Tag Archives: holiday

Celebrate Halloween 2018!

JWI_HalloweenOwlHalloween (or Hallow e’en) is a celebration observed in a number of countries including the United States on October 31st.  Halloween has a special significance for children, who dress in funny or ghostly costumes and knock on neighborhood doors shouting “Trick or Treat!” Pirates and princesses, ghosts and witches all hold bags open to catch the candy or other goodies that the neighbors drop in.

Since the 800’s, November 1st is a religious holiday known as All Saints’ Day. The Mass that was said on this day was called Allhallowmas. The evening before became known as All Hallow e’en, or Halloween. Like some other American celebrations, its origins lie in both pre-Christian and Christian customs.

The most popular Halloween activities include trick-or-treating attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfiresapple bobbing, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

For more information and a “how-to” video on carving a pumpkin, click here.  Find more pumpkin carving ideas, scary snacks, and other fun Halloween activities on the APIA Halloween Fun Pinterest board.

Halloween can be a lot of fun but it is also a time when safety should come first. Here are some tips for Monday:

Adult supervision is essential. Always accompany the children if they are going door to door to trick or treat

Try tick-or-treat-friendly homes. Ensure the children only visit houses with lights on. And, you might also suggest the houses they visit have some sort of Halloween decoration on the porch.

Stay outside. Make sure the children don’t go inside someone’s house. They can trick or treat on the porch.

Remain visible. Dress the children in bright costumes or have them wear reflective strips or carry a glow stick or flashlight.

Quality-check treats. Check the candy before they eat it. Throw out any candy that is not in its original wrapper or looks like it has been tampered with.

Say “no” to strangers. Remind the children to never accept a ride or go anywhere with a stranger.  

Click here for more Halloween safety tips and a fun word game to help teach these tips to your host kids. 

Columbus Day 2018

Columbus Day is observed each year on the second Monday in October to remember Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. This year, Columbus Day is on Monday, October 8, 2017. 

For more information about Columbus Day, visit this link. For children’s activities, including arts and crafts, word searches, and puzzles, visit this link.

Honoring Christopher Columbus is not without controversy. In some parts of the US, Columbus Day remains important to Italian-Americans as a celebration of Italian heritage and is celebrated with parades and festivals. In other parts of the US, Columbus Day is not celebrated, and there are increasing calls to change the holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day.

Celebrate Labor Day 2018

This year, we will celebrate Labor Day on Monday, September 3rd. Labor Day Weekend is a new holiday for many au pairs. Here is a brief history of this American holiday (from Holiday Insights), ideas of ways to celebrate with your host children, and DC-area events.

Continue reading

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

Mother’s Day 2018

In the United States, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. This year Mother’s Day is on May 13th.

You can help your host children make a gift for their mom or even give her a card yourself. Au Pair in America’s Mother’s Day pinboard has loads of gift ideas, but remember that any gesture will be appreciated.  (And don’t forget to send a special message to your mom back home too!)

Spring Crafts

Celebrate the return of warmer weather and the many Spring holidays with these fun Spring craft ideas.

APIA’s Spring Holidays Pinterest Board

i heart naptime’s 50 Easy Kid Crafts

Red Tricycle

The Decorated Cookie

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)

Presidents Day 2018

Photo: Bill & Vicki T (Flickr)

Presidents Day is a Federal holiday created to commemorate the births of former Presidents George Washington (Feb. 22) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12). 

In 2018, Presidents Day is celebrated on February 19th. Throughout America, Presidents Day is observed by big sales in the stores and no mail delivery. School is probably closed on February 19th in honor of Presidents Day, too.

Presidents Day Fun Facts and Questions for Host Kids

  • The United States has had more than 40 presidents. How many can the children name?
  • Who has been president during their lifetime?
  • Take a look at American coins and bills; who are the Presidents pictured on each coin and bill?
  • Apostrophe or not? You’ll see references to the holiday as Presidents Day, President’s Day, and Presidents’ Day. Learn more about the confusion surrounding whom this holiday honors in this Washington Post article.
  • 10 things you may not know about Abraham Lincoln

Celebrate Presidents Day in DC