About Au Pair in America

Au Pair in America is the nation's first legal au pair program. Since 1986, we have provided the best child care opportunities to host families across the US and au pairs from around the world.

Sandwich Making Service Project

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and sharing, our au pairs came together to make over 300 sandwiches for DC Central Kitchen. I would also like to thank the Seekers Church in Takoma Park for allowing us to use their space for a very reasonable cost.

Free Admission to Newseum

From the Newseum website:

11605-1Kids Get in Free July 1 Through Labor Day

The Newseum offers everything from the Berlin Wall and Pulitzer Prize-winning photos to interactive games and presidential pets. And this summer, there’s one more great reason to visit — kids get in free! July 1 through Labor Day, the Newseum waives admission for youth visitors age 18 and younger. Up to four kids visit for free with each paid adult or senior admission, or Press Pass membership.

Whether you have just a few hours or want to spend all day, you’ll find something for everyone in the Newseum’s 15 theaters and 15 galleries. See “JFK,” an exploration of the life and legacy of president John F. Kennedy, watch “I-Witness” and take a 4-D adventure through time and journalism history, or test your reporting skills in the NBC News Interactive Newsroom.

Time running short? Remember to save your admission ticket and come back the next day for free!

Summer Fun Deal Ticket Prices

Adults (19 to 64)
$21.95 plus tax

Seniors (65+)
$17.95 plus tax

Youth (7 to 18)
Free

Children (6 and younger)
Free

  • Summer Fun Deal tickets are not good in conjunction with other discounts.
  • Up to four discounts per transaction.
  • All ticket sales are final.
  • Summer Fun Deal tickets purchased online must be used between July 1 and Sept 2, 2013.
  • There are no refunds for no-shows or unused tickets.

June is Zoo & Aquarium Month

Visit your local zoo or aquarium or set up a pretend zoo with play animals and blocks. Invite the host parents to visit your pretend zoo. Read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish or If I Ran the Zoo, both by Dr. Seuss. Encourage the children to make up their own animals and draw them. Think of all the animal sounds you can and play a game guessing what animal you are. You may find that the same animal says one thing in America and something quite different in your own country!

5318026398_f0232e1347Here are links to our local zoo & aquariums.

National Zoo – Washington, DC

National Aquarium - Washington, DC

Maryland Zoo – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Aquarium – Maryland

Photo: Joseph Bylund

Paddle Boats on the Tidal Basin

Last weekend we had a cluster meeting enjoying the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and going paddle boating on the Tidal Basin. As a lifetime resident of the DC area, this was my first time doing either of those things! We had a beautiful day.

paddle boat

National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event that celebrates springtime in Washington, DC as well as the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. This year’s festival will be MARCH 20-APRIL 14!

The predicted peak blooming period of the cherry blossoms for this year is  – MARCH 26–30.

cherry blossom

They have Free Apps for iPhone & Droid to help you keep track of the festival events and share your festival experiences via social media.

Here are some of the highlights:

Family Day - Saturday & Sunday, March 23-24, 2013
National Building Museum
401 F Street, NW
Metro Judiciary Square, Red Line
Sat – 10 am-4 pm & Sun- 11 am-4 pm

Smithsonian Kite Festival – Saturday, March 30, 2013
Washington Monument Grounds
10 am-4:30 pm

Fireworks Festival - Saturday, April 6, 2013
Waterfront Park – 600-900 Water Street, SW
1-9 pm
Fireworks at 8-9 pm

Cherry Blossom Parade – Saturday, April 13, 2013
Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets, NW
10 am- 12 pm

There are many more great events, visit the festival website for more information.

Helpful links:

Cherry Blossom Festival Website
National Park Service Bloom Watch
Metro Website (use the trip planner feature on this website to find the metro options, taking metro is much better than driving for the festival events)

Smithsonian Folk Life Festival 6/27-7/1 & 7/4-8

The Folklife Festival will take place June 27-July 1 and July 4-8.

The Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an international exhibition of living cultural heritage.  Attracting more than one million visitors yearly, the two-week long celebration is the largest annual cultural event in the United States.

The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge. Visitors should dress for hot and humid weather. Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so visitors are advised to use Metrorail. The Smithsonian station (Mall exit) is at the Festival site. Federal Triangle and National Archives stations are close by. For general Smithsonian visitor information, call 202.633.1000.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings.

