Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.
With Thanksgiving upon us next week followed closely by the December holidays, it’s important to know that due to the high cost of living in Northern Virginia, there are many families in need this holiday season.
Whether you’re looking for an in-person volunteer opportunity to do as an adult or with the family, or if you’d prefer to work behind the scenes and donate something, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in our community at the local level.
Please check out some of the organizations and their needs at this time of year:
SHARE of McLean
Share has a Holiday Celebration which is their biggest event of the year. They need volunteers, as well as donations. You can also sign up to host a food drive to help stock their pantry which they use to give food and gift cards to families in need. They have in person volunteer hours which may include moving furniture, sorting clothing, or restocking the shelves. If you want a more hands-on interaction, you can also greet and register the clients.
Committee for Helping Others (CHO) of Vienna
CHO hosts a Christmas Store on December 7 for families in need in the Vienna and Oakton areas. They’re looking for new toys, gently used clothing and gift cards. Gift cards can be dropped off to the church office on the 2nd floor (Vienna Presbyterian Church — 124 Park Street NE ,Vienna). All other physical items can be dropped off by December 1 to the bins outside of the the VPC Narthex. You can find a list of their needs on their website.
Women Giving Back (Sterling, Virginia)
WGB is an organization that supports women and children with the basics to get back on their feet. They are collecting new, unwrapped toys for their children to be donated by December 13. You can drop them off locally at First Excel Title just outside of Oakton at 3201 Jermantown Road Suite 350, Fairfax, VA 22030. The store throughout the rest of the year needs clothing, accessories, shoes and kids clothes. Learn more.
You can also search more volunteer opportunities throughout Fairfax at Volunteer Fairfax.
Veterans Day on Monday (Nov. 11) will celebrate the servicemen and women who currently or previously served in the United States Armed Forces.
The federal holiday means many people will have a long weekend, meaning more time to relax at home, check out local events or get away.
Whether you’re hopping on a plane, speeding away in a train, hitting the roads or staying local, Tysons Reporter wants to know what your weekend travel plans are.
Now that Halloween and the election, Santa Claus is coming to Tysons for photos with kids and pets.
Presented by HGTV, the “Santa HQ” is returning to Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) on Saturday (Nov. 9) to let families “explore the wonder of Santa in the digital age,” according to a press release.
More about the HGTV event:
HGTV Santa HQ guests can customize their individual experience by using augmented reality to view the Elf Academy in magical ways. Visitors can use the workshop’s Magic Mirror to transform into one of Santa’s elves.
Guests can virtually change their elf’s outfits, create customized Elf Academy ID collector cards at the Elf ID station, explore Santa’s Workshop and Elf Academy using ELF-RAY Vision and test out the Naughty O’ Nice Meter. Families can continue their adventure with a custom photo opportunity and an in-person visit with Santa inside his modernized sleigh.
Adding another dimension to the holiday experience, Tysons Corner Center will provide multiple camera angles to capture your family’s entire Santa experience.
Photo packages start at $39.99. Santa HQ will be available until Dec. 25, according to the press release.
Shoppers at the mall can also bring an unwrapped toy and participate in “Help Through Holiday Giving” that will support the Salvation Army’s Giving Tree.
Additional Christmas events at the mall include:
- Nov. 15: Holiday Tree Lighting on The Plaza from 6-9 p.m.
- Dec. 7: Breakfast With Santa from 8-11 a.m.
- Nov. 9-Dec. 24: Dreamworks Spirit Activation
- Tuesdays from Nov. 19-Dec. 17: Sensory Santa from 6-8 p.m.
- Dec. 9 and Dec. 16: Yappy Hour from 6-8 p.m.
Over at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive), kids can take photos with Santa from Friday, Nov. 15 through Tuesday, Dec. 24. People can sign up for free photo packages from Nov. 9-27.
Santa will also do pet pictures from Nov. 18 until Dec. 16. with photo packages starting at $39.99.
The “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” photo takeover, Brookfield Properties and Autism Speaks are partnering up to offer “Santa Cares Day” — a sensory-friendly event for families with kids with autism and other special needs to take pictures with Santa — on Nov. 24.
For the third year in a row, the Town of Vienna will host a competition encouraging local businesses to put up holiday decorations.
The Town/Business Liaison Committee wants businesses within Vienna to decorate their storefronts with the theme “Home for the Holidays” and participate in the upcoming decoration competition.
