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.

If you’re looking to try something new, and into the idea of customized pasta dishes, you should try Dal Grano in the Langley Shopping Center in McLean.

They have over 50 pasta combinations that you can create and eat in, take out or cook at home! In addition to just pasta, they have salads, sandwiches, desserts (the gelato!) and veggie side dishes.

Another reason to support Dal Grano is their involvement in the community. They sponsor the Fish swim team and McLean Little League.

Follow their Facebook page for daily specials. You can also use GrubHub to order for delivery.

Dal Grano is open Monday — Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 12-8 p.m.

Located at 1386 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101.

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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.

In case you don’t know, today and tomorrow are the big Amazon Prime sale days with daily deals on various items.

If you don’t have a Prime account, you can sign up today for a free 30-day trial and use the deals without commitment. If you download the app or spend $10 at Whole Foods, they’ll give you a free $10 account credit.

But we all know Amazon is sort of like Target, how can you spend just $10 when the sales are crazy good?

If you feel the need for some retail therapy, why not do it for a cause?

First, you can help donate money without doing a thing. Amazon Smile is a program that’ll donate a percentage of your regular purchase to a charity of your choosing on eligible purchases. All you have to do is pick one. You can search for the organizations (think your local school PTA, BRAWS, Cho Inc, SHARE of McLean, etc.)

Second, you can call and find out what your favorite organization might be in need of for supplies and search the Prime Day Deals and ship it right to the organization. You can search for Bras and Tampons and send them to BRAWS (114 Courthouse Road SW, Vienna, Virginia 22180).

SHARE of McLean is in need of baby wipes, diapers, snacks, toilet paper and more. You can fill up on some of those items and ship them right to Share at 1367 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101.

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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’s a small brown “house” located on Dominion Road NE (parallel to the W&OD trail), which is a great disguise for the world of tiny trains hidden inside.

The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders club is over 65 years old and has been in this spot for over 30 years. The club built a “large and permanent model railroad layout” and they have open houses 12 times a year. (Pro tip: It’s air conditioned in there!)

You’ll find many cool trains at this exhibit, but if you have little ones who are Thomas & Friends fans, make sure you stop by. Their next open house is Saturday, July 13 from 1-5 p.m. and admission is free. Consider leaving a donation during your visit.

You can read more about the club and see the full list of open house dates here.

If you’re looking to join, they’re currently accepting new members. Find the information here.

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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 the last day of school, my family got invited to an awesome block party put on by 4 neighbors on a cul-de-sac in Vienna.

They had bounce houses, food trucks, music and everyone had an awesome time. The adults got to talk, be social and have beer while the kids got to run around and play for hours like I remember doing in my own childhood. The road was blocked off officially by white and orange barricades. It was a great afternoon.

With just a little paperwork you can throw a block party like that one and really get to know your neighbors, or hang out with your friends and help create memories for your family.

Temporary use permits/applications are required whenever you want to block part of a road. Here are some rules and helpful links to get you started:

Town of Vienna

  • Requires an application with at least 21 days in advance of the event.
  • Requires a signed petition by 100% of the affected neighbors.
  • Event must conclude by 11 p.m.
  • Download the full application here.

Vienna, Oakton and McLean (Fairfax County)

  • Requires a “Temporary Special Permit.”
  • Must be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of the event date.
  • A detailed list of where, what, who, when and how.
  • Download the full application here.

Falls Church City

  • Requires an application at least 10 business days in advance of the event date.
  • Will only be granted a 4 hour window for the party.
  • Requires a notice/invitation be sent to any resident on the block impacted at least 7 days in advance of the event.
  • Download the full application here.
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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.

It’s almost Fourth of July time in D.C.!

There’s really no place like the Washington monuments to see the fireworks, but if you’re looking for options around town, I’ve got a few places to see them. You can also buy your own at a few places like the Safeway parking lot near Nutley/Lee Highway. Please remember to be safe this holiday!

If you want to be in the middle of it:

Yeonas Park — 1319 Ross Drive SW, Vienna, opens at 7:15 p.m. with fireworks to begin at dark (approx. 9:30 a.m.). A small concession stand will have food and beverages, along with some food trucks. No alcohol and no pets. Parking is available along the street, but will get crowded so plan accordingly. Bring blankets and chairs.

If you want to watch the fireworks but not hear them, park at the top of the Vienna Metro! It doesn’t usually get too crowded and it’s easy to leave if you need to.

Don’t want to keep the kids up late but still want to celebrate?

There’s a Sprinklers and Sparkles at the Vienna Community Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., then you can YouTube fireworks for your kids (that’s what we’ve done since my kids couldn’t stay up late enough for the real thing!). The daytime celebration will have water slides, sprinklers, water games, food trucks, music, puppet shoes and crafts.

McLean has a Fourth of July celebration at the Langley High School, with grounds opening at 6:30 p.m. with free onsite parking, along with shuttle buses from the McLean Community Center & St. John’s Episcopal Church, a DJ and food trucks. No pets, smoking, or alcohol.

Falls Church City has their own celebration at George Mason High School — gates open at 6 p.m. The celebration starts with music and food trucks. Fireworks start around 9:20 p.m.

Now some other tips:

Westwood Country Club does their own private show of fireworks that starts around 9:30 p.m. You can see them from the softball fields at the Community Center, you can park on nearby streets (like Fairway Drive NE), or the lot across the street on Mashie Drive.

Here’s a great list of fireworks that don’t happen on the Fourth of July, in case you need an alternative!

