Tag Archives: dc

Celebrating the 4th of July in DC (2018)

The 4th of July celebrates the date American colonists declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. Also called Independence Day, the 4th of July is commemorated throughout the USA with fireworks, parades, concerts, family gatherings, and cookouts.

As the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is the perfect place to celebrate this truly American holiday. Here are just a few of the many celebrations in DC: Continue reading

Summer Fun for DC Kids 2018

Image: anokarina (Flickr)

In need of some ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer? Here’s a roundup of several great local blogs full of suggestions designed to keep whining to a minimum. 

Indoorsy DC

KidFriendly DC

Our Kids

  • Don’t miss this comprehensive list of the DC area’s local seasonal activities.
  • Wondering if it’s worth taking the kids to one of the many local happenings? Read the reviews before you go!

Red Tricycle

And last, but not least, our very own cluster blog…

Capital City Au Pairs

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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 public transportation. L’Enfant Plaza is the closest Metro station to the Festival site. National Archives, Smithsonian, and Federal Center stations are within a half-mile. For assistance planning how to get around, visit www.goDCgo.com. For general Smithsonian visitor information, http://www.si.edu/Visit or call 202.633.1000 (voice).

Festival hours are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., with special events taking place most evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. View the schedule here.

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

Do you have Your DC Public Library Card?


The DC Public Library is the place to check out books and other materials for free for both yourself and your host kids. There are many branches located throughout the city. Also, there are more than 15 million free online movies, eBooks, music, and more available online for cardholders.

Ready to Get Started?

Free Classes for Kids and Adults

The DC Public Library offers loads of free classes for kids and adults including yoga, adult coloring, ESL conversation circles, kid crafts and many special seasonal activities. (They offer a lot more kid-friendly activities during the summer when kids are on vacation.) Check out the library event calendar for classes throughout the city. And don’t forget- they’re free!

ESL Conversation Circles*

Library Branches Located Near Our Cluster Area

Cleveland Park Library Upcoming Events 

Georgetown Library Upcoming Events

Lamond-Riggs Library Upcoming Events

Mt. Pleasant Library Upcoming Events

Petworth Library Upcoming Events

Shepherd Park Library  Upcoming Events

Takoma Park Library Upcoming Events

Tenley-Friendship Library Upcoming Events

West End Library Upcoming Events

*Please note that DC Public Library classes are for fun and do not count towards an au pair’s academic class requirement. 

2018 Summer Day Camps

Does it seem like the days are getting longer, but the hours are getting shorter?

Too much to do and never enough time to do it all? Continue reading

Spring 2018 in Washington, DC

William Neuheisel

March 20th is the first official day of Spring, and the city is alive with so much to do. Take advantage of longer days and warmer temperatures to get outside and explore the city with your host kids. From cherry blossoms on the Potomac to Easter egg hunts at Hillwood or even Madame Tussauds, there truly is something for children of all ages. 

Activities from Some of Our Favorite DC Blogs

Kidfriendly DC

Red Tricycle DC

Capital City Au Pairs (That’s right- don’t forget that this blog has plenty of ideas too!)

About Travel DC

St. Patrick’s Day 2018

DCC Au Pairs having St. Patrick’s Day fun! (Photo: Scott Montgomery)

St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th and has been celebrated in the US since 1737. St. Patrick is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Traditional icons of the day are the shamrock, leprechaun, the color green and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Celebration Ideas

Washington, DC commemorates St. Patrick’s Day every year with a variety of festivals and parades held in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Here are some ways you can celebrate:

  • Celebrate the season at a one of the St. Patrick’s Day parades in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
  • Ireland on the Wharf: Celebrate the beauty and tradition of the Emerald Isle with bagpipers, Irish dancers, live music, and plenty of family-friendly activities on March 10 at DC’s Southwest Waterfront
  • Au Pair in America’s St. Patrick’s Day pinboard has lots of creative suggestions for crafts, baking, and other fun ideas.
  • Take your picture in front of a green fountain! The White House was designed by Irish architect James Hoban. Traditionally, the White House fountain has been dyed green on March 17th in celebration of the holiday.

