Christmas/Holiday Fun Guide 2014

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Published: 11/18/2014
I know, I know, I like to let Thanksgiving get it's time in the sun, but then you guys would miss many of these tree lightings, etc. so I'm just gonna post it now.

ALL OF THESE EVENTS ARE ALSO ON OUR CALENDAR.  IF YOU WANT DETAILS OR DIRECTIONS, JUST GO TO THE DAY AND CLICK THE EVENT. 

If you'd like to add your event, please email me.  It's free. It's easy.  Whoohoo.

Ice Skating/Ice Events
Outdoor Ice Skating at Harris Pavilion is $8 for adults and $7 for kids under 10.  Skates are available for $4.  Best bet? Go on a Wednesday in January and skate for free from 6-8pm.  Note that on warm days I find this ice to be really soft (this is only a problem if you're a serious skater).

Indoor Ice Skating at Prince William Ice Center is $8 for everyone and $2 for skate rental.  Days and times vary.

Prince William Ice also offers a popular Snow and Story, which you can visit on open days or schedule for your playgroup.



And one day camps

Haymarket Iceplex offers ice skating for $7 adults, $6 for kids 12 and under, and $3 for skate rental.  Times vary.

Tree Lightings
December 5th in Manassas, begins at 5:30pm at the train depot, lighting at 6:30 at the Museum.  Free.
November 28th at Stonebridge 6-8:30pm, includes performances, carriage rides, and more!

Family Fun Days/Larger Events
Virginia Gateway's Festive Family Fun will be December 6th from 4:30-7:30pm and will host Santa, Mrs. Claus, face painters, balloon twisters, and more!

Parades
December 6th in Manassas begins at 10 am.

December 6th at Manassas Mall from 1-4pm (you can spend all day in Manassas!)



Crafting
December 6th at the Candy Factory in Manassas, you can make your own gingerbread house.  Preregistration is required. $27/adult and child couple, $10 each additional child, $10 supply fee.

Christmas History
Join Liberia Plantation for Christmas Past on December 6th from 4-7pm.  $15/adults $7.50/kids U12

It's 1943 and time for holidays on the home front at Rippon Lodge! Join them December 7 from 5-8pm for $5pp.

Learn about past Christmas Traditions and meet Santa at Rippon Lodge on December 7th from 12-3pm.

Take a candlelight tour and see what Christmas was like for those who were enslaved. Ben Lomond Historic Site, December 13th 5-7pm.

December 20th from 10am-4pm, join Leesylvania State Park for a Civil War Christmas.  $2pp or $6/family

Carriage Rides
Sundays in December until Christmas, hop a free carriage ride in Downtown Manassas.  1pm-4pm from the train depot.

Train Shows
December 10-14th join the Center for the Arts for a Train Show.  Admission is a canned food item for SERVE.

Santa
Tickets for the Santa Train will go on sale (and sell out completely in about an hour) on November 24th.  Visit their website for details.

December 6th at Williams Ordinary in Dumfries from 10am-4pm, Pictures with Santa: $5.00 for 4x6 or $10.00 for 8x10, also can make pomanders.

Learn about past Christmas Traditions and meet Santa at Rippon Lodge on December 7th from 12-3pm.

Children with special needs and their families can visit Santa at Manassas Mall on Sunday December 7th from 8-10am.













Performances (@Hylton Center unless otherwise noted)
Northern Virginia Youth Ballet will present their Nutcracker, featuring Russian ballet stars direct from Moscow, on November 29th at 2pm or 8pm.

Gainesville Ballet will present their Nutcracker on November 28th at 2pm or 8pm.

A Chanticleer Christmas will be November 30th at 4pm.

Catch a Big Band Christmas Extravaganza December 4th at 7:30.

Christmas in New York December 5th at 7:30.

Clara's Christmas will be presented December 7th at 3:30pm or 7:30pm

American Festival Pops December 12th at 8pm.


Manassas Chorale December 13th at 5pm.

December 14th at 8pm, Clint Black Christmas.

December 19th-23rd, Manassas Ballet will present their Nutcracker.

Family Friendly Religious Services

Welcome to Moe's!

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Published: 11/05/2014
 We had the opportunity to go check out the Moe's Southwest Grill new Gainesville location (8148 Stonewall Shoppes Square #101, which you may also refer to as "The one with the Wegmans in it")

What our family loves about Moe's is that it's fast, but fresh, and you can make healthier choices than at a typical "fast food" place.  You can also get chips and queso- but you can make healthier choices, too (PS- if you're going to get queso- click here and get it free!). 
 Their kids meals are fantastic (and big!) and both my boys were more than satisfied when they'd finished their dinners.  My oldest son swims 5 mornings a week, and that has led to some "I'm hangry" moments.  No, I didn't misspell that.  Yes, I meant hangry.  That's a combination of hungry, and cranky and angry.  It's a thing, people- Urban Dictionary it.
This is my dinner- it was delicious! I got a salad, I want to say it was a Personal Trainer, with no shell and lots of jalapeños- both fresh and pickled, so yum. I loved it.  The best part about all this tasty dinner? The kids eat FREE on Tuesday nights with adult purchase! Bonus!

Moe's Southwest Grill also does catering (Which they DELIVER! Love it! Teacher appreciation day is right around Cinco de Mayo and a taco bar would be so much fun PTA people!) and they do fundraisers, too!! Give them a try and/or a call for your next dinner or event!


