Tag Archives: Maryland

Preparing for Cold Weather

We’re in that time of year where Maryland temperatures start dipping a little lower. It can be 70°F (21°C) one day and 40°F (4°C) the next. This is a time when many people begin to opt for indoor activities instead of outdoor ones. As the pandemic continues, we may be rethinking that this year. CDC guidelines state that outdoor gatherings and activities are generally safer than indoor ones.

There is a Scandinavian saying about this…

If you come from a warmer climate this may sound impossible to you. Over the years I have noticed that the temperature difference is much easier on those who have a gradual adjustment. It allows your body time to adjust to the lower temperatures. So, that’s the good news for all of you who are already here. Your body is already getting adjusted, give your mind a chance to stay open to enjoying the outdoors.

The next thing to do is get yourself the proper clothing and accessories. Start shopping for cold weather clothing: sweater, coat, gloves, hat, scarf, long underwear & boots. Ask your host family if they have some you can use and then start looking out for sales and checking thrift shops for the rest. Take a look at what you already have and think of ways to layer it. A long sleeve t-shirt under a sweatshirt may be as warm as a jacket. A pair of leggings or tights under a pair of jeans adds a lot of warmth.

It may also help to remind yourself that people in other parts of the U.S. and other countries experience much colder temperatures than we do and are still able to enjoy the outdoors.

Pick your activities carefully. If you are sitting next to a fire pit or doing physical activity you will feel warmer. When you take the kids to the playground or out in the snow, don’t sit on the bench and watch. You will feel warmer and have more fun if you are actively involved and having fun with them.

If you have tips on enjoying the cold weather, please share them!

CONTEST: The first au pair in our cluster to message Christine or Lisa with their favorite cold weather activity will win a prize!

Image: Canva.com

Scavenger Hunt at National Harbor

It was a beautiful evening for a scavenger hunt!

These are the lovely au pairs who participated. This was our first in-person meeting since March 2020! For most of these au pairs it was there first in-person cluster meeting they ever attended. It was so great to finally meet people we have been communicating with online for all this time.

Here are the ladies on the winning team!

They were the first ones back and completed every item on the hunt!

Here is the scavenger hunt activity we did…

A scavenger hunt is a game where you are given a list of questions, things to look for and photographs to take. You will work together as a team to complete as many as you can in an hour.

Rules:

  • Photos need to be taken as a group selfie with all team members included.
  • Questions/photos may be completed in any order you choose.
  • Return to the starting point (outside of Del Sol store) by 7:15 pm to have your score calculated and find out who is the winning team.

Let the game begin!

  • Learn the names of all the au pairs on your team.
  • Find the first president of the United States and take a picture with him.
  • Find the U.S. president called “The Great Emancipator” and take a picture with him.
  • Find the mosaic mural called Maryland’s Bounty and take a picture in front of it.
  • Take a picture with the Capitol Wheel in the background,
  • Take a picture with a boat or picture of a boat.
  • Take a picture in front of the business with piano keys on their sign.
  • Take a picture trying to help the statue of a lady carrying her groceries.
  • Take a picture with a famous movie star from the 1960s.
  • Take a picture in front of a restaurant named for an American car.
  • Take a picture with the carousel.
  • Take a picture inside the heart statue.
  • Take a picture with “The Awakening”.
  • Take a picture of something you find beautiful.
  • Take a picture of something that looks delicious.
  • Group selfies with these famous people:

 

You probably won’t complete all of the questions/photos. That’s not a problem. Have fun and take great pictures.

 

Local Fairs & Maryland Renaissance Festival

What is a Fair?

According to Wikipedia:
fair (sometimes fayre) is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated carnival or funfair entertainment. Activities at fairs vary widely.MD fair

Fairs are also known by many different names around the world, such as agricultural show, carnival, fete or fête, county fair, exhibition or state fair, festival, market and show. Flea markets and auto shows are sometimes incorporated into a fair.

Prince George’s County Fair
September 5-8, 2019. The Showplace Arena, Water St., Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (301) 404-5566. Carnival rides, live animals displays, family circus, fireworks, live entertainment, food.

Anne Arundel County Fair
September 11–15, 2019. Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, Generals Highway, Crownsville, Maryland. (410) 923-3400. Monster truck rides, carnival rides and games, farm animals and exhibits, pig races, antique saw mill, pie eating contest, talent show and much more.

Renn FestMaryland Renaissance Festival 
August 24-October 20, 2019.
1821 Crownsville Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401. Set in a fictional 16th-century English village named Revel Grove, the festival is spread over 25 acres (100,000 m2). The second largest renaissance fair in the United States. Features costumed staff,  food, performances, glass-blowing demonstrations, jousting, crafts and much more.

Stopping for School Buses

 

With schools about to go back in session and many new au pairs who have recently arrived, I wanted to remind everyone about what to do in different situations with school buses. If you have questions, please ask myself or your host parents.

 

The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:

  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended.
  • On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.

Police, who observe a motorist failing to stop and remained stopped for a school bus, can issue the violator a citation which carries a $570.00 fine and 3 points. There are also cameras on buses and the camera-generated fine is $125. Drivers failing to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk can be issued a citation for $80.00, and drivers failing to exercise due caution when encountering children can be issued a citation for $70.00.

For more information, check out this article on the Maryland MVA website.

