Giveaway: Manassas Restaurant Week

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Published: 09/19/2014

In honor of Manassas Restaurant Week (September 21-27, 2014!!) I am so excited to share a special giveaway from one of the participating restaurants, Malones of Manassas.  

Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas (9329 Main Street), Malone's is actually located inside an historic, landmark church built shortly after the Civil War. Malone's houses both a casual and upscale restaurant and bar offering the best of Southern American cuisine and hospitality. 

Their executive chef, Scott Bilstad, brings over 10 years of culinary experience to Malones.  His expansive knowledge comes from studying in prominent kitchens throughout the US and Europe.  Chef Scott also studied in Japan while serving our country in the United States Navy.  A native of Fredericksburg, VA, Chef Scott supports using local, fresh ingredients and is currently curing his own bacon, prosciutto, salmon, and white fish- all of which are considered "featured items" at Malones. 

Owner Kevin Malone is also a local! Kevin has over 30 years experience in the Restaurant, Hospitality and Management Industry. A native of Manassas, and graduate of Osborn High School, Kevin knew that when the time came to create his own dining experience it would be back in his home town of Manassas. He’s added a contemporary twist to all his client’s favorite dishes and libations in a setting that is as unique and conversational as the menu. 

Now let's get to the exciting part (although home-cured prosciutto is pretty exciting):

During restaurant week, Malone's will be offering a 3-course menu for $35/person.  Awesome! You can make reservations by calling 571-208-1246.  

Malones will be giving away a $70 gift card to a lucky reader! That's enough to cover two people for dinner during restaurant week! How awesome is that??

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below!

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Disclosure: This prize is provided by Malones of Manassas.  Winner assumes any liability/risk. By entering you agree to be bound by our Giveaway Rules, which you can find by clicking here. PwcMoms is not responsible for you over-eating, becoming addicted to homemade bacon, or having a fantastic time, although we'll take the credit for that last part if you want to give it to us.  Please use a designated driver if you decide to enjoy a cocktail (or two).  Driving Buzzed is not cool, and I live in Manassas now, so stay off my roads.  I was compensated for writing this post, but all opinions are my own- including those about bacon.  

Workday/Holiday Childcare Coverage

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Published: 09/18/2014

If you need workday coverage, check out these great offerings from the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center!! I love that Winter Break Camp is offered by individual days so that you can get just the amount that you need! 

Holiday/Teacher Work Day Camp (Ages 5-12)
While the teachers work...bring the students to play! Campers will participate in sports, crafts & swimming activities on their day off from school. Five year old campers MUST be currently enrolled in full day kindergarten. Please register at least one week in advance to avoid cancellation. 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. extended care included!!
Mon Oct 13 Tue Nov 4 Tue Nov 11
6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 

Winter Break Camp (Ages 5-12)
Miss summer camp?! Keep your camper active during school winter break! Whether your camper attends one day or all six...each day will be filled with exciting camp activities! Camp will include sports and recreation arts, crafts, swimming and loads of fun. Send tennis shoes, snacks, lunch, swimsuit, and a towel. Campers at age 5 must be currently enrolled in full day kindergarten. Please register at least one week in advance to avoid cancellation. 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. extended care included, with the exception to 12/24 and 12/31.
Mon Dec 22 Tues Dec 23 Wed Dec 24 Fri Dec 26 Mon Dec 29 Tues Dec 30 Wed Dec 31
6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. $60 6:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $60 

Touch a Truck (and a Giveaway!!)

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Published: 09/10/2014

Discovery Junction children's museum is hosting a Touch a Truck on Sunday, September 21 from 10am-2pm at NOVA Manassas! Admission is $5/child, the first 100 children will get a free diecast vehicle, and there will be vehicles, kid-friendly activities, food, demos, and more! Join the fun!

Want to win a family four pack? We'll pick two winners!

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Prize provided by Discovery Junction.  By entering you agree to be bound by our Giveaway Rules.

Giveaway: The Music Box

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Published: 08/01/2014
As part of their ongoing Hylton Family Series, the Hylton Performing Arts Center will be hosting  The Music Box:

Synetic Theater presents The Music Box

  • August 6, 2014 at 11:00 am
Merchant Hall
Embrace your inner eccentric! The Music Box is a magnificent collection of comedic short stories set to music and brought to life in Synetic Theater’s unique movement theater style. Audience members journey into the wonderful world of storytelling through pantomime, imagination, illusions and physical comedy. Where an average day becomes extraordinary when a surly janitor and an uptight businessman discover a magical mask that tricks or teases whoever discovers it, two cowboys in the wild west tame a bull on the loose, two road workers try to catch a butterfly in an attempt to capture the heart of a girl, and—not to be missed—the classic invisible wall. Synetic Theater is D.C.’s premiere physical theater company producing world-class performing arts for more than a decade and winning 24 Helen Hayes Awards.
These performances are appropriate for children ages 5 to 12 years old.
$15: Adults
$5: Children

Want to win a family 4 pack of tickets? Check out the Rafflecopter below!

Good Luck!

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Disclosure: By entering you are agreeing to all of our giveaway rules

Soccer Skills School Summer Sessions

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Published: 06/12/2014

Registrations now open for upcoming summer sessions!!

Training will be held at SNF (Sports Network & Fitness) 8320 Quarry Rd, Manassas VA

Includes 6 sessions at 1.5 hours each. Each session will take place once a week over the summer season.

Training will focus on shooting, passing, shooting in transition and finishing.

Ages 6-9 will be held Wednesday starting June 25th from 7-8:30pm
Ages 10-13 will be held Thursday June 26th from 7-8:30pm

$99 per child – Sign up now through June 15th and receive a $15 discount!!

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Soccer Skills School. 

