Fun Ideas for Mother’s Day 2012 in the DC Metro

Looking for some “outside the box” fun with Mom this year?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Sailing Picnic & Afternoon Aboard the American Spirit Schooner
Saturday, May 12, 2012
12:30 pm – 3:30pm

Enjoy the perfect pleasant afternoon sailing on the Potomac with a tasty picnic, beautiful scenery and new friends! This Saturday afternoon,  climb aboard for a three hour adventure aboard the American Spirit as it sails along the Potomac. Private captain and crew.  Those interested can help hoist and man the sails, while others can feel free to leave their troubles behind on the dock while we take over.

They provide light picnic food (feel free to supplement). Alcohol is also permitted (BYOB) but you must be 21.  Space is very limited.

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Tarzan Training 101: Zip Lining and Other Swinging Adventures from Tree Tops
Sunday May 13, 2012
11:45 am – 2:30pm
Rockville, MD

A highly interactive tree-top adventure!  After a 30-minute training session, participants will be equipped with harnesses, pulleys and carabiners and turned loose into the forest canopy 40 feet above the ground.  Spanning across 6 acres, the course features various obstacles including 5 zip  lines, Tarzan swings, rope ladders, bridges and trapezes.

The course takes 2-3 hours to complete and caters to all skill levels. (This event is ideal for anyone who is looking for a fun and exciting outdoor adventure.)

Includes a pizza picnic and soda.

Suggested Attire: Casual. All participants must wear closed toe shoes

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Chocolate Making and Tasting Workshop 101 with Factory Tour
Sunday, May 13, 2012
12:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Chocolate Making 101 class: Spend 2-1/2 hours learning and practicing chocolate crystallization techniques. You’ll start
with an in-depth factory tour where you will experience the chocolate making process from cocoa bean to chocolate, create basic chocolate Ganache filling, and learn to create truffles by Head Chocolatier – Crisoire Reid

Schedule:

20 minutes: (Factory Tour)

Students will take a 20min. comprehensive tour of “The Truffle Factory” gaining an
understanding of the origin of Spagnvola cacao from “cultivation to confection”
our strategic farm-design in Hato Mayor Del Rey in the Dominican Republic and
why we believe it leads to our chocolate flavors being unmatched anywhere else.
In conclusion, a sneak peek of our beginning stages of our Signature
chocolate recipe with a palate pleasing tasting.

20 minutes: (Tempering Chocolate)

Upon completion of the factory tour, students will begin understanding the difference between crystallized chocolate and non-crystallized chocolates.

1-1/2 hour: (Making Chocolate Ganache)

As a group, students will then begin creating a chocolate Ganache from scratch, utilizing either Spagnvola Signature 62% Semi
–Sweet or 54% Milk chocolate. Shortly thereafter students will use the Ganache to make truffles.

20 minutes (Palate Extravaganza!!! Tasting)

You’ve earned it!

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Mother’s Day at Mount Vernon

Join the “Mother of Our Country,” Martha Washington, and her granddaughter “Nelly” as they celebrate Mother’s weekend with visitors at George Washington’s Estate. Take the whole family and explore the beautiful mansion, the gardens and the grounds. The Mount Vernon Inn also serves a special buffet on Sunday (reservations are required).

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From Thngs to Do DC
About DC

 

Remember to think outside the box and send florist-delivered flowers for Mother’s Day!

Labor Day Fun in the DC Metro

Labor Day weekend is coming up, and if you’re in the DC metro area, there are many activities going on.  If you don’t have anything planned yet, you might want to check out a few of these events.

Beatles Tribute Festival – Sept. 1 – 5 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD.  Abbey Road on the River presents over 50 Beatles tribute bands at this festival honoring one of the greatest groups of all time.

Kennedy Center Page-To-Stage Festival – Sept. 3 – 5.  Check out over 25 different local theater groups put on free performances of their plays and musicals.  These are brand new works that are being prepared for the upcoming theater season.

Glen Echo Park Art Show and Irish Festivities – Sept. 3 – 5 on MacArthur Blvd in Glen Echo, MD.

Virginia Scottish Games – Sept. 3 & 4 in Alexandria.  This interesting Scottish heritage festival features piping, drumming, dancing, and even sheep-herding demonstrations!

DC Blues Festival – Sept. 3 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Carter Barron Amphitheater.  Come listen to some great blues music by local and national groups.  Admission is free.

Labor Day Concert at the U.S. Capitol – Sunday, Sept. 4 at 8:00 p.m.  This free concert by the National Symphony Orchestra will be held at East Capitol and First Street.

Herndon Labor Day Festival – Monday, Sept. 5 from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Lynn Street in Herndon, VA.  This outdoor festival includes wine tastings and live musical entertainment.

Gift Baskets Make a Perfect Gift

A candy gift basket makes a nice gift
A candy gift basket makes a nice gif

Deciding on a gift for a co-worker or acquaintance can be difficult.  Sometimes it can even be difficult to decide on a great gift for a friend or family member.  Gift cards mean you don’t have to pick out something, but they’re also very impersonal.  Flowers can say too much sometimes, and they aren’t always the best gift for men.  But if you buy something from a store, you run the risk of getting something the person doesn’t like or already has.  So what’s the solution?  How about a gift basket?

Gift baskets make a perfect gift for several reasons.  Most gift baskets feature fruits, candy, and other snacks.  This is a great gift because you can never have enough food.  Gift baskets are also unisex and can be personalized for a man or woman.  For example, some gift baskets do have themes designed for one gender or the other, but many work for both.

