Cars 3: Road to the Races Tour

Disney Pixar’s “Cars 3” is hitting the road with Road to the Races, a nationwide tour inviting fans of #95 to gear up for the upcoming big-screen release, and will be stopping at Downtown Silver Spring. Life-size, character look-alikes of five-time Piston-Cup champion Lightning McQueen, tech-savvy trainer Cruz Ramirez and the sleek next-gen racer Jackson Storm will be rolling into 27 cities coast to coast to celebrate the new movie, which opens June 16, 2017.

A host of sponsors have signed on to support the tour, which includes a variety of activities.

  • Alamo Rent A CarSM is hosting a street art booth and will bring “Cars 3” to life with a giant coloring mural featuring Lightning McQueen and friends, along with a color pencil pack souvenir. Owned and operated by Enterprise Holdings, Alamo Rent A Car offers low rental rates and a hassle-free customer experience at the most popular travel destinations around the world.
  • Coppertone® is creating a racer pit crew that encourages visitors to take part in a tire-changing activity and photo-sharing opportunity. A leader in the sun care industry, Coppertone is made by Bayer HealthCare, LLC.
  • Crest® and Oral-B® celebrate the Road to the Races tour, providing fans with an opportunity to create a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen and get “Cars”-themed oral care products. Crest and Oral-B are the first step to enjoying a lifetime of healthy smiles.
  • Dole®, the leader in fresh, quality produce, invites visitors to fuel up and recharge their batteries, sample high-octane fruit and vegetable smoothies, collect “Cars 3”-inspired recipes and discover how Dole and Disney are working together to make healthy living fun and easy for families. To see more of Dole’s exciting promotions around summer family fun, visit
  • Mattel presents an interactive play area, which sends Lightning McQueen and other racers down the gravity drop and launches them into action in new play sets that feature locations from the movie. Also on display will be a collection of die cast racers from past and present. Mattel is the leading global childhood development and play company.

Fans will be able to catch a sneak peek of the movie in the Cinetransformer Mobile Movie Theater. Visitors will also be able to take photos with the life-size character cars. In addition, the sports national youth program NASCAR Acceleration Nation will display the science behind NASCAR racing, and elements from the NASCAR Hall of Fame will allow attendees to get up close and personal with the history of NASCAR. Mack Trucks, Inc. will transport the life-size character cars on the coast-to-coast tour.

Schedules are subject to change without notice, and attractions may be unavailable for unscheduled reasons.

Hurricane Hunters Tour

Want to tour the planes & talk to the pilots that fly into hurricanes for better forecasts?

For the first time ever, four Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be visiting Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) for a public event. Hurricane experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force will visit to talk with our community to raise awareness of our local threats from  tropical cyclones, and the danger of being caught without a personal hurricane plan.

 Hurricane Hunter pilots and crew from NOAA and USAF, as well as Dr. Rick Knabb (Director of the National Hurricane Center/NHC), NHC hurricane specialists, and meteorologists from our local NWS forecast office will all be on hand to educate residents of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness, and will be available for interviews.

Staff from local and state emergency management offices, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross, NOAA & FEMA, and other partners will be a part of the event.

 Community groups, media, elected officials, and the public are invited to participate and tour the aircraft and exhibits. Public tours will start at 2 pm. The gates will close at 4:30 pm, but those inside will have until 5 pm to tour. Registration is not required for the public tours; those wishing to visit this event can simply show up any time between 2:00 and 4:30 pm. No backpacks or large bags permitted. Any attendee may have their bag searched.

