Tag Archives: Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center

Nov 05, 2013

I see so many requests on the Alexandria List Servs for play groups so I thought I’d put together a list of groups that parents can participate in. I know one of the best things a friend did for me as a new mother was to pass along information about Inova Alexandria’s new mom’s group. This was such a fantastic resource and led to lasting friendships with other first time mothers. There are so many types of groups for all kinds of different parents and kids. Please feel free to share other groups that I may have missed!

First Baptist Church of Alexandria MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)

MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and exists to encourage, equip, and help women become the best moms that they can be! Women who are pregnant or have young children (birth through kindergarten) are all invited to join MOPS.

A typical MOPS meeting includes a time of sharing food and conversation followed by a presentation of information relevant to mothers raising preschoolers. The group covers subjects such as childrearing, marriage, relationships, cooking, and homemaking from a Biblical perspective. Sometimes we complete an easy creative activity to be brought home. At each meeting, there is time for small discussion groups to interact, thus allowing time for deepening friendships and individual growth.

Children are cared for during MOPS meetings in a parallel program called MOPPETS, available to children 5 years old and younger.

There is a registration fee per semester of $75 with childcare and $55 without. The cost includes registration with MOPS International, childcare, plus crafts and speakers. Scholarships and/or discounts may be available depending on your level of involvement.

Downtown Baptist Church MOPS

Downtown Baptist Church MOPS group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. You can register online by click here. If you need more info contact the church office. MOPS Membership Fee – $40.00

Fairlington Moms Club

Members and their children participate in fun activities, service projects, Parent’s Night Out, meetings with interesting speakers and discussions, and groups such as our walking, dinner, and book clubs. Our weekly age-specific playgroups start as young as birth and go up to 3+ years old. Playgroups are wonderful for kids, but they also offer parents a chance to find support and friendship. They host a variety of activities for children, including outings to local nature centers and parks, ice cream shops, the children’s library, and more. We also host larger quarterly parties, such as our popular summer picnic and Halloween party. The whole family is encouraged to attend! To give an opportunity for parents to get out of the house, we also get together for Parent’s Night Out about once a month, such as our holiday cookie exchange, game and movie nights, and our book and dinner clubs. They host speakers to present on topics of interest to parents including separation anxiety, nutrition, early childhood literacy, positive discipline, and even wardrobe styling for busy moms.

Parents and parents-to-be are welcome to join us for general meetings which are held the second Wednesday of every month at 4pm at the Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford St). Children are always welcome.

Alexandria Moms and Play Group

This is a Yahoo group which is a group of women with children of all ages who like to chat and have fun. Our members live in both Alexandria City and Alexandria, Fairfax County. This includes Del Ray, Old Town, Mt. Vernon, Franconia, and beyond. We do not have member requirements or fees, so our group fits into the flexibility needed for most family lives. The purpose of the group is to make friends and get together for various activities and playgroups. We do not allow advertising or for-sale posts. If you are interested in joining this group, please click Join and fill out a brief survey.

Joy Troupe’s Little Lambs Playgroup

This group is for Alexandria, Landmark, Kingstowne Moms & Kids. Are you looking for an active playgroup? This all-ages play group hosts Alexandria area activities every week!

If it’s fun and it happens around Alexandria, Franconia, Landmark, and Kingstowne, we are up for it! Park days, story times, indoor play, and more. Join now to get in on the fun!

Stroller Strides

Meets at Ladmark Mall and Nannie Lee Center. Stroller Strides® is the country’s largest stroller fitness program for moms offering pre and post-natal fitness classes for every stage of motherhood.

Mother’s Play Group

Infant to 4 years old – Meets at the Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center on Wednesdays from 10-11:30 am. Parents and children interact with others through play and activities. Ideal for the development of socialization skills. Free to City residents only.

Baby Talk Moms (Alexandria New & Expecting Moms)

Baby Talk Moms is a community of new moms who are in the same stage in life as you. We understand just how difficult it is to be a new mom! You probably feel as though you are on unfamiliar ground, motherhood may not be what you had expected, you’re tired (really, really, TIRED!), and nobody understands exactly what you are going through! We’re here to help! Think of us as your “Mommy Consultants,” we provide you with the tools you need to connect with other new moms who really understand you; visit our blog to read about real first-hand experiences from new moms, take a look at our public forum to view hot parenting topics or join one of our mommy groups to meet one-on-one with other new moms! Want to learn more? Keep reading!

