New Disney on Ice Coming to Fairfax!

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DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS MICKEY’S SEARCH PARTY

IS COMING TO FAIRFAX, OCTOBER 3-7!

GIVEAWAY!!! I am excited to announce that I have a family 4-pack of tickets to give away to one lucky reader. Tickets are for the opening night show on Wednesday, October 3, 7:00pm at Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax. To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll draw and notify a winner on September 20th. Good luck!!!

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party brings the magic closer to fans than ever before through dynamic and immersive moments that take place on the ice, in the air and in the seats. Produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., the worldwide leader in live touring family entertainment, Disney On Ice is once again elevating the ice show experience with brand-new engaging elements that will fascinate both newcomers and seasoned guests alike.

Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is performing at EagleBank Arena from October 3 - 7 for nine performances.

Joined by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, live hosts will enliven the performance space by welcoming everyone into the magical world of Disney On Ice, setting the stage for a participatory adventure. Guests will embark on a search for clues to find Tinker Bell after Captain Hook tries to capture her magic. As each scene unfolds, compelling storytelling will be delivered through multi-level production numbers by skaters, performers and acrobats alike.

Fairfax, VA
Eagle Bank Arena, 4500 Patriot Cir, Fairfax, VA 22030

Date and Time of Performances:        

  • Wednesday, October 3 @ 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 4 @ 7 p.m.
  • Friday, October 5 @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 6 @ 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 7 @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Tickets start at:      $15, opening night. $20, all other shows.

To order tickets by phone:      (800)-745-3000

To order tickets online:           www.ticketmaster.com

*Ticket pricing is subject to change based on market demand.

To discover more about Disney On Ice, go to www.disneyonice.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

Mickey



10 Best DC-Area Outdoor Places to Spend Time with Your Kids in August

It’s already the end of July and I don’t know how we got here so quickly! In just a few weeks the kids will be back in school and the crazy mornings of packing lunches and getting everyone ready to rush out the door will return. Here’s to making the most of our last month of summer break!

Top picks for things to do in August:

  1. Visit the animals, go on rides, and splurge on jumbo sugary treats at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair August 10-18.MaeFair
  2. Catch one of the final performances of the summer at Wolf Trap’s Children’s-Theatre-In-The-Woods. Wolftrap (1 of 1)
  3. In between the field trips have some good old fashioned summer fun in your own backyard with a slip n’ slide, sprinkler, or water balloons. We have been spending a lot of time in our backyard and it’s been so nice to enjoy bug-free! We get regular mosquito and gnat treatments from the DC Mosquito Squad and have had no bug bites from our yard this summer! Mosquito Squad logo
  4. Cool off at the South Germantown Splash Park. This is one of the bigger splash parks in Montgomery County and it is sure to wear out your kids between all the fun water features and the jumping pillow.
  5. Take your crew to the Frying Pan Farm Park 4H Fair and Carnival for rides, games and live entertainment August 2-5.FryingPanCarnival
  6. Go for a hike in the morning when it’s cooler at Great Falls Park on either the Virginia or Maryland side. Kids can complete the Junior Ranger Program to earn a badge.
  7. Head to Clemijontri Park in McLean, VA where your kids can swing, slide, and run around the vast playground. There is also a trackless train and a carousel.
  8. Go for a whirl on the carousel at Glen Echo Park. While there you can also go to the playground, catch a puppet show at The Puppet Co. or see Tinker Bell at Adventure Theatre. GlenEchoCarousel
  9. Attend a Washington Nationals baseball game at Nationals Park. For insider tips read this guide to visiting with kids.
  10. Splash, picnic, and play the day away at Yards Park. Read this article before planning your visit. TidalBasin (1 of 1)

Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with D.C. Mosquito Squad who is providing standard barrier treatment for our yard this summer.