I highly recommend that you visit their website to plan your visit http://www.festival.si.edu/

DC Zoo Bubble Flash Mob

On Sunday, several area clusters participated in a scavenger hunt and flash mob at the Smithsonian National Zoo in DC. Au pairs came out of no where and started to blow bubbles. Here are a few pics of the fun.

Spring in the DC Area – Capitol Hill

We have a Special Guest Blogger who has written a series of posts highlighting places to visit during spring in DC. Sara is a longtime host mom in our cluster.
Post 2 of a 5 part series. To read all the posts click HERE.

Capitol Hill

2306106620_893951e1b1_nWalking around the Capitol Hill will also give you a taste of what nature has to offer. In this neighborhood behind the Capitol and away from the Mall, the house plots are small, and many homes plant to maximize the beauty of their small gardens. If you’ve not been to Eastern Market:  http://www.easternmarket-dc.org/default.asp?ContentID=1 on a Saturday morning when the Farmer’s Market and arts & crafts vendors display their goods, this is a good season for it. I highly recommend Market Lunch, although lines can be really long. While the softshell crabs are not for the squeamish (yes, you can really eat the entire crab), they are delicious. Locals won’t eat oysters in a month that does not have an “r” in it, so there’s one month left until the long summer without them. For meat lovers, there is the Carolina style pulled pork (vinegary).

Photo: Flick rjs1322

Spring in the DC Area – Brookside Gardens & U.S. Botanical Gardens

We have a Special Guest Blogger who has written a series of posts highlighting places to visit during spring in DC. Sara is a longtime host mom in our cluster.
Post 1 of a 5 part series. To read all the posts click HERE.

Spring is very special in Washington, winter (however brief or long you felt it was) is behind us, and nature puts on a spectacular show. It’s worth heading outdoors to see the color. While some of the plants may seem familiar to you, there are local displays of color, like the redbud, which is in full bloom now. The dogwood might be native or Asian, and it just opened up. For those of you living in Takoma Park, you’ll soon find out why it is nicknamed Azalea City.


conservatory_springshowBrookside Gardens

There are some great places to see what nature has to offer, and most of them are free. Brookside Gardens http://www.montgomeryparks.org/brookside/, adjacent to Wheaton Regional Park, is a great place to walk around, with its duck ponds. Plants are arranged by type – with roses, azaleas, and aquatic plants are together. Many plants are labeled if you are interested in learning what they are. Children like to run on the footpaths and my kids liked to “bang on the sculpture” with their hands when they were younger. Don’t let the closed gates keep you out – they open for cars and pedestrians – but not for deer. There are footpaths to walk into Wheaton Regional Park from Brookside Gardens.

U.S. Botanical Gardens
If you love roses, then the rose garden at the Botanical Gardens is beautiful and free: http://www.usbg.gov/, just southwest of the Capitol Building. The indoor conservatory does seasonal displays. One of my favorite places to sit when the wisteria blooms is the Mall side of the National Gallery. It’s peppery-smelling blossoms are a spring treat.

White House Easter Egg Roll 2012 – Enter the Ticket Lottery

From the White House website:

“On Monday April 9, 2012, the First Family will host the134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. This year’s theme is “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move” and more than 35,000 people will be joining us on the South Lawn for games, stories, cooking demonstrations and, of course, the traditional egg roll on the Lawn. Starting at 10 am EST on March 1 you can click here to enter the lottery and win a chance to join the fun (lottery opens on March 1 at 10 am EST and closes at 10 am EST on March 5, 2012).”

Enter for your chance to win a ticket to join the fun! Here is a picture of Ingrid at the Easter Egg Roll last year.

What is the White House Easter Egg Roll? (answer from recreation.gov)

“The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that dates to 1878. Originally, young children in Washington, D.C. would flock to Capitol Hill every Monday after Easter for egg rolling and a day of activities. Members of Congress grew tired of the growing crowds and passed an Act of Congress which prohibited egg rolling on the Capitol grounds. The event was moved to the White House in 1878 after President Hayes was approached by young children to use his backyard to roll eggs. Nearly every Easter since, the White House has invited young children to roll eggs on the White House lawn.

Today, the Easter Egg Roll has grown from a few local children rolling eggs on the White House Lawn to become the largest event held at the White House, filled with live entertainment, sports and interactive cooking demos. And, of course, the traditional rolling of the Easter eggs.”

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