Featured Organization Friday: Fundraiser for Isla the Brave

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Published: 10/10/2014
Isla the Fierce
Though she may be little, she is Fierce
Isla’s Story
Give Back 2 Others has chosen to honor a newly diagnosed child named Isla Kate Lucks.  Isla lives in the community and is in the fight of her life.  On July 31, 2014, just shy of 15 months old, Isla Kate was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. This is a rare pediatric cancer affecting the nerve cells. For Isla, her diagnosis came through the discovery of a large tumor on her left adrenal gland in her abdomen. This beautiful little girl now has a long and difficult treatment plan ahead of her. Her strong willed personality has given her the nickname, “Isla the Fierce”.  She fights with grace and dignity and has been lauded by the medical team as one of the best babies they have ever served. Her tenacious spirit and love of laughter has kept the staff on their toes. Isla is a ‘Mama’s girl’, a chatterbox, and she loves to sing and dance.  Her favorite foods are marshmallows and olives. She loves Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and her family; especially her best friend and older brother Elliott.  Throughout the next year and a half, she will be in and out of hospitals, enduring painful treatments and traveling far to receive the best care available.  Give Back 2 Others desires to rally around this amazing little girl and her family to show them how much they are loved and supported.  Our fundraising event on November 21stwill be the opportunity we have to support this family in tangible ways.  We hope to see you there!
About GB2O
Give Back 2 Others started as a simple holiday party at the home of Holly & Jason Andrzejewski in 2009.  The focus each year was  to “give back” to someone in need. Holly and Jason asked guests to bring donations or  gifts to be given to a designated family.  Each family chosen had a member struggling with a life-threatening illness.  Through the incredible generosity of friends, Holly and Jason were able to make a difference in ways they had never dreamed possible. Holly and Jason began to wonder if it would be possible to do more.  In 2011 they decided it was time to take it to the next level. With the help of a local 501c3 charity, Trevor’s Treasurers, they organized a party that received more than 300 guests and raised a large sum of money for Trevor’s Treasurers. This incredible experience solidified their desire to continue the event and ”Giving Back 2 Others” was born.  On August 20, 2014, Give Back 2 Others was created as a legitimate Non-Profit organization.  They are currently waiting on their 501c3 approval from the IRS, which is expected any day. With the help of the Board of Directors and many active volunteers, they have big plans for the future of GB2O and look forward to helping many families in the future.

Donating to GB2O and tickets for the Holiday Gala
Donations can be made through the GB2O’s website or by check made payable to: “Give Back 2 Others”.
Tickets for the Gala are $75 and include: Open Bar, Food, DJ, and Silent Auction
Tickets can be purchased on GB2O’s website or by check made payable to “Give Back 2 Others”
www.giveback2others.com

7524 Rio Grande Way, Gainesville, VA 20155        Give Back 2 Other EIN: 47-1660704

Youth For Tomorrow's Country Fair

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Published: 10/09/2014


We had such a great time at Joe Gibb's Youth for Tomorrow Country Fair and Auction.  Tickets were $10/adult, $5/kid, and ages 3 and under were free.  There was a $5 off coupon on their website, and several people mentioned they got their tickets from an online deal site (not sure if it was living social or groupon). I'd never been before, although I see their folding board signs all over the county every year. This is a very, very well done production.  Some of the fun included:

  • Bounce Houses/Inflatable Obstacle Courses (more than I cared to count, probably upwards of a dozen)
  • Junior Firefighter Challenge
  • Redskins Players Play60 Challenge
  • Washington Nationals NatMobile
  • Hog Races
  • Petting Zoo
  • Rides
  • Crafts
  • Vendor Fair
  • Huge Food Court (additional fee)
  • Horse Carriages and Mini Train Rides
  • Entertainment on various stages including cheerleading, gymnastics, and dance
There was probably more.  Honestly, we spent from 11-3 at the fair and probably could've stayed longer and still not seen and done everything.  The lines were manageable for all the rides, except perhaps laser tag, which got a little out of hand because of some "spot saving" for a "family" of 20 or so, but other than that the wait was generally okay.  

I would definitely recommend checking this out in the future! Not only was a it a great time, it's for a charity, and that's a great combination. 





Meet National Community Church- Gainesville Campus

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Published: 08/11/2014
It is my great privilege to be able to offer one of my advertising spots for free to community groups, churches, or non-profits that would like it for 3 months.  Meet National Community Church, who did just that! 


NationalCommunity Church is a multicampus church that meets in movie theaters  including the Regal Stadium 14 in Gainesville.  This relaxed, contemporary church launched in January and invites people to join them for music and a message each Sunday.  As a bonus, there’s a cup-holder on every seat, and snacks are not only allowed, free coffee and donuts are provided. Pastor Robb Schmidgall is on-site for live worship, and then the message is typically simulcast to the 7 DC-area locations. 


Mid-week while the theater is too busy with shows to rent space, the church focuses on connecting people with small groups that meet for the obvious bible study, but also groups that play board games, a Second Saturday Service project, cooking groups, and more.  Small groups change every trimester, so you’re not “stuck” doing one thing.


As far as kids go, children’s programming is offered every week and uses the Orange Group (which is awesome because PwcMom says so, and she used to work in Children’s Ministry, so there!) Youth at the church are active in a local Young Life Community. 

If you’d like to check them out one Sunday at 10am, they’d love to have you out for coffee.  If an hour, hour and fifteen minutes is too much commitment, they’ll be hosting “Parents on the Plaza” on August 17th, offering a fun time at the interactive splash pad with pizza and conversation for families. 