The biggest decision you’ll have to make with a gift basket is what you want in it.  Some people try to avoid junk food, so you’d want to go with a fruit basket or gourmet foods for them.  Others love their junk food and would be thrilled to get a whole basket of chocolates.

Two other things may impact your decision.  Do you want a gift basket that has an extra or two in it?  For example, some gift baskets do have a small flower arrangement with them, and some feature mugs or a bottle of cider.  The other decision is size.  Do you want to go with a huge gift basket full of different foods that can feed a family, or a medium sized one that’s perfect for one person?

Once you’ve made these decisions, all you have to do is select the appropriate basket and send it to the recipient.  Taa-daa, the perfect gift!

Send a gift basket in Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland or Nationwide.

Holiday Fun in DC

Christmas in DC
Christmas in DC

Are you looking for some activities in the Washington, DC, area this holiday season?  If so, here are some of the best events for the entire family.

The first thing to do this holiday season is, of course, to visit the National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace.  This is one of the most amazing trees in the area, and it is lit up from dusk until 11:00 p.m. every day of December.  What’s more, there’s a different musical group playing in the area each evening.

You can also attend the lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah on the White House grounds.  Each night of Hanukkah, one of the eight large candles is lit.  In addition to the lighting ceremony, live musical performances and traditional Hanukkah snacks like latke are served.

If you want to do a little walking, you might be interested in taking a candlelight tour.  These tours give you a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the holiday decorations of different historic homes.  Some museums also offer tours.  There are a number of these candlelight tours in DC, Virginia, and Maryland, and many feature music and snacks in addition to the beautiful sights.

If that sounds too cold for you, stay inside and watch the holiday favorite, the Nutcracker.  Several different ballet companies will be performing the Nutcracker.  You can watch the classic story of Clara and her prince at the Kennedy Center, the Warner Theatre, or the Momentum Dance Theatre.

Another neat event is to see a holiday model train exhibit.  These cool miniature recreations of snow-covered towns and villages can be found in several places in the area.  There’s the Union Station Norwegian Model Train Display, the Holiday Magic display at the United States Botanic Garden, and there are a few model trains at the National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace.

Thanksgiving Events in the DC Metro 2010

Thanksgiving is Here!
Thanksgiving is Here!

Thanksgiving is almost here!  Wondering what to do in the DC area?  Here’s a list of some of the top rated events going on in the metro on Thanksgiving and the days before and after it.

There are a number of different Turkey Trots in the area.  What’s a Turkey Trot?  It’s basically a marathon or other type of run (or walk, in some cases).  Some Turkey Trots are for charity, while others are just for fun or to challenge yourself.  The Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger begins at 8:00 am on the 25th at the West Potomac Park.  It’s a 5K run that helps raise money to fee the homeless.  Other nearby runs include the Turkey Chase in Bethesda (Nov. 25 at 8:30 am), the Alexandria Turkey Trot (Nov. 25 at 10:00 am), and the Virginia Run Turkey Trot held in Centreville (Nov. 25 at 8:00 am).

Another way to help those less fortunate is to volunteer for Thanksgiving.  There are a number of charities and kitchens in the DC metro area that are in need of help, including SOME (So Others May Eat), Food and Friends, Bread for the City, and the Capital Area Food Bank.

Ready for Christmas?  If so, attend the National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting on November 26 at the Waterfront Plaza in National Harbor, Maryland.  The 65 foot tree will be decked out with more than 20,000 lights.  Story tellers, hot chocolate, and live holiday music will round out the evening.  Alexandria will also hold a tree lighting ceremony on the same day at the Historic Market Square.

Finally, Black Friday shopping is another great activity to do the day after Thanksgiving.  Many of the stores in the area will have great deals, but you’ve got to get up early to get them!

Need Thanksgiving flowers?  MyFlorist has many great options!

Dog Days of Summer Fun in DC

The dog days of summer are here
The dog days of summer are here

The last month of summer is here, and while the kids are getting ready to go back to school, there’s still some time for family outings.  If you’re wondering what to do during the dog days of summer in Washington, DC, here are a few ideas.

If you’re a football fan, you can drive over to Ashburn, Virginia, to watch the Washington Redskins train.  The training camp runs through August 19 and is free to watch.  You may even get the chance to meet your favorite players and get their autographs after practice.  August 7th is fan appreciation day at noon, and the team is sure to have a few surprises for anyone who comes to see them practice that day.

August 7th is also the Friendship Firehouse Festival at the firehouse museum in Old Town Alexandria.  The festival features live music, free giveaways, crafts, hands-on activities for the kids, and much more.

August 7-8 and August 14-15 is the Arts on N Street Festival at the Washington Convention Center.  This free art festival features work by local artists, organizations, and businesses.  While there’s plenty of art for the adults to check out, there are also many activities for the kids.

Starting August 13th and running through August 30th is the Comcast Film Festival.  This outdoor film festival is held at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland.  Films begin at 8:10 each evening, but you can arrive as early as 6:30.  Some food and snacks will be available for purchase.

Love good food?  If so, you’ll enjoy Restaurant Week.  Starting on August 16th and ending August 22nd, you’ll find more than 100 of the top restaurants in DC participating in this event.  Each restaurant will offer a three-course lunch for $20 and a three-course dinner for $35.  It’s a great opportunity to try a new place to eat or a new entrée.

The Alexandria Cambodian Community Day Festival is August 22nd from noon to 6:00 p.m.  Visitors to this event will get to explore the Cambodian culture via food, arts, crafts, and much more.

Finally, the Maryland Renaissance Festival kicks off on August 28th and runs through October 24th.  Visit this 16th century English village to see live performances, play games, eat great food, and much more.  It’s located in nearby Crownsville, Maryland.