Guest Post: Miss Rivershore One Hour Tour

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Published: 07/24/2014
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Look! It's another guest post! The blogging gods have smiled upon me! Well, in this case, since Sarah is a Pastor's Wife, I guess it's Jesus smiling on me- but I'm good with that :) 
Hooray!! Thanks to Sarah from The Wild Ruby!!

Miss Rivershore One Hour Tour


            This is a one hour boat ride on the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers.  For a decent price ($6 per child from ages 4-12, 0-3 free and $12 per adult -  but they sometimes offer Groupons for 2 adults for $14, so be on the lookout for that) you get a 1 hour tour on a mostly-enclosed large pontoon boat with a bar.  As far as I could tell it's pretty much first come, first served -  no reservations needed.  However, I'd recommend scheduling in advance if you have a group.  There was a family reunion group of about 30 people assembled as we were getting ready to load and thankfully it appeared they had chartered their own boat, otherwise the rest of us would've been out of luck -  or part of their group would've been left waving on shore.

            There are vending machine-style snacks available as well as canned sodas, bottled water, beer and wine for reasonable prices ($1 for a bag of Cheetos, $2 for soda and water,  $5 for a beer and $6 for a plastic cup of wine -  we're almost on the open sea, so safety first!).

            On our tour at 4 p.m. on a Saturday in July the boat was almost at capacity at about 35 guests.  There are cushioned bench seats along both sides and plastic folding tables with plastic folding chairs down the center.  The windows were all open to allow for a bit of a breeze, but I saw a portable AC unit as well as a heater in case of extreme temperatures.  There is a very small space at the front of the boat for people to stand or sit outside.  In the back of the boat was a basic bar with the aforementioned snacks and drinks.  There was also a bathroom on board.

            Boarding took place at the four tall posts on the pier to the right of the boat loading area/kayak input at Occoquan Regional Park (located on Route 123, just over the Occoquan bridge as you're heading into Fairfax County.  If you pass the Workhouse Arts Center, you've gone too far.) .  Our first stop was to the town of Occoquan to drop off a family-  evidently there is a way you can board there as well.  Then we turned back around and took a leisurely cruise past several marinas as the captain told some of the history of the area.  It was fun going under all the bridges for I-95, Route 1 and the railroad track next to Route 1.  We also learned a little about ospreys and saw some baby ospreys in a nest on our journey.  I found it relaxing and my only complaint was that 1 hour was too short.  In a perfect world I'd love to experience this same location for a longer period of time and on a boat with more outdoor options, but for the price and the novelty of the experience, it was worth it. 

            This company does offer a variety of longer tours including a round trip to Tim's Rivershore Restaurant on the weekends, which I'd love to try sometime!  http://www.missrivershorecharters.com/
           
           

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.


4th of July 5k!

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Published: 06/30/2014
Freedom Firecracker 5K : Fun Run Racing is excited to partner with The Freedom Center for this family friendly celebration of July 4th. Feel free to wear your patriotic themed gear. As with all FRR races, this will be a festive affair – music, fun race giveaways at the start line, ‘in-race’ awards for best costumes, and FRR “surprize” awards in the finish line chute – including our ‘Golden Ticket’ awards {just hope fora “Willy Wonka-like” golden ticket}. :)

Kids 1K Fun Run also available. 

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.

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!! 



Kings Dominion's "Planet Spooky"

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Published: 10/01/2013

Inside Planet Snoopy- Super Cute Fall Decor!

We were so excited to visit Kings Dominion in Doswell this past weekend.  It's roughly an hour's drive, which I consider to be more than do-able for a day of fun!   Kings Dominion is obviously open all summer as a great way to spend some of your vacation days, but they are also open fall weekends with a Halloween theme.  Planet Spooky activities and Trick-or-Treat with the Dinosaurs in Dinosaurs Alive! are open Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 28 - Oct. 27 from 12pm - 5pm. 

On Saturdays, the park actually opens at 10:30, and we arrived around that time.  While we waited for Planet Snoopy to open, we took our kids to some of the larger sections and enjoyed absolutely no lines.  Once the park got a little more crowded, there were still barely any wait times.  I think the longest line we were in was 20 minutes.  Most rides the kids got right on or waited one cycle for their turn. It was incredibly quick. 

