HGTV Santa HQ at Tysons Corner Center

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Published: 11/17/2015
Here's the reality of visiting Santa at the mall. Are you ready? It's not really mind-blowing, but it's the most important thing to know:

You're going to wait in line. 

Yup.  That's right.  And, if your kids are anything like, most kids, they could easily move from the "nice list" to the "naughty list" in the time it takes to go from the entry elf to the big guy in red. 

The nicest part of Santa HQ, for me, is that they understand this reality.  Instead of winding your way through endless miles of rope partitions, you get to wind your way through various rooms with different entertainment features.  

This is my 7 year old, and her response is the one you want to worry about.  We've always been very honest about our views on Santa, which you can feel however you want about, but she likes him anyway. 

So, here's Santa HQ:
When you first enter, you get to check to make sure that you're not wasting your time.  I mean, who'd want to get all the way to Santa only to find out they were actually on the naughty list? 
Here's the Naughty or Nice O'Meter.  Children step up, enter their name, and then stand on the footprints to get a reading on how naughty or nice they are.  Spoiler alert, I'm pretty sure everyone is nice ;) Here's Savannah's reading:
I have to say, I think that's pretty accurate.  She's a good kid :) 

Next, you pass through a brief outdoor section lined with Christmas trees.  This is a good time to take pictures of your children pretending to be reindeer.  
Excellent.  Next, we're onto the HGTV living room, where you can create and email yourself an Elf video, sit on the sofa and relax, and enjoy the overall holiday ambiance. 

Next you enter a control room, which has some really cool interactive features that a crew member will help you see using special tablets.  My kids were a little too old to want to play  much with the control panel, but they did enjoy the fact that they thought it was making "TARDIS sounds" and were joking about Santa being an incarnation of the Doctor.  

Finally, you get to Santa.  I can't show you a picture from that because cell phones are verboten, but the santa is quite good.  Our pictures were par for the course for a mall kiosk picture, and because we were there on a day with a school full of radio winners I just got the first image, not to pick.  We actually have some cute images on our online file and I might order one of them :) 

You can visit Santa's Headquarters in the Fashion Court at Tysons Corner Center near Nordstrom.  Santa HQ will be available November 14-December 24, 2015. For operating hours and more details, please click here. 

Mon Ami Santa Pictures 2015

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Published: 11/16/2015
Want to have something a little different this year? Not interested in standing in line at the mall? Parlez-Vous Photography is offering "Mon Ami, Santa" sessions on November 22nd and 25th in Springfield, VA.  For more information, or to register, visit

Mon Ami, Santa {my friend, Santa} is a *15-minute interactive visit with your old friend St. Nick. Children are greeted by name, and spend their time with Santa talking about things that make them excited - things that make them genuinely laugh! Santa will guide children into jolly situations, without them ever knowing it. With a little help from you, we will make this time with Santa personalized and special for your family. (Parents are even welcome to send a gift early for Santa to deliver specially for your child).
Santa will be visiting from the North Pole for two special days!
Sunday November 22 (10am-1pm)
Saturday Nov 28 (10am-1pm)

at The Historic Sydenstricker School House
8511 Hooes Road
Springfield, VA 22153
$150 for a 15-minute personalized visit with Santa. Includes:
one-on-one interactions with Santa photographed by Parlez-Vous Photography
Print package including 1-8x10, 1-5x7, 1-4x6, 4 wallets (all of one image)
Online gallery for image review and additional purchases
Complimentary Christmas card design with purchase of cards.

Review: Disney on Ice 100 Years of Magic

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Published: 10/22/2015
We went out to the Patriot Eagle Bank Center Arena last night to check out Disney on Ice 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids.

We had so much fun :)

The show features several of your favorite Disney stories, and, amazingly, after all that time you've probably spent watching Nemo on repeat with your toddler, they can tell the stories in 4-5 minutes! It's incredible :)

You'll see:
Mickey and Minnie (also Donald and Goofy)
Princesses and Princes! (Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Anna and Elsa, Belle, Rapunzel)
Nemo (complete with a Giant Turtle!)
Aladdin and the Genie
The Lion King
And more :)

As a former skater, I really appreciate the level of difficulty these skaters are performing, although I always have to chuckle that the kids don't seem to be impressed by anything less than a backflip as far as actual skating goes.  They do however LOSE THEIR MINDS when their favorite characters come out.  I really appreciate that Disney does a great job of packing in the princesses for those who like them (me) and also fitting in a number of "not girly" characters for those who prefer their hero/ines with a little less frill (my daughter).

Standouts for me were Mulan, the Blue Fairy, and the pairs skaters who played Simba and Nala.  Everyone is so incredibly talented, though, so it's hard to pick a favorite! The show does have special effects that include some firework/pyrotechnic elements, so be prepared for that if you have a little one who is sensitive.

