Author Archives: alexis

Dutch Wonderland – Summer 2020

Over the past few years, Dutch Wonderland became one of our favorite summer traditions and we have made such great memories there! We first visited in 2017 when my daughters were ages 4 and 6 and returned for our fourth time this week. You can read about all our previous visits here – 2017, 2018, 2019. All summer my daughters were asking when we could go and I told them I wasn’t sure if it would be possible this year due to Covid. I was excited to hear that the 48 acre amusement park in Lancaster, PA reopened on July 18th. After reading about the safety measures (see below) I felt comfortable and decided that we would plan our visit!

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We have always made it a day trip since Dutch Wonderland is only a 2 hour drive from the DC area. We left a little before 8am and arrived right at 10am when they open. The park had a tent set up outside the castle entrance where we had our temperatures taken and bags checked.

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Then we went inside and started going on rides! My husband took our girls ages 7 & 9 on some of the big kid rides while I took our youngest, Teddy on the toddler rides. He is obsessed with all things that go so he loved the Sky Fighter, Choo Choo Charlie, Duke’s Dozer, and Off Road Rally rides the most!

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One disappointment on this visit was that Merlin’s Mayhem was not open. This is the newest and biggest suspended family roller coaster. Clara, my 9 year old was most looking forward to this ride as this is the best one for older kids. We knew before going that there were several rides that are not open due to Covid as listed on the Dutch Wonderland website but Merlin’s Mayhem was not one of those. The Double Splash Fume was another one that is more fun for older kids but for whatever reason was not open either. But the girls still had a blast riding the Flying Trapeze swings and Kingdom Coaster!

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After we had lunch, we watched “A Dragon’s Tale” dive show in the Aqua Stadium. It is a super cute story and my kids were amazed by the talented divers. I highly recommend catching one of the shows on your visit. They are very entertaining and a great way to get your kids to sit down and take a little break from the rides. The stadium seats were marked with dots and instructions to sit at least 3 dots away from others to ensure proper social distancing.

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It was a toasty, 90 degree day so after the dive show the kids were eager to head to Duke’s Lagoon to cool off. I recommend paying a little extra for preferred parking that is right in front of the entrance of 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.

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Duke’s Lagoon also has a few smaller slides for kids around the ages of 2-8 (one pictured above). 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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At the entrance of Duke’s Lagoon there was a staff member taking count of the number of people entering, to limit the capacity. Masks are also required in this area unless you are actively participating in the water features.

I’m so glad we were able to give the kids this fun experience in what has been an unusual and difficult summer for them. Although Dutch Wonderland looks a little different this year, it still brought out tons of smiles and laughs. This might not be the year to visit if you live a couple hours away, since there are quite a few rides that aren’t open. But definitely worth it if you are a local or live closer. However, we have all been spending lots of time at home the past 5 months so if you are ready and comfortable to venture out for some summer fun, then I definitely recommend a visit to Dutch Wonderland!

***Tickets are currently 50% off! Visit for just $22.99/person. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.dutchwonderland.com/plan-a-visit/tickets-and-passes/

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



Harlem Globetrotters + Ticket Giveaway!

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GIVEAWAY! I have a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters! The winner may choose from any of the three games: March 20 7:30pm EagleBank Center, March 21 1:00pm Capital One Arena, or March 21 7:30pm EagleBank Center. Leave a comment on this blog post to enter! I’ll draw and notify a winner on Thursday, March 12th. Good luck! 

EAGLEBANK CENTER – March 20 & 21 / CAPITAL ONE ARENA – March 21

The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, featuring larger than life entertainers, are bringing their ALL-NEW show, “Pushing the Limits” to a city near you. Don’t miss your chance to get up close and personable with a star-stuffed roster including Big Easy Lofton, Hi-Lite Bruton, and woman stars TNT Lister, Swish Sutton, and Torch George*. Every show features a blend of hilarious hijinks and incredible basketball skills including ball handling, high flying dunks, and a new record-breaking attempt. The Harlem Globetrotters are a one-of-a kind experience putting a new spin on family time. You won’t want to miss these memories worth repeating!

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Bandstand at The National Theatre + Ticket Giveaway!

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Giveaway! Enter to win a pair of tickets for opening night on Tuesday March 3rd 7:30pm at The National Theatre. Simply leave a comment on this post for your entry. I’ll draw and notify a winner on Thursday, February 27th. Good luck! 

The National Theatre
Tuesday, March 3 – Sunday, March 8
http://thenationaldc.com/events/category/series/bandstand/

From three-time Tony® winner and Hamilton choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler, comes a poignant and inspiring new American musical that explodes with infectious music and high-octane, heart-stopping dancing.