National Community Church is a multicampus church that meets in movie theatres, including the Regal Stadium 14 in Gainesville.  This relaxed, contemporary church launched in January and invites people to join them for music and a message each Sunday.  As a bonus, there’s a cupholder on every seat, and snacks are not only allowed, free coffee and donuts are provided. Pastor Robb Schmidgall is on-site for live worship, and then the message is typically simul-cast to the 7 DC-area locations. 


Mid-week while the theater is too busy with shows to rent space, the church focuses on connecting people with small groups that meet for the obvious bible study, but also groups that play board games, a Second Saturday Service project, cooking groups, and more.  Small groups change every trimester, so you’re not “stuck” doing one thing.

As far as kids go, children’s programming is offered every week and uses the Orange Group (which is awesome because PwcMom says so, and she used to work in Children’s Ministry, so there!) Youth at the church are active in a local Young Life Community. 


If you’d like to check them out one Sunday at 10am, they’d love to have you out for coffee.  If an hour, hour and fifteen minutes is too much commitment, they’ll be hosting “Parents on the Plaza” on August 17th, offering a fun time at the interactive splash pad with pizza and conversation for families. 


Summer 2014 Little Tots Series

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Published: 06/04/2014
People always love the Little Tots series during the summer, so here's the list for June to August! (Sorry if you missed April/May!) Enjoy!! 



Giveaway/Event Notice: Promenade at Virginia Gateway

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Published: 04/17/2014
Virginia Gateway (we were just there yesterday for our Little Gym Reader Meetup!) is hosting a fantastic two-day event for the grand opening of the Promenade! Check it out! (We're getting our own splash fountain, PWC!!)

--> The Peterson Companies invites the community to attend the Grand Opening of Promenade at Virginia Gateway. The weekend events will celebrate the official opening of the highly anticipated 300,000 square foot lifestyle center with new store openings, live entertainment, giveaways, fashion presentations, promotional offers, fireworks, and more

-->
Saturday, April 26, 10:30 am – 9:00 pm
·      Opening Ceremony begins at 10:30 am
·      New Stores Open – White House Black Market, LOFT, Francesca’s Collections, Soma Intimates, Charming Charlie and Pinkberry
·      Fashion Show & Freeze Modeling
·      Meet Aly from WMZQ  
·      Register to Win a $1,000 Promenade shopping spree
·      Performance by the Manassas Symphony Orchestra Winds begins at 7:15 pm
·      Fireworks Show begins at 8:15 pm   
·      Plus, live entertainment, specials and giveaways throughout the day
  
Sunday, April 27, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
                                 
·      Interactive splash fountain opens
·      IT’Sugar opens
·      Face Painting and Balloon Artist
·      Children’s Entertainment
·      Performances by three-piece power pop band, Big Bang Boom 
 
I am so excited about this event! We're definitely going to plan to be out for the Saturday event, I'm all about Fireworks- although both days sound like a ton of fun!! Be sure to find me and say hi if you come out!! 

As an added bonus for PWC Moms readers, I have THREE fantastic giveaways for you guys!! Please note that you MUST ATTEND THE GRAND OPENING TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.  I cannot mail it to you, and you can't claim it another weekend- but they're amazing prizes, so if the Pinkberry and the facepainting weren't enough to get you out, this should do it! 

Prizes are:

Winner 1: Loft $250 gift card

Winner 2: Grace jewelers $100 gift card

Winner 3: Charming Charlie $50 gift card

I'm not actually sure which of these I would want the most (if I could win, which I can't, which stinks)...I totally love all three!! Enter early, enter often, I'll pull winners next week before the big day!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Prizes provided by Virginia Gateway, who is sponsoring this post.  As always, by entering you agree to our Giveway Rules.  

Featured Organization Friday: Project Hope Basket Bridgade

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Published: 11/22/2013
Our fabulous sponsors at the Marketplace at Madison Crescent have a drop-off site for Project Hope Basket Brigade this season.  Check out the details below!

Disclaimer: While the Marketplace at Madison Crescent is a paying sponsor of PwcMoms.com, we always happily share charity events for our community free of charge.

4th of July Fun in Prince William County!

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Published: 07/04/2013

Not on the 4th Fireworks (Tim's Rivershore- 1510 Cherry Hill Road Dumfries VA): On June 29th, Tim's will host their annual "Not on the 4th" fireworks show.  Fireworks are launched from a barge on the river, and Tim's recommends coming early for a seat in the restaurant.  

Dale City Independence Day Parade (Dale Blvd from Keytone to Gemini): Dale City's annual parade always gets under way at 10am.  This LONG parade features local scouts, businesses, fire trucks, floats, and more, and ends in the commuter parking lot behind the Comcast building (think Dale City Farmer's Market) with a fun fair.  Bring cash to purchase drinks/snacks and line up early to get a good seat along the parade route, which follows the side of Dale Blvd. heading towards I-95, closing traffic to one lane each direction on the opposite side.  

City of Manassas (Harris Pavilion 9116 Center Street, Manassas VA)The City of Manassas celebrates the 4th of July with an Independence Day party with live music, rides, an Apple Pie Baking Contest, carnival foods, face painting, and a red, white, and blue hayride. Events kick off at 4pm, and fireworks are scheduled for 9:15. Rain date is July 5. Activities and food prices vary, no admission fee or fireworks charge. 

Pfitzner Stadium (7 County Complex Court, Woodbridge VA):  The Potomac Nationals, Prince William’s local minor league baseball team, hosts a game on the 4th complete with fireworks.  Purchase tickets ahead, they’re usually sold out at the gate. People do come out and sit around the exterior of the stadium to watch the fireworks- but plan to pay to park if you drive up to the stadium, and for it to be CROWDED getting out! 

