by Amy Suski
If you haven't visited Baltimore lately, now is perfect time to take your children to visit Port Discovery. Ranked 4th among the Top 10 Children's Museums by Child Magazine, Port Discovery Children's Museum continues to grow as one of the leading family destinations in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In 2011, Port Discovery's newest permanent exhibit, Tot Trails, opened as an exciting and whimsical soft playspace designed exclusively for infants and toddlers up to 3 years old. While exploring the landscapes of Maryland, babies can wiggle and roll in mirrored "tidal pools" and crawl through the "dune walk." Toddlers can dig for fossils, climb through Mountain Trail and Paw Paw Tunnel. There are also puppets to play with and daily programs led by museum educators such as Mother Goose on the Loose story time and Jingle Jangle Music Time.
by Boston Brood
A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advised parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2. Previous recommendations cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum threshold for switching to a forward-facing seat. This new advice is based in part on a University of Virginia study that found children under 2 are 75% less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are facing backwards. "A rear-facing child safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spin of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body," explained Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and accompanying technical report. The policy also contains updated advice for children transitioning into and out of booster seats.
For 25 years, figure skating legend Scott Hamilton has been bringing audiences something very special, a chance to see ice-skating champions up-close, doing what they what they do best. Although competitive skating is thrilling, there is something pretty great about seeing these intense athletes let their hair down and skate for pure entertainment. Nowhere else will you get to see so many accomplished skating stars performing together as individuals, in pairs, and ensembles. If you have the chance to see Stars on Ice this year, this is a great show for the whole family.
The best of the best this tour include Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek, Olympic Silver Medalist Sasha Cohen, Four-Time World Champion & Four-Time Canadian National Champion Kurt Browning; Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Ekaterina Gordeeva (Russia); World Champion & Six-Time U.S. National ChampionTodd Eldredge; Olympic Silver Medalists Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto; 2010 Olympic Bronze Medalist,Joannie Rochette (Canada) and hometown favorite and Two-Time World Bronze Medalist & Three-Time U.S. National Champion Michael Weiss.
These world-class skaters make even the most challenging jumps and lifts look effortless. But instead of expecting technically perfect skating, expect to enjoy creative routines set to musical favorites, colored lights, and of course, sparkly costumes. Although the show aims to please, the showmanship doesn't go overboard. You never forget that these are serious skaters who have trained most of their lives to reach the height of their sport.
In absence of Scott Hamilton, Kurt Browning fills the role of host. As both a consummate skater and entertainer he certainly delivers. Northern Virginia's champion Michael Weiss filled the seats with local Washington area fans, including his son's cheering youth hockey team. My sons especially enjoyed the energetic, back-flipping performances of Michael Weiss and Todd Eldredge while my daughter clapped her way through the elegant performance of Ekaterina Gordeeva. For those who remember Joannie Rochette's courageous skating at the Olympics following the sudden death of her mother, you'll probably tear up (again) as I did at her beautiful routine to True Colors. And of course, the swooning of females of all ages was audible when Evan Lysacek delivered his powerful routines.
Although the show was a little long for our four year old, some intermission snacks helped carry us through to see some really great performances by Sasha Cohen and Belbin & Agosto in the second half. All in all, this was a great family show, enjoyed by the skating purists and star-struck fans alike.
While the show has left our area. They will be back next year. If you are excited to see the show don't forget the Smucker's Stars On Ice 2011 Tour is still on the road! Tickets are available for venues nationwide atTicketmaster.com. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more and a portion of proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Visit http://www.starsonice.com/ for more information.
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