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Dora & Diego Exhibit at Port Discovery + Ticket Giveaway!

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Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor offers three floors of interactive, educational exhibits and ever-changing programs for children ages birth through 10. I’ve been taking my girls here for a few years now and they always have the best time! We visited last weekend to check out the new Dora & Diego: Let’s Explore exhibit that is open now through February 19th.

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It’s time for adventure when children and their families come to explore Nickelodeon’s Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore!  This interactive exhibit takes visitors on an active adventure in the enchanting world of Dora the Explorer, her animal-rescuing cousin Diego, and their friends. Explore Isa’s Flowery Garden, help Tico gather nuts, join the Pirate Piggies’ crew to uncover pirate treasure, and help baby animals in the Rainforest Maze.

My girls headed straight for the Rainforest Maze once we entered. In this part of the exhibit kids can locate rainforest animals, swing across monkey bars, jump and hop across River Rocks and more.

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In the Animal Rescue Center, little ones can care for baby animals. If your child likes to role play, they will love this area. They can scan an animal to find out if it needs their help. Or if the animal needs a check-up they can listen to its heart, look inside of its ears, or apply a cold pack.

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In another part of the exhibit, kids can help Tico collect nuts to power his family car. My girls loved scooping up the acorns that were falling into the basket and then loading them up in the gas tank. Swiper, the sneaky fox makes an appearance here as he tries to swipe the nuts!

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Next to this area is the Pirate Piggies ship where kiddos can pretend to sail the high seas. There are even pirate clothes that the children can wear to dress the part as they play!

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Parents are encouraged to help their children count the Pirate Piggies treasure in both English and Spanish.

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In the Flowery Garden, kids can help Isa tend to her garden. This area has a padded floor, so its a good space to explore if you are visiting with a baby who might want to crawl around.

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In the rocket ship, little ones can put on a spacesuit and pilot the ship!

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Just across from the rocket ship is the Purple Planet, where kids can climb up and slide down.

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There’s also an area where children can form a constellation with glowing stars.

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There is so much to do in this exhibit, your kids can easily spend an hour playing in just this one area of the museum. I love the educational aspects of this exhibit and its opportunities for role-playing, problem solving, and learning words in Spanish.  Make sure to get to the museum to see the exhibit while its on view through February 19th! It would make for the perfect outing on a rainy or cold day this fall or winter!

And if you haven’t yet visited the museum and are interested in finding out more about all it has to offer, check out this article we wrote for Mommy Nearest.

GIVEAWAY ALERT! I’ve partnered with Port Discovery to give away a family 4-pack of tickets to Port Discovery which includes admission to the Dora & Diego exhibit. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll draw and notify a winner on Tuesday, October 10th. Good luck!

Good to Know:

• The exhibit is best for ages 1 to 7.
• Admission to Dora & Diego: Let’s Explore is included with general admission tickets to Port Discovery. $14.95 for adults and children 2 and up, and free for Museum members.
• The best place to park is Harbor Park Garage – 55 Market Place. Ask for validation before leaving the museum to get a discounted price.
• Port Discovery is a stroller friendly museum.
• Food and drinks are prohibited in all exhibit areas, but there is a designated eating area available.
• There are also lots of different restaurant options right outside the museum where you can get lunch or dinner.

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Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island
Washington, DC 20037
http://www.nps.gov/this/index.htm
 

After living in the DC area for over 10 years, I finally made it to Theodore Roosevelt Island a few weeks ago. I had always wanted to check it out, so I decided to make it a priority and took my girls with me for a fun little adventure before the school year started.

First of all, you should know that it is only accessible from the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway. So, if you are coming from the north, you will have to loop around. We went during a weekday in the late morning, so there were plenty of parking spaces available. But I have heard that the parking lot fills up early on the weekends. After parking we walked (or danced in Clara’s case) across the bridge.

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My girls spotted a few ducks at the end of the bridge, so we stopped to feed them.

