A Day at Dutch Wonderland

I had heard from several friends that Dutch Wonderland was the perfect place for little kids, so I wanted to make sure we experienced it this summer. My family spent the day there earlier last week and had the best time! It exceeded my expectations in every way and I’m sure we will make a return visit next summer!

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Dutch Wonderland is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania about 2-2.5 hours from the DC area. We drove up in the morning and arrived when they opened at 10am and then drove home later that afternoon. Everything was very easy and convenient for an outing with little kids. Dutch Wonderland has general parking for $5 or preferred parking for $15. We opted for the preferred, so we could park right in front just steps away from the entrance. The quaint amusement park is surrounded by farmland where you can see cattle grazing the fields. They have 35 rides, shows, and an awesome splash park called Duke’s Lagoon.

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The rides are geared towards smaller children – my almost 4 year old and 6 year old could go on pretty much all the rides. There are several rides that the whole family can enjoy together too.

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The park is incredibly clean (yes, even the bathrooms) and well-kept. All of the employees were so nice and helpful.  The park offers so much and all within a pretty small area – very walkable with small children in tow.

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The park has charming Amish touches throughout, like the iconic giant pretzel that also makes for a good photo opp.

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My daughter loved playing in this horse and carriage! There is also a life-size cow replica that kids can “milk” and an animatronic display of Amish life.

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In addition to all the fun rides, Dutch Wonderland offers several great shows throughout the day. We loved the “Adventures of the Frog Prince” performed on the aqua stage. “A theatrical high dive show encompassing all the magic, mystery, costuming, set design and special effects of a fairytale, plus world class diving.”

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After we had gone on all the rides, watched a show, and had lunch we headed over to Duke’s Lagoon for some water fun! This area is also very clean and has lots of seating for parents surrounding the splash park. The kid-sized water slides are great for little ones. There are attentive life guards making sure the children wait their turn to go down the slides.

Before leaving for the day, we stopped in the gift shop so Clara and Mae could each pick out a toy. They have a great selection and I found that the items were not over priced. Dutch Wonderland was a great experience for our family! Add it to your summer bucket list for sure!

Use code CapitolMommaSBlog17 to save $4 per ticket or click the link here.

General admission is $41.99, 4-day advance tickets $38.99, 7-day advance tickets $35.99. All tickets include a preview pass – Enjoy the last three hours of the park the night before you visit for a full day – FREE! Preview after 3:00 pm when the Park closes at 6 pm. Preview after 5:30 pm when the Park closes at 8:30 pm.

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Arts on the Horizon Presents By the Seashore + GIVEAWAY!

bytheseashore-logo-webArts on the Horizon is a theatre for children ages 0-6 years old in Northern Virginia. Their mission is to offer high-quality theatre for young children and their families at an affordable rate. Their shows are 30 minutes in length and are performed by professional actors. We attended one of their performances earlier this year and loved it. See my review here. The next show coming up is called By the Seashore and is recommended for ages 0-2.

By the Seashore takes us on a magical journey to a place children love to visit – the beach!  From birds and fish, to sand and water, and everything in-between, young audience members are invited to explore all the amazing things we find on the shore, in the ocean, and in the sky (with no need for wings or scuba gear!). Using an imaginative mix of puppetry, movement, and sound, this sensory-filled production is specifically designed for babies and young toddlers.

I have two family 4-packs of tickets to giveaway! One 4-pack for the July 13th show at 10:30am, and one for July 15th at 10am. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. The winners will be drawn and notified on June 30th. Good luck!

Location of performance:
The Lab at Convergence
1819 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22302

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, July 13th at 10:30am
Friday, July 14th at 10:30am
Saturday, July 15th at 10:00am
Saturday, July 15th at 11:30am (Sign-interpreted performance)
Tuesday, July 18th at 10:30am
Wednesday, July 19th at 10:30am
Thursday, July 20th at 10:30am
Friday, July 21st at 10:30am
Saturday, July 22nd at 10:00am
Saturday, July 22nd at 11:30am
Tuesday, July 25th at 10:30am
Wednesday, July 26th at 10:30am
Thursday, July 27th at 10:30am
Friday, July 28th at 10:30am
Saturday, July 29th at 10:00am
Saturday, July 29th at 11:30am

Tickets:

Tickets are $6.

