Metro Parent Relief

Archive of ‘Family Outings’ category

This FATHER’S DAY – Take Him Out! 6 Fun Date Night Ideas

We all know that one-on-one time with your partner is important to keeping your relationship happy and healthy, but it can be tough to come up with new, creative ideas for dates. Here are some simple, low-key date ideas that are certain to keep the spark alive.

1. Too exhausted by 9pm to think about going out for the evening? How about a brunch or lunch date? You’ll save money too; lunch menus prices are usually lower than dinner. Try Indigo Landing in Alexandria where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Potomac and DC skyline while you sip a Bellini made with house made strawberry puree.
2. Errands. We realize this doesn’t sound like the most romantic date, but once you have children you can really appreciate how lovely it is to get errands done by yourself. You and your partner can talk and spend time together while you check things off of your to-do list.

3. Perils of the Lost Jungle Mini Golf at Woody’s in Herndon. This place gets rave reviews for its adventure-themed course and was rated one of the top 5 mini golf courses in the country by Newsweek Magazine.

4. Bowling. Enjoy some friendly (and flirty) competition in an old school date night kind of way.

5. Take a walk in a park. Bring a blanket and a cooler and relax outdoors; you may even fall asleep. New parents, doesn’t that sound amazing?

6. Couples massage.  Not too expensive, very intimate, loving, and shows appreciation.  Not to mention a true stress and tension reliever.  Red Door Spas throughout the area, and also Massage Envy are all offering Father’s Day specials!

Why not let Metro Parent Relief send a nanny or sitter so you may enjoy some well-deserved couple time?

Giving Back With the Whole Family

Have you found that finding the time to spend quality one on one time with an older child while caring for an infant or toddler overwhelming?  We’ve assembled a great list of volunteer opportunities in our area that welcome younger children and families. Get your entire family to work together, or, use a service project as an opportunity to get some one-on-one time with an older child. Your children will learn invaluable lessons about helping others and contributing to the community and your family will enjoy doing something for others, together.

Color A Smile (online) – Any age. Your child can draw or paint an original picture or a coloring page, which you then mail in to the Color A Smile office. They will distribute the artworks to nursing homes, Meals on Wheels recipients and individuals across the country who they believe would benefit from a masterpiece.

Capital Area Food Bank (DC and NoVA) – 12+, 12-16 year old volunteers must be accompanied by an adult and must have a waiver allowing participation. The mission of the Capital Area Food Bank is to feed those who suffer from hunger in the Washington metro area by acquiring food and distributing it through its network of partner agencies; and educating, empowering and enlightening the community about the issues of hunger and nutrition. Volunteers are needed in the DC and NoVA Warehouses to help in the areas of: packing and sorting, stocking floor, loading docks, and administrative work.

Earth Sangha (NoVA) – Minimum age is 8. Earth Sangha operates an ecological restoration program to restore native forests and meadows, stabilize streams, and control invasive alien plants in the Washington metro area. Volunteers will help plant native plants, trees, grasses, shrubs and wildflowers in grassland, forests and meadows. Volunteers are also needed to help control invasive plants.

Maddie’s Blankets (NoVA) – Great for young children, you simply have to be able to tie a knot. Make comforting fleece blankets for animals in shelters and children in foster care.

Claude Moore Colonial Farm (McLean) – Children under age 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The mission of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm is to educate the public about American agriculture through active participation and involvement in an 18th century low-income family farm and related programs. Volunteers will dress in period costumes and portray farmers, merchants, artisans, and musicians of the 18th century.

A Forever Home (Chantilly) – Minimum age is 12. Children 12-14 must be accompanied by an adult. A Forever Home is a dog and cat rescue organization whose mission is to find permanent, loving homes for animals in dire situations. Volunteers are needed to assist in foster homes, as transporters for adoptions and vet visits, handlers at adoption days, and helpers at fundraising events.

These are just a few ideas to get older children involved with activities that have a purpose.  We encourage you to reply with any additional ideas, or groups that you wish to suggest to other Metro Parent Relief families and friends.  Summer is about enjoying time with outside of the rigorous school schedule, learning about our environment and community, and enjoying family, so make the most of it!


