Posts Tagged ‘Herndon’

10 Things to Take the Kids to in March

Posted by Editorial / Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Edited by Sophia Rutti

‘National Treasure’ Tour at Mount Vernon

Photo courtesy of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

1‘National Treasure’ Tour
Explore Mount Vernon with a modern twist: Go behind the scenes to see the locations that appeared in the 2007 film “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” Get a full dose of American history with a dash of Hollywood. The tour is $5 plus general admission, which is $17 for adults and $9 for children. / Throughout March


2015 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Photo courtesy of Ballyshaners.

22015 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a parade that is going to bring out the Irish green in Alexandria. The day will start with a classic car show and a dog show before the parade begins.  This year’s theme is “The Women of Ireland.” / March 7 


3‘Flights of Fancy’
Throughout March // Listen to a reading of a children’s story in the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum next to the SR-71 Blackbird in the Boeing Aviation Hangar every Tuesday and Wednesday. The story will be read twice a day and will be followed by an exciting, hands-on activity for visitors aged 2-8. /


Northern Virginia Teen Book Festival

Photo courtesy of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

4Northern Virginia Teen Book Festival
Let the young adult fiction-reading nerd in you come out for the day and enjoy a local event with more than 20 YA authors. There will be author panels and breakout sessions as well as a keynote speech from Matt de la Pena, author of “The Living.” Be sure to bring a pen and get your books signed, and when you’re all fiction-ed out, go and enjoy everything Arlington has to offer. / March 7


‘Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’

Photo courtesy of The Alden.

5‘Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo’
An exciting spoof on classical ballet, this all-male cast is a wild departure from traditional productions. Have dinner in McLean then go and watch male ballerinas dance en pointe and both mock and exemplify their own art form. Tickets range from $45-50. / March 5


‘The Secret Garden’ at NextStop Theater

Photo courtesy of Steve Lvegrove/

6‘The Secret Garden’
Enjoy a hauntingly beautiful storyline with the music to match in NextStop Theatre’s “The Secret Garden.” This musical centers on an orphaned child who is sent to live with her reclusive uncle on his vast and empty Yorkshire estate. There, she beings to understand her family’s past. Appropriate for all audiences. Tickets start at $34. / March 26 through mid-April


Star Gazing at Great Meadows

Photography by Robert Banner.

7Star Gazing at Great Meadows
Get out of the suburban smog for a few hours and gaze up at the stars in picturesque Great Meadows park. The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club will provide telescopes so the whole family can enjoy a close-up view of the night sky. / March 14


Old Town Farmers’ Market in Alexandria

Photo courtesy of Cade Martin for Visit Alexandria.

8Old Town Farmers’ Market in Alexandria
Spring is coming, so wake up early and head out to the oldest farmers market in the country. Enjoy fresh seasonal produce, baked goods, cut-flower stands and crafts. Afterward, enjoy old town Alexandria, get some brunch and let the day take you from there. /  Saturdays year-round


Herndon Kids’ Trout Fishing Derby

Photo courtesy of Herndon Parks and Rec Department.

9Kids’ Trout Fishing Derby
Bring out your inner sportsman and get fishin’. You can learn how to bait, cast, hook and cook your freshly caught dinner. If you’re not the fishing sort, bring a picnic and relax away from the action while the anglers learn their new trade. Advanced purchase tickets are $6, or you can purchase them for $10 the day of. / March 14


Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

Photography by Eric Long.

10Blossom Kite Festival
Watch creative and colorful kites take flight during the National Cherry Blossom Festival and pick your favorites. Check out the competition and demonstration field to see some fancy kite flying, go to the family field and fly kites of your own, browse the activity tents or head out to the public field. / March 28

(March 2015)


Arctic air breaks weather records; Defendant accused of attempted hits on child witnesses

By Carten Cordell

Arctic air breaks weather records

Virginia bills duel over limits on Police use of Drones

Va. House kills bill on Herndon elections
(The Washington Post)

Falls Church defendant allegedly asked about hit man to kill child witnesses
(The Washington Post)

Ethics legislation in Virginia still leave many questions

Virginia Senate passes breastfeeding bill; Ashburn brewery butts heads with Red Bull