Also, EVERYBODY is going to sing along at the top of their lungs, especially to "Let it Go", so you may as well just join right on in and enjoy it.

Eagle Bank Arena does have lots of dining options priced as you would except a venue of this type to be, including Chick Fil A, Piasano's Pizza, and some in-house brands offering burgers, chicken tenders, pretzels, etc.  There are MANY opportunities to purchase merchandise, as well, including snow cone commemorative cups, hats on top of cotton candy, glow items, shirts, and more.  There are also a few stands offering pictures with characters for an additional fee, if you are so inclined.

The show runs 2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission.  I took two 7 year olds who both seemed enthralled the entire time, although certainly happy for that bathroom break.  We did see a few families with very young toddlers who couldn't make it the whole way, although I think that was more a function of it being past their bed time than anything else.  If you're planning to take a very young child, I'd opt for the matinee times on Saturday or Sunday, rather than the evening shows the other nights.

We hope that you enjoy 100 Years of Magic as much as we did! 

100 Years of Magic plays Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax through Sunday, October 25th with tickets starting at just $20!

Disclosure: I was provided with tickets to perform my review, however my reviews are always my fair, honest opinion about my experience. 

Disney on Ice 2015 and a Giveaway!

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Published: 09/30/2015
Guess what time of year it is!!


Did you say fall? No, silly rabbit! 

It's Disney Time!!
Although, I mean, I'm not going to lie, I would also accept "Pumpkin Spice Latte Time".  That's equally valid.

Disney shows are always so well done, and we love the artistry and, as people who skate, we really appreciate the athleticism of the performers, at every Disney show!

Disney on Ice Presents 100 Years of Magic Presented by YoKids will be at the Patriot Center from October 21-25th.  I have heard a rumor that some people are now calling it "Eagle Bank Arena".....but, I am not yet at the point where I can do that.  I called "Jiffy Lube Live" Nissan Pavilion forever, change takes time...

So, anyway the Patriot/Eagle/America/Freedom/RedWhiteBlue Arena/Center (of Doom 3000) at George Mason University is a great venue for us in PWC because it's super close and easy to get to.  Leave time for parking, but unlike going into DC, you won't need to set aside $40 and hand your keys over to a stranger! Use code MOM2015 and get $6 off your tickets!

And the show? Well, it goes without saying that will be amazing.

Here's the description:
Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Icecelebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt! Be charmed by a cast of over 50, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. Relive the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Sing-along to over 30 unforgettable songs including “Let It Go,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Exciting moments from Disney•Pixar’s Toy StoryFinding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion KingBeauty and the BeastAladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime. Show off your moves at the Disney Magic of Healthy Living dance-along pre-show inspired by the Disney Healthy Living commitment as the celebration of the century skates into your hometown!

Wanna go? I know you do.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below to win a family 4 pack of tickets to the opening night (that's a Wednesday, so make sure you're free!) show! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By entering, you agree to our giveaway rulesDisclaimer: I am a Feld Family Ambassador. I receive free tickets for my own family for sharing this information. All opinions are my own. The Walt Disney Company is neither a sponsor nor endorser of this sweepstakes.

Review: Peter Pan 360 @Tysons Corner

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Published: 08/02/2015
Note: My sweet, sweet friend Heidi agreed to go check out Peter Pan 360 for me while I was on vacation.  (There has to be some kind of an upside to being my friend! Free tickets are it!) She and her daughter checked out the experience at Tysons Corner, and shared their thoughts below!

Honored to be asked to attend and review Peter Pan 360 for PWCMoms, I actually had no idea what it was. Somehow I had missed all the facebook and tv commercials. So I zipped to the website to figure out what “360” meant:
“Escape to Neverland in a whole new way with this spectacular, innovative live stage production of PETER PAN that combines intimate theater-in-the-round and overhead surround CGI projection; with actors in dazzling flying sequences forty feet in the air and whimsical puppets that bring J.M. Barrie’s classic tale to fantastical life, creating a truly unique environmental theatrical experience!”

The videos and descriptions were enthralling. I was excited and full of anticipation about a special evening out with my daughter. (I thought my 11-year-old might be a little old to fully enjoy and appreciate this experience.)

When I told my 8-year-old daughter we were going to see the play “Peter Pan” she started reminiscing about the various other Peter Pan experiences we have had: seeing the musical at a university theater, watching three different movies, as well as seeing “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” live at Disney World when she was four. I explained this would be different from all of those experiences, but I didn’t give her any details. (I just hoped I was right!!)

