Activities for Students and Their Families
Learning Continues Outside of the Classroom
Our Activities Program offers a remarkable range of activities to students, alumni, and their families. See our “ENcompass” monthly activity calendar from one month alone - October 2021. We distribute this calendar to our students each month. All activities are optional, but you can see from this calendar why many people find our school community to be welcoming, engaging, and enjoyable!
English Now! offers students and their families a calendar of enriching experiences that go beyond the classroom. Meaningful community learning activities bring our school to life. We explore a variety of topics and visit many places, virtually and in-person, in a supportive learning environment. Family members are welcome to join us, as are alumni!
See below for more information about our Friday Outings, as well as Special Events including our Memorial Day Barbecue & Parade, Shenandoah Outings & Potomac River Trips, and Thanksgiving Celebrations.
English Now! School Calendar: Looking Ahead
Please see below for our school calendar. This calendar always shows our Friday Outings for the next one to two months, Special Events for the year, upcoming Community Service Weeks, and a listing of all school holidays. We hope we can welcome you to some of these activities!
Every Friday, one of our instructors leads a virtual trip to a special destination or an in-person tour a D.C. area attraction. Virtual outings have taken us to destinations near and far - from museums and neighborhoods in D.C. and New York to our student's dairy farm in Italy!
In-person destinations for Friday Outings (when weather permits) include the U.S. Capitol Visitors' Center, the Air & Space Museum, monuments on the Washington Mall, the National Archives, as well as less common destinations such as Voice of America, and National Public Radio (shown below, and see photos from a visit to NPR's studio in Washington, D.C.!). Most museums in Washington offer free admission, so the only expense for in-person outings is the cost of Metro transportation.
Please follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see where we have been and where we are going.
One distinctive aspect of the English Now! experience is our outdoor special events. These special events are all optional - students are not required to participate – but they are a great way to experience and better understand the United States. Join us for great outdoor activities in all four seasons.
The following special events will be back when it's safe, in 2022:
Memorial Day Barbecue & Parade
Each year we welcome students and their families, as well as members of our team, to our annual Memorial Day barbecue in Falls Church, Virginia. Memorial Day, in late May, is usually considered the beginning of summer. Many Americans have a barbecue with friends and neighbors, to celebrate this holiday. English Now! director Paul Boesen invites the school community to his home in Falls Church, Virginia for a traditional holiday event. All are welcome to eat traditional American foods, converse with other students and teachers, and celebrate Memorial Day. Falls Church also has a “small-town” parade, which annually attracts about 15,000 people. Enjoy the holiday with us! See a photo from the parade here, and more photos here from our 2019 Memorial Day picnic and parade in Falls Church!
Shenandoah Outings & Potomac River Trips
Each summer and fall we organize enjoyable trips to the Shenandoah Mountain region of Virginia and day trips on the Potomac River. The highlight of our outdoor programs is Shenandoah Mountain camping & hiking trips. We travel with students to do hikes including Virginia's famous Old Rag Mountain, considered one of the best hikes on the East Coast, and organize overnight camping experiences.
Families are welcome. See more photos from past Shenandoah Mountain Outings here!
In addition, we organize fall outings closer to Bethesda and Washington, D.C. Students and their families may drive or bike to a picnic lunch at Fletcher's Boathouse in Northwest Washington, D.C. Biking is along the Capital Crescent Trail, five miles into Washington, D.C., to the picnic. After lunch many try kayaking on the Potomac River. You'll be amazed at what a great experience this can be, so close to downtown Washington, D.C.
The final “big event” of our school year is Thanksgiving. Our school community celebrates Thanksgiving together each November. Together we express gratitude for our students, our teachers, our families, volunteers in our community service programs, and our partners.
We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving together each year since 2008, except 2020 when we were unable to do so because of the pandemic. That made 2021 all the more special, when about 95 of us came together for an outdoor celebration of the holiday at Caroline Freeland Urban Park, across the street from the school, in downtown Bethesda. See here for pictures of that memorable day, and we hope that you can join us next year!
Enjoy the Region On Your Own
We are also happy to recommend ways for you to enjoy the region on your own. We have a library of recommendations of our best ideas about day- or weekend-visits, to destinations including Charlottesville, Virginia; New York; Philadelphia; and the Shenandoah Mountains. Our team voted in 2016 and selected these outings as their favorites in the area. And we have even done a special profile of Yellowstone National Park. Whether you're in the U.S. for a year or a lifetime, we encourage our students to explore - and see some of the amazing natural beauty the U.S. offers. Enjoy our recommendations! We are happy to offer you some ideas about how best to experience the U.S., whether you are new to the country or have been here for years.
Contact us to learn more about activities at the school. Also, if you are planning to enroll, an outing might be a great way to learn about the school and how it works. Ask about joining us at an activity coming up soon!