Giveaway: Ringling Brothers Presents "Legends"

Permalink to Giveaway%3A%20Ringling%20Brothers%20Presents%20%22Legends%22
Published: 03/23/2015

Behold the living legends! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® brings the unbelievable to Children Of All Ages in an all-new show - - Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS. Experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder to summon the mythical and mysterious creatures of the past: a Unicorn, a Pegasus and a Woolly Mammoth! Join us for an unforgettable family night of legendary proportions! Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS!
Purchase your tickets at the Patriot Center Box Office, or through Ticketmaster starting as low as $26!! Ringling recently announced they will be retiring their elephants in 2017, so this is one of your last chances to see them, if that's something you'd like to do. Don't forget that included with your ticket is access to the free-with-ticket preshow that starts 1 hour before showtime right on the circus floor! 

The Patriot Center April 8 – April 19, 2015
Show times:
· Wednesday, April 8 @ 7:00 pm
· Thursday, April 9 @ 7:00 pm
· Friday, April 10 @ 7:30 pm
· Saturday, April 11 @ 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
· Sunday, April 12 @ 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm
· Thursday, April 16 @ 7:00 pm
· Friday, April 17 @ 10:30 am, 7:30 pm
· Saturday, April 18 @ 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
· Sunday, April 19 @ 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm
Or you can always win a set of tickets here! Enter below to win a family 4 pack of tickets to the WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8th SHOWTIME! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.  Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.   
All giveaways are governed by our giveaway rules, which you agree to by entering. 

Disney Live: Mickey's Magic Show (Giveaway)

Permalink to Disney%20Live%3A%20Mickey%27s%20Magic%20Show%20%28Giveaway%29
Published: 01/31/2015

Abracadabra! It’s Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt! Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and a host of Disney friends come together with a world-class illusionist to perform magic from legendary Disney films right before your eyes. See the Fairy Godmother transform Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful ball gown in a split second; the spectacular levitation of Aladdin’s Princess Jasmine; and the enchanted dancing brooms of Fantasia. Join Donald Duck and Goofy, Alice and the Mad Hatter, and many more for a one-of-a-kind stage show you’ll never forget. Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic ShowPresented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt is a whole new way to experience Disney magic with your family!

This show will be presented ONE DAY ONLY at the Patriot Center (love it because it's in Fairfax!) Sunday February 22nd at 1pm and 4pm.  Giveaway tickets are for the 4pm show only. 

Tickets are $55 VIP, $35, and $25.  Purchase from www.ticketmaster.comthe Patriot Center Box Office or Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. 

To win- visit our Facebook page and find the image you see above this post.  Click "like", leave a comment with which character from this post is your child's favorite, and share the post. 

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers,  Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-show events.  Feld Entertainment is neither a sponsor nor endorser of this promotion. 
As always- by entering you agree to our Giveaway Rules. 


Permalink to HGTV%20UNWRAPS%20%E2%80%98SANTA%20HQ%E2%80%99
Published: 11/13/2014

Los Angeles, CA - [For Immediate Release – November 3, 2014] HGTV celebrates the holidays with “Santa HQ,” an immersive experience that transforms the traditional visit with Santa Claus into a jingle-filled, interactive journey for all ages at 10 Macerich malls across the country. For more than six weeks, from Tuesday, Nov. 4, through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, HGTV and Macerich will present a completely reimagined visit with Santa for the 21st century by pairing cutting-edge technology with an authentic holiday experience. Visitors can take an ELFIE selfie and star in their own holiday video, explore Santa’s Observatory using ELF-RAY Vision, test out the ‘Naughty O’ Nice Meter,’ and enjoy a memorable photo with Santa.

Santa HQ will be featured at Macerich properties including Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Conn., opening on Nov. 4; Deptford Mall in Deptford Township, N.J., opening on Nov. 5; Vintage Faire in Modesto, Calif., opening on Nov. 5; Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, Calif., opening Nov. 7; FlatIron Crossing in Broomfield, Colo., opening Nov. 7; Washington Square in Portland, Ore., opening Nov. 7; Lakewood Center in Lakewood, Calif., opening Nov. 7; Tysons Corner Center near Washington, D.C., opening Nov. 14.; Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, Ariz., opening on Nov. 7; and Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Ariz., opening Nov. 14.

“Santa HQ provides a unique twist on holiday festivities, while offering fans a chance to touch and feel the HGTV brand in a whimsical way,” said Shannon Driver, senior vice president, media strategies and partnerships. “We’ve enhanced the holiday experience at these top malls by creating a state-of-the-art venue for visitors to explore.”

Upon entering the magical structure, families can enjoy the wonder of Santa’s Workshop and Observatory by using innovative technology to customize their individual experience. Visitors can download the ELF-RAY Vision app or use a provided tablet to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Santa HQ to see the night sky, the secret inner-workings of clocks and gears and to meet a playful pair of elves. By using their handheld device as a “portal,” visitors can see and interact with stunning digital scenes surrounding them inside Santa’s Observatory. Visitors can continue the adventure with a custom photo opportunity, followed by the ultimate moment with Santa inside his modernized sleigh. Visitors can reserve their experience time in advance via the Santa HQ website.

“Santa HQ reinvents the Santa experience at the mall for a new generation of digitally savvy, always-connected kids and their families,” said Ken Volk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Macerich. “With HGTV, we are bringing a dramatically new and engaging holiday attraction to shoppers.  We know that people come to the mall for one-of-a-kind, in-person experiences they can share in real time and through social media – and the exciting new Santa HQ delivers exactly what families want today.”
Santa HQ will also feature “Sleigh Ride” - a featured track on the recently-released Pentatonix holiday album, That’s Christmas To Me - as part of the experience’s light show, which will play daily across Macerich’s 10 properties.  Additionally, Pentatonix will be performing at Tysons Corner Center on Friday, December 5.  That’s Christmas To Me is available in stores and online, and will be available to those visiting Santa across the Macerich portfolio throughout the holiday season.

Santa HQ was conceived in collaboration with HGTV, Macerich and Pop2Life, a New York-based experiential marketing agency.