    On March 15, 2018, the fountain on the South Lawn of the White House turned green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

2018 Options for Those Last Few Education Hours

Do you know how many total classroom hours you need to complete in your first year?

Image: Alan Cleaver (Flickr)

Au pairs are required to earn at least six academic credits during their year by completing classes/courses at accredited US post-secondary colleges and universities.

6 academic credits = approximately 8 CEUs = approximately 80 classroom hours 

(The absolute minimum accepted is 72 hours.)

Certain combinations of classes can leave you just a few hours short of the requirement. Here are several options for completing those last few hours. Information listed is correct as of February 28, 2018, and is subject to change. Consult the university websites for full information.

Virginia International University Saturday Museum Classes

Students spend 5 hours participating in an interactive, themed museum tour facilitated by ESL instructors.

  • Credits: 5 hours (.5 CEUs)
  • Cost: $40 (+$20 for new VIU students)
  • Schedule: Held almost every Saturday morning (10:30 am or 11:30 am)
  • Location: DC-area museums

Virginia International University Grammar Tune-Up

Grammar Tune-Up is a special weekend course for au pairs and is designed to target common errors made by intermediate to advanced-level English learners. Students will gain confidence facing their trouble spots in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

  • Credits: 15 hours (1.5 CEUs)
  • Cost: $120 (+$20 for new VIU students)
  • Schedule: April 7 and 14 from 9 am – 3 pm
  • Location: Fairfax, VA campus (4401 Village Drive)

University of Virgin Islands Experience America through Art Galleries & Museums

Students self-guide through a local museum over a 3 hour period and complete an outside assignment where they create a detailed pictorial report of the visit, due within 7 days of the course.

  • Credits: 5 hours (.5 CEUs)
  • Cost: $50
  • Schedule: Held on a Saturday (10 am or 1:30pm) in DC-area museums

Looking for longer classes that offer more credits? For a complete list of classes approved for your DC-area cluster, click on this link.

2017 Winter Vacation Battle Plan

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

Photo: m01229 (Flickr)

During the last weeks of December, many host kids will have between ten days to two weeks off from school for winter vacation. The thought of having the kids home for multiple days during the winter can send even the most seasoned childcare giver into a panic. Cold weather, shorter days, extra sugar, later bedtimes, and visiting relatives can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning, you can provide your host kids with a vacation to remember.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead

Tip #2: Dress the Part

Winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s important to dress for cold weather and to make sure that your host children are dressed warmly too. If this is your first experience with really cold weather, ask your host parents for advice on staying warm. For more info, read this blog post from October: It’s Cold Out There! A 2017 Guide to DC Winter Weather.

Tip #3: Plan a Cozy Day Indoors

  • Staying home for the day? APIA’s Pinterest boards have loads of winter fun and holiday crafts and activities.
  • Help the kids organize their toys and rooms with these suggestions. With mom and dad’s permission, perhaps your host kids can donate some of the toys they have outgrown. This will create more room for the new toys from Santa.
  • Looking for a fun baking activity? Gingerbread is a delicious way to celebrate the season!

Tip #4: Make a Date

Playdates can be a great way for kids to socialize and work on the important skills necessary to being a good friend. Talk with your host family about planning a playdate over winter vacation. With their permission, you can use our cluster list to find an au pair who lives near you and has host kids who are compatible ages with your host kids. If hosting doesn’t work, you can also make plans to meet up at the library for a free story hour or crafting session.

Winter Fun for DC Kids (2017-2018)

Brr! In need of some ideas to keep the kids entertained this winter? Here’s a roundup of several great local blogs full of suggestions for spending the day exploring DC both before and after the holidays. Continue reading