By Amy Suski
Over the many years we've been visiting Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, the attraction map has become somewhat of a growth chart for my 3 kids. In the early years they happily toddled around the Forest of Fun, visited the horses, got their swim diapers wet in the fountains, circumnavigated the park on the Busch Gardens Railway, and then passed out from exhaustion in their strollers by 2:00.
It was a big deal when they were brave enough to ascend the Tree House and Net Climb in the Land of Dragons and ride Grover's Alpine Express coaster (both of which they still like to do).
Each year they eagerly jump under a height chart to check to see which new rides they are tall enough for. In addition to revisiting old favorites, they've progressively moved outside their comfort zone and tried bigger and bigger rides. And this year, for the first time, EVERYONE in the family hit the magic height of 48 inches and was tall enough to ride some roller coasters like the Loch Ness Monster and Verbolten (below).
Meanwhile, only my 15 year old is tall enough to move to greater heights, GULP, like Tempesto and the Griffon (below). But who knows, maybe next year the rest of the kids will have grown up enough to try them!
Our kids have grown up with the rides and attractions at Busch Gardens and still find something new and fun to explore each year. From juice boxes to iphones, the park is a perennial favorite for all ages and stages!
Read more about Go Kid Trips Adventures in Busch Gardens:
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own and do not represent those of Busch Gardens. For this visit, our family received two complimentary tickets to review the park.
By Amy Suski
As a parent and history buff, I'm constantly searching for ways to engage our 3 kids in the stories of the past. Fortunately, Virginia's historic triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown is home to some of the best interactive history museums in the country. Recently, we visited the region's newest addition, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, which officially launched in the spring of 2017 with a brand new 80,000 square foot building and outdoor living history museum.
The outdoor Continental Army encampment shows how soldiers lived while traveling. The spartan living conditions make it easy to imagine how difficult life was for a patriot soldier. The meagerness of the daily rations (dry tack, beans, and a rough portion of mystery meat on a bone) surely made an impression on kids more accustomed to restaurants than campgrills. And the goriness of the surgeon's descriptions of battle wounds was enough to make everyone grateful for even the most basic modern medical advances (like hand-washing!)
Whatever the demonstration, each living history lesson provided opportunities for the kids to volunteer, participate, and ask questions. Our boys especially liked the military drills and artillery demonstrations and had a chance to hold and aim the rifles. Other visiting families helped ready the canon for firing. (Which at the end of the demonstration, they actually do fire, so be warned: its loud!)
Beyond the encampment, there is an 18th century farm, which shows how farmers lived during the Revolutionary time period. Kids will be amazed and the responsibilities that children had growing up on a farm and may even volunteer to help out by watering the crops, weeding or collecting firewood.
Inside the museum there is an extensive collection of artifacts, displays, interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. My daughter especially liked the touch screen shown below and for once I didn't mind her spending so much time with a screen!
The museum also features short films including Liberty Fever which tells the stories of people living during in the Revolution-era and a depiction of the Siege of Yorktown that puts you right on the battlefield with real smoke, flashing gunfire, and the rumbles of cannon fire.
To get the most out of your visit to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, I'd plan to spend most of a day here, with a side trip to Historic Yorktown and the Yorktown Battlefield just down the road. Visiting these places together will help your kids connect all the history they just learned with the rolling green fields and waterfront town where it all took place.
Tip: If you have more than one day, you can save money by purchasing a combo ticket to visit the Jamestown Settlement as well. But I wouldn't suggest squeezing both into one day -- there's just too much to see!
Review of Jamestown Settlement
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect those of the museum or any of the sites mentioned. For purposes of this review, our family visited the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown without charge.
April is Autism Awareness month, and PBS KIDS is promoting awareness, acceptance and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder by airing new episodes of shows featuring characters with Autism. This includes a premiere episode of SESAME STREET featuring a new muppet character, Julia, who has autism.