$1 Summer Movies for Kids

When the kids are out of school for the summer, one place to cool off is at the movie theater. Below are three theaters in different parts of our cluster area that are offering $1 kid’s movies each week of the summer. Regal Summer Movie Express

Tips to maximize your movie enjoyment:

  • Movie admission is $1, but bring additional money for popcorn and/or drinks, if desired.
  • I suggest you arrive at least 15 minutes early to get a good place to sit.  Some of the movies can be very popular and fill up.
  • Have all the kids make a bathroom stop before going into the movie.
  • Do your homework and google the movie that’s playing in advance to make sure it will be a good one for your child/ren.
  • As with any outing, ask your host parents before taking the child/ren to the movies.

After the movie, do activities related to the movie:

  • Ask the children what were their favorite parts of the movie.
  • Find crafts related to the movie to complete with them.
  • Let the children act out parts of the movies.  Use household items as props and dress up in costumes to make it more fun.

June 18- Aug 28, Doors open at 9:30 am, Movie starts at 10 am

Each week, both movies play on both days. 

View the Full Schedule Here (it varies by location)

Participating Theaters

BOWIE STADIUM 14 – 15200 Major Lansdale Blvd, Bowie, MD

REGAL HYATTSVILLE ROYALE STADIUM 14 – 6503 America Blvd, Hyattsville, MD

REGAL WAUGH CHAPEL – 1419 S. Main Chapel Way, Gambrills, MD

Image: tracydekalb

Outdoor Movies in DC Area

If you are looking to enjoy a movie outdoors this summer, there are lots of local options to consider.

DC Outdoor Films website offers a very comprehensive list which includes locations in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Here are a few popular ones:

Golden Cinema Series
Golden Triange BID offers outdoor movies Friday nights through July.

Movies on the Potomac
National Harbor offers movies Thursday and Sunday nights through September 30.

Screen on the Green 
Outdoor movies on the National Mall in DC

Drive-In Movie 
Don’t forget about Bengie’s Drive-in Movie Theater in the Baltimore area. It’s a good hour drive from most of our cluster, but well worth it for the experience if you’ve never been to a drive-in movie. Check out my blog post about Bengie’s Drive-in.

Where to Get Your Flu Shot

Many au pairs and host families are looking for places to get flu shots this time of year. Au Pair insurance does not cover immunizations, but there are lots of places to get flu shots for $30 or less.  If the host family is insisting that an au pair get a seasonal flu shot and she agrees to get it, the host family would be responsible for the expense.

If you are planning to get the seasonal flu vaccine, it is recommended that you get it as early as possible.

 

Anne Arundel County Health Department – Free

Montgomery County Health Department – Free (proof of residency may be required)

Prince George’s County – Free

Flu shots are also available for a fee at pharmacies such as Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc.

Local Fairs & MD Renaissance Festival

What is a Fair?

According to Wikipedia:
fair (sometimes fayre) is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated carnival or funfair entertainment. Activities at fairs vary widely.

Fairs are also known by many different names around the world, such as agricultural show, carnival, fete or fête, county fair, exhibition or state fair, festival, market and show. Flea markets and auto shows are sometimes incorporated into a fair.

MD fairMaryland State Fair
August 23-September 3, 2018. Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road Timonium, Maryland. (410)252-0200. The Maryland State Fair was named one of the top 50 fairs in North America. This year’s 11-day festival will feature swifty swine racing pigs, live thoroughbred horse racing, bull riding and barrell racing, concerts, agricultural fair tours, games, rides and more.

Prince George’s County Fair
September 6-9, 2018. The Showplace Arena, Water St., Upper Marlboro, Maryland. (301) 404-5566. Carnival rides, live animals displays, family circus, fireworks, live entertainment, food.

Anne Arundel County Fair
September 12–16, 2018. Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, Generals Highway, Crownsville, Maryland. (410) 923-3400. Monster truck rides, carnival rides and games, farm animals and exhibits, pig races, antique saw mill, pie eating contest, talent show and much more.

Renn FestMaryland Renaissance Festival 
August 25-October 21, 2018.
1821 Crownsville Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401. Set in a fictional 16th-century English village named Revel Grove, the festival is spread over 25 acres (100,000 m2). The second largest renaissance fair in the United States. Features costumed staff,  food, performances, glass-blowing demonstrations, jousting, crafts and much more.

National Blueberry Month

July is Blueberry Month. It’s a great time to pick blueberries and prepare blueberry treats with your kids! In Maryland, blueberries are normally ready to pick in July.

Check on this website for Pick Your Own Farms in our area. They have them listed by county.

Easy Blueberry Cobbler Recipe

½ stick of butter or margarine
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 pint blueberries (rinsed and drained)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter and pour into a 3 quart casserole baking dish. Mix sugar, flour and milk. Pour over the butter, but do not mix. Pour the blueberries on top, but do not mix.  Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.  Serve with or without ice cream. Enjoy!

Stopping for School Buses

With schools about to go back in session and many new au pairs who have recently arrived, I wanted to remind everyone about what to do in different situations with school buses. If you have questions, please ask myself or your host parents.

The rules regarding stopping for school buses are:

  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its’ stop arm is extended.
  • On undivided roadways, with no physical barrier or median, vehicles must stop on both sides of the roadway.
  • Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop their vehicles.
  • Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate that the bus has stopped, and children are getting on or off. Motorists approaching from either direction must wait until the red lights stop flashing before proceeding.

Police, who observe a motorist failing to stop and remained stopped for a school bus, can issue the violator a citation which carries a $570.00 fine and 3 points. There are also cameras on buses and the camera-generated fine is $125. Drivers failing to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk can be issued a citation for $80.00, and drivers failing to exercise due caution when encountering children can be issued a citation for $70.00.