Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Free STEM Fair

There's a free Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fair at the University of Maryland on April 6. The fair is for kids in third through eighth grade and will include hands-on interactive activities and demonstrations in engineering, robotics, physics and forensic science.

According to the sponsoring group, students will:

  •  LEARN about college majors and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
  • MEET future and current engineers, scientists, and STEM professors
  • BE INSPIRED byDr. Jeanette Epps, NASA Astronaut and University of Maryland graduate, as she shares her journey from being a student, like you, to being an astronaut.

A free lunch is included with the conference, which requires advanced registration. The fair is sponsored by the The Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE). Find all the details here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=flgsamiab&oeidk=a07e71z6q6t622580fe

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Checking In

Haven't posted in a while.  Sorry.

Life's been busy busy busy.

Hope everyone out and about is well.  Will update the calendar with cool mentions this week.

To start, FYI, if you have a daughter between the ages of 8-12, she can enter Maryland's Governor for a Day essay contest.  All the details on the contest are online at http://www.governor.maryland.gov/blog/?p=8441.

Catch you later.

-Hyattsville Mom

Friday, November 2, 2012

Review: Wreck-it-Ralph

If you're looking for a wonderful film the entire family can enjoy, Wreck-it-Ralph is the movie  for you.

I was so pleased after seeing Wreck-it-Ralph, I applauded. It was tha good. Especially in the wake of that horrible non-family friendly Brave, which Disney put out earlier this year.

If you recall my Brave review, I was terribly disappointed in the film due to it's lack of family friendliness. It billed itself as a family film, then scared the pants off of kids and promised them it was OK to poison their mothers, so long as they felt bad about it later. Well, Wreck-it-Ralph is no such mess.

This is a film that knows who it is and what it wants to be from scene one and does it well.  Ralph is the villain in a video game, and all he wants is to be loved and included. Yet, when the game players go home and all the other characters play and celebrate with each other, they don't include Ralph. In fact, Ralph lives in a garbage pile.

Wanting to feel part of the group, Ralph attends a party being hosted by the game's hero, Fix-it-Felix. There, the townspeople are mean to Ralph, and say he can't be included because he hasn't won a medal.
Certain he can win one,  Ralph heads to another game, Hero's Duty, to win this medal.

Ralph accomplishes his goal, but accidentally launches himself and a giant insect from Hero's Duty into the racing game, Sugar Rush. There, Ralph meets Vanellope von Schweetz, an outsider in her game as well.
Vanellope has a glitch that causes her to blink out occasionally and the mayor of Sugar Rush won't let her race.

Ralph and Vanellope bond. As the movie goes on, the two form a great friendship, and he helps them both prove that outsiders can fit in. A subplot brings Fix-it-Felix and a character from Hero's Duty into
Sugar Rush to help find Ralph and the rogue insect.

It's a great film and pretty family friendly. It's charming, funny, spirit-lifting and just plain good. The only areas of potential concern for parents of small children are the insects from Hero's duty, which is a pretty intense game that involves blasting the insects (as always, I encourage you to visit www.kids-in-mind.com and check out their listing of every incidence of violence, bad language, etc in films. It's a great way to determine if a film is right for  your children)

That's it for today.

-Hyattsville Mom

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekend Fun

There's lots to do in the area, this weekend.

First and foremost, we fall back this weekend, so don't forget to wind your clocks back an hour. Instead of being 8 am when you awaken Sunday, it will be 7 am.

If you have active children, there are a couple of great FREE events for you. First up is a lacrosse clinic for children ages 7-15. It's at the Tucker Road Athletic Complex, 1770 Tucker Rd. in Ft. Washington. At the clinic, which runs from 1-3 pm, will go over the basics of lacrosse, including stick handling, passing and shooting.  Pre-registration is recommended. Call 301-446-6800 or go online to https://smartlink.pgparks.com/POSweb/POSItemDetails.aspx?POSItemKey=12775. From 6-7 pm, the Sports & Learning Complex is hosting a free gymnastics workshop. This is a self-guided workshop, for children who are walking up to 12 years old. Parents must supervise children. For more information, contact the Sports & Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road in Landover, 301-583-2400.

Are your children budding artists? Well, on Sunday, check out Art a la Carte at the American Art Museum. Kids can do hands-on art projects for FREE. More information is online here. Also, if you're into model rockets, there will be a launch at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.

As always, have a safe weekend. All items mentioned here can be found on our calendar page.