Giveaway: Disney on Ice Presents "Frozen"

Permalink to Giveaway%3A%20Disney%20on%20Ice%20Presents%20%22Frozen%22
Published: 09/24/2014
Enter a fantastical winter wonderland beyond all imagination at Disney On Ice presents Frozen! The heartwarming, Academy Award-winning tale you love is now LIVE and skating into your town. You’ll be magically whisked away into the wintery world of Arendelle, where you will be dazzled by amazing special effects and astonishing skating. Sing and dance along to your favorite songs, including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “Let It Go.” Join royal sisters Elsa and Anna, the hilarious snowman Olaf, huntsman Kristoff, his loyal reindeer Sven and the mystical trolls as they journey to discover that true love is ultimately the most magical power of all! 
Produced by Feld Entertainment, Disney On Ice presents Frozen! will also feature guest appearances by the beloved Disney Princesses as well as characters from The Lion King, Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Disney On Ice presents Frozen! will be at the Patriot Center from October 22 – 27.

Wednesday, October 22 – Monday, October 27, 2014

Show Times:
·      Wednesday. October 22 | 7:00 p.m.
·      Thursday. October 23 | 7:00 p.m.
·      Friday. October 24 | 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.
·      Saturday. October 25 | 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
·      Sunday. October 26 | 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
·      Monday. October 27 | 7:00 p.m.

Patriot Center Weekday Ticket Prices$20, $35, $55 VIP, $85 Front Row
Patriot Center Weekend Ticket Prices: $25, $40, $70 VIP, $85 Front Row

Venue/Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets via charge, by phone at 800-745 -3000; via; and at the Patriot Center box office.
To discover more about Disney On Ice, go to, or visit them on Facebook and YouTube.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Remember that by entering you are agreeing to our Giveaway Rules!**
I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.

Giveaway: Marvel Universe LIVE!

Permalink to Giveaway%3A%20Marvel%20Universe%20LIVE%21
Published: 09/12/2014
Is your child a superhero junkie? Do they smash like Hulk, have the Spidey web-sling move perfected and give Captain America a run for his money?

If so, you're going to want to catch Marvel Universe LIVE at the Patriot Center! Love that it's closer than DC! From their website:

Marvel Universe LIVE! will captivate audiences with an authentic and original story that brings more than 25 Marvel characters together on one epic quest.  The story is framed around the battle over the Cosmic Cube, the source of ultimate power and one of the most feared and coveted treasures in the Marvel Universe, that has been shattered into pieces by the Mighty Thor in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. With the pieces scattered across the globe, Thor’s villainous brother Loki devises a scheme to clone its powers, inciting a threat that could not only decimate Earth but also obliterate the Universe.
To defeat Loki, Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes must band together, including The Avengers – Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor along with Spider-Man and Wolverine, must trek across the globe to retrieve the Cosmic Cube fragments and unite them. As the Super Heroes track the Cube, they will encounter some of their biggest adversaries including Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Red Skull, Madame Hydra, Aldrich Killian, Electro and more, in the quest for the very same fragments. These foes have no problem teaming up if it gets them closer to their ultimate goal of world domination.
You can purchase your tickets online by clicking here, but if you're feeling lucky, enter using the Rafflecopter below to score tickets to  the Sunday, September 21st performance! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!!

Disclaimer: As always, by entering you agree to be bound by our Giveaway Rules, which you can read by clicking the link.  This giveaway is provided by Feld Entertainment, and is not affiliated in any way with Facebook, iPhone, Android etc. I am a Feld Family Ambassador and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows

Readers Recommend: Developmental Pediatricians

Permalink to Readers%20Recommend%3A%20Developmental%20Pediatricians
Published: 03/23/2014
We had a reader ask for recommendations for developmental pediatricians near or in Prince William County.  Our Moms never fail to have an answer!!  Developmental Pediatricians specialize in a wide variety of behavioral, cognitive, and physical difficulties, including but not limited to ADHD, Autism, Tourette's, Cerebral Palsy, and more.

*All Pediatric in Lake Ridge, Dr. Farber is supposed to be a developmental pediatrician (x4 comments and x4 likes)
*Children's in Fairfax (x4)
*Kluge Center at UVA (Charlottesville) 
*We love the entire pediatrics department at Georgetown and think they are worth the drive!
*For military moms at Ft. Belvoir- Dr. Shropshire. You have to love any doc that gives you his cell phone to call in between appointments for concerns, med refills, etc. A coworker raves about Dr. Bachelor also at Belvoir. We had seen 3 (others kept getting deployed) before Dr. Shropshire.
Have a doctor recommendation to add? Leave a comment, and be sure to include a link or contact email/phone number! 

Guest Post: Santa at Fair Oaks Mall

Permalink to Guest%20Post%3A%20Santa%20at%20Fair%20Oaks%20Mall
Published: 11/26/2013
My post about the Santa at Potomac Mills sure got you guys fired up.  I love hearing your opinions, though! I asked for additional pictures/details from other malls and events that people said were better, and Samantha from Happily a Housewife (also a PWC Resident!) shared her experiences at Fair Oaks Mall this year.  Thanks Samantha!! 

Thanksgiving is here, and with that December and the holiday season are right around the corner.  I don't know about you, but in our house, my kids are already making their list for Santa. 
We are lucky to live in an area with so many malls and "Santa" events.  But it can get a bit overwhelming deciding where to take your little ones, where has the best atmosphere, shortest wait, helpful staff.
Our choice is Fair Oaks Mall.  Although not in PWC, it is very close, and has an amazing display.

When you enter the ice palace, it is magical.  You enter into a giant snow globe, complete with snow falling!

I was at the mall for an event recently, and actually got to take a few minutes to speak with a staff member.  Here are some tips she shared with me....

1.  Weekdays are going to be the least crowded.  However, avoid Monday afternoons.  (Fairfax County Schools have shortened days on Mondays)
2.  Black Friday morning is surprisingly slow, as many adults are out shopping, or avoiding the malls altogether. 
3.  At Fair Oaks while they do want to keep the line moving, they really want each child to get their time, special moment with Santa.
4.  There is no fast pass line.  At some malls you can pay more to get in a separate faster moving line.  This however makes the regular line run even slower. 

