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You can get the best of Out by Ten (and much, much more!) on Out by Ten's Facebook page "Family Friendly Prince George's."

I'm now a full-time work-outside-the-home mom and while we're still going on TONS of family adventures, making time for the adventures (verses making time for writing about them!) has taken priority in my life right now.

But have no fear! Our new Facebook page is a great resource for all the wonderful family-friendly stuff happening in Prince George's County and the greater Metro DC area. Be sure to check out the Out by Ten archives on the right for lots of great activities!

Head over and give me a like and I'll see you on your wall soon!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Upcoming Events: October 3 and 4

In addition to the Capital Book Fest, lots of great events are happening this weekend in Prince George's County!

Second Annual Jump Off!
Saturday, October 3,
11am - 4pm
National Harbor
Performances will take place on National Harbor’s Plaza Stage.
Jump rope making at the NCM Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745

If your kids have energy to burn then jump on over to National Harbor this Saturday! There will be exhibition performances by nationally recognized double Dutch jump rope teams, including the Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. (Sensational, Inspiring, Talented, Youthful) Stars, a world-wide award-winning jump rope team from Prince George’s County!

At the National Children's Museum Launch Zone, children can make their own custom jump ropes (while supplies last) and learn the latest moves, like the “heel exchange” or the “leg-over cross,” from the jumping performers.

Representatives from WPGC radio will be giving away prizes and other give-aways; and NCM friends and Harbor partners will offer discounts from NCM friends and partners at the Harbor. DC-area sports teams mascots will be making appearances and you can enjoy regional foods, crafts, fashion, and much more at American Market at National Harbor.

All that jumping make you hungry? You're in luck: National Harbor’s McCormick & Schmick’s will offer one free kids menu item for each adult entree purchased between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the festivities. (Limit one child ages 10 and under per adult [parent or guardian]; dine-in only.) CakeLove at National Harbor will give one free chocolate chip cookie to the first 100 kids ages 12 and under who “jump” with their new jump rope from the Launch Zone to the bakery. In addition, Aromi d'Italia Gelateria & CafĂ© will offer a free sampling of cookies at the Launch Zone (while supplies last) along with “buy one get one free” cookie coupons.

Doggie Dive-In
Saturday, October 3, 10am - 2pm
Ellen Linson Swimming Pool
5211 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740

The dog days of summer are official over. Or, are they? Area pools are closed for the summer so now it's time for your pooch to enjoy a dip! The Ellen Linson Swimming Pool is hosting a Doggie Dive-In on Saturday, October 3 from 10 am-2 pm.

Dogs must be friendly, social, and curbed before entering the pool. Proof of up-to-date vaccination must be shown at entry. Admission fee is $4/dog. Please note that a maximum of 2 dogs will be admitted per person. For more information call 301-277-3717.

Kinderfest @ Watkins Regional Park
Sunday, October 4, 12-5pm

We love Watkins Regional Park! If you've never been there before or if it is an old favorite, head on over this Sunday for Kinderfest. In addition to the usual train rides, carousel rides and live animals offered at the park you can enjoy midway games, onstage entertainment, roving entertainment, exhibits, an NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition and more. Admission is FREE although fees are charged for some activities and for food concessions. For more information 301-218-6700 or click here.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bowie Train Station Museum

Recently at playgroup a grandmother mentioned how much fun her grandchildren have playing at the red caboose at the Bowie Train Station so of course Lucas and I had to check it out!

This is a very easy and low-key destination for anyone whose children love trains.

The Train Station Museum is basically four small buildings: the welcome center, depot museum, tower and caboose. At the moment the depot museum is pretty empty and the tower is closed. The staff person on hand told me that the museum will be getting a new exhibit in December and that the tower is currently being renovated and will be open later this winter as well.

It didn't matter to Lucas, however, that those buildings didn't have much to offer because there was a caboose! A red caboose!

Inside, the caboose is basically empty except for a train table, a train table which he was totally excited to play with despite that fact that the one he has at home has been gathering dust recently. Isn't that always the case?

The true highlight for this destination, however, is the fact that the caboose is located very, very close to actual train tracks and MARC, Amtrak, Acela and freight trains speed by on a regular basis. In fact, the train schedule is posted inside the caboose so you know about when to expect them. We spent about an hour playing in and around the caboose and saw about 10 trains speed by. Lucas literally jumped with excitement at each and every one.

Next time we visit, I'll pack a lunch. There are a few picnic tables located on a grassy area near the caboose and tracks. What's better than watching the trains from the back of the caboose? Watching trains as you eat your lunch!