Top of the Eiffel Tower

We spent much of the day in the newly reopened, larger children's section called "Planet Snoopy", or, as it's known for fall "Planet Spooky".  With 18 rides designed with kids in mind, as well as a host of family-friendly rides throughout the park, most of your kiddos will be able to have a great day on the rides.  What I discovered when we went, though, is that they've got numerous family-friendly accommodations, including a "Snoopy Family Care Center" and even a "parent switcher" option you can find out more about in guest services so that families with one child who can ride and one who can't, such as an elementary schooler and an infant, don't have to have one parent miss out on all the fun!
Inside the "People Washer"

You should know that the park also features a "Halloween Haunt" which is for ages 13 and up.  If you stay at the park past 7pm, you will likely have a zombie pop out at you.  If you're cool with that, then enjoy but since I am a giant fraidy cat, we left by 6:30.  There are some decorations that remain out during the daytime at the front entrance and in some of the other sections of the park.  They are fairly tame, and similar to things that you would see out at your local craft or Halloween store during this season, but I know that some children are very sensitive to that.
She's actually commenting that she wants to climb that...she's not scared of anything.  Ever.

Once you're inside the park and into the Planet Snoopy section, you won't see anything but pumpkins and scarecrows- or Lucy dressed up as a witch...but she's pretty cute :) Snoopy is on hand, of course, too!

Snoopy!
Several of the attractions in Planet Snoopy are designated as trick or treat stops, and when the children complete an activity, they're given a non-candy treat.  In addition to the regular rides, there were attractions such as a petting zoo, "people washer", pumpkin decorating, and hay maze.  Peanuts characters also come out both to meet with kids for photo ops, and to perform at regularly scheduled intervals.
Pumpkin Decorating! 
Linus and the Gang host a Sing-a-Long

Also open, for a small additional fee, is Trick or Treat at Dinosaurs Alive! which features a six acre animatronic tour of 36 life-sized dinosaurs from various eras. There's also a sand pit where children can dig for fossils (our day there was a "paleontologist" in costume).  During Trick or Treat, there are several stations with candy that visitors can stop at, and non-candy treats are available, as well as an allergy list.  I believe we stopped at eight stations along the route.  The dinosaurs make noise, and move, and some are even Redskins fans.
Candyvores.  Yesss.
#HTTR

We had a great time enjoying a fall day at Kings Dominion's Planet Spooky.  It's especially nice for our family now, because the rest of the park is open, affording my 5 year old the chance to enjoy all the great Planet Snoopy rides, and my almost 10 year old the option of some awesome roller coasters.  Everyone was able to ride something they loved, and the weather is so pleasant right now that it was an awesome day outside.

To purchase tickets, visit the Kings Dominion Website or purchase at the gate.


Disclosure: Our PwcMoms team (aka, "my family") was provided with free admission in order to do a park review.  We were also provided admission to Trick or Treat at Dinosaurs alive.  People who have had extensive brain and neck surgery shouldn't really ride much, but that was okay with me, because my kiddos had a blast! All opinions are my own, including those about Zombies being scary and me being a pansy when it comes to grown-up Halloween.  

Culpeper Harvest Days Farm Tour: October 5&6, 2013

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Published: 09/29/2013

A free, self-guided event much like the PWC Farm Tour.  Check it out online and find a list of farms and locations you can choose from. 

Featured Organization Friday: FARE Walk for Food Allergies

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Published: 09/13/2013
For more information, or to register, click Here.

FREE Fall Fest at Stonebridge, September 14, 2013

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Published: 09/08/2013

Great Country Farms Cider Festival September 14&15, 2013

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Published: 09/07/2013

Celebrate the Apple Harvest & Tractor Corn Maize Grand Opening!


Bluemont, VA – Enjoy the early fall harvest at Great Country Farms Cider Festival September 14 & 15.  Apples are available for U-Pick and the whole family can enjoy tastings of fresh pressed cider and sparkling cider blends including peach, cherry and raspberry with bottles available to take home for the holidays. Adults can purchase samples of locally made apple wine from Corcoran Vineyards, hard cider and more! All ages can explore the Tractor themed Corn Maize which is sized to be especially inviting to younger children. The weekend includes live music, arts, crafts, and clown entertainment from noon – 3pm both days.

The whole family can appreciate the hard work involved with farming the old fashioned way when they take a turn cranking the wheel on the Farm’s antique cider press! The Farm is celebrating its 20th Year anniversary with extra special events to be announced throughout the autumn season. Pre-picked produce is available in the Farm Market and homemade Cider donuts, Kettle Korn, along with apple dumplings, apple pie and other seasonal treats are served in the Roosteraunt.

