Beaches Near Prince William County

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Published: 07/10/2014
We had a reader request for beaches somewhere closer than VA Beach (which is about a four hour drive).  Here are our results from readers about beaches that are local to Manassas, Woodbridge, Dumfries, Dale City, Lake Ridge and Bristow (and any other city in Prince William County. Don't hate me for trying to get google to get my website to come up!)

Obviously I haven't been to all of these beaches, although I'm willing to give that a try.

You know, in the name of science.

Here's what I've got! Are we missing your favorite? Leave a comment below and add your thoughts!


If you'd like to stay under 2 hours (minus DMV traffic which cannot be helped on any given day)
Aquia Beach
"off courthouse rd.  Its secluded but its connected to the Potomac river...good fishing a beach and bathrooms! 25 mins."

Breezy Point
"1.5 hours from Manassas"

Calvert Cliffs
"In MD, about an hour and a half from Manassas. Beach, shallow water, and shark teeth fossils!"

Colonial Beach
"Only about an hour and 15 min away and a pretty decent beach.  We went there for Memorial Day and it wasn't packed.  If you follow the water down to the right of the pier area there's also all day parking for $5 as opposed to the 2 hour parking by the pier"
"Colonial Beach is like an hour and a half or so from 95 south entrance"
"1 1/2 hour sometimes only 45 minutes giving traffic but it is awesome, they have playground for kids, ice cream shops, little art shops where the kids can participate and for the adults there is the river boat casino and the best part, you rent golf carts to drive around the town. My kids love it there and on the 4th of July there is a firework show"
"Yes!! Colonial beach is only an hour and a half from Woodbridge! Best local places to eat, too!"
"We went to Colonial Beach last 4th of July. My 4 boys loved it!
"To those of you who went to Colonial, I found it very rocky and almost unmanageable.  Was I just in the wrong places?"
(Not copying this comment, but suffice it to say someone was less than impressed with the ambiance at this beach.)


Falmouth Beach 
"Right off the highway Falmouth exit...30 mins. Have grassy area a beach and a couple of grills...they also give out life jackets to the kids!"
"We go to River Beaches, not quite the coast. Not fancy, but the kids love it.  Free parking, 30 mins from Dale City"

Half Moon Beach 
"Past Strasburg" (Google maps says 1.5 hours from Manassas)

Lake Arrowhead Beach
"In Luray VA you have Lake Arrowhead Beach, very nice and cost very low"

Leesylvania
"Leesylvania has two tiny beaches.  Woodbridge/Dumfries area."

North Beach 
"I have heard good things about North Beach, MD but I have never personally been.  Google says it takes about 1 hour 15 min from Montclair.
"North Beach is okay, but it's a pay beach"
"No waves to worry about for the little ones.  Cute shops and a nice boardwalk."

Rappahannock Beach
"Off Rt 1. Quiet, safe, good for kids. 20 minutes from Dumfries"

Sandy Point
"Never been, but looking into Sandy Point"

Shenandoah River
"Second best for us, least crowded every time we've gone is Shenandoah River at the Shenandoah State Park.  About an hour drive."

Westmoreland State Park
"Only 90 minutes away and a nice beach"

If you think 2+ Hours is local (or worth the drive, but either way, I'm separating them out)

Bethany Beach
"Delaware. 3 to 3.5 hours. We have done day trips. They are long days, but so worth it."

Chincoteague Island/Assteague Beach
"I am a single mom and I love taking my 7 year old daughter to Chincoteague every August.  "Is that where the horses are?" is the top question I get.  Yes, but there is way more.  It is 3.5-4 hours east of us and only 30 minutes south of Ocean City. There are plenty of hotels and it is a top family vacation destination in the area.  We also like to camp there as well for only $30 a night tent camping.  The beach is really nice and has lifeguards.  Assateague beach is a notion park so there are no board walks, just shower and parking.  There is a small fee for the beach because it is a park.
"We loved Chincoteague"

Fenwick Island
"About 2.5 hours away and super family friendly. It's right next to Ocean city but removed from the crazy college crowd."

Dewey Beach
"DE, and it's beautiful and not too far, but not great for families.  Bethany, just a few minutes away is much better."

Ocean City 
"I load the kids up at 5am and head to OCMD.  It's before the traffic rush so we can be there by 8, even with a bathroom break.  Spend all day and load up the sleepy kids back into the car around 7 and they wake up in their beds.  It's a drive, but not awful."

Ocean View
"We just moved here from Norfolk.  VA Beach is cool for ocean beaches but I have small kids and we always like the Ocean View beaches in Norfolk better because the waves are smaller and the beaches are less crowded.  On a good day it's 2.5 hours from here, but it's more like 3-3.5 hours."

Outer Banks
"31/2 to 4 HRS"

In addition to reader suggestions, here are a few from the Washington Post.


Giveaway: Madame Tussaud's DC

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Published: 07/03/2014
Where can you and your kids visit all your favorite celebrities in one swoop? Madame Tussaud's, of course! Pose with your favorite historical figures, celebrities, and politicians all day long- they don't mind at all because they're wax!

Recently, Madame Tussaud's added Katy Perry to their ranks!

But you can also visit Barack Obama in the Oval Office:
Along with every other US president, for that matter!

Want to go? Enter to win your tickets using the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more info? Here's some details from a review I did a few years ago:

Madame Tussaud's is very easy to get to.  There's easy metro access, but we ended up driving (395-14th street-F street) and were there in about 30 minutes, including parking.  There's a $10 a day parking garage right across the street, but there's also lots of on-street parking available if you go on a day that isn't full of Cherry Blossom visitors trying to beat the snow!

When you enter Madame Tussaud's, there's a line to pay, then a few steps down to a brief video where they demonstrate how the wax figures are made.  You then head to the left (I'm mentioning this because I was a little unclear on where to go!)  and go through a few halls of presidents.  Several of the exhibits have a way to interact with the figures- for exmaple, George Washington has a "boat" that you can sit in and don a Washington-esque coat for a pictures.  Lincoln (depicted sitting in the balcony at Ford's theatre) also has a coat you can wear for your picture.  Bring. Your. Camera. If your kids are anything like the kids I took, you will hear "take my picture!! take my picture!!!" around 3,000 times :)

After you move through the presidents, there's a spot at the end where they take commemorative pictures in the "White House" or with the "Obamas", and then you move into some historical figures.  There's Rosa Parks and a bus background, Martin Luther King Junior, Malcom X, and also some historical figures in with the presidents like Jackie O, the Apollo astronauts, Winston Churchill, and others. 

The final two sections are famous athletes and movie stars/singers.  The little girl that we brought was excited to point out the Jonas Brothers.  I took a picture with my future ex-husband, George Clooney ;) and my only complaint was probably that there was a Robert Pattinson who wasn't sparkly, and there was no shirtless Taylor Lautner.  Just saying.

The kids I took (all 7 years old) had a really great time.  They were super excited about people they recognized (Washington, Lincoln, Obama, Tiger Woods, Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers, astronauts) and anything that had an interactive component. They were also happy to have me take their picture with anyone who they thought looked cool.  I think that the ideal age to take here would be 9 or older, just because they would have exposure to more of the historical people and would be more excited to see them, and would be able to read the fun-facts more independently.  That said, I was totally happy with our trip and my 7's had a great time!! Fair Warning: The end of the tour dumps you into the gift shop, so be prepared to stop any wandering little hands.


Disclosure: This giveaway provided by Madame Tussaud's DC location.  All opinions are my own. By entering you're agreeing to all of our Giveaway Rules and regulations. I'm not responsible for traffic, weather, your kids being sad the real Katy Perry isn't there, or any other drama you encounter.  

Camping at Prince William Forest Park

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Published: 06/17/2014
I am a little more of an "outdoor adventure followed by a warm shower" girl.  Especially after they chopped my neck in half last year for my brain surgery.  Sleeping on rocks just doesn't appeal to me, no matter how many months of recovery I've had.

However, my husband and kids are so darn cute, and they really love camping, so I will do it anyway.  Prince William Forest Park offers several lovely camping areas including three "frontcountry", one "backcountry" and 5 cabin sites.  This time, we opted for Oak Ridge, which allows tents and RVs.  Loops B and C are reservation only, but loop A is first come first served. Turkey Run is great for groups, and we've camped there with Cub Scouts before. 
 We made sure to bring my daughter's American Heritage Girls handbook (similar: Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Trail Life, etc) so that we could do the fire safety section and she could get a badge.  She just recently discovered that anything in life worth doing has a badge associated with it.
 Of course when you're camping, you need a few essential items.  I refuse to camp without hats and DEET because Lyme Disease is no joke.  Camping chairs, firewood, matches, all essential.

