Category Archives: Preteens

Giveaway: Win a Summer Session at Camp Gan Israel!

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Are you still making summer plans for your kids? Here’s a great option to consider — and you have a chance to win a week-long session there!

Camp Gan Israel is a Jewish camp for kids ages 2-10 years old. The all-in-one program includes crafts, sports, gymnastics, martial arts, field trips, swimming, Judaics, baking, drama, dance, and many more exciting activities.

Camp is run at the TheSHUL – Lubavitch Center and is uniquely suited for a great summer camp experience. Conveniently located in the heart of Dupont Circle (just across Connecticut Ave. from the Washington Hilton), it’s easily metro accessible and has spacious indoor facilities that enable summer fun, no matter the weather outside. Nearby Mitchell and Kalorama Parks offer age appropriate playgrounds and playing fields, adding to the Camp Gan Israel experience. Swimming takes place at the Washington Hilton, and group swim lessons are included for campers in grades K-2.

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The camp runs for three one-week sessions June 22 – July 10. Core camp hours are 9am – 3:30pm, but before and after care is offered, extending available options from 8am – 5:30pm daily. A healthy lunch and snacks are included for all campers, and the camp is allergy-friendly, accommodating children with various food allergies.

For more information about Camp Gan Israel, visit the website. And for a chance to win a free week, enter the giveaway below!

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Giveaway: For a chance to win a weeklong session at Camp Gan Israel, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite activity with your kids this past weekend. To be eligible to win, you must also like KidFriendly DC on Facebook. The giveaway will run through this weekend, then the winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Camp Gan Israel, however, I only promote programs, services, and events that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Camp, DC, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Preschoolers, Preteens, Professional Service, Seasonal, Sponsored Post, Summer, Toddlers

Pinstripes in Georgetown is Right up Your Alley

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Even though school wasn’t cancelled for the snow today (DCPS, anyway), it made me recall last winter, when there seemed to be an exorbitant amount of days off, between holidays, snow days, and other random administrative reasons. It’s a good reminder to have some activities in my back pocket that the kids and I could enjoy together, different than our usual go-to pursuits, but still ones we can count on happening just about any day.

Pinstripes in Georgetown recently made the cut. On one of those random days off, we took advantage of Tots Playtime at the venue that’s a bistro, bowling alley, and bocce court all in one. Every weekday from 10am to 12pm, kids can bowl for just $5, and there’s no cost at all for parents to join them. June 2015 Update: The Tots Playtime promo has changed, and it’s now $5/child to bowl, plus $5 shoe rental. Adults (up to 2 per child) still bowl free.

A little lemonade stand welcomes little guests

A little lemonade stand welcomes little guests

Cozy couches and nice tables where you can dine and relax

Cozy couches and nice tables where you can relax while you wait your turn and dine, too

So, when you think bowling alley, you probably picture a big, loud place that serves pizza, hot dogs, and fries that you probably have to eat in a separate area from where you bowl. Pinstripes is different. To start, the lanes are nice and modern; the seating/scoring area right behind them has cozy couches and a table, so you can eat right there; and the music isn’t blaring. On top of that, they have great menus (it’s also a bistro, after all), including a Kids Menu with several choices — for $8 they get a starter, entree, dessert, and drink — and a nice selection on the main menu.

Morning fare, and kiddies options in addition to an extensive main menu

Morning fare and kiddies options in addition to an extensive main menu

Grilled salmon at the bowling alley...yum!

Grilled salmon at the bowling alley…yum!

The kids and I bowled a couple of rounds, eating lunch about halfway through. Ramps are available for little bowlers as are bumpers in a couple of lanes. The staff was incredibly nice and attentive, helping us find balls light enough for Sasha and taking food and drink orders and bringing everything right to us. It might seem a little luxurious for a bowling outing with kids, but there are no complaints here. The Tots Playtime is such a great deal, and regular bowling alleys often end up being just as, if not more, pricey.

A little help from the ramp

A little help from the ramp

The tots deal isn’t the only reason to go to Pinstripes. They occasionally host special events for kids — they had an egg hunt last Easter, provided family entertainment at Taste of Georgetown, and held a Kids in the Garden day, where the chef taught guests about gardening, plants, and seeds. You can also host your own private events there, including children’s birthday parties, and there’s a special Sunday brunch that welcomes families. Of course, you can also go for a kid-free outing and enjoy a meal in the restaurant along with some bocce to top it off.