The Inside Ski Training Center is a Must-do!

insideski-logo-350I have loved skiing since I was a little girl and my parents first enrolled me in ski school at age 5. Some of my favorite memories from growing up are our ski trips to Colorado with family and friends. I was so excited to take my oldest daughter Clara skiing for her first time a few years ago and now it is something we look forward to doing together every winter.

I first heard about The Inside Ski Training Center just a couple weeks ago through Certifikid and thought it sounded so amazing…..a place in Leesburg, Virginia where you can ski or snowboard all year round! We had to try it!

When we first arrived at The Inside Ski Training Center we met the owners, Nancy and Brian who were super friendly. I filled out a couple forms and then Brian got us set up with equipment – boots, skis, and helmets. It’s all the same equipment used out on the mountain.

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While we were waiting for the lesson before us to finish, Brian had Clara practice a couple things on the carpeted slope and then she was ready to try the infinite slope.

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The simulator is a revolving carpet made out of a material similar to astro turf that is sprayed with water. Wondering how it works exactly? The upward revolving surface simulates the slope that slides underneath you, like a treadmill. With variable pitch and speed, the slope can be tailored to the ability of the skiers or boarders on the slope. A support bar at the bottom of the slope offers stability and confidence for less experienced students. A large mirror at the base of the slope gives you real-time feedback.

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It takes a little bit of time and practice to get used to but our instructor, Nancy was so great at getting us up to speed quickly. We started out at the bottom of the slope, holding on to the bar while the simulator turned on. Then we practiced pushing off the bar a little bit and moving across the bar and slope to get the feel of things.

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Once Clara was comfortable, Nancy started working with her on “pizza and french fries” and she played “red light/yellow light/green light” with her to work on controlling her speed. Nancy also had Clara “draw” shapes on the slope to help her work a little on turning. As a beginner skier, this was so helpful for Clara to work on these skills.

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A group lesson is divided into 3 ten minute sessions per student (equal to a whole day of skiing out on a mountain), so Clara and I alternated our ski time. Once I was comfortable on the slope, Nancy worked with me on turning. It was extremely helpful to have the huge mirror in front of me to watch my form. When she would tell me to square my hips or shoulders I could easily make the correction by looking at myself in the mirror. Even though I’ve skied for many, many years I haven’t had a lesson since I was a kid, so this was extremely helpful! I really focused on the little things that actually do make a big difference in improving skills like pressing down on my pinkie toes while turning.

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At the end of our lesson, Clara and I skied together. She stayed towards the bottom and I skied at the top. This was so much fun but a little trickier as we had to make sure we didn’t run into each other. I did fall down once and I can assure you it doesn’t hurt at all! The surface is made of soft fibers so it’s not nearly as bad as falling on ice or packed snow. The instructor also carries a hand-held remote at all times and will stop the slope immediately if you fall.

The Inside Ski Training Center is for all ages and levels. It’s especially great if you have little kids that you want to get out on the mountain with you next winter. I’m planning on taking my younger daughter Mae who just turned 5 to the training center to see if it’s something she’ll enjoy before I take her up to the mountain. It’s also the perfect place to work on your skills if you are a more advanced skier. Most importantly it’s a ton of fun! It’s such a unique thing to try as there are only a handful of these infinite slopes in the entire U.S.

The lessons are very reasonably priced at $49 for a group lesson and $89 for a private lesson. Plus right now there’s a deal on Certifikid for a group lesson for only $35! Click here to purchase. You can also click here for more details on packages. Additionally, the Inside Ski Training Center is offering a kids summer camp August 6-9 and you can find a deal on Certifikid for that too, click here!



Dutch Wonderland is the Perfect First Amusement Park!

dutchwonderlandWe visited Dutch Wonderland for the first time last summer and my girls had a blast! It was also a nice experience for my husband and I since it was such a manageable park to conquer with little ones. We went on a weekday and the crowds were not bad so we were really able to enjoy our girls. We decided to go again this year since they loved it so much and we had just as much fun the second time around!