Also sleeping bags.  PWC Dad may have taken us on our first family camping trip when our kids were 6 months, 3, and 5 and forgotten the sleeping bags.  I may have also driven back from Lake Anna with said 6 month old at 2am, and because of that I always double check that the sleeping bags made it in the van.
 And, of course, you need S'more fixings.  My kids prefer to completely burn the marshmallows and eat the chocolate, although for those of us with a little more patience, a carefully toasted marshmallow is a thing of beauty.
 Tin foil (the heavy duty stuff)  is also a good idea if you're going to be using a site-provided campfire grill.  Those things don't get cleaned very often, and I don't care how hot they get.

I just don't.
Trash bags- also a good idea, and in our case we kept the cooler in our van so that we wouldn't attract any little critters. Obviously, a lovely time was had by all.

Want to have your own camping fun? Here are a few site recommendations, both from myself and from readers, in and around Prince William County.

In-County
Prince William Forest Park (Dumfries/Triangle) sites start at $20/night or $10 for seniors/passholders.  Note that you'll still apparently need to stop at the Visitors Center and pay the park entry fee ($5/week) on top of that.  We assumed it was included in the price, which was apparently wrong, but luckily we have a pass. Tent or RV or Cabin.  Showers, bathrooms, activities.

Greenville Family Farm (Haymarket) site prices aren't listed, but apparently vary based on whether or not you want electricity.  Fishing ponds, showers, bathrooms.

Leesylvania State Park only offers group camping.

Out-of-County (Virginia)
Burke Lake Park (Fairfax) sites are $28/night and Burke Lake Park offers lots of fun (including a train and carousel).  However, sites are first-come, so be sure to plan to arrive early.

Shenandoah National Park (Front Royal-Wayensboro) start at $15/night and include tent and limited RV

Christopher Run Campground (Lake Anna) starts at $32/night cabins, lodges and tent sites available. This is one of my family's favorite sites when we camp with my parents, who have a boat.

Todd Lake (Stokesville) $16/night for tent camping, showers/bathrooms/drinking water available.

Sherando Lake (Shenandoah) has reserved or first-come camping for tents and RVs.

Out-of-County (Bit of a Drive)
Starlight Camping Resort (Pennsylvania) $42/day for 2 people, $3/day for each additional child or $5/adult.

Review: Vertical Rock

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Published: 06/13/2014
I don't really know how to start this other than to say that Vertical Rock was absolutely awesome.  Just so much fun.  Any age, any level, any ability, your family can have fun doing this.  If your child is old enough to try to scale your bookshelves or the kitchen pantry, they can rock climb.

I know that trying a completely new activity at a completely new place can be intimidating, so here's how it works.

1) Enter the address (10225 Nokesville Rd, Manassas, VA 20110) into your GPS/Garmin/iPhone.  
2) Follow directions
3) Arrive. 

That's really it.  Everything else that you need is taken care of.  Get a day pass and climb all you want for $18 (adults), $16 (students), or $12 (military).  You'll need your own equipment, or you can rent what you'll need ($11 for everything).  Alternatively, if you're new, you can try it out for $20, which includes your harness, 3 climbs ($5 for each additional) and a Vertical Rock belayer to help you figure it all out.  For $35 you can take their "Learn the Ropes" course, during which you'll learn how to top-rope, how to "tie in", and how to belay safely for your partner. Classes are drop-in and offered Monday-Friday from 6-8pm and Sundays from 3-5.  

Really love it? You don't need a Bally's membership- you can join Vertical Rock as your gym! In addition to climbing, they have a fitness room, and offer "Rock Ready" (which looks a lot like the class that rhymes with "Boss Bit"), Krav Maga, Yoga, and a host of other fun stuff to keep you in shape without relying solely on a treadmill, which, let's be honest, is boring. 

We did an open climb, and the one thing I'll say is that you should spring for the $5 to rent shoes.  They're sexy like bowling shoes:


But they are SO MUCH EASIER to climb in.  Seriously.  I was informed that if "they're not tight, they're not right" so don't hop up a size because your toes are giving each other a bear hug.  

Next, our friendly belayers helped us get into our harnesses.  One thing I didn't know about rock climbing is how fashionable it is ;) 
 Yesssss! Work it! Work it!
 So now you head to the walls.  Courses are rated with cards (and they have funny names like "I should be with my mommy right now" or "Fried Squirrel Brains").  They start at 5.5, or as I like to call it "That sounds about right" and move up to 5.10, which then get letters after them.  Obviously the higher you go the more difficulty is involved.  The idea is to follow the tape color for the course you're doing.  Some specify that you can use "any feet" which means that you can use an of the grips you can get your hoofs on, and others want you to just use the color you're following.  Rock climbing involves a good deal of thinking when you add those caveats- you have to check where you are and think about where you're going- I was surprised the first time I climbed myself into a corner and had to back up and think about how to approach where I was going!
 This is the wall that Logan, Savannah, and I started on.  It has about a bijillion grips on it, and you can "climb the rainbow" and pick anything you want.  Here's where the staff really came in.  Logan got to this point (above) and was like "Yup, I'm scared and I'm done" and Zack, our belayer, was like "Yeah, totally hear that buddy- just touch that green one first" and by the time he did that, he realized he was just a few "rocks" from the brown section.....
And well, then it was just a few hand grips to the green spongy thing....and at that point, you may as well touch the top.  He was too nervous to rappel down the side, which I get, because it's a big exercise in trust to have someone you just met tell you to let go of the wall and trust them to not drop you.  Especially when you're 8.  He climbed down slowly, but surely. However, he did rappel on his last climb of the day, which was great! 
We had a few tears on the harder wall- somebody made the mistake of looking down.  (I climbed to the top of this one- but I didn't look anywhere but the place I was currently at- I probably would've cried, too!) but, again, the belayers did a great job of providing direction and assured us that they've had to climb up before to help someone down, but they didn't have to.  

The minute his feet touched the floor, he asked to go up again. I guess Belayer Anna did a good job :) 

In addition to open climbs and classes and memberships, Vertical Rock also offers a kids night, birthday parties, climbing teams (Team meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 530-730! VR hosts competitions and travels to other gyms to participate in competitions), indoor and outdoor camps, scout merit badges, LOCK INS(!!!), corporate events and outdoor climbing tours.  There's also a bouldering wall if you really want to climb but not quite so high:
Best part about their kids night is that you don't have to reserve (although you can) so you can just be like "It's Friday night and my kids are making me crazy!! Vertical Rock!" and drop them off from 7-9pm for $25 for Non Members and $15 For Members, Safety equipment included.   I am informed that the kids "come home tired", which is just what I like to hear :) 

If you'd like to give your child a chance to try Rock Climbing, but aren't ready to strap in yourself, check out the Vertical Rock Summer camps!

**Thinking about a membership? Here's a note from owner Lindsey**

Memberships receive the Learn the ropes class for Free, Yoga, Rock Ready, Discounts on Youth Teams and Summer Camps and much more. A Family of 4 can have access to a fitness activity that they will love doing together M-S for just $31.25 a person a month. A 2 person family membership is only $47.50 a month. Why go to the movies!?
We are family owned and operated facility who really get to know our members. We introduce members to each other through cookouts and parties to keep the community strong. Parents meet each other and climb with each other while their kids play and climb together. The family environment is amazing and we are so excited to share it with more people!




Disclosure: Vertical Rock is a sponsor of PwcMoms and allowed us to come climb.  However, all opinions and experiences are true and my own.  If I had looked down, I think I would've cried- and I really do think the ugly shoes make it way easier.  #TrueStory. 

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. 

Kids Fishing Tournaments Summer 2014

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Published: 06/11/2014
Coming up in a few weeks at Lake Ridge Park! Ages 4 - 12. Call 703-494-5565 to register.


Leesylvania State Park hosts a kids fishing tournament each month starting May-September the first Saturday of each month.  Ages range from 2-15 years old and there is no program fee! 
WHERE: Tournaments take place at the marina in lot #1 (your first right after Bushy Point) at Leesylvania State Park.
WHEN: First Saturday of the month May thru Sept from 9a.m-11a.m. at Leesylvania State Park!
WHAT: No worries if you don't have your own fishing equipment, participants can borrow from the park, but we encourage folks to bring their own. 
WHO: Kids ages 2-15 years old can fish for free! There are several volunteers on hand to give participants help where help is needed. No Fishing license required!

FREE Family Arts Festival June 14th, 2014

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Published: 06/09/2014
Edgemoor Art Studio is presenting a grand opening in conjunction with Tackett's Mill Summerfest! The event will run from 12-4, followed by Jazz and Art on the Water with the naming of the PWC Poet Laureate from 3-6!

Show up at 12- you won't want to miss your chance to win a free week of summer camp just for showing up!

We'll have storytellers, face painting, several children's art activities, art fairies from the Academy of Russian Ballet, shopping for moms, an ice truck (cash for this, all other activities are free), balloons, and tours of the new studio space!