If you are looking for a low-key, free and easy activity to engage your kids for about an hour, the Bowie Train Station Museum is a great stop.

Additional details:

Bowie Train Station Museum
8614 Chestnut Avenue, Bowie, MD


Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am to 4pm

Cost: Free

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Smithsonian Free Museum Day: Saturday, September 26

We have gotten quite spoiled by living in the DC Metro area with access to dozens of world-class free museums through the Smithsonian Institution: We hate paying for museums! And yet, we've found some smaller, off-the-beaten-path museums that we really love and are willing to pay to enjoy. The College Park Aviation Museum and B&O Railroad Museum are two examples.

This Saturday, those museums and dozens of others are also free! That's right, Saturday, September 26 is Smithsonian Magazine Free Museum Day!

If you receive the Smithsonian Magazine, there's a tear-out coupon in your magazine. If you're not a subscriber or have already recycled your magazine, simply click here here to fill out and print the admission card to receive free admission for two. (Be sure to print out one card for every two people in your family!)

Then, head on over to one (or more!) of the museums that are free for the day this Saturday.

Participating museums in Prince George's County include:

College Park Aviation Museum
National Museum of Language

Radio and Television Museum

Additional participating museums in Maryland that are great for children include:

B&O Railroad Museum
Baltimore Streetcar Museum
Chesapeake Children's Museum

Click here for the complete list of participating museums in MD, DC, VA and across the country.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Book Festivals Are Coming! The Book Festivals Are Coming!

The 2009 National Book Festival

Saturday, September 26 from 10am-5:30pm
The National Mall between 7th and 14th streets

Over the past eight years, the National Book Festival has developed a devoted following. Bibliophiles are certainly thrilled that First Lady Michelle Obama has continued this awesome annual event which was started by former First Lady Laura Bush.

The National Book Festival is an amazing opportunity to meet and hear from your and your kids' favorite authors. There's so much to do and see, I can't begin to cover it all. For more information, click over to the festival website at The schedule and list of state, author and book sales pavilions can be found here. The list of authors attending the festival can be found here. A PDF of the the pavilion map can be found here.

Lines can be very long, especially for the best-known authors. If you happen to miss one of your favorites, or if you aren't able to get to the National Book Festival in person, you can hear podcasts from many well-known authors here.

5th Annual Capital BookFest
Saturday, October 3 from 10 am-7 pm
The Boulevard at the Capital Centre in Largo

This event promises to be a fun and informative day of author readings, panels, publishing workshops, poetry, children's storytelling, teen programs and exhibitors right here in Prince George's County. This is a FREE event which is presented in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation. It also helps promote healthy homes for children in foster care through a partnership with the Prince George's County Department of Social Services.

The first 1,000 attendees will receive a FREE book!

For more information about the schedule of events and a list of the local, national and celebrity authors participating, visit

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 21, 2009

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

Lucas and I recently spent a fun morning at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center. He had a blast donning a space suite and stepping inside a Mercury capsule model to flip all the switches and begin the launch countdown.

The Visitor Center is easy to get to and is--what else would you expect from NASA?--simply packed with amazing photographs of outer space and all kinds of incredible information. While Lucas was busy playing with the model spaceships or putting together a puzzle of the solar system, I was reading as much as I could, just trying to take it all in.

After I finally dragged Lucas away from the Mercury capsule, kids area and beautiful images inside the visitor center, he was in awe of the Goddard Rocket Garden out back. It was so fun to get up close and even touch (the signs said no climbing but didn't mention touching so I took them literally, as any good scientist would!) rockets some of which had actually been to space and back. Lucas kept asking if they were going to blast off (with a mix of excitement and trepidation in his voice!) and so I think it would be great fun to bring him back for one of the Sunday model rocket launches (details below).

Overall, this was another great destination in Prince George's County: we're so lucky to have a part of NASA right in our backyard. As with many of these smaller museums/visitors centers outside of the Smithsonian, we practically had the place to ourselves. There was plenty of room and Lucas didn't have to share the kid-friendly exhibits/activities with anyone else.

I also loved the fact that the gift shop was in an entirely different building, a building that we successfully avoided making the visit truly cost free!

