With more than one million book titles to choose from, Barnes & Noble stocks one of the retail world's largest selections of bound pages, along with a huge assortment of educational toys and games. Keep sprightly scribes from using walls, furniture, and siblings as writing surfaces with the help of LeapFrog’s Scribble & Write ($24.95 online), or indulge kids’ natural passions for outer space and solid detective work with a LEGO Space Police Smash ’n’ Grab set ($19.95 online).
The recipient of a litany of awards for its language-education resources for classrooms, businesses, and private use, Rosetta Stone has helped millions of learners spread across 150 countries learn new languages through an in-depth, stimulating curriculum. Designed to tap into the process by which children learn their first language, the program prompts pupils to learn in realistic contexts, participate in interactive games, and practice with speech-recognition software that provides feedback in real time. Rosetta Stone users practice their new language as they collaborate, compete, and chat with fellow learners and interact with native-speaking tutors.
Beyond providing an opportunity for friendly competition and social interaction throughout the DC area, the organizers of Capital Bocce League only have one mission: help players have fun. During each season, teams of up to 12 players compete in lighthearted bouts of the classic Italian game, which unlike other sports, requires little to no experience, physical exertion, or physics PhDs to master. After each game, teams can head to local bars for exclusive drink specials, and a variety of prizes await the victor of each season's playoffs.
More than 400,000 monthly readers flip through the pages of The Washingtonian, spending an average of 96 minutes on every issue, gleaning helpful dining tips and doctor recommendations, as well as information about local politics, business, and culture. Regular features list and review restaurants and doctors, giving readers valuable insight into area institutions, as opposed to a list of DC’s tallest presidential monuments, which offers people no new information. Online blogs such as Capital Comment and Dead Drop educate readers on national politics and foreign policy, and style and nightlife sections help deal hunters zero in on shopping and happy hour opportunities.
For 50 years, the owners and staffers of Plaza Artist Materials & Picture Framing have encouraged the artists of their community. They visit local fairs and set up booths for kids to color and craft, and they workshops, demos, and classes for artists of every age. As their name implies, they also outfit art makers of all skill levels with top-of-the-line materials, such as Gamblin oil paints, Prismacolor pens and markers, and custom frames perfect for saving a favorite art pieces or memorializing a sibling's failure to color within the lines.
During the challenge, teams of two or more individuals will run helter-skelter around the city in a vibrant race for cash prizes and personal pride, with a first place award of $750. Not only will participants have to solve strands of interconnected clues that would test the deductive powers of even the most seasoned consulting detective, they'll need to plot spatiotemporal stratagems while exploring undiscovered corners of the city. Although being physically fit is a plus, it's quick wits and wise planning that will ultimately determine the winners. Participation in the challenge gets contestants a clue packet, race-number bib, and a free T-shirt, as well as helps with contributions to partner charities and the prize pool. The website offers a FAQ page with further details on the intricacies of the race, what to wear the day of, why it's not okay to bring your pet boa constrictor, and more.