Purchase tickets here: http://www.artsonthehorizon.org/by-the-seashore-buy-tickets.html



Educational Summer Activity: Make An Alligator and Learn About the Letter A

Summer break is here! I have lots of fun outings and field trips planned for my girls over the next three months but I also want to work in some educational activities at home as much as I can. I think it’s important to keep their brains active, especially for my oldest daughter after learning so many new skills in Kindergarten this year.

I have a super cute Alligator activity from Education.com to share with you. It’s focused on reading and writing skills for Kindergarten aged children.

Make An Alligator and Learn About the Letter A

Sure, Apple starts with A… but so do big, green Alligators! Kindergarten is an important time when kids are learning about letters and sounds. In this activity, your child will have fun crafting an alligator out of household items while developing “letter-sound correspondence,” a skill that will prepare him for reading by connecting specific sounds to letters and will eventually help him link those sounds into words.

What You Need:
Cardboard tube from a paper towel roll
Green paint
Scissors
Green construction paper
2 googly eyes from an arts and crafts store
Black permanent marker
1 piece of plain white paper

What You Do:

  1. Help your child paint the cardboard tube with green paint, and set it aside to dry.
  2. While you’re waiting, cut the plain white paper into strips lengthwise, 1”x11”. Tape three of them end to end to make one strip that’s 33” inches long.
  3. Then, ask your child how many words he can come up with that start with the letter A. Let him dictate as you write the words in clear block letters onto the 33″ strip. If your child knows how to write a word, let him write it down for you. See if you can fill the whole long sheet. When you’ve filled the paper with all the “A” words you can think of, roll up the strip tightly.
  4. By now, the paint on the tube should be dry. Help your child use the scissors to cut a v-shaped opening in the front of the cardboard tube for a mouth. Use the sharpie to draw teeth. Then help him use the sharpie marker to draw on scales for the alligator. Cut four legs from the green construction paper, two stand-up “eyes,” and a pointy tail.
  5. Glue the legs onto the bottom of the alligator, the tail onto the back, and the eyes on top of the construction paper.
  6. Glue the end of your rolled up “word” strip inside the alligator’s mouth. A is for alligator…but when you and your child unroll the words, it’s for dozens of other stuff too which your child will be reading before you know it.

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The Jungle Book at Encore Stage & Studio

DSC_0242From left to right: Bagheera (Gia Jackson), Baloo (Kyra Radomsky), Mowgli (Ryely Rogers), Kaa (Tara Hall), King Monkey (Declan Roberts).  Photo by Aileen Pangan.

The Jungle Book is a classic that my oldest daughter Clara and I have enjoyed reading and watching on screen together many times. When I saw that the show would be playing at Encore, I knew she would be excited to go see it live at the theater. It’s always inspiring for her to see other children performing on stage. Encore’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is creative, entertaining and makes for a fun family outing to the theatre.

Mowgli is taught the ways of the jungle by a bear named Baloo and Bagheera, a panther, and Kaa the snake. When father wolf becomes too old to rule his animal kingdom, an angry Tiger named Shere Khan who has been out to get Mowgli since he was a young boy, tries to name himself the new king. Mowgli, with the help of the nearby villagers and a treasure given to him from ancient ruins, must stop the tiger from becoming the new king, and help restore order in the jungle again.

DSC_0035The wolf pack teaches Mowgli the way of the Jungle. From left to right: Wolf 1 (Sam Regardie), Wolf 4 (Riley Dennis), Wolf 2 (Caroline Raymond) and Wolf 3 (Kylen Davis). Photo by Larry McClemons

The set was simple but effective with tall trees, vines, and boulders to create the jungle scene. The costumes were creative and interpretive. We thought the kids all did a great job delivering their lines and providing humor throughout the performance. The show was a bit shorter than Encore’s previous productions (about 1 hour 15 minutes with an intermission). So I would recommend this for ages 4+. Go see it this weekend for a nice air conditioned break from the heat. There are four performances remaining:

Friday, June 9th 7:30pm
Saturday, June 10th 11am and 3pm
Sunday, June 11th 3pm

Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.

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Tips for your visit:
•Ticket prices: $15 adults, $12 children, students, seniors, and military.
•Concessions can be purchased and enjoyed in the lobby before the show and during intermission.
•There is free and ample parking at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, where all Encore productions are located.
•Encore offers a birthday party package.
•Encore also offers a variety of classes and camps.