Summer Camp Option: AviationEd Camp

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Published: 05/01/2014
AviationEd’s summer camps combine our standards-based, STEM curriculum with enhanced project-based learning activities for kids in a variety of settings including the classroom, air traffic control towers, aviation maintenance hangars, and aircraft. These week-long programs begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at noon during the weeks indicated below. Camp will be held at the Manassas Regional Airport. Light snack and a t-shirt will be included.

Youth Chorus Program Beginning in the 2014-2015 Season

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Published: 04/15/2014

Youth Orchestras of Prince William Announces Addition of Youth Chorus Program Beginning in the 2014-2015 Season

Woodbridge, VA (April 11, 2014) – The Youth Orchestras of Prince William(YOPW) is delighted to announce the addition of a Youth Chorus for the 2014-2015 season.  This treble voice choir will be open to both male and female students in grades 3 through 8.  The chorus will perform a variety of repertoire including classical, folk, and world music and collaborate with YOPW’s orchestras.
John Devlin, Music Director said, “YOPW’s mission is to serve the area’s youth by providing them with high-level musical opportunities. We saw a need for an excellent choral program that will bring together talented youth from around the region. Our unique position within the county allows YOPW to do this and will give the chorus the chance to perform with our instrumental ensembles.”
YOPW began incorporating choral collaborations into their performances in the 2012-2013 season.  These have proven to be successful learning opportunities for all of the students – orchestra members and singers – and YOPW is excited to expand these offerings. 
“Integrating a youth choir into our own offerings is an ideal channel for younger students that are interested in the choral arts. With us, they will grow into excellent ensemble members and enjoy the experience in the way that our instrumental students are currently able,” said Devlin.
Students interested in joining the new Youth Chorus will be required to complete a voice check.  Voice checks will give students the opportunity to meet with Chorus staff one-on-one and will last 5-7 minutes per student. 
Voice Checks will be held:
·      Monday, May 12th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Gar-Field High School
·      Monday, May 19th from 5:00 - 9:00 pm at Patriot High School
·      Saturday, September 6th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at Gar-Field High School
Appointments can be made by contacting the YOPW Office at (703) 590-7083 or

For more than 30 years, the Youth Orchestras of Prince William has provided exceptional instrumental education for the youth of the region. We offer opportunities for a wide spectrum of students, ranging from beginning string players and intermediate wind players to advanced students performing professional symphonic repertoire. YOPW enrolls approximately 275 students in three string orchestras, two symphony orchestras, a wind symphony, and a variety of chamber music ensembles. Our students are primarily from Prince William County, Virginia, but YOPW members come from all over Northern Virginia and North Central Virginia. For more information about the Youth Orchestras of Prince William visit our website: 

Summer Intensives at Academy of Russian Ballet

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Published: 04/01/2014

Our friends at the Academy of Russian Ballet are offering several summer intensives, master classes, and maintenance classes for your dancer!  The Academy of Russian Ballet appears on our "Readers Recommend: Dance Studios for Children in Prince William County" list, as well. 

The Academy of Russian Ballet is a sponsor of  All opinions expressed are those of, however. 

2014/2015 at the Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Published: 03/22/2014
If we ever get to move into our new house in Manassas, which I consider to be less and less likely every day, one of the things I'm most excited about is being closer to the Hylton Performing Arts Center.  My kids are big lovers of the arts- my middle son Logan is learning the violin and has become obsessed with classical and orchestra music, and all of them love live performances whenever we can make it to one.

I was so very fortunate to be invited to come out for the unveiling of the 2014-2015 Season, which has some really fun options for the whole family.

First, and most obvious, the center offers a "Hylton Family Series" each year.  I consider these to be targeted to a slightly younger crowd, PreK-2nd grade, perhaps? But you're the best judge for your child.  You can purchase individual performances for $10/adult or $5/child and you can also purchase a Hylton Family Series Subscription, which essentially gets you 3 performances at regular price and the fourth for $1. This year will feature:
ImaginOcean October 26th, 2014 at 2pm or 4pm.
Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia takes young audiences on a magical under-the-sea adventure in this one-of-a-kind live glow-in-the-dark musical! Fishy friends Tank, Bubbles, and Dorsel discover a treasure map, thus beginning their remarkable journey of underwater discovery. Jam-packed with music ranging from swing to R&B to big band, this charming story appeals to audiences of all ages and is a blast from the first big splash to the last wave goodbye! Celebrated puppeteer, actor, and singer John Tartaglia got his start working on Sesame Street as a teenager, and later starred in Broadway’s Avenue Q, Shrek the Musical, and Beauty and the Beast, and created and performed in Disney’s television hit Johnny and the Sprites. “A whimsical trip to the depths of the sea.” (Back Stage)
Peter Yarrow April 12, 2015 at 2pm.
Folk musician, songwriter, and children’s author Peter Yarrow returns to the Hylton Center for a fun and interactive musical performance that combines beloved folk tunes with inspiring lessons for children of all ages. This American music legend and Grammy Award winner is perhaps best known for his career with the beloved folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary; yet he is also a spirited activist who now uses his music to educate children about the effects of bullying. In this family-oriented concert, Yarrow performs “Don’t Laugh at Me” and other songs that encourage children to treat each other with compassion, kindness, and respect, as well as some of iconic folk songs from throughout his career, including “If I Had a Hammer,”  “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”
Pushcart Players Alice in Wonderland February 28, 2015 at 11am or 2pm.
Lewis Carroll’s zany and fantastical tale comes to life when this Emmy-nominated troupe returns to the Hylton Center with Alice in Wonderland. Filled with pure nonsense and madcap characters that everyone knows and loves – from the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts – this intriguing tale about a curious and imaginative young girl has enchanted readers for many generations. Pushcart Players now brings young Alice’s adventure to the stage in this delightful adaptation, complemented by whimsical music, vibrant costumes, and spectacular scenic elements. “A polished and knowing theater company and a felicitous event for children.” (The New York Times)
The Berenstain Bears LIVE! Family Matters the Musical on November 22, 2014 at 11am or 2pm. 
Come on down to Bear Country for this enchanting adaptation of Stan and Jan Berenstain’s beloved children’s series. Fresh from its sold-out off-Broadway run this heartwarming musical based on three of the Berenstain Bears most popular books. Brother Bear’s grades are slipping, Sister Bear still has a few things to learn about making new friends, and Papa Bear can’t stop eating junk food – but thankfully, they – and we – can always depend on Mama Bear and her loving patience to set things right. Filled with original songs, fun dancing, and important life lessons, this humorous and heartfelt theatrical experience gives parents the opportunity to share these treasured tales they enjoyed as children with their own young cubs! “Like honey for little kids!” (Mommy Poppins)

