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Newcomers' Guide

Arlington Historical Museum

— From pre-history relics to present days, the Arlington Historical Society's museum tells the complete "story of Arlington." Lodged in an old schoolhouse which itself wears a historic marker, the entire Society and museum is run by volunteers from the community. Do not be fooled by that statement. With several colleges and many professional staffs in the Federal government nearby, some of those "volunteers" are respected historians, librarians, journalists and actual participants in events of local and national history.

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Arlington Historical Museum

Located at 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road, the building is open for limited hours: 1 to 4 p.m., most Saturdays and Sundays. It is best to call and verify that the museum will be open on the day you plan to visit: 703-892-4204. Free admission. For more information see www.arlingtonhistory.org.

David M. Brown Planetarium

Over this summer, a $500,000 modernization of the planetarium will be completed. Students and the general public have access to scientifically accurate programs in astronomy which are geared to several levels of knowledge. However, a bit of whimsy sometimes creeps in. For example, generations of children have delighted in the Christmas program that features a well-known sleigh driver and eight tiny reindeer. The planetarium looks like a "flying saucer" on the front lawn of the Public Schools Headquarters at 1426 North Quincy Street. It is named to honor Capt. David M. Brown, MD, USN, a native Arlingtonian and astronaut who perished in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

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David M. Brown Planetarium

In September, full details about the facility, including a calendar of events, will be found on the public schools homepage at www.apsva.us.

Public Swimming Pools

Two of Arlington's high schools have an ultra-modern aquatic center open to the public: Washington & Lee and Yorktown. Construction of the new Wakefield high school pool will be completed in a year's time; meanwhile, the existing pool remains open to serve the public.

Swim lessons, water polo, water volleyball, water aerobics and lap swimming are core activities. Reasonable fees are further moderated by special charges for youths, for seniors, for families and for repeater guests. Some "no charge" admissions are scheduled regularly. Diving boards open at set times.

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Public Swimming Pools

Seniors may join a Masters Swim Team. Rentals for "pool parties" are offered. Many activities are in cooperation with the county Department of Parks & Recreation.

See details at www.apsva.us/aquatics and at www.arlingtonva.us.