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In our last post, we shared some of our best activities around Reston Town Center to prevent childhood summer “brain drain,” so to keep the summertime fun rolling, here are the rest of our top 10 fun learning activities!

1. If you’re looking for something the whole family can do together on Saturday mornings from 10 – 10:45 am, the Family Fun Entertainment Series at Reston Town Square Park is just the ticket. Performances run through August 11 and include mischievous mime antics, puppet shows, magic, live music and more! There is plenty of seating space and grass for a picnic and be sure to not miss the free Rocknocerous concert coming up on July 28 – their music is fun for kids AND adults!

2. Summertime creates some of the best memories, so if you’re feeling crafty, you can make a summer fun scrap book with pictures and keepsakes from trips, outings, or even crafts! Paper Source has funky paper, hundreds of stickers and sparkly, creative embellishments for all your pages and FedEx can help with the printing and cutting. This gives your kids a cool indoor activity where they get to be the creative captain!

3. This summer has been extremely hot, but if you’re tired of the pool, you could bring the little ones down to the interactive fountain in Reston Town Square Park to splash around and cool off. The fountain is open 9 am – 10 pm, Monday – Sunday, and at noon on Saturdays through August 11 after the Family Fun Entertainment Series.

4. If you want to tire the little ones out, a bike ride or nature walk might do the trick. The W&OD trail is right next to Reston Town Center; The Bike Lane and Potomac River Running can get you set up with all the equipment you could need like a jogging stroller or kids bikes. The Bike Lane even rents out adult bikes on a daily basis if yours has gone the way of the garage sale!

5. You have to make lunch, right? Well, might as well pack it in to-go boxes for a picnic in the park! They’ll have so much fun they won’t even notice the veggies in their lunches. There are benches, trash cans and plenty of shaded grass to spread out on in Presidents Park & Hyatt Park in front of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Enjoy the outside fun and explore with your kids how being active and healthy foods help their brain and bodies grow!

Whew! That should keep them busy for a while. But if you have superhuman children and still need more ideas, check out the Reston Town Center events calendar or our “Kids Activities Around the Town” Pinterest board for some pintastic fun!

And even though we’re full swing into summer and don’t want to think about school, mark your calendars:  Virginia’s tax free weekend for back-to-school shopping is coming up on August 3-5 where qualifying school supplies selling for $20 or less per item, and purchases of qualifying clothing and footwear selling for $100 or less per item will be exempt from sales tax.

It’s summer time, it’s hot, and keeping your kids active and learning until school starts up again can be exhausting if not extremely time -consuming. Ever heard of “summer brain drain?” According to The Parent Institute, studies show children lose one to three months of learning over summer vacation.

So for the sake of their teachers next year, keep their minds active while still having fun in the sun!  Here are some ideas you can do at Reston Town Center!

1. Start Monday mornings off with Mr. Knick Knack’s performance in the Pavilion, 10:30 am – 12 pm. These concerts go through October. Mr. Knick Knack’s songs tell stories, teach life lessons and get your youngsters dancing! (Not to mention scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function!)

2. If your child has a more tactile or kinesthetic learning style, Greater Reston Arts Center has full day summer art and yoga camps now through August 3 for kids K-6th grade. Every day includes a hands-on art lesson, such as mixed media, painting and sculptures, and concludes with an afternoon yoga laboratory practicing yoga through storytelling, meditation and nature lessons.

3. Consider sweetening up some summer goals – like finishing a book or completing a certain number of math problems – with delicious rewards from Ben & Jerry’s and Yogiberry! They have treats from healthy frozen Greek yogurt and sorbets to build-your-own frozen yogurt, to just plain old fashioned ice cream. And if you really want to make your kids’ summer memorable, pick a random day for backwards dinner where dessert comes first, just for fun!

4. Up the ante of tossing coins in Mercury Fountain and teach the kids a little something about money. You can practice the different values of coins by adding them up to make certain amounts or explain the value of saving money by collecting pennies until they have a dollar to toss in for 100 wishes!  And for a bonus, all the coins are collected and donated to the nonprofit,Character Counts! Reston, which promotes the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship! Certainly a springboard for discussions on what these characteristics look like in their life and potential projects all summer long!

5. Nature can be a game at Reston Town Center by counting how many different plants and flowers you can identify around town in our planters and parks or check out the flora and fauna on the W&OD trail nearby. Maybe even snap a few photos for their very own “Reston Town Center Nature Guide” – easily made into a booklet to keep for years!

July is Anti-boredom Month, so keep those kids busy with these activities, let us know how they go and check back Thursday for more ideas in part 2! 

May is National Bike to Work Month, and hundreds of bicycling commuters from the Washington metropolitan region will be out pedaling in celebration of this clean, inexpensive, and healthful means of transportation.  Be part of the solution to Northern Virginia’s traffic congestion, and join hundreds of bicycle commuters to celebrate Bike to Work Day, this Friday, May 20th, at the Reston Town Center Pavilion.  This stop is conveniently located near the W&OD Trail, Reston Transit Station, and new Sunset Hills Park and ride.

Bicyclists Meet in the Pavilion for refreshments, mingling, and prizes.

The event stretches from 6:30-9:00am, and features free snacks and drinks, prize raffles, bicycle tune-ups, and a chance to meet fellow riders.  Pre-registered riders also get a t-shirt.  Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins will greet riders at 8 am, and Bruce Wright of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling will be on hand to bring people up to date on the latest bicycling improvements in the county.  The locker rooms and showers at the Reston YMCA will be open to participants on the morning of the event.

The Reston Town Center pavilion will be one of several pit stops for the annual “Bike to Work Day” sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA), and Fairfax County.

Channel your inner Lance Armstrong, and do your part to help the community, the planet, and your health!

To register, visit www.waba.org/events/btwd/ and select the Reston pit stop.

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