How to Start Your Own Halloween Traditions at Home at Dahlgren

Halloween is synonymous with candy, costumes, and trick-or-treating, but like most holidays, it's family traditions that really make October 31 a date worth celebrating. From carving pumpkins (and roasting their seeds!) to reading scary stories by candlelight, the parenting blog Modern Parents Messy Kids has compiled a list of 31 autumn activities that your family can adopt as new traditions this Halloween. Here are a few of our favorite ideas from the list:

1) Make trash bag spiderwebs.
Similar to cutting snowflakes from paper, this budget-friendly decorating idea transforms your everyday black trash bags into intricate spiderwebs. Use them to add some Halloween flair to your home at Dahlgren!

2) Serve pumpkin pancakes for breakfast.
Your kids will leap out of bed on Halloween morning knowing that a tall stack of pumpkin pancakes awaits them in the kitchen. These fluffy flapjacks receive their color through pumpkin puree and a drop or two of orange food coloring. Black cinnamon syrup is piped over top to create sweet spiderwebs, black cats, eerie ghosts, full moons—the possibilities are endless!

3) Make cookie cutter jack-o'-lanterns.
Even young kids can help out with this fun fall craft. Prepare a pumpkin for carving by cutting off the top, removing the seeds, and scraping the sides. Then, position a cookie cutter of your choice onto the pumpkin, and use a rubber mallet to gently hammer the cookie cutter through the wall of the pumpkin. The result is an adorable jack-o'-lantern that's not limited to traditional carving stencils. Even better, you can use cookie cutters that you already have in your kitchen at Dahlgren!

For the full list of Halloween activities, click over to 31 Ways to Start a Halloween Tradition on Modern Parents Messy Kids.

Grilling Safety For Dahlgren Families

Summer is in full swing, Dahlgren. That means long days, long nights, baseball, fireworks, running through sprinklers . . . and grilling!

We don't need to tell you there's nothing like a burger or dog made in the backyard. What makes it so good? Maybe propane, charcoal, Dad's special sauce — but why ask questions? Just do it as much as you can this summer, because you'll miss it when it's gone.

Click here for some grilling safety tips — easy, common sense stuff to keep the whole family safe and well this grilling season.

50 Outdoor Summertime Activities

You are probably looking for ways to entertain your children this summer now that school is out. Follow the link for some fun outdoor activites for the family! click here

Have Fun in the Sun, Dahlgren — Safely

It's summertime, Dahlgren — months on end of fun in the sun.

That takes preparation and common sense, of course. No one likes a sunburn, and we all have to guard against the sun's dangerous after-effects.

Click through for information on sun exposure and how to guard against harmful UV rays. It's can be as simple as using proper sunscreen, slipping on a shirt where possible, or seeking shade.

Most of your sun questions are answered here. Got more? Let us know and we'll try to find answers.

Waves of Honor

Waves of Honor permits any U.S. active duty military, activated, or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman to one complimentary admission per year to either SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens®, Adventure Island®, Water Country USA®, or Sesame Place® or Aquatica SeaWorld's Waterpark™ in San Diego for military personnel and as many as three direct dependents. Water Country USA® and Busch Gardens are the closest to Dahlgren, VA and are definitely worth the drive! Visit for more information.

Scrapbook Your Neighborhood

Your memories are what you'll take with you when you leave your current posting. Before you go, commit some of those memories to paper and create a scrapbook that you'll be able to look at and share for years to come. You and your kids could take photographs of your favorite neighborhood spots, and write about your own most memorable experiences. Creating the scrapbook itself will be a memory that you and your family will be talking about every time you bring it out to share with others.

Let Martha Stewart Help Your Spring Cleaning at Dahlgren

Slowly but surely the cold weather is lifting. Every day there's another bird outside. If you look close — we promise — a few tree limbs are beginning to swell.

Spring is a time of rebirth, so why not plan some spring cleaning? Use Martha Stewart's printable checklist to help you — she gives you the lowdown on cleansers, stain removal, fabric, care, and storage.

Martha will help you zip through the process safely, efficiently, and with a minimum of stress.

As she'd say, It's a good thing.

Calling All Dahlgren Families — La Plata’s Veteran’s Day Parade, Sunday, November 10

Remember, Dahlgren — Veterans Day is November 11. We always remember America's veterans, but how will you mark the special day?

A great way to start is by coming out for La Plata's "Salute to Veterans" parade on November 10. Running from the Courthouse on Charles Street, down La Grange, and past La Plata Town Hall to Sacred Heart Church, the parade is a festive array of service members, classic cars, rescue vehicles, bands, local families, and much more.

Enjoy the fall weather, meet your neighbors, spare a thought for the fallen, and say thanks to the men and women who sacrifice so much for us. The fun starts at 1 p.m.!

Autumn Leaves Hike — Explore Nature Near Dahlgren, October 27

Is there a better time to be outdoors than autumn?

The world is full of color. The crisp smell of leaves floats on the cool air, and the afternoon light is stunningly golden. Join your Dahlgren neighbors for an Autumn Leaves Hike at Motts Nature Center in Fredericksburg on Sunday, October 27, from 3-4:15 p.m. Experienced guides will teach you about the area's native trees, flowers, and wildlife. It's great for gardeners and nature buffs, but even if you can't tell the difference between a walnut and a chestnut, there's nothing like a little rest and relaxation in the Virginia countryside.

Remember to dress warmly and wear good shoes!

Check out for more details.

Holiday Crafts For Kids, October 17th at Dorothy Hart Community Center in Fredericksburg

Paper pumpkins, hand-drawn turkeys, keepsake pinecone ornaments, gift tags … bring your kids (ages 3-5) to the Dororthy Hart Community Center in downtown Fredericksburg on Thursday, October 17th from 10-11 a.m. to make holiday crafts and meet new friends. From crayons and construction paper to glitter and glue, your little ones will have all they need to set their creativity free — and you don't have to clean up the mess. Light refreshments will be served, too. It's just $5 per child, and accompanying adults get in free. So stop by, let the kids blow off steam, and let them create a few masterpieces. Halloween, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays will be brighter, and you'll have some new pages for the scrapbook.

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