Cider Festival details:
September 14 & 15 from 9am-6pm
$10/child & $12/adult admission includes cider tastings from 11am – 3pm
Farm Members, Military ID holders and kids 2 and under are FREE
Contact Jaclyn Jenkins jaclyn@greatcountryfarms.com 540-554-2073 GreatCountryFarms.com

Featured Organization Friday: Chelsea's Epilepsy Walk for SUDEP Awareness

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Published: 09/06/2013

Join other walkers at Old Bridge United Methodist Church on Sunday, September 22nd for a walk in memory of local hockey dad Jeff Beaupre.  Register online now at www.ChelseasWalk.org, or you can mark your calendar and register day-of.  I'm giving you plenty of time to find a friend to walk with! 

2013 Dumfries Fall Festival

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Published: 09/05/2013
Dumfries will host its annual Fall Festival on September 14, 2013 from 11am-6:30pm.

Featured Organization Friday: iWalk for ACTS

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Published: 08/30/2013

This sounds like a fun one.  Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS) is a mainstay in the Prince William County nonprofit scene.  They've been helping people in our area for as long as I can remember.  One of my first volunteer memories is helping with Operation Turkey, and another shortly after that was feeding people dinner at the emergency shelter with Girl Scouts.  ACTS is holding their 3rd Annual iWalk for ACTS to benefit families in need on Saturday, October 19th in Merchant's Park in Dumfries.  After the walk there's a FREE Family Festival with games, moonbounces, face painting, clowns, obstacle courses, free food, and more.  This definitely sounds like a great day for the family.

Don't wait until October, though! Sign up now for a family rate of $50, or, you can sign up as a fundraiser and get those in your life to help you sponsor this great walk!

ACTS runs a food pantry, homeless prevention shelter, domestic violence shelter, helpline and more.  They're a 4-Star Charity Navigator organization (remember- know who you're supporting!!) You can also support ACTS through the United Way: United Way NCA Designation Code: 8001
Combined Federal Campaign Number (CFC): 21878

The Big Dig: Great Country Farms

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Published: 08/22/2013


Come with an empty stomach to The Big Dig on Saturday, August 31st & Sunday, Sept 1st at Great Country Farms.  Celebrate the end of summer with pancakes, potatoes, trucks and tractors as the Farm hands get into the dirt. The taste and texture of fresh potatoes is completely different from typical grocery store products that are often a year old. Kids can experience first-hand how to search for spuds by digging in our potato fields. If the weather permits, Farmer Mark’s tractor will rip a row and turn over fresh taters for easier picking. The Farm Market carries pre-picked farm produce including tomatoes, fruits, and other veggies along with locally produced meat and dairy products.

The day starts with pancakes hot off the griddle piled high and topped with delicious fruit syrups, juice and coffee. The All-You-Can Eat Pancake Breakfast runs till 11:30am and is included with admission.  The hayride will take you to the fields so you can dig potatoes and visit other U-Pick areas. The Farm posts updates of produce availability on its social media pages as weather conditions affect each crop differently.

Kids can romp all over the five acre playground and visit with the friendly farm animals or do some catch & release fishing. Picnic around our featured tractors and antique truck and take behind the wheel photos of all the family members. Leashed dogs are welcome and can run free in our off leash areas. The Roosteraunt is open from 9am-4pm.


The Big Dig event details:
$10/child & $12/adult includes Pancake Breakfast until 11:30am
Saturday, Aug 31st and Sunday, Sept. 1st 9am-6pm
Contact Jaclyn Jenkins jaclyn@greatcountryfarms.com 540-554-2073 GreatCountryFarms.com     


Business Review: Ticonderoga Farms

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

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

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




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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

Leesylvania State Park Happenings This Week

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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

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.

Giveaway: Butterfly Harvest at Great Country Farms

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Published: 07/10/2013

Hearts are aflutter to save the Monarch Butterflies!
 “Bring back the Monarch and keep the magic alive”
encourages Nicole Hamilton of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
It’s the season for the mighty migration of the Monarch Butterflies and Great Country Farms wants to make a difference.  Together with local Girl Scouts, they plan to design and build a Monarch butterfly garden & educate others on how they can help.  Join us Saturday, July 20th to be a part of it. 
The Monarch Butterfly population is waning and they need your HELP!  But why are Monarch butterflies important to the environment?  Monarch butterflies are pollinators.  During the Monarchs huge migration, they pass over areas where pollination is a problem.  So Monarchs can help pollinate plant life in suffering areas.
How can you help?  GCF will plant milkweed which provides Monarchs with a safe environment to harvest their eggs.   “We are investing in Monarch Butterflies.  Our vision is to establish an extensive monarch breeding population at GCF with the help of the scouts and others,” says Jaclyn Jenkins GCF’s Director of OperationsGirl Scouts can participate in helping us design Great Country Farms Scout Butterfly Patch and are welcomed back in the fall to release their butterflies.
While at Great Country Farms, join in family friendly fun on the farm!  Kids will love the 5 acre playground and visiting with the friendly farm animals. The Roosteraunt is open for lunch the Farm Market features fresh produce and other local products. The Farm’s U-Pick season is in full swing so be sure to visit the website to see what is ripe & ready to take home for a fresh summer time meal.

