All aboard! Bring your little engineers to the DAY OUT WITH THOMAS event at the B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore for unforgettable fun. The event runs from April 24-26 and May 1-3, 2015.
Your DAY OUT WITH THOMAS TICKET includes a scheduled 25 minute train ride behind Thomas the Tank Engine™, all day admission to the B&O Railroad Museum, and the following activities and programs:
FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE:
Advance purchase is recommended; train rides and admission at $21 per ticket do sell out. More details online here.
Comment below to win a family 4 pack of tickets to the event on Friday, April 24, 2015 with a 1:00 PM train ride.
Please note, we have attended the event in the past with our own children and this is actually a great time for the train ride. You can do all the other events in the morning, eat lunch, then ride the train and beat rush hour!
Winner will be chosen on Monday, March 9 by 10 AM. Good luck!
Disclosure: We also received a 4 pack of tickets to the museum for personal use for sharing this information. No additional compensation was received. All opinions are our own.
CONGRATS TO MELISSA FOR WINNING THE FAMILY FOUR PACK!!!
Eat Your Way Around the World The Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food & Wine Festival 2015!
Credit:Busch Gardens® Williamsburg
Culinary Delights Await You At Busch Gardens Williamsburg 3rd Annual Food & Wine Festival!
NEW THIS YEAR:
The French Quarter comes to Busch Gardens Williamsburg! Get ready to indulge in a taste of New Orleans at Busch Gardens’ third annual Food & Wine Festival! With the success of two previous festivals, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is set to delight visitors with two new themed kiosks debuting at this year’s festival.
Credit:Busch Gardens® Williamsburg
Busch Gardens® Executive Chef Justin Watson is creating a French Quarter feast of Cajun- and Creole-inspired recipes—think Gumbo—that will bring the flavors of the Big Easy right here to Virginia.
Chef Watson will also introduce guests to Eastern Asia cuisine. Visitors will sample the flavors of the Far East, including báhn mi, jiaozi and Thai tea.
“With the addition of The French Quarter and Eastern Asia kiosks, guests can sample culinary traditions spanning fourteen geographic regions representing Europe, the Americas and Asia,” Chef Watson said. “We are pleased to offer these tastes of the world to our guests during this year’s Food and Wine Festival.”
Credit:Busch Gardens® Williamsburg
The event will run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May 22 - June 28, plus Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day). The event will open at 11 a.m. until park closing. The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival offers individual-sized tasting portions for sale at each of the park’s 14 themed kiosks stationed throughout the park. Represented regions include the American Southwest, Canada, Caribbean, Eastern Asia, France, the French Quarter, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Scandinavia, Scotland and Spain. View the menus online here.
Admission to the festival is included with park admission, and individual tastings range in price from $3 - $7.
Have you been to the festival before? Be sure to share your tips and comments below. Bon Appétit!
A Romantic Getaway to Québec City
by: Micaela Williamson
"Does your restaurant have a children's menu? No? Excellent then...table for two please." These words were spoken by my husband on our romantic getaway last summer to Québec City to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We have heard it dubbed "The Paris of North America," and our quick little trip was the perfect setting to reconnect and actually get through a conversation without multiple interruptions.
Where to stay:
Although the iconic and world's most photographed hotel, Château Frontenac, is a favorite for tourists, we opted for a more intimate and boutique option, Hotel Le Germain-Dominion in Québec City's Old Port. We highly recommend staying in this area. It is still walking distance to all the attractions and amazing restaurants, but it is removed enough from the noisy tourist area of cruise ships and junk stores.
The Hotel Le Germain-Dominion
Hospitality was at its finest at this elegant boutique hotel. From the spa-like bathrooms to the relaxing terrace, the hotel is an intimate place where chic meets old world style. A delicious breakfast of decadent croissants, homemade granola, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruits, cereals, meats, cheeses and more are included in the stay. Other favorite touches include the complimentary 24-hour cappuccino bar and the handmade chocolates placed on the pillows each night. Above all, the concierge was spectacular and quick with outing suggestions, dinner reservations at Québec's hottest restaurants, and greeted us with a friendliest "Bonsoir" each evening. We initially picked Hotel Le Germain-Dominion because of its location, outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor, and affordable price, but it exceeded all of our expectations.