One year my husband and I just pulled over on a street in Arlington and got out of the car and stood on the sidewalk watching the downtown fireworks. It really doesn’t matter where you are, just remember what the holiday means and enjoy the show!

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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.

You may walk by Wine Outlet everyday when you’re on Church Street and assume the prices are outrageous, so you never go in. However, each store located at 114 Church Street NW Vienna1137 Walker Road Great Falls, and 6727 Curran Street McLean, you’ll find a small, friendly wine and beer store that features reasonably priced wines, cheese, breads, desserts and a small selection of meats paired nicely with a friendly staff!

I didn’t know they have a cheese counter or that on Friday’s and Saturday’s they have fresh baked goods delivered.

Here’s some more useful info:

  • Wines as cheap as $6 per bottle
  • Beer on tap
  • A large selection of USA Wines, along with imported bottles as well
  • Great selection of craft beers
  • Tastings: Friday from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday 1-4 p.m.
  • Free delivery within 5 miles, or delivery outside of 5 miles for a small fee
  • They make gift baskets
  • They will price match!
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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.

We are so close to the end of the school year and that beloved and sacred summer time!

Avoiding the “summer slide” as experts call it, means getting kids to keep reading over the summer to keep their skills sharp. Our wonderful local Fairfax County Library can help avoid the slide.

Starting on June 13, the last day of school for Fairfax County, you can sign kids up for the Summer Reading Adventure. I’ll detail the rules below, but the idea is the kids sign up and commit to reading a certain number of books before August 31 and in the end they get rewarded with a free coupon book to local places.

Basics:

  • Babies through rising 3rd graders: read 15 books (including being read to)
  • Rising 4th & 5th graders: read 10 books
  • Teens in rising grades 6-12: read 5 books

Prize:

Over 20 businesses have provided coupons for free and discounted items. See a full list here. Examples include free Rita’s, Free Potomac Nationals tickets, Free Comic Book, free laser tag game from Shadowland and more.

In addition to reading, there are events and contests all summer.

  • Chris Michael Magic
  • Interact Story Theatre
  • Groovy Nate
  • Henna Harmony

Contests for teens:

  • Essay/poetry contest for rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders
  • Teen Film Festival
  • Teen Cover Art Contest

Download the reading log for babies — 5th graders.

Download the teen reading log.

Read more on the Summer Reading Adventure or find your nearest library.

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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.

All of our crazy Northern Virginia weather has me walking around my house weekly to make sure there’s nothing new that’s damaged or needs attention.

Tree branches falling, birds nesting and constant rain working my sump pump makes me think to remind you about some things you may want to be aware of on your own home as we enter the summer months.

There are things you should do annually, of course, but here are some suggestions to keep your house in tip top shape this summer:

  • Get your HVAC serviced. Summer months mean constant air conditioning and you don’t want to have to wait a week for service when the companies get booked! A routine check up could help avoid discomfort later.
  • Cut back any overhanging trees and bushes. With the sudden increase in tornados, we’ve all seen many trees down!
  • Clean your dryer vent — either with a long, flexible brush or you can hire someone to do that.
  • Make sure all of your window screens are intact. If they have holes, you can either replace the whole thing or get them patched.
  • Clean your kitchen appliances.
  • Clean your drains — especially outdoor drains (such as the ones at the bottom of exterior stairs).
  • Check on your outdoor playsets and decks — loose or popping up nails, splitting wood, etc.
  • Dust off your ceiling fan blades and bathroom vents (you may also want to change the direction in which they turn to push cold air down).
  • Check your attic for leaks or signs of water.

The warmer weather is also a great time for repairs you’ve been putting off. Things like chimney repair, skylights, deck, etc.

If you’re looking for a good contractor for a specific task, you can download my Vendor Guide here. It constantly changes as I’m adding and taking off people, so make sure you check for the current version.

You can always email me if you need something specific not listed at [email protected].

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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.

Just a few more weeks and everyone is in full summer mode!

Our area is lucky to have a lot of options for outdoor events all summer long, so make sure you mark your calendars for some of them. I hope everyone took a moment to remember the sacrifices our fallen soldiers have made to protect our freedom and allow us to be able to enjoy things like outdoor bbq, pools and 4th of July fireworks. Thank you to those who serve!

Chillin On Church — Vienna

Held on the Town Green/Church Street on the 3rd Friday of each month. June 21, July 18, August 16 and September 20 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Live music, food trucks and family fun.

Summer on the Green — Vienna

Friday evenings on the Town Green with musical performances.

Nottoway Park Nights — Vienna

Free summer concert series Thursdays at Nottoway Park. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

Films in the Park — Mosaic

Free movies shown on the large TV on Sunday nights. Bring your own blankets, chairs, food or buy some and take out on the green.

Cartoons and Coffee — Mosaic

Saturday morning cartoons return for your kids to enjoy them too! This time they’re outside on the green at 9 a.m. Bring your coffee, breakfast and blanket.

Celebrate Fairfax

Imagine ViVA Vienna on Steroids! A 25-acre site of games, rides, stages, petting zoo and food. Event takes place June 7-9 at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Concerts in the Park — Falls Church City

Thursday night concert series in Cherry Hill Park that begins at 7 p.m.

Tinner Hill Music Fest — Falls Church City

Three day music festival in Falls Church with a food village, kids village, relaxation village and live music

Sunset Cinema — Falls Church City

Free outdoor movies in Cherry Hill Park with drinks, popcorn and food trucks.

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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.

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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