by Micaela Williamson
Now in its 13th season, Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, is returning to Annapolis Harbor. During the fun themed voyage, little pirates dress up, get their face painted and set sailed for a treasure hunt on the water. While reading a map to find sunken treasure the young pirates use water cannons in defense against an enemy pirate, discover a secret stash of pirates' grog and so much more!
"Pirate Adventures is a must do for local families. We get you and your family out on the water in the beautiful, historic town of Annapolis and allow them to live out the excitement of the pirate life with a interactive treasure hunt on the Chesapeake Bay. The experience is sure be be one that your family will remember" says
Emily Tomasini of Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake.
When the boat hits the dock, the fun doesn't stop. Annapolis is filled with many family-friendly restaurants, shops, and attractions. For more ideas, check out the Pirate Adventure blog on 50 Things to Do in Annapolis.
Plus, the following special events have been announced for the 2015 season:
Spring Break - April 13th - April 18th
20% off the regular ticket price, Monday - Friday in celebration of Spring Break.
Mothers Day - May 10th
Mothers, Grandmothers free admission all day
Memorial Day Weekend - May 23rd, 24th, and 25th
20% off with Military ID all weekend.
Fathers Day - June 21st
Fathers, Grandfathers free admission all day
Labor Day Weekend - September 5th, 6th, and 7th
20% for Police, Fire and Teaching professionals all weekend. Proof required.
$5 Dollar Day - Tuesday, July 20th
$5.00 tickets all day! No reservations taken, first come first serve!
Early Risers Special - Every Monday at 9:30 am (June, July and August Only)
$15 tickets. 9:30 only, advance reservations recommended.
Sailboat Race Special - Every Wednesday at 5:00 (June, July and August Only)
$15 tickets. 5:00 only, advance reservations recommended. Come for the treasure, stay for the races. This is a true Annapolis experience.
Back to School Special - August 31st - September 4th
$2 off all regular priced tickets all week.
The Sea Gypsy sails seven days a week, six times a day (9:30, 11:00, 12:30, 2:00, 3:30, and 5:00) from April 7th-October 31st. For reservations, please call or visit http://www.chesapeakepirates.com.
Disclosure: We received tickets for a complimentary voyage for sharing this information. All opinions are our own. No other compensation was received. Pictures courtesy of Pirate Adventures.
by Micaela Williamson
The Sage cocktail at Trummer's on Main is perhaps my favorite drink on the entire east coast. In fact, when my parents visit and we have free childcare, my husband and I drive out to Clifton just to get it. We usually sit at Trummer's beautiful, intimate bar, have a drink or two, and order off the excellent menu. We always leave thinking about our next visit. We tell ourselves, this is no place for little kids, and so we wait.
Executive Chef Austin Fausett has recently introduced the Petit Gourmand menu, inspired by the Trummer's European travels of where Stefan saw firsthand how menus and atmosphere accommodated children while preserving a sense of sophistication and good manners.
"I build the dishes on our Petit Gourmand menu to incorporate seasonal, innovative ingredients and introduce children to culinary technique and presentation, while still maintaining an ease of palatability and sensitivity to their youth," explains Chef Fausett. "The dishes on our Petit Gourmand menu are built with the same level of detail and creativity as all of Trummer's menus."
This isn't chicken fingers or mac and cheese with "fancy" diced ham. The Petit Gourmand menu features diverse, new flavors that are child-friendly and cheaper than getting a babysitter. When we visited, the Petit Gourmand menu included small arancini balls, miso cured Alaskan halibut, beef stroganoff with paparadelle pasta, apples with a homemade caramel sauce, and a wonderfully fun "make your own sundae" option for dessert.
Besides incorporating so many great, diverse flavors, the structures of the dishes were "kid-friendly." The arancini balls came with a dipping sauce, playing on kids' love of dipping things, and the deconstructed sundae gave the children a sense of ownership and creativity. Plus, there were "mocktails," a the children delighted in a delicious drink with elderberry, vanilla, and juice served in an official Trummer's pouch that mimicked a Capri Sun. (The adults relished in their own alcoholic Capri-Sun like drink too.)
The kids were served at the same time as the parents, and the number of tastings matched ours perfectly. The cadence of the services was just right; we didn't feel rushed and were able to enjoy the great food and conversation. At the same time, the thrill of what's next, and the delivery of such well planned plates prevented our boys from feeling bored or needing entertainment.
In addition to the tasting menu format, the dishes from the Petit Gourmand menu may also be ordered a la carte. We shared our meal with families with children ranging from toddlers to preteens, and there were no meltdown. The children felt important. and the bright atmosphere of Trummer's main dining room kept everything calm, yet merry.