Slideshow of pictures from Hotel Le Germain-Dominion, Quebec:
What to See:
Quebec is rich in history, incredibly walkable (great workout on all the hills and stairs means dessert every night...sometimes at lunch too,) and the atmosphere leads itself to romance and exploration. Be sure to visit our top 5 favorite attractions:
1) Old Québec: The cobblestone streets are filled with European charm, quaint shops, cafes, and artisans. The ambiance of Old Québec is romantic, but it is also sometimes filled with lots of tourists.
2) Le Château Frontenac: Tours are no longer offered at this landmark hotel, but go inside to relish the surroundings and have a drink in the awe-inspiring 1608 Wine & Cheese bar. Outside hotel, stroll along the Dufferin Terrace and get unsurpassed views of the St. Lawrence Rive.
3) La Citadelle de Québec: Visit the Citadelle and museum for an interactive look at the largest British fortress in North America. The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place from June 24 to the first Monday in September and is included with tour admission. After the changing of the guards, groups break off for a tour (included) of the grounds. It's the only way to see the property and learn about the traditions and history of the Royal 22e Régiment. Stop into the museum for an in-depth look at many documents, artifacts, and stories from past and modern Canadian military feats.
4) Musée de la Civilisation: This large and popular museum hosts an astonishing collection of permanent and changing exhibits. Significant exhibits include "People of Québec: Then and Now" and "This is Our Story First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century."
5) Fortifications of Québec: Québec is the only remaining fortified city north of Mexico, and visitors can walk the 4.6 kilometers of fortifications that used to protect the city. Along the way, visit the Governors' Promenade, Montmorency Park, rue des Remparts, the New Barracks, and more. Tour maps are available at two visitor centers. The Fortifications of Québec website also lists special tours and events.
Other adventures include:
Although tempting, the funicular basically goes down one hill and the ride is over in mere seconds. We suggest saving your money. We knew this fact from all the guide books, but we ended up taking the ride anyway.
Our slideshow of attractions around Québec:
Where to Eat:
Foodies delight! Québec is a culinary playground and a great place for gourmet meals. We ate well is an understatement. Don't miss a meal at Aux Anciens Canadiens, the oldest restaurant in Québec The lunchtime deal is spectacular and offers a three-course meal at a deep discount. Try the warm duck confit salad and traditional Québec meat pie, and save room for the maple syrup pie, one of the best desserts I have ever tasted! Other notable restaurants in Québec include Restaurant Toast and L'Échaudé.
With French as the main language, U.S. visitors will feel worlds away without having to cross any oceans. (Please note, English is widely spoken at all attractions, hotels, and most restaurants.) We recommend spending about 3-5 days in the city. With direct and connecting flights from many U.S. locations, Québec City is easy to get to, and the airport is an easy fifteen minute taxi ride from the historic district. Start planning your adventure by visiting the official Québec City Tourism website. C'est magnifique!
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are property of Jay Williamson and may not be used without permission online or in any other publication. © Kid Trips LLC, All Rights Reserved
Review of Rebounderz Manassas
by Micaela Williamson
Located just off of I-66 on the Centreville/Manassas border, Rebounderz Manassas is easy to reach from many points in Northern Virginia, including Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier & Loudoun Counties.
The clean, state of the art facility has an unsurpassed commitment to safety. The trampolines are made of the highest quality materials on the market, and staff is highly-trained in safety procedures. Parents will also love that children of multiple ages and heights (and adults) are able to jump (safely) together, so it is easy to keep an eye on everyone.
Besides the trampolines, smaller guests can enjoy the jumping pillow, and everyone can have fun with arcade games and the basketball trampoline courts.
Hungry jumpers will be happy to refuel at the clean, modern Rebounderz Cafe, which offers a variety of snacks and drinks for sale.
Already a huge hit is Rebounderz Manassa's special Toddler Thursday. Every single Thursday from 10 am- 12 pm, children ages 5 years and under can jump for 2 hours for the cost of just $10. Adults can jump for FREE, and also enjoy free goodies such as coffee, donuts, and special snacks and activities for the kids. It is the perfect playdate location!
