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”
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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