Also, Encore Stage & Studio announced their 2017/2018 season last weekend. They have some great shows lined up. I’m especially looking forward to Disney’s The Lion King Jr. and James and the Giant Peach!



Dutch Wonderland + Discount Code!

dutch wonderlandThe countdown to summer break is on! We just have one more week of school left and my girls are ready for some fun in the sun! I’ve been planning lots of trips and local adventures so we can make the most of it. One thing we are really excited about is a trip to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA – just a 2 hour drive from the D.C. area. We haven’t been before but I’ve heard so many great things from friends. After our visit, I’ll be sure to share our experience and tips with you all!

Dutch Wonderland has offered all my readers $4 off per ticket with promocode: CapitolMommaSBlog17! Click here for a direct link to purchase the discounted tickets for $37.99 (Reg $41.99). Offer expires 10-8-2017.

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Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom – Giveaway + Discount Code for Teacher Gifts!

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I really can’t believe that the school year is almost over! Most local schools are all wrapping up within the next 3 weeks. I’m sure I’m not the only mom who feels like the year flew by! And this was just our first year with a Kindergartner, so I have a feeling it will only get faster from here on. Thankfully we were blessed with amazing teachers and I really want them to know how much we appreciate them. So for our end-of-year teacher gifts we went to Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom in North Bethesda, MD.

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Seasons Taproom is a small, family owned business located in the Pike & Rose neighborhood in Bethesda. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend a visit soon! They also have locations in Annapolis, Bethlehem, PA, Lancaster, PA, and Morristown, NJ. If you love cooking, then you will be in heaven at this store and if cooking isn’t your thing, you will still be able to pick out the perfect gifts for your kids teachers!

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The store is beautiful – sparkling clean and well organized. You are encouraged to sample all the many flavors of olive oils and vinegars. Some of the different flavors of olive oils are Blood Orange Fused, Cayenne Chili Fused, Lemon Fused, Rosemary Fused, and Garlic Infused. These are just a few – there are many, many more unique flavors. Seasons also carries whole fruit balsamic vinegars, dark balsamic vinegars, white balsamic vinegars, and wine vinegars.

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Seasons carefully selects the olive growers that they work with to ensure they are only selling a fresh, quality product. They also directly import their products to deliver a high quality product at a low price. I will never again buy my olive oil from the grocery store after tasting Seasons oils! There is such a huge difference in the taste and quality and the price is comparable to the local grocery store.

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The manager at the Bethesda store is Lamia and she is so incredibly knowledgeable about all the products they sell. If you have any questions at all, she will be able to answer them! When my girls and I visited the store to pick out their teacher gifts, Lamia first had us tell her about each of the teachers. Then she helped us select an appropriate gift for each of them. For the teachers who enjoy cooking, we selected a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of balsamic vinegar. For another teacher who doesn’t particularly like cooking but has kids to feed, we selected a gourmet pasta and a sauce to go along with it for a quick and easy meal. And for one of my daughters preschool teachers we chose an olive oil lotion and soap. We had 5 teachers to buy for this year and we were able to get each of them a nice gift without breaking the bank. My girls are so excited to give them to their teachers and I think they will love what we picked out!

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Seasons has kindly offered all my readers 15% of your purchase (no minimum)! For online purchases, enter discount code CAPITOLMOMMA and if you visit the store, just mention “Capitol Momma” at the register to receive your discount. Happy shopping! (Offer Expires 6/16/2017. May not be combined with any prior or current discount or offer, and cannot be applied to gift cards, shipping, or prior purchases.)

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Good to Know:

• Free 2 hours of parking at Pike & Rose.
• Seasons ships FedEx ground flat fee of $9.95 up to 12 bottles. Continental US only. Orders can also be placed by phone (301.881.0410) and delivered free of charge in Montgomery county and the District.
• Seasons offers Olive Oil 101 classes and private tasting events.
Slow Food DC recently awarded Seasons Taproom with the Snail of Approval.
• Seasons supports other small, family businesses by carrying small-batch local products.

GIVEAWAY! – Readers who like Seasons and follow on Instagram and/or Facebook will be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift card! To enter, follow Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom on Instagram @seasonsbethesda and/or Facebook and comment to let them know that Capitol Momma sent you. You will be automatically added. That’s it!
The Rules: Limited to the DMV area. Up to two entries per person following the above specifications. Commenting will open Friday, May 26 and close on Wednesday, May 31 at 8:00 pm EST.  Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered.  Two winners will be selected at random and contacted via email later next week. Good luck!