Skin Cancer Later in Life from Childhood Exposure?

Did you know that one session of long-term sun exposure can drastically increase your chances of getting skin cancer later in life?

As children and during childhood we often go to the beach and pool with our families during the summer, and sunburn seems to be a common occurrence during that time of year. Most of us don’t think much about how sunburn can really affect us and our health, especially when its something that is hard to avoid. Even when sunblock with a fair amount of SPF is applied, a lot of us still end up with a case of sunburn at the end of the day. Although mild exposure to the sun is not bad, it’s actually rather good to get some daily vitamin D in, but what we need to worry about most is the times when we catch a case of very red and painful sunburn. A good way to tell whether or not you have a pretty bad case is when you have the following symptoms-

  • Red (not pink) skin that is rather painful to the touch
  • Small blisters filled with fluid (that may burst)
  • Excessive peeling
  • Scabbing
  • Swelling
  • Headache/Fever/Nausea

Sunburn with such severity may also be known as sun poisoning, which if left untreated could be very damaging to the skin. This type of sunburn with such severity greatly increases your chances of skin cancer later in life because of the damage it emits to the skin. Decades might pass before you see the affects of one case of sun poisoning/severe sunburn, and even after years it still had taken a toll on your skin and puts you at even greater risk. This is why it is important to always protect yourself from the suns harmful rays.

As for immediate treatment for sun poisoning and or severe sunburn you should try to stay indoors for a few days and limit sun exposure, when you do go out try to cover the affected areas. As well as use aloe Vera gel or deep moisturizers, drink extra fluids for a few days, take a cool shower or bath, or take an over the counter pain medication. All of which are short and easy fixes for the problem. After about a week if your symptoms still persist, you should take a trip to the doctor. There’s a great chance that you’ve received 3rd or possibly 2nd degree burns and your skin may need a prescribed cream in order to speed up the healing process.

Protecting your skin from the sun if extremely important, the skin is very sensitive and the suns UV rays can easily damage it. Its important to always wear some form of protection, anything with an SPF over 30 will do about the same job protecting you, and anything less is just about useless but the higher the number, the longer you can go without reapplication. Although its recommended that you should try to reapply at least every 30 minutes to ensure the best protection possible. Having a case of server sunburn is not fun trust me, and the affects of getting it once can last decades and increase your skins sensitivity to the sun. Why risk heightening your chances of skin cancer when you can so easily protect yourself and your children?


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Written by Guest Blogger- Nyema A. Wilson


Memorial Day Lessons for Families

We all joke about family vacations, the ever lasting questions of “Are we there yet”?, the beach traffic that builds the anticipation, of the start of the long, lazy days of summer.  There are so many plans to make including, the laundry, the packing, the decisions on which clothes to bring, do we need to bring along the babies pack and play, who’s side of the family to visit this year, are we staying at a hotel or brave enough to stay at his parent’s home, the car rental, date and times of departure/arrival, are we going to fly or drive, and so much more!  No wonder so many parents are left feeling like they need a vacation after the vacation because there is so much work involved.

While putting it all together this week, remember that the most important reasons for family vacations and travel are to finally have a stretch of true quality time, build memories, allow the cousins to bond, great food on the grill, and hopefully a little R&R in between.  While we are so grateful for those things, and the ability to have this time with our friends and families, we also need to be sure to keep the whole meaning of Memorial Day respected, taught to our children, and appreciated.

As young as two and three years old, children can begin to identify with our American Flag, and chances are that you have someone in your family, or a neighbor, or one of the children at your kids school has a parent in the military.  Educating our children on the true meaning behind Memorial Day, which is the final Monday in May of every year designated to honor the men and women who have died serving our country in the military.  This holiday was originated after the civil war, and was formerly known as Decoration Day.  By the early 20th century, Decoration Day, now Memorial Day was being celebrated in a more expressive way by people gathering at national and church cemetaries honoring thier family members lost in the line of duty, marked by special family gatherings of meals, trips to the beach, fireworks, the long family weekend, and officially marking the start of summer!

