Tysons Corner, VA

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 the usual Memorial Day heat and humidity coming our way, nothing is better for cooling off than running through a splash pad or jumping in a pool!

While there are plenty of pools in McLean and Falls Church, make sure you check to see if any have openings for the summer. If you’re looking for a once in a while visit, try one of the options below:

Mosaic District Fountains: Open Daily 11 a.m.-8 p.m. They turn on after Memorial Day, but make sure to call the office and confirm they’re on; (sometimes system maintenance will ruin the best laid plans) 571-282-3518.

Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole: Opens this weekend and next weekend only, then full time everyday starting June 14 from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. The park offers a lazy river, water slides, splash pad and a shallow pool with ropes course.

Lee District Family Rec Area: Weekends only starting this weekend from 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m., then every day starting June 14Located in Alexandria, but definitely worth it if your kids like sprinklers and a beach area with water tables.

Cub Run Rec Center Leisure Pool: An indoor pool with small spray/playground area for smaller kids.

Town of Vienna Town Green: The Town of Vienna hosts a series called “Summer Stories, Songs & Sprinklers” every Wednesday at 1 p.m. from June 20 to August 8 on the town green.

There are several options in Arlington as well:

Ocean Dunes Waterpark: A daily visit option with a pool, huge water slides, a baby pool and splash park. The park also has mini golf and batting cages.

Hayes Park: Sprayground located at 1516 N. Lincoln Street, Arlington. Hours vary.

Drew Park: Sprayground located at 3514 22nd Street S., Arlington. Hours vary.

Lyon Village Park: Sprayground located at 1800 N. Highland Street, Arlington. Hours vary.

Virginia Highlands Park: Sprayground located at 1600 S. Hayes Street, Arlington. Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Don’t forget about ViVa Vienna this weekend! Hope to see you there!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

I’ve seen so many memes going around Facebook that make fun of women in their 30s and 40s and our early bedtimes.

One of my favorites says “One day you’re 23 enjoying happy hour in a crowded bar, the next you’re in your 30s avoiding social events and watching murder documentaries to relax.” Truer words have never been spoken. So if you’re in the mood to leave the house and be social, here are some ladies night ideas to try out:

I would LOVE to hear from you on ideas or topics for future posts. What are you looking for and/or what info do you need?

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Quite possibly my favorite weekend to be a Vienna resident happens on Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27) — ViVa Vienna!

The event spans both sides of Church Street from Lawyers Road to Mill Street, from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (until 6 p.m. on Monday). You’ll find rides and games for kids, all the fair food you can eat, live music and entertainment. On Sunday and Monday you’ll also see Church Street lined with booths/vendors.

My family ends up going at least 2 days because it’s so much fun and my kids love it! Here’s are some tips to help you enjoy the wonderful chaos ViVa Vienna brings!

  • If you’re not a fan of crowds, go on Saturday before the vendors set up. It’s a little calmer, a little less crowded and you’ll end up coming home with less “stuff” that people like to grab as the vendors give away freebies.
  • Check out the Entertainment Lineup ahead of time if you’re looking for a specific performance group (Vienna Singing Princess are a fan favorite — they do face painting at this event as well).
  • Parking is a nightmare! You can use one of the shuttle services provided or try to park near Vienna Elementary/Center Street. Park on the south side of Maple Avenue and walk across.
  • There are plenty of port-o-potties setup for bathroom use all over Church Street/Mill Street.
  • Bring cash to pay for ride tickets (get a free one here). The line is always shorter if you can pay with cash instead of credit.
  • The event is held rain or shine!
  • The event made the Cooking Chanel Carnival Eats Episode, highlighting the pierogis and crab dip.
  • Follow ViVa Vienna on Facebook to get updated on special events (like the Caps!).
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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 Saturday, May 4, is the opening weekend for the Vienna Farmers Market at the Community Center.

The market opens at 8 a.m. and goes until noon. Remember that dogs are not allowed at the market unless they’re service dogs. The market has fruit, veggies, meat, fish, flowers, eggs, pastries, breads and prepared foods. Usually on hand are also musicians with live music, a face painter and sometimes even the Vienna Singing Princesses.

You can buy breakfast and watch some baseball games at Waters Field, head into the community center and play some basketball, or even walk over to the Vienna Elementary playground and let the kids run around.

If you’re looking for another way to support local businesses and do some shopping, the Vienna Mom’s group is hosting a Vendor Fair at the community center from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. I will be there if you want to come meet me in person, or visit one of the other retailers listed in the graphic below.

On Friday, May 3 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. you can stop by the McLean farmers market which opens for the season as well!