Also available for families, several performances throughout the year are marked as "Family Friendly", which also comes with a youth discount.  Half price tickets are available to these performances for students through grade 12.  High Schoolers may attend without an adult chaperone present, but must present their student ID.  Children under high school age must have a paying adult with their party.  These performances can still be pricey, but some of them look really neat.  For 2014/2015 the schedule includes:
The Senegal St. Joseph Gospel ChoirOctober 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm
The National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China: Cirque PekingOctober 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm
American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops: Songs of the SeasonDecember 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: An Evening with Doc SeverinsenFebruary 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy: Visions from Cape Breton and BeyondMarch 1, 2015 at 4:00 pm
Russian National Ballet Theatre: CinderellaMarch 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm
Keyboard Conversations with Jeffrey Siegel: Popular Piano ClassicsApril 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

If it was up to me, I'd definitely hit the National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China....and Cinderella. 
Also worth mentioning, the Hylton Center also does a fairly extensive lineup for the Christmas Season, which would be fun for your family or if you have out of town visitors, too!

Disclosure: The Hylton Performing Arts Center invited me to come to their 2014/2015 Season unveiling as a media guest.  I got a free cake pop from Confections.  It was awesome.  No other compensation was provided, although I'll take free tickets anytime if someone from the Hylton Center is reading this.  Just sayin. 

30 Acts of Kindness Tasks 3-6, Show Some Love

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Published: 02/05/2014
During February, I'm celebrating my 30th Birthday with 30 Acts of Kindness suggested by readers.  The point of these posts isn't to "brag" about what I've been doing, but rather to raise awareness about different organizations in Prince William County and share how you and your family can get involved in making our area a better place to live.  If you'd like to join me in any of my assignments, or if you participate in one on your own, I'd love to get your picture and/or story to share!! I'd love to think this is making a difference, and I hope that you'll join me! 

One of my greatest hopes in doing this series was that just ONE person would be inspired to take their family out to make a difference.  I had three different mommas write in and suggest showing appreciation to our local police, firefighters, and library staff.  We made triple chocolate chip and oatmeal Craisin cookies and delivered them to Lake Ridge Neighborhood Library, OWL Station 14, and Logan's scout leader, who's a PWC Police Officer, was kind enough to deliver our cookies to the station for us.  However, the big news, for me, was an email that I received from a momma who decided she'd do the same.  I cannot tell you how this made my day :) I knew someone had done the same thing because they mentioned it on the Manassas Park Fire and Rescue Page. I had a few readers email/message to ask if the cookies were mine, and I was so excited to say no! I was even more excited to get the full report from mom Julie sharing their amazing experience taking part in this "assignment".  Rather than share my prepared post, I'm going to share her email, with permission, of course!

Thank you so much Julie, for sharing your story- that was such an act of kindness to me, as I always wonder if anything I do is making an impact. 

  I'll begin with yesterday (2/2/14), busy busy and more busy. Sunday School, church, home to change and get coupons, "quick" (lol) 4 hour trip to Wal-Mart on Super Bowl Sunday, back home, gramma starts mixing the dough as I put away groceries, settle kiddos down. The nightseemed like it never ended, why you may ask, well my 4 yr old didn't fall asleep till 2 hrs past norm, about then the 2 yr old woke from his 2 hour night nap at 9:30pm and up till like 4(am)!!!!! So my 3hr
sleep was precious!

Noon on 2/3/14 I set off with only my 4 yr old because the little one isn't feeling great. Cookies all packaged up and ready to go, I thought it would be fairly quick since everything was close by (NOT) :). 
We started at the police station where Ms. Bunge greeted us with a smile. As we were talking, mainly my non stop 4 yr old son William, she asked if he had a children's id. We don't, so she asked if we wanted to, sure that sounds great since we are already here. That was the beginning to the wonderful experience we had at Manassas Park police station. About the time we were done with making the id officer William was standing there talking away to William, he gives us free passes to the community  center for the whole family and then asks if we are ready for the tour- I wasn't even aware we were going on! He took us around showing William everything from their newest police vehicle to pulling up a cruiser close to the building so we could see it but not get wet, all the while picking up different things to take with us, a photo of a police vehicle, cups, pens, sticker/picture game, I was running out of hands. Then he shares with me his job which is community outreach, says he has a office at the rec center where he was when we arrived but to my surprise Ms. Bunge had called him and asked if he could come over to give us a tour!!! I was in awe of their kindness they showed us when we were the ones trying to do the kind act for them, officer William didn't even know he had cookies waiting for him!!!