It’s 1945. As America’s soldiers come home to ticker-tape parades and overjoyed families, Private First Class Donny Novitski, singer and songwriter, struggles to rebuild the life he left behind. When NBC announces a national competition to find the nation’s next great musical superstars, Donny sees a lifeline for himself and some fellow veterans that gives them the purpose they so desperately need. Together, they form a band unlike any the nation has ever seen. Along the way, they discover the power of music to face the impossible, find their voice, and finally feel like they have a place to call home.

BANDSTAND is “both a peppy celebration of can-do spirit and a more somber exploration of what American servicemen experienced when they marched home from World War II. It’s a great argument for why theater can sometimes tell a story more boldly and more viscerally” (The New York Times). “The show defies you not to be moved” (Time Out New York).

Recommended for ages 13 and up.
Tickets range from $54 – $114.  (A military discount is being offered)
Run time: Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes, with one intermission



Monster Jam 2020: Review

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This past weekend I took my family to see Monster Jam at the Capital One Arena. It was our third time seeing the show and as usual it did not disappoint! The first time we went to Monster Jam, I was honestly a bit skeptical. I didn’t think I would enjoy it but wanted to give my kids the experience anyways and surprisingly I ended up loving it! This year was no different and I especially enjoyed watching my 2 year old truck obsessed son be in complete awe by the gigantic monster trucks. It really is a unique experience that is great fun for the whole family!

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Monster Jam 2020 in DC featured eight different trucks: Alien Invasion, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger, Max-D, Megalodon, Monster Mutt, Soldier Fortune, and Zombie.  My kids all loved the Monster Mutt and my girls were excited to see a female driving Soldier Fortune!

The Monster Jam competition is comprised of 5 main events:

  1. Timed Races through an obstacle course showcasing the driver’s ability and the truck’s agility.
  2. The Two-Wheel Skills Challenge for drivers to perform stunts that bring at least two wheels into the air.
  3. Performing Donuts requires the drivers to rotate the truck as many times and as quickly as possible.
  4. Head -to-Head Racing along a prescribed course.
  5. Freestyle driving allowing the drivers to show off all their best tricks and stunts.

The audience then has the ability to vote and score each driver from your own mobile device.  I couldn’t believe some of the tricks they were doing with their massive trucks at approximately 12 feet tall and wide. The tires are 66 inches and weight at least 10,000 pounds. The trucks can travel up to 100 MPH and they can fly up to 125 to 130 feet out at up to 35 feet in the air.

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This is an amazing show that’s really an experience your kids will talk about for a long time. We brought our six and eight year old daughters and our 2 year old son and they all loved it! The trucks have fantastic designs and paint jobs, and the drivers do a good job of getting the audience involved and cheering. I was really impressed by the power of the trucks, as well as the skill of the drivers.

A few tips before you go: Noise cancelling headphones area must for both adults and children. You can find some on Amazon that don’t cost too much and work great. Make sure to wear coats if it is cold outside because the arena is ventilated for the event. You aren’t allowed to bring in your own food or drinks. The lines to get into the arena are long, so arrive early!

Don’t worry if you missed all the Monster fun this weekend because Monster Jam is returning to the area with shows in Baltimore Feb 28 – Mar 1.



Ticket Giveaway! The King’s Speech at the National Theatre

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GIVEAWAY!!! Enter to win 2 tickets for The King’s Speech on Tuesday, February 11th at 7:30pm.  Simply comment on this blog post for your entry. I will draw and notify a winner on Sunday, February 2nd. Good luck! 

Tuesday, Feb. 11 – 16, 2020
Sizzle Reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MocppvOUJIw&feature=emb_logo [youtube.com]

THE KING’S SPEECH is based on the true story of King George VI’s struggle with a speech impediment and the friendship he formed with his unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With the Nazi threat looming and civil unrest at home, royal secrets explode around the King as he’s thrust onto the world stage. David Seidler’s original play – which inspired the 2010 Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush – will make its long-awaited U.S. debut in a production The Mail proclaims “A right royal treat.”

Recommended for ages 13 and up



Monster Jam is coming to Capital One Arena in 3 Days!

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Monster Jam is coming to Capital One Arena in just 3 days! Make sure to get your tickets soon as shows are selling out fast!

Tickets and Pit Party Passes are available at www.ticketmaster.com.

Here is some fun trivia you can play with your kids on the way to the show!

