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Disney On Ice Presents Frozen – Review

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Yesterday, I surprised my girls after school and told them we would be going to see Disney On Ice. It was so fun to see them get so excited, jumping up and down and screaming! They have been to a few different versions of Disney On Ice over the past several years but it has been a couple years since we last went. It made for a fun Valentine’s date night with my girls. And my husband was more than happy to order Chinese food and stay home with the baby!

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We arrived at the Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center) early and attended the media party where we got to see Mickey. The girls munched on snowflake cookies, blue hot cocoa, and carrot sticks with Ranch dip – all in keeping with the Frozen theme. They were also thrilled to get their faces painted. Then it was time to grab a few more snacks and head down to our seats.

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The show opens with Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie skating onto the ice, followed by several princesses including Ariel, Cinderella, and Snow White. A few more Disney characters from Finding Nemo/Dory and Toy Story come out and they all perform during the opening song.

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Then the show proceeds into the Frozen story and pretty much follows the movie itself. The production, set, costumes, and special effects are all top notch per usual with Disney. It’s such an entertaining show and completely engages the little ones.

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If your kids are Disney fans, they will absolutely love the show. And if they are Frozen fans, they will love this even more! Tickets are very affordable and it’s definitely worth it! Just be forewarned that the concessions are steep ($15 for cotton candy and $12 for popcorn). There are also merchandise stands everywhere and your kids will want to buy all the things! I thought ahead this year and dug through the playroom and found several of the spinning light-up toys from previous shows and brought them along.

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There are still lots of shows remaining throughout the long holiday weekend:

  • Thursday, February 15th  7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, February 16th  7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 17th  10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 18th  12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Monday, February 19th  12:30 p.m.

To order tickets by phone:            1-800-745-3000
To order tickets online:                  www.ticketmaster.com



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Xtreme – Review

We had a thrilling night at the circus last week at the Verizon Center! My girls watched in awe and wonderment as “The Greatest Show on Earth” did not disappoint! The fun started even before the show as we arrived early to attend a media event. Clara and Mae enjoyed face painting and special treats that got them even more excited for the show.

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Then it was time to take our seats for Circus Xtreme, the newest production from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. My girls were amazed right from the beginning with entertainment from the world’s funniest clowns and acrobats.

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The elephants were definitely a highlight of the show, especially since this was our last opportunity to see them perform. The treasured Asian elephants are soon moving to their permanent home at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. Did you know that elephants are among the brightest, friendliest and most social animals? The famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Asian elephants can smile, dance, paint, and respond to over 60 verbal commands. It was truly an amazing experience watching them perform!

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We also loved watching the Bengal tigers perform!

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An act that had my girls mesmerized was The Sirens of the Sea – a breathtaking aerial ballet. The aerialists had these magical mermaid tails that floated gracefully as the aerialists were dancing suspended in mid-air.

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It was non-stop entertainment and there were so many more cool performances – The Danguir Troupe on the high-wire, the Wheel of Steel, the Bactrian camels, and the human cannonball were more of our favorites.

The circus was definitely a special night for my girls that they have been talking about ever since. And of course the best part about it for me was experiencing the magic of childhood through their eyes.

There are still several opportunities to catch a show while the tour is in the DC area:

FAIRFAX, VA SHOW

EagleBank Arena | April 6 – April 17, 2016

·       Saturday, April 9 | 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
·       Sunday, April 10 | 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm
·       Thursday, April 14 | 7:00 pm
·       Friday, April 15 | 10:30 am, 7:30 pm
·       Saturday, April 16 | 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
·       Sunday, April 17 | 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey – Coloring Sheet

Here’s a fun coloring sheet for your little ones to enjoy with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey coming to the Verizon Center later this month! My girls both love to color and this is getting them even more excited about seeing the show!

Don’t forget, you can still enter to win 4 tickets to see the opening night show on Thursday, March 31! Just comment on this previous blog post for a chance to win! I will be selecting and notifying a winner on 3/17/16.

 

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Annie is Coming to The National Theatre + Giveaway!

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Annie is playing at the National Theatre March 15-20th.

I am thrilled to announce that I am giving away a set of 2 tickets for the opening night show on Tuesday, March 15th at 7:30pm. Leave a comment below to enter. Winner will be chosen by random on 3/1/16. Must be 18 or older to enter.

Official show blurb:

WASHINGTON, DC (January 12, 2016) Leapin’ lizards! With more than 400 performances under her belt, the new U.S. National Tour of Annie will play the National Theatre for one week only, March 15 – 20, 2016. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin for the 19th time, this production of Annie is a brand new physical incarnation of the iconic 1977 Tony Award®-winning original.