In addition to photos with Santa, you can also get a photo taken with The Princess as well.  It really is a great experience that children of all ages will love!

While at Fair Oaks Mall, if your children are younger, be sure to check out the BRAND NEW Michael and Son Play Area. 

My favorite feature is the heat activated paint splotch.  When placing your hand on the soft mat, the heat from your body actually changes the color of the mat!


Hi I am Samantha.  My husband, 3 kids, and I have lived in PWC for 5 years.  Check out My Blog, to see more.  I also want to thank Andrea from Real Housewives of Northern Virginia for hosting a great event at Fair Oaks Mall.
Note from Kristina: Thanks so much to Samantha for the post, and also, be sure to check out Real Housewives' additional pictures from her annual Sensory-Friendly Santa event at Fair Oaks. 

Northern Virginia Players Presents: Dr. Doolittle Junior

Permalink to Northern%20Virginia%20Players%20Presents%3A%20Dr.%20Doolittle%20Junior
Published: 10/29/2013

Northern Virginia Players is thrilled to announce their next musical, Doctor Dolittle, Jr.  The classic tale of kindness to animals comes to life in the stage adaption of the original Doctor Dolittle! Animal kindnesses will trot, crawl and fly its way onto the stage and into your hearts in DOCTOR DOLITTLE JR. With a cast of 54, all of the characters we've come to love through the stories of Hugh Lofting and the magical movie musical are given new life in the JUST released stage version.  The musical tells the classic tale of a wacky but kind Doctor who can talk to animals. The show takes the audience on a journey from the small English village of Puddleby-in-the-Marsh to the far corners of the world in search for the Great Pink Sea Snail--the oldest and wisest of the creatures on earth.
Northern Virginia Players has been thrilling audiences with their musicals since their inception.  Outstanding action, music, sets, and costumes will bring this loved musical to life and is sure to continue in their tradition of thrilling audiences of all ages.  Show dates:  November 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:30.  Matinee shows November 9 and 16 at 1:30.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit their website at or call  703-866-3546.  Group rates are available.  Call for group information.  Please stop by their FB page for pictures of previous productions:  NVPlayers
In keeping with our commitment to community service, Northern Virginia Players will be accepting monetary donations to benefit America’s Vet Dogs.  Their mission is “to help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.”  Collections will take place at all 6 shows.  Join us in helping our veterans talk to the animals.
Don’t miss this one!

Featured Organization Friday: Mainly Music Fundraiser to Support SIDS Education

Permalink to Featured%20Organization%20Friday%3A%20Mainly%20Music%20Fundraiser%20to%20Support%20SIDS%20Education
Published: 10/11/2013
In honor of a lost child, a local mom is hosting a special fundraiser to help fund SIDS educational services.  Join the Mainly Music Fundraiser on November 8, 2013 for a fun family show, dinner, and desert, $20 per family.

Business Review: Monkey Joe's

Permalink to Business%20Review%3A%20Monkey%20Joe%27s
Published: 08/06/2013
Not actually in PWC, Monkey Joe's Dulles Location would be a good fit for our Manassas-side mommas.  I had guest writer attend their grand opening celebration for me to check it out.  You should prepare yourselves for what you're about to see, because her kids are stinkin' adorable.  So. Very. Cute.

Monkey Joe's has your indoor bounce-house stuff, slides, obstacle courses, etc. 

That is one happy kid.  Love it! 

 Monkey Joe's also has some arcade-style games available for the kids to play when they're not bouncing around. 
Our Writer-Mom liked that 
*everything was in one room, which allowed for easy visibility of your kids
*there were tables and chairs so moms could have coffee/sit and chat with a friend 
*the arcade in the front was nice
*the staff was friendly and helpful, so parents didn't have to be all over the inflatables with their kids
*they had smaller inflatables specifically for smaller kids so they won't get run over (she's had this problem at Kids N Motion)
*there was a cute toddler zone, although her kids were too big

Open Bounce is $9.99, which is on the pricey side for a bounce house, but it sounds like the kiddos from our guest writer had a great time. The facility also offers parties, too.  

Check out Monkey Joe's Dulles on Facebook, too, for more pictures of their new place! 

Disclosure: Our writer attended for free at the Grand Opening, but all opinions are her own. 

Language Stars Open House

Permalink to Language%20Stars%20Open%20House
Published: 08/03/2013
I didn't start a foreign language until 8th grade, and it's one of my greatest regrets.  While I had the opportunity to take years of French and participate in an exchange, I always wished that I'd started sooner, and at this point, while I understand French, I haven't spoken it in so long I'm not sure I could if I had to. At my high school, they also offered Russian my senior year, which I took both there and in college, as well, and enjoyed very much, but I can't claim to remember much beyond the alphabet and basic conversation.

Oh, and Cheburashka.  How could you forget him?
He's so cute!!

In our area, especially, you find loads of bilingual kids.  I think that it gives children such an advantage to start languages early, and, of course, if you have a parent in the home who speaks two languages it makes things really easy.  For those of us without that advantage, we have to look elsewhere if we want to snag our kids some quality language instruction.
Language Stars offers French, Spanish, Mandarin, Italian and German language instruction for children ages one and up, and has been voted "Best Language Instruction" in the DC Area for the last three years.  Their school year programs begin on September 3rd, so now is the time to look into classes.  While they don't have a Prince William County location, they do have a nearby Fairfax Center, and you can check out the classes, and the drive, during their open house program, which runs from August 5-25, 2013.  You can sign up online to try a free class, and if you register during the open house period, you'll save $100 off your tuition.  

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Language Stars.  All opinions are my own, especially those about the cuteness level of Russian Cartoon Characters. 

Break the Record and Moo with Chick-fil-A

Permalink to Break%20the%20Record%20and%20Moo%20with%20Chick-fil-A
Published: 06/12/2013
Some of you may be new here, and not know about the fact that while I am not actually important at all, I'm a VIP to Chick-fil-A because I'm a huge "Raving Fan" of the Woodbridge location. (I have to be honest, I may have cheated on Woodbridge a little while I was getting treatment at Duke.  Soup was kind to my very upset tummy and there was a CFA right by our hotel....I felt guilty about it, though.)

