On Thursday, we’ll be joined by Jessica McFadden, the blogger behind “A Parent in Silver Spring,” mother of three and planner for many, to discuss fun things to do with kids in the months ahead. You can submit questions for Jessica and the rest of the Gurus; for now, here’s a bit about our guest:
1. Okay, Jessica McFadden, tell us: Who are you?
I’m a mother of three who is always looking for a way to entertain, educate and surprise my family with the awesome offerings of the D.C . area. (Or maybe I just like getting out of the house to escape the Jabba the Hutt-sized pile of laundry taunting me?) I have lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area for fifteen years, and I founded my blog, A Parent in Silver Spring, in 2008.
2. Tell us about your family.
My son Charlie is 8 and his favorite summer fun activities are miniature golf and water slides. Eve is 6 and is a fan of local children’s theater productions and pick-your-own farms. Our newest addition, Alice, is 13 months, but even the baby has definite preferences for family outings. Take her to a petting zoo or farmer’s market and wild hand-clapping ensues. My husband Chris is a history buff, and he is having a blast re-exploring the area’s museums with the kids.
3. You blog. Lots. Tell us how you became the blog master of A Parent in Silver Spring (and now A Parent in America).
Five years ago, when my two oldest were preschool age and our lives revolved heavily around our local moms’ groups, I began keeping notes of local outing winners and posting recommendations on my mom’s club listservs. So as not to annoyingly dominate the boards, I started the blog A Parent in Silver Spring as a place to write about my family’s favorite outings and local parenting resources. I did not think anyone outside of our friends would read it, but I am so happy that over the years the site has become useful to parents throughout the D.C. area.
The site grew to include my snarks and humor essays, I began freelance writing for parenting publications and I became active in the national mom blogging community. I founded A Parent in America as my general “mom blog” to keep the content organized for readers (and not inflict my Bombeckian attempts on busy parents who simply want to find the nearest puppet show).
4. You have three children of various ages. How do you do something that appeals to each of them at the same time?
Just as couples work to cultivate shared hobbies (note to my husband: sorry about the swing dancing lessons), families can similarly work to find common passions. Through lots of weekend trial and error, we have learned that even with a 39 year age span, all members of our fivesome enjoy historic train rides and railroad museums, swimming, and eating french fries at outdoor cafes.
5. And one of the most important things about being a parent: What is your ultimate favorite thing to do when you actually get a sitter?
Give me my husband, a glass of wine, an outdoor music venue without a mud pit and I am one happy camper. We spend most of our summer date nights at Merriweather, Strathmore and Wolf Trap.