Inova Alexandria Hospital New Moms Group

Drop in to the New Moms Group when you are ready to meet new friends and talk about the challenges and joys of being a new mom. There is an experienced maternal-infant health educator facilitating the informal discussion.There is no fee for participating in the group. Babies are welcome!

The group meets on Tuesdays, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Inova Alexandria

There are tons of Meetup groups that are being formed daily. Here are a few of the popular groups:

Alexandria Moms and Playgroup

We are Alexandria Moms whose children are between birth and four years old who are looking to make friends with other moms and find great playgroups and activites for our kids. Our events are member generated and hosted. The more active you are – the more successful we will be as a group! $5 dues

Del Ray & Old Town Parents Activity Group

Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you want to stay home all the time! This group welcomes parents in the Del Ray (and surrounding) neighborhoods who are looking to meet other couples with young children. We will plan dinners outdoors and at family friendly (but not lame!) restaurants, park and picnic playdates, museums, ice cream nights as well as some wine nights 🙂

Mocha Moms of Alexandria, VA

Mocha Moms is a support group for mothers of color who have chosen not to work full-time outside of the home in order to devote more time to their families and communities. While many of our members have eliminated employment altogether, others work part-time, flex-time, night shifts, have home-based businesses, consult or freelance from home or have chosen alternative, less demanding career paths so that they are more available to their families. Our goal is to support the decisions made by our members. We will never pass judgment on mothers who choose to make or are forced to make different decisions for their families.

New Members: are allowed to attend 3 Mocha Moms events, before joining our chapter. Cost $40.

Alexandria Natural Mamas

We are a group branching off from the Natural Mamas in Silver Spring Working Together Communally group, to create a similar community here in Alexandria. Right now, we are in the formation stage and will be planning a meetup for discussion and intention-setting. As a starting point, here is a relevant excerpt from the Silver Spring group’s description:

“This is for moms and dads who feel they and their child are missing out on something by being alone most of the time, and want more than just the weekly playgroup, mom’s group, or tot class. By “working together”, I mean living your life doing meaningful work with other mothers, and your child being a part of it….rather than you and your child being alone on a regular basis. This communal setting is normal in many countries, but here in the U.S., in our modernized society, being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating. No wonder mothers get the baby blues, especially when you’re in the suburbs and no one’s around in the day.”

If this speaks to you, I hope you will join us in building a community to make it happen!

Alexandria Mature Moms

This group was started because although there are a lot of great groups, there wasn’t one for “mature moms”. Moms in their 30s, and older with newborns and infants. I am 33 and have one young child. When the original organizer stepped down, I stepped up because I wanted to make sure that the group for mommies like me would still be around. Hopefully there will be an interest 🙂

Donations are appreciated. While Meetup is free for members, it charges about $15 a month for organizers to have a page. This page costs the organizer a minimum of $12 a month ($19/month, if it is not prepaid for 6 months)

Alexandria Moms and Tots (2010 and beyond)

This is a group of women and babies who are eager to meet people and make new friends! Our babies range from newborns to toddlers and our moms are in their 30’s and beyond. Many of us have more than one child, so we try to schedule events that kids of all ages will enjoy. We look forward to meeting you in and around Alexandria!


Mamistad was born to bring first-time pregnant women together to share the struggles, joys and beauty of motherhood. In Spanish, Mami means (and is pronounced like) “mommy” and Amistad (say “ah-me-stahd”) means friendship. Note that this is not a group for Spanish-speaking Mamis only! I just thought it was a catchy name. ;0)

Joining Mamistad is free and we are a large network of Mamis with lots of great info and support to offer. There is currently a one-time membership fee of $35 if I am able to place you in a private (numbered) group of Mamis due within 3-4 (usually 3) months of your own due date. See “About Us” to learn more.

I do my best to place FIRST TIME Pregnant Mamis in groups with others who are due near their due date (within 3 months-occasionally 4), who live in their general area and who will be staying at home or returning to the workplace as they will. As I am limited by the due dates, locations and work plans of the Mamis who join Mamistad, I cannot promise everyone a group that is a perfect match. Women in the general Arlington area have a better chance of being placed with Mamis near them. This process can take a while and I thank you for understanding that I do the best I can to help first-time pregnant Mamis find support and friendship during this amazing time!

Single Parents in Alexandria

We are a network of fellow single parents for fun and support within Alexandria (including Alexandria City and the “Alexandria” in Fairfax County). The purpose of the group is to meet others in similar situations and be an outlet for fun and support.