Winners will receive special social media shoutouts and Mayor Laurie DiRocco will volunteer her time as a guest employee for business with the best decorations, according to a press release.
All decorations must be put out by Friday (Nov. 29). Competition winners will be announced at the Church Street Holiday Stroll on Monday (Dec. 2).
“The TBLC is hosting this third annual competition to draw attention to local businesses, foster a festive atmosphere that attracts visitors and encourage residents to discover local gems as they tackle their holiday shopping in person,” a press release said.
Any business wishing to participate must register online by Friday, Nov. 22.
Photos courtesy Town of Vienna
Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.
This week marks the beginning of the true Holiday season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, then bring on December!
There are always so many things going on at this time of year between kids events, friendsgiving, Diwali, field trips and regular every day life, it’s hard to keep up with things! Here are some highlights of great events during the month of November:
Trick or Treating on Thursday — Rainy Day Ideas
In case it’s raining on Thursday and you want a back up plan, Tyson’s Corner Mall has “Malloween” from 3-5 p.m. On the plaza, Fairfax County Police will be handing out candy, American Scream will be providing spooky entertainment, face painters will be available and then you can take your kids trick-or-treating inside the mall to 50+ stores.
Bootique Trick or Treating Spooktacular at Mosaic: Trick or treating in the stores from 5-7 p.m. and then a showing of Monsters Inc on the green at 6:30 p.m.
November 1, 7 p.m. — Haunted Halloween Murder Mystery at Maggiano’s Tysons
Murder mystery night with dinner, bar, and entertainment. Buy tickets online.
November 2, 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. — Town of Vienna Fall Clean-Up Day
Help the town staff pick up trash, remove invasive plants and generally clean up designated areas. Call 703-255-6336 or email John King at [email protected] to sign up.
November 8, 5:30 p.m. — Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Garden
A magical walk around the beautifully decorated botanical garden with awesome light displays. Stay at the end for smores, popcorn, hot chocolate and hot cider. Inside they usually have a photo area with props on a sleigh. Buy tickets early.
November 8, 11 a.m. — Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion Opens
Reston Town Center transforms into an ice skating pavilion on November 8. Hours vary, check their Facebook page for more details.
November 17, 8 a.m. — McLean Rotary 5k Turkey Trot
5k Turkey Trot held at Central Park Tysons. Open to anyone who wants to run or walk!
November 18, 5 p.m — Pet Pictures with Santa at Macy’s Court in Tysons Galleria
Every Monday from November 18 to December 16 at 5 p.m., pets can take photos with Santa. Reservations available online!
November 22 — Bull Fun Festival of Lights
2.5 mile illuminated holiday light display (drive-through) with a festival at the end that includes rides, refreshments and photos with Santa Claus.
November 24, 8 a.m. — Vienna Turkey Trot
Annual Fun Run, 5k and 10k in Vienna held at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Register here. Walking is also welcome along with strollers.
November 24, 2 p.m. — Nutcracker Tea Party in Falls Church
Presented by Adagio Ballet, the Nutcracker Tea Party with Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara at the Marriott Fairview Park in Falls Church. There will be treats, games and activities. Buy tickets online.
Quick Preview of December:
Labor Day is coming up on Monday (Sept. 2). For people staying in the Tysons area for the holiday weekend, some government facilities will be closed and public transit options will be operating on modified schedules.
Tysons Reporter has rounded up a list of public services that will be affected by the upcoming holiday.
- All county offices, schools and libraries will be closed on Labor Day.
- The State Courts will be closed for the day.
- The Metrobus and Metrorail will adopt a Sunday schedule for Labor Day and resume typical service on Tuesday.
- The Fairfax Connector will operate on a Sunday schedule for Labor Day.
- The Metrorail will operate on a Sunday schedule from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on Labor Day. Normal service will resume Tuesday (Sept. 3).
- Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services will be closed from Saturday (Aug. 31) until Monday (Sept. 2).
- United States Postal Service offices will be closed Labor Day.
- The Vienna Community Center will have reduced hours on Labor Day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- The Town of Vienna’s government offices will be closed Labor Day.
- The McLean Community Center will be closed on Labor Day.
- The City of Falls Church’s government offices and buildings will be closed Labor Day.
- The City Council Work Session, originally scheduled for Monday, will be moved to Tuesday (Sept. 3) at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Center (223 Little Falls Street).
- The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed on Sunday (Sept. 1) and Monday (Sept. 2).