After that, it was off to the fire house. EMT Lee greeted us with a warm smile as we handed over the tasty cookies. Asks William if he wants to see a fire truck, he says yes as if you needed me to say that! Lee was awesome showing us around, sharing his knowledge about how those big red fire trucks work and letting William roam all around from one vehicle to the next! From there William got a cool plastic glove balloon with a painted face made by Lee and his own pair of plastic EMT gloves!! (Way past time to eat so we break at Starbucks for a quick snack).
 Now to the library!!! Started by returning a book, then to the information desk where William hands cookies to the "nice lady" he calls her. She was excited to get cookies, said the peanut blossoms were her favorite!! William and the"nice lady" talked for a few minutes until he inched his way toward the kid area anxiously wanting to start doing puzzles, she says what a wonderful boy he is and that he could stay there all day talking to her, I share that he talks from the time he wakes till his eyes close, so she says well in moderation(lol), she shares that her daughter was that way and even talked in her sleep!! (We stayed at the library doing puzzles and reading books for a little while). Not sure what "nice lady's" name was.
5 o'clock we finally get back home!! So much to share with little brother and grandma about it fantastic day that turned into a kindness act from both sides that was pure and from the heart!
~ Julie 

Santa at the Manassas Park Community Center 2013

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Published: 12/16/2013
Join the Manassas Park Community Center for "Santa Paws" with your pets on 12/21/2013 from 11:30-12:30, and get your pets' pictures with Santa!  $5/dog.  No pets? Bring your kiddos to Breakfast with Santa, also on 12/21 from 9-11am, $5/child. 

Week in Preview: December 2-December 8, 2013

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Published: 12/02/2013
I said "Brrr" it's cold in here, there must be some Toros in the atmosphere...



"Bring it On" reference aside, it is COLD.  Bitter, nasty cold.  I'm so not okay with that.  I like Virginia winter- the kind where it's a frigid 55 in mid-January.  I do not like the kind where it's 34 on Thanksgiving Day. 

I'm moving to Florida.

If you're staying here, then here are a few ideas for fun events and activities this week.

Pre-Register or RSVP for:
Wednesday, Prince William Ice Center will host one of their very popular "Snow and Story" drop in dates.  Our popular Snow and Story Hour is designed to provide toddler and pre-school age children with a safe and fun time playing on our ice, with snow and a variety of toys.  The on-ice session is followed by cookies, hot chocolate and a story. The cost is $7 per child.  Email to reserve you spot.  Space is limited.

Wonders of the Holidays (Ages 3-5) Code 310191
Tis the season…We will celebrate the season through reading books that explore the magic of the holidays.  $15 SBDCRC December 5th, 9:45am

Pancakes with warm syrup & sausages, orange juice, coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider.
            Adults – 3 large pancakes and 3 sausages with a drink
                Children – 2 large pancake and 2 sausages with a drink
                *Space is limited to 80 for each seating
Saturday Nov. 30th 10am,  Sunday Dec. 1st 10am, Saturday Dec. 7th 10am, Sunday Dec. 8th 10am, Saturday Dec. 14th 10am, & Sunday Dec.15th 10am
Register online@

Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for an afternoon of adventure with Vianlix Mestey's original story, "In Santa, We Believe", live onstage!
Just when you thought everything was going great, Santa's workshop grinds to a halt! Will Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves do what it takes to make sure Christmas Day happens? Come find out, as this tune-filled story unfolds.
Show dates: Saturdays, November 30-December 28
Show Times: 1pm (55 minute show, with one intermission)
Tickets: $12 adults; $8 children under 12 years old
*Limited seating, advance ticket reservations are recommended for this event. Reserved tickets may be collected at Will Call beginning 30 minutes prior to event, doors open for seating 15 minutes prior. Produced by Mestey Films Productions, this is a live-theatre performance for children and families.

Monday, December 2nd
Chinn Library will have your whole family covered tonight.  Younger children can enjoy "bedtime story hour" at 7:15, and if you have middle or high schoolers, plan to arrive early at 7pm so they can take part in a free holiday craft program.

Tuesday, December 3rd
At 10:30, Drumming with Dishes: Holiday Edition will play at the Lorton Workhouse.  Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for the musical play Drumming with Dishes: Holiday Edition.What happens when you invite someone very different from you to come over to play? Just such an adventure awaits a toddler when she introduces her shy imaginary friend to a very special kitchen, where instead of food, they'll cook up beautiful music! This gentle, playful adventure celebrates friendship and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary as you never know just what will become a musical instrument next. Purchase tickets here.

In DC, but could be fun, the National Building Museum will host a special story time reading "The Gingerbread Baby" by Jan Brett. Book of the Month: Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
Readings at 10:30 and 11:30 am. Free with admission to Building Zone. Recommended ages 3-5.

Wednesday, December 4th
From 10am-12pm, you can take your kiddos and "Stroll and Roll" in Stafford.  STROLL & ROLL is back at The Cavalier! Stroll & Roll is a session aimed at kids ages 1-5. They can practice skating, go wild in the Play Zone or bring their favorite ride on toy and whiz around on our huge floor. Stroll & Roll is held every Wednesday from 10:00a-12:00p starting September 4th. Admission is only $3 per child and moms & dads are FREE! Mommy & Me and MOPS groups are welcome! Bring a friend and spread the word!

Bull Run Festival of Lights is open nightly starting at 5:30 on weekdays.  We've had better luck when we go early in the month- you can wait on line to get IN for upwards of an hour closer to Christmas. Just sayin :)

Thursday, December 5th
Salt Dough Ornament Making (December 5 at 7pm)
Manassas Park Community Center will supply the materials and know-how, you just come create.  $3/pp fee covers everything you'll need. 

Friday, December 6th
Merry Old Town- Make time to enjoy old-fashioned family fun at the "Merry Old Town" celebration in Old Town Manassas! The holiday fun begins at 5:30p.m. with holiday music and at 6:00p.m.when Santa arrives at the Manassas Depot via VRE train. The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be at 6:30 at the Manassas Museum.  Take a free hayride around Old Town and go for a skate at the Harris Pavilion ice rink. Of course, Santa will hear the Christmas wishes of all the children at the Harris Pavilion gazebo.

Hylton Planetarium will offer three shows.  Your best chance for tickets is to get them in advance at the box office at the high school, M-F 7:30am-4pm.  $10pp bring exact change.
Friday, December 6th, 2013
6:00pm - Laser Holidays
7:30pm - Star of Bethlehem
9:00pm - Laser Holidays

Saturday, December 7th
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 10 a.m.
Old Town Manassas. See amazing floats, local celebrities, live performances, marching bands, equestrians, animated characters, giant balloons, and Santa at the Manassas Christmas Parade. The parade route begins at Mathis Avenue and concludes at the intersection of Center Street and Grant Avenue. Enjoy enchanted Christmas stories at the Train Depot from 2-5 p.m.