Montclair at Dolphin Beach (Dolphin Drive and Spillway Lane, Dumfries VA): The MPOA sponsors a 4th of July Fete every year, and while only MPOA tag holders can attend the event on the beach, there is viewing available from side streets, or from the lawn of your nearest and dearest Montclair friends.  (If you don't have a Montclair friend, make one- you've got time!) 

Signal Hill Park (9300 Signal View Dr. Manassas Park VA): Thursday, July 4th from 7-10pm, free admission, shuttle service from VRE and City Hall, $5 on-site parking handicap only, limited general parking across the street. 

Great Meadow Foundation (5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains VA):  Great Meadow Foundation’s festivities.  General Admission is $40 per car at the gate or $35 in advance.  Included in admission, which begins at 4pm, is rock wall, laser tag, moon bounces, bands, and a rain machine.  There will also be helicopter performances, polo demonstrations, and one of the area’s largest fireworks exhibitions.  Pony rides are available for $5, and there will also be food available for purchase if you prefer not to tailgate.  This location is about 11 miles from Haymarket and 46 miles (an hour) from Woodbridge.  

Lorton Workhouse (9601 Ox Road, Lorton VA): Will present a patriotic concert and fireworks on July 6th, with the concert beginning at 7pm and fireworks commencing at 9pm.  Both events are free, but you'll want to bring a blanket or lawn chairs, and plan to leave outside alcohol at home.  The Workhouse is on the opposite side of the Occoquan Bridge, 3 miles from Woodbridge, or 23 miles (about 30 minutes) from Bristow. 


Townof Haymarket (Corner of Route 55/Washington Street): The Third Annual Stars and Stripes Street Fair (July 13) will be a full day of fun from 1:00pm to 6:00pm with a street fair, summer concert, and Stars and Stripes Barbeque.  These events are free to attend and are not limited to Town of Haymarket residents. 

Fredericksburg VA:
Lorton Workhouse: 



Anytime activities are outside, they can change with the weather, so please use common sense or call before heading out! These are just events presented, not endorsements, although we love to hear reviews, so send us yours! We're happy to link to your business or blog.  Also, if we're missing something, let us know! 

Dance Studios for Children in Prince William County

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Published: 06/22/2013

Our Readers Recommend posts are always great! I love hearing from you who the best businesses to frequent are, especially since I obviously can't try the whole county out myself!! When it comes to dance studios for your beginning dancer, here's what our Dance Moms recommend!  We've included the comments from Facebook, the number of moms who wrote "recommend" posts, and the number of "likes" that posts got for each studio, total.  Some moms don't feel the need to write a new post when their favorite has been mentioned, but we want to include their support!

Studios, by "region" and then in alphabetical order (or I think, anyway- but remember, I had brain surgery...)


Dance Studios for Kids in Haymarket/Gainesville/Bristow:
AG Arts- private, professional ballet classes and coaching.  Caters to a lot of home schooled dancers. Simply the best! (recommended x2, 2 likes)
Gainesville Dance Center- They are so great!! Starts at age 3 and up (recommended x1, 1 like ) 
Gainesville Ballet- our daughter has had the wonderful opportunity to dance on-stage in two Nutcrackers, Coppelia, and Swan Lake beside professional and pre-professional dancers who gently mentor and support.  She is now age 7. (recommended x1, 2 likes)
Tiny Dancers- started out daughter there at 2 with Mommy and Me classes, now she's 5 she's been in 2 recitals! Tiny Dancers is geared towards kids 2-12. (recommended x1, 1 like)


Dance Studios for Kids in Manassas:
Academy of Russian Ballet- Much more modest performances than the other places I've seen. Starts at age 3, three professional productions a year with guest artists (optional participation) students have gone on to the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow and other programs. (recommended x2, 5 likes)
Centreville Dance Academy (This isn't PWC, but since some of you are soooo very close to the line) (recommended x1, 1 like)
Northern Virginia Dance Academy- Professional, reasonable, end of year performace free and open to the public.  We love it there and appreciate the emphasis on modesty. (recommended x1, 1 like)
Showcase Dance- great program for all ages, appropriate costumes, reasonable prices! (recommended x1, 1 like)
Spotlight Dance- great teachers and prices (recommended x3, 3 likes)
Stage Door Dance Studio- Starts at age 3...love these ladies & all the very talented dancers they create! One daughter started at 3, the other at 2, they both love it! (recommended x2, 1 like)
Virginia Dance Center- starts at age 2 and has dance camps over the summer. Has mommy and me class and summer camps.  Great instructors and staff!! The training is incredible!! (recommended x6, 17 likes )

Dance Studios for Kids in Woodbridge/Lake Ridge/Dumfries/Montclair:
All That Jazz- starts at age 2, All That Jazz is wonderful! Ms. Rebecca and her entire staff are fabulous!  You can watch them dance on TV from Lobby or a double mirror by class! The teachers are the best! My youngest does creative movement and my oldest did hip hop. (recommended x6, 27 likes )
Dance Etc- We love Dance Etc.! (recommended x2, 1 like)
DeGrasse Dance Studio (recommended x1, 1 like)
Linda's Ballet Workshop- Ms. Linda is THE BEST!!! Her philosophy is to dance for the love of it. No pressure...just a love of dance!! We have been at Linda's Ballet Studio in Lake Ridge for 3 years. Our daughter started at 3 years old.  We love it there! Reasonable prices and FABULOUS teachers make it an ideal studio. You won't be disappointed. Linda's Ballet Workshop hands down! They even have adaptive ballet for handicapped students. Also love Linda's! One more for Linda's Ballet she taught me for 14 years and is now teaching all 3 of my girls.  We LOVE it there- learn to dance for the love of it- no matter your size, age, or skill level! Perfect for little preschoolers to adult dancers! (recommended x9, 29 likes)


Reader recommendations are voluntarily offered, and do not suggest an endorsement from PwcMoms.  If you'd like to add your suggestions or endorsement, do so in the comments!