It’s a little over a 2 hour drive from the D.C. area so we decided to just drive up for the day again. We arrived right when the park was opening at 10am. There are two options for parking and I highly recommend the preferred parking for $15 per day. This lot is right in front of the entrance and is a very short walk. It made it easy to run out and grab our pool bag when we were ready to go to the water park. General parking is only $5 but you have a longer walk to the park entrance.

Pretzel

One of the great things about Dutch Wonderland is that it’s very family friendly and the 35 rides are mostly designed for smaller kids under about age 9. So my 5 year old could go on all the rides except for the 2 big roller coasters and my 7 year old could go on everything. There are even a few rides that baby Teddy could go on like the carousel, train, and gondola cruise.

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The park is pretty compact so there isn’t a ton of walking which is nice for little legs on a long day. You would only need to bring a stroller for babies and toddlers. There is also quite a bit of shade, although you will still need sunscreen. There are lots of different dining options for lunch or dinner. Dutch Wonderland does not permit food or drink to be brought into the park, but they do permit one water bottle per person as well as some small snacks to be brought into the park. Picnic lunches can be enjoyed outside the park in the picnic pavilion.

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There are lots of fun carnival games where kids can win stuffed animal prizes. We can never leave a theme park without at least a few new stuffies! Mae’s day was made with this giant pink dolphin and a slushie!

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Dutch Wonderland also has great live entertainment options throughout the day from storytimes to high dive shows in the Aqua Stadium. Last summer we saw “A Dragon’s Tale” and it was fantastic. This year I couldn’t get my girls to stop going on rides and once they were done with rides they only wanted to head to the water park. So maybe next year we will catch one of the shows again!

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Another thing we love about Dutch Wonderland is Duke’s Lagoon – “It’s an oasis of summer water fun for kids”. There is plenty of seating for parents, many under umbrellas so there is some shade to keep cool. They also have several private cabanas that you can rent for the day. There are areas for babies to enjoy and large water slides for big kids.

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If you are on the fence about visiting Dutch Wonderland, let me help you decide…… just go! Your family will have the best time! It’s perfect for little kids, so if yours are under age 10 make sure to visit before they age out. Tickets are very reasonably priced and children ages 2 and under are free! Click here for more details on ticket prices and packages.

Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.



You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown at Imagination Stage

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I have been a big fan of Imagination Stage since taking my oldest daughter Clara, now age 7 to her first early childhood show at the theater when she was just a toddler. Once she was old enough to sit through the longer shows we started attending the productions in the Lerner Family Theatre and have rarely missed a show. It’s become a fun tradition for us and also quality momma-daughter time. We were super excited to see “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”.

Don’t miss your chance to see the comic strip characters of the lovable “Peanuts” gang comic brought to life in Summer 2018! This hit Off-Broadway musical is directed by acclaimed playwright and director Aaron Posner (Ford’s Theatre, Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and many more!). Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally, and Schroeder as they sing and dance their way through the timeless struggles of childhood. This show features catchy songs, including “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”, and is the perfect family outing for the young and young at heart!

We loved everything about the show! It had a great energy and kept us all engaged throughout the entire performance. The cast members did an outstanding job of bringing the lovable characters to life. The set and costumes were top notch as usual at Imagination Stage. The songs were very catchy, humorous, and highly entertaining. Overall, it was a fun theater experience; definitely take your kids to see it this summer!

It’s showing now through August 12th so there’s still plenty of time to catch a show!

Weekday performances at 10:30 am, Weekend performances at 1:30 and 4:00 pm

Click here for tickets.

Based on the Comic Strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Clark M. Gesner
Additional Dialogue by Michael Mayer
Additional Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Directed by Aaron Posner
Best for Ages 5+

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How to Combat Summer Problems

Ahhh, summer! I love this time of year. Warm weather, ice cream, the pool, vacations; it’s a beautiful time full of fun and memory-making. But every coin has two sides. Summer is also sweaty, hot, itchy, and tough for parents. It can be exhausting and hectic. But even with all these summer challenges, there are still ways to make the most of it! Read on for tips to battle and beat the WORST things about summer in DC.