Additional events and activities offered by NASA Goddard:

The Sunday Experiment

Elementary school students and their families are invited to the Goddard Visitor Center on the third Sunday of every month, from September to May, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., for a free afternoon of eye-opening, hands-on activities that will help you experience what it’s like to be a NASA engineer. Contact: Maria Acevedo-Rivera at

Model Rocket Launches

Like to build model rockets, but don’t have a launch pad? Now you do! Anyone can fly at the Goddard model rocket launches, and there are no costs or fees to participate. Rockets, motors and supplies are available at the nearby Goddard Gift Shop and you can even get rocket construction and launch tips from our on-site experts on launch day! Model rocket launches are held at the Goddard Visitor Center the first Sunday of the month. Launches start at 1 p.m. and are brought to you by the NARHAMS Model Rocket club:

Additional Details:

NASA Goddard Visitor Center

8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, Md., 20771

Click here for directions.


September-June: Tuesday-Friday 10am-3pm; Saturday-Sunday 12-4pm
July-August: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday 12-4pm

Cost: Free!

Phone: 301-286-3978

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

FREE Barbecues and Festivals This Weekend

Did you think summer was over? Think again! There are several free barbecues and festivals this weekend in Prince George's County. These are great opportunities to get outside, mingle with your neighbors and enjoy!

Port Towns Day
Saturday, September 19
12pm - 6pm

Bladensburg, Colmar Manor and Cottage City are collectively known as the Port Towns and everyone is invited to join them in celebration of Port Towns Day at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Highlights include crafts, food demonstrations, entertainment, live bands and a family movie at dusk. Admission is FREE; nominal fees will be charged for food. For more information please call 301-779-0371.

O'Malley/Brown Barbecue
Saturday, September 19

2pm - 5pm

Our Governor and Lt. Governor are hosting a FREE barbecue for residents of Prince George's County at the Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Road, Largo. Come on out to meet your elected officials and neighbors. RSVP to (410) 468-4004 or on-line at

28th Annual Festival Hispano
Sunday, September 20
12pm - 6pm

Everyone is invited to celebrate the rich Hispanic culture in Prince George's County this Sunday at Lane Manor Park (7601 West Park Dr. & University Blvd., Adelphi 20783). Festivities will include carnival games, pony rides, arts and crafts, music, entertainment, and displays/exhibitors. Admission is FREE; nominal fees will be charged for food and craft vendors.

Free shuttles to the festival will be running between 11:30 am and 6:30 pm from Lot 1 at the University of Maryland, College Park (behind the Marriott) and the Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School. For additional information call 301-445-4500.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wee Wonders at the National Children's Museum Launch Zone

The National Children's Museum (NCM) invites you to participate in Wee Wonders at the Launch Zone at National Harbor!

You can practically create your own preschool for your toddler with the help of the National Children's Museum and their Wee Wonders program. Each month, the NCM is offering programs on a different theme for children ages 2-3. According to the NCM, "these fun, fast-paced learning events typically include stories, games, art, music, experiments, drama, and movement around a different theme."

Please note: each month the same program is offered multiple times. But knowing how much my own son loved repetition as a toddler, you may want to visit more than once a month!

Here's the schedule and a short description provided by the National Children's Museum. Programs take place from 10am-11:15am on the dates listed below.

September 15, 22, and 29: Wee Wonders' Remarkable Rivers
With a beautiful view of the Potomac, the Launch Zone is the perfect spot to introduce your wee ones to everything fun about rivers! Explore river animals, fish, boats, and the properties of water alongside your young child in this exciting program.

October 6, 13, and 20: Wee Wonders' Sense-ational!
Children will begin to understand how their bodies work by investigating their five fabulous senses. Explore smells, textures, sounds, sights, and tastes with your toddler.

November 3, 10, and 17: Wee Wonders' Fall at the Farm
It's harvest time at the pretend NCM farm! Little farmers will tend to pretend animals and crops and celebrate nature's autumn surprises. Explore apples, pumpkins, and farm animals.

December 1, 8, and 15: Wee Wonders' Winter Wonderland
Discover what happens during the winter including winter weather, ice and snow, and how different animals adapt to the changing season.

Additional Details:

National Children's Museum Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745

Limit two children per adult; all non-infant children with an adult must pay and must participate; additional siblings are not permitted.

Fee: $10 per child. Pre-registration and advance payment (by check or credit card only) is required by the Friday prior to the event.

Please call 202-675-4120 or email to register.


For more information about visiting National Harbor and The Launch Zone, please check out my previous post.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kids Fest at the B&O Railroad Museum September 12 and 13

After spending lots of time dancing and singing along to Play! and Great Day by Milkshake, Lucas and I couldn't be more excited to see them live in concert at Kids Fest at the B&O Railroad Museum this weekend. Milkshake will be performing on Saturday and Sunday at Noon in what the group promises will be high energy, surprise-filled performances!

The B&O Railroad Museum's Kids Fest will take place on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 from 10am - 5pm and is free with regular museum admission.

