School’s Out For Summer: Ways to Keep the Kids Occupied

Kids and teachers alike are excited that the school year is finally over, but as a parent, that means having your children home full-time for a few months. While you love your kids, there’s nothing worse than hearing “Mom, I’m bored.” If sending them off to summer camp isn’t an option, then you’re going to have to get creative on how to keep the kiddos occupied all summer in your new Miller & Smith home! Check out some of our favorite ways to ward off the boredom this summer, and you may even enjoy yourself too!


Nearby outdoor amenities

First things first: getting out of the house. Nothing distracts the kids better than going on an excursion! In all of our new home communities, you will find parks, playgrounds, trails, and other great spaces that are next to or a few minutes from your new Miller & Smith home. Staying close to home also means that you’ll be able to zip home quickly when it’s getting close to naptime or the heat becomes too much for the little ones.


Beach at Lake Linganore – Aspen North at Lake Linganore


Story time

Reading is important at all times, not just during the school year! If your kids have a summer reading list, make sure to get all of their books right away so it isn’t left until the last minute. If they are struggling to get through a book, make a deal with them, such as when they finish a book, you will take them to their favorite ice cream shop. If you have smaller children, or they don’t have summer reading lists, let them take turns choosing a book to read aloud before bedtime each night.


Play Space and Rec Room in the Hedgebrook at Cayden Ridge


Dance party

If you have children that are young enough to still take naps, tiring them out is a great way to get them to go down without a fuss. One of the best ways to do this is to dance it out! Turn on some of your favorite jams, clear some space, and get grooving. If you have older kids, it’s a great way to get them laughing at mom and dads dance moves during a summer slump.


Summer job

Most kids will do anything around the house if promised cold hard cash, so strike a bargain with them. Assign them different ‘jobs’ for the summer, such as setting the table, getting the newspaper and mail, or hanging towels to dry. They’ll want some money for frozen treats and you’ll be happy not tripping over wet towels.


Movie night

No one wants to see their children stuck to the TV all summer long, so why not make TV time a special occasion? . Let the kids invite their friends over, or make it a family affair with popcorn and ice cream in your lower level rec room. You can even start a movie series, such as Harry Potter, and work your way through it every week! Maybe once in a while they’ll let you choose the flick!


Rec Room in the Arcadia model home at Tallyn Ridge


Sprinkler time

It’s a tale as old as time: running through the sprinkler in the summer! All you need is a hose and a sprinkler, and you’re set. Keep the kids from getting cranky in the dog days of summer by setting up a sprinkler or two in the yard and just let them run wild. You can keep an eye on them from inside with the air conditioning and they’ll be the envy of the neighborhood.

Picturing your family enjoying the summer in a new Miller & Smith home? Check out all we have to offer by visiting us online.


This year, an estimated half of all homes will be purchased by first-time homebuyers, who face an overwhelming number of choices when embarking on this major life milestone. With today’s homes available in more sizes, shapes and customizations than ever before, how can you be sure your new home best reflects your own personality?

At Miller & Smith, our communities incorporate features and amenities that cater to a variety of mindsets, personas and lifestyle needs – whether you’re an outdoor aficionado, a lover of all things tech-centric or a maven for minimalism. Check out our personality overview to find the persona that best describes you, and discover which of our home offerings can best suit your one-of-a-kind personal style.

1) The Naturalist
If one word could sum up this mindful buyer, it would be “om.” The Naturalist makes wellness a top-of-mind priority, and keeps a sharp eye out for natural materials, ample space, light and greenery. Naturalists favor flexible, open spaces and sustainable features that emphasize eco-friendliness. Thanks to easy access for park space, hiking trails and stunning mountain views, Miller & Smith communities such as Tallyn Ridge make merging the indoors with the outdoors feel effortless. Inside, Naturalists also love the clean, simple feeling of getting back to basics, whether with streaming sunlight in tall windows or wood finishes and raw whites.

2) The Artist
For this vibrant creative type, life truly imitates art. These individuals enjoy interior design trends and are just as likely to be spotted at a museum opening as they are to marvel over the latest exciting street artwork. Artists want a home that’s as livable as it is beautiful, and they favor thoughtful design features such as architectural nuances and bright, trending color palettes. This type also has a flare for staging spaces in creative, unconventional ways, like turning a study into a yoga space, or an empty garage into a painting studio and gallery. The home collections at Aspen North allow residents to truly embrace their creative side, thanks to walls of windows for natural light, seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, and a community filled with outdoor amenities for inspiration that include four lakes, three sand beaches and 30 miles of scenic trails.