Saturday, July 20th, 2013
Open 9am-6pm
Girl Scouts- $8/scout & chaperones. Leaders FREE! Please make group reservations by calling 540-554-2073.
General Public $8/Child $10/Adult at the gate + 2 FREE Passes to come back in Sept. for those who have butterflies to release!
Children 2 and under and guests with a Military ID are no charge.

Want to go for free? Enter our giveaway for tickets! 
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Disclosure: Great Country Farms provided this content and the passes we're giving away.  They also provided passes for my family to use. PwcMoms is not responsible for weather, farm conditions, or your mental health if your children sing "Old MacDonald" all the way home from the farm.  Winner assumes any liability and risk.  

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


Submitted Event 

2013 Summer Sounds Series- Manassas

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Published: 06/21/2013

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

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

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

Waterworks Water Park Woodbridge 2013 Swim Year

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Published: 06/19/2013
Waterworks in Dale City is a ton of fun in the summer! My kids are always excited to go pass their swim test (they're too short to technically ride the slides, but a few years of swimming lessons means they can get a bracelet anyway) so they can do this:
Ahhh, the "fast slide".

Waterworks, located at 5301 Dale Boulevard, Dale City VA 22193 has beach entry, two slides, three "jungle walks", shade pavilions, children's pool, concessions stand, and lockers.  Our family always has a lot of fun when we go, and the kids really do look forward to it every year.

If you have children under 5, be sure to mark your calendar for Wednesdays from 9-10:30am for the Parent/Tot playdate.  Kids are $3.50 and an adult is free with paying child! Play in the children's area before the day gets too hot, and before the rest of the park is open!

Everyone can mark their calendar for Fabulous Fridays, June 21st, June 28th, July 5th, and July 19th.  These days, the park stays open from 4-9pm with special programs, giveaways, food deals, and games starting at 5pm.

Also available are birthday parties, pavilion rentals for groups or family gatherings, or you can even rent the entire park! (Our church does this in Fairfax for baptism services. It's not exactly the Jordan River, but we sure do have a good time.)

Also available are after-work  swim lessons! This year the schedule is:

Session 1: June 19-June 27 (6 classes)
Session 2: July 1-July 11 (7 classes, no class on July 4)
Session 3: July 15-July 25 (8 Classes, M-Th, Tu-Fri)
Session 4: July 29-August 9 (8 Classes)

Levels available are:
Preschool 1 (6:45pm or 7:20pm)
Preschool 2/3 (6:45pm)
Level 1/2 (7:20pm or 8:05pm)
Level 3 (8:05pm)

$66 for 8 classes, $61 for 7 classes, $56 for 6 classes. and private swim is available by request.  These spaces fill up QUICKLY, and you can register at any county rec center.  If you have additional info questions, call the aquatics manager, Kat Fish, at 703-680-7137.


Want to go play? We've got a family 4 pack of tickets to give someone!

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Guest Post: Fitness in Motherhood

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Published: 06/16/2013

Motherhood is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding experiences a woman can do. The physical demand of pregnancy and labor forever changes a woman’s body. During pregnancy is when major posture changes begin. As the fetus develops and grows larger a Mom’s pelvis tilts forward, lower back begins to curve more and shoulders slump forward, which can all lead to back and hip pain. Throughout the course of motherhood, posture can continue to be negatively affected.

It takes a great deal of strength - both physical and emotional - to be a Mother. Getting the kids in and out of the car, carrying the diaper bag, picking up the stroller, loading and unloading groceries/shopping bags, and carrying a car seat and/or kids. As mothers we are constantly squatting, lunging, reaching, stretching, and sprinting. Sometimes those are all within two minutes.

In order to be able to squat, lunge, sprint and remain uninjured and energetic throughout our day requires Mom to physically train for the tasks of Motherhood. Exercising on a regular basis will provide Mom with the strength and energy to keep up with our kids.

FIT4MOM has programs designed for every Mom at every stage in motherhood. There is the pre/postnatal program Fit4Baby/Stroller Strides classes that include cardio and resistance training. Mom works out and interacts with the kids in the stroller through a variety of exercises and songs. Classes are lead by our team of trained instructors in pre/postnatal fitness. We also offer Body Back, an 8-week program of personal fitness coaching and nutrition education. Body Back is taught by our Fitness Director Caitlin Sharp. No matter what stage you’re in, there is a program at FIT4MOM that can help you reach your fitness goals. 

