by Melissa Moore
What are your family holiday traditions? Does your family turn on the Christmas music when it is time to clean up the Thanksgiving feast? Or, do you walk the same festively lighted street each December? For my 8-year old son and I, Gaylord National’s Christmas on the Potomac has become our special pre-holiday Washington DC holiday tradition. We now have five years living in the Washington DC area and have made four visits to National Harbor for ICE! This year, we were able to bring Grandma along. Our whole 45-minute drive to National Harbor this Saturday, my son talked non-stop of Frosty and Rudolph, ice slides and tunnels letting Grandma know the ins and outs of our Christmas on the Potomac tradition.
Gaylord National’s ICE! theme for 2018 is A Charlie Brown Christmas. From a Snoopy scavenger hunt around the resort to a character breakfast with Charlie Brown and his friends, everything is Charlie Brown themed at Gaylord National this holiday. I love the nostalgia of the old Charlie Brown songs, like “Linus and Lucy” played on the piano. This music is a festive background for the colorful, 9-degree ice sculptures at Christmas on the Potomac. Like in previous years, slippery slides made of ice, colorful characters carved out of ice spinning to music, and icy blue tunnels, enchant visitors of all ages for as long as they can tolerate the frigid cold. This year my son especially loved being able to crawl through Snoopy’s dog house; what a fun photo op!
In addition to the ice carvings, families will love Gaylord National’s new Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Atrium Show. Until January 1st, circus performers from trapeze artists to contortionists will amaze the crowd multiple times a day. Performers seemingly fly above the audience flipping and twisting in this 25-minute show. My 8-year old boy walked away impressed. (And, that’s high praise considering that less than a week ago he almost fell asleep watching the Lion King on Broadway.) Free seats for the Cirque Dreams Unwrapped Atrium Show are available first come, first served.
Like in previous years we enjoyed the Christmas on the Potomac scavenger hunt. I love how the clues send us around the entire resort complex so that we see all the beautiful holiday decorations. Also, for the tots, the train and carousel have returned to Christmas Village; sadly, my 8-year old has outgrown these rides. However, gingerbread decorating has remained a favorite. My son was so excited to decorate a gingerbread house this year. Meanwhile, I breathed a sigh of relief when the Gaylord National staff reminded me to leave the sticky frosting mess behind on the table for them to clean up.
Use SNOW18 for $4 off ICE! Tickets. (Valid on select dates only. Sunday through Thursdays from 11/18-12/20.)
by Laura Laiti
Oh no! Captain Hook captures Tinkerbell and tries to steal her magic. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, plus two narrators get a treasure map to find clues to help free Tink and raise the "magic meter." The excitement bounds into every scene in Disney on Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party, and the cast visits scenes from many popular Disney movies.
The first act was magical with Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, Moana, and Coco. My kids particularly loved the Toy Story scene with the toy soldiers and cool group acrobatics. I liked the costumes, stilt walkers and black light effects of the Coco number. After intermission, there were acts from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and the crowd favorite, Frozen.
Print the cool Coco themed coloring sheet above, and learn more about the show (including a ticket discount) here.
Disney on Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is coming to EagleBank Arena from October 3 - 7 for nine performances. Save $6 by using offer code GOOFY by 10/7/18.
By Amy Suski
To escape the summer heat, this July our family headed north to the Laurentian Mountains for a 4-night stay at the Tremblant resort in Mont Tremblant, Québec. After a lot of road-tripping this past year, it was a luxury to just park the car and forget it. By staying at the Westin in the pedestrian village at the base of the mountain, everything from the summit to the beach was in walking distance. We were able to give our kids wilderness adventures during the day and in the evening relax in the ambience of a french-speaking lakeside village with fine dining, street cafes, and live music. Although there is too much to do in one trip, we packed a lot in!
By Amy Suski
The older the kids get the harder it is to hold their attention on a family trip, so we decided to do something radical. Over spring break, instead of heading to the beach we hopped on the "Sushi Express", a Japan Airlines direct flight from Boston to Tokyo, known for flying freshly caught tuna from New England coastal fisherman to the famed Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Without question, it was one of the best family trips we've ever experienced. From the amazing food experiences, the bright city lights, and the grace and hospitality of the people, Japan had us at Konnichiwa.
Cool Thing #1: The ultra-modern and super comfortable Dreamliner flight took just 13 hours. I'm not sure I'd try that with a toddler, but our teens were more than happy to plug into a lazy day of eating, sleeping, and watching movies. Plus, flying over the Arctic Circle was very cool!
Cool Thing #2: The best way to get from the airport into Tokyo is the Narita Express (NEX). If you purchase a Japan Rail Pass in advance of your trip online (which I highly recommend if you are traveling to any other cities outside of Tokyo) this train is included. A Japan Rail pass will give you access to the famed bullet trains, which we used to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto and Kyoto to Nara. Tip: when validating your pass, take the time to make seat reservations. Reservations are free and will save the anxiety of trying to find seats together while boarding.
Cool Thing #3: Nothing says "hey, we're not in Kansas anymore" than fish and pickled vegetables for breakfast. Surprisingly, the kids were eager to dive into their traditional Japanese breakfast, even after discovering that the little orange crunchy things had eyes.
Cool Thing #4: If you've seen films like Lost in Translation or The Tokyo Project you'll definitely want to try the so-called "Shibuya Scramble" for yourself, where thousands of people and cars cross the same web of intersecting streets in synchronous time under the glare of millions of pixelated lights. While there, be sure to visit the famous dog statue of Hachiko. After his owner died, the loyal dog continued to wait for his owner's return outside the train station every day for the rest of his life. Tip: The best aerial view of the intersection is from the second floor of the Starbucks.
by Micaela Williamson
Last summer, I interviewed the owners of ZavaZone for a magazine article. I couldn't wait to bring my kids to check this place out. Life happened. Little toddler brothers happened. We just didn't get around to visiting. I was recently thrilled when my 8 year old was invited to a birthday party at ZavaZone Sterling. This place lived up to it's great reputation and more!
Calling all little engine fans! DAY OUT WITH THOMAS is coming to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore from April 27 - 29 & May 4 - 6, 2018. This fun filled day includes a 25 minute train ride behind Thomas the Tank Engine™, all day admission to the B&O Railroad Museum, live entertainment, themed activities and programs. Some of the fun things at DAY OUT WITH THOMAS include:
by Micaela Williamson
UPDATED: This post contains new and previously published information from Kid Trips.
Repeat after me, "History is FUN!" Yes, you heard that right. If your memories of history include memorizing timelines and writing definitions in composition notebooks, then it's time to create new memories. The perfect place for hands-on history is the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Here, history truly comes to life. We've written about this area in the past, and as our children grow and change, it's a place that we keep coming back to learn more.
We especially love the immersive historical environments of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (read our previous post here) and Jamestown Settlement.
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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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