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1. The Oppressive Heat and Humidity

“Hot & Humid” is an accurate description of the weather in D.C. pretty much all summer long! A high concentration of humidity combined with hot temperatures can be dangerous to your health, especially children, the elderly, and people with health problems. So on days when the temps are in the 90’s I make sure to only take my kids out for an outdoor activity in the early morning. Then for the afternoon I’ll either plan something at an indoor place or we will hang out in the pool to stay cool. And I always pack water bottles when we go anywhere.

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2. The Pesky Mosquitoes and Other Bugs

A recent study has ranked D.C. as the fourth worst city in the U.S. for mosquitoes. We also get more than our fair share of cicadas, stink bugs, flies, ticks, and gnats. The biting and buzzing bugs can especially be a nuisance and make it difficult to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months. Mosquitoes are also a major health concern since they can transmit several diseases to humans including Zika virus, West Nile virus and several kinds of encephalitis. To help protect my family against mosquitoes, I use DC Mosquito Squads long-lasting barrier spray treatments to keep our yard bug-free.

Mosquito Squad logo

3. The Bored Kids

Hearing the words “I’m Bored” makes me cringe! While I try to encourage my girls to use their creativity and play together or independently….it only works for so long. I try to plan lots of games, activities, and trips to keep them entertained but finding that sweet spot of “just enough” activity without over-scheduling is the goal. Check out my blog post here that has ideas for the best things to do with kids in D.C. this summer.

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4. Momma Burnout

It’s great to have our kids home for the summer to spend more time together and make lasting memories. However, I find there’s a delicate balance of having fun with them and not going crazy! My girls are still young with endless energy and the baby is obviously demanding of my time and attention so I find it necessary to hire babysitters for help occasionally. I also enroll my girls in a few weeks of summer camp so that I at least have a few hours where I can get work done, run errands, etc. I have found that by mid August I’m usually feeling exhausted so I make sure to schedule some camp days for those last two weeks of summer break. I also couldn’t live without my gym membership where I can drop my kids off in the child care for an hour or so and workout. I find it crucial to my sanity during the summer months!

5. The Lack of Beach Access

Although there are beaches about an hour away on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic 3 hours away, we definitely don’t have one close to home. Traveling to a beach from D.C. takes a good amount of time, packing, and planning. So why not enjoy all the local water options. There are many splash parks, pools, water parks, lakes, and waterfront areas to visit in the D.C. area. Check out this article here for the best splash parks to visit and this guide on visiting the Georgetown Waterfront.

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Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with D.C. Mosquito Squad who is providing standard barrier treatment for our yard this summer.



A Road Trip to Pittsburgh is a Must for D.C. Families!

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My family recently went on a road trip to Pittsburgh and found out exactly why Pittsburgh is kidsBURGH – the ultimate destination for family fun! We had never visited before so naturally we were excited to explore some place new. It was a fairly quick drive from D.C.; we made it in a little under 4 hours which included 2 stops. It felt like an easier trip than driving to the beach since traffic was not an issue. Once we arrived in the city, it was non-stop fun and so easy to keep the kids happy and entertained. The team at Visit Pittsburgh put together an amazing itinerary for us. Read on to see why you should start planning your family’s next summer getaway to Pittsburgh!

Day 1

We left D.C. at 7:30am and arrived at our hotel by 11:30am. After we checked in and unpacked we headed off to lunch at Primanti Bros. – a Pittsburgh classic. Founded in 1933, the chain is known for its signature sandwiches of grilled meat, an Italian dressing-based coleslaw, tomato slices, and French fries between two pieces of Italian bread. It was delicious and definitely a must! We visited the original location in the historic Strip District neighborhood.

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After lunch we went to the Carnegie Science Center and experienced the world’s largest exhibition of LEGO art. The Art of the Brick exhibit showcases the incredible artworks by artist Nathan Sawaya.

