall, you’ll find few better places to do it.  Park at one of the many stops along the way and enjoy a picnic lunch before it gets too cool.

If you don’t want to drive, there are a lot of bus, bicycle and walking tours that take in the many sights of the city.  While these tours don’t always get you out of the city limits, they still take you by a number of places where you can see some amazing fall foliage.

Dog Days of Summer Fun in DC 2011

The Dog Days of Summer are Here!
The Dog Days of Summer are Here!

The dog days of summer, which is a term used to describe the hottest, must sultry days of the season, are here!  The dog days are usually between early July and early September, and it can mean incredibly high temperatures and, often, little rain.  But just because it’s hot outside doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun.  There are a number of great activities in the DC metro during August and early September!

Every Monday through August 15th is the Screen on the Green.  Check out the large movie screen set up at the National Mall.  The final movie of the season is “Cool Hand Luke.”  There are a lot of other outdoor movie festivals in DC and in surrounding areas, including the following:

The Rosslyn Outdoor Festival runs through August 26 in Rosslyn, Virginia.

The National Harbor Movies on the Potomac is every Friday and Saturday through September 30 at the National Harbor.

In Crystal City, Virginia, the Crystal Screen Outdoor Film Festival shows films every Monday through the end of August.

There are many theater performances going on in the Dog Days, too, and many of them are indoors!  These include Wicked (Kennedy Center through Aug. 21), Oklahoma! (Arena Stage through Oct. 2), Grease (Olney Theater Center through August 28), and Peter Pan (Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Sept. 1-4).

The first game of the Washington Redskins is on August 12.  If you love football, don’t miss it!

The Washington, DC Restaurant Week will be held August 15 through the 21st.  Over 100 of the best restaurants in DC will offer three course lunch specials for $20.11 and three course dinner specials for $35.11.  If you love food or just want an excuse to visit your favorite restaurant, don’t miss this opportunity.  Alexandria also has its own Restaurant Week from August 19 to the 28.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival will be held between August 27 and October 23.  This awesome event features a recreation of a 16th century English village and a lot of authentic foods!  Crafts, games, and live performances are also included.

Summer Happenings in the DC Metro

There are still some summer events in DC!
There are still some summer events in DC!

There’s always a lot going on in the DC Metro.  While summer is part way over, there are still plenty of summer events going on.  Here are just a few of the things you can do in August in the DC area.

The Screen on the Green outdoor summer film festival still has a few events left.  August 8 is “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” while August 15 is “Cool Hand Luke.”  The movies are shown at the National Mall between 14th and Ninth Streets.

If you love Tennis, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic is going on right now!  It continues until August 7th at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Stadium.  Favorites include James Blacke and Andy Roddick.

The Chekhov play “Uncle Vanya” featuring Cate Blanchett runs every Thursday through Sunday from August 4th to the 27th at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts.  Tickets are priced starting at $59.  The production also stars Hugo Weaving.

Fair season is coming up, and there are a lot of different county fairs in the area around DC.  The Fairfax fair is this weekend (Aug. 6 and 7), followed by the Howard County Fair (the 6th through the 13th).  Then there’s the Montgomery County Fair, which starts on the 12th and ends on the 20th.

The Shakespeare Theater Company’s annual Free For All event this year is Julius Caesar.  The tickets are free for these performances, which run August 18 through September 4 on Tuesdays through Sundays.  Because the tickets are free, expect a line for entry, so get there early.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will open to the public on August 22.  The official dedication will be held on August 28th at 11 am.  The memorial is located at 1964 Independence Ave. on the four-acre Tidal Basin site.

Finally, August and the summer wrap up with Jimmy Buffy and the Coral Reefer Band playing at the Jiffy Lube Live.  The event will be on Saturday, August 27th at 8:00 pm.

Summer Fun in the DC Metro

Summer is in full swing and the kids are getting restless.  There are only so many days they can spend at home before they start wanting to go somewhere and do something.  School is still several weeks away, so it’s time for some new late-summer fun ideas!

Go swimming.  If the kids haven’t hit the local swimming pools, now’s the time.  There’s nothing like a dip in the cool water to beat the summer heat.  Even if you’ve gone to the pool a few times this summer, kids never grow old of splashing around.