Join us at Good Shepherd UMC in Dale City for "Merry Larry" Join us for this free fun movie event to view the new Veggie Tale Christmas movie called "Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas" featuring Si Robertson "Uncle Si" from Duck Dynasty as "Silas" the know it will be fun for all ages!  Everyone is welcome. 10am. 

5-6pm, Town of Dumfries Tree Lighting Join the Town of Dumfries for our Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event!  Please stop by Town Hall, between 11/20-12/6, and pick up an ornament, to decorate, and place on the Town Tree! Visit for details!

Sunday, December 8th
Free carraige rides will leave from the Train Depot and take you around Old Town Manassas from 1 pm-4 pm. There is no admission charge for this event.

Catch a presentation of the Nutcracker at Faquier HS at 4pm or Osbourn HS at 3pm. 

Week in Preview: November 18 to November 24, 2013

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Published: 11/18/2013
I'm not entirely sure how we got so gosh darn close to Thanksgiving so quickly!! Wasn't is JUST Halloween?

Goodness, time flies.  Part of that, for me, is probably that we've had a series of guests, a little snafu with insurance, a birthday party to plan, and my never-ending string of doctor's visits (ugh).  However, I doubt I'm the only one that feels like I'm on the holiday bullet train!

Hopefully you'll have some time this week to enjoy a few fun events with your kids! Don't forget that we've already got our Christmas/Winter Fun 2013 guide up! We'll continue adding to it as businesses and organizations send us their events.  Don't forget that it's FREE to be on our guide and calendar!!

As always, these are just a few of the events you'll find on our calendar! Check out the "calendar" link above for more ideas and details!! Also, while you're there, use the "propose an event" feature to add your business, church, organization, PTA/PTO events!! It's free and easy! 

Pre-Register/RSVP/Buy Tickets For:
Look What I Made! (Ages 3-5) Code 310121
Class participants will be able to make their own playdough and ooblek. $15, register in advance, November 21 9:45am Dale City Rec Center

December 12th, 7-8pm at Bull Run Library, your child can make a sugar cone tree, but registration, in person or by phone, is required. 

Monday, November 18
Someone just asked me about sign language classes, and while I'm not aware of ongoing ones, today at 1pm, you can check out "Signing Storytime" at Chinn Library. This is a free, drop-in program for children ages two and up and their caregiver. No tickets or registration is required.

There will be a free parenting class in Dumfries from 7-9pm.  Come out and get some fresh ideas and encouragement.  Email Dumfries Cares for more information

Tuesday, November 19
$2 Tuesday is one of my favorite days of the week :) University Mall Theatres isn't actually in Prince William County, but saving $10 a ticket (not to mention $16 on popcorn!) is worth a drive to Fairfax for me!! This week, they're showing Planes, Despicable Me 2, and Percy Jackson 2.  My kids laughed SO HARD during Despicable Me 2 that I can't even describe it.  I thought they were going to be sick.  If you haven't seen it, we give it two thumbs up!

Need a way to keep your kids active as the weather cools down? Soaring Spirit Yoga Studio is offering Family Yoga on Tuesday evenings at 5pm.  Drop in, or purchase a punch pass for savings.

Wednesday, November 20
PWC Moms sponsor Animated Child will hold an open house for their French Immersion Preschool Program! I think this could be especially pertinent for children whose base school offers the IB Early Years program or an Elementary World Languages Program, such as Lake Ridge Elementary.  10am-11am.

The Harris Pavilion in Manassas offers outdoor ice skating at a rate of $7 per adult and $6 per child.  Skate rentals are available for an additional $6. Hours vary, check for details.

Thursday, November 21
Kidgits club meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at 10am for different fun activities.  It's free for everyone to attend, or, for $5 per child per year, you can get a Kidgits membership and enjoy special perks, like a goodie at each meeting or a spin on the prize wheel every time you shop! Plus a t-shirt and something special for your birthday.

At 10:45, check out Muncha Buncha a weekly storytime for children ages 2-6, accompanied by an adult. If your child wishes to do the craft, please pick up a craft stick at the information desk before the program. Craft sticks are limited to the first 24 children.  Nov 21 - Harvest Feasts.

Chinn Library has their monthly craft night at 7pm. Discover your inner-animal spirit in true Native American fashion and then wear it proudly. This is a free, drop-in family program. One craft per child.

Friday, November 22
Bull Run Festival of Lights opens this week! Festival of Lights: November 20, 2013 - January 5, 2014. Hours: Monday - Thursday & Sunday: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays & holidays: 5:30 to 10 p.m.  You can read our review here, with my tips on how to go on the cheap (PS- watch deal sites, too!).

Saturday, November 23
From 1-2pm, your child can join the Chinn Book Club! Join our monthly book club in which children read a book appropriate for their age. A free, drop-in program. No tickets or registration is necessary. Parent attendance & support is strongly encouraged.

The Cashore Marionettes will be at Hylton Performing Arts Center at 4pm (2pm is sold out) presenting "Simple Gifts". Adults: $15.00 Children: $5.00

Sunday, November 24
Bring your reluctant reader to PAL (People Animals Love) provides early readers and kids who just love to read the opportunity to read to a registered therapy dog in a relaxed atmosphere. Bring your own book or use one of ours. Ages 6-10, Chinn Library, 1-2pm

At 4pm The Center for the Arts’ Pied Piper Theatre opens its 2013-2014 season in November with a rollicking musical production of Willy Wonka, Jr.  Bring the entire family and everyone will go home singing the “Oompa Loompa” song and “Candy Man.”