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After touring the awe-inspiring exhibit, kids get to discover their inner architect in the free-play and hands-on activity area, Science of the Brick!

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There are so many other areas in the museum to explore too. We could have easily spent most of the day here but we only had 2 hours so we just scratched the surface. After the LEGO exhibit, my girls choose to tour the USS Requin Submarine and also check out the fantastic H2Oh! Why Our Rivers Matter exhibit.

We ended the first day of our tour with a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park. It is located along the shore of the Allegheny River and from the park you can enjoy amazing views of the downtown skyline and riverfront. Inside the park there is a playground area where you can take your little ones if they get restless in their seats.

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Day 2

We started Day 2 with Breakfast at Kelly O’s in the Strip District. This diner has been featured on the Food Network and is known as a one-of-a-kind greasy spoon that is a classic Pittsburgh spot for breakfast. Everyone in my family loved the food! My girls devoured their pancakes and bacon, my husband enjoyed his breakfast sandwich on Italian bread, and I had excellent eggs and home fries. We also tried their famous grilled cinnamon roll and that was incredible! You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here – it was all delicious!

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After breakfast we headed to Pittsburgh’s North Side and visited the Children’s Museum. This is one of the best that we have been to and I can definitely see why it was named one of the nation’s top 15 children’s museums by Parents magazine in 2015. There are three floors of innovative experiences where kids can play and inspire joy, creativity, and curiosity. Also, this summer there are two other fantastic exhibits on view: Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails and The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit.

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The day just kept getting better! After the Children’s Museum we were off to Kennywood – known as America’s finest traditional amusement park. This was the stop on the tour that my girls were most excited about. Rides and games, plus fried food and sugary jumbo treats is a dream come true for them! Kennywood opened in 1898 and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It has a mix of the old-school favorites and the new thrill rides like Black Widow.

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Kennywood was so much fun, it was really hard to leave but we needed to head back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner at Hofbrauhaus in the South Side neighborhood. The restaurant is modeled after the legendary 400+ year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich and it really felt like we were in Germany. When we walked into the bier hall there was a musician playing the accordion and it had such a unique ambiance. The food was delicious and the kids menu offered up plenty of the popular dishes like cheese pizza, hot dogs, and chicken tenders. The restaurant is located on the bank of the river so after dinner we walked along the South Side Riverfront Trail and took in the amazing city views during sunset.

Hofbrauhaus

After dinner we stopped at The Milk Shake Factory for treats. At this premier dessert destination you can create your own milkshake from the extensive list of flavors or choose one of the classic or signature milkshakes on the menu. This was a sweet ending to fun-filled day!

Day 3

We started the day with a delicious breakfast at Waffles Incaffeinated in the South Side. My girls were super excited to build their own waffles from the large list of signature ingredients. We all left happy with full bellies!

Our next stop was Mount Washington where we took in the panoramic skyline views of the city. USA Today named the view from Mt. Washington one of the 10 most beautiful views in America. And we agree – it’s simply stunning!

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The original plan for the next destination was a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium but with rain in the forecast we played it safe and instead went with an indoor option – the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This is a great museum for kids with an incredible dinosaur exhibit including T.rex and other towering fossils. Our time here was short but we also made sure to see the Hall of African Wildlife, Hall of North Amerian Wildlife and the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt where my girls were fascinated with the mummies!

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Our last stop on the tour was brunch at The Porch at Schenley Plaza. The menu features local and fresh ingredients used in new recipes as well as the classics with a twist. The food was amazing and the location was perfect too! After dining you can take your kiddos over to the nearby PNC Carousel for a spin or enjoy the beautiful green space.

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My family had the best time in Pittsburgh and didn’t even get to see everything on our first visit. We will most definitely make a return trip to spend more time at the places we loved and also check out the places we didn’t have time for like the zoo, the National Aviary, and the Duquesne Incline. We were pleasantly surprised with all the family friendly and affordable attractions Pittsburgh has to offer!