Join the Northern Virginia Chick-fil-A Restaurants as they try to break the World Record for people dressed as cows!  Join them at the FIELD HOUSE (I know the image says Patriot Center, but it's incorrect) at George Mason University on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 10am.

People, it's on a Tuesday. Now, let's talk about why this is genius.  Here's what we're going to do, and be "we" I mean PwcGrammy because I don't do crowds yet.

Step 1: Eat a smoothie.  July is too hot for cooked breakfast.
Step 2: Drive to University Mall Theaters.  Buy $2 Tuesday Tickets for afternoon show.
Step 3: Drive (approximately 2 minutes) to GMU's Field House.
Step 4: Eat Mor Chickin.  Get in record book. 
Step 5: Go see cheap movie.  In cow costume.  Cross your fingers it's barnyard themed.
Step 6: Revel in what an awesome mom/grammy/dad/caregiver you are
Step 7: Cross your fingers that kids will nap on the drive home and you can sing along with the radio as loud as you want without being mocked.  (Maybe that's just me, though)

For the World Record, you'll want to come dressed in a one or two piece cow suit with a headpiece or decorated hood.  Many local CFA Restaurants will have haz-mat style suits available while supplies last for customers to decorate.  Also legal would be a black or white sweat suit (with hood) that you add spots to.  Shoes should be "cow appropriate" in black or white.  Also note that this event will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank, and participants are encouraged to bring canned goods to the event. 

Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon

Permalink to Sunset%20Celebration%20at%20Mount%20Vernon
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:


Permalink to THE%20FRESH%20BEAT%20BAND%20COMING%20THIS%20FALL%21%20
Published: 04/16/2013

Tickets on sale Saturday, April 20 at 10:00am!

November 27 • 6:30pm

(4500 Patriot Circle Fairfax, VA – George Mason University)

 The Fresh Beat BandNickelodeon’s preschool music group and stars of the hit TV series of the same name, are giving fans one more chance to see them live as they hit the road again for 60 performances on their nationwide concert tour.  The live concert comes to Fairfax, VA on November 27, 2013.  The wildly popular The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert Tour will resume on Nov. 12, 2013 in San Antonio, TX.  The band will travel to theaters in new markets and revisit places including New York City’s Theater at Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater L.A. Live.  In 2012, more than 400,000 fans saw the concert making it one of the year’s most successful music tours. 

ON SALE: Presale for CITI® Card Members Starts Tuesday, April 16th at 10 AM; Tickets Go on Sale to General Public Saturday, April 20 at 10:00 AM at, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Patriot Center box office (M-Th 10a-7p, F-Sat 10a-5:30p), or charge by phone (800) 745-3000.

PRICES: $49.50, $39.50 (Reserved)
All dates, acts and ticket prices subject to change without notice. Ticket prices subject to applicable fees.

About Live Nation Entertainment:
Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment and ecommerce company, comprised of four market leaders:, Live Nation Concerts, Artist Nation and Live Nation Network. is the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five ecommerce sites, with a database of over 119 million fans who visit our sites. Live Nation Concerts produces over 22,000 shows annually for more than 2,300 artists globally. Artist Nation is the world’s top artist management company, representing over 200 artists. These businesses power Live Nation Network, the leading provider of entertainment marketing solutions, enabling nearly 800 advertisers to tap into the 250 million consumers Live Nation delivers annually through its live event and digital platforms. For additional information, visit

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presents the 2013 “Heritage Family Day” Series

Permalink to Smithsonian%E2%80%99s%20National%20Air%20and%20Space%20Museum%20Presents%20%20the%202013%20%E2%80%9CHeritage%20Family%20Day%E2%80%9D%20Series
Published: 02/08/2013

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presents
the 2013 “Heritage Family Day” Series

As part of the Smithsonian’s Heritage and History education initiative, the National Air and Space Museum presents a “Heritage Family Day” series celebrating ethnic and cultural diversity. The series coincides with national observances, focusing specifically on the contributions that diverse communities have made to aviation and space exploration. These activity-filled days, which take place at the National Mall building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., offer parents and children the opportunity to meet role models—ranging from World War II veterans to astronomers. Support for the “Heritage Family Day” series is provided by Northrop Grumman Corporation.
“The museum’s dual mission, in history and science, come together in the ‘Heritage Family Day’ series,” said Maureen Kerr, education chair at the National Air and Space Museum. “The programs feature inspiring role models who have helped make history by their achievements in aviation and spaceflight.”
 “Northrop Grumman is proud to sponsor the ‘Heritage Family Day’ series for the eighth consecutive year at the National Air and Space Museum,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president, Corporate Responsibility, Northrop Grumman Corporation. “We are excited to support this series because it recognizes the unsung heroes of STEM and is an incredible benefit to the community’s schools and families.”
The 2013 series begins Feb. 9 at the museum’s National Mall building with “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day,” where visitors will have the chance to meet members of the Tuskegee Airmen, African Americans who fought during WWII, and be inspired by their determination and perseverance. On Feb. 23, the second “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day” will be held at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
On March 23, “Kites of Asia Day,” visitors to the National Mall building will experience the beauty of kites by celebrating the first aviation-related objects collected by the Smithsonian—two Chinese kites. There will be indoor kite flying, and experts will explain how kites influenced the development of aviation and the science behind kite flying. Visitors can decorate and build their own kites.
Also March 23, the “Women in Aviation and Space Day” will take place at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Visitors will learn about the accomplishments of women in aviation, science and aerospace. Families can enjoy guest speakers, hands-on activities, a theatrical presentation and more.
“Explore the Universe Day” will take place at the National Mall building June 1. Astronomy will serve as a common theme for visitors to learn how different people and cultures view and talk about the sky. The museum’s Public Observatory will be open for daytime sky-watching, weather permitting.
There will be two “Heritage Family Days” in September: “A Century of Women in Aerospace” at the National Mall building Sept. 14 and “Hispanic Heritage Day: Innovators in Air and Space” in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center Sept. 21 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
The last “Heritage Family Day” of the 2013 series will be Oct. 5 at the National Mall building and will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Latino Center. There will be bilingual programming and visitors will have the chance to meet Hispanic scientists and engineers. 
For more information about the museum’s “Heritage Family Day” series, visit:
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
# # #