Can't wait to see you there!! Let us know you're coming (or just show up) and get more information HERE

My Link Teen Bus Pass Summer 2014

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Published: 06/06/2014



Teens ages 13-19 may use MyLink on OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses between 

Monday, June 2 and Saturday, August 30, 2014.  The pass costs $30, and in return teens get an

 unlimited number of local bus rides for the entire summer!  With the cost of a regular one-way bus 

ride currently at $1.30, a teen who takes at least 12 round-trips during the summer will save money

 by riding with a MyLink pass.  Passes will be sold at multiple locations from June 2 – August 1,

 2014.

Getting three months of unlimited bus rides for $30 is a bargain, but teens can save even more when 

they showing their MyLink pass at these attractions:


– Potomac Nationals, Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge –$1 off general admission at Friday home 

games;

– Prince William Ice Center, 5180 Dale Boulevard, Woodbridge –$2 off public skate entry;

– Bowl America, 13409 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge and 9000 Mathis Avenue, Manassas – one free 

game per visit, per day;

– Manassas 4 Cinemas, 8890 Mathis Avenue, Manassas – $1 off admission on Fridays, Saturdays and

 Sundays;

– Stonewall Pool, 8531 Stonewall Road, Manassas – $1 off admission.

With MyLink, teens won’t need to borrow the family car or beg for gas money to get around town.

  MyLink enables teens to have a safe, reliable ride to get to summer jobs, shopping centers, 

recreation centers, libraries and lots of other places where they want to go.

For the convenience of teens and their parents, passes will be sold June 2 – August 1 at:

– The PRTC Transit Center, at the intersection of Potomac Mills Road and Telegraph Road in 

Woodbridge, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

– Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center (cash or credit only), Monday – Thursday 5 a.m. – 9 p.m.; 

Friday 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

– Sharron Baucom – Dale City Recreation Center (cash or credit only), Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 9 

p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

– Ben Lomond Community Center (cash or credit only), Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

– Manassas City Hall Treasurer’s Office (cash only), Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

– Manassas Park City Hall Treasurer’s Office (cash only), Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

and 3-5 p.m.

Teens who have a photo ID should bring it with them when purchasing a MyLink pass because a 

sticker will be applied to the front of their ID.  Teens who don’t have a photo ID will be given a

 MyLink card with a sticker.  Teens simply show their ID or MyLink card to the bus operator each

 time they board.

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, PRTC, provides transportation services

 in Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.  OmniLink local buses 

serve routes in Manassas and Manassas Park on Mondays through Fridays and serve routes in Dale

 City, Dumfries, Lake Ridge, Quantico, the Route 1 Corridor and Woodbridge on Mondays through

 Saturdays.  The Cross County Connector operates Mondays through Fridays and connects eastern

 Prince William County with the Manassas area.

MyLink is one of three PRTC programs designed to educate youth about public transportation.

  PRTC also offers a preschool and elementary program focusing on bus safety, and a middle school 

program that shows how public transportation helps to preserve our environment and natural

 resources.

For more information about MyLink or any of PRTC’s transportation services, contact 

Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 or visit PRTCtransit.org



Summer 2014 Little Tots Series

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



FREE and CHEAP Summer Fun Ideas 2014

Permalink to FREE%20and%20CHEAP%20Summer%20Fun%20Ideas%202014
Published: 05/28/2014
Ongoing:
The City of Manassas holds free concerts at the Harris Pavilion from 3-4:30pm on Sundays, 6-8pm Tuesdays, and 11:30-1:30pm Wednesdays all summer long. There is no concert June 1 or June 15

Your child can win prizes (and keep their reading skills sharp) with the Summer Quest program through PWC Libraries.  There is a program for older children, as well as volunteer opportunities for teens!!

Kids Skate Free participates with Skate N Fun Zone in Manassas.  The passes are good for skating typically after 4pm, but hours vary by day.  Skate rental is $4.50.

AMF Bowling's Summer Program lets kids enjoy 3 weekday games for free EVERY stinkin day of the summer.  There's a discount program for adults.

Don't forget our VBS listings, either!!

THIS IS NOT EVERYTHING TO DO ON ANY GIVEN DAY!! It's just a few free/cheap activities that I'm featuring on the list.  For our full calendar, just click "calendar" above!

June
June 1 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

June 2 $1 Monday at the Potomac Nationals ($1 Tickets and Hot Dogs)

June 3 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

June 4 Free Concert at the Harris Pavilion 11:30-1:30pm

June 6 Free Movies at Madison Crescent 7:30pm
June 6 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

June 7 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
June 7 Free Children's Day at the Weems Botts Museum 1:30pm

June 8 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
June 8 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

June 9 Dale City Library 5:30pm Evening Storytime for families who can't come during the day!

June 10 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

June 11 Free Concert at the Harris Pavilion 11:30-1:30pm
June 11 Free Little Tots 10:30am Rocknoceros

June 13 Free Movies at Madison Crescent 7:30pm

June 14 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
June 14 Chinn Library Inclusive Storytime 11am
June 14 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

June 15 Dads are free at Rippon Lodge
June 15 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

June 16 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 1- $2 10am-12pm

June 17 Potomac Library Old McDonald's Farm by Bob Brown Puppets
June 17 Central Library Circus on Strings 10:45am FREE tickets beginning June 10
June 17 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

June 18 Potomac Library Starlight Family Craft Time 7pm ticket time
June 18 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 1- $2 10am-12pm
June 18 Free Concert at the Harris Pavilion 11:30-1:30pm

June 19 Bull Run Library The Bicycle Fence Puppet Show
June 19 Chinn Park Library Old McDonald's Farm by Bob Brown Puppets 10:30am and 2:00pm

June 20 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 1- $2 10am-12pm
June 20 Free Toddler Storytime at Leesylvania State Park 10:30am
June 20 Free Movies at Madison Crescent 7:30pm

June 21 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion
June 21 1-2pm Mormon Choir of Washington at Harris Pavilion
June 21 Potomac Library Water Day 2pm limit 60 children

June 22 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
June 22 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

June 23 $1 Monday at the Potomac Nationals ($1 Tickets and Hot Dogs)
June 23 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 2- $2 10am-12pm
June 23 Dale City Library 5:30pm Evening Storytime for families who can't come during the day!

June 24 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Hotel Transylvania 10am
June 24 2 For Tuesday at the Potomac Nationals (2 Tickets/2 Hot Dogs/2 Drinks for the price of one)
June 24 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

June 25 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 The Smurfs 2 10am
June 25 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 2- $2 10am-12pm
June 25 Potomac Library Animal Adaptations with Bar C Ranch 3:00pm
June 25 Bull Run Library Bubble Blow Out 10:30am
June 25 Free Little Tots 10:30am Mad Science

June 26 Bull Run Library Animal Adaptations with Bar C Ranch 10:30am
June 26 Chinn Library Family Craft Night 7pm
June 26 ​Jack & the Beanstalk @Locust Shade Amphitheater 10:30am Treasure Island 2:30pm $4
June 26 Potomac Library Grades 5-12 Crazy Cupcakes 7pm

June 27 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 2- $2 10am-12pm
June 27 Free Movies at Madison Crescent 7:30pm

June 28 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion
June 28 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
June 28 Free Family Movie @Piney Branch ES 7pm

June 29 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
June 29 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
June 29 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

June 30 $1 Monday at the Potomac Nationals ($1 Tickets and Hot Dogs)
June 30 Potomac Library Monday Matinees 11am Bring a snack or Lunch
June 30 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 3- $2 10am-12pm

July
July 1 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 10am
July 1 Central Library Sidewalk Chalk Day 10:30-11:30am
July 1 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

July 2 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 The Pirates Band of Misfits 10am
July 2 Bull Run Library Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration
July 2 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 3- $2 10am-12pm
July 2 Potomac Library Starlight Family Craft Time 7pm ticket time

July 4 4pm-10pm Celebrate America in Old Town Manassas
July 4  Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 3- $2 10am-12pm
July 4 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals

July 5 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
July 5 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion
July 5 Free Kids Fishing Tournament 9am-11am Leesylvania State Park

July 6 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
July 6 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
July 6 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

July 7 $1 Monday at the Potomac Nationals ($1 Tickets and Hot Dogs)
July 7 Bull Run Library- Pastry Art with the Aubergine Chef (Middle/HS Students) Register beginning June 23
July 7 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 4- $2 10am-12pm

July 8 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Arthur Christmas 10am
July 8 2 For Tuesday at the Potomac Nationals (2 Tickets/2 Hot Dogs/2 Drinks for the price of one)
July 8 Potomac Library Creatures Great and Small by the Rainbow Puppets

