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Skating through a winter wonderland
I love the holiday season. It is genuinely one of my favorite things, and I look forward to it every year. I’m pretty sad Christmas will be over this week, but tonight I’ll revel in the holiday spirit at Ice & Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. The park has been transformed into a winter wonderland, with an ice rink, Christmas lights, music, fire pits, a winter village and more. Catch me in my ugly Christmas sweater merrily bouncing around from activity to activity. -Holly Gambrell, Digital Editor // Cameron Run Park: 4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria; open through Jan. 5, 5-10 p.m.; $5 general admission (kids under 2 free), $8 ice skating, skate rentals $4
Adopt, don’t shop (and remember the 3-3-3 rule)
Being home for Christmas is blissful. Not just because I get to eat carb-heavy foods and enjoy time with my family members, but because I get to see two of the world’s cutest dogs. (I’m biased, I know). The two fluff balls (read: golden doodles) that are my furry siblings will cuddle with me and make me remember just how much I love the companionship of a dog … face-licking and all. But it will also remind me of everyone who plans on gifting a dog or pet for the holidays. In short: Please remember what you’re getting yourself into. On social media, tips about “adopt, don’t shop” have been circulating again, as well as the 3-3-3 rule. It’s easy to remember, so give it a read. And if you’re welcoming a four-legged friend into your home this year, give it time. Help them adjust and adapt, and most of all, show them the love they deserve. Upon my return to NoVA, you can find me at Dog Krazy in the Village at Leesburg supporting Virginia German Shepard Rescue during its adoption event on Saturday. Maybe I’ll even take home a new family member of my own. -Jennifer Zeleski, Editorial Assistant // Dog Krazy, Inc.: 1603 Village Market Blvd. SE, Suite 108, Leesburg; Saturday, Dec. 28, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; free
Me, myself and I
It’s pretty hard for me to believe 2019 is days away from being over. This year was a big one for me: moving out of my home, graduating college, starting a job in the real world—it’s all pretty surreal. And while the majority of my memories of the year that’s passed are positive, I am also realizing that in 2020, I want to take more time to focus on self-reflection and growth, specifically in my personal life. That’s why this week, while all of my roommates are still back home celebrating the holidays, I am going to put me first by attending a New Year’s Resolution Workshop at the Reston Regional Library. The free, interactive session will help me label the highlights of 2019, as well as explore my values, interests and strengths to better prepare for the new year and decade ahead. After that, I’ll treat myself to a yoga class, glass of wine and Thai takeout from the comfort of my couch. 2020 already looks pretty good to me. –Jess Feldman, Editorial Assistant // Reston Regional Library: 11925 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston; Sunday, Dec. 29, 1-3 p.m.; free
With Christmas upon us, we’ll have the grandparents in town and I’m sure by Dec. 26 we’ll be ready for some fresh air and a break from all the toys. (I’m pretty sure my in-laws bought the kids a mini, indoor trampoline. There’s going to be a lot of bouncing.) We’ve done DC with them, so I’m planning on heading out to Loudoun County for a day of family, holiday-themed fun. We’ll check out the Leesburg Animal Park Christmas Village, along with a few other fun things. I actually plan on following this itinerary, which my colleague put together for you, dear readers, who also need a break from Christmas-week cabin fever. Read on because there are itineraries for full days in Loudoun, Alexandria and even DC. Happy holidays! –Katie Bianco, Editor // Leesburg Animal Park Christmas Village: 19246 James Monroe Highway, Leesburg; $11 per person