Every now and then you want a fine meal, to celebrate, to treat yourself, to remember what food can taste like. But, with kids, the options are few and far in between. Trummer's on Main has come up with a novel solution with its Petit Gourmand menu that brings out the best in the food, and the families that visit.
Trummer's on Main
7134 Main Street
Photo credits: Jay Williamson, All rights reserved
Disclosure: We received a complimentary tasting for this review. All opinions are our own. No other compensation was received.
by Amy Suski
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey LEGENDS, is a new circus spectacular that brings circus favorites such as the magnificent Asian elephants, acrobats, big-cats, high-flying trapeze acts, and motorcycle daredevils with mythical wonders such as the Pegasus and the Unicorn. You can experience the excitement of LEGENDS at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore from March 25 - April 5 or at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA, April 8 - April 19, 2015.
Enter below to win a family 4-pack of tickets to the April 8 opening night of LEGENDS at the Patriot Center! Entries accepted until midnight on March 29, 2015. Contest rules: You must be at least 18 years old to enter. One winner will be selected at random and will have 4 tickets made available in his or her name for pick-up at the Patriot Center Will Call booth the day of the performance. This prize is not transferrable and has had no cash value. This giveaway is being offered by Kid Trips, LLC. Feld Entertainment is neither a sponsor nor endorser of this promotion.
Ticket information: All seats are reserved. LEGENDS Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, via www.ticketmaster.com, and the Verizon Center or Patriot Center box office. For group rates and information, call 202-661-5061. Prices: $75 Front Row, $55 VIP, $30.00, $20.00 & $15.00. To find out more about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS, visit Ringling.com.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS, unites iconic circus stars with mythological creatures in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries. Experience magnificent Asian elephants, a twenty-acrobat troupe perched atop only a pair of bicycles, and a never-before-seen double-wide, high-flying trapeze act at The Greatest Show On Earth®. LEGENDS will come to life at the Patriot Center in Fairfax from April 8 – 19, 2015, and at the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore from March 25 – April 5, 2015.
Featuring Pegasus and Unicorn: Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover legends from around the world and presents Paulo’s fantastic discoveries to circus fans everywhere. Mythology meets reality as Paulo encounters the wondrous Pegasus and the amazing Unicorn, as well as circus legends such as big cat presenter Alexander Lacey; the Riders of the Wind Cossack horsemen; and motorcycle daredevils, the Torres Family. They all come together along with a cast spanning 25 countries in a spectacular production.
All-Access Pre-show: An hour before show time, families can come to the arena floor and participate in an interactive, up-close circus experience, the All-Access Pre-show. Free to all ticketholders, the All Access Pre-show allows circus fans to learn juggling and balancing skills, meet the performers, get autographs, take photos and enter to win a one-of-a-kind Pachyderm Painting.
Ticket Information: All seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, via www.ticketmaster.com, and the Patriot Center box office. For group rates and information, call 202-661-5061. Prices: $75 Front Row, $55 VIP, $30.00, $20.00 & $15.00. For a limited time, use your SmarTrip Card to SAVE $8 on Tickets. Visit the box office and show your SmarTrip card at the venue box office. Offer expires April 3, 2015. Savings coupon valid for up to six (6) tickets. Discounts do not apply to Front Row or VIP seats. No double discounts. Offer subject to ticket availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Service charges, facility and handling fees may apply. Applies to all performances except Opening Night at each venue.
To find out more about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS, visit Ringling.com and follow us on Twitter @RinglingBros and @NicoleFeld. Search RinglingBros and like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and watch us on YouTube.
Photo credit: © 2015 Feld Entertainment
Bunnyville at Fair Oaks Mall
by Micaela Williamson
The Easter Bunny at Fair Oaks Mall has long been our favorite local Easter Bunny. Cute, brown, and with a suit, he reminds me of Peter Rabbit. This year, Bunnyville at Fair Oaks Mall features a colorful village, great photo packages, and everyone receives a $2 off coupon to the popular indoor kids' playzone, Kid Junction.
Visit the Easter Bunny at Fair Oaks Mall through April 4 in Grand Court West during the following hours:
Monday - Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
"The Easter Bunny will take brief carrot breaks throughout the day."
Plus, bring your little ones to Bunnyville at Fair Oaks Mall on March 28 & 29, 2015 from 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. and enjoy FREE face painting, balloon creations, spring crafts, and more!
