By Micaela Williamson
Whoever said "Getting there is half the fun" does not have children. One of the most stressful parts of family travel is the journey. I am the kind of person that hates to be late and always allow for extra time, but sometimes extra time is not enough. I'll never forget the first time I flew with my youngest son. We were standing in an never-ending security line with a screaming, hungry baby. All I wanted to do was make it through security, change baby's diaper and feed him before boarding the plane. It turned out that we ended up running to the gate to catch the flight. I had to finagle changing a squirmy little one on those ridiculously small airplane bathroom changing tables. Plus in the stress of the moment with hungry baby screaming, I am pretty sure I exposed myself to a few teenage boys. All I needed was an extra 45 minutes, but because of the insanely long security line, our first family vacation was off to a stressful start.
I recently learned about CLEAR, a membership-based service that allows travelers to get through airport security faster. CLEAR is the fastest and most predictable path through airport security. On average with CLEAR, the entire security process takes less than 5 minutes. Plus, CLEAR is great for frequent family travelers. A spouse can be added to a CLEAR account for $50 and kids under 18 are free. This gives families extra time at home or more time to explore the airport and grab a meal before takeoff.
Where is CLEAR available?
CLEAR is now open in 11 major airports with more opening very soon. Find the current list of airports online here. It is quickly becoming one of the nation's favorite #ToolsForTravel. Plus, CLEAR is now also expanding into select Major League Baseball parks around the country. Starting at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, CLEAR members and their families can now get into the game faster (with an expedited security screening process) with just a tap of their finger.
To enroll in CLEAR, you must present either an US Passport or US issued Permanent Resident/Alien Registration Card PLUS an approved secondary ID (State Issued ID, Drivers License, Military ID, or Foreign Passport). All IDs must be valid, unamended, and unexpired. You must be at least 18 years old.
For a limited time, Kid Trips readers can try CLEAR free for 2 months by using promo code CLEAR2M17. Follow this link to enroll, and may your travels be CLEAR of stress!
by Micaela Williamson
Colonial Williamsburg is a Kid Trips family travel favorite. Visitors can explore 18th century life by visiting the many buildings, museums, tours, and programs the Revolutionary City has to offer. Go visit America's largest living-history museum, and check out some of the newest programs for Spring/Summer 2015.
RevQuest: The King’s Advance: For those in search of an adventure that’s a challenge for the entire family, the popular text-message-based interactive spy adventure RevQuest: Save the Revolution is back with a new chapter. RevQuest: The King's Advance debuts on March 23 and will take Questors on a new spy adventure throughout the Revolutionary City. Nearly six years of war mostly spared the new nation’s biggest state until January 1781, when a force led by turncoat British Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold raided and burned its new capital city of Richmond. In April Williamsburg, the former colonial capital, fell under British occupation. Revolutionary leaders including Gov. Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette scramble to the state’s defense, and they are desperate for information about the size of looming British forces under Maj. Gen. William Phillips, already in Virginia, and Lord Cornwallis, who is bringing more troops up from the Carolinas. Collecting that intelligence falls to players who can carry out their mission this spring.
Programming at the Taste Studio: Families are invited to tour the Historic Area’s gardens, pick herbs and vegetables and follow a cooking demo at the Taste Studio using the items collected in the gardens. Also, check out Hands-on with American Heritage Chocolate, a fun, hands-on workshop where families can make and customize chocolate truffles made with American Heritage Chocolate.
Great Family Travel Packages:
The Spring Revolutionary City Package creates an unforgettable and affordable experience any family will cherish. Starting at $49 per person, per night, the package includes:
Salute To Virginia Residents: From March 20 through May 31, 2015, Virginia residents pay for a day and get the rest of the year free.
Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free: This offer, running June 12-September 3, 2015, allows children 12 and under to stay, play and eat free when accompanied by a paying adult. Package includes:
For more information about visiting Colonial Williamsburg, visit http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/
Images courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg newsroom.