For more information, contact Chris Strong of NWS Baltimore/Washington at 703-996-2223 or

10 Easy Indoor Toddler Crafts and Activities

10 Easy Indoor Toddler Crafts and Activities
By Paige Goodwin, Contributor

Maybe you just had a baby or maybe it’s starting to get cold outside, but nothing seems more daunting than having to keep a toddler inside — and entertained — especially if your child seems to move between games and activities quickly. Even as a seasoned nanny, I was constantly trying to figure out how to keep the kids busy when I couldn’t take them outdoors. Here are some of my favorite crafts that you can make at home:

1. Toddler-Safe Play-Dough
Sometimes even the parents and caregivers with lighting reflexes can’t stop a toddler from putting things in their mouth. Making your own play dough out of ingredients in your cupboard ensures that even if your little one gets a bite of this fun dough, all you have to worry about is a salty aftertaste. Kidspot has a great No-Cook Playdough Recipe that is reusable and has 5 ingredients you already have in your pantry.

– 1 cup water
– 3 cups flour
– 1 cup salt
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– food coloring
1. Mix together the salt and flour. Add in oil and mix.
2. Mix together food coloring and water.
3. Add in water slowly, mixing until you get the right consistency.
4. Have your toddler knead the dough while you’re mixing.
5. Store in an airtight bag or container.

2. Shaving Cream Sensory Buckets
There’s something about sensory activities that toddlers love, and shaving cream attracts small kids like magnets. Especially on cold, wintry days, your toddler will love playing with fake “snow”, and all you need is a can of shaving cream sitting around. If your child is unsure of playing with it, include a few waterproof toys in a large plastic mixing bowl or storage tub. The best part? Clean-up requires just a quick rinse with water and both yours and your toddler’s hands will smell great and be silky smooth!

3. Bathtub Painting
Toddlers and paint normally means nightmarish clean-ups, but bathtub painting is a great alternative. If you have bath tub paint laying around, you can put it to good use (and if you don’t, try Kojo Design’s Make Your Own Bath Paint that requires 4 common household ingredients). If you’re worried about getting food coloring out of clothing, you can always do bathtub painting while your child is already in the tub, or get a few more uses out of the bathing suits that won’t fit next season. The paint requires just a spray down with water for clean-up!

Supplies for a baby-food jar of paint:
– 1/4 cup of shampoo/body wash
– 1/4 cup corn starch
– 1-2 tablespoons of water
– 3-4 drops food coloring
1. Mix together the shampoo, corn starch and food coloring (one color only).
2. Add in the water a little at a time until you reach the right consistency. It should be thin enough to easily pick up with a paintbrush, but not too runny.

4. Cloud Dough
I know, I know, I put play-dough at the top of this list, but cloud dough is its own magical experience. PBS Parents has a two-ingredient Cloud Dough Exploration recipe that takes about five minutes to whip up and is easy enough for older toddlers to help make. Cloud dough is super fun to put into molds, and is a great way to put those beach toys to use in the off-season. You may want to double the recipe so you can play alongside your toddler!

– 4 cups flour
– 1/2 cup oil (if your child tends to put things in their mouth, use vegetable oil. If not, using baby oil makes the dough smell wonderful!)
1. Mix together using your hands until it holds together when squeezed. This should take a few minutes.

5. Paint with Pudding
Adding food coloring to pudding was an old trick I learned from a mom with a toddler and a little one in a high chair. By mixing together vanilla pudding and a few drops of food coloring, her toddler was able to paint a plastic place mat while the baby painted the high chair tray. Little ones can snack away while they make their creations!

6. Popsicle Stick Family Dolls
This activity is especially fun for children who enjoy drawing pictures of family members, or it could even help a child get more used to a new little family member, be it a sibling or cousin. For small hands, you can buy wooden craft spoons from Michael’s that allow for more room to draw on faces. Wrap the popsicle stick with fabric or felt and glue it on for outfits, and glue on yarn for hair. This is especially fun around the holidays, when your toddler is thinking about seeing relatives (and, for extra fun moments, you can show grandparents, aunts, uncles and even your neighbor down the street the doll your child made of them!).

7. Snowy “Cosmic” Sun Catchers
I don’t know about you, but I am constantly amassing plastic containers with lids. If your family goes through large containers of yogurt, hummus or even baby food, you can use the leftover lid to make gorgeous art to cheer up your windows. The neat thing about this sun catcher is that it has a milky look to it — perfect for a winter window sill.

