Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Friday, June 14, 2013

Chinquapin Park Recreation Center to Close June 17 for Scheduled Facility Improvements

The Chinquapin Park Recreation Center will close for day-to-day operations on Monday, June 17, to facilitate facility improvements. The scope of facility improvements is highly invasive, and requires the full closure of the facility to ensure public safety, reduce costs, and shorten the improvement period. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we look forward to re-opening an improved Chinquapin Park Recreation Center for your use in the fall.
For additional information on facility improvements, visit Chinquapin Park Facility Improvements or contact David A. Miller, Division Chief, at 703.746.5495
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, contact David A. Miller, Division Chief, at703.746.5495 or

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Polk Ave Park Ribbon Cutting

City of Alexandria to Hold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new Open Space
Property at 5325 Polk Ave. on Saturday, June 15.  

The City of Alexandria invites the public to join Mayor William D. Euille
and members of the City Council to celebrate and explore the City's most
recent open space acquisition at 5325 Polk Ave. The event is scheduled for
Saturday, June15 at 8 a.m. with the ribbon cutting and official remarks at
8:30 a.m. The ceremony will be followed by a community sponsored walk and
"spruce-up" of the site.

The City acquired this wooded natural area in December 2012. The City's
purchase of this 2.34 acre property used the $1.5 million provided by the
Department of Defense to mitigate loss of open space in the West End, as
well as $0.4 million in City Open Space funds. The Park and Recreation
Commission will consider plans for the future of this new natural area at
its July meeting. 

For more information, please call Laura Durham, Open Space Coordinator with
the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, at 703.746.5493
or e-mail

Summer Things to do with kids

reposted from last summer:

Here are my tried and true favorites for things to do and see with the kids.   

Day Trips:
Chincoteague, VA
Annapolis, MD
Luray Caverns, VA
Shenandoah National Park, VA
Harper’s Ferry, WV – great for tubing!
Calvert Cliffs, MD – look for sharks teeth
Breezy Point Beach, MD – look for sharks teeth
Dinosaur Land, White Post, VA
Port Discovery, Baltimore, MD
National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD
Crayola Factory, Easton, PA
Herr’s Food- Potato Chip Factory, Nottingham, PA
Cotoctin Zoo, Thurmont, MD

Explore Local Parks/Sites:
Potomac Overlook, Arlington
Claude Moore Colonial Park, Arlington
Roosevelt Island (lots of shade!)
Mount Vernon, VA
Arlington National Cemetery
Lake Accotink, Springfield, VA – merry-go round, mini golf, paddle boats
Cabin John Park, MD – train rides
Great Falls – MD & VA
Huntley Meadows, Fairfax, VA
River Farm Park, Alexandria, VA
Winkler Botanical Preserve, Alexandria, VA
Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC
Haines Point, Washington, DC
Park at National Harbor
Pohick Bay Park
Glen Echo
National Building Museum
National Geographic Building
Franciscan Monastery, Washington, DC – check out the Catacombs
Union Station
Botanical Gardens
Bureau of Engraving
Bug Zoo at the Smithsonian
Planetarium and Nature Center in Rock Creek Park
Iwo Jima Memorial - Marine Corp Drill/Parade Tuesday evenings at sunset.
National Airport - look at the planes & run around inside.

Blue Park – Rosemont
The Pit – Beverley Hills
Fort Ward
Polk Elementary School
Lee Street – Old Town
Playground in Arlington – off 23rd Street b/t Crystal City and Arlandria

Places in Alexandria:
Ivy Hill Cemetery – take a stroll in the shade, teach math skills
George Washington Masonic Memorial
Boat cruise on the Potomac
Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center
Winkler Preserve

Charles Houston Recreation Center Photographic Mural, Hall of Fame to be Dedicated June 22

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2013
On Saturday, June 22, the City of Alexandria and the Charles Houston Ad-Hoc Hall of Fame Subcommittee will dedicate a Hall of Fame that honors Alexandria’s African American history makers, and a photographic mural that highlights key places in the city’s African American community, at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St.  This free event begins at 2 p.m. with a reception, followed by the ceremony at3 p.m.
The photographic mural and Hall of Fame are the work of the Charles Houston Ad-Hoc Hall of Fame Subcommittee, a group of Alexandrians, most of whom grew up in the city. The mural, which will be located at the Parker-Gray Way (Wythe St.) entrance of the Charles Houston Recreation Center, establishes the African American footprint in the city and celebrates neighborhoods, schools, churches and businesses vital to Alexandria’s African American community. The intent of the Hall of Fame is to honor and memorialize the achievements of African American history makers in Alexandria; document the contributions of Alexandria’s African American community to the city’s history; and foster appreciation for the diversity of the African American experience in the City of Alexandria. Sixty-four individuals have been chosen by the Subcommittee to appear in the Hall of Fame, and their names will be announced on June 22.
For more information, contact Jack Browand, Division Chief, Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, at 703.746.5504.
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, call Jack Browand at703.746.5504 (Virginia Relay 711) or e-mail

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Alexandria Police Investigate Robbery at TD Bank

Alexandria Police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred earlier today at the TD Bank, located at 557 South Van Dorn Street. Around 1:55 P.M., a man entered the bank, displayed a weapon and demanded money. The teller relinquished an undisclosed amount of cash and the suspect fled the bank. There were no injuries.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Section of the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6711.