Good news….I was right! It was fabulous. Take your favorite aspects of various theater experiences (part Imax, part circus, part theater, part puppetry) put them together under a modern big top, and you will enjoy the story of Peter Pan with lots of laughter and gasps of amazement. We didn’t stop smiling the entire time.

The temporary theater is under a tent near Tysons Mall in McLean. You have to park at the mall’s free garage (there are plenty of signs to direct you) and walk a long city block to the theater. (Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. I was over-dressed.) There are plenty of photo ops before you enter the theater and around the lobby, including a backdrop for a “photo booth” to capture a fun instagram photo (#nevergrowup). Sit in your seats early for the pre-show entertainment…very talented musicians singing pirate song classics.

The theater-in-the-round was a lot smaller than I expected, but that is part of what makes this a more unique experience. I had the impression there are no bad seats: we sat about half-way up and it was perfect. You get to actually see the actors’ facial expressions! The stage is raised and much of the action is in the air, so even if an adult is sitting in front of your child, her view will not be blocked. The overhead projection appears to be perfectly viewable from any seat as well.
I loved hearing the belly laughs from my daughter, especially when Tinkerbell threw fabulous temper tantrums face down on the stage. I enjoyed watching my daughter gasp when the actors flew through London. And I was impressed with the gymnastic and acrobatic choreography that added to an already fabulous, classic story.

My 8-year-old’s review: “My favorite part was everything! It was also really funny because Michael, the little boy, hit Captain Hook in the head with the Teddy Bear. I liked the scenery and how they flew. I felt like I was in there with them. Tinkerbell was really funny. She was my favorite character because she had tantrums when Peter Pan said they had to go save Wendy.”
It was a great production and I highly recommend it to your family!

Just the facts:
Recommended for ages 5 and up, although younger children will enjoy it, too. Older children may not fully enjoy the whimsy of this experience.
Pros: Even if you have seen Peter Pan “umpteen” times, this will be a unique experience, small theater, engaging actors, visually entertaining, photo op with a couple of actors after the show
Cons: Hard to understand the British accents, loud noises and lights may be uncomfortable for children with sensory sensitivities
(Note: The crocodile “Tick -Tock” got very close to the audience, growled loudly, and made a few little ones cry. Capt. Hook slices Tiger Lily’s neck to kill her, not graphic, though. But (yay!) she was one of the first out for applause.)
The show is in DC for four weeks with an all new cast (from the previous run). It lasts approx. 87 minutes with a 20 minute intermission. Tickets start at $30.  There is a concession stand and merchandise shop at typical theater prices ($20 t-shirt, $15 foam sward, $5 soft pretzel, $7 popcorn.)

Disclaimer: PwcMoms was provided with free tickets to this event, but all opinions are our own.  You can tell because Heidi is entirely too nice to lie.  She'd tell you. 

Ringling Brothers Presents "Legends"

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Published: 04/09/2015

The Ringling Bros.and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Patriot Center was great fun.  The show was entitled "Legends," and was filled with legendary circus acts.  No one was shot out of a cannon, but other than that, they hit all the major circus milestones.  

It's been many years since I'd been to the Patriot Center.  It's a great venue -- large enough to have a real "big show" feel, but small enough to feel like all the seats have a good view and you don't have to walk miles to get to around. 

I was pleased to hear recently that Ringing Bros. will be retiring elephants from all of their shows in 2016.  (I live in a house divided in that regard -- my husband disagrees and thinks that elephants are an important part of the circus.)  But even when the elephants are no longer in the show, there are many other animal acts.  We counted a full ten different species that performed, including the traditional big cats (lions and tigers), dogs (big and small), and horses.  And there were some non-traditional ones like goats and llamas...  and one surprise that I won't ruin here.

The human acts included motorcycles, acrobats, clowns, trapeze artists, and a spectacular Ringmaster complete with flamboyant sparkling tail coat and top hat (changed often, of course).  Both my husband and I were very pleased to see that they had a live band.  Lots of electronics included, but live trumpet, trombone, saxophone, keyboard, and drums, at the least.  The human acts are always my favorite, and I found myself saying, along with my boys, things like "Wow!" and "No way!" 

The show was LOUD.  If you're sensitive to loud noises (or bright lights, for that matter), be prepared.  

Our boys are 8 and 10, and both thoroughly enjoyed the show.  There was, as my 10 year old put it after the show, "a little cheese" in some of the acts, but overall they had a great time.  At one point during the show that same 10 year old said, "This might really be The Greatest Show on Earth!"  High praise, indeed.

Want to go? You can catch the show:
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
Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.  

Giveaway: Ringling Brothers Presents "Legends"

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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)

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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"

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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!

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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

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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

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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.
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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.
A Play Gym Designed for Parents and Children Aged 10 Months to 4 1/2 Years... PWC Library - Summer Reading Program