Celebrate Thanksgiving early (as opposed to Christmas, which I noticed was sneaking out in October) Sunday, November 24th, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Epiphany Lutheran Church, and Lutheran Church of the Covenant will join together in a Service of Thanksgiving and Holy Communion hosted by Epiphany. The service will begin at 6:30pm. A dessert reception will follow the service.

Giveaway: Northern Virginia Youth Ballet Presents "The Nutcracker"

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Published: 11/13/2013
I cannot believe we're entering Nutcracker season already!! The last year has been somewhat of a blur for me with being sick, and I am really excited to fully enjoy the holiday season with my family!! Bring on the ballet, the ice sculptures, the light shows, I want to do it all and over-exhuast myself!!  

We've actually never taken our children to see the Nutcracker live, and I am thinking this is the year.  Staying local so that you don't add an hour of driving and finding parking is always a great idea as far as I'm concerned, and the Northern Virginia Youth Ballet will be presenting their Nutcracker in Manassas!!

The Northern Virginia Youth Ballet is proud to present it's 7th annual production of "The Nutcracker"!
Saturday, December 7th at 5pm
Sunday, December 8th at 3pm
Osbourn Park HS
8909 Euclid Avenue, Manassas, VA
This year's production features Guest Artists Melissa Zoebisch & Alexandru Glusacov as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier as well as Dmitri Vistoropskiy as The Nutcracker
Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for seniors and children (All tickets $5.00 more at the door). You may order online or by calling 703-368-2268

Obviously, since you can save $5/ticket by ordering online- you'll want to get your tickets in advance!! However, if you'd like to win a family four pack of tickets, we've got them for you, thanks to Northern Virginia Youth Ballet/Academy of Russian Ballet!! Enter using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize is provided by The Northern Virginia Youth Ballet/Academy of Russian Ballet.  PwcMoms is not responsible for cavities due to Sugar Plums, or your child demanding ballet lessons so she can be Clara.  By entering, you agree to our rules, which you can read here.  As always, our giveaways are not affiliated with Apple/iTunes/Google/Google Play/Android/Facebook or anybody else using a shovel to pick up their cash money.  

FREE Recycles Day and Community Shred

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Published: 10/15/2013
The Prince William County Recycles Day and Paper Shred will be October 19th, 2013 from 10am-2pm at the County Landfill.  It may seem a little odd to go to the landfill for a family day, but there will be an environmental "Edutainer" food, prizes, games, tours, and more! Check it out! 

Meet Corry Matthews

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Published: 09/10/2013

Normally when I introduce a business, I introduce the business by name, but this time, I’d rather you start off by meeting the owner.  You’ve met Corry before, actually, she’s the one who introduced me to protein powder that tastes like Nestle’s Quick, which is actually a godsend right now, because post-radiation I hate food. (It’s very sad).  Anyway, Corry is a local business owner, mom, fitness and nutrition expert, and author, and I really want you to meet the “mom behind the magic”.

I had a chance to chat with Corry the other day about a few of her passions, including her kids, fitness, and her nutrition businesses.  Here’s a little of what we chatted about.
Being a mom is really hard! I know we all have a million hats in the air.  How do you find time to do everything that you do on a daily basis and help your family stay healthy?
I feel like the key is that too many times moms think “as long as I take care of the kids and their needs, it’s fine”, but they never take care of themselves.  Moms, we’re just tired all day long and it’s always give, give, give.  Even I am tempted (and I do) to just run through the drive through sometimes, but what kind of example is that? I think it’s about little changes, mom being able to cook something for dinner that can go in the car to soccer and gymnastics is a big help!

It is always give, give, give! We started our “school” schedule and we’re running constantly from scouts to soccer to hockey to art…How do you find time to take care of yourself in the midst of all that?
There is a discipline to it.  As far as exercise, I do get up early and get on the treadmill before my kids wake up, I use the preschool time at the gym to both network and sneak in a workout, and I get my real “me” time after the kids go to bed.  It would be great to have more of that “me” time, but I try to schedule my day with all the things I need, including time for myself, and really keep to it.  I’ve found that keeping to a schedule really allows me to have more down time for me.  It’s not, by any means, perfect, sometimes I have to really tell myself “do what you’d tell your clients to do”. 
I think that’s what makes working with you as a fitness coach or nutrition expert really easy, is that you are a real person, a real mom, so you get how it is.
My favorite part of the book (Corry is co-author of 9 Months In 9 Months Out) is actually the birth stories at the end.  All of the authors had a connection to health or fitness, but here I was and I needed an emergency C-section, basically any kind of medical everything you could possibly need, I had to have it.  I think that as moms we need to have some reality with each other so we see there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, even when it doesn’t go the way we plan.
That’s so true- I think there’s a lot of pressure on moms in the media, on Pinterest, even just standing around at preschool.  How do you meet moms where they are and help them with health and fitness without it being more pressure?
When moms see Kate Middleton four weeks postpartum in a size zero, it’s hard, but I try to tell people, look, this is her role in life, to look a certain way.  You don’t see the six hours of physical training, you don’t see the restricted diet, and the constant pressure.  What it’s really about is you and your goals and who you are.  Are you a size 14 and unhappy? Where will you be happy- if it’s size 10 jeans, great, let’s do that, but if it’s more energy and feeling healthier, let’s do that, too. We can lose weight and be healthier, yes, but at the end of the day, let’s be happy.
I’m so about that- let’s be happy.  How can you help moms on that journey to happy- whatever it looks like? I think it can be a little intimidating, I know the first time I came to your store (Corry is the owner of Max Muscle Sports Nutrition’s Manassas and Springfield locations) I was worried there would be a “Must Be This Buff to Enter” sign!