Detectives would like to remind witnesses that they can remain anonymous.

Some things to do this summer

Here are just some of the things we plan to do and places to see this summer.....

Mt. Vernon

Luray Caverns

Calvert Cliffs - look for sharks teeth

Francescan Monestary- catacombs (Washington, DC) 

Arlington National Cemetery


National Geographic Bldg. 

Treasury & Bureau of Engraving

Botanic Gardens

Paddle boats - Lake Accotink, Springfield, VA 

Roosevelt Island

Huntley Meadows

Rock Creek Park - Planetarium and Nature Center


Glenn Echo Park 

Harper's Ferry - tubing 

Cabin John Park - ride the train

Potomac Overlook Park 

Claude Moore Farm

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer reading

Summer Reading: A compilation of area schools required summer reading lists.

6th and 7th Grade:

Ghosts I have Been by Richard Peck
Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Acorn People by Ron Jones
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Maniac Magee by Spinelli
 Invention of Hugo Cabret by Selznick
Maze of Bones: 39 Clues by Rick Riordan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Kinney
Watsons Go To Birmingham by Curtis
The Egypt Game by Snyder
Walk Two Moons by Creech
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Acorn People by Ron Jones
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
The Incredible Journey bySheila Burnford
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
The Boy Who Dared by Susan Bartoletti
Seven Sons and Seven Daughters by Barbara Chen
The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander
Ordinary Magic by Malcolm Bosse
the Conch Bearer by Chitra Bannerjee Divakauruni
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
The Broken Tusk by Uma Krishnaswami
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Blizzard by Jim Murphy 
The Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
Crispin: Cross of Lead by Avi
Anna of Byzantium by Tracey Barrett
Year of Wonder: A Novel about the Plaque by Geraldine Brooks
Lady with an Alien by Michael Resnick 
Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopald
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine
Wonder, R.J. Pallacio

 First Test, Pierce
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Rowling
Number the Stars, Lowry
Ella Enchanted, Levine
The Wednesday Wars, Schmidt
Artemis Fowl, Colfer
Liar and Spy, Stead
The One and Only Ivan, Applegate
Dead End in Norvelt, Gantos
Where the Red Fern Grows, Rawls

8th Grade 

Night by Elie Wiesel
The Outsiders by Susan Hinton
Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
The Young Man and the Sea, Rodman Philbrick
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Carl
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton
Haveli by Suzanne Fisher Staples
White Fang by Jack London
Taking Sides, by Soto
Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Stargirl byJerry Spinelli
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Giver by Lois Lowery
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 

9th  Grade
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach
The Pigman, Paul Zindel
A Day No Pigs Would Die, Newton Peck
The Hobbit by JR Tolkein
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury
Into the Wild by Krakauer
The Hobbit by Tolkien
Rebecca by du Maurier
Matched by Condie
Bleachers by Grisham
Thirteen Reasons Why by Asher
The Fault in our Stars by Green
Bless Me Ultima by Anaya
Days of Grace by Ashe
Copper Sun by Draper
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Maus I by Spiegelman 

 10th Grade:
Nickled and Dimed, Ehrenreich
Blessings, Anna Quindlen
The Bean Trees, Kingsolver
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Kesey

    The Speed of Dark , Moon

       “Death of a Salesman,” Miller
 How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, Alvarez
•       Angela’s Ashes, McCourt
•       The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
•       The Joy Luck Club, Tan
•       The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, McCullers
•       The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Chbosky
•       Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, Blumenthal
•       Looking for Alaska, Green
•       Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck
American Born Chinese, Yang

 11th Grade:
The Woman Who Owned the Shadows, Paula Gun Allen
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Angelou
The Bluest Eye, Morrison
If I Die in the Combat Zone, O’Brien
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Picture of Dorian Gray byWilde
Invisible Man by Ellison
Catch-22 by Heller
The Curious Incident of the dog in the Night by Haddon
The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury
Daughter of Fortune by Allende
Candyfreak: a Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of Hemingway in America, by Almond
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bryson
The Color Purple by Walker
Fading Echoes: A True Story of Rivalry and Brotherhood from the Football Field to the Fields of Honor by Sielski
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
A Confederacy of Dunces by Toole
A Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by Haskell

12th Grade:
The Glass Castle, Walls
The Metamorphosis, Kafka 
Snow Falling on Cedars, Guterson
The Kitchen God’s Wife, Tan
Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Hardy
Catch-22, Heller
Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
Dracula, Stoker
The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood
Frankenstein, Shelley
Guns, Germs and Steel by Diamond 
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Pirsig
Oryx and Crake by Atwook
Utopia by Moore
The Road by McCarthy
Childhood's End by Clarke
Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Dick
World War Z by Brooks
Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Blindness by Saramago
On the Road by Kerouac
Siddhartha by Hesse
The Alchemist by Coehlo
Ready Player One by Cline

Anything by: 
Roald Dahl
Gary Paulson
Andrew Clements
Rick Riordan

Peter and the Star Catchers
100 Cupboards
The Book without Words

Classics/Award Winners: 
Of Mice and Men
Bud Not Buddy
The House on Mango Street
Out of the Dust
Roll Thunder, Hear My Cry
The Giver
Animal Farm
The Pigman
Things Fall Apart
To Kill A Mockingbird