Blue and Grey Ladies' Tea @Weems Botts

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Published: 09/22/2014

Anniversary of the Potomac Blockade 2014 Living History

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Published: 09/20/2014

Join Leesylvania State Park for a Living History with a civil war encampment with costumed historians to learn about the soldiers' lives.  Cannon Firing will occur on the hour between 11am and 4pm, Musket Firing will take place at the visitor's center, and you can sample and purchase Civil War Era foods.  September 27 and 28 from 11am-4pm each day. 

Free Children's Day at Weems Botts Museum

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Published: 08/05/2014

Tomorrow: Dumfries Charter Day- May 10, 2014

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Published: 05/09/2014

Free Weekend at Weems-Botts September 14/15, 2013

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Published: 09/08/2013

World War II Weekend at Rippon Lodge

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Published: 09/03/2013

World War II Weekend - FREE Family Event

Joinus at Rippon Lodge September 7-8 from 11am-4pm. See military equipment, firing demo's, jeeps, home front displays and more. On Satruday, join us for special book talks and signings. On Sunday, meet Molly from the American Girl Doll Series to learn about life on the homefront from a kids point of view. This is a FREE family event. Please call 703-499-9812 for a complete list of the authors and living history units attending.

Giveaway: Visit Richmond VA/Redskins Training Camp

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Published: 08/09/2013

It's Football Season.  According to my husband, it's the most wonderful time of the year, and it's technically just the pre-season.   (I'm not going to lie, though, as a Green Bay Packers fan, he's lying next to me telling Redskins jokes and trying to get me to add them to this post, which is not happening....and if it does, it was him, not me!) 

Photo From
If you'd like to experience the pre-season up-close and personal, you can head just a short drive south to Richmond, Virginia.  From July 25th to August 16, 2013, Richmond is proud to welcome the Washington Redskins to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp, and they'd be proud to welcome your family, too.  Admission to the camp is free, and you can take advantage of watching your favorite players, get autographs, take pictures, and even attend special events and possibly win a giveaway (or two!).  

The Omni Richmond has even put together a special package for those who want to start singing Hail to the Redskins a little early this year! 

We actually love Richmond.  My oldest son, Riley, has been incredibly interested in politics since he was five and has been invited down to the capitol for swearing-in ceremonies and tours because he's such a good campaign volunteer. We love the Children's Museum, which is right next to a science museum if you have older children, and we actually thought about getting married at the Botanical Gardens, which are beyond amazing. 

Photo from
100 South 12th Street | Richmond, VA 23219 | (804) 344-7000
Redeemable: July 25 - August 15, 2013
Enjoy the Ultimate Fan Experience with VIP treatment when you stay at the Official Headquarter Hotel for the Washington Redskins Training Camp.
The Ultimate Fan Experiencefrom $149 per night, per guest, includes:
·         Luxurious accommodations in an Omni Deluxe Room
·         Breakfast per registered guest in Trevi's Restaurant for the Omni Art of Breakfast
·         One gourmet boxed lunch per registered guest to take to the training facility that includes: choice of handcrafted sandwich, bag of chips, house made cookie, whole fruit and bottled water
·         Pre-arrival call from the Omni Concierge to complete boxed lunch pre-order and to assist in any planning in order for you to more fully enjoy your visit to Richmond
·         Complimentary transportation to and from the training camp facility
·         Late check-out of 3:00 p.m. on your departure day

Visit Richmond has made it even easier for your family to take advantage of the training camp fun with a Richmond, VA Redskins' Training Camp Family Prize Pack! This package includes:

•        Four (4) passes to Valentine Richmond History Center or Four (4) passes to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
•        Lunch for four (4) at Anna’s Pizza (Not to exceed $30.00)
•        The Ultimate Redskin’s Fan Pack (Assorted Richmond, VA and Redskins branded items)

enter using the Rafflecopter at the end of this post! 