The market is held at Lewinsville Park and you can find a full list of vendors here. Only service dogs are allowed here as well. Lewinsville Park has a bunch of fields, when not being used by soccer or baseball, there are also basketball and tennis courts.

Don’t forget the Falls Church farmers market is also Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. year round. You can find a full list of vendors here, but a huge shout out to the almond croissants at this market! So good!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

On May 4 and 5, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, you have the opportunity to join the Northern Virginia Parade of Homes tour of the areas most popular builders and remodeling contractors.

Admission is free and they have a great interactive map of the homes on the route. They’re listed alphabetically or you can focus on a city. Below I’ve highlighted some questions to ask them if you’re thinking of building.

Make sure you click the “add to my tour” button when looking at builders. Some of the addresses listed are their offices and not the model home they’re using for the tour.

Some of the homes listed are actually for sale, some are not.

Questions to ask:

  • If you like some of the features of the home and hate others — ask if the house was a custom build for someone (i.e. it’s someone else’s taste and not necessarily representative of what the builder normally does).
  • Ask about lot acquisition. If you’re looking for a specific lot size, location/school zone, type of home (i.e. 3-car garage), talk to the builders about how they find lots, what they do if they get a call with one that might match your needs.
  • Look for personality — building a home is a highly personal transaction, way more than buying/selling normally. You want to make sure you actually like the person you’ll be dealing with almost daily for a year.
  • Ask all the questions you’ve heard rumors about (does a pool count a lot coverage? How about a deck?) These guys will know the answer.
  • Do they have floor plans they’re able to reuse if you like a specific one (check their websites, most have full photos and floor plans for the home they’ve built previously)? Find out if they have architects they’d recommend if you want to do something truly custom.

Ask about financing options. They’ll happily give you the names of local banks they like working with and give you options.

  • When you’re walking through these houses, really get a feel for the space. How does 5,000 sq. ft. feel? Compare that to 4,000 or 6,000. You’ll see so many models on the parade of homes, you should be able to get a good feel of what you need, don’t really care about, size/space, etc.

The homes are beautiful! Enjoy the tour!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Most of the detached homes in our area do not belong to a homeowners association (HOA).

Most are regulated by county or town ordinance, but there are some that belong to an HOA. Some people love or hate this. Many of the HOA’s around Tyson’s include very little, maybe some yard maintenance in common areas, sometimes trash removal, but usually maybe one community party a year. If you see a townhouse, assume those always have an HOA.

I put together a list of HOAs in Vienna, McLean and Falls Church that actually give you something for your annual fees. Below is a list of the name and location, along with what the amenity included is. If you’re thinking you want to skip that 8 year wait for the Vienna Woods pool, try one of these neighborhoods instead (listed alphabetically):

Vienna

  • Edgemoore — Tennis courts
  • Estates at Great Falls — Outdoor pool, tennis courts, basketball courts
  • Hunter Mill Estates — Outdoor pool and tennis courts
  • Lakevale Estates — Outdoor pool and tennis courts
  • Oakton Glen — Tennis courts and basketball courts
  • Shouse Village — Outdoor pool and tennis courts, basketball courts
  • Williamsburg Commons — Outdoor pool

McLean

Falls Church

  • Walnut Hill — Tennis courts
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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Spring Break is almost upon us in Fairfax County and that means Easter. If you’re staying in town, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate.

The Town of Vienna holds 2 different Easter Egg Hunt events in town. One requires tickets, and is sold out but you should know about this for future years. The other doesn’t require pre-registration.

Old Fashioned Egg Roll

  • No tickets required. Held on Saturday, April 13 from 10:30-1130 a.m. at the Freeman House (131 Church Street NE, Vienna). Events is for children 12 and younger and includes an Old-Fashioned Egg Roll, a visit with the Easter Bunny and egg decorating.

Family Flashlight Egg Hunt

  • This event requires tickets and is sold out. However, for future events, the event is held on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. Bring a flashlight and basket to find eggs at dusk! Also present will be the Easter Bunny and a moon bounce.

Other Events Around Town:

Meadowlark Egg Hunt

  • Unfortunately, this event is also sold out. However always check online to see if someone has changed their plans and looking to resell their tickets. The event is held at Meadowlark Botanical Garden on Tuesday, April 16 at 11 a.m. Bring a basket for your child, ages 2-11. The event includes crafts, snacks and a visit from the Easter Bunny.

Clemyjontri Park Egg Hunt

  • Held on April 20, starting at 10 a.m. with egg hunts starting every 30 minutes. Registration is required. The event includes the egg hunt split up by age, crafts and an Easter Bunny visit.

Easter Eggstravaganza at Roer’s Zoofari

  • The Zoo just over the Vienna line in Reston, will have an egg hunt, face painting, bounce house and crafts on Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14 and April 20-21.