Next time: Bocce

Next time: Bocce

Did I spare any details? Check out the website for even more info.

Pinstripes Georgetown is located in The Shops at Georgetown Park at 1064 Wisconsin Ave NW. Hours are Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 11:00pm, Friday: 10:00am – 12:30am, Saturday: 10:00am – 12:30am, and Sunday: 10:00am – 10:00pm.

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Filed under Date Night, DC, Eats, Gradeschoolers, Indoor Play, Ongoing, Preschoolers, Preteens, Sports, Teens, Weekdays, Weekend

Giveaway: Enter to Win a Family Fun Pack of Tickets to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

"Fiddler on the Roof" is at Arena Stage through January 11

“Fiddler on the Roof” is at Arena Stage through January 11



A few weeks ago, I received a last minute invitation to join a friend and her in-laws to see “Fiddler on the Roof” at Arena Stage when her husband couldn’t make it. While I’d seen the film, and have known the story and songs since I was a kid, I’d never experienced the show live on stage. Well, the wait was worth it, because this particular production is fantastic, easily sustaining Fiddler’s reputation as a Broadway classic.

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Fiddler on the Roof presents the story of Tevye, “a humble Jewish father who finds his devotion to God severely tested by his headstrong daughters, who want to be their own matchmakers, and the increasingly ruthless government forcing him from his land.” It’s a wonderful production, with emotional and playful performances from the actors, jubilant musical numbers, and superb stage direction. The venue itself — the Fichandler Stage, a small theatre with the audience surrounding the stage — heightens the experience with a cozy, intimate feel. Every seat offers a good view, and you’re so close in (we were practically sitting on the stage), you almost feel like you’re part of the family.

The show runs over two and a half hours, including intermission, but it’s so entertaining it seems to go by much more quickly. And while I saw it with a group of grown-ups, I think this is one children could also enjoy. Arena Stage agrees and are currently offering a Family Fun Pack: Four seats for only $125 — a great deal. (Orders must include a minimum of two patrons between ages 5 and 17 per Family Fun Pack; cannot be combined with any other offer or applied to previously purchased tickets; limit two Family Fun Packs per household. All standard fees apply. Must be purchased by phone or in person. Other restrictions may apply. Contact the Sales Office to check on appropriate family shows.)

Fiddler on the Roof is running at Arena Stage through January 11. Individual tickets are $50-99 and can be purchased online, by phone, or at the box office. You can also try to win a Family Fun Pack in the giveaway.

Giveaway: Arena Stage has given me a Family Fun Pack (4 tickets) to see Fiddler on the Roof to give to one lucky reader. For a chance to win it, simply leave a comment below telling me an activity or event you’re looking forward to in 2015. To be eligible, you must like KFDC on Facebook and subscribe to the blog (see sign-up in top left corner). This giveaway will run through Sunday, December 14, and a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good luck!


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Filed under DC, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Live Entertainment, Music, Preteens, Teens, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter

Shop a Spanish Book Fair & Learn about Programs at Waterfront Academy

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How about adding a little culture to your children’s array of holiday gifts? Waterfront Academy, the dual immersion (Spanish and English) Montessori school in southwest DC, is having a Children’s Spanish Book Fair next Monday and Tuesday, December 8-9 from 3-5pm, featuring hard-to-find authentic Spanish books that are a real treat for kids of all ages.

Portico Bookstore, a downtown DC shop that specializes in Latin American culture and literature, is partnering with the school, supplying the books and giving Waterfront Academy a portion of each sale. All are welcome to shop the fair and help support programs that currently serve a primary classroom for children 2.5-6 years old and an elementary level classroom for grades 1-4.

Along with buying books, this is also a great opportunity to learn about Waterfront Academy’s educational and enrichment offerings. Mamá y Yo, for children between the ages 18 months to 3 years old, is a Spanish immersion Montessori “Mommy and Me” class. Little ones, along with a caregiver or parent, participate in a collaborative class, building on foundational vocabulary and skills each week. The next session begins on Saturday, January 24.