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Disclaimer: No purchase necessary, winners must be 18 or older and comply with any sponsor requirements.  Contest sponsored by  Winner assumes all liability, and risk, and any additional expenses, including travel to redeem prizes. Winner's name will be posted on the website and to Facebook, and by entering, you agree to these terms. 

Toddler Tyme at the Manassas Museum

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Published: 05/27/2013

Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon

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Published: 05/23/2013

This weekend, Mount Vernon will have their Sunset Celebration.  If you haven't yet been to Mount Vernon, it's a quick drive from the Lake Ridge/Woodbridge side of the county, and worth the drive from the West End.  The property is beautiful and historic, and if you have scouts, be sure to look up the badge requirements! Here are the details for a beautiful weekend:

Historic Mount Vernon invites visitors to sip wine while watching the sunset on George Washington’s home! Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon, an event over Memorial Day weekend (May 25 – 26), offers a rare opportunity to visit Mount Vernon after the daytime crowds have departed. Visitors may take evening tours of the Mansion, relax and enjoy wine and desserts available for purchase on the lawn overlooking the Potomac River.  Delight in 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and immerse yourself in the 18th century as the sun sets on the plantation with costumed residents like the charming Lady Washington. This family-friendly event celebrates the beginning of summer on the plantation.
Tickets are $18, adults; $12, children ages 6-11; and free for five and under. This event requires a separate ticket from daytime admission. Annual passes are not valid for this event. All activities, with the exception of food and wine, are included with admission to this event. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at or at the Ford Orientation Center ticket window until 8:00 p.m. the evening of the event. Guests must be prepared to show identification to purchase wine.  
Tickets can be purchased here:

Featured Organization Friday: Partners In Preservation program for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

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Published: 05/03/2013

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country. Since 2006, American Express has made grants worth $9 million through Partners in Preservation, helping historic places in seven cities to date, including San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Seattle, Saint Paul/Minneapolis and New York, and has engaged more than a million people. The program will award an additional $1 million in grants to historic places in Washington, DC in May 2013.  Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.

Washington D.C. Metro Area 2013
The Washington, D.C. Metro area has been selected as the eighth area to be selected to participate in Partners in Preservation and receive funding from American Express. The area benefits from a wealth of historic landmarks and districts. Since the creation of the Georgetown Historic District in 1950, the city’s inventory of historic places has grown steadily to encompass thousands of properties representing all aspects of the city’s history and culture. The District of Columbia alone has 55 historic districts and 657 historic landmarks dating from the 1700s to iconic modern architectural marvels, and has more National Historic Landmarks than all but seven states.

Plus this weekend, Saturday May 4th - Sunday May 5th is Open House Weekend.
This means there will be fun, special events at each of the sites. A full list of participating sites is here. I suggest calling ahead to find out what special event each site has. Some will have free admission, behind the scenes tours, food, performances, etc - to encourage people to come out, learn more about the site and its history - and encourage people to vote for their site. For example, Congressional Cemetery will be doing an all-day Scavenger Hunt with performances, tours pointing out some of the famous “residents” and even a spaghetti sauce judging contest.

Your vote will help give away $1 million to preserve historic places in the Washington, DC Metro area. Although there aren't any Prince William County sites in the running, there are the following Northern Virginia sites: Arlington House, Colvin Run Mill, Marine Corps War Memorial, Mount Vernon, and The Athenaeum.

From April 24 through May 10, 2013, the public is being asked to help choose which historic places they feel most deserve preservation funding. Click here to learn about the participating historic places.  Visit the Partners in Preservation website to earn points for the participating historic places by voting online and via mobile, sharing with friends on Twitter, checking in on Foursquare and posting photos on Instagram. Click here to get started.  The site that receives the highest number of points at the conclusion of the program is guaranteed to receive their full grant request. A Partners in Preservation advisory committee comprised of Washington-area civic and preservation leaders will recommend how the remainder of the preservation grants will be awarded to the other participating sites.  On May 13, American Express and the National Trust will announce the popular vote winner along with the additional grant winners.

Field Trip- Arlington House Black History Month Events

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Published: 02/10/2013
Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, presents
Black History Month at Arlington House
Join us as we celebrate the experience of African Americans at Arlington House!