July 9 Bull Run Library Creatures Great and Small by the Rainbow Puppets 10:30 am
July 9 Central Library Creatures Great and Small by the Rainbow Puppets 3:00pm FREE tickets available beginning July 2
July 9 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 4- $2 10am-12pm
July 9 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Despicable Me 2 10am
July 9 Free Little Tots 10:30am Blue Sky Puppet Theatre
July 10 Independent Hill Library Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration

July 11 Potomac Library Drive-In Movie 4:45pm Make a car and share pizza for dinner.  Register by phone beginning July 5- limit 24 children. NO latecomers (library doors lock at 5pm)
July 11 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 4- $2 10am-12pm

July 12 Chinn Library Inclusive Storytime 11am
July 12 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

July 13 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
July 13 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

July 14  Potomac Library Monday Matinees 11am Bring a snack or Lunch
July 14 Potomac Library Uncle Devin Show 7pm
July 14 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 5- $2 10am-12pm

July 15 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 The Lego Movie 10am
July 15 Central Library Once Upon a Toon with Joe Wos (Grades 1 and up) FREE tickets available beginning July 8
July 15 Chinn Library Reptiles Alive! 10:30am Ages 3-7, 2pm Grades 1 and Up, 7pm ages 5 and up

July 16 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Free Birds 10am
July 16 Dale City Library The Singing Lizard 10:30am
July 16 Dumfries Library Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration 10:30-12:30 drop in
July 16 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 5- $2 10am-12pm

July 17 7-8pm US Navy Country Current Band at Harris Pavilion
July 17 Potomac Library Busy Beavers Grades 1 and Up 11am

July 18 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 5- $2 10am-12pm

July 19 Shakespeare by the Water @Locust Shade Park 7pm $4
July 19 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

July 20 Shakespeare by the Water @Locust Shade Park 3pm $4
July 20 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
July 20 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

July 21  Potomac Library Monday Matinees 11am Bring a snack or Lunch
July 21 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 6- $2 10am-12pm

July 22 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Adventures of Tin Tin 10am
July 22 Chinn Park Library Uncle Pete Rocks 10:30am
July 22 Potomac Library  Uncle Pete Rocks 2pm

July 23 Central Library  Uncle Pete Rocks 10:30am FREE tickets available July 16
July 23 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Rise of the Guardians 10am
July 23 Potomac Library Meet the PWC K-9 Team 7:15pm, Pick up a free pass beginning at 7pm
July 23 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 6- $2 10am-12pm
July 23 Free Little Tots 10:30am Reptiles Alive!

July 24 Independent Hill Library  The Bicycle Fence Puppet Show
July 24 Bull Run Library GameMaking/GamePlaying (Middle/HS Students) 2:00pm Register online beginning July 7
July 24 REPTILE WORLD at the Locust Shade Amphitheater $4 10:30am/7:00pm
July 24 Chinn Library Family Craft Night 7pm
July 24 Chinn Library Police SWAT Team 2pm (Middle/HS Students)

July 25 Dumfries Library The Singing Lizard 10:30am
July 25 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 6- $2 10am-12pm

July 26 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
July 26 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion
July 26th Free Family Movie @Piney Branch ES 7pm

July 27 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
July 27 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
July 27 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

July 28 $1 Monday at the Potomac Nationals ($1 Tickets and Hot Dogs)
July 28  Potomac Library Monday Matinees 11am Bring a snack or Lunch
July 28 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 7- $2 10am-12pm

July 29 2 For Tuesday at the Potomac Nationals (2 Tickets/2 Hot Dogs/2 Drinks for the price of one)
July 29 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Kung Fu Panda 2 10am
July 29 Central Library Science Unscripted FREE tickets available July 22

July 30 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Madagascar 3 10am
July 30 Dale City Library Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration 10:30-12:30 drop in
July 30 Bull Run Library Safari Bingo 11am
July 30 Potomac Library Starlight Family Craft Time 7pm ticket time
July 30 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 7- $2 10am-12pm

July 31 Central Library Paws in the Garden
July 31 Chinn Park Library Meet the PWC K-9 Team
July 31 Potomac Library  The Bicycle Fence Puppet Show

August
August 1 Michaels Passport to Imagination Week 7- $2 10am-12pm

August 2 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion
August 2 Free Kids Fishing Tournament 9am-11am Leesylvania State Park

August 3 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
August 3 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

August 4 Central Library Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration 11am FREE tickets available July 28
August 4  Potomac Library Monday Matinees 11am Bring a snack or Lunch

August 5 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 The Croods 10am
August 5 2 For Tuesday at the Potomac Nationals (2 Tickets/2 Hot Dogs/2 Drinks for the price of one)
August 5 Chinn Park Library Diggery Digger's 3D Dino Show 10:30am
August 5 Potomac Library Diggery Digger's 3D Dino Show

August 6 Bull Run Library Diggery Digger's 3D Dino Show 10:30am
August 6 Dale City Library Barnyard Buddies Presented by Wildlife Ambassadors
August 6 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Epic 10am
August 6 Free Little Tots 10:30am Kid Singer Jim

August 7 Independent Hill Library Barnyard Buddies Presented by Wildlife Ambassadors
August 7 Nokesville Library Crafty Critters and Insect Exploration 10:30-12:30 drop in
August 7 Bull Run Library Barnyard Buddies Presented by Wildlife Ambassadors 2:00pm
August 7 Central Library Fabulous Fun Fair (Ages 2-6) 10:30am FREE tickets available July 31

August 9 Chinn Library Inclusive Storytime 11am
August 9 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

August 10 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
August 10 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

August 11  Potomac Library Monday Matinees 11am Bring a snack or Lunch

August 12 2 For Tuesday at the Potomac Nationals (2 Tickets/2 Hot Dogs/2 Drinks for the price of one)
August 12 Chinn Park Library Once Upon A Time (Theatre show)
August 12 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Turbo 10am

August 13 Bull Run Library Once Upon A Time (Theatre show) 10:30am
August 13 Dumfries Library  The Bicycle Fence Puppet Show 10:30am
August 13 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Walking with Dinosaurs 10am
August 13 Potomac Library Starlight Family Craft Time 7pm ticket time

August 14 Big Yellow School Bus (try out the bus!) Any local library 10:30am
August 14 Chinn Library Family Craft Night 7pm
August 14 Potomac Library Ice Cream Social 1pm

August 16 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
August 16 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion
August 16 Free Family Movie @Piney Branch ES 7pm

August 17 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
August 17 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
August 17 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

August 19 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Mr. Peabody and Sherman 10am
August 19 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

August 20 $1 Summer Movies At Regal Manassas 14 Rio 2 10am
August 20 Free Concert at the Harris Pavilion 11:30-1:30pm
August 20 Free Little Tots 10:30am Under the Sea

August 21 7-8pm US Navy Sea Chanters at Harris Pavilion

August 23 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
August 23 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

August 24 Fireworks Night at the Potomac Nationals
August 24 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
August 24 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm

August 26 Free concert at the Harris Pavilion 6-8pm

August 28 7-8pm US Army Blues Band at Harris Pavilion

August 30 Free Concerts at Workhouse Arts Center 7-8pm Rizer Pavilion

August 31 Free Concert at Harris Pavilion 3-4:30pm
August 31 Free Jumbotron Movie at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center 7pm


Vacation Bible School Prince William County 2014

Permalink to Vacation%20Bible%20School%20Prince%20William%20County%202014
Published: 05/16/2014
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a big part of me keeping our summer fun costs to a minimum.  I like to rotate a week of lazy, a week of paid camp, a week of vacation (even if it's local tourism) and a week of free or low-cost VBS.  It works for us :) If you're going to follow that model, be sure to switch up the themes.

Not sure what VBS is? Here's a post for that.

Here's what I have for this year.

All Saints Dale City does neighborhood based VBS and dates/times can vary.  Look for your neighborhood on their website. 

