Do you have friends or family visiting this weekend and you’re desperate to think of some activities to keep it all fun? Here are some suggestions to keep everyone busy and having a good time!
Fairfax County Parks and Recreation
Fairfax county has nine recreation RECenters all throughout Northern Virginia. Depending on what facilities are available for the one closest to you, take the kids swimming or ice skating. Some of the pools have a beach entry in that they have a very, very slow decline into the water; this is perfect for toddlers and babies. A few of the pools may have Town Alexandria executive suites the water buckets overhead that, once filled up, tip over and splash down below. The pools are indoor so this can be a great activity for kids to burn off some of that endless energy no matter what time of the season your company is visiting.
Here’s a snapshot of what various RECenters have available:
* Audrey Moore: Pool with Super Slide and outdoor sun deck, pottery lab and kiln, Farmers’ Market
* Cub Run: Pool with two water slides and a water playground, beach entry
* George Washington: Pool with beach and wading area
* Lee District: Pool with Super Slide, outdoors are four picnic areas, horseshoe pits, playground, walking trails and a carousel
* Mt. Vernon: Pool with beach area, Ice Arena
* Oak Marr: Pool with beach and wading area, miniature golf
* Providence: Pool
* Spring Hill: Pool with beach and wading area, playground
* South Run: Pool with beach and wading area, playground, off-leash dog area
George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill
Not only was George Washington one of the presidents of the United States, he was also a successful business man and farmer. In 1771, he built a stone gristmill for the production of high quality flour and cornmeal, and exported these commodities to England, the West Indies and Europe. The mill is powered by a 16-foot waterwheel. In 1797, he further expanded his operations by building a distillery, which at one point, produced the largest amount of whiskey to the tune of 11,000 gallons by 1799. This is a great place that’s kid friendly with a small dose of interesting history to keep the kids entertained and not bored. Admission is cheap; only $4 for the adults, $2 for kids, and free for those 4 years old and younger. On the tour, which lasts about 1/2 hour, you’ll get to see the gristmill in action as your tour guide, dressed in period garb, demonstrates the operating process. Don’t forget to stop in the Gristmill Shop where you can purchase a sack of George Washington’s Gristmill cornmeal.
This quaint place is just across the bridge in Prince George’s County, Maryland, only minutes away from Old Town, Alexandria. National Harbor is a 300-acre waterfront fun spot on the Potomac River. Right on the beach area is J. Seward Johnson’s sculpture, “The Awakening.” It was relocated from Hains Point to National Harbor in 2008 and if you haven’t seen it before, don’t miss it! It’s a five-piece statue sculpture with hands, feet, arms, legs and head rising from the sands. There’s always something going on here. In the summertime, you can enjoy a free outdoor movie that starts just after sunset. The last movie shown for summer is usually the last Sunday in September. Visit the Launch Zone, a place where families can enjoy kid-friendly exhibits and crafts. Between early May and running through the end of October, enjoy the American Market where you can shop for produce, baked goods, crafts and hand-made fashion jewelry. Just after Thanksgiving, the American Market turns into the Holiday Market and runs through mid-December, offering lots of holiday treats, decorations, and handmade ornaments. Get on the water with canoe and sailboat rentals or catch a water taxi that connects you to Old Town, Alexandria. Take a break at one of the many restaurants around the harbor with over 15 to choose from.