In addition to the Milkshake concerts, highlights of Kids Fest include:
  • Kiddie Train Rides
  • Kids' "All Aboard" Calling Contests
  • Balloon Twisters
  • Children's Games, Arts, & Crafts
  • Contests and giveaways throughout the weekend including a trip to Rye Creek Lodge in Montana courtesy of Modern Babies and Children.
  • Mile One Express Train Rides ($2 adults, $1 children 2-12, free for B&O members)
  • Guest Mascot appearances by Amtrak's Arte & Bowie Baysox Louie
  • Souvenir family photos at Dr. Coupler's Railroad Photorium with packages starting at $12.95

Read more about why DC-area parents love the B&O Railroad Museum at Being Savvy DC and A Parent in Silver Spring.

Additional Information:

B&O Railroad Museum
901 West Pratt Street in Baltimore, MD

Admission rates:
Adults - $14; Seniors (60+) - $12; Children (ages 2-12) - $8; B&O Members - Free

Click here to print a coupon for $1 off admission for each person in your group during Kids Fest!

Parking: Free!

Want to check out the B&O Railroad Museum but can't make is this weekend? Plan to visit on the first Tuesday of any month for their "Thrifty Tuesday" half-price admission!


Blogging disclaimer: The B&O Railroad Museum sent us four free coupons for museum admission so we can attend this event.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Milkshake's newest CD, Great Day. You have until Saturday to enter--click here!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival: September 4-7

The Greenbelt Labor Day Festival has been taking place for 55 years! This annual weekend event is the largest event of its kind in Maryland and has events and exhibits sure to please every member of your family.

Here are just some of the things you and your kids won't want to miss! (Click here for a full schedule.)

Friday, September 4 -- Opening Night

Midway. Rides by Rosedale Amusements. Games, food, sale & information booths organized by Greenbelt organizations. Booths constructed and wired by Greenbelt Public Works Department.

Ride tickets - $1.00; 25 for $20.00; $20.00 unlimited rides from 11:00am to 4:00 pm on Saturday or noon to 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Midway. Notlim the Clown will greet children. Notlim has been a mainstay of the Festival and this year celebrates his 30th year bringing joy to the children!

Stage. Finals for the first annual Greenbelt singing idols! If you, your tweens or teens love watching American Idol, you'll certainly enjoy seeing the finalists for the first annual Greenbelt Singing Idols perform live!

Saturday, September 5 -- Kids' Day!

9-11am KIDS' GAMES
Greenbelt Community Center front lawn. (Rain Location-Community Center gym.) A variety of games will take place in a carnival-style setting.


Midway. Betty May the Clown will make balloon animals for children.

Stage. Sing along all the old favorites with Greenbelt's leading children's singer!

Stage. Rock and roll for children of all ages. Read more about why so many DC area families love Rocknoceros over at Tech Savvy Mama.

Stage. Greenbelt's favorite clown will amaze and amuse you!

Sunday, September 6 -- Family Day


Midway. Make Island-themed crafts with the Community Center's Artists in Residence. Part of an Artful Afternoon. FREE.

Monday, September 7 -- Labor Day

Roosevelt Center. Decorate your bike or trike and ride it in the parade! All contestants meet at the Mother and Child statue. Sponsored by: Greenbelt Lion's Club.

Crescent Rd. The 55th Annual Labor Day Parade will entertain you with a variety of groups, demonstrate community spirit, and accentuate diverse cultural backgrounds. There will be Floats, Bands, Fire trucks, Color Guard, Community Organizations and the Miss Greenbelt participants. The Grand Marshall is Greenbelt's Outstanding Citizen. Sign language interpreter at the Reviewing Stand across from the Municipal Building. Parade Route: Down Crescent Rd from Greenhill to Centerway. Parade is marshaled by the Central Maryland Amateur Radio Club (CMARC) and Prince George's Amateur Radio Club (PGARC) of MD.


Greenbelt Community Church, Corner of Hillside & Crescent Rd. After parade. Barbeque sandwich or hot dog, baked beans, slaw, chips, drink and dessert for one reasonable price.

Additional Information:

All events will take place in the Roosevelt Center parking lot unless otherwise noted. (Here's a map.)

You can avoid parking issues by taking the FREE Festival Shuttle. Vans will pick-up at parking locations at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt Elementary School, Green Ridge House and the Greenbelt Armory & deliver the riders to the festival area. (Here's the shuttle schedule.) The festival is also just a 10- minute walk from Eleanor Roosevelt High School.

Questions? Call Festival Information at (301) 345-0147

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!