-Hyattsville Mom
(p.s. I apologize. I'm Google is having a problem that's preventing me from posting images).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

It's All Hallow's Eve and I've been busy carving a pepper!

We were traveling over the weekend--to New Hampshire and back in a day due to Sandy. Then, we were housebound due to Sandy. So, the pumpkin thing didn't so much happen. But when my daughter pointed out that my red pepper looked like a pumpkin, I decided to carve a face into it.

Unfortunately, the neighbors won't be seeing it pep-o-lantern because he (or she--it's hard to tell with peppers) was eaten during lunch. However, I post this picture as a remembrance of the beautiful pep-o-lantern she (or he) was.

Do be safe trick or treating tonight. The biggest threat to children on Halloween is getting hit by cars, so wear reflective clothing and stay away from traffic.

I'll be updating the calendar this week, so stay tuned.

-Hyattsville Mom

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gee, I'm really old!

My kids and I watched the Frankenweenie trailer the other day. It's a new Tim Burton film coming out next month.

Upon completing the trailer, my son, who is eight, tells me: "I don't want to see that. It's in black-and-white. It was probably made in the '70s"

Wow! He knows I was born in the '70s, so I guess he assumes that was a long, long, long time ago (perhaps even a galaxy far, far away). But, really, black-and-white movies? Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz were made in 1939 and they had color!

Maybe, it's a sign I ought to teach him about the history of film. Starting with when that lovely innovation of color appeared (not the '70s!).

As a side note, I forgot to add to yesterday's post this cool event in DC at the National Building Museum. It's free and for kids ages 4-12. They get to build and create. Details are here: http://www.nbm.org/families-kids/festivals/big-build.html.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fun Fall Activities!

Photo by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
Happy Thursday, folks. I haven't posted in a while, but I do update my Twitter and Facebook feeds on a regular basis, so be sure to follow, as I'll post any deals/discounts I hear about, as well as interesting research (like BPAs link with obesity).

In anticipation of the weekend, I'm posting a few events that you might enjoy this weekend or in the near future.

Hyattsville Arts Festival
Sept. 22, 11 am - 5 pm. Check out what the Hyattsville arts district has to offer with exciting displays and live demonstrations. More information is available at the website

Fall Pretty Cupcake event
Pretty Girl Cupcakery will have its "Fall Pretty" promotion on from 10am - 6pm. During the event, Pretty Girl Cupcakery will reveal new fall flavors like Maple, Apple Cinnamon, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Spice, and S'mores! They will be available in mini sizes (many at only 99 cents) so that you can enjoy more!  For more information about the "Fall Pretty" promotion, contact Pretty Girl Cupcakery at 301-699-2010
or visit http://www.yelp.com/events/hyattsville-fall-pretty-at-the-pretty-girl-cupcakery-hyattsville-arts-festival.

National Book Festival
Sept. 22-23
During this two day celebration on the National Mall, brings famous authors into town for book signings and readings. For more details and a complete schedule, visit: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

Free Museum Day
Sept. 29. Get free admission to a host of museums around the nation. While we're used to museums being free in this area, several museums with admission costs are waiving them for free museum day. You need to reserve tickets in advance, though. To find out which area museums are participating and reserve tickets, go to http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday

Ghost Stories
Oct. 20, 11 am. Ghost Stories with Judy Cook is a performance that includes ghost stories, poetry, pictures and songs performed by Cook. It is $5 at the Montpelier Arts Center., 9652 Muirkirk Rd. in Laurel. For more information, call 301-377-7800

Flea Market
Oct. 21, 7 am- Until at the  Bladensburg Spa Church, 4105 54th St. in Bladensburg. Come hunt for shoes, toys and clothes. For more information, contact Shenue Ross, 240-595-9151 or Marilyn Thorpe,

Spooktacular Pumpkin Carving Workshop
Oct. 27, 11 am - 2 pm. At this FREE drop-in event, kids of all ages can come in and carve a pumpkin. Tools and pumpkins will be provided. It takes place at the Brentwood Arts Exchange, 3901 Rhode Island Ave. For more information, call the exchange, 301-277-2863.

Holiday Cookbook
Nov. 17, 10:30 am - 1:30 pm. At this FREE drop-in event, you can take your favorite family recipes and turn them into a beautiful cookbook. You bring the recipes and the Brentwood Arts Exchange will provide the rest. The Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave. For more information, call the exchange, 301-277-2863.