Disclosure: My family was hosted by Visit Pittsburgh for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own. 



How to Have the Best Summer Ever with Kids in D.C.

Summer break will be here before we know it! The last day of school for most kids in the D.C. area is within the next couple of weeks. Are you ready?! This will be my first summer with 2 kids + a baby, so it will be challenging to say the least. I’m pretty sure I will be completely exhausted by the end but I definitely want to make it lots of fun. After all, we only get 18 summers with our kids before they head off to college.

I have found that a mix of structured camp weeks and unscheduled free weeks works best for us. My girls really enjoy camp and I need that time to recharge and get work done, run errands, exercise, etc. But I also like to have a few weeks where we don’t have any classes or camps so that we can go on adventures and take advantage of the many fun outdoor kid-friendly things there are to do in the DC area. Also, just having time to play at home and in our backyard is important too since we are always in go, go, go mode during the school year.

My girls and I like to come up with a list of our “must-do’s” before summer break begins. The summers seem to fly by so having a list and a plan of what we want to do most will help us accomplish our summer bucket list. We are ready for the best summer yet!

1. Go to a farm to pick fresh fruit.

The pick-your-own season starts in May with strawberries and continues throughout the summer with cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and peaches. Click here to read our article on Mommy Nearest with a list of our favorite farms to visit in Maryland and Virginia.

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2. Cool off at a splash park.

Sometimes it’s fun to change it up and play at a splash park instead of the pool on a hot summer day. We have so many fun splash pads in the area. Here are a few of our favorites: South Germantown splash park, Chevy Chase sprayground, Palisades splash park, Georgetown Waterfront Park, and The Yards Park.

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3. Take a trip to the beach.

We usually go to a couple different beaches over the summer. Chesapeake Beach, MD is one that we enjoy and only an hours drive from DC so it makes for the perfect day trip. Read more about it in our article with Mommy Nearest here. My girls love it mostly because you can hunt for fossilized shark teeth. The other beach we visit each summer is Rehoboth Beach, DE and a couple of must-do’s for my girls at this beach are Funland and Crab Claw Adventures.

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4. Play in our own yard.

Swimming in the pool, water balloons, slip n’ slide, sprinkler fun, sidewalk chalk, ice block treasure hunts, giant bubbles, outdoor art, picnics, and lemonade stands are some of the fun things we plan to do right in our own yard. Thanks to DC Mosquito Squad we are enjoying our yard free of mosquitoes and gnats!

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We absolutely love to spend time outside and don’t want the bugs to drive us back inside the house, so we’ve already started our annual mosquito & gnat treatments that repel and kill the pesky bugs to help us enjoy our yard to the fullest throughout the summer. About every three weeks a DC Mosquito Squad technician comes out to apply a long lasting barrier spray to our front and back yard that repels and kills mosquitoes and gnats for about 21 days. I didn’t even know there was a treatment for gnats until this year when I was browsing the DC Mosquito Squad website. I was thrilled to find this out as there is nothing more annoying than a swarm of gnats around your face and it’s even worse when they get in your eyes or mouth….noooooo thanks! The nice thing about the gnat treatment is it’s just an add-on to the mosquito package so they can spray for both at the same time. You can read more about it here.

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Are you wondering if the barrier treatments really work? I was skeptical at first too but then I realized it does work extremely well! I’ve been getting our yard sprayed for 7 years now….ever since my oldest was born. I remember taking Clara outside to swing as a baby and having to shoo away mosquitoes on her face. That’s when I decided I needed to do something about the mosquito problem and it has been absolutely worth it!

Mosquito Squad logoI’ve been really happy with our services from DC Mosquito Squad.

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5. Enjoy outdoor children’s concerts and theater performances.