Besides a huge schedule of open jump times, Rebounderz also offers different birthday party packages and events in cool, decked out rooms with themes such as the Hollywood Room, Sports Room, Graffiti Room, and Galaxy Room. There are also fitness classes, corporate events, and more.
Things to know before you go:
Take your family's Presidents Day up a notch this year with these activities designed to teach kids about presidential history while having fun. Whether you want to get the whole family out of the house or snuggle in for some online learning and homegrown activities, educational adventures await your family this February.
Outings to Celebrate President's Day
National Park Service Junior Ranger Activity (Washington, DC): The most visible tributes to the presidents can be found along the National Mall. If weather permits and your kids are up for some exercise, take a self-guided tour of the National Mall to view the monuments using the National Park Service's Junior Ranger Activity Booklet as a Guide. For information about visiting the Washington Monument see our Kid Trips review here.
Madame Tussauds' Presidents Gallery (Washington, DC) - families can visit lifelike wax figures of all the Presidents in this permanent interactive exhibition featuring important moments in presidential history. Online advance ticket purchases over President's Day weekend (February 13-16) are discounted 45%.
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens (Alexandria, VA) - From February 14-16, 2015, the Mount Vernon Estate will hold special events daily to commemorate the life of George Washington. Families may even run into President Washington and other colonial figures while strolling the grounds. Admission is free on Monday, February 16, and on Washington's Birthday (February 22), purchase any 2 admission tickets for $22.
National Portrait Gallery Family Day (Washington, DC) - On February 15, the Portrait Gallery will host a President-themed Family Day with crafts and performances especially for children. The Portrait Gallery features portraits of all 44 U.S. Presidents. A new 3D Portrait of President Obama is also on view February 13-15. Free.
George Washington Birthday Parade (Old Town Alexandria, VA) - On February 16, 2015, Old Town Alexandria hosts the nation's largest president's day parade. Bundle-up, bring your flags, and enjoy one of the most festive days in Old Town historical, community and youth groups, bands, horses and canines. Many of the Historical Alexandria sites offer free admission on Parade Day too, including Gadsby's Tavern Museum, the Friendship Firehouse Museum, The Lyceum and more. Free.
Revolutionary War Day at Fort Ward Park (Alexandria, VA) - On February 15, reenactors will bring the revolutionary war to life with a recreated encampment and battle reenactment between British and Colonial troops. Free.
Ford's Theatre & Museum (Washington, DC) - The infamous site of Lincoln's assassination presents educational plays, tours, and a small museum. Student Matinees of "The Widow Lincoln" will be performed on February 12 & 19 and a guided Tour of the Theatre is offered on February 15. Virtual tours, videos, and Junior Ranger Activity Booklet can also be found online. Advance purchase of performance tickets is recommended.
Online Activities for Presidents Day
The Democracy Project by PBS Kids gives kids a chance to create their own printable campaign poster and fill out an online application to be President and then follow a Presidential agenda for the day. While choosing how they'll use their time in office (by walking the dogs in the Rose Garden, talking on the phone with astronauts, greeting the Queen of England, etc.), kids learn fun facts about Presidential History. Kids can learn even more about democracy in action by casting online ballots for important issues, filling in the blanks on presidential trading cards and creating campaign buttons.
Mountvernon.org has many online resources including a virtual tour of George Washington's historic home, an online Encyclopedia of the colonial era, interactive maps, and a series of short videos that explore the lives of colonial figures and the events surrounding the Battle of Yorktown.
Kids.gov provides links to National Historic Sites such as Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, online Library of Congress stories about the Presidents, U.S. Government Publishing Office "Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids" (which breaks down information for different ages), and more.
The National Museum of American History has hands-on activities for kids and features historic artifacts from presidential terms in the online gallery "The American Presidency A Glorious Burden". After reading a famous letter to Abraham Lincoln written by an 11-year-old named Grace, your kids may even be inspired to write to President Obama with their own suggestions.