By Matthew Tracy

The Virginia Senate passes a bill which allows women to breastfeed anywhere in public
(Loudoun Times)

An Ashburn brewery refuses Red Bull’s request to change its name and logo
(NBC News)

A Herndon resident discovers human bones on Va. nature walk

Reports: Jesse Matthew charged with murder of Hannah Graham

Controversy ensues over Alabama’s gay marriage rulings
(Washington Post)

Cooking Up a Great Birthday Party

Where to find a birthday cake in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of Richard M Lee/

By Micaela Williamson

Do you have a budding little chef? Is your child a huge fan of the Food Network? Then let your culinary kid whip up a feast and host a fun, hassle-free birthday party at one of these great Northern Virginia venues.


Amphora Bakery
294 Sunset Park Drive
Herndon, VA, 20170

Be a cake boss and help a professional pastry chef decorate a master birthday cake. Then guests can learn pastry and sugar techniques to decorate their very own 6-inch cake and/or fondant cookies. Deluxe parties can even add on homemade pizza and tea sandwiches.


Champion Chefs
4701 Plank Road
Fredericksburg, VA, 22407

The hands-on parties occur in their special kid-friendly kitchen and are recommended for ages 4-17. Festivities include a personalized menu with an appetizer, entree and dessert; customized invitations; and all party supplies. Plus, the birthday child will love receiving a special keepsake apron for future chef adventures.


Creative Kids Kitchen
(Classes take place in private home in Arlington)

From cupcakes and pizza to less traditional international fare, Creative Kids Kitchen will work with you and your child to plan a customized cooking party. There are even signature spa parties where kids make healthy granola and smoothies and create homemade spa products like lip gloss, bubble bath or bath salts.


21100 Dulles Town Circle
Sterling, VA, 20166

Children ages 4-15 can have a delicious time at one of the area’s most popular cooking schools. Events are hands-on and fully customizable based on the child’s age and interests. Cookology will provide all the ingredients, supplies and cleanup, and the kids get to have a blast cooking.


For the budding culinarian

Culinaria Cooking School
110 Pleasant St. NW 
Vienna, VA, 22180 

Children ages 9 and up who are serious about quality cuisine can hold an event in this charming cooking school in downtown Vienna. Culinaria places importance on using seasonal ingredients and teaches children both proper preparation and presentation of food.


Tiny Chefs
(Mobile parties)

A party professional will visit your home and instruct the kids how to cook a complete meal. Kids get to decorate their own unique chef hats and place mats, and they get copies of all the recipes. While guests nosh and chat, Tiny Chefs takes care of all the dirty dishes.

Courtesy of Tiffany Brown, Mamaratzy Photography

Micaela Williamson is a coauthor of local travel guide Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award-winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.

Sororities at UVA ordered to avoid fraternity parties; Boko Haram photos show child-soldier-training camp

By Matthew Tracy

Boko Haram releases photos of a purported child soldier-training camp

Sororities at the University of Virginia are ordered to stay away from fraternity events
(The Washington Post)

Family of the woman who died on Metro’s Yellow Line plans lawsuit

Fairfax County Board OKs Expansion of Herndon and South Lakes high schools

Bill To Regulate Uber And Lyft Moves Forward In Virginia

5 Random Things that Taste Great Dipped in Chocolate

Sponsored by the Chocolate Chick

It is a dream come true when you walk into a party or event and see the cascading sheet of liquid chocolate on display in a fountain. Our thoughts immediately go to, “what are all the delicious foods I can dip into this chocolate fountain of goodness?” Thanks to our January Dream Wedding sponsor the Chocolate Chick we came up with a list of the random goodies that taste great dipped in chocolate.

Want to make sure you have this 4-foot tower of goodness at your wedding? Enter to win in the link at the bottom of the article.

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

Don’t deny it before you try it.


Potato Chips:
photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

The salt and sweet kick you need.


Hot Peppers:
photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

For the person that can take the heat.


photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

It’s bitter sweet.


photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

You won’t event need a skewer to aid your dipping.