Every Thursday morning in July, Strathmore offers their Backyard Theater for Kids program. The family-friendly performances are lots of fun, plus the kids enjoy the free snow cones! We also love the Children’s-Theatre-In-The-Woods performances at Wolftrap.

6. Ride the carousel at Glen Echo.

The carousel at Glen Echo is our absolute favorite in the DC area. There are several that you can read about in our article here but we think the Dentzel carousel in Glen Echo is extra special! Plus there are so many other things to do while you are at the Glen Echo park: see a puppet show at The Puppet Co., catch a show at Adventure Theatre, visit the aquarium, and play on the playground.

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7. Visit the Zoo.

One of the many great free things in Washington, D.C.! When we visit in the summer, I make sure we get to the zoo early in the morning (by 9am) before the heat + crowds arrive to enjoy it the most!

8. Go to a summer fair, carnival, and theme park.

My girls live for the Montgomery County Fair! They get so excited for the animals, rides, and games. We also like going to the Frying Pan Farm Park 4H Fair and Carnival every summer. It’s a small carnival but easy to manage with small children. We also have plans to visit Dutch Wonderland for the second time this summer. We had such a great experience there last year. Click here to read more about it + get a discount code for tickets!

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Of course along with these things we will be making the rounds at our favorite ice cream shops, parks, and playgrounds too! What do you have planned this summer? Let me know if there’s anything else we can’t miss out on!

Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with D.C. Mosquito Squad who is providing standard barrier treatment for our yard this summer.



Dutch Wonderland Summer 2018 + Discount Code!

dutchwonderlandThe countdown to summer break is on and I am so excited to take my family to Dutch Wonderland again! Last year we visited for the first time in June and it was the best experience I’ve ever had at a theme park with my kids. It’s about a 2 hour drive from the DC area so it makes for a great day trip. When we visited on a weekday there were no lines and I was impressed that the park was very clean. It’s the perfect place for families with younger children!

I am happy to share the promo code summerblog18 with you to save $4 per ticket this season! Click here to purchase the discounted tickets.

If you would like to read more about our experience at Dutch Wonderland last summer, click here!

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Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart

We had a great time at Disney On Ice last Wednesday night at the Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia! We had seen the Follow Your Heart show a couple years ago so we pretty much knew what to expect and enjoyed it even more this time! Everything Disney does is great and I especially love how joyful the kids get….that’s really what it’s all about! We’ve been to a few different versions of the Disney On Ice shows and Follow Your Heart definitely did not disappoint!

IMG_8176This show was at Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax and do I prefer the shows at this arena versus the Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center). The traffic can be just as bad as going in to DC but The Eagle Bank Arena is smaller and the parking is way easier….you can park very close and it’s also free.

IMG_8177The show opens with Riley from Inside Out, her hokey teammates, and a cheer squad in a fun and upbeat musical number.

Riley-1-of-1-1024x749A Beauty and the Beast act follows and this was very entertaining! I love how Disney finds new ways to retell the Classic stories.

Beauty-1-of-1-1024x615The thing I love most about Follow Your Heart is the incredible aerial performances. When I asked my oldest daughter Clara what her favorite parts were she said it was the aerial acts. The first one is The Little Mermaid doing acrobatics while dangling on a rope from the ceiling. And the second is Rapunzel and Flynn Rider flying through the air on yellow silks that represent her long locks.

Rapunzel-1-of-1-1024x682Halfway through the show, the production takes a brief intermission (15-20 minutes). It’s a great time to take the little ones to the bathroom or grab a snack. The kids can also have their picture taken with various backdrops in the concourse. The second half opens with the hit “Finding Dory”.

Dory-1-of-1-1024x682Finally, the last half hour of the show is dedicated to Frozen. Even if you are sick of Frozen by now, you’ll appreciate the beauty of this act. The snow falling, costumes, choreography, and set is all incredible!

Frozen-1-of-1-1024x682All the other Disney princesses make an appearance in the show as well as other favorite characters from Toy Story. It is an overall fantastic show that I highly recommend!