African American History Tours
Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1 PM
Park Rangers will provide a tour of the African American experience at Arlington House and in its historic slave quarters.  Explore where the enslaved people of Arlington House worked, lived and persevered through their oppression.  Learn about their bondage to one of Virginia's first families, their lifestyles, and how they gained their freedom.

Faith and Freedom Sundays
February 3, 10, 17 at 2 PM
On select Sundays in February, local black churches will share the significance of their history in the greater Arlington area through discussion and music.  These churches have roots to Freedman's Village, a settlement for freed people on the Arlington estate and what today is the Arlington National Cemetery.
These activities are free to the public.  For more information, please e-mail  or call: 703-235-1530.
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial is a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Dumfries Black History Month Celebration

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Published: 02/06/2013
The Town of Dumfries will present a Black History Month Celebration entitled "Believe, Achieve, Succeed: Showcasing Inspiring Testimonials from Change Agents in Our Community".  Light refreshments will follow. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013
Little Union Baptist Church
17150 Mine Road
Dumfries VA 22026

Sign Up Now- "Lest We Forget"

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Published: 01/16/2013
The Prince William Historic Preservation Society will be hosting "Lest We Forget" a Conference on Enslavement and Emancipation on February 21-23rd at Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge, Virginia.  The event, as part of Black History Month, is open to any interested party.  Registration will be available online (but as of publishing this post was not), and questions can be directed to

Project Butterfly Wings, Weems Botts Museum

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Published: 09/10/2012

Project Butterfly Wings

Free Children’s Day at the
Museum — October 6, 2012

10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

¨ Supplies are included
¨ Fun Crafts to do
¨ Snacks will be provided

¨ Dress for the weather
¨ Dress for the mess
¨ Use bug spray if needed
¨ Use Sunscreen if needed

Project Butterfly WINGS is a hands-on opportunity for youth to learn about butterflies, their habitat, behavior & more through developing their own butterfly observation site.  Learn how to make your own “Butterfly Garden!”  WINGS participants will monitor butterflies at Historic Dumfries, and can continue to conduct regular surveys of the butterfly’s visiting. Youth will contribute to national research…WOW!  Participants can expect to be out in nature, interact with WINGS technology, learn from expert Master Gardeners, make crafts, play games and have FUN!

Historical Native Plants of Virginia will be used!  Follow-up in the Spring to create a Colonial Vegetable Garden

Sponsored by:  PWC Cooperative Extension - Master Gardener Program,  4H Project Butterflies, PWC Historical Commission, Bel Air Woman’s Club and Historic Dumfries VA, Inc.

Please RSVP to Joann Barron at
Phone: 703-221-2218

Rippon Lodge Family History Program

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Published: 08/08/2012
Join Rippon Lodge to play a game and make a craft this Saturday, August 11th.  $7 per person, kids 6 and under are free.

Rippon Lodge is located at 15520 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge.

(PS- Thanks to Angela Pounders for the image!!)

18th Annual Manassas Railway Festival

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Published: 05/22/2012
The 18th Annual Manassas Virginia Railway Festival is coming on June 2, 2012!

Held in Historic Manassas, Virginia, the Railway Festival attracts over 30,000 people from the DMV.  There are elaborate model train displays, live country and blue grass music, performances from community groups, inflatable bounce houses, vendors, and VRE Excursion Rides.

Virginia Railway Express Excursion Rides will go from Manassas to Clifton (round trip) and will be available at the Train Depot, 9431 West Street Manassas, starting on Monday, April 30th from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.  Trains board 10 minutes prior to train times, everyone on board requires a ticket.
Rides take place at 10am/11am/12pm/1pm and are $5 per ticket.  Checks should be made out to Historic Manassas, Inc. and cash and charge are also accepted.