Upcoming: Reel Abilities Film Festival

Permalink to Upcoming%3A%20Reel%20Abilities%20Film%20Festival%20
Published: 02/01/2013

Pioneering Film Festival Opens in Greater Washington Area
ReelAbilities Disabilities Film Festival, February 7-14, 2013
ReelAbilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. The festival is coming to the DC and Northern Virginia area from February 7-14, 2013 and is sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV). 
Nine films will be screened throughout the festival – features, documentaries, and shorts that present stories incorporating a variety of disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, deafness, and others.  Check out the schedule below:
Thursday, February 7
Mary & Max at Angelika Film Center - 7:45 pm
Saturday, February 9
Ocean Heaven at Angelika Film Center - 3:00 pm
Finding Nemo at DC Public Library - 11:00 am
Sunday, February 10
Anything You Can Do and Finding Nemo at Cinema Arts Theatre - 10:15 am
Me, Too at Angelika Film Center - 2:00 pm
Ocean Heaven at Floris United Methodist Church - 6:30 pm
Monday, February 11
Shooting Beauty at Cinema Arts Theatre - 7:30 pm
Tuesday, February 12
Silent Games at George Mason University - 7:00 pm
Mary & Max at Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington - 7:00 pm
War Eagle at Bethlehem Lutheran Church - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, February 13
Shooting Beauty at Northern Virginia Community College - Manassas Campus - 5:30 pm
Aphasia at Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia - 5:30 pm
Thursday, February 14
Musical Chairs at Angelika Film Center - 7:30 pm

Visit the ReelAbilities DC website to learn more about the featured films and festival events.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Student Passport January 2013

Permalink to Fairfax%20Symphony%20Orchestra%20Student%20Passport%20January%202013
Published: 01/09/2013
Happy New Year!  The Fairfax Symphony invites students and families to kick off 2013 with a variety of events surrounding our concert this month, on Saturday, January 19th.

All students ages 6-18 are eligible to join the Student Passport Club!

All of the following events are at GMU’s Center for the Artsunless otherwise noted.  Parking is free in Lot K, with hourly or event fees charged in the Mason Pond Parking Deck.

FSO Open Rehearsal – including a Q&A session with Maestro Christopher Zimmerman
·      Time:10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
·      Cost:  Free Admission
·      Reservations:  Please e-mail the FSO Office to reserve your space.

Flute Master Class – presented by our concert soloist, Christina Jennings
For flute students and flute enthusiasts – observe performances by flute students of all ages and receive educational guidance from flutist, Christina Jennings!
·      Time:3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
·      Location:  DeLaski Building, GMU Fairfax Campus
·      Cost:  Free Admission
·      RSVP:  Please e-mail the FSO Office to reserve your space.

FSO Concert– featuring flutist Christina Jennings
·      Time:Concert at 8:00 p.m. | Pre-concert lecture at 7:00 p.m.
·      Cost:  Student Tickets only $5 – Adult Tickets begin at $25
·      Tickets:  Available beginning at 6:00 p.m. on January 19th.  Students must be present when purchasing their tickets.

Calling all 7th-12th grade string players in the Northern Virginia area!  The Fairfax Symphony is currently accepting applications for its 2013 Dorothy Farnham Feuer Memorial String Competition to take place in February and March.  More information and application forms available here.

12 Days of Giveaways: Tickets to "Little Mermaid Jr."

Permalink to 12%20Days%20of%20Giveaways%3A%20Tickets%20to%20%22Little%20Mermaid%20Jr.%22
Published: 12/18/2012
The Northern Virginia Players are near and dear to my heart because we have three homeschool friends on the cast!! It's so cool when you know someone in a show, let alone three!!
Photo Credit: Kate Wittig
This year, the NVPlayers are offering "Little Mermaid Jr.", which is a great way to thrill your Little Mermaid fans!  Showtimes are:
Friday, January 11 @7:30pm
Saturday, January 12 @1:30pm

Saturday, January 12 @7:30pm
Friday, January 18 @7:30pm
Saturday, January 19 @1:30pm

Saturday, January 19 @7:30pm

All shows will be performed at the Family Worship Center, 7719 Fullerton Road, Springfield VA 22153.  This is a fairly quick drive from the Woodbridge side of Prince William County.

In addition to great songs like "Part of Your World" and "Under the Sea", the Northern Virginia Players will continue their tradition of using a portion of the ticket sales to help others.  This year's donated portion will benefit Super Storm Sandy victims.  Ticket are $12 and may be paid online or using cash or check at the door.  There are not reserved seats.

Want to win your tickets? Northern Virginia Players is generously offering a lucky winner a family four pack of tickets to see the show!! Enter using the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paradise Springs Winery

Permalink to Paradise%20Springs%20Winery
Published: 11/29/2012
I am not really a wine person.  It is atypical for me to have an "adult beverage" and if I do have wine, it has to be white, sweet, and with lots of ice.

Yes, ice. Because I'm classy, people.  I even know that the new term is "Cardbordeaux" and not "Wine in a bag in a box".

And only one glass, because after that, I get giggly.

However, I do love the idea of wine.  I'm always impressed by people who know lots about wine, that know the vintages and can identify whether a particular variety was aged in oak or steel, those who can tell the difference between the 1949 and 1950 blend of a particular beverage. I especially like the idea of vineyards.  Sitting around with friends enjoying a snack and a glass of wine by the fire with live indie music in the background sounds pretty amazing right?

That's because it is!!

We headed out this past Sunday with another couple for a double date to Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA, which was absolutely lovely.  If you're following Apple Maps, which we were, don't let them fool you into turning on the last left- just keep going straight, you can't miss it. Google users, you'll be just fine.

The vineyard itself is on a plot of land that's been handed down in a family since the time of Lord Fairfax and George Washington, which is really neat!  There's an historic cabin on site, as well as the main tasting room, which is also gorgeous.  Tastings at Paradise Springs include samples from their entire line for $10.  You can add a souvenir etched glass for $2 more.  Private tastings for groups are $15 per person, and happen in a dedicated location with your own "wine educator".  They also host special events, which you can check out on their website.