For information about photo packages, please visit the Fair Oaks Mall Easter Bunny website here.
Disclosure: This is a promotional post. I received a gift card and free Easter Bunny package for sharing this information with my readers. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
by Denise Stern
Shenandoah National Park is no more than a 90-minute drive from Northern Virginia and with over 516 miles of hiking trails, are an incredible natural destination for local and travelling families alike. Set on the northern edge of the Shenandoah Mountains, one of the Park’s most popular hikes is “Old Rag.” The natural rock scramble, relatively short round trip (5.7 miles) and scenic views make Old Rag not only well travelled, but well loved.
Thinking about hiking Old Rag with your kids? Here are the essentials to know before you go:
Plan your drive…
Since there’s no physical address for “Old Rag Mountain,” using a GPS is not recommended. If you’re like my family and think, “We’ll just click on the directions tab of the website when we get close,” you’ll just end up stopping to ask the locals where you are because there’s no internet access. Dust off that old atlas or sit down and map your route before you go.
But remember this shortcut…
There’s a great shortcut to drive to the beginning of the Old Rag Trail. If you are driving to the mountain through Sperryville (the main town), the main road is F.T. Valley Road (Route 231). About 7 miles after turning onto that road from Sperryville, make a right onto Sharp Rock Road. This takes you right to the beginning of the hike.
If the upper lot is closed or full, you can still drop off…
Old Rag trail actually begins .8 miles above the main park parking lot. There is however, an upper lot that eliminates this pre-hike mileage. Signs may say that the lot is closed or full, but you can still drive up and drop off kids with an adult at the upper lot. This means 1 adult has to drive back down and walk up on their own, but it may be worth cutting off that .8 miles to give kids can have extra energy for the hike.
Keep expectations low….
Old Rag is relatively easy for grown ups, but don’t expect to hike the entire trail with kids under maybe 9 or 10 years old. This depends on your child of course but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s 3 miles uphill with a rock climb at the end.
But keep healthy snack and water rations high...
As you would expect there are no options for food or drink on the trails. And while there are little food shops in Sperryville and the surrounding towns, better to be prepared with healthy snacks and water to keep everyone moving and happy.
Be mindful of the walk down as much as the walk up…
The uphill walk may feel strenuous after a mile or two, but it’s during the walk down that you may want to stay close to your child. Loose rocks and tired legs, combined with naturally going faster downhill may make kids more apt to fall. And while they are not in danger of falling down the trail, they might still get hurt.
GPS and phones don’t work. You can truly unplug!
For more great tips on hiking with kids, please visit Hiking Along and check out their book Best Hike with Kids: Washington D.C., the Beltway and Beyond. Also, for families with 4th graders, remember to take advantage of the National Park Foundation’s Every Kid in a Park campaign for free admission to America’s National Parks!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Denise Stern is a mom of three young children and the CEO and President of Let Mommy Sleep, the premier baby nurse agency in Washington, D.C., offering overnight newborn care and education for parents.
Camping Hacks for Families
“The family camping trip can either be the most relaxing vacation of your summer, or the most work! Opt for the idyllic version instead of the nightmare scenario and enjoy afternoons in the hammock and evenings by the fire with easy, inexpensive camping hacks anyone can use!” exclaims Amy Whitley, family travel expert at Pit Stops for Kids.
Packing for the family camping trip has to be done strategically; otherwise you’ll end up needing two cars to transport everything! Use our camping hacks in order to keep everything as simple as possible. While packing, try to make sure the bulk of the items you pack can serve two purposes, like air mattresses, which can be used to sleep on, and also float on while at the lake. Sometimes you can’t get around taking “luxury” items that only serve one purpose, and that’s fine, as items such as mosquito bands and candles are worth their value several times over. Finally, when planning meals, chop up ingredients beforehand and keep them in Ziploc baggies together for minimal prep time at the campsite.
For more camping hacks from author Amy Whitley, check out the infographic below and read the full article here.
by Micaela Williamson
Whether you eat them soft or stale, PEEPS® are a quintessential Easter candy. The Gaylord National Resort and Convention, the icon of National Harbor, has teamed with PEEPS® and Company for a very special family travel Easter holiday package.
The PEEPS Easter Package includes:
The PEEPS Easter Package starts at just $239 for a family of four and is offered on Saturdays, March 21 and April 4, 2015
Other Easter Happenings at the Gaylord National Resort 2015:
PEEPS Pursuit Scavenger Hunt:
Visitors to the hotel also can experience a free PEEPS Pursuit scavenger hunt through the hotel's gigantic 1.5 acre atrium and main lobby area. Families can search the areas for plush versions of PEEPs chicks. All participants who complete the hunt will win a free treat from the PEEPS and Company store if redeemed from March 3 through April 5 and can also enter to win a large plush Peep or Bunny.