June
23-27th Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran
4090 Sudley Road, Haymarket
This camp is different in that it is $50/camper or $100/family and runs from 9am-3pm.  Still a really great value for such a long camp, especially if you have a large family! 
Ages 6-10

23-27th First Baptist Church of Woodbridge
13600 Minnieville Road
"Inspector D3"
9am-12:30pm with a "tween" option, as well.
Completed K-6th Grades

23-27th Grace Life Community Church
9560 Linton Hall Road, Bristow
"Weird Animals"
9:30am-12:15pm
Rising K-5th grades

22-26th Victory Baptist Church 
12650 Vint Hill Road, Nokesville
TEEN VBS
6pm-8:30pm
Grades 7-12

23-27th Victory Baptist Church 
12650 Vint Hill Road, Nokesville
Cross Canyon Trail
9:00am-12pm
Ages 3-6th Grade

23-27th All Saints Catholic
9300 Stonewall Road, Manassas
Parading Around the Our Father
8:30am-12pm
Grades Rising K-5
$50/child

23-27th Living Hope Haymarket
14600 John Marshall Highway, Haymarket
Kingdom Rock
9am-12pm
Ages 3 through 6th Grade
Suggested Donation of $25/family


July
7-11 Manassas Baptist Church
"Musicgarten" and Music Camp
9:00am-12pm
Ages 4 (By July 1) through Grade  6
$40/first child, $35/second, $30/third, $115/family limit

14-18th Gainesville UMC
13710 Milestone Court, Gainesville
Weird Animals
9:00am-12:30pm
Ages 3-Grade 5

14-18th Emmanuel Baptist Church
 8006 Centreville Road, Manassas
Agency D3
6:30pm-8:30pm
Ages 4-6th Grade

14-18th St. Thomas UMC
3600 Sudley Road, Manassas
Weird Animals
8:45am-12:15pm
Completed K-Grade 5

21-25th Grace Lutheran Church
1601 Prince William Parkway, Woodbridge
"Gangway to Galilee"
5:30pm-8:30pm 
Ages 4 (By July 1) to 15

21-25th Prince of Peace UMC
6299 Token Forest Drive, Manassas
Weird Animals
6:30pm-9pm

21-25th Grace Baptist Church
14242 Spriggs Road, Woodbridge
"Agency D3"
9:00am-12:15pm
Ages 5 (by 9/30) to 5th grade

August
4-8th Good Shepherd UMC
16999 Birchdale Avenue, Dale City
"Wilderness Escape"
9:00am-12pm
$15/child or $40/family
Ages 3.5 (by 3/1) to 5th Grade

10-14th Dale City Baptist
3501 Dale Blvd, Dale City
"Wilderness Escape"
5-7:30pm Monday, 6:30pm-9pm Tuesday-Friday


If your church isn't listed and would like to be, just shoot me an email or a facebook message.

















Welcome Daytime Playtime!

Permalink to Welcome%20Daytime%20Playtime%21%20
Published: 05/15/2014
We are so excited to welcome our newest sponsor, Daytime Playtime! From their website:

"Daytime Playtime is a place where children have fun with others, develop a joy for learning to become comfortable and secure in an academic environment. Children develop differently depending on their ages and experiences. No two kids are alike and should not be compared to each other. They are all learning in different ways and at different rates."

Daytime Playtime offers a mommy and me class, mommy's morning out, and preschool-junior kindergarten programming during the year. There is a Spanish Immersion program offered on Fridays, as well. For homeschool students- Spanish, cooking, math and science, and art are offered on a monthly basis, and similar enrichment classes are offered for after-school programs. There's also parties, monthly storytime and lots of fun!

As we're approaching summer, though, the most time-sensitive offering at Daytime Playtime is their summer camps. They have two sets of camp, one for ages 3-5 and one for ages 6 and up.  Themes for the younger set include "Little Chefs", "Marvelous Messy Art", "Camping Trip" and more. For ages 6 and up, camp themes include "Cooking with Math and Science", "Creating a Story" and "7 Wonders of the Ancient World".  You can sign your child up for 5 days (full or half), 3 days, or even do drop-in one day camp.  Outdoor fun and water play are part of every day, and the camps are focused on helping children to wonder and explore. 

For more information, you can contact Daytime Playtime at 
14680 Gap Way
Gainesville, VA 20155
Email: info@daytimeplaytime.com
Phone: 703-754-8463

KODU Game Design at Animated Child

Permalink to KODU%20Game%20Design%20at%20Animated%20Child
Published: 05/01/2014
Animated Child in Montclair has a little something for everyone.  My Kindergartner loves their indoor play space designed with areas to involve each of Gardner's seven intelligences.  The preschoolers I see there always look happy and engaged during class, which is based on Last Child in the Woods.  There are language classes, music classes, art classes, and then, there are the camps.

My boys LOVE them some camp at Animated Child.  They've now tried both the Minecraft and the KODU Game design camps and they liked both.  I like that even though there's time on the computer, it's educational, and that the staff makes sure the kids have other activities, as well, so they're not just tuned into a screen for 3 hours and nothing else happens.

My 8 and 10 year old actually tried the game design camp over Spring Break just so we could write a review for you guys.  What can I say, they're just selfless like that ;) Both boys were incredibly excited when I picked them up the first day, although they were devistated to learn that I hadn't signed them up for the afternoon session (camp was 1/2 day) which was Minecraft. Bad mom.  They spent the first day setting up their worlds, and they had a tremendous time.  By Wednesday, my 8 year old complained that he would like more time off the computer, and the staff instantly responded by ensuring there were logic-based games for him to engage with for more time than already planned.  In our house I really limit screen time, less than an hour a day, so this was different for him, but the staff was very responsive. At the end of the week, both kids were very excited to show their dad their games.

For those of you that have not met my children in real life, this is actually how they speak.  And boy do they speak.  They talk and talk and talk and talk. I thought about youtubing their responses for you, but decided that they'd start goofing off and singing weird songs, and we wouldn't be very productive. 

From Riley (Age 10)- "I think other kids would like it, but they would have to like playing video games and creating things.  My favorite part was when we got to actually start understanding how KODU works.  My least favorite part was that you have to be a little patient because you have to be able to create something first before you can play it.  Sometimes I'm patient. I had fun.  My overall experience was great.  You didn't let us stay for Minecraft, though, and that was not cool.  Seriously, mom."

From Logan (Age 8)- "So this camp was fun.  I was a little scared at first because I thought the programming would be like JAVA like dad does, but then it was really easy and fun.  I didn't know KODU would be like that.  I though it would be super complex and you would need to type in a bunch of codes instead of clicking on things and then putting them together. My favorite part was when I found out before anyone else on my own how to make enemies in a game only shoot at you and not each other because I'm awesome. My least favorite part was the day I was sick and couldn't go. I think other kids would like this camp if they really like learning because it filled my head with a bunch of interesting things. That's about it."

I'm going to be honest with you guys that camp at Animated Child is not cheap.  You definitely get what you pay for in terms of experienced staff, educational value, and engaging experience, but it's not something that our family could afford every week of the summer.  Luckily, though, you can choose your week(s) and that allows you to do the Kotlus Family Rotation, which is a week of chillin like a villain, a week of camp you pay for, a week of VBS (cause it's free!!) and a week of vacation somewhere.  Doing that each month allows me to keep the budget sane, and still pick really cool camps. STEM/STEAM activities are so vital for our kids, and camps that include STEM components tend to cost more because of the equipment needed, but I definitely think that this camp was worthwhile!


Disclosure: Animated Child is one of our sponsors, but we provide our honest feedback and reviews.

Summer Camp Option: AviationEd Camp

Permalink to Summer%20Camp%20Option%3A%20AviationEd%20Camp
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.

Host a Student with USA Connections

Permalink to Host%20a%20Student%20with%20USA%20Connections
Published: 04/08/2014
USA Connection is an exchange program that is currently looking for host families (who are compensated!) who would like to have a student from Spain join their family for a few weeks this summer.  Interested? Here are some details! 



1) Tell me a little about your organization and how you got involved

We have always enjoyed intercultural experiences, since we  ourselves are an international couple, and we have traveled, lived in different countries, and speak different languages. Last year, for the first time, we decided to extend that experience to others by inviting a carefully selected group of Basque teens to stay with American families during the month of July.  It was a great experience for everyone.  After last year's great experience, we were really motivated to do it again!


2) What's one of your favorite exchange stories from students?
 
One of our more conscientious students forgot to change the timezone on his cellphone alarm. So, on his first night with his host family he went to bed at a relatively normal time only to get up, shower and go down to have breakfast at 1:00 a.m. all the while wondering how American's could sleep so late on a week day!

Another was at a 4th of July pool party, and was the only one to notice when a toddler fell into the pool. He quickly jumped in to pull the toddler out.

3) What's one of your favorite exchange stories from a family?
 
One of the families from the Lake Ridge area enjoyed the experience of having one of our youth so much that they want to host the same student again! They've kept in touch all year and are even planning on being the first family to do a full exchange with our program by sending their daughter to Spain to stay for 3 weeks with their host student's family.



4) What's involved in hosting a student?
 
Nothing special, really. We do ask that our student have a private bedroom and that Spanish not be the primary language of the host family. Other than that, they should do their own laundry, help with basic chores and go where your family goes.


If your family goes to church, take them to church. If one of your children has a softball game, take them to the game. The only "extra" thing would be to drop them off at the pickup point for our 2 day trips and when we take them to summer camp- and pick them back up, of course!

The families, in general, aren't expected to pay the students way. They travel with their own pocket money. They also travel with full medical and liability insurance in the case of any mishaps.


Having a teen in the family is preferable, but not necessary. Children that they can interact with is a requirement though.