– a plastic container lid (think yogurt, hummus, cool whip, etc.)
– Elmer’s glue
– Food coloring
– Toothpicks
– Hole Punch
– String
1. Fill your selected lid with elmer’s glue so that it touches all the surfaces. Make sure to pour enough that the sun catcher will be thick — you’ll be peeling it from the lid when it’s dry so the thicker, the sturdier.
2. Drop a single drop of food coloring into the glue for smaller lids, two of each color for larger ones. Space the drops apart so they’ll have space to bleed into the glue as they dry.
3. Have your little one drag a toothpick to swirl the colors together. Remember, the colors will bleed as they dry, so less is more here.
4. Let the lid dry (it may take a few days depending on how the thick the layer of glue was, but it’ll start to peel from the edges when it’s ready). Peel it from the lid and punch a hole at the top. Tie string and hang it up near a window.

For the original post, check out Babble Dabble Do.

8. Glitter Bottle
A big trend online is the “Calm-Down Jar”, a jar filled with glitter that moms use as a timer for when kids need a moment alone, or even a tool to help small children meditate. The truth is, the bottles are beautiful and mesmerizing — I made one this past summer with the girl I nannied and when it wasn’t in use, she kept it on the kitchen windowsill (and when sunlight would stream through the glitter, it made the countertops sparkle!).

– an empty, clean water bottle, preferably with smooth sides (bumpy sides distort the effect a little)
– a tube of glitter glue, which can be found in the kids’ section of art stores
– fine glitter (you can also add in sequins, thick glitter, pony beads or any other little trinkets that can float)
– hot water
– funnel
– super glue or hot glue
1. Put enough hot water in a bowl to fill the bottle with about a half inch left at the top.
2. Dump the entire bottle of glitter glue into the water and stir until the glue and water are mixed (if the water is cold, the glue will stay clumpy).
3. Let the water mixture cool a bit before having your toddler help you mix the fine glitter and optional sequins, thick glitter, etc., into the bowl. The more you add, the more glittery (and fun!) the bottle will be. Also, the thicker the mixture, the longer the bottle takes to “settle” after you shake it. The girl I made this with enjoyed watching the larger sequins flutter through the thin glitter.
4. Pour the glitter liquid through the funnel into your bottle and super/hot glue the lid on.
5. Let your toddler give the bottle a good shake.

9. Apple and Grape Cars
If you have a toddler, you know that as much as you try to get them to stop playing with their food, there’s only so much you can do. If you indulge them a little and make toy cars out of their lunch, you might get them to sit down long enough at the table for you to eat a little something, too.
– Apple slices
– grapes cut in half
– toothpicks
– fruit leather
1. Use a toothpick as an axle and attach grapes to the flat side of an apple slice to make cars.
2. Let your toddler drive them around on strips of fruit leather ‘roads’. You can also draw a road on a paper plate or even a large sheet of paper and let them drive their snack around!

10. Ocean Bottle
If your toddler enjoyed the glitter bottle, this bottle actually shows colors mixing and is gorgeous to boot! An ocean bottle will bring a little bit of summer to you, even in the cold winter. It takes less than five minutes to make and requires only things in your pantry.

– water
– yellow cooking oil (think light olive oil, vegetable, canola)
– blue food coloring
– a plastic bottle with a lid
– hot glue
1. Fill your bottle with water until it’s about a third of the way full.
2. Add a few drops of blue food coloring. Put the lid on the bottle temporarily and let your toddler shake it to mix the color.
3. Open the bottle back up, and fill the rest of the way with the cooking oil. If you are worried about the seal of the bottle’s lid, go ahead and glue it on now.
4. Have your toddler flip the bottle upside down and watch the oil rise to the top. It’ll mix with the blue food coloring and give a gorgeous greenish hue.

For the original post, check out Happy Hooligans

Community Christmas Festival in DC!