3) The Achiever
With a laser focus on success and an affinity for technology and innovation, the Achiever is fueled by a commitment to impressive results. And this drive can be seen across a number of features in their homes. At the top of these must-have home elements are simplicity, clean lines and a focus on creating a convenient, uncomplicated lifestyle. Upper West at One Loudoun is a perfect home for this driven, proactive persona, with numerous sleek, built-in tech features (including integrated multi-room audio systems, smart locks and high-end home networking) paired with a head-turning, indoors-meets-outdoors aesthetic.

4) The Entertainer
This type is the life of the party, and also happens to be throwing it. Need a comforting meal and a friendly chat? Look no further than the home of The Entertainer, a relationship-focused persona who places special emphasis on taking care of family and loved ones. Warm, familiar design elements are critical to this personality type — and so are Smart Home features that ensure the next get-together goes off without a hitch. Entertainers love spaces that blend aesthetics and encourage lounging and leisurely conversation. Communities like Miller and Smith’s Cayden Ridge feature a charming farmhouse chic and craftsman aesthetic, as well as large, functional kitchens and ample space (both outside and inside) for getting together for a meal or a drink.

To discover the best home for your specific style, take a look through Miller & Smith’s portfolio of available new homes in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. We also have a list of immediate delivery homes for buyers who are eager to move as soon as possible.

What Makes 55+ Communities So Popular?

The popularity of 55+ communities has exploded over recent years – and it’s no wonder why! These communities, also known as active adult communities, offer numerous benefits to residents, and we don’t foresee their popularity dwindling anytime soon. Miller & Smith is getting ready to release brand new home designs in Brambleton’s new urban village, especially for adults 55+. Check out just a few reasons why so many continue to discover the joys of living in an active adult community and why life refreshes at 55 at Birchwood at Brambleton!


Amenities galore: 55+ communities tend to include incredible amenities, so residents have plenty of recreational options right in their own backyards! For example, take Birchwood at Brambleton. This community will include many on-site amenities within walking distance of Miller & Smith’s new homes, including a clubhouse, biking and walking trails, pavilion, community garden, fishing pier, sport courts, and other spaces to enjoy. All of these amenities will ensure that there’s always something for residents to do, and you won’t even have to get in the car to get there!


Opportunities for social engagement: At any one time, residents in 55+ communities are able to leave their homes and step out into a community that is chock-full of fun and exciting events. Birchwood at Brambleton will be no exception! Residents can expect to see a variety of regularly scheduled events, including yoga classes, arts and craft classes, and other social gatherings in the Clubhouse. In addition to the many outdoor community amenities, the Clubhouse is home to indoor and outdoor pools, game rooms, a golf simulator, yoga studio, and more! All of the amenities at Birchwood at Brambleton will encourage a social lifestyle where each day will bring new experiences that will open the doors for meeting people and socializing with friends.


Desirable locations: Birchwood at Brambleton, located in Brambleton, VA, is the perfect place for everything that you need, right where you want it. Just a few minutes down the road at the Brambleton Town Center, enjoy 45 retailers, 13 restaurants, a movie theater, and more conveniences in addition to a full calendar of Brambleton events.


Brambleton’s location in Loudoun County, known to some as DC’s Wine Country, makes it an ideal place to purchase a new home. According to, Brambleton is the 3rd best Virginia suburb to purchase a new home and is also ranked #58 on the list of the Top 100 Best Suburbs to Live in America. This award-winning Northern Virginia community is far enough from the hustle and bustle of a big city to live comfortably, but close enough to places like to Dulles International Airport or our nation’s capital for easy access to the best that the area has to offer.


Beautiful new homes: Since active adult communities have gained so much traction recently, you’ll find newly built homes in these communities, especially in those that are expanding, such as Brambleton. New homes offer many benefits, including less maintenance, impeccable design elements, new appliances, and a layout created to fit modern lifestyles. Miller & Smith’s new homes at Birchwood at Brambleton will offer beautiful designs and low-maintenance living that residents are sure to love. The Encore Collection is a bold new courtyard design offering the sophistication and visual flair of a modern single family home, with the ease and convenience of main level courtyard home living.


Like-minded neighbors: There are undeniable benefits to all of your neighbors being in the same life stage as you. There’s a level of understanding among residents in an active adult community that you just won’t find in traditional communities, and this understanding oftentimes leads to strong friendships and, of course, a lot of fun with wonderful neighbors!


As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why 55+ communities have become so popular in recent years. As more of these communities are popping up, there are increasingly more options for future residents looking for their perfect active adult community. Stay in the loop for updates about our new homes coming soon to Birchwood at Brambleton by signing up for our VIP list at, and liking us on Facebook.