Easter Egg Hunt in Falls Church

  • The City of Falls Church will hold an egg hunt on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Children under 11 years old can bring their own baskets and hunt for eggs and meet the Easter Bunny. The event is free and doesn’t require reservation. After the event there’s a craft tent, a magic show at 10:30 a.m. and egg dying.
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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Welcome back Nats fans!

Baseball season is back in session. My husband and I took our kids to Opening Day at Nationals Park last week and I always love the excitement of going to a game, especially on a nice day. The kids are excited, there’s fun music, good food and the hope for a winning season.

We make it to a lot of games throughout the season. Here are my favorite tips and tricks (with or without kids).

Tips For A Kid-Friendly Trip

Drive. The metro trip from Vienna is long and waiting for the train at the end of the game when it’s packed, the kids are tired and coming off their ballgame sugar high is no fun. Buy parking ahead of time. Check pricing between Spothero and ParkWhiz.

Get there early to get food. The lines get long once the game starts. Check the full list of concessions here to scout food. You can buy bottled water outside for $1 and bring it in with you as long as it’s unopened (1 per person). They also do allow outside food as long it’s served in single serving bags or factory-sealed containers can be brought in.

The Nats offer a $5 discount on tickets for Military, Seniors, Government Employees, and students under 18 with valid ID at the box office on the day of the game.

The Presidents race in the middle of the 4th inning. It’s one of the highlights for kids, so make sure you don’t miss it! As soon as the race is over, head over to section 131 where the President’s line up for a photo opportunity with fans during the 5th inning.

If you have kids who need to get some energy out, there’s a PenFed Kids Zone for kids under 10 on the 100 level of right field. Slides, climbing structure, place to run etc. One tip though: it’s all plastic, so on hot days when the slides are too hot, they close it to the public.

On Sundays, the kids can run the bases after the game, ages 4-12. From the Nats site:

Kids will start their run at first base and they will be directed around the bases to home plate. Sliding into bases is prohibited. An adult must accompany each participating child to the field – adults will drop children off at first base and meet them near home plate. Please note that adults may not accompany children as they run the bases. One adult will be permitted onto the field per child participating in Kids Run the Bases. The line for Kids Run the Bases forms outside the ballpark on the First Street sidewalk – participants should exit the ballpark through the right field gate and proceed to the line. The run will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game and the event usually lasts about an hour. Jr. Nationals Kids Club members age 12 and under receive access to an exclusive line that goes onto the field first.

Parents start lining up early because the Kids Club (see below) get in first and way worth it.

For $20, you can join the Nationals JR Kids Club. We did this for my son and it was totally worth it. They get coupons for free food at the ballpark, a Harris Teeter coupon, free birthday message on the screen during the game and other freebies.

Keep your eye out for special kid-friendly days at the park, like Bobble Head giveaways, kids watch giveaways, etc.

If you are bringing a diaper bag, make sure you read the new bag policy. You can bring a diaper bag but it must be smaller than 16″x16″x8″. There’s a nursing lounge for mother’s to feed babies, pump, change diapers or cool off with the air conditioning. You’ll find that space adjacent to section 223.

Kids under 2 are FREE

Adult Only Tips

Ignore steps 4-11 above. Grab a beer/cocktail in the right field bar and have a great time!

Go Nats!

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

There are so many good restaurants in and around Tysons, but not all of them are known for their obnoxious birthday celebrations, especially for kids.

Where can you take your family to celebrate a birthday where they’ll totally embarrass you, your kids, but give everyone a good laugh? Here’s a list of places to go if you’re celebrating a big day!

Most are chains, so if you know of a hidden gem that should be mentioned, please mention it in the comments below.

Sakura: Hibachi — Always fun!

Maggiano’s — Candle in any dessert you order.

Chuy’s — They give you a huge sombrero and sing, along with ice cream.

Uncle Julio’s — Chocolate Pinata!

Guapo’s — The waiters sing loudly with instruments and give the kids a large sombrero.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

I’m sure you’ve thought of the big names: Care.com, WhiteHouseNannies.com, etc.

But how do you find local babysitters that won’t charge an arm and a leg? Where are these secret parent sanity saving humans hiding?

Let me share our secret… your local high school.

Did you know that Madison, Marshall, McLean and Langley have career centers in the school? My husband, the genius that he is, sent an email to the career center specialist listed on the school websites with a job posting.

We included a job description, typical hours, number of kids, any requirements, etc and they posted it on the job board at the school. We got a great high school babysitter after reading through the kids who responded.

I’m sure this could also work for after school care, mother’s helper, local businesses looking for some extra support, etc.

I don’t want to post emails for individuals staff at the schools, but it’s really easy to find on the website:

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