Community Christmas Festival
Saturday, December 3, 10:00 am–Noon
Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th Street NW, WDC 20009

Join Friends of Stead Park and Foundry United Methodist Church for free photos with Santa, Christmas crafts and snacks.

You can purchase a gingerbread house to decorate for $15. Pre-purchase yours online:

*** Please bring a donation of NEW hats, gloves or scarves to be given to our adult unhoused neighbors. ***

ZooLights at the Smithsonian National Zoo in DC!

Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with a dazzling light show set to music!

Thaw your paws in the animal exhibit buildings and see the nocturnal critters! The Small Mammal House, Reptile Discovery Center, and Think Tank are open every night.

Rides and attractions include:
– The Smithsonian’s National Zoo Choo-Choo: take a merry tour through the Zoo on a trackless train that whisks guests all around the Great Cats exhibit and features gorgeous views of the Zoo’s holiday light displays.
– Snow-less Tubing: take the plunge down one of our 150-foot-long tracks—no snow necessary! (weather permitting)
– Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel: hop on to your choice of 58 animal figurines, as the carousel highlights the Zoo’s incredible research and success stories. As one of the few carousels in the world powered by solar energy, thanks to a generous donation by Pepco Energy Services, the carousel is a new spin on conservation.

Ride Tickets are available for purchase at the Zoo for $3 each; 1 ride per ticket. Family Packs are available for purchase online or at the Zoo for $20 for 8 tickets; 1 ride per ticket.

Freebies for New Parents and Babies!

Freebies for New Parents and Babies!

By, Audrey Milton, Contributor

Preparing for a new baby can get veryBaby expensive very fast. According to a 2010 USDA report, the average family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expenses during their baby’s first year alone. So in order to help cut some of these costs, we have curated a collection of sources where you can receive free samples, trials, or products as expecting parents. These free offers are designed with expecting parents in mind and the products listed will give you some relief when trying to wade through the endless brands that all claim they are the best. If a brand or product isn’t listed here or if there is something you always wanted to try but have shied away from it due to cost (like “organic” diapers, or glass bottles), you can always reach out to the company directly. Please note that promotions with these companies is subject to change and that we do not endorse any specific product or service unless noted.

Gerber Baby Nutrition Kit
The Gerber Baby Nutrition Kit comesgerber with assorted free samples, coupons and offers, as well as instructional guides for nutrition, breastfeeding, formula feeding, and breast milk storage. Additionally, you will receive a free Gerber Cozy breastfeeding blanket. To receive the free kit, print the provided certificate and present it to a nurse at your local hospital.

Baby Sling from Seven™ Everyday Slings
A company called Mothers Lounge™ hasSling designed several individual mother and baby lifestyle products, one of which is baby slings. These comfortable and stylish and are used to assist parents in holding their baby close to their body. This offer allows expecting parents to purchase a baby sling for free when you use the promotion code ENBABY at checkout. It is available for any sling up to $40 and you can choose from their variety of colors and patterns.

Carseat Canopy
Expecting parents can receiveCanopy a free canopy for their baby’s car seat if you use the promotion code ENBABY at checkout. The Carseat Canopy™ is designed to protect your baby’s eyes from direct sunlight and can help them fall asleep by darkening the area inside. They are made from fabric that is suitable year round and comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

Nursing Cover
Udder Covers™ gives you a freeNursing nursing cover when you use the promotion code ENBABY at checkout. Nursing covers help maintain privacy while breastfeeding on the go and keep the baby clean and warm while still allowing mothers to have eye contact with their baby. A typical nursing cover costs around $35, but with this promo code you can receive yours for free!

Nursing Pillow from Udder Covers
To compliment your nursing cover,Pillow Udder Covers™ also offers a free nursing pillow! Using the promotion code ENBABY at checkout, you can pick out a nursing pillow free of charge. Nursing pillows are designed for home use and help mothers hold babies while breastfeeding. This pillow is designed to increase comfort for the baby as well as the mother during breastfeeding.