Lincoln's Cottage President Lincoln's Cottage has several online multimedia programs including the award-winning Lincoln's Toughest Decisions: Debating Emancipation, videos and photos of interviews, past events, and other programs.
Enter to win our Kid Trips Giveaway for a family 4-pack of tickets to see "The Three Musketeers" at Encore Stage & Studio in Arlington, VA. In 17th-century France, a poor young nobleman named D’Artagnan leaves home to join the famous Musketeers of the Guard–defenders of the King and masters of the rapier! On his journey, D’Artagnan befriends three famous Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. As the foursome roams the countryside, they encounter a dastardly plot to kidnap the King’s favorite dog…and realize they’ll need the help of three swashbuckling ladies to save the day. This new Encore twist on the classic Alexandre Dumas adventure is recommended for children ages 6 and older.
Winner can select the following available dates:
Performance Dates and Showtimes:
Fridays, February 27 & March 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, February 28 & March 7 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Sundays, March 1 & 8 at 3 p.m.
To enter, just leave a comment below. Winner will be chosen on Monday, February 16th. Good luck!
This Valentine’s Day, escape the chill and cozy up for a night out with your loved ones! Enjoy a romantic dinner and a blockbuster hit with Specials by Restaurant.com Dinner & a Movie deal. This offer includes two movie tickets and a $100 Restaurant.com eGift card for only $30--an unbeatable 76% savings.
Check out hot movies titles like the “The Seventh Son,” “In the Heart of the Sea” or “Jupiter Ascending.” Treat your Valentine kiddos to “SpongeBob: Sponge Out of Water.” Or grab the gals and gear up for some saucy scenes in “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
From friends and family to husbands and wives, Specials by Restaurant.com Dinner & a Movie is the perfect way to say “I e-love you!”
Spread the love and take advantage of this deal today. http://bit.ly/1uRbvqQ
*Locate a participating movie theatre near you: http://emoviecash.com/locator
By Amy Suski
Each year our daughter comes home from school with colorful paper lanterns, hong bao (little red envelopes fulled with money to symbolize wealth and prosperity), and a Chinese greeting she's learned from her teachers. This year I vowed to go beyond what I've learned from preschool and Kai-Lan reruns and do a little research about the Chinese New Year celebration, local events, and ways we could learn about the traditions at home too. (But for the record, Nick Jr.'s Ni Hao, Kai-Lan website is a fine place to start: preschoolers will really enjoy the colorful printables, cooking projects, crafts, and games.)
What I learned is that Chinese New Year (a.k.a. the "Lunar New Year" or "Spring Festival") is the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar and has some inspiring traditions. The celebration starts on the first day of the lunar month and this year the Chinese New Year officially starts on February 19, 2015. During the celebration friends and families feast, celebrate and give each other gifts. Sounds good to me! But the new year is also about renewal, which in the dead of winter is a welcome endeavor. For ways to get your family in the spirit, read on!
Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA Offer Free, Unlimited Admission for Preschoolers
by Micaela Williamson
Even though we are in the dreary days of winter, it's never to early to start planning for spring and summer family fun (we promise!) Back in its six consecutive years, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA are offering their popular free, two park pass for kids ages 3-5. This pass allows youngsters unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA through September 7, 2015. (Children under two are already free and do not need to register.)
Busch Gardens offers more than 50 KIDsiderate® attractions, including Sesame Street®Forest of Fun™ and Land of the Dragons®. Kid-sized roller coasters like Grover’s Alpine Express at Busch Gardens and Water Country USA’s Kritter Korral™ are among the can’t miss attractions waiting for little ones to enjoy.
Plus, for a limited time, the Williamsburg parks are offering a great deal for the whole family on a 2015 2-Park Fun Card. For just $75, guests receive unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA through September 7, 2015.
Register for the free preschool pass today by visiting http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-williamsburg/pages/preschoolpass/ before May 31. Proof of the child’s age is required at the time the Preschool Pass is redeemed and must be redeemed at either park by May 31, 2015. Examples of valid identification are an original certified birth certificate or travel passport.
Learn more by reading the Preschool Pass FAQ Below:
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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