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Once you cross the bridge and arrive on the island, there are three different paths you can take. Left (north), straight (east into the center of the island towards the Memorial Plaza), or right (south). I decided to first go to the plaza. My girls spotted the monument and took off running towards it yelling “We found Teddy”.

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This memorial doesn’t look as nicely maintained as the others on the national mall. It’s a little more run down but the plus side is there is way less people here. The day we visited it was just us, Teddy, and maybe four other people.

From here we took a path going south to meet up with the main trail (Swamp Trail) that goes along the perimeter of the entire island. The path leads by the highway 66 bridge and as we approached this area Clara asked if any bad guys were under there! I assured her it was completely safe and as we were standing there a deer walked right by us, probably only about 6 feet from us. She still talks about that deer! She had never been that close to one, so it left quite the impression on her.

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We continued walking, now headed north on the east side of the island and this is where the boardwalk begins in the marshland. We saw lots of wildlife in this area of the island: herons, ducks, fish, lizards, and turtles. My girls also found wildflowers to pick. Along this part of the trail there are several benches so it’s a good place to stop for a water/snack break.

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Once we were at the northern part of the island we took a smaller side trail leading down to the Potomac river. We were directly across from the Georgetown Waterfront Park. My girls took their shoes off and jumped around in the water. Then they decided it would be fun to collect rocks and throw them into the river. This simple activity kept them entertained for quite a while! It was nice for me to sit and relax while watching them play together.

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From this part of the island there are a few different ways to get back to the entrance. My girls were tired at this point, so we took the Upland Trail and cutback through the Memorial Plaza and headed back to the parking lot.

I loved our visit to this island. The peacefulness makes you feel like you are not in a city. The summer was a great time to visit but I think this fall will be even more beautiful so I’m hoping we can make it back for another hike.

 

Good to Know:

• The island is open from 6am to 10pm.
• Bring a stroller for kids under the age of 5 or so. My four year old made it around the entire island without riding in a stroller but she did complain a lot towards the end! If you take the Swamp Trail all the way around it’s 1.5 miles.
• The only bathrooms are located on the south part of the trail.
• Dog friendly.
• Bikes are not allowed on the island. There is a rack for them at the entrance.
• The trails on the island actually show up on the map on the iphone. This makes it very handy to figure out where exactly you are on the island during your hike.



August – Monthly Roundup

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August – summer’s grand finale, was such a good month. I genuinely had so much fun with my girls this summer and am sad that preschool is starting this week. Thinking about how much these little people change in a year and how each summer with them is going to be so different, just makes me want to savor it more. Even though I will miss all the free time for adventures, I will love having a little bit more time for my own projects.

Here is a recap of what we were up to this past month. The BEACH at the National Building Museum was quite a unique experience and is still open through September 7. We also had a fun day trip to Baltimore where we visited the National Aquarium and Pierce’s Park. And another summer tradition of ours in August is the Montgomery County Fair.

Places we visited:

The “Beach” at the National Building Museum
Georgetown Waterfront Park
National Aquarium in Baltimore
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Larriland Farm
Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
Carousel at Glen Echo Park
Rehoboth Beach, DE

 Events we attended:

Garfield the Musical at Adventure Theater - no longer showing but next up is Caps for Sale The Musical Sep 11-27 – Blog post here about attending a previous show at Adventure Theatre
Fairfax County 4H Fair and Carnival at Frying Pan Park
Montgomery County Fair

Classes and camps we attended:

Geneva Day School Summer Camp
My Gym Potomac
Ballet Petite

Parks we played at:

Pierce’s Park - Baltimore, MD
Palisade’s PlaygroundBlog post here about the hidden glass forest at this park
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD - #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
North Farm Park – Rockville, MD
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Potomac Woods Park – Rockville, MD

Hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. We are looking forward the fall! Cooler temps means spending time at the farms picking apples and pumpkins and going for hikes through the fall colors. Happy September!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/capitolmommablog