PBS KIDS NEW EPISODES, SPECIALS & PROGRAMMING EVENTS FOR AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH:
4/10 Sesame Street “Meet Julia” **NEW**
4/10 Dinosaur Train “Junior Conductors Academy”
4/10 Arthur “When Carl Met George/D.W. Swims with the Fishes”
4/11 Arthur “Pets and Pests/Go Fly a Kite”
4/12 Arthur “Carl's Concerto/Too Much of a Good Thing”
4/13 Arthur “He Said, He Said/Bunny Trouble”
by Micaela Williamson
For nearly a decade, I have been bringing my kids to Fair Oaks Mall to visit the Easter Bunny. We love that he looks like a real live Peter Rabbit. Make the trip part of your family's Easter tradition and save with an exclusive coupon for our readers.
Details: With spring just around the corner, Fair Oaks is preparing for the anticipated arrival of the Easter Bunny. Beginning Friday, March 24th, the Easter Bunny will greet visitors in Bunnyville -- a three-dimensional town for kids to explore. Located on the shopping center’s lower level in Grand Court West, Bunnyville features many places to visit including Hoppin’ Fresh Bakery, Hare Salon and 24 Carrot Bank. The last stop along the adventure is an opportunity to visit with the Easter Bunny and have photos taken. Those who visit the Easter Bunny will receive a complimentary gift (while supplies last). This special family-friendly holiday experience is being offered exclusively at Fair Oaks from March 24th through April 15th. This annual event is free for the public to attend. Photo packages may be purchased onsite. For more information visit http://www.shopfairoaksmall.com/events.
WHAT: Adventures in Bunnyville + photos with the Easter Bunny at Fair Oaks
WHEN: March 24th through April 15th, 2017
Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: Fair Oaks Mall
11750 Fair Oaks
Fairfax, VA 22033
Thomas the Train returns to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, MD, April 28-30 & May 5-7, and we have two family 4-packs of tickets to give away to two lucky readers!
The event includes:
Learn more about the event here:
Enter to win a family 4 pack to Day Out With Thomas for Friday, April 28, 2017 which includes the 2:30pm train ride time by leaving a comment below. Two winners will be selected on Friday, February 24, 2017.
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER:
*No Compensation was received. All opinions are our own. The giveaway is courtesy of the B&O Railroad Museum.
Thanks to Washington’s birthday, a three-day weekend is in your future. If you’re still trying to figure out how to spend the much needed day off, look no further than celebrating President’s Day like a President. Natural Retreats, the experiential travel company written about in Travel+Leisure and The Huffington Post, has a list of destinations and activities to embrace some of our previous President’s favorite pastimes. From spa days, to skiing, to fly-fishing -- live like a President during that 3-day weekend!
1. Soak in the Jefferson Pools at Virginia's Homestead Preserve
Now one of the oldest spa structures in America, Thomas Jefferson himself was known to unwind (sometimes 3 times a day) in “The Gentleman's Pool House” on the Homestead Preserve. Set in the heart of Virginia’s breath-taking Allegheny Mountains in Hot Springs, the Jefferson Pools (also known as the Warm Springs Bath House) are surrounded by stunning panoramas of the National Forest and the perfect place to find tranquility and to relax. POTUS approved.
by Melissa Moore
Where does your family go to enjoy the vibrant colors of leaves changing color? Maybe, you follow the crowds to Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive. Or, possibly you head to your favorite pumpkin patch, the one with pumpkins still attached to the vine, and hope that there are some colorful trees in the background for the perfect family photo. This year, with family in town from California, our family went searching for the most impressive display of color that we could find within a three hour drive of Washington DC, and we hit the road for the mountains of West Virginia. On our one day road trip adventure we visited both Blackwater Falls State Park and Seneca Rocks.
Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition
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Kid Trips' blogs profile fun events and cool family-friendly venues. We focus on regional and national family travel articles.
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