FIT4MOM PWC offers more than just a workout. We offer a community of Moms who care and encourage each other. Once a week after class we offer a special playgroup with a craft or activity for the kids. After most classes Moms and kids stay after class to play and talk. We hold a Mom’s Night Out event once a month to connect with the group and get a much needed couple of hours away from the kids.  We are an understanding group that knows that some days getting out of the house is what made it a success. We provide the emotional support that we all need when we have felt challenged in motherhood.  

Please come join FIT4MOM for a Stroller Strides class (view the schedule here). Your first week of classes are FREE! Or, if you'd like a little longer, enter our giveaway for 2 months Free! That's an $80 value! 


This sponsored post is brought to you by FIT4MOM PWC.  Visit them online to learn more about these fun, friendly classes that are designed for moms to get in shape!  PwcMoms.com has not visited a class, and you should consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen. 


Website pwc.fit4mom.com


This Week at Leesylvania

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Published: 06/11/2013

*Mommy Meet-Ups: Camping 101 at Leesylvania State Park 
Date:06/13/2013
Time:11:00 a.m.  To  12:00 p.m.
Location:Visitor Center
Description:Calling all moms! Leesylvania State Park invites you to take a break from your busy schedule to enjoy refreshments and socializing at our Visitor Center. Our monthly meet-ups will also feature different activities for you to try while relaxing. 

Summer is approaching fast and so is camping season! Get introduced to the fundamentals of outdoor living with a Camping 101 session. We will review necessary equipment, family activities, how to build a fire, and the proper technique to make a perfect s'more. 


*Pond Play! at Leesylvania State Park *
Date:06/14/2013
Times: 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.,  2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m., & 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m 
Location:Visitor Center
Description:Explore the animals that live in our pond. You'll get to see frogs, turtles, and fish. A ranger will use nets to catch animals that are under the water so you can see them up close and personal. 
*Invasive Species Hike at Leesylvania State Park*
Date:06/15/2013
Times: 2 Sessions:  11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. 
Location:Meet at the Lee's Woods Historic Trailhead.
Description: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.
*Colonial Children's Games at Leesylvania State Park*
Date:06/16/2013
Time:11:00 a.m.  To  4:00 p.m.
Location:Visitor Center
Description: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.
*Father's Day Canoe Tour at Leesylvania State Park*
Date:06/16/2013
Time:2:00 p.m.  To  4:00 p.m.
Location:Register at the Visitor Center and then meet at Canoe Launch
Description: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.

Father's Day at the Pool- 2013

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

Father's Day Fish-N-Putt 2013

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Published: 06/03/2013
Father’s Day Fish-n-Putt at Great Country Farms June 15 & 16
Bluemont, VA – Dad deserves some downtime so plan to celebrate all of his hard work with a day on the farm. The annual Father’s Day Putt Putt and Fish-a-Rama Competition  provides just the right amount of fun and challenge. Competitors for Saturday’s Putt Putt Golf Championship are welcome to arrive early to warm up for the 11am Tee Time. Sunday features the catch and release fishing contests. The pond is stocked with catfish, bass, and blue gill and no licenses are required. Prizes are on the line for the largest fish hooked and the most fish caught during the power hour. Bring your own pole and gear to fish (no drag hooks). GCF has worms for purchase in the country store. The fun continues on the five acre farm style playground featuring the Giant Jumping Pillow, Triple Threat slide, corn bin, animal barnyard and more. Dogs are welcome to hang out with the family on their leash or run free in the Off Leash Dog Zone. The Roosteraunt is open for lunch featuring burgers and dogs while fresh produce is available in the farm market along with locally raised meats & dairy products. Moms are welcomed too!
 
Weekend Event Details:
$8/child & $10/adult/Under 2 and military with ID FREE
 
Saturday Putt Putt Competition
9:00am-10:00am Check in at admission
11:00am- Tee Time
One Father & One Child per team. The first 36 Teams that sign up get to compete.
Please email Jaclyn@greatcountryfarms.com with the Fathers Name, Child's Name & Age, and Cell Phone #.
 
Sunday Catch & Release Fishing
9:00am-2:00pm- Largest Fish Caught
1:00pm-2:00pm- Power Hour, Most Fish Caught
Bring your own fishing gear; GCF sell worms in the store.
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... Majest Martial Arts - Montclair