(Laughs) You know, Max was actually the Founder's dog, and that logo is from his cultural heritage.  What it really is about is sitting down with me or my staff, and I only hire people who really care.  My Manassas store manager used to weigh over 300 pounds, so when you talk about compassion, he’s got it! If the store scares you, we have a Starbucks right next door, and I’ll meet moms for a nutrition/fitness consultation anywhere, even over the phone while baby naps! I’ll come speak to moms groups, I’ll come to school events, you can even bring a buddy with you.  I like to just sit down with people and talk about what their reality is right now, and then I always ask about what three things I can’t touch.  For most moms, that’s their morning coffee with half and half and their afternoon chocolate fix!

Well, you’re not helping anyone if mommy snaps and is screaming at everyone from lack of caffeine!

Right!  From there, it’s little changes that anyone can do without it being a burden.  This isn’t “no sugar” or “no carbs”, it’s small changes versus big sacrifices.
If you think you might be ready to make a few small changes in your life towards whatever your goals are, whether they’re pre-pregnancy jeans, feeling more energetic, or just getting happier, Corry is happy to meet with moms for free nutrition consultations.  She’s certified in pregnancy and post-partum nutrition, as well as in kids nutrition (think about your student-athlete who is living off Doritos), and she’s happy to meet you in her store, or at Starbucks.  To set up your appointment:
Corry Matthews 703-772-7113
Or, you can call the store for manager Stephen at 703-897-6299 (or just walk in, I promise you don’t have to be any particular shape or size to walk right in! Heck, they let me in!)

World Festival Manassas 2013- September 20 and 21!

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Published: 09/09/2013

Business Review: Ticonderoga Farms

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Published: 08/20/2013
Most of the "fun farms" in Northern Virginia are in Loudon County and they take some time for me to get to from my side of Prince William.  However, while Ticonderoga Farms' address may be Chantilly, and while my friend from  Aldie told me it was "just a few minutes from her" (I consider Aldie to be the dark side of the moon from where we live!) it's actually just about 5 minutes from Manassas Battlefield, which is awesome!  Here's how that works:
Where A= Manassas Battlefield Park, B= Ticonderoga Farms and C=Aldie, VA

That's about the extent of the math you're gonna find here on PwcMoms.  It's not even that math-y, but I used equals signs, so we're gonna count it. 

I found Ticonderoga Farms to be really enjoyable.  I liked that it's shaded, I liked that it's not as crowded as some of the more well-known farms, and I think that it had a lot of good options for playing, especially for younger kids in the age Preschool-Grade 1 age range.  Let's take a photo tour, shall we?

There's a pond with a wiggly bridge over the top, which my boys loved.  If you stop in the middle and look hard into the water, there are little teeny tiny sunfish! This was, apparently, a HUGE deal. We looked at the tiny fish for a good five minutes.

 There are a few cutouts for you to take your picture on, and they were in the process of "Fall-ing" up the hayride space so it'd be ready for pumpkin season and Halloween.  I think the hayride will be very fun for those visiting in the fall.

There are a few antique firetrucks for kids to climb all over, and my daughter thought this was probably the most fun she'd ever had.  Watch for any nuts or bolts, but older kids will enjoy climbing up on top and younger kids will like "driving" the truck for a minute.

 Swings! And Trees! And Chickens running around!
One of the play structures- note that there's shade involved.  We also ate lunch on one of the picnic tables in the shade.  For my kids, this doesn't matter as much, but for me, who gets a sunburn on a cloudy day wearing SPF 80, it's a big deal :)  It looked like there was a snack bar that's probably open during festival weekends, but we packed our lunch and enjoyed a picnic.
 There are, of course, the requisite slides on a hill and there's a giant inflated pillow, for lack of a better word, that the kids can bounce around on.  Your socks will get dirty, but if it's too warm out and you go without them, the plastic can be a little warm on tiny toes, so I'd bring an old pair of socks, even if your kids are rocking the crocks.
 You know, as much as anyone can "rock" crocks.

We had a fun time and spent over three hours playing outside.  This is much more "farmy" than some of the farms you might think of, but we liked that, because it wasn't as crowded.  I think my oldest son might be getting slightly too old for places like this to be "cool" for him, but he did play nicely with his siblings, and he had fun looking at the fish and jumping on the pillow.

One note- there is a bamboo maze that is a serious maze.  I think my boys would've spent hours in there, but if you're going with young children, note that this isn't like a corn maze where you wander in one direction and come out, it's a real maze with multiple twists and turns.  I can see that being an issue if you've got a child who's potty training ;)

Here's what some of my readers had to say about Ticonderoga Farms:
we LOVE going there! so much fun!

Go there for Easter egg hunts during spring. I like that its not as crazy as Cox Farms and family owned.

 Also been to cut our own Christmas tree couple years ago. Plan on taking baby soon at the end of 

August & we always bring smore's fixings to make smores there.

We love it there!!! Love!!!! We can spend a whole day there.

We go every week because its where i pick up my CSA my daughter loves it there!!

 Ticonderoga Farms offers:
* Summer Harvest Festival, Spring Easter Festival, Fall Pumpkin Festival, and a Winter Festival
* A community garden for those who'd like to grow their own produce but don't have space
* A Farm Market  including organic eggs, local honey, produce, figs, and bamboo
* Fig groves and a fig festival
And more.  The farm is also working on a botanic garden, which, from what we could see from the road, looks amazing!

Admission depends on the time of year, but for summer is $8.95/person, and hours are 10am-5pm, all week long.  Field trips, group rates, and corporate/family parties are available.

Disclaimer: PwcMoms was provided with free admission in return for providing a review.  All opinions are our own. All information is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publishing, but events/dates/times/offerings may change over time. Please see Ticonderoga Farms website for updated information and offerings. 

Guest Post: Toddler Tyme at the Manassas Museum

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Published: 07/31/2013

We have been pleasantly surprised with the Toddler Thyme program at the Manassas Museum this summer.  The title is a bit misleading as the classes are for children ages 3-5 years old (they said they are looking to change it for next time), but Love Bug (who is a little over 2 years old) was allowed to join since Sweet Girl was signed up for the classes.  The classes cost $10 per child. 