You probably don’t want to go out in the heat for a picnic lunch, but that’s OK—you don’t have to.  Have the kids plan a picnic on the living room floor.  Let them decide on the menu and the décor.  If you have any potted plants, for example, you can move them around to create your own “jungle.”  You can also take a sheet and create a tent to picnic in.

If your family loves music events, there are many different free concerts held in the summer in the DC area.  The Military Bands put on different events almost every night.  Every Thursday, a musical event takes place in Farragut Square Park.  On Tuesday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the U.S. Navy Band plays at the Navy Memorial Plaza at 8:00 p.m.  For lunch, enjoy a nice concert each Wednesday at noon at the Capitol Riverfront.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art has free events every Saturday up to September 3.  These family-friendly events include things like chalk drawing, tours of the museum, and other art events.  It’s a great way of getting your kids into the arts!

There are several fairs in the DC area coming up in the next month or so.  While they aren’t all technically in summer, they are a lot of fun.  There’s the Montgomery County Fair (Aug 12 – 20), Prince George’s County Fair (Sept 8 – 11), and the Anne Arundel County Fair (Sept 14 – 18).

Starting August 27, step back into the Renaissance at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  This awesome event includes jousting, medieval music, costumes, great food, and even some Shakespearean plays.

While getting out and enjoying some of the area parks, water parks, museums, and other events can be a lot of fun, you can always stay home and avoid the heat.  Put together a calendar of a mixture of events to keep you and your family entertained during the last days of summer.

Beat the Summer Heat

It's hot out there!

It’s summer, and it’s hot!  With the temperatures continually to rise outside, we’re all looking for ways to beat the summer heat.  While staying indoors in front of the blasting air conditioner can be one way, we don’t always have that option.  Here are a few things you can do to beat the summer heat.

Try to run all of your errands in the morning or late evenings when the temperature is a bit cooler.

Don’t water your yard during the day.  Do it in the evening so the water has time to seep into the ground.  If you do it during the day, most of it will evaporate, leaving your grass and flowers still thirsty.

If you do need to go out and tend to your flowers or do other outdoor tasks, be sure to wear a hat to avoid getting sunburn on the top of your head.  Also wear a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt to keep your arms protected, and put sunscreen on any exposed skin.  While it might seem counter-intuitive to wear long sleeves in the summer, you want to keep the sun off your skin.  A light weight, long sleeved shirt can actually keep you cooler than a tank top.

Use ceiling fans to help keep your house cool and your air conditioning bill down. 

While you always want to drink a good amount of water each day, it’s even more important during the summer to avoid getting dehydrated.  While cold soda might taste better, water hydrates better.

To help keep your car cooler, park under shade and use a windshield sun screen. 

Make sure your windows are securely shut and that there are no gaps or leaks around them or around your doors.  Any small gap can let out your cold air and make your air conditioner work harder.

Fourth of July Events in DC

There are many different ways to celebrate the Fourth of July but few are as amazing and breathtaking as celebrating this holiday in our nation’s capitol.  Watching fireworks explode in multitudes of color around the many different landmarks in Washington DC is a sight like no other.  Imagine bursts of color behind the Washington Memorial, the Capitol Building’s dome, or reflected in the Reflecting Pool.

The Fourth of July is an all-day event in the city.  It starts with a parade that makes its way up Constitution Avenue.  This parade includes marching bands, floats, and more.  Of course, if you want a good view, you’ll need to get there early.  Another great event is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.  It features music, dancing, great food, and handmade crafts.  This year, the festival’s themes are Colombia, Peace Corps, and Rhythm and Blues.  The festival runs from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The National Archives host a number of different events, including a “birthday” party for the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Following this, you can visit the White House Visitor Center for some games and other activities.  If you want something a little more relaxing, the U.S. Navy Band will host a concert at the Washington Monument Grounds starting at 6:00 p.m.  A Capitol Fourth Concert, a Fourth of July tradition hosted by the National Symphony Orchestra, will take place on the West Lawn of the Capitol.  It begins at 8:00 p.m. and ends just in time for the fireworks.

The fireworks show, which is what everyone wants to hang around for, starts around 9:15 p.m. or so.  The fireworks are fired off from the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and explode over the Washington Monument, creating a spectacular sight like no other!