Our group opted to take part in the "Paradise Springs Experience" which is $25 and includes a tour of the cabin, production areas, barrel room, and a tasting.  Our wine educator/guide was Richard, who was absolutely delightful.  He was very knowledgable not only about wine, but art and history as well, and we very much enjoyed our tour with him.

Children are allowed to join you at the winery, per the website, but let's be nice to ourselves and everyone else and snag a sitter, shall we? Nobody wants to ignore their vino and conversation so that they can run after the munchkins.  Children are not permitted on the "Paradise Springs Experience" tour, though.

On our tour, Richard talked us through all of the Paradise Springs wines.  I learned that a more yellow color on a white wine indicates oak barrels were used (score! I'm educated now!), and was able to clearly tell the difference between a 2010 and a 2011!

Are you amazed by my new levels of awesome? I know, I am, too.

After our tour, we enjoyed some snacks that we brought with us.  Food is available on-site, as well, but patrons are welcome to bring their own, if they prefer.  Only Paradise Springs Wines are allowed, of course, and they also have non-alcoholic drinks available for purchase.

I think the only thing that we did wrong on this visit was underestimate the time we would spend.  I told Grandma that we'd be back for the kids around 4:00.  We left at 1:30, and we rolled back up to her house at 6.  Our tour took about an hour and a half, and we all had a great time just sitting and chatting in the beautiful and relaxed environment.  There was a fire going on the outdoor patio, as well as indoor seating, and we just really had a fantastic time.  They even had the football game on, which meant that my friend and I could gossip uninhibited by eye rolls from our respective husbands.
It was a lovely, relaxing afternoon!

Paradise Springs Winery
*Great for an adults-only afternoon/evening
*Open daily
*Tastings for only $10!
*Leave yourself lots of time!
*Bring food or buy it there
*Bring your ID
* Plan to buy a bottle of your favorite wine to take home!

*If you're holding your empty glass AND a camera phone, don't turn the camera phone or you'll get red wine on your shirt and your friends will make fun of you mercilessly.  Or, maybe that's just my friends.

Plan Ahead:
*Someone's gotta drive home, so be sure that you plan accordingly by bringing a designated driver.  If you need to, call a cab.  Clifton Roads are windy and have lots of deer, so don't risk it.

Disclaimer: Don't be an idiot and drink and drive.  That's just not cool.  Also, I was not compensated in any way for this review, in fact, they didn't even know I was there.  We had a great time, though, and think you would, too. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, please get help. I've never written about anything alcohol-related before, I don't think, so if I'm over-disclaimering, I apologize.

December 2012 Fairfax Symphony Kids' Passport Program

Permalink to December%202012%20Fairfax%20Symphony%20Kids%27%20Passport%20Program
Published: 11/28/2012
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra invites students and families to attend its next concert on Saturday, December 8th, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax, VA, at 8:00 p.m. This performance features pianist, James Dick, and works by Rossini and Tchaikovsky. All students will be invited to join the Student Passport Club!
Fairfax Symphony Concert Information:
· Date: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
· Location: George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, Fairfax
· Cost: Student Tickets only $5; Adult Tickets begin at $25
· Tickets: Available beginning at 6:00 p.m. on December 8th at the “Student Ticket Window.” Students must be present when purchasing their tickets the night of the concert.
· Parking: Free in Lot K; event parking fee in garage
· Personal passportto be stamped at each event
· Special program notesand activity sheets for each concert
· Free gifts
· Invitation to a special reception with an opportunity to meet FSO musicians and play many different instruments
Mischief in Music Corner:
If you attended the last FSO concert in November, bring back your program with the Scavenger Hunt questions completed for an extra stamp! Those who missed this performance are welcome to participate too. Simply bring your answers to the following questions about the composer featured on this performance:
1. How old was Rossini when his first opera premiered?
2. What instrument did Rossini play with his father’s musical group?
3. At what age did Tchaikovsky begin playing the piano?

Cox Farms 2012

Permalink to Cox%20Farms%202012
Published: 10/04/2012
Today we had the chance to go and visit Cox Farms on their Preview Weekend.  We've been visiting Cox Farms since my son was 11 months old.
He's almost 9 now. 

To say that we're Cox Farms aficionados would be an understatement.  However, that doesn't mean that my kids don't have a great time when we go.  I'm sure that one day they're going to be too cool for the pumpkin patch (which is okay, because Cox Farms also has a scary counterpart to their family-friendly daytime offerings), but I hope that day stays away a little longer.  
Plenty of picnic tables for lunch.  Pack your own or buy at the farm.
Mainly because I'm a big pansy and don't want to go in the Cornightmare.  I have nightmares about the wolf in Neverending Story to this day and I watched that movie when I was 10.  If they start wanting to do that, I'm pulling for a great youth pastor that does trips to scary things, because I'm not going. 
This fun slide includes potato sacks for extra speed.
Cox Farms made some changes this year, though! The hayride has a few new additions, and the route has changed.  There's now a spookier barn-drive through and a town setup.  PS- the Cox Farms Farmer no longer pulls you out of the mud! But don't worry- you'll still get stuck!  I also believe the space ship looked new and improved!
Slides are super fun, but be prepared to wait your turn.
Additionally, Cox Farms has their new "Bunnyville" area where their bunnies are housed, a mechanical bull, new BBQ food items, and a "mine" where you can pan for gems or fossils for an additional fee.  My kids also noticed a "Farm Work" area for the first time (which cracked me up!) and all three of them were literally happy for 30 minutes playing in the cascading corn kernels and pumping up well water.
"milk" a cow, scoop corn feed, and pump water at the "farm chores" area
Still popular with my kids were the corn maze, the animals, and the slides.  Still unpopular with my kids were the intermittent heat, the lines, and the bees buzzing like crazy around the trash cans, apples, and cider station.