Galley Foods + Discount Code for Free Meals!

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Have you guys tried Galley Foods? They are a D.C. based meal delivery service. I thought that you would want to hear more about them since most of you are busy parents who want a healthy dinner without the fuss. The menu rotates every day and they offer two kids meal options each week so there is always something delicious on the menu. The best part is that they deliver right to your home or office. Then all you have to do is reheat and serve!

I have partnered with Galley to offer you one free adult meal (prices range from $13-$16) if you are a new customer. Use code CAPITOLMOMMA or click here to place your order!

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A Sidewalk Stroll by Encore Stage & Studio

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A Sidewalk Stroll is Encore’s second play in their new preschool series. I took my girls to a performance this weekend and they loved it! The show stars “professional artists who bring park adventures and friendly animals to life, all while teaching your little one about navigating through life’s surprises.”

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At this show, the audience members sit on the floor, right in front of the actors. It really keep the kids engaged and feel as though they are a part of the performance too. The play is only about 20 minutes long, so it’s perfect for the tiniest of theatre goers. After the show, the actors invite the children up on stage to interact with them and play with their props. My girls especially loved this part! It’s not often they get the chance to do this at other children’s theaters!

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Grab your friends and head to the show for a fun little play date!  There is even a playground right outside the church where the performances are held.

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Remaining performances:

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 10:30am
Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:30 & 11:45am
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 4:00pm
Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:30 & 11:45am

Location:
All performances are held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (4000 Lorcom Ln Arlington, VA 22207)

Tickets:

$10 general admission. Includes all box office fees. Purchase tickets online here.

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A Strawberry Pickin’ Success

I was so happy the rain finally stopped so we could pick strawberries at Wegmeyer Farms this weekend. We went out to their field at the Oatlands Plantation and it was really muddy……boots are a necessity. But there were so many big, ripe berries that it made for a great picking experience. The girls each filled up their own buckets within about 25 minutes. The berries are so plentiful that we didn’t even have to walk down the entire row before we filled the buckets. The berries are delicious….so sweet and juicy. Please let me know if you have any good strawberry recipes!

Don’t forget that you can get 25% off your berries when you pick on weekdays by mentioning Capitol Momma at the register! See previous blog post for details on locations. Happy picking!

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Strawberry Picking at Wegmeyer Farms + Discount!

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One of my favorite things to do with my girls is to go berry picking. So I’m very excited that strawberry season starts in just one week, yay! Our absolute favorite farm to pick strawberries at is Wegmeyer’s. They take strawberry growing to the next level! Their berries are the sweetest and juiciest berries you can find in the D.C. area. Their fields are beautiful and so well cared for – they grow the strawberries on on raised plastic beds, which keeps the berries clean, dirt-free and makes for easy picking. And new this year, they are offering a Sparkling Strawberry wine in partnership with Fabiolli Vineyards.

Wegmeyer Farms has generously offered all Capitol Momma readers a 25% discount during weekdays (M-F) at any of the three locations. Just mention Capitol Momma at the register to receive the discount on your berries. Happy Picking!

Wegmeyer Farms has three u-pick locations:

Hamilton, VA boutique farm setting – Tucked away on back roads of Lincoln (between Purcellville and Leesburg) at a historic homestead, our farm provides the most scenic views of rolling farmlands.  We offer picnic tables for you to bring your own lunch and refreshments available for sale. After you pick berries, we invite you to stick around with the kids and let them play on the John Deere tractor slide and playground. 38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton, VA

Historic Oatlands – our strawberry patch and era-themed attire at this historic mansion will whisk you back to the 1800’s.  For those who do not want to walk from the parking lot to the field, you may hop on the wagon for $5 for adults and children under 16 are free.While visiting our strawberry patch is free, you can choose to make a day of it by purchasing tour passes for the historical garden and/or mansion in addition to strawberry picking. 20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln, Leesburg, VA

Gilbert’s Corner – strawberry picking in its most natural state.  This no-fuss location is perfect for a simple outing.  Parking is available right at the site.  Intersection of Route 15 and Route 50 in Aldie, VA.

Customers are encouraged to call the strawberry field hotline at (540) 751-1782 or visit www.wegmeyerfarms.com to check field conditions.

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