Giveaway: Camps at The Little Gym Gainesville

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Published: 06/13/2013

We're so excited to bring you ANOTHER camp giveaway- this time for the little ones!! The Little Gym of Gainesville, located at 7364 Atlas Walk Way in Gainesville (That's the Virginia Gateway Shopping Plaza- 7364 Atlas Walk Way, Gainesville VA) is giving away a day of their fun camps to THREE lucky winners!! The Little Gym is a ton of fun- we've been for birthday parties, and, Virginia Gateway has not one, but two salons, so you can go get a mani/pedi while your child enjoys camp.

Or, take a nap in your mini van.  I understand :) You could also go home and catch up on housework...but why would anyone waste 3 precious hours doing that? 

From The Little Gym:
The Little Gym camps combine physical activity and gym games with arts, crafts and special events and guests -- from a furry friend to our local heroes such as fire fighters and policemen!  Each week offers a different interactive learning theme and each day brings a unique lesson plan!  Our flexible scheduling allows you to book just one day, a week or multiple weeks at a time -- whatever will fit your families summer schedule!

Check out some of these fantastic themes
The Little Gym Crazy Carnival!!
Cars, Planes, Trucks and Trains
X-treme Sports of All Sorts
Superheroes!
Legends, Fables and Folklore
Lights, Camera, Action!
Cheerleading!
My Animal Planet
The Little Gym Olympics
Hip Hop Karate Chop!
Sky Rangers!

Camps begin this week (July 10th) and run through August 23rd, and there are both afternoon and morning half day options.  I personally love that The Little Gym has made the effort to offer both "girl", "boy" and gender-neutral themes.  Having both boys and girls in my family, I'm always on the lookout for a camp that will interest all of my kids so that I can spend my free time as actual free time, not running from one camp to another dropping off children with varying interests! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Free Event at Madison Crescent- June 8, 2013

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Published: 06/05/2013

Thanks to Madison Crescent for being such a fantastic sponsor of PwcMoms.com! This event is actually sponsored by Madison Crescent Condos, but we're happy to share fun free events with you, especially when they're in partnership with the businesses helping us provide you with great information in Prince William County! 

Guest Post: Summer Education Tips

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Published: 05/30/2013
The following is a guest post by Winter Harris the editor of Christ Centered Home Magazine. She shares her own tips and tricks to keep your kids learning, yet having fun, this summer in Prince William County!
Guest Post: Summer Education
by Winter Harris

One of the most talked about problems for children during the summer is how much information they lose from the previous school year because there is not an option at home to continuing building upon what they have learned. As a mom, I understand how difficult this can be when you are used to transporting kids from school to practices and other extra-curricular activities. If I’m being completely honest, the end of the school year signals a welcome break for more than just the kids; Mom is officially on “Summer Vacation” as well. However, the older my kids got, I began to realize the importance of them retaining the information they had learned during the school year.
I strive to set my kids up for success so I went on mission to find the least stressful way to promote learning throughout the summer. Thanks to our dear friend, the Internet, we don’t have to go far to find the tools we need to make things fun and interesting. My children range in age, so I have a variety of suggestions you can use.
  • First and foremost, encourage your children to read at least 15-30 minutes a day. This alone can help them keep the mental juices flowing. Use your local library to check out a variety of subjects, and not just the ones they enjoy reading. There are great fiction and non-fiction books that promote learning without seeming too obviously educational. My children like to read books about history and facts. My son can tell me information from the 1800s that I had no clue about.    
  • Use online resources like ABC Mouse, Disney Jr and Sprout Online that include free printable worksheets, grade appropriate games and learning challenges. I’m huge on electronic devices, so if you have a tablet or device, utilize those free educational apps. My kids will jump at the chance to play on my tablet. I would suggest any apps by IntelliJoy.   
  • Take field trips to places like the Manassas Battlefield Park, Bull Run Regional Library or the Teaching Garden in Bristow. There are an insurmountable number of options to choose from in Prince William County, but these are some of the ones we frequent.  
  • At home I like to choose a letter of the alphabet each week and attach a scripture to it. We have a large empty pretzel container and each time they can repeat the scripture back to me or name something that starts with our letter of the week then they get to put their name in the jar. We have a weekly drawing and that child wins a prize. We attach age friendly scriptures to promote fairness in the game. This concept could also be applied to poems, historical speeches, or the Bill of Rights as a way to promote memorization.
Summers can be relaxing and educational. As moms our job is to do our best in finding the balance between the two. Try visiting the National Summer Learning Association to get the facts and to find additional resources. While I get the importance of taking a load off, I just want to ensure my kids don’t dump the whole load and that they are adequately prepared to start the new school year refreshed, ready to learn. Enjoy your Summer!
Winter resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and four children.  She enjoys traveling, photography, scrapbooking, writing, socializing, and decorating.  She attends Fireside Church, where she is a part of the worship team.  She owns Christ Centered Home Magazine, a modern periodical for today’s woman of faith.  She is active in the non-profit community, member of Off the Field PWA, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Meant 2 Live foundation. You can follow Winter on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Summer Fun at Madison Crescent!