Tickets are on sale now and start at $48 plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available at the National Theatre box office, online at TheNationalDC.com, or by calling (800) 514-3849. A day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of best available tickets at $25 each – cash only – will be held at the theater two hours before each performance. Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling (202) 628-6161 ext. 227. For more information, call (202) 628-6161 or visit TheNationalDC.com.

After touring the production to 41 cities across the nation, Troika Entertainment, LLC is pleased to announce select new lead cast members for the 2016 leg of the tour.

The new production features a 25-member company: newly cast in the title role of Annie is Heidi Gray, an 11-year-old actress from the Augusta, GA area, making her tour debut. Also new to the Orphanage are Sage Bentley as Tessie, Bridget Carly Marsh as July, Annabelle Wachtel as Molly, and Casey Watkins as Duffy. They join Molly Rose Meredith as Pepper, and Emily Moreland as Kate. Chloe Tiso joins the company as Grace Farrell.

Continuing to star in the company are Gilgamesh Taggett as Oliver Warbucks, Lynn Andrews as Miss Hannigan, Garrett Deagon as Rooster, Lucy Werner as Lily, and Jeffrey B. Duncan as FDR. Sunny and Macy, rescue terrier mixes, star as Sandy.
The featured ensemble includes Chelsey Lynn Alfredo, Jonathan Cobrda, Ruby Day, Todd Fenstermaker, Madisen Johnson, Brianne Kennedy, Tyler Lenhart, Brendan Malafronte, Theresa Rowley, Kelsey Shaw, Connor Simpson, and Daniel Forest Sullivan.

Annie has a book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin. All three authors received 1977 Tony Awards® for their work. Choreography is by Liza Gennaro, who incorporates selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award®-winning choreography.

The original production of Annie opened April 21, 1977 at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the Grammy for Best Cast Show Album, and seven Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, Best Book (Thomas Meehan) and Best Score (Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin). The first national touring company of Annie played National Theatre for 18 weeks in 1978. The show remains one of the biggest Broadway musical hits ever. It ran for 2,377 performances after it first opened, has been performed in 28 languages, and has been running somewhere around the world for 38 years.

The beloved score for Annie includes “Maybe,” “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” and the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

The celebrated design team includes scenic design by Tony Award® winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, The Scottsboro Boys, Rock of Ages), costume design by Costume Designer’s Guild Award winner Suzy Benzinger (Blue Jasmine, Movin’ Out, Miss Saigon), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Ken Billington (Chicago, Annie, White Christmas), and sound design by Tony Award® nominee Peter Hylenski (Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway, Motown). The lovable mutt “Sandy” is once again trained by Tony Award® Honoree William Berloni (Annie, A Christmas Story, Legally Blonde). Musical supervision and additional orchestrations are by Keith Levenson (Annie, She Loves Me, Dreamgirls). Casting is by Joy Dewing CSA and Holly Buczek CSA, Joy Dewing Casting (Soul Doctor, Wonderland, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). The tour is produced by TROIKA Entertainment, LLC.

 



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.



DC’s Hidden Glass Forest

Palisades Recreation Center
5200 Sherier Place NW
Washington, DC 20016
 

After reading about a secret glass forest on Kid Friendly DC and Thrillest , I was really curious and wanted to check it out. We pulled into the small parking lot at the Palisades Recreation Center and my girls immediately saw the playground so we went there first. It is a really nice, gated playground with the rubber surface and it also has water features in the warmer months. The playground is best suited for ages 2-5.

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After playing for about an hour, I told the girls we were going on a hike through the secret glass forest and they were excited for the adventure. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was, since there are no signs anywhere. A description I read online said that the trail basically starts behind the backyards of nearby homes, so we headed in that direction. I saw picnic tables and decided to keep going. Then we came upon big bunches of leaves tied together and hanging down from a tree branch and beyond that I saw some pieces of mirrors, so I figured we were on the right trail.

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Scattered throughout the forest are at least 10 or so different sculptures made from natural materials, scrap metal, plastic pieces, old parts, mirrors, and glass. It is really pretty strange and almost creepy. Like the Thrillest article mentions, it does have a sort of Blair Witch vibe. There is even a chair like piece with some sort of animal fur thrown over it…very, very odd! However, Clara had fun discovering new surprises as we walked along. And little Mae was happy picking wildflowers. Parents should know that it isn’t the safest place to take kids. There are broken glass and mirror pieces all over the ground, so you have to really watch little ones.

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I wouldn’t consider this as a “must see” but it is interesting for sure! The playground is great, so if you are already there its worth taking a little walk into the woods.

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