- Falls Church Community Center will be closed for cleaning until Tuesday (Sept. 3).
Speaking of closed offices, Tysons Reporter will be on a break as well on Monday.
The unofficial end of summer is approaching with Labor Day coming up this weekend.
Drivers can expect moderate to heavy congestion between noon-6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, and Monday, Sept. 2, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
On Monday, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-66 and I-395 and rush hour tolls on the 66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway.
“With nearly 100 million Americans embarking on getaways with family this summer, and with 33% of Americans indicating they would go on at least one additional road trip, if gas prices remained low, which is occurring, odds are millions are packing up their cars for their final summertime excursion this Labor Day,” according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration expects 263 million passengers and crew to pass through security checkpoints nationwide from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Whether you’re hopping on a plane, speeding away in a train, hitting the roads or staying local, Tysons Reporter wants to know your Labor Day weekend travel plans.
It’s not even fall yet and already a holiday decoration store is planning to return to Tysons Corner Center.
Tysons Reporter spotted a sign for A Christmas to Remember and several large, red ornaments hanging in a storefront in the mall.
Building permits indicate that A Christmas to Remember has been in Tysons Corner Center before.
The website for the store describes it as the “one-stop-shop for a personalized holiday shopping experience.”
“We offer a large selection of ornaments, lights, gifts and collectibles, in addition to officially licensed merchandise,” the website says.
The holiday store says it plans to open in Tysons on Sept. 28 — just a few days after fall starts.
The store will fill the former spot of the now-closed Charlotte Russe.
It might not be the national holiday from the week before, but National Free Slurpee Day is coming up on Thursday, July 11.
The event is 7-Eleven’s celebration of its unofficial birthday. Stopping by a 7-Eleven between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. will allow the visitor to receive a free 12 oz Slurpee while supplies last.
Below, Tysons Reporter has put together a map of 7-Elevens around the Tysons area to stop by for a free Slurpee. Also, stay tuned for more information on the new 7-Eleven planned at Tysons Corner Center this fall.
If you get a brain freeze from your Slurpee, National Day Calendar advises you to press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, cover your nose and mouth with your hand, and breathe through your nose — allowing warmer air to circulate through your sinus passages.
The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.
We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!
Thursday (June 13)
- Teacher End of School Year Happy Hour Party — 3-7 p.m. at Blackfinn Ameripub-Merrifield (2750 Gallows Road) — Blackfinn is hosting a celebration of teachers at the end of the school year with complimentary appetizers for teachers, prizes and giveaways, and drink specials. The event is free, but seating is limited.
Friday (June 14)
- DevFest DC 2019 — 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Capital One Center (1680 Capital One Drive) — The 8th annual DevFest DC — a meeting of developers throughout the region — returns this Friday. Industry expert speakers from technology companies and various coding sessions are planned throughout the day. Tickets are $70 for a regular pass if purchased before Thursday, or $100 if purchased on the day of the event.
- National Flip Flop Day 2019 — 2-7 p.m. at Tropical Smoothie Cafe (2672 Avenir Place) — As part of “National Flip Flop Day,” anyone stopping in at the Tysons Tropical Smoothie can get a free 16 ounce Sunshine Smoothie.
Saturday (June 15)
- Family Father’s Day Stroller Strides Class — 8:45-10:30 a.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — The FIT4MOM group usually hosts exercise programs for mothers with babies, but the group is holding a special fathers-focused class. Tickets are available online.
- Summer Concerts on the Green: Nowhere Men — 6:30-8 p.m. at Vienna Town Green (144 E. Maple Avenue) — Vienna’s free summer concert lineup starts with an acoustic Beatles tribute band, Nowhere Men. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, but to leave their pets at home.
Sunday (June 16)
- Bike Chains and Derailleurs Workshop — 9-11 a.m. at REI (8209 Watson Street) — A workshop at REI will help cyclists learn how to tune their bikes to avoid grinding gears, rubbing derailleurs and squeaky chains. Attendees can bring their own bike or practice on one at the store. Tickets are $40 for members or $60 for non-members.
- Father’s Day Brunch and Dinner — 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) — Fathers get their first beer for $1 for a brunch and dinner special at INCA Social. Kids 6 and younger eat for free.
- Dad Jokes on Father’s Day — 5-7 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — The Tysons Biergarten is hosting a comedy night specifically for the best — or worst — original dad jokes from several local comedians. Tickets to the comedy show are free.
Photo via Town of Vienna/Facebook