Part Bike Shop, Part Cafe: an Old-School Combo Gaining Modern Momentum

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Coffee and bikes

Veloville USA / Photo courtesy of Nicole Davison

By Nicole Bayne

Veloville USA
“The Tour de France always starts with an espresso,” says Nicole Davison, owner of the Purcellville bicycle and coffee shop Veloville USA“Coffee and biking go together. This is a secret cyclists have known for generations and it is finally becoming mainstream.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Get Scared in NoVA

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Take a break from the hayrides and apple picking and tap into your sense of fear at one of these haunted spots for an entertaining and terrifying experience. – Andy Tran


Photo courtesy of Alan Defelice.

601 Catoctin Circle NE, Leesburg
At Shocktober there is one ghastly and frightening haunted house called Paxton Manor with a dreaded country theme. In the basement is the Haunted Well of Souls, dark and creepy with monsters lurking around each cob-webbed corner. There is also a coffin simulator where you are welcomed to climb inside, the deathly experience lasts about three minutes. And finally the vortex tunnel, a 20- to 30-foot long contraption that throws you off balance and into chaos. If sweat-dripping terror isn’t your thing, you can buy a “no-scare” glow necklace at the door for $5, letting the vampires and ghouls know to take it easy on you. / Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October, as well as November 1, from 7-10:30 p.m.; $30 for the Shocktober Package; $25 for Paxton manor; $10 for Haunted Well of Souls.

Bradley Farm Haunted House

Photo courtesy of Alan Defelice.

Bradley Farm Haunted House
13159 New Parkland Drive, Herndon
This dark, menacing house is filled with loud noises and a gloomy stench; witches, ghosts, goblins and crazy clowns can be found in the house, terrorizing people from left to right, in all good fun, of course. This attraction is sure to frighten and satisfy both younger audiences and older teens/adults. At this haunted house, be prepared to be scared. / Oct. 24 from 6-10 p.m. and October 25 from 1-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Tickets are only $5.

Route 29 haunted farm.

Photo courtesy of Route 29 haunted farm.

Route 29 Haunted Farm
4484 Lee Highway, Warrenton
Do not bring young kids or scaredy-cat friends to the Route 29 Haunted Farm unless you want them to have nightmares for months. For twenty minutes, you and your loved ones will get to walk around the haunted farm and experience the terrors in the night. The looming trees and the hard ground will both seem that much more treacherous as you find the ghouls jumping out at you behind bushes and rocks. Not only will you get a great fright, but there’s plenty of food at the concessions stands. / Every Friday and Saturday in October, and November 1 from 7-10:30 p.m.; $15.

Clifton Haunted Trail
Chapel St., Clifton
The Clifton Haunted trail is certain to scare the living daylights out of you and your friends. A long, meandering trail, chock full of banshees, bloody zombies, and creepy skeletons, is an attraction that will not disappoint. As patrons walk down the dim-lit path, your bravery or fear will surely appear once the trail has ended. Started in 2001, the trail has been scaring people for over 13 years and is as entertaining as it is thrilling. / Oct. 25 from 7-10 p.m.; $15, $10 for children 12 and under.

Haunted Hollow
8275 Maple Tree Lane, Warrenton
Enter into the Haunted Hollow, if you dare. This strange establishment has ties to mysterious farm accidents and shocking diary entries. During the walk around the haunted farm there will be strobe lights, fog, and intense noises. The farm itself is shabby and boarded up with rusty nails and rotted wooden planks. Turn back if you’re afraid, for the twenty-minute thrilling journey will take your breath from your lungs and replace it with fear. / Every Friday and Saturday in October starting at 7 p.m.; $15.

Northern Virginia Haunted Houses

Photo courtesy of Alan Defelice.


(October 2014)

September’s 5 Can’t-Miss Family Events

Edited by Jessica Godart


Cirque Dreams– Jungle Fantasy

Photo courtesy of Cirque Productions.

1Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy
Contortionists, gymnasts and jugglers, oh my! What New York magazine calls “the grandest circus spectacle east of Vegas,” is at Wolf Trap for one weekend only. Directed by Neil Goldberg, the all-ages show promises breathtaking settings and memorable acrobatic routines.  / Filene Center / Sept. 5 & 6


Marvel Universe Live

Photo courtesy of Marvel.