Princess Manicures or Pedicures at Relanche Spa:
On Saturdays and Sundays, March 21-22 and April 4-5, spa-goers can delight in a special treat for little ones. Children ages 5 to 10 that experience a Princess Manicure or Princess Pedicure at Relache Spa can choose from an assortment of PEEPS sparkling, candy-scented nail polish. At the end of the service, each child also receives a PEEPS nail polish kit for pampering at home. The Princess Manicure costs $35 and the Princess Pedicure costs $45.
Two Easter Brunches are available on Sunday, April 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the resort.
Reservations for brunch are highly recommended and can be made by calling 301-965-4000 or visiting www.GaylordNationalTickets.com
PEEP-tastic” Easter Giveaway Sweepstakes:
Gaylord National Resort Facebook fans also can enter to win a “PEEP-tastic” Easter Giveaway Sweepstakes from Friday, March 13 through Monday, March 30. The grand prize winner and up to three guests will receive an overnight stay in an executive suite at the resort on April 4, participation for kids in the Easter craft and egg hunt, and the ultimate PEEPS candy Easter basket from Just Born, Inc.
For more information about any of the hotel’s activities and packages, visit www.GaylordNational.com, call 301-965-4000 and follow its Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/GaylordNationalResort.
Disclosure: My family is receiving a complimentary PEEPS Easter Package for sharing this information and promoting the event on social media and a written review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are our own.
One of the challenges of family travel is being cooped up in a hotel room with energetic kids. One creative solution to this problem is to forgo the big box hotel and stay at a family-friendly campsite, RV park, or vacation rental community. If you have toddlers or small children, trading the usual hotel bar and room service for ground level accommodations with a kitchen, playground and splash pool makes a lot of sense.
Family-friendly Carefree Resort locations be found in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Ontario and include favorite vacation destinations such as the Tropical Palms RV Resort in Kissimmee, Florida (just a shuttle ride away from Disney), Long Beach RV Resort on the Jersey shore, and Campers Haven on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Amenities at each location vary and select resorts feature the Carefree Kids Summer Program with themed weekends, special cookouts, organized crafts and lively activities.
Since I'm always looking for a casual beachfront vacation that won't break the bank, my pick would be Campers Haven, the only campground with its own private swimming beach on the Nantucket Sound. Visitors can rent a tent campsite, rent one of two houses, or park an RV in one of the 275 hook-up sites. The private beach has an ocean-front picnic gazebo, boating area, and fishing jetty. When not playing at the beach, there are games like Bocce ball, shuffleboard, basketball, on-site mini-golf, a game room and a playground. Other facilities include private picnic tables and charcoal grills, hook-up for cable TV, a market and a snack bar serving breakfast, lunch, and ice-cream. Plus, the park is near the pristine Cape Cod National Seashore, Kennedy Museum, whale watching excursions and iconic Cape Cod towns which offer great entertainment, dining and attractions.
When I was twelve years old, our family of six took an RV to Cape Cod and it was one of the most memorable vacations of my childhood. Whether in a tent, RV, or cottage, kids will love the the camp-feel of a casual vacation the whole family can enjoy. Carefree special offers include discounts for AAA Members (10%), U.S. Military (50%), and Good Sam Members (10%).
Carefree is currently running a special called “Start Your Journey with a Passport to Savings!” For RV sites, this includes a Stay 3, get 1 free offer. This gives guests the opportunity to sample a few Carefree RV Resorts. This offer is based on the number of parks a guest visits, not the length of stay.
Through fun activities and shared experiences, Carefree Resorts are the perfect place to bond with your family and create memories that last a lifetime. Visit the Carefree landing page to learn more about Carefree Resorts, locate an ideal resort and request a free quote and brochure. Happy Travels!
By Amy Suski
Spring skiing anyone? Although a thaw is finally in reach on the U.S. east coast, ski season is still in full swing in Quebec. Admittedly, temperatures over the winter were frightful but with the warmer temperatures in March and April, families can enjoy the abundant snow without their smiles freezing in place. With current exchange rates [$100 CAD = $80 USD] you can also expect a sweet discount on your trip. We recently took advantage of a 35% off winter deal from Tremblant resort, which combined with the favorable exchange savings of 20% made a trip for a family of five very affordable.
Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition
Buy New $12.59
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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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