Baby Leg Warmers from Baby Leggings
Baby leg warmers will keep your Leggingsbaby’s legs warm without all of the fuss of pants, which need to be taken off when diapers need changing. This offer provides five free baby leg warmers for expecting parents when you use the promotion code MYSAVINGS at checkout. You can pick out any of their unique designs for boys and girls free of charge with the promotion code.

Target’s Baby Welcome Gift Bag
Target offers a free baby welcome gift bag when parents register with the Target Baby Registry. The gift bag includes free samples and coupons for baby-related items. Additionally, after registering, Target will help you pick out a selection of items to help welcome your baby, all of which will be at 15% off when you are 8 weeks away from delivery. To get your gift bag, register online and then go see the Guest Services counter in your local target store.

BuyBuyBaby’s Goody Bag
BuyBuybaby offers parents who setup their registry with them a goody bag full of great samples and coupons you can pickup in store. In addition, after baby is born they offer some great savings on finishing off your registry in case there was things you didn’t get, but still want:
Amazon’s Baby Welcome Box

Amazon Prime offers members who have set up a baby registry a free welcome box containing assorted samples, a parenting eBook, and coupons to help you welcome your little one into the world. Additionally, members who register their baby will receive free 90-day returns on most items, a 15% discount on eligible items, and 20% off diaper subscriptions. For great items to add to your amazon registry, check out and then add it to
Diapers and Essentials from The Honest Company

The Honest Company offers a free sample of diapers and wipes as well as a bundle of essentials to parents who register on their website. The essentials bundle contains a trial size of shampoo, body wash, healing balm, and lotion, each of which is fit for babies and adults, as well as multi-surface cleaner and hand soap. After using your free trials, you can subscribe to The Honest Company and set up a schedule to have items delivered to your home.
Assorted Free Samples from Everyday Family

Everyday Family has partnered with top baby brands to distribute free samples and offers to expecting parents. Registration is free and automatically enters you into a sweepstakes to win free diapers for an entire year. Members also receive stage based pregnancy and baby email newsletters, access to their online community, offers and weekly coupon alerts as well as access to tons of free baby samples, baby coupons, baby magazines and more. Simply go to the website, click “join now” and enter your information.
Baby Formula Samples and Coupons from Enfamil

Expecting parents who sign up and join Enfamil Family Beginnings will receive up to $325 in special offers, savings, and support through pregnancy, their baby’s first year, and into toddlerhood. The package includes baby nutrition guides and growth charts, several different formula samples, valuable coupons, and special gift offers. To get started, go to their website, click on “Join Enfamil Family Beginnings”, and enter your information to receive your free package.
Free Books from Babsy B

This offer allows parents to order five books for free when using the promo code GET5FREEBOOKS. Educator Babs Bell Hajudusiewicz wrote the books and each one reflects proven research in early childhood education, oral language development, and age-appropriateness as it pertains to brain development. To receive this offer, go to the website, choose five books to add to your shopping cart, and enter the promo code at checkout.

Free Books from Early Moments
This company provides parents and children with monthly shipments of selected books based on the child’s age. After registering, parents will receive the first shipment of four books and a ring of flashcards for free, except for a shipping fee. To avoid additional charges, simply cancel your subscription after your “free” books ship. To sign up, go to the website, click on which age range your child is in, and fill in the necessary information.

Free Books from PJ Library
PJ Library sends free Jewish children’s books to families across the world every month. They know that something magical happens when parents sit down together to read with their children. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that have colorful pictures and are fun to read to baby. The books evolve as your kids get older which makes this a great resource.  A program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, PJ Library is made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations. Families with kids ages 6 months through 8 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up, regardless of their Jewish background, knowledge, or observance.

By taking advantage of these free offers, you can help ease the financial burden of welcoming a new baby. In addition, you get the opportunity to try out popular products from trusted companies which will help you decide what products are right for you and your baby throughout all their years of development. 