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Published: 05/28/2013

For those of you who live on the Gainesville side of the county, check out these great summer events from PwcMoms.com sponsor The Marketplace at Madison Crescent.  Madison Crescent is located at the intersection of US 29 and Route 15 in Gainesville, VA.  

This summer their fun line-up of free events for Summer 2013 includes the following:

Crescent Cinemas "Fridays Under the Stars"
Join us Friday nights at sundown for a family friendly movie.  Activities on the lawn begin at 7:30
May 31 - Wreck-It Ralph
Jun 7 - Madagascar 3
Jun 14 - Rise of the Guardians
June 21 - The Lorax
June 28 - ParaNorman
Activities on the lawn include live music:
May 31 - Jeff Ebbets
June 7 - John Burton 
June 14 - Michael Seven
June 21 - Dennis Mayer
Other activities:
June 7 & June 14
Dragon Dance and activities with Twin Dragon Martial Arts

May 31 & June 21 
Yoga Instruction from Balans Studio

Upcoming: Pick Your Own Tulips

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Published: 03/05/2013

Holland comes to Haymarket
Local farm hosts largest Pick Your Own Tulip event in the Country

Haymarket, VA – The beginning of April marks the kick-off of the second annual Festival of Tulips at Burnside Farms in Haymarket, VA.  The mother and son team of farm owners, Leslie and Michael Dawley, worked tirelessly through the winter planting 90,000 tulip bulbs in more than 50 different varieties.  Their field will soon come alive with a variety of vibrant colors and blossoms that proclaim spring’s arrival.
Late March/Early April when the flowers are in bloom, local residents and tourists alike will be able to stroll through the fields during the three-week Festival of Tulips and pick their own blooms.  “Once our tulip field is in bloom, it’s truly a sight to behold,” said Michael Dawley.  “Tulips come in so many sizes, shapes and colors and to see them all together truly is an indescribable experience.  The Festival of Tulips, offers everyone the chance to take some of that beauty home with them.”
The tulip field is an amazing location for spring photos or a peaceful picnic lunch.  Families, schools or groups of all sizes are invited to visit the farm for their first outing of spring.  The entry fee for the Festival of Tulips is $3 per person and tulips cost just $1 per stem.  Festival timing is dependent on mother nature, it is not possible to give the exact opening date at this time.   Typical timing is late March/Early April.  Visit facebook.com/burnsidefarms for field reports as spring approaches.

###

About Burnside Farms:
Burnside Farms is a family-owned business of three generations located in Haymarket, VA.  The family focuses on growing flowers and plants sustainably and organically.  A farm stand, open seasonally throughout the year, offers locally grown and produced items for sale at competitive prices.  To learn more about the farm, visit facebook.com/burnsidefarms .  Burnside Farms 4905 James Madison Hwy. Haymarket, VA 20169

Meet the County: Supervisor Pete Candland, Gainesville District

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Published: 02/25/2013
In this series of posts, we'll introduce you to local decision makers and policy-changers.  The goal isn't to be political, and doesn't indicate an endorsement, but is rather to help you learn the faces and positions in Prince William County who you can go to for help, or with your concerns.  You'll notice the question is always the same, "Tell me what you love about Prince William County", and at the end of the post, you'll find a job description of the person listed.  I will not post from people during campaign season (unless it's someone who's mid-term and not currently running for re-election).  Hope this helps you know our county better!!

 


1) Tell me what you love about Prince William County
Prince William County is a great place to raise a family and make a living.  We have great schools, a tremendous history, and wonderful people.  That's why my family moved here, and that's why Robyn and I are committed to serving this community.  In addition to the family-friendly environment of Prince William County, we're working towards making our county more jobs-friendly, so that our citizens can live and work in the same area.

2) What parts of the county are included in your district?
The Gainesville District is the Western-most and Northern-most magisterial district in Prince William County.  It includes the entire area North of I-66, as well as Haymarket and specific precincts in Manassas near I66.  From the areas by Splashdown, to the hills of Bull Run Mountain, the Gainesville District is a beautiful area with wonderful, generous people.

3) What is it, exactly, that you do/how can you help citizens
First, I represent citizens of the Gainesville District and their interests on the Board of County Supervisors.  To do this, I engage in constant outreach to constituents via one-on-one meetings, town hall meetings, social media, and many phone calls.  Secondly, I have a top-notch staff that helps constituents every day with their interactions with county government.  Our office is usually on the front lines of helping constituents who need help with local government.

4) How can people get in touch with you?
www.SupervisorCandland.com
Gainesville@pwcgov.org
www.facebook.com/SupervisorPeteCandland
Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland
7001 Heritage Village Plaza, Suite 210
Gainesville, VA 20155
703-792-6195

CFA Bristow Sports Breakfast

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Published: 09/24/2012

CHICK-FIL-A® RESTAURANT AT BRISTOW TO HOST SPORTS BREAKFAST
featuring three former professional athletes and The Racing Presidents

Chick-fil-A® restaurant at Bristow will be hosting the Chick-fil-A Sports Breakfast on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 8:30 am to 10:30 which will feature three former professional athletes, mascots, a race car, inflatables, and a cow drop.

The Sports Breakfast is the grand finale to a weeklong friendly, spirited competition between Brentsville District and Patriot High schools. From Saturday, September 22nd to Friday, September 28th the schools will be competing to see who has the most Chick-fil-A spirit. The winning school will receive $1,000 and the second place will receive $500.