Photos from Historic Manassas, Inc. Website

Printable map available here 

Giveaway: Mount Vernon's Sunset Celebration

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Published: 05/16/2012 know the saying "when it rains it pours"? Apparently this week it's raining giveaways.  (Thank goodness, because if it was raining men I'd have to put in a serious complaint to Bob Ryan.)


Washington Family Magazine has very generously provided us with a family four pack to the Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon on Memorial Day Weekend!!  

What is the Sunset Celebration, you ask?  Let's ask YouTube!

Well that certainly can't be bad!! If you're going to "imbibe on the porch" it should definitely be with Martha Washington! She definitely looks like she knows how to par-tay ;)

All kidding aside, this sounds like a fantastic kid-friendly event right near Prince William County.  Mount Vernon is a short drive from my end of the county, but definitely a worthwhile trip! The grounds are beautiful, the Visitor's Center and museums are well-done!!

(Bonus- if you didn't click on the link to the official description, this is also a wine festival!) 

From the Mount Vernon Website:
Visitors may take evening tours of the Mansion, relax and enjoy wine and desserts available for purchase on the lawn overlooking the Potomac River.  Delight in 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and immerse yourself in the 18th century as the sun sets on the plantation with costumed residents like the charming Lady Washington. This family-friendly event celebrates the beginning of summer on the plantation.

If you'd like to purchase tickets for this event they are now on sale and cost $18, adults; $12, children ages 6-11; and free for five and under. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Washington Family Magazine for this awesome giveaway!

Giveaway: Medieval Times Maryland

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Published: 04/16/2012
Over Spring Break I planned activities for each day.  We were staying in town, but I still wanted to make it fun.  Each day, my oldest child would get up and drive me nuts about what we were going to do.  Here's a sample conversation:

Mom? Mom? Mom? Mommy? Momma? Mom?
Seriously? What do you want?
What are we going to do today?
You know I'm not telling you until we get in the car.  Otherwise you pester me all day about it.
Are we going to the moon?
Are we going to the lake?
Are we going to drive race cars?
Are we going to blow something up?
Are we going to meet an evil scientist and watch him blow stuff up?
Are we going to go to a castle and there'll be an EPIC BATTLE and a dragon?
Are we going...wait, what?
Yup. Castle, swords, whole deal.'re such a liar. There aren't castles here.
If you say so. 

So, when we pulled up to Medieval Times in Arundel Mills, Maryland (think 1-1.5 hours depending on traffic), oldest child was adequately impressed.  The facade on the mall actually  does look like a giant castle! (You don't get to enter via the external drawbridge, but that's okay.)

Medieval Times is a dinner and tournament experience.  When you arrive, you enter and are assigned to a knight.  You get a crown (yes, even you, mommy) in the appropriate color, and then you get to wander the "Great Hall" and see the sights while you wait for the actual dinner seating to begin.  The night we went, there was a falconer and Princess Catalina out for you to take pictures with as a family.  I'm not gonna lie, it took me a second to get over people saying "M'lord, m'lady, this way, please." with a totally straight face.

During the period while you wait before the seating, the king comes out and acknowledges birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events.  We arrived much earlier than we needed to since we didn't have a special event, but there is an open bar and the kids enjoyed the "knightings".

Once it's time to be seated, guests are invited to enter by the color of their crown.  You're seated with the other guests who will be cheering for your knight, and receive a ribbon to wave, too.  The new show, which we were able to see, starts with horses, who perform very beautifully.  There is a good bit of Fog Machine that happens during the show, as well as periods of lasers and/or darkness.  None of my children were frightened by this, though, they actually enjoyed it! The show isn't "too loud" (I know I've had several readers write to ask about volume of performances) but you are seated stadium-style, so don't plan on having conversation with anyone who isn't seated directly next to you.

The premise of the meal is that audience are guests of the king and his daughter.  To entertain his guests, he has invited a knight from each area to compete.  Then there are some exhibitions of either horsemanship or falconry and games of skill where the knights ride on horseback and compete in things like spearing rings with their lance. Winners are given flowers by the Princess, which they toss out to people in their section.