DIY Unique Fathers Day Gifts to Make Dad's Day

DIY Fathers Day Gifts to Make Dad’s Day

By, Mariana Sava, Contributor

Anyone can go online or in a storeHeader and buy a “unique” gift for dad. But how is that item unique, when more than one person can buy it and gift it to their dads? That item may be different, but not unique. A unique gift for the “World’s Greatest Dad” for Father’s Day has to come from the heart and what better unique gift than a homemade one.

I still remember the gifts my sister and I created for our dad for Father’s day. Not only did we bring our creative minds out of hibernation but we spent time bonding and laughing over potential reactions from our dad when he would have gotten the present.

These gift ideas are unique in the sense that you can always put your spin on it. Incorporate creative designs and other ideas based on their likes, occupation, hobbies, or quirky habits. Here are some ideas that I collected over the years from siblings and the internet.

T Shirt: A blank t-shirt (preferably white) whereT shirt you could put your handprint, footprint, or hand write any inside jokes you might have. My sister and I did this for dad a couple of years ago. He still has the t-shirt, a bit wrinkled, but he still has it.


A Toy Car: For my 19th birthday party, a1969_Chevrolet_Corvette_Stingray_convertible,_all_black family friend surprised me with a…Corvette! You could imagine my shocked face when I realized it was a toy car. My family still laughs at the incident. The key is to sound really convincing and maybe convince mom and siblings to join in on the surprise.

Scratch Offs: Hide a couple of scratch-offs insideLotto a book. It can be any book: a new book he might want or a book from around the house (this way he thinks you didn’t get him anything, but when he opens the book – Surprise, he has a couple of chances at winning $5,000).


Coupons: Good ol’ fashioned homemade coupons:Coupon

  • “Coupon good for one car wash”
  • “Voucher for mowing the lawn – X times”
  • And any other chores dad usually wants you to do, that you don’t want to

Notes: Index cards decorated nicely with funny and clever phrases

  • “Yoda best Dad!”
  • “There are so many “Reese”ons whyNote Card you’re the best Dad!”
  • “You are one in a Minion”
  • “You rock Dad!” (drawn on a rock)
  • “We Dove you, Dad!”
    • All of these should brighten up his day.

Candy: A letter full of candy!! Try to incorporateCandy as many candy bars as possible. For example: “Dad you always make me Snicker.”


Gift Bag: For dad’s who love tools, like my father in law, just Gift Cardget him a gift card from his favorite hardware store. You can put the gift card in a homemade Father’s Day card.


Goodie Bag: A goodie bag filled Gift Bagwith his favorite candy, movies, video games, tools, motivational quotes, or drinks makes an excellent gift to show your Dad how much you know about what he likes and how much you care.

If you still decide on buying something and your dad won’t mind it arriving after fathers day, I found a couple of things that I would definitely buy for my dad and I wouldn’t mind sharing them with you.


Mug 1Funny Mug:



Mug 2


Humble Mug:


Mug 3Artistic Mug:



Your dad will appreciate anything that you give him for Father’s Day because it came from you. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive for him to like it, it just has to be thoughtful and relatable to him. Now, what should I get my dad this year? Any thoughts?


National Donut Day

National Donut Day is upon us.

A History: Celebrated exclusively in the United States, National Donut Day is on the first Friday of June each year. The annual event originated in 1938 as a Great Depression fundraiser by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers in World War I.

Places to get your Free Donut

Dunkin Donuts: Get a FREE classic donut with any beverage purchase

Krispy Kreme: Get a FREE donut of your choice

Duck Donuts: Free sugar donut

Fractured Prune: Each customer gets a FREE donut of your choice


Delight in fine art created by 130 of the nation’s best artists, live entertainment and Bethesda restaurants. 

Located in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle, along Norfolk, Auburn & Del Ray Avenues.
Admission to the festival is free and free parking is available in the public parking garage on Auburn Avenue. This event is held rain or shine.

Admission to the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival is FREE.

Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle, along Norfolk, Auburn & Del Ray Avenues

The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival was ranked #78 on the 200 Best Shows by Sunshine Artist  Magazine in September 2008, making it the highest ranked fine art show in Maryland!