Scheduled to appear at the Sports Breakfast and receive the Chick-fil-A at Bristow Inspiration Awards will be Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist in Track & Field, Devon McTavish, Virginia native and former DC United soccer player, and Markita Alridge-Woods, former Washington Mystic player (WNBA).

The Racing Presidents, the bobblehead mascots of the Washington Nationals baseball team will make an appearance along with Screech (Nationals), Talon (DC United), G-Whiz (Wizards), Slapshot (Capitals), Pax the Panda (Mystics), and the Patriot (George Mason University).



Giveaway: Chick Fil A Birthday and a PwcMoms Meetup

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Published: 09/13/2012
How fun is this? Chick Fil A Bristow (9939 Sowder Village Square, Manassas VA) is not only inviting PwcMoms readers to come out on Monday, September 24th from 9:30 to 11 am for games, the cow, a raffle, and free chick-n-minis for the kids, they're also offering one lucky PwcMoms reader a free birthday party at CFA!




The Kid’s Birthday Package is a $100 value, which contains:
10- Kid’s Meals (4-count Nuggets) with Apple Juice 10- Mini Plush Cows
10- Silicone Bracelets
10- Birthday Cow Headbands

10-Balloons
10- Birthday Party Invites with envelopes 1- Oversize Birthday Card
1- Tablecloth 


What fun!! So whether you're going to Party with PwcMoms on September 24th, or host your own shindig for your child's next birthday, Chick Fil A Bristow has an option for you!!  Thanks CFA! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS- are you planning to join us on the 24th? There's no RSVP required, but I'd love to have an idea who to expect! If you're going to join us and you're so inclined, send an email to me and let me know I can expect you and your kiddos at Chick Fil A!

Virginia Gateway Goodbye To Summer

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Published: 08/23/2012
Hey Bristow/Gainesville Peeps!! Check out this fun End of Summer party happening at Virginia Gateway!!

Giveaway Results: Big Time Rush

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Published: 08/13/2012
Well, that was certainly a lot of talking about Big Time Rush, wasn't it? Three months after our first "Big Time Contest" we've got all of our winners selected.

Contest 1- Kamlyn Jurgensen
Contest 2- Jessica Rodriguez
Contest 3- Erin Lowery

We hope they have a fantastic time at Jiffy Lube Live this weekend!!

If you didn't win, but you'd still like to go, you can visit LiveNation to buy your tickets.  The concert takes place this weekend on August 19th at 7pm in Bristow, VA.  Jiffy Lube Live is located at 7800 Cellar Door Drive in Bristow, VA. Tickets start at $20 for lawn seats, and go up to $79 for reserved seating.

Thanks also to the great people at Jiffy Lube Live and LiveNation for sponsoring this contest for us.  We hope that you all have enjoyed it and that we'll be able to bring you more kid-friendly concerts in the future!!


Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) in Prince William County

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Published: 08/07/2012
Are you absolutely at the end of your rope? Are you lonely and tired and overwhelmed by diapers? Honey, you need to get the heck out of your house.  

No, seriously.  Go.

And, honestly, there's no better place to do that than a place where other people understand what you're going through. 



Mothers of Preschoolers, or MoPS is a fantastic organization that exists to support moms through the somewhat overwhelming years of infancy, toddlerhood, and preschool.  Groups have various formats, including daytime with childcare, evenings for working moms, and even groups for teens.  Moms NEXT exists to extend further support to mothers whose children are now elementary aged.  These groups do have a fee associated to cover childcare/supplies/room rentals.  While these groups are housed in churches, you do not have to be a church member or a Christian to belong.  Also, note that most groups will let you come and try a meeting or two before joining. Frequently, scholarships or payment plans are available, too. 

Here are some of our local groups:

MoPS Woodbridge:
First Baptist Church of Woodbridge offers online registration as well as a Facebook group.  They offer 3 traditional MOPS on Friday mornings (1st/3rd or 2nd/4th from 9:30-11:30) with childcare as well as a 2nd and 4th Tuesdays from 7-9pm group without childcare.  Registration is $94 for Fridays and $74 for Tuesdays. 

Lake Ridge Baptist Church offers a group on the third Thursday of each month from 7-9pm. Membership is $53.95, and includes childcare on an as-needed basis. 

Old Bridge UMC offers a group on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 7-9pm and the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month from 9:30-11:30 as a playgroup.  Membership is $43.95 and includes childcare if required. 

St. Margaret's Anglican Church has previously offered both MOPS and Moms Next, but is currently sharing worship space with another church.  Check back for updates. 

MOPS Manassas/Bristow Gainesville:
Manassas Baptist Church meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 9am-noon.  Registration is $45 and childcare is available. 

Mclean Bible Church Prince Wiliam Campus MOPS meets the 1st and 3rd Friday from 9:30-11:30am.  Registration is $155.  Childcare is provided. 

Manassas Assembly of God hosts a group on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30am, additional information is available by calling 703-368-2895

Gainesville United Methodist Church meets the 1st/3rd Wednesdays from 9:30-11:30am.  Email gummops@gmail.com for additional information.  



Am I missing your MOPS group? Shoot me an email! I'm happy to add you!  Also, if you're a MOPS leader, I am available to come and speak to your group, for free.  Email me for details on the topics I can cover. 

Giveaway: Big Time Rush III

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Published: 08/06/2012

Do you hear that high-pitched squeal? 