5) Where do students come from? What do they like to do?
Our students come, primarily, from the Basque Country, a small nation between Spain and France. Most of the Basque live on the Spanish side of the border.  Because of the Basque Country's unique situation, most of our students are trilingual, with Spanish, Basque and English. A few speak French as well.

Our students are very similar to kids in the US. The boys like soccer and video games. Many of them surf if they live near the coast. The girls tend to be athletic as well, playing soccer and field hockey. Basketball is also very popular. It's common to see groups of teens hanging out on a park bench talking and playing with their cellphones just like kids in the U.S. In the summer, they tend to spend the day at the beach.

6) What kind of support is offered to host families?
We try to be as supportive as possible. We travel with the kids from Bilbao to Paris and on to Dulles and help make sure they arrive with their host families safely. We stay in the area for the entire trip, so we're available any time to help out with any issues, like homesickness or illness, that might come up. We give families basic instructions on what is expected of them while hosting one of our students, as well as a list of appropriate activities that they might want to consider. We also invite family members to come on day trips that we organize and the going away party.

We also offer a stipend to the families to cover the cost of having an extra person in the house.

 

This is a sponsored post brought to you by USA Connections.  PwcMoms has not participated in the program and makes no explicit or implied claims about your family's experience.

Summer Intensives at Academy of Russian Ballet

Permalink to Summer%20Intensives%20at%20Academy%20of%20Russian%20Ballet
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 PwcMoms.com.  All opinions expressed are those of PwcMoms.com, however. 

Week in Preview: August 12 to August 18, 2013

Permalink to Week%20in%20Preview%3A%20August%2012%20to%20August%2018%2C%202013
Published: 08/12/2013
Animated Child will have Jackson Pollock demonstration classes this week, but you have to pre-register!  Call 703-763-0003.  Times vary by age group.   While you're on the phone, ask about their parents night/day out programs! 

You can try Ice Skating for Free on Sunday! Try Ice Skating for Free is for beginners age 4 to adult. Skate rental is provides. There will be 30 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes of free skating.
Registration on-line is required at www.pwice.com.

Plan ahead for the 22nd when Leesylvania will offer a "Survival 101" class. Wilderness survival is all about being prepared. Come to the Visitor Center to learn the basic skills you should know before going on extended outdoor adventures. We will look at how to prioritize tasks, what tools you might need and how to use them. At the end of the program make a survival bracelet to get your survival kit started. For more information please call 703-583-6904.

Sign up now for next week (August 25/26) Lowe's Build and Grow

Monday, August 12
A La Carte Caterers will be offering a week of classes for elementary kids.  Email  
kim@alacartecaters.com to get more information. Classes are 3-6pm.

From 11-12:30, Potomac Library will be showing Tim Burton's "The Corpse Bride". Kids can bring a snack and watch for free. Note this move is PG.

Tuesday, August 13
Sweet Creations in Bristow will host children's author Julia Heckathorn, who will be reading about animals and conservation and signing her books.  Children's yogurt will be $3.  I love events like these, because they really encourage children that authors are real people- and they can be them, too! Event starts at 1pm, and I've never been to Sweet Creations, so I'm not sure about seating.

It's $2 Tuesday at the Prince William County Fair.  Admission and ride tickets will be $2/each, and NO wristbands will be sold- so if you were planning to purchase them, today isn't your day.

Wednesday, August 14
At 10am, Oh Susannah will play at Stonebridge for their Summer Music Series.  Bring your own seating, if you will need it.

For Kindergartners, previous walkers (or homeschoolers- you know your kids want to ride the bus), there will be school buses at Bull Run, Central, Chinn, Dale City, Dumfries, Independent Hill, Lake Ridge, and Potomac Libraries at 10:30am.

Thursday, August 15
Kidgits will be hosting a Back to School themed event this month, including school inspired crafts, a live puppet show, and back-to-school fashions and coupons.  This event is from 10-11am, and while you don't have to be a Kidgits member, members do get special gifts.

At 11, Potomac Library will host an end-of-summer ice cream social.  Drop-in for all ages.

From 7-8:15pm, Huntington Learning Center will present tips and tricks for making this school year a success for parents and caregivers, and will cover topics such as homework, SOLs, and more at Bull Run Library.  For adults.

Friday, August 16
If you need a quieter end to your week, Soaring Spirit in Occoquan will be offering Mom/Tot and Prenatal Yoga.  Mom/Tot starts at 6:15pm and Prenatal Yoga will be at 7:15pm.  Students may drop in, or purchase a pass.

For $20, parents can drop their children (ages 5-11) off at the Freedom Center from 6:30-9:30pm for games, fun, swimming, and pizza.  Get a date night, or take a nap!  Children must be registered by Thursday night at 10pm.

Saturday, August 17
Ninth Dragon Martial Arts in Dumfries is celebrating their birthday with an open house including face painting, moon bounces, burgers and hot dogs, arts and crafts, and mini-seminars and demonstrations.  They're also advertising spaces for those wishing to sell or demo products.  10am-3pm

Saturday night, you can take your pick from Saturday Nights at the Workhouse (Lorton), a free concert at the Harris Pavilion (Manassas), or the Karate Kid movie at Stonebridge (Woodbridge).  All three are free.

Sunday, August 18
Try Ice Skating for Free is for beginners age 4 to adult. Skate rental is provides. There will be 30 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes of free skating. Registration on-line is required at www.pwice.com. Classes will be at 4pm.

Giveaway: Visit Richmond VA/Redskins Training Camp

Permalink to Giveaway%3A%20Visit%20Richmond%20VA%2FRedskins%20Training%20Camp
Published: 08/09/2013

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

enter using the Rafflecopter at the end of this post! 

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

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!)
CIRCUS
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
UNDER THE SEA
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
PIRATES
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

Leesylvania State Park Happenings This Week

Permalink to Leesylvania%20State%20Park%20Happenings%20This%20Week%20
Published: 07/28/2013

07/31/2013What's a Watershed?
Location: Visitor Center
Where does all that water in the Potomac River come from? Where does it go when it flows past Leesylvania? Join us for an exploration of how water makes the world go around as we travel through the water cycle, learn about watersheds, and see the aquatic impacts of how we use the land we live on. Meet up with a ranger at the Visitor Center to begin your journey through the world of water.

3 Sessions:  11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., & 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/01/2013Ecosystem Exploration
Location: Meet at Powells Creek Trailhead.
Take a walk with a ranger and learn just what it is you are looking at when you explore Leesylvania. Learn who produces what, what helps whom, and what it all means to the humans who live "outside" of nature. Please remember to wear close-toed shoes and bring water.
3 Sessions:  11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., & 4:00 p.m.

Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/02/2013Dino Days
Location: Visitor Center    Extra Event Fee Charged.
Walk in the footsteps of the dinosaurs! Come to the Visitor Center to excavate fossils, try to out run a T-Rex, and design your own dinosaur. Fee is $2/person, $6/family

3 Sessions:  11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., & 4:00 p.m.
Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/03/2013Invasive Species Hike
Location: Meet at the Lee's Woods Historic Trailhead.
Can you tell the difference between the heart-shaped leaves of a native redbud and invasive princess tree? Take a hike with a ranger and see the plants and animals that have been waging a silent war against our native species.  Please remember to wear close-toed shoes and bring water.

2 Sessions:  11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.

Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/03/20139:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.Kids Fishing Tournament
Location: Marina in lot #1
Join our kids fishing tournament and see what you can catch. There is some fishing equipment that participants can borrow, but we encourage folks to bring their own. There are several volunteers on hand to give participants help. Sponsored by the Friends of Leesylvania State Park.
Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/03/20136:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Canoe Tour
Location: Register at the Visitor Center and then meet at Canoe Launch   Extra Event Fee Charged.
Join a ranger for a guided canoe tour on Powell's Creek. You'll get to see wildlife, marsh plants, and test your skills in a canoe. Please register with the Visitor Center 24 hours in advance for the tour. Fee is $9.00 per person, or $6.00 per person when reserving for groups of 4 or more.

Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/04/20137:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.Canoe Tour
Location: Register at the Visitor Center and then meet at Canoe Launch   Extra Event Fee Charged.
Join a ranger for a guided canoe tour on Powell's Creek. You'll get to see wildlife, marsh plants, and test your skills in a canoe. Please register with the Visitor Center 24 hours in advance for the tour. Fee is $9.00 per person, or $6.00 per person when reserving for groups of 4 or more.

Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov 
08/04/201311:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.Colonial Children's Games
Location: Visitor Center
See what games children used to play during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Play a few innings of Town Ball. Race hoops against each other and play a game of catch called Graces. Appropriate for children 4 years old and up.
Phone: (703) 583-6904    Web Site: Leesylvania    Email Address:leesylvania@dcr.virginia.gov

Smithsonian Features Iconic Little Golden Books in Summer Display

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Published: 07/13/2013

Finding something to do for the summer just got easier with the opening of a special display about Little Golden Books at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “The Art of Little Golden Books” will share the story of literacy in America in a fun and interactive format that visitors of all ages can enjoy. Located in the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery, it will feature a sampling of the artists’ illustrations from several early Little Golden Books and will be on display from June 28, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014.
“There is something particularly wonderful about the beautifully illustrated Little Golden Books that captivated the imaginations of young readers across America,” said John Gray, director of the museum. “The National Museum of American History will display these little treasures and inspire young readers with the same books that sparked literacy in America over several decades.”
Little Golden Books transformed children’s reading habits in the early 20th century and became an icon in almost every American middle-class home. Before World War II, large-format, classic story books for children were prohibitively expensive and available to a privileged few. Little Golden Books offered new ideas and modern stories in an affordable format.
“This display will bring back fond childhood memories for many of our visitors who read these books in their early years,” said Melodie Sweeney, curator of the exhibition. “It will also offer a way for one generation to share with the next about their experiences of growing up and learning how to read.”
Visitors to the Little Golden Books exhibition will be able to view a reproduction of the original display units that were set up by the publishers after World War II in five-and-dime chains, grocery stores, and drugstores. In addition, some of the most popular books, such as Gaston and Josephine, Nurse Nancy, Doctor Dan the Bandage Man and The Two Little Miners, will be featured with a selection of classics for visitors to look through. The exhibit space will include seating, inviting visitors to read and relax as they take a step back in time with titles such as The Poky Little Puppy, Scuffy the Tugbout, and The Shy Little Kitten.
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is currently renovating its west exhibition wing, developing galleries on business, democracy and culture. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

Free Movies in Dumfries!

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Published: 07/11/2013
Join Pillar Church of Dumfries and the Town of Dumfries for "Movies on the Lawn"! They'll be showing family-friendly films over the next three months, including "The Lorax" on July 12th, "Willie Wonka" on August 2nd, and "Wreck it Ralph" on September 14th.  Seating begins at 7:30pm and movies will begin at sunset.  This is the summer 2013 schedule.

4th of July Fun in Prince William County!

Permalink to 4th%20of%20July%20Fun%20in%20Prince%20William%20County%21%20
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! 

Engineering for Kids Camp Weeks 2013

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Published: 07/02/2013

We absolutely loved our Engineering for Kids Meetup! They're offering camps all summer long, check them out for your kiddos! Register online or call 540-288-1335! 