Cox Farms admission is by day of the week.  Weekend Prime tickets are $17 per person over the age of 2.  Weekend tickets are $14 per person over the age of two, and weekday admission is $9 per person over the age of 2.  Join the Cox Farms Mailing list to receive discounts and coupons in your email, or you can purchase a Value Card for 7 Weekday afternoon admissions for $45 instead of $63.  You can use all 7 at once, or you can use it on multiple visits.  If you're able to take a half day from work, this can be a great savings! Admission includes 1 free apple and 1 free mini pumpkin. The new mine feature is extra.  We bought one large $8 bag of gems and shared it among three children quite successfully.

Cox Farms is a fun day for the entire family.  Younger children will enjoy hayrides, petting animals, and running around.  Older children will enjoy large slides, the corn maze, and the animal facts. Downsides are the waiting, which isn't terrible, but can be if your child is getting whiney, allergy concerns (hay, feathers, bees) are abundant because it is, after all, a farm, so bring Allegra or Benadryl if your child can be sensitive, and finally, that my arch-nemesis the porta potty is your only bathroom option.  They're reasonably clean for porta potties, and they do have lots of hand sanitizer all over the farm, though.

We enjoy our yearly trips to Cox Farms.  We'd love to hear about your experience in the comments section below! Do you have tips or tricks? Share with us!

Kid Care Cafe

Permalink to Kid%20Care%20Cafe
Published: 09/10/2012

So here's a neat idea! A new business, Kid Care Cafe, will actually bring group childcare to your home or event.  It's a flat $15 per child at the event, and I can totally see doing this for my next big game night or BBQ so that the parents can enjoy their time with grownups, but not have to worry about having their children with someone they don't know off-site.  Weddings, business parties, galas, charity events, I could see this being a really useful service! 
From their website:
Instead of staying home from an event because you don't have childcare, why not bring the kids along too? We understand this tough choice that parents often make - miss out on being social with your friends OR find a sitter and go out! We want you and your friends to go out (or stay in) while we tend to the kids. We want your kids to have fun, make new friends, and be safe. We'll make sure that happens. 
 I haven't had a chance to meet the owner yet, but she's having a special kick-off event Saturday, September 15th from 3-5pm at the NZone in Chantilly (14550 Lee Road, Chantilly VA) with free food, games, raffles, prizes, face painting and music.  I think this is definitely one to check out if you're constantly in need of childcare! I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback if you use them, too!

As a reminder, does not endorse any childcare provider.  Parents should meet with any potential babysitters, daycare providers, preschools, etc. and use their best judgement and personal discretion before leaving their children with anyone.

Lego Brick Fair Review

Permalink to Lego%20Brick%20Fair%20Review
Published: 08/09/2012
We were able to attend the 2012 Brick Fair at the Dulles Expo Center thanks to some comp tickets from Washington Family Magazine.  (The same fine folks that sponsored our giveaway to the same event).  I know a lot of you were wondering about the event, so here's my breakdown.

When we arrived, we were seriously nervous about The Line.  The Line looked like it was going to take us the better part of half an hour to get to the actual door to the Expo Center.  We were pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the line moved quickly and we were in the door in about nine minutes.  Once we were inside, we were definitely in awe of the fantastic Lego creations.  Children as young as nine can present their pieces at Brick Fair, with the chance to win awards.  There are also custom Lego vendors, our friends from Hallabolou were there, and there was a wicked game of Lego bingo going on when we arrived.  The ticket encouraged you to allow at least three hours to make it through, and maybe we're big losers, but we did it in 50 minutes.  Here's why.

We went with our kids who are 8, 6, and 4.  The little ones were definitely wowed by several of the displays, especially the ones that moved like the ball movers, robots, and giant roller coaster.
They were even still happy at the end of our time at the Brick Fair, but nobody complained that we were leaving, either.  They did ask if we could stop at the ice cream store on the way home.

 The kids presenting were absolutely amazing and created some awesome scenes! I was completely impressed by how some of the youngest exhibitors produced such amazing results! Each category, and there were several, had gorgeous entries.
 We especially liked the things that moved, whether they were robots, roller coasters, ball movers, or magnetized displays.
 He blinded me with science.
THIS IS ALL MADE OF LEGOS!!! This is what I could accomplish if I didn't blog and had some kind of measurable artistic skill! 

The cars were also a big hit with my kids.

So, if everything was so impressive, why didn't we take longer? The little ones enjoyed looking but were, honestly, overwhelmed by all there was to see.  You can't really touch anything, and Legos are toys to most children, so it's kind of like walking through a giant bakery with no glass over the treats.  You find yourself reminding little fingers not to touch fairly often.  Our oldest probably would have wandered around a little longer and looked at different items, but there's not really room to wander.  It's a lot more like being herded through like cattle:
Oh, hello hundreds of our closest friends!! Our children's biggest complaint was that there wasn't a ton of hands-on.  There is a small game section near the exit, but they really wanted to go and see cool things and then sit down somewhere and build with Legos.  Instead, we stood in a slow moving line that wrapped around the building and just looked.  Don't get me wrong, everything was amazing, but it was crowded and slow and not as interactive as we usually like to be.  It's kind of like a Lego museum, and you know my favorite museums are free :)

Tickets are $10 a pop, so while we enjoyed it this time, we all agreed that we probably wouldn't go back if we had to pay $50.  The kids liked it, but not enough to justify the cost.

Agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Reviews: Potomac Overlook Park

Permalink to Reviews%3A%20Potomac%20Overlook%20Park
Published: 07/31/2012
I have mommy brain.  My mommy brain syndrome (MBS) is augmented by my technology dependence syndrome (TDS, or, in my case iTDS).  Example?  We showed up for my daughter's dermatology appointment (a 45 minute drive in traffic because while I love PWC, I'm driving to the bets possible doctor our insurance will semi-pay for) only to sit for 30 minutes before the semi-rude receptionist reminded me that I cancelled this appointment when I made an earlier one for before we left for the beach.

My MBS apparently prevented me from removing that from my iCal, so when my iAlarm went off, iGotIntheCar and iDrove to the appointment.  Hence the iTDS kicker.

Being that I am also spontaneous, and had skipped swim team practice, we opted to iMap our way over to Potomac Overlook Regional Park and check out what it had to offer before doing the same thing back down i66, err, I-66, to head to a library event back down in our neck of the woods.