You can make this lesson fun and enjoyable in many ways with your children.  Many families choose to visit the Arlington National Cemetary, The Tomb of the Unknown, The Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Wasington Monument.  DC area families have the ability to take advantage of so many sights here in the Arlington, and Washington DC areas.  It literally is a hop, skip, and jump, away from us, so please consider making memories with an important trip downtown.  There are also ways of learning about this holiday by reading books, perhaps attending a parade, or even taking a trip to The Arlington House, or otherwise known as the Robert E. Lee memorial, all of which can teach the appreciation and passion behind such an important holiday.  You, the parent, can make this critical lesson better understood, and easy to grasp by keeping it light, fun, and interesting.

Below is a list of fun books to read with children of all ages, including activities, games, and fun recipes to help educated the youngest member of your family about Memorial Day.  We, the staff, and nannies, child care specialist, and babysitters referred by Metro Parent Relief believe that keeping our children grounded, and teaching them to honor our countries military is a very important character building element.

The books that recommends include:

Memorial Day Books for Kids - Let's Get Ready for Memorial Day

Let’s Get Ready for Memorial Day – By Lloyd G. Douglas

Memorial Day Books for Kids - Memorial Day Surprise

Memorial Day Surprise- By Theresa Golding


Memorial Day Books for Kids - The Wall

The Wall- By Eve Bunting also has links to fun, educational, activities, crafts, coloring pages, teen book lists, and Memorial Day fact sheets and puzzles, so click below to check it out!

The day nannies, night nannies, sleep trainers, child care specialist/experts, babysitters, referred by our staff, and I wish you, and your family a very HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!



Top 5 Kid Friendly Restaurants in DC, MD, and VA!

familyrestaurant If your family is anything like my family, you love to eat out!  We view eating at different restaurants as exciting, and intriguing.  We try new food, take in the wide varieties of atmospheres, along with rate the level of customer service that we receive. I guess you can say that my family has our own review campaign going on, when it comes to baby and kid friendly establishments.

Below we have developed a list of the top 5 rated family friendly restaurants in the DC, MD, VA area! At these specific restaurants, you will not have to make a mad dash for the exit if the baby begins screaming at the top of her lungs, or your tot shares with everyone around that he needs to go pee pee.

Enjoy the list where your family can enjoy everything from Pizza, to Burgers, Italian, Greek and More!  These places are full of friendly staff, family fun, and wonderful menus that are sure to please even the highest critics of them all.

1.)   Aria Pizzaria– 1300 Penn Ave. NW Washington, DC – This authentic pizzeria is located at the most convenient spot ever, the Ronald Regan Building.  This attraction offers what I call a 2 For 1 with the ability to visit the Ronald Regan Building, and dine all in one trip.  Aria offers tasty sandwiches, pizzas, and salads to please any palate.  There is even great outside dining available during the summer months.

2.)   Johnny Rockets– A chain family friendly restaurant, offering the feel of the 50’s and 60’s with it’s retro décor, awesome Motown style music, great shakes, and if dining before a movie, such as at my family favorite location, Kingstown, in Alexandria, VA, you can get discounted movie tickets!

3.)   Spartan Family Restaurant– located in Burke, VA- offering a wide variety of Greek, Italian, and American cuisine.  Spartan has long been a hidden jewel, with local families flocking to dine in after church services on Sundays, during the week for healthy, homemade, delicious meals, and as tradition for some families on special occasions.  Visit it’s family friendly atmosphere, there is no doubt that you will agree that they are one of the best in the area!

4.)   Olympian’s Family Restaurant– Alexandria, VA – yet another Greek specialty, family owned.  Olympian’s has been in existence for quite some time.  Many have enjoyed the fact that on a Friday night, you can find this restaurant packed with local families.

5.)   Flippin Pizza– Bethesda, MD- with multiple locations throughout the area.  As we all know, our kids love to eat Pizza!  At Flippin, you can get non-greasy, not too spicy, handmade pizza delivered, at a family friendly price.  They even have wonderful lunch specials for us adults for quick lunch breaks.  I recommend the white pizza, delicious!
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