Week of June 17-21
Date of activity: June 17-21
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Platform Games)
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. A platform game is a side-scrolling, Mario-type game where students program characters and a two-dimensional obstacle course. They attempt to avoid or overcome enemies and reach an end goal on multiple levels. Students take home a copy of the game they create.
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Date of activity: June 17-21
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Heroes Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Its a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Heroes Week! Students will join other engineers their age as they seek ways to protect the world and save mankind in the process. They will join a league of heroes and will compete against other leagues by performing engineering-related challenges, such as saving an ecosystem from a potentially lethal oil spill. Only one group will end the week as the ultimate league of super heroes!
Week of June 24-28
Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: How Amusing
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Ah, the thrill of an amusement park…zipping around on racecars, zooming through the loops of a rollercoaster and enjoying a cold, refreshing ice cream treat at the end of a hot, sticky day. Can’t get better than that! Students will divide into competitive theme park teams. They will challenge other teams in specific engineering-related contests with the goal of creating the most fantastic and thrilling theme park experience!
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Robotics Ocean Missions
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robotics Ocean Missions camp, students design and program robots to protect the ocean and ocean life by releasing a dolphin into the ocean, fixing a broken pipeline, and maintaining an oil platform.
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Robotic Olympics
Fee: $159
Ages: 5-7
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robotics Olympics camp, students design and program robots to compete in simulated Olympic events such as a sprinting in a race, throwing a basketball, and shooting a puck into a hockey goal.
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Robotic Olympics
Fee: $159
Ages: 8-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robotics Olympics camp, students design and program robots to compete in simulated Olympic events such as a sprinting in a race, throwing a basketball, and shooting a puck into a hockey goal.
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Heroes Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Veterans Memorial Park (Woodbridge) location
Brief description: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Heroes Week! Students will join other engineers their age as they seek ways to protect the world and save mankind in the process. They will join a league of heroes and will compete against other leagues by performing engineering-related challenges, such as saving an ecosystem from a potentially lethal oil spill. Only one group will end the week as the ultimate league of super heroes!
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Platform Games)
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Veterans Memorial Park (Woodbridge) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. A platform game is a side-scrolling, Mario-type game where students program characters and a two-dimensional obstacle course. They attempt to avoid or overcome enemies and reach an end goal on multiple levels. Students take home a copy of the game they create.
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Survivor: Engineer's Cove
Fee: $165
Ages: 6-12
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Dorothy Hart Center (Fredericksburg) location
Brief description: Stranded on an abandoned island - surrounded by darkness, cold temperatures, wild animals, and other dangers. Students in this camp will join tribes and compete in various engineering-related challenges against other tribes to survive and eventually escape the harsh island conditions. Join us in the first ever Engineering for Kids® Survivor challenge!
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Date of activity: June 24-28
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Rescue Robots
Fee: $165
Ages: 6-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Dorothy Hart Center (Fredericksburg) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Rescue Robots camp, students design and program robots to respond to simulated disaster situations such as moving rubble and retrieving targets.
Week of July 1-3
Date of activity: July 1-3
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Junior Aerospace Engineering
Fee: $75
Ages: 4-6
Times: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: The Junior Aerospace Engineering classes introduce our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of aircraft and spacecraft design. Through open and focused exploration, students explore and construct airplanes, rockets, hot air balloons, and more.
Week of July 8-12
Date of activity: July 8-12
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Girls Only Heroes Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location; girls only.
Brief description: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Heroes Week! Students will join other engineers their age as they seek ways to protect the world and save mankind in the process. They will join a league of heroes and will compete against other leagues by performing engineering-related challenges, such as saving an ecosystem from a potentially lethal oil spill. Only one group will end the week as the ultimate league of super heroes!
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Date of activity: July 8-12
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Girls Only LEGO® Robot Surgeons
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location; girls only.
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robot Surgeons camp, students design and program robots to function as medical robots by accomplishing a task that would cure a disease or address an issue within a human organ.
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Date of activity: July 8-12
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Robotics Ocean Missions
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Southlake Recreation Center (Dumfries) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robotics Ocean Missions camp, students design and program robots to protect the ocean and ocean life by releasing a dolphin into the ocean, fixing a broken pipeline, and maintaining an oil platform.
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Date of activity: July 8-12
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: How Amusing
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Southlake Recreation Center (Dumfries) location
Brief description: Ah, the thrill of an amusement park…zipping around on racecars, zooming through the loops of a rollercoaster and enjoying a cold, refreshing ice cream treat at the end of a hot, sticky day. Can’t get better than that! Students will divide into competitive theme park teams. They will challenge other teams in specific engineering-related contests with the goal of creating the most fantastic and thrilling theme park experience!
Week of July 15-19
Date of activity: July 15-19
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Math Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Engineering for Kids® Math Week is a camp dedicated to showing young engineers how to apply mathematical concepts to the Engineering Design Process.  During this week, students also learn how to perfect their designs through the use of mathematical concepts and formulas.  By the end of the course students will not see math as merely numbers, but as the building blocks of all engineering.
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Date of activity: July 15-19
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Math Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Engineering for Kids® Math Week is a camp dedicated to showing young engineers how to apply mathematical concepts to the Engineering Design Process.  During this week, students also learn how to perfect their designs through the use of mathematical concepts and formulas.  By the end of the course students will not see math as merely numbers, but as the building blocks of all engineering.
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Date of activity: July 15-19
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Heroes Week
Fee: $159
Ages: 5-7
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Heroes Week! Students will join other engineers their age as they seek ways to protect the world and save mankind in the process. They will join a league of heroes and will compete against other leagues by performing engineering-related challenges, such as saving an ecosystem from a potentially lethal oil spill. Only one group will end the week as the ultimate league of super heroes!
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Date of activity: July 15-19
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Heroes Week
Fee: $159
Ages: 8-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Heroes Week! Students will join other engineers their age as they seek ways to protect the world and save mankind in the process. They will join a league of heroes and will compete against other leagues by performing engineering-related challenges, such as saving an ecosystem from a potentially lethal oil spill. Only one group will end the week as the ultimate league of super heroes!
Week of July 22-26
Date of activity: July 22-26
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Out of This World
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Is mankind ready to inhabit the moon? With a little help from Engineering for Kids® students, humans will be prepared to take up residence by the end of the week. Students will collaborate with their Space State teams to create the safest and most effective community on the moon. Which team will earn enough Astro-Points to be declared the winner?
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Date of activity: July 22-26
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Invader Defense)
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. Whether students wish to fire marshmallows or missiles, they build a complete video game from start to finish. They program characters to survive a wave of enemy attacks in order to reach the next level. Students take home a copy of the game they create.
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Date of activity: July 22-25
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Junior Mechanical Engineering
Fee: $75
Ages: 5-7
Times: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Victory Lakes (Bristow) location
Brief description: The Junior Mechanical Engineering classes introduce our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of energy, materials, and movement. Through open and focused exploration, students explore and construct their own roller coasters, catapults, cars, and more
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Date of activity: July 22-26
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: How Amusing
Fee: $125
Ages: 8-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Friday)
Restrictions: Victory Lakes (Bristow) location
Brief description: Ah, the thrill of an amusement park…zipping around on racecars, zooming through the loops of a rollercoaster and enjoying a cold, refreshing ice cream treat at the end of a hot, sticky day. Can’t get better than that! Students will divide into competitive theme park teams. They will challenge other teams in specific engineering-related contests with the goal of creating the most fantastic and thrilling theme park experience!
Week of July 29-August 2
Date of activity: July 29-August 2
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Survivor: Engineer's Cove
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Stranded on an abandoned island - surrounded by darkness, cold temperatures, wild animals, and other dangers. Students in this camp will join tribes and compete in various engineering-related challenges against other tribes to survive and eventually escape the harsh island conditions. Join us in the first ever Engineering For Kids® Survivor challenge!
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Date of activity: July 29-August 2
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Rescue Robots
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions:  Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Rescue Robots camp, students design and program robots to respond to simulated disaster situations such as moving rubble and retrieving targets.
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Date of activity: July 29-August 2
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Momentum Madness
Fee: $159
Ages: 5-7
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions:Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: Zero to sixty in two seconds?! How fast can an object go without compromising safety? Students in this camp will work with their Pit Crew to design and build vehicles, such as dragsters and hovering levitrons, which should able to withstand astonishing speeds. Fasten your seat belt, the race has begun!
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Date of activity: July 29-August 2
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Racing Games)
Fee: $159
Ages: 8-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions:Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. Students design a racetrack, race cars and an environment in which their cars compete. Students take home a copy of the game they create.
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Date of activity: July 29-August 1
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Junior Aerospace Engineering
Fee: $75
Ages: 5-7
Times: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Victory Lakes (Bristow) location
Brief description: The Junior Aerospace Engineering classes introduce our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of aircraft and spacecraft design. Through open and focused exploration, students explore and construct airplanes, rockets, hot air balloons, and more.
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Date of activity: July 29-August 2
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® RoboBattles
Fee: $125
Ages: 8-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Monday-Thursday), 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Friday)
Restrictions: Victory Lakes (Bristow) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® RoboBattles camp students create, program, and control robots designed to perform challenges such as the SumoBots Challenge, Joisting Challenge, and the Catapult Challenge.
Week of August 5-9
Date of activity: August 5-9
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Robotic Olympics
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robotics Olympics camp, students design and program robots to compete in simulated Olympic events such as a sprinting in a race, throwing a basketball, and shooting a puck into a hockey goal.
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Date of activity: August 5-9
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Engineering Olympiad
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Who has the strength to be a world-class athlete? In this camp, students will separate into counties and will compete against opposing counties in various tests of mental and creative strength. The students will earn “medals” throughout the week and will endeavor to become the next great team of Olympians.
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Date of activity: August 5-9
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Racing Games)
Fee: $165
Ages: 6-12
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Dorothy Hart Center (Fredericksburg) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. Students design a racetrack, race cars and an environment in which their cars compete. Students take home a copy of the game they create.
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Date of activity: August 5-9
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Momentum Madness
Fee: $165
Ages: 6-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Dorothy Hart Center (Fredericksburg) location
Brief description: Zero to sixty in two seconds?! How fast can an object go without compromising safety? Students in this camp will work with their Pit Crew to design and build vehicles, such as dragsters and hovering levitrons, which should able to withstand astonishing speeds. Fasten your seat belt, the race has begun!
Week of August 12-16
Date of activity: August 12-16
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Momentum Madness
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Zero to sixty in two seconds?! How fast can an object go without compromising safety? Students in this camp will work with their Pit Crew to design and build vehicles, such as dragsters and hovering levitrons, which should able to withstand astonishing speeds. Fasten your seat belt, the race has begun!
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Date of activity: August 12-16
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Racing Games)
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. Students design a racetrack, race cars and an environment in which their cars compete. Students take home a copy of the game they create.
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Date of activity: August 12-16
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® RoboBattles
Fee: $159
Ages: 5-7
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® RoboBattles camp students create, program, and control robots designed to perform challenges such as the SumoBots Challenge, Joisting Challenge, and the Catapult Challenge.
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Date of activity: August 12-16
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® RoboBattles
Fee: $159
Ages: 8-12
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center (Manassas) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® RoboBattles camp students create, program, and control robots designed to perform challenges such as the SumoBots Challenge, Joisting Challenge, and the Catapult Challenge.
Week of August 19-23
Date of activity: August 19-23
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Wreck-it Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: Smash! Crash! BOOM! Students in this camp will join Wrecking Companies for the week and will attempt to work their way up the ranks of their company from Intern to President. They will compete against other wrecking companies in various engineering-related challenges, such as building a bridge from balsawood and constructing safety mechanisms to protect a raw egg from impact. Put on your hard hats and safety goggles and join the fun!
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Date of activity: August 19-23
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® RoboBattles
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® RoboBattles camp students create, program, and control robots designed to perform challenges such as the SumoBots Challenge, Joisting Challenge, and the Catapult Challenge.
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Date of activity: August 19-23
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Momentum Madness
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Veterans Memorial Park (Woodbridge) location
Brief description: Zero to sixty in two seconds?! How fast can an object go without compromising safety? Students in this camp will work with their Pit Crew to design and build vehicles, such as dragsters and hovering levitrons, which should able to withstand astonishing speeds. Fasten your seat belt, the race has begun!
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Date of activity: August 19-23
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Electronic Game Design (Racing Games)
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Veterans Memorial Park (Woodbridge) location
Brief description: Students will use Multimedia Fusion 2® to create their own video game. Students design a racetrack, race cars and an environment in which their cars compete. Students take home a copy of the game they create
Week of August 26-30
Date of activity: August 26-30
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: Heroes Week
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Heroes Week! Students will join other engineers their age as they seek ways to protect the world and save mankind in the process. They will join a league of heroes and will compete against other leagues by performing engineering-related challenges, such as saving an ecosystem from a potentially lethal oil spill. Only one group will end the week as the ultimate league of super heroes!
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Date of activity: August 26-30
Name of Camp: Engineering For Kids: LEGO® Robot Surgeons
Fee: $165
Ages: 7-14
Times: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Restrictions: Aquia Park (Stafford) location
Brief description: During the LEGO® Robot Surgeons camp, students design and program robots to function as medical robots by accomplishing a task that would cure a disease or address an issue within a human organ.

2013 Music at the Marina

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Published: 06/29/2013
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Music at the Marina is back! Once again, this family-fun event is taking place at Leesylvania State Park on June 29th, 2013. Starting at 7pm, this season’s entertainment features the United States Navy Band Country Current, who offer a universally pleasing mix of bluegrass music and country twang. Music at the Marina has something for everyone this summer: live music, food, kid-friendly activities, and fireworks. It’s sure to please the whole family.

This year's entertainment is unlike anything previously seen at Music at the Marina, for the United States Navy premiere bluegrass and country ensemble, Country Current, will be playing one night only, June 29. Founded in 1973 by the well-known Bill Emerson, the band boasts a long line of prestigious musical talent, and has been providing entertainment to various audiences for close to 40 years. Country Currentmakes a point to reach out to communities across the country and Music at the Marina is no exception.

Holding true to tradition, Music at the Marina is taking place at Leesylvania State Park, located right next the Potomac River. Leesylvania State Park is part of the Virginia Association for Parks, a non-profit group that works hard to promote community events within Virginia parks. Located in Prince William County, Leesylvania Park is a great setting to hold this community sponsored event, Music at the Marina.

Music at the Marina is an exciting event for the whole family. With music and activities to occupy all ages, this night of music and community fun is not to be missed. Music at the Marina is free, thanks to Steve’s Auto Repair and Friends of Leesylvania State Park. Both sponsors are providing various prizes to win throughout the night. Located in Woodbridge, Steve’s Auto Repair “is glad to once again be part of this great event and relishes the opportunity to help those within the area enjoy good music and family-centered fun


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daytime playtime - a fun place to Learn.... a great place to Grow A Play Gym Designed for Parents and Children Aged 10 Months to 4 1/2 Years... Elite Maid Squad