That is the sound of your daughter who has just realized that Jiffy Lube Live, right here in Bristow, VA, has teamed up with PwcMoms.com to give you THREE chances to win tickets to see Nickelodeon sensation "Big Time Rush" LIVE in concert this August!

Big Time Rush will be bringing down the house at Jiffy Lube Live August 19th.  The tour will feature your favorite fab four (no- not those fab four, the new ones- Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan!) as well as special guest Cody Simpson


So here's the deal.  You've got several chances to win these amazing tickets! They're selling fast, and you definitely want to make sure your kid is at this concert!!

Giveaway 3 will last from August 6th (today) to midnight on August 11th.  You can enter DAILY (each way) for your chance to win, so come back often and enter by:
1) Leaving a comment WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS
2) Click "share" from any of the PwcMoms Facebook page posts about this contest and let your friends know they can enter. Make sure to leave a comment letting us know you did.
3) Tweet and leaving a link back to your tweet (click on the tweet, click details, copy the url) say whatever you'd like, but be sure to include a link to this contest page and tag @PwcMoms.
4) Send an email to me with "Big Time Rush" in the subject line. 

You can also earn a one-time entry by "liking" PwcMoms on Facebook and leaving a comment that you did (or have already).

Best of luck, and we hope this contest adds a serious rush to your summer!



This prize is provided via JiffyLubeLive.  PwcMoms.com is not responsible for concert content, travel expenses, or any problems/dissatisfaction on the part of the winner.  Winner assumes any and all responsibility and/or liability by accepting the tickets provided. Winners will be selected at random from all entries submitted. Can't wait to win? Tickets are available from LiveNation.

Readers Recommend: Best Pizza in Prince William County

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Published: 06/22/2012
When I asked a reader question about the Best Real Pizza in Prince William County, I got a TON of responses! From Deep Dish in Dumfries to Meat Lovers in Manassas, you guys have some serious feelings about Pizza!! Here are the responses!  If you have a favorite location for the Best Pizza in Prince William County, be sure to leave a comment!!


Tony's in Bristow/Manassas/Bull Run/Haymarket x25
(Manassas Location is the Best, We moved to Manassas from Woodbridge to be closer to that place!) 



Astoria's 123/Route 1 in Woodbridge x15
(My husband's favorite and he went to culinary school! Best in the area!) 

Amici's Pizza off Hoadly Road x5
(Run by an Italian Family.  If you pick it up you get Buy One Get One free for Large One-Topping)

Presto Pizza in Merchant Plaza x5
(Woman is from Sicily, Run by Italian Family, Great Customer Service, grows her own basil)


Padrino's in Dale City x4

Pizza Margherita in Gainesville x4

Lake Ridge Pizzaria x3

Brooklyn Brothers in Gainesville (x3)


Papa Petrone's Take and Bake x3

zPizza x3

Brothers in Montclair x2

L&B in Dale City x2

Costco Pizza x2



Ledos of Liberia

Pizza Time in Manassas

Vocelli's

Bella Vita in Manassas on Liberia

Roma Restaurant in Lake Ridge

Big Joe's in Manassas

Pizza Spot in Manassas Park

Joe's Pizza and Subs on Route 1

Armetta's

Pizzarama in Manassas


Summer Fun 101 at Piedmont Golf Club

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Published: 06/21/2012
Wakefiled School will be hosting free "Summer Fun 101" sessions for parents and children ages 3-6 at Piedmont Golf Club (14675 Piedmont Vista Drive Haymarket, VA).  Reserve your free sessions by July 6th by calling 540-253-7600. 


Saturdays in the Garden with PWCMG's

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Published: 06/06/2012
The Master Gardeners of Prince William County offer "Saturdays in the Garden" each week in Bristow.  Held at St. Benedict Monastery (9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow VA 20136), each program is held from 9am-12pm and features concurrent adult and children's programming, however, children's programs are not drop-off, so plan to bring your gardening gloves, too!  


Taken from the PWCMG Facebook Page
 
Satuday in the Garden
WhenSat, June 9, 9am – 12pm
WhereSt. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow 20136
DescriptionAttracting Beneficial Insects & Creating Interest During Four Seasons in the Garden. Children’s Program: Bee-Friend a Bug! 
 
Saturday in the Garden
WhenSat, July 14, 9am – 12pm
WhereSt. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow 20136
DescriptionWhat’s Buggin’ My Plant & Composting Inside and Out. Children’s Program: Eat Your Garden! 
 
Saturday in the Garden
WhenSat, August 11, 9am – 12pm
WhereSt. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow 20136
DescriptionThe Good, the Bad, the Tasty & Fall Vegetable Gardening & Extending the Season. Children's Program: Weave It To Me! Weave some grasses! 
 
Saturday in the Garden
WhenSat, September 8, 9am – 12pm
WhereSt. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow 20136
DescriptionMaster Gardener Plant Sale! Go Native! Beauty & Benefits of Native Plants & Pocket Meadow: A Lawn Alternative. Children’s Program: Plant Your Pockets! Native flower gardening for kids. 
 
Saturday in the Garden
WhenSat, October 13, 2012, 9am – 12pm
WhereSt. Benedict Monastery, 9535 Linton Hall Road, Bristow 20136
DescriptionGrow Your Own Winter Salad! & Preparing Your Landscape for Winter. Children’s Program: Garden Monster Mash! Make some applesauce
 
 
 
 
daytime playtime - a fun place to Learn.... a great place to Grow A Play Gym Designed for Parents and Children Aged 10 Months to 4 1/2 Years... Elite Maid Squad