Monster Jam Trivia Questions:

  • How big is a Monster Jam truck?
    • Answer: Monster Jam trucks stands approximately 12’ tall
  • How much does each Monster Jam truck weigh?
    • Answer: Each Monster Jam truck weighs 12,000 pounds.
  •  How tall are official Monster Jam truck tires?
    • Answer: Each tire must be 66 inches tall.
  • How many tons of dirt are needed to set up a track for one Monster Jam show?
    • Answer: Stadiums use up to 500 truckloads of dirt. Arenas use over 100 truckloads of dirt
  • How much horsepower does the average Monster Jam Truck have?
    • Answer: Each truck produces approximately 1,500 horsepower, which is the equivalent of about 10 average cars.
  • Who judges each Monster Jam competition?
    • Answer: The fans! Through Judgeszone.com, each fan can have a say in the outcome. Monster Jam is the only sport in the world gives the judging exclusively to the fans.
  • Who holds the most Monster Jam World Finals Championship titles?
    • Answer: Tom Meents holds the record for the most Monster Jam World Finals Championships at 11.
  • How many drivers hold two or more Monster Jam World Finals Championship titles?
    • Answer: Since the inception of the Monster Jam World Finals, only 8 drivers have two or more Championships to their credit.


GIVEAWAY! Monster Jam 2020 Coming to Capital One Arena

image004GIVEAWAY! I have a family 4-pack of tickets to give away for the 7pm show on Saturday, January 25th at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Simply comment below for your chance to win. I’ll randomly draw and notify a winner on January 16th. Good luck! 

Monster Jam Show Description:

Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series™ is an action-packed, points-based event that showcases athletes as they go head-to-head in six different competitions, driving three different vehicles – Monster Jam Trucks, Speedsters and ATV’s.  These world-class Monster Jam vehicles and athletes bring action-packed, adrenaline-charged family entertainment to fans across the country and deliver what they want to see most… more racing, more freestyle, more donuts, more action!

Pit Party

The Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series Pit Party provides unprecedented access to the Monster Jam trucks and drivers.  This unique experience in the world of motorsports gives you access to see the trucks up close, take pictures, meet the drivers and get their autographs.

DATE:                         January 25-26, 2020

VENUE:                      Capital One Center

EVENTS:                    Saturday, Jan. 25 at 1:00pm, Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7:00pm, Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1:00pm

*Doors open one hour prior to event time.

TICKET PRICES:       Tickets prices start at $20. Additional fees may apply. Ticket prices based on market demand and subject to change.

TO PURCHASE:        Visit the Arena Box office or visit www.ticketmaster.com

PIT PARTY:                Saturday, January 25th and Sunday January 26th
10:30am – 12:00pm (must accompany corresponding 1:00pm event ticket). Pit Passes can also be purchased in advance through Ticketmaster for $20 or on the day of the show at the arena box office.

URL Link: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Monster-Jam-tickets/artist/1542376



Jersey Boys at The National Theatre + GIVEAWAY!

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GIVEAWAY!!! Win a pair of tickets to opening night on Tuesday, December 17th at 7:30pm. Enter by leaving a comment on this blog post. Winner will be announced on Sunday, December 15th.

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story — a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true.

FEATURING THE LEGENDARY TOP TEN HITS:

“Sherry” • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” • “Walk Like A Man” • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” • “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”

Contains authentic, profane Jersey language. Recommended for ages 12 and up.  Run time: Approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes, including one intermission



Ticket Giveaway – Fiddler on the Roof at the National Theatre!

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I am thrilled to host a giveaway for a pair of tickets to opening night of Fiddler on the Roof – Tuesday, December 10th at the National Theatre! To enter to win, simply comment below. I will draw and notify a winner on Sunday, December 8th. Good luck! 

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind South Pacific, The King and I, and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play Oslo, bring a fresh and authentic vision to beloved theatrical masterpiece FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. The original production won ten Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. You’ll be there when the sun rises on this new production, with stunning movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins. A wonderful cast and lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family. Featuring the Broadway classics “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “To Life,” FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will introduce a new generation to this uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy! To love! To life!

Recommended for ages 8 and up.
Run time: Approximately 2 hours, 55 minutes including one intermission

Fiddler on the Roof
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Sunday, Dec. 15
National Theatre
http://thenationaldc.com/events/category/series/fiddler-on-the-roof/
Sizzle Reel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uuL5YP5av4&feature=emb_logo



Ticket Giveaway! The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays

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GIVEAWAY!!! I have a family 4-pack of tickets for the opening night of THE ILLUSIONISTS: MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS on Tuesday, December 3rd  7:30pm at the National Theatre. Enter to win by commenting on this post. I will draw and notify a winner on Sunday, December 1st. Good luck! 

Ring in the holidays with the mind-blowing spectacular THE ILLUSIONISTS – MAGIC OF THE HOLIDAYS, showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth. THE ILLUSIONISTS has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever seen on stage. This nonstop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.

Recommended for ages 6 and up.
Run time: Approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes with intermission

The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays Social Media Info:
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – @TheIllusionistsLive        #TheIllusionists

National Theatre Social Media Info:
Instagram, Twitter – @NatTheatreDC
Facebook – @NationalTheatreWashingtonDC