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There are even more after school enrichment activities during the week that are open to anyone, not just students. Mondays is Tippi Toes dance; Tuesdays is Good Moves Game Club; Thursdays is Super Soccer Stars and Fish and Rocks Science Labs; and Fridays is Children’s Art Expression. The next session for children 2.5 and up begins in January. Space is limited, so register your child soon!

Want to learn even more? Each month Waterfront Academy hosts a family night open to anyone in the community. For a small five dollar donation, children are entertained with a popcorn and pizza movie night, while parents participate in a short lecture. This month’s lecture takes place on Friday, December 11 from 5:30 – 7pm, and will focus on reading to children and language acquisition. Visit the website to learn more.

Waterfront Academy is a dual immersion (Spanish and English) faith-based Montessori school in the Catholic tradition located at 60 I Street SW.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Waterfront Academy, however, I only promote events, activities, and programs that I truly believe in and/or think would appeal to KFDC readers.


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Filed under Christmas, DC, Fundraiser, Gradeschoolers, Preschoolers, Preteens, School Event, Toddlers, Tweens, Weekdays

Giveaway: Spark Creativity & Fun with Nene Imagination Puzzles

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Perhaps you’ve noticed that I don’t do many product reviews here on the blog. That’s mainly because KFDC focuses on events, activities, and places to enjoy with kids around the DC area. Also, I simply don’t have the time. So, if I am reviewing a product, you likely can assume it’s for something good. And Nene Imagination Puzzles are good, really good, in my opinion.

Pretty penguins, birds, and butterflies

Pretty penguins, birds, and butterflies

I was intrigued from the first email I received from the puzzle creators. For starters, I love hearing about parents who re-routed their careers or created something novel with the new insight and lifestyle that comes from having children — it’s inspiring and something I can relate to. This was the case with local parents Ade Luque and CJ Krizan, both economists who became interested in toys and games for their twins and decided to develop their own. What really drew me in, however, were the puzzles themselves — or the descriptions of them, anyway, when Ade first reached out to me:

We currently make two kinds of puzzles: Puzzles Without Borders (‘Animal & Friends’ series) and Tiles of Infinity. Each puzzle contains 2 or 3 shapes that can be used to create an extensive variety of patterns. Each of the shapes fits together in a certain way, but nearly each time you put the shapes together, a different pattern emerges. You can choose to put the pieces together randomly and watch a pattern emerge effortlessly, or create a planned pattern.

A team effort

A team effort

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Watching the puzzles being demo-ed on the website sealed the deal, and I asked them to send some samples for my kids to try for themselves. When they arrived and Sasha gave them the first test-run, my initial reaction was to the aesthetics, the pretty, complementary colors and super cute animal designs coming together so pleasantly. And seeing every single piece fit together in some way to form interesting, whimsical, and beautiful designs is kind of riveting. On top of that, it’s fun, like free-style puzzle playing (I guarantee that parents will want to try them, too).

Sasha designs with turtles, squid, and ray

Sasha designs with turtles, squid, and ray

The verdict: They are a hit! Both of my kids really dig the puzzles, Sasha (5) mainly plays with the Puzzles Without Borders, while Owen (8) enjoys creating designs using the Tiles of Infinity. And I love seeing their minds, particularly their imaginations, at work.

Owen and friend create a fireball breathing dragon

Owen and friend create a fireball breathing dragon

Taking a turn with the Tiles of Infinity

Taking a turn with the Tiles of Infinity

Nene Imagination Puzzles are available for purchase online for $21.99 or you can find them at local retailers. You can also enter the giveaway for a chance to win one.

Giveaway: Three winners will be selected, as I have one of each of Penguins & Friends, Turtles & Friends, and Tiles of Infinity to give away. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me one item on your child’s holiday gift wish list. To be eligible, you need to subscribe to KidFriendly DC (see the sign-up on the upper left hand side of the blog) and “like” KFDC on Facebook. This giveaway will run through the weekend, and a winner will be drawn at random and notified shortly thereafter. Good Luck!

Disclosure: I received complimentary puzzles to try out from Nene Imagination, but all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


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Filed under Educational, Giveaway, Gradeschoolers, Holidays, Preschoolers, Preteens, Product Review, Teens, Tweens