2Marvel Universe Live
For the first time ever, beloved superheroes will be appearing for a night of spectacular performances. Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and more Marvel heroes will fight villains and arch enemies in the midst of amazing special effects and pyrotechnics never before seen at a live show.  / Patriot Center, Fairfax / Sept. 12-14 & 19-21


Herndon Triathlon

Photo courtesy of Ann Marie Heiser.

3Herndon Kids Triathlon
For ages 6-16, the triathlon features swimming, biking and running and is designed so that all athletic levels may finish. Each participant will receive a medal as they cross the finish line, and clinics are offered beforehand for training and practice. The triathlon has sold out every year and this year is no different so sign up quickly and start training.  / Herndon / Sept. 21


415th Annual Hartwood Days Festival
Kids of all ages find something to learn at this agricultural fair, even something from the past. From thrill rides to historic tours, delicious foods and a free concert, every festival goer will be entertained. With activities spread out throughout the weekend there’s never a dull moment to be had. / Fredericksburg / Sept. 12-14


Cox Farms’ Preview Weekend

Photo courtesy of Cox Farms.

5Cox Farms’ Preview Weekend
Start fall early at one of the area’s favorite farms. Cox Farm’s preview weekend showcases their haystacked slides, swings, tractor rides and adorable animals. And enjoy the addictive kettle corn and spiced cider. Get there before all the best pumpkins are picked. / Chantilly / Sept. 20-21




(September 2014)

A Promising Novelist

Jake Ziemba, a red-haired, glasses-wearing, 27-year-old novelist, has been writing fiction for the majority of his life. It’s a passion of his that he is determined to follow through with, even as he struggles with two diseases—overcoming one, while battling with another.

A graduate of Herndon High School, he wrote for his school paper and took creative writing classes. During a year-and-a-half stint at Northern Virginia Community College he focused on creative writing, also attending a George Mason University fiction seminar on the weekends. He transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University, and while there he won the Undergraduate Fiction Award in spring 2011 for his story “The Proving Grounds.”

The diverse Herndon neighborhood where he resided influenced Ziemba’s second novel, “7th City,” which is due out in October. The book explores how people from various cultures struggle to work together in an urban environment. An indigenous aborigine tribe is absorbed into a global modern civilization, and three main characters struggle with acclimating to their new environment. The story takes place on a great land mass, back when all seven continents were pieced together, to form Pangea. The antagonist is the ancient technological city that consumes indigenous tribes, and the heroes of the story are in the last tribe that is about to be consumed.


This August, Ziemba has released the graphic novel “MT. OLYPHANT” with Christine Skelly, a fellow artist who illustrated the work. The story follows a mythology scholar who has a nervous breakdown and ends up waking in a mental hospital. The doctors give him shock-therapy and every few hours he sees the patients and staff members as figures from Greek mythology; the doctors appear as the twelve Olympian Gods. (The first issue is free on and there are eight issues total.)

Mt. Olyphant

Photo courtesy of Jake Ziemba

Ziemba’s first novel is “The Yukon Glory,” a post-apocalyptic vampire tale, which was published in Sink/Swim Press by James Moffitt. While Ziemba was writing “The Yukon Glory,” at 17 years old he was diagnosed with PNH (paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria), a bone marrow failure disorder. PNH affects one out of 1.3 million people; the average life expectancy is six to eight years.

Yukon Glory

Photo courtesy of Jake Ziemba

“When I was diagnosed, I was terminally ill and housebound for one year, that’s when I wrote most of “The Yukon Glory.” I had an experimental stem cell transplant at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. My PNH has been cured for 7 years, but I developed Graft-versus-host disease, (a common complication that occurs from an allogeneic tissue transplant) which I still struggle with.” For every book that was sold of “The Yukon Glory” Ziemba contributed a dollar to the PNH Research and Support Foundation.

A humble and generous individual, he is definitely a novelist to keep an eye on. And for now, he writes, word by word, sentence by sentence, the ink spilling on the pages, his imagination at work for all to see. 

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