Dinner comes in kind of a strange progression of courses.  First there's tomato bisque, and then after that there's a garlic bread course.  I've never had a bread course before, but whatever, it works! The main meal is INTENSE.  There's half a chicken, 2 ribs, and potato wedges.  You should know, too, that you eat without silverware.  You get a lovely thick napkin, though, and after dessert (ours was an apple pastry) you get some excellent wet naps :) If you have children young enough, they can be a lap child.  We did this, but I would NEVER do it again.  It would totally be worth the extra ticket not to have a crown and banner in your face the entire time, and to not have little fingers in your food (lap children share a meal, which is fine because the portions are enormous, but not fine because there are little fingers in your food!) Spring for the extra ticket so that you can keep your eyes in tact!

If I wasn't sharing with a little carnivore, I would have opted for the vegetarian meal, which they do offer.  It appeared to be a grilled mushroom cap, hummus and pita and a veggie kabob and actually looked really good!  You should know about the meal that your drink options are unsweetened iced tea (sugar/artificial sweetener is provided) and Pepsi.

Holy grief, people.  I never give my children caffeine, but it was a special night and so we let them have the Pepsi.  Did you forget that caffeine is a drug? Because the car ride home reminded me of that fact.  Might be worth bothering your waiter for water for the kids! It did keep them awake through the show, though! (Not that they would've fallen asleep anyway!)

The show progresses during dinner to a man-to-man competition where the knights face off jousting and then in foot battle.  They actually joust.  This amazed me.  I hadn't figured out how they were going to fake that, and they don't.  They actually ride on horses and slam each other's shields with lances that shatter into a million pieces.  They do fight and simulate someone being cut or stabbed, but there is no blood and it is "real" enough to be interesting and exciting and "staged" enough that my youngest understood there was nothing scary.  "It's like big brothers playing swords" was her comment, and she's easily upset about things.

There is a villain who comes to try to claim Princess Catalina, and there is some ominous music.  Some of the swords shoot sparks.  We happened to think both of those things were awesome.

From the oldest PwcKid:
"It was cool because the things were actual events they did in Medieval times and they actually caught rings with the lances, too, but then they fought with them, which was better.  I liked to cheer for our knight and boo at the other knights.  You don't usually let us boo at things like baseball games, because you say it's bad manners, but the people at the tournament said that we could boo the teams that weren't part of our team, so that was good.  The food was pretty good, but they gave me too much! I would like more Pepsi.  Are you going to give me Pepsi again? I liked that a lot."

Note: The New Show is on sale for a limited time.  Also, there are matinee educational shows, but I haven't seen one. I hear they are not much different from the evening performances, but cannot speak to that with any authority.

Break it down, now:
Medieval Times
Recommended for ages 5 and up, although younger children will enjoy it, too!

Pros: Different experience, highly imaginative and engaging. Kids enjoyed the atmosphere and the food.  Fun costumes, and an overall unique and really upbeat experience!
Cons: Fog and lighting could intimidate the youngest viewers, or those who are sensitive to sensory overload.
Notes: This show includes imitations of fighting, as well as the use of animals.

We had a great time at Medieval Times, and we think you will,  too!! Enter from now through April 19th at midnight to win tickets to see the new show for yourself at Medieval Times Baltimore!

You can have 1 entry for each of the following:
1) Twitter! You can write whatever you want, but include @PwcMoms and @MedievalTimes
2) Facebook! You'll have to post here, too, but head to Medieval Times Maryland and let them know PwcMoms sent you! Your comment here stating you did this is your entry, as always.
3) Share! Tell your friends about this contest on facebook or twitter and link back to @PwcMoms and leave a comment saying you did.
4) Or just leave a comment.  I forgot this one originally, but you can always leave comments.  They're my favorite. 

Each method counts as a separate entry!  Good luck!)

Disclosure: PwcMoms was provided with tickets to attend a Medieval Times show, as well as a set of tickets to give away.  No other compensation was provided and all opinions expressed here are our own.  Your experience may vary. We're not responsible for you being lanced.  Just sayin.
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