Monthly Archives: June 2017

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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