Potomac Overlook is located at 2845 North Marcey Road, Arlington, Virginia.  It is absolutely gorgeous for hiking, as well as having a beautiful nature center, concerts, a solar-powered outdoor stage, roving naturalists, community gardens, and canoe trips. 

We've been to Potomac Overlook once before, and we enjoyed the well-shaded hiking, especially since with water shoes on we could enjoy keeping our feet cool in the creek/river that flows through the park.  Throwback photo evidence:

Okay, so they didn't like their water shoes.  I admit, I am that horrible parent that lets my children experience the world barefoot whenever they want and my husband isn't yelling.  I don't like shoes, either, so I get it.
 In this picture my kids are 15 months, 3, and 5.  I'm wearing sporting an awesome blue Moby Wrap.  If you don't have a Moby Wrap and you have a baby or are about to have a 2nd (3rd, 4th, 5th) baby, you should stop reading this NOW and go buy one.  I'll wait. No, they're not paying me, either.
I am also that mom that lets her kid swim in the deep pool he finds.  It was warm that day.  He had an amazing time and the water was clear so that you could see straight to the bottom.  I realize this doens't mean it was clean, but it looked like it, so there.

This time, however, we never made it that far since by the time we arrived it was already 108 degrees outside.  Walking from the parking lot to the nature center, we noticed there is a fun hike with signs for each planet placed at representative distances along the path.  They include fun facts like how much a person of a certain weight (I want to say it was 100 pounds) would weigh on each planet.  On your left hand side, you'll also see the solar-powered outdoor theatre as well as an eletctric car filling station.  Trees and rocks along this main path are also labeled for your viewing pleasure. 

By the time we arrived at the nature center, my middle child informed me that he was dying, and I informed him that the nature center is air conditioned, at which point he summoned the will power to go on the three steps to the door.  It was magical.

By the way, now that my kids are 4, 6, and 8, their lives exist soley on my iphone because I'm not good enough to carry a camera, so I hope that you enjoyed the nice, clear pictures above because now we're switching back to my typical low-quality cell phone pictures.

The nature center includes a fun mix of energy saving information along with a living bee colony, live turtles, frogs and snakes, as well as some stuffed local species, skulls, and skeletons and fossils to look at.  The upper level is mostly non-living, although there is a turtle and two snakes, and the lower level is mostly snakes and frogs, along with a children's cave area, which was fun to hang around in for a few minutes even if it wasn't very large.
 The children's area included boards to make your own "cave drawings" sounds of a cave on a phone, and space to sit and read books or play with toys.  It'd be a good place to cool off and calm down on a hot day.
 There's also a lower-level educational room, which was completely devoid of people on the day we went, but looked like it must be used for field trips and scout groups.  There were some fish in the tank as well as stuffed bird and small mammal species. 
Ooooh, something stuffed.  Fun.  My kids love anything about animals, so they thought this nature center was fantastic.  It's definitely small enough that you can do it in a morning and still have time for a hike, even if you read everything in the nature center, but I enjoy that about it.

It was after this picture that my phone died.  It was sad.  So, not pictured are the community garden, Indian-themed circular garden, or the live birds of prey that are a short walk across from the nature center.  These are previously injured owls and hawks that cannot be returned to the wild due to the extent of their inuries, and you do get a very close look at them.  The owls were especially beautiful, and, as a bonus, I found a 4 foot black snake on the trail on the way up! How fantastic!

Fine, I freaked out.  But the boys thought it was amazing.

This is a great local field trip, and we enjoyed both of our visits.  Check out Potomac Overlook Regional Park for your next hike or nature event!

Potomac Overlook Regional Park
Recommended for: Any age, really.  Lots of walking, but getting to/from the nature center is stroller-friendly.  There is a long hill that is not particularly handicap-accessible, I would talk to the park rangers about the possibility of being allowed to drive to the center itself if that's an issue for your.  Older children will enjoy the various themed areas and hiking.

Pros: Free! Lots of different interests addressed.  Live and stuffed animal species, lots of labeled plants and rocks with information on species.

Cons: Nature center is somewhat small, parking is removed from areas of interest.

Giveaway: Brick Fair 2012

Permalink to Giveaway%3A%20Brick%20Fair%202012
Published: 07/19/2012
Coming August 4th and 5th to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia, it's Brick Fair! If you have a Lego Lover of any age, this is definitely one to check out!

The fair recommends you allot at least 90 minutes to see everything, but tickets are valid for all day admission.  The Brick Fair is open each day from 11am-4pm.  Parking is free. There's plenty to see, play with, and even win! Lego giveaways happen at 1pm and 3pm each day.

From the official website:

LEGO models, displays and winding trains sprawled out over 100,000 square feet.
BrickFair brings together adult fans of LEGO from across the USA (and Canada, and a few other countries) to show off their projects, great and small, and to share their passion for LEGO - the most awesome toy - ever.
LEGO fan festivals like BrickFair are great fun for the whole family!
Join in a game or two - maybe win a LEGO set.
Vendors will be offering all things LEGO, including shirts, hats, minifigures, custom-molded weapons, unique models, keychains and... really... everything you never imagined.

Thanks to the great folks at Washington Family Magazine, PwcMoms is happy to offer a family 4 pack of tickets for either day of Brick Fair 2012!! Since it REALLY bothered some of you that you had to email, you may enter 1 of 3 ways that guarantee I can get in touch with you:

1- Leave a comment on this post WITH your email address.  Yes, that means you put your email address out for the world to see

2- Email Me with "Brick Fair 2012" in the subject line

3- Tweet the following message: I want to go to @BrickFair thanks to @FamilyMagDC and @PwcMoms!

Enter however you'd like by midnight on July 27th, 2012.  A winner will be selected and notified via email or twitter and Facebook on July 28th, 2012.

Winner will be selected on July 28th.  Winners must claim their prize by July 30th or a new winner will be selected.  Prize provided by Washington Family Magazine and Brick Fair 2012.  Winner assumes all risk and liability.  PwcMoms was provided with courtesy tickets in return for this post.  
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