Monthly Archives: June 2019

Dutch Wonderland – Summer 2019

Dutch Wonderland is a 48-acre amusement park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It is truly a “Kingdom For Kids” with over 35 fun filled rides, attractions, games, and shows. The park is designed for smaller children so it has been a perfect fit for my family the past few years. My daughters talk about it all year long; it is that special and memorable to them! We visited for our third time on Monday and as always had so much fun!

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One of the reasons I love Dutch Wonderland is because the park is small and easily manageable with young children. I have found that less is actually more with little ones. Here kids can walk the entire park and won’t complain that their legs are tired and demand a piggy-back ride. We have always visited on a Monday and the lines and wait times are zero to minimal. Kids are much happier when not having to wait in lines! You can even stay on a ride for several rounds if there is no one in line, which is common here! Weekends are more crowded but you would most likely never wait more than 20-25 minutes at most for the top attractions. And even though it is small, we still never do everything in one visit!

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This was Teddy’s first time on the rides and he was amazed! When we visited last summer, he was only 9 months old so he was just watching his big sisters and taking it all in! There are many toddler rides at Dutch Wonderland; some you can go on with them and others they can ride by themselves. These were Teddy’s favorites (he is 20 months old): Duke’s Dozers (pictured above), Panda Party (pictured below), Merry-go-Round, Leapin’ Frogs, Balloon Chase, Turtle Whirl, and Off-Road Rally.

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We went on rides for a couple of hours; with no lines, you can do a lot in a short amount of time! My girls favorites were Merlin’s Mayhem, Pipeline Plunge, Kingdom Coaster, Frog Hopper, and Kite Flight. Then we caught “The Adventures of the Frog Prince” show in the Aqua Stadium. There are diving boards and platforms high atop the castle where the performers do quite impressive jumps and dives into the pool down below. Kids can also meet the characters after the show.

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After the show, my kids were ready for lunch so we grabbed a bite to eat from one of the food stands (there are many located all around the park). They offer all the typical amusement park fare: pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, soft pretzels, ice cream, etc. They also offer salads and healthier sandwich options at the Bean Sprout cafe. You are not allowed to bring in picnic lunches but you could keep it in a cooler in your car and eat outside the park in the picnic pavilion.

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After lunch, we went to Duke’s Lagoon to cool off in the water! I recommend paying a little extra for preferred parking that is right in front of the entrance to the park. So then it makes it super easy to run out to your car to get your pool bag. There are changing rooms and bathrooms located in Duke’s Lagoon where you can put on your bathing suits and flip flops. Make sure to bring water shoes or flip flops for everyone in your family if you plan on going down the two big slides as they are required. If you happen to forget, they do sell flip flops in the store located just across from the water slides.

Duke’s Lagoon also has a few smaller slides for kids around the ages of 2-7. There is no pool, so you don’t have to bring floatation devices. It is more of a splash park type set up with spray nozzles, jets, tipping buckets, etc. There is plenty of seating including chairs and tables with umbrellas. You can also rent your own personal cabana if you wish.

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Dutch Wonderland is about a 2 hour drive from the DC area, so it makes for an easy day trip. There are many options for accommodations nearby as well, if you wanted to stay a night or two. They also offer a “park preview”, so your tickets are valid for the last 3 operating hours the night before your planned full day visit. We are already looking forward to visiting again next summer!

Tickets are normally $44.99 but with promo code summerblog19, you can save $5 per ticket. Click here to purchase. 



Pool Safety Tips from British Swim School

Summer is here, pools are open, and school is almost out! Swimming is such a fun activity for kids and a great way to cool off during the hot and humid days here in DC. Taking kids to the pool can be stressful but with good planning and safety tips, it is fun for all! Whether it be your backyard pool, a public pool, swim club, lake or ocean, there are important water safety tips to keep in mind.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in U.S. children ages 1-4 years and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death in children and adolescents ages 5-19 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Young children can drown in as little as an inch or two of water, and it can happen quickly and silently. In March 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated guidelines for drowning prevention to combat the dangers of water for children.

Below is a helpful safety checklist from the British Swim School if you have a backyard pool. Most drownings happen in backyard pools, so please read this if you have a pool or will visit family or friends with a pool over the summer.

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The AAP recommends swim lessons for all children, and their parents, as another layer of water safety. Recent studies suggest that water survival skills training and swim lessons can help reduce drowning risk by as much as 88% for all children including those ages 1 to 4 years old.

My two youngest kids have been enrolled in the British Swim School for the past four months and I highly recommend them for swim lessons! They first teach water acclimation and water survival skills before they teach swim strokes. So you can enroll your babies as early as 3 months old; the earlier, the better. British Swim School focuses on learning the back float first because children can breathe without obstruction or difficulty and call out for help in the event of a water emergency.

Teddy is only 20 months old and he is almost able to float on his back unassisted. He is in the Swimboree level at the British Swim School. Along with working on his back float he is working on submersions, separating from me, independence in the swim ring, and an assisted submerged Torpedo rollover (this teaches the child to turn over under water and get into a back float position if they were to fall in). He is also practicing holding on to the pool wall, moving along the wall, and exiting the pool from the wall.

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My daughter, Mae is in the Starfish level and has overcome a lot of her fears associated with swim lessons. She started working one-on-one with Ms. Bonnie a couple weeks ago and is making great progress. Ms. Bonnie is the owner of British Swim School Central Maryland, which provides over 1300 swim lessons a week in Montgomery County. She is an amazing swim instructor and has a lot of patience with Mae, who can be a challenging student. This past week Ms. Bonnie was able to get Mae to do a few submersions! This was a big, big deal for Mae and I’m so proud of her! Ms. Bonnie’s approach is gentle and fun and she knows just what to do in order to get great results. We couldn’t be more appreciative and thankful for her!

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If you are interested in enrolling your child in the British Swim School, use code CapMom19 for $20.19 off first month of group lessons. Click here to find a class near you.



Kids Obstacle Challenge Coming to DC! + Ticket GIVEAWAY!

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Kids Obstacle Challenge is coming to the DC area on Saturday, June 29th! KOC is an obstacle and adventure course event series for kids ages 5-16 and their parents. The mission is to inspire and challenge kids, and forge family bonds, through adventure and obstacles. They are committed to helping foster a more active, adventurous, and perseverant younger generation.

KOC EVENT SNAPSHOT
Hosted on Saturday – June 29th
Located at BULL RUN SPECIAL EVENTS CENTER in Centreville, VA
Waves released every 20 minutes from 8:30am-12:20pm
1.5-2-mile course with 14-15 fun and challenging obstacles
Estimated attendance of 5,000-7,000

Tickets can be purchased here. Use code BEBRAVE15 for a 15% discount!

Also, I’m giving away TWO FREE TICKETS! To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll draw and notify a winner on Friday, June 14th. Good luck!