We get together for adult+kids events and adult only events. Whatever it is, it’ll be fun, easy, and simple. Our lives are complicated enough so we try to keep everything as simple as possible. 🙂

The only requirement is that you’re a single parent, with children (under 18) and that you’d like to meet other single parents who have children living at home. Ideally, you live in Alexandria as well so you don’t have to schlep your kids across town.

Our kids range in ages from 9 months to 19. We try to plan a variety of events that include a wide variety of ages — playground trips, batting cages, local band concerts and more.

Working moms of Beacon Hill/Belle View/Alexandria

This Meetup group is for working moms of young children. All activities are on weekends, usually on Saturday mornings, to accommodate a variety of work schedules. Ages of our children range from 0-7, with most moms having at least one child 3 or younger. Members can live any where, but activities tend to be scheduled in the Fort Hunt and/or Old Town Alexandria area.

The goal is to get us all out of the house for some low key fun, while giving us the opportunity to hear about what everyone else is doing in the realm of school, extracurricular offerings, etc. Anyone can suggest a meet up – so feel free to add one to the calendar and see who is available. As the weather warms up, we’ll be doing more meetups in the park or available back yards. Cost is $12 annually

baby playgroup

Jan 28, 2013

It’s now the coldest part of the year and the kids are going crazy being in the house so much.

Here are some are some ideas of places to go in Alexandria to let the kids play and get their crazies out!

There are 8 recreation centers throughout the city. The hours and facilities vary. IMG_3675The Charles Houston Recreation Center is a newer facility on Wythe St. Not only does it have a game area and basketball court that older kids will enjoy, it has a soft play room for kids that are toddler age. We did a post last year with more information about the facility. For kids between the ages of 2 and 5, there’s a soft play room at the Chinquapin Recreation Center. Call before you go though, because they do rent out this facility. It’s $4 per 1/2 hour. This recreation center also has an indoor swimming pool with a zero entry that makes it perfect for families. Several of the recreation centers also have regular play groups. Check out the city’s Winter Program Guide to see classes that will be offered by the city.

The YMCA on Monroe Ave. is also another nice option for an indoor swimming pool. They even offer baby sitting for members.

2321660991_6204b1f6d4Landmark Mall has ‘The Woodlands’. This small indoor play area is not enclosed but it’s usually fairly empty so it’s easy to keep an eye on your kids. I would recommend this for kids up to 4 years old. The mall also has a kid sized train that kids enjoy riding for $4 per ride.

There are several kids gyms here also. There’s a brand new The Little Gym of Alexandria that just opened up at Van Dorn and offers classes for kids as young as 4 months up to 12 years. JW Tumbles, Gymboree  both have regular classes and weekly open play hours where you can bring kids in to play

Hop on Play has a play room that you can bring the kids to or even drop off while you run take care of errands. You can read more about their facility on our recent blog post.

JBF-Nature-Exhibits-300x225Buddie Ford Nature Center is a small educational facility on the west side of Alexandria with lots of room for the kids to roam around and enjoy the mounted animals, see live turtles, snakes, toads, salamanders and aquariums. The facility is rarely crowded during the week so it’s nice to not have to worry about crowds.

Local Motion studio has regular dance and movement classes for kids but they occasionally open up their studio for ‘Open Play’ days. Follow them on Facebook to see when their next ‘Open Play’ will be.

5776743124_b562403c0eThe city’s four library’s offer story time and special programs throughout the week. We keep the schedule for the Del Ray’s Duncan branch posted on our Del Ray Baby community calendar but you can find the list of all the programs on a monthly calendar for each branch conveniently listed on ‘Upcoming Events’ on the main library webpage.

Hooray for Books! has regular story times on Friday and Saturday and frequently has special events where they have parties, characters or authors at their store.

I’m sure this only covers a small portion of all that’s available! Feel free to share other great cold weather spots in the comments or on our Facebook page. We’ll try to do another update this Winter.

Jan 16, 2013

This Saturday the City of Alexandria will celebrate the presidential inauguration with a day of service for our children. Alexandria City Public Schools, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Volunteer Alexandria have organized an event designed to engage youth in creating a 30-page storybook, which will then be signed by the nation’s first family.

The day of service is an effort to teach Alexandria’s children the importance of giving back.

The events will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat. Jan. 19th at the Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center, Charles Barrett Recreation Center and the T.C. Williams satellite office at Landmark Mall.

Activities include games, reading, dancing, discussing “service,” coloring and making a storyboard.