The classes are being held every Monday during the summer and there's something for everyone!  Themes range from railroads to life on the farm to pirates to police.  Classes are offered at two different times and last one hour.  One class is at 10:00 am and the other begins at 11:15 am.

The class is run by two young ladies who work for the museum.  Each class usually starts off with a book about the week's theme.  Then, we sing songs and/or do fingerplays.  Next, the children are invited to a table set up with supplies to do a craft.  Sometimes, we have done two crafts in one sitting if they are "small" crafts.  Other times, we have taken a break to play games or do something more active.  The class typically ends with one more story and then children are given a special take-home surprise before the class ends.

The children are throughly engaged for the entire hour.  They are learning new things about the theme of the week, practicing their good listening skills, taking turns, standing in line and using both fine and gross motor skills with the art projects and games.

I have to admit that I wasn't too sure about paying $10 per class for each child, but it is well worth it in my opinion.  The young ladies that run the class remember my girls' names and they are so friendly.  They work very well together and do a good job of keeping the children engaged for the full hour.  I like how parts (or all) of the classes are held outside--if the weather permits it.  The girls have loved the activities and proudly display their crafts at home.  The girls also look forward to the special take-home surprise at the end of each class.  We always leave class happy and excited about the theme of the week.

There is still time to try out this wonderful program, but there are only four more classes left this summer.  If you are interested in joining a class, check out the Manassas Museumwebsite.  They do recommend that you register in advance.

Side note:  There is a wonderful playground and picnic area that is open to the public behind the museum.  It's a great place to run around if you get to class a bit early or to have a picnic after class.
You'll walk past the beautiful Butterfly Garden on your way to the playground.
The playground and picnic area.
Check out the fun we've had at Toddler Tyme!
(Edit from Kristina: Visit Angela's Blog for pictures to go with each event- there were simply too many for me to copy and share each one!)
Craft:  Circus collage with stickers, paper and stamping
Games/Activities:  Circus songs, Pin the Tail on the Lion, Three-ring Beanbag Toss and Tight-rope Walking
Take-home surprise:  Circus animal tatoos
LIFE ON THE FARM (held at Liberia Plantation)
Craft:  Fuzzy Lamb 
Games/Activities:  Frog Fingerplay with frog finger puppets, Trying out a butter churn, Making real butter and Milking a pretend cow 
Take-home surprise:  Real lamb's wool
Craft:  Ocean sticker collage and Paper Plate Rainbow Fish 
Games/Activities:  Fish Fingerplay with finger puppets, Parachute fun with Blow-up Sea Animals and Magnetic Fishing 
Take-home surprise:  Fish tatoo and a fish or toad squeaky toy
Craft:  Pirate Hats, Paper Parrots and Pirate Coloring Page
Games/Activities:  Fingerplay, How to talk like a pirate and a Treasure Hunt with real "treasure" at the end!

Take-home surprise:  A "treasure chest" filled with loot:  play money, eye patch, necklace, tatoo, Manassas Bull Run Civil War patch

About the Author: 
The Master's Daughter, Angela Pounders, loves teaching and sharing her ideas with others. After working various teaching-type jobs, she now uses her God-given gifts with her children at home.

Disclaimer: This was an uncompensated post from a guest author.  All opinions are her own.  Visit Angela Pounders, aka "The Master's Daughter" at her website or on facebook

4th of July Fun in Prince William County!

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Published: 07/04/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fredericksburg VA:
Lorton Workhouse: 

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

Dance Studios for Children in Prince William County

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Published: 06/22/2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013 Summer Sounds Series- Manassas

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Published: 06/21/2013

2013 Summer Sounds Concerts will be held on select dates at 6:30pm at the Harris Pavilion (9116 Center Street in Old Town Manassas).

June 22- Washington Scottish Pipe Band
July 6- Jamey Turner on the Glass Harp
July 20- Linda Lay and Springfield Exit
August 3- Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders
August 17- Dixie Power Trio
August 31- Prince William Community Band

All concerts are free of charge, with sponsorship provided by Micron Technology Foundation and the City of Manassas.   Enjoy!

Father's Day at the Pool- 2013

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Published: 06/10/2013
Great idea for Father's Day in Woodbridge or Manassas!! Enjoy a free admission for dad when you pay for your child!

Manassas Heritage Railway Festival 2013

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Published: 05/31/2013

Experience Manassas at its best this June and come out to the 19th Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival. This family celebration of rich railroad history features train memorabilia, specialty vendors, and live performances.
Country and Blue Grass music will transport you, as you watch miniature trains come to life. These elaborate train displays are created by a number of local model train groups. Located under the Harris Pavilion and in the Manassas Train Depot lot, these displays are a must see. 
Take your love of trains to a new level by boarding one of our four train excursions to Clifton and back. Times include: 10AM/11AM/12PM/1PM  Tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased at the Manassas Train Station (9431 West Street), starting May 1st, from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Everyone on board must have a ticket, so make sure to get yours early!
10:00 AM TO 11:45 AM
12:00 PM TO 3:45 PM
2:00 PM TO 3:45 PM
Check back later for a printable map of the event and our entertainment lineup!

WANT TO VOLUNTEER AT THIS EVENT?  Make sure to complete a Volunteer Application by clickinghere!  Return completed paperwork to Sarah McHugh at or mail to Historic Manassas, Inc. ATT: Volunteer Manager 9431 West Street Manassas, VA 20110.

Food vendors are by invitation only.
Vendor Applications are now closed.
All participants MUST fill out a Participation Agreement, click HERE for a copy.  Questions about insurance, clickhere.
Interested in Sponsoring this event?  Make sure to check out our Sponsorship Page!  We have sponsorship packages that include all our events, as well as a number of individual sponsorships per event.  If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor, please call Debbie Haight or Sarah McHugh at 703.361.6599.

Guest Post: Summer Education Tips

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

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