By Amy Suski
Attention thrill seekers, Busch Gardens Williamsburg's newest roller coaster, Tempesto, has opened! Not for the faint of heart, Tempesto is a whirlwind of a ride with super fast forward and backward accelerations, looping twists and turns, and launches that seem to go straight into the sky. The smooth ride is very close to the experience of flying. Our family rode it from the front row, back row and the middle. We agreed all spots were awesome but the views from the front row were worth waiting for. If you have coaster riders in the family, you'll definitely want to experience the newest addition to Busch Garden's coaster line-up. Along with Busch Garden's Griffon, Tempesto is now one of our favorite rides!
Learn the facts about Tempesto:
RIDE MANUFACTURER: Premier Rides, headquartered in Baltimore, MD
TYPE OF RIDE: Launch Coaster
SPECIAL FEATURES: Three launch elements, High-speed station experience, 154-foot high-speed inversion
TRACK LENGTH: 883 feet of track, Train travels approximately 1,945 feet total.
MAXIMUM SPEED: 63 mph
RIDE DURATION: 55 seconds
SEATS/TRAIN: 1 train, 18 seats
HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: 54 inches
LOCATION: Busch Gardens Festa Italia
For a sneak peak at the ride, check out the official Point of View (POV) video by Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
by Claudine Kurp
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to share a book that I discovered last year. Autism Breakthrough: The Groundbreaking Method That Has Helped Families All Over The World, was first brought to my attention quite randomly. My husband's college magazine profiled Raun K. Kaufman. The sweet photo of his mother working with Raun as a child immediately grabbed my attention. As I poured over the article I was intrigued by the methods that Raun's parents used to help him overcome autism.
by Darci Bean
This is a guest post from Darci at Everything Mommyhood. Everything Mommyhood received complimentary tickets for her family to attend in exchange for her posting.
After this past Winter, and all the snow, I know my family has been waiting very impatiently for Spring to arrive. We've been itching to get outside and enjoy some warmer weather. Well Spring has finally arrived, and it's time to get outdoors with your family and friends, especially to one of Virginia's most popular theme parks, Kings Dominion! Right now through May 3rd, 2015, they are celebrating their Spring Bloom Festival.
Myself, my husband, and our two girls had the pleasure of heading to Kings Dominion this past Saturday, April 11th, to check out the Spring Bloom Festival as well as the Debby Ryan and The Never Ending concert. This was our first time at Kings Dominion, so we were ecstatic to be invited to cover these two events. The park has been transformed into a beautiful land of flowers.
Thousands of spring flowers are planted by our very own landscaping department, transforming International Street into a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. Whimsical butterfly and dragonfly decorations adorn the area around the Eiffel Tower and our famous fountain. -Kings Dominion
Once arriving at the park you immediately head down International Street and you can see the array of beautiful colors and fun props for the Spring Bloom Festival. On International Street there are quite a few different food offerings for the festival. Check out Germany, Hawaii, Italy, Jamaica, Switzerland, and Vietnam, as well as Border Café, World’s Greatest Funnel Cake and Pizza Parlor that will all be featuring unique foods for the Spring Bloom Festival. After International Street we walked through The Eiffel Tower. According to the employee we spoke with it's 1/3 replica of the real Eiffel Tower. It was massive and definitely impressive!
With our two girls in tow, we headed straight to Planet Snoopy. As 80's babies, my husband and I grew up with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang so it was a flashback for sure, and we loved every minute of it. My husband and I were excited to introduce our girls to a little bit of our very own childhood. I knew they were in for a treat. On the way there, we loved seeing all of the flowers everywhere!
We also ran into a marching band within the park too, and they interacted with us and were quite fun! One of them even stopped to pose for a picture! My children loved it and thought they were so fun!
After experiencing some rides in Snoopy Planet such as Lucy's Tugboat, Flying Ace Balloon Race, Linus Launcher, Snoopy's Space Buggies, Snoopy's Rocket Express, and Peanuts Road Rally, we headed up front by International Street for some entertainment from Snoopy and The Peanuts Gang! On the way we ran into a beautiful butterfly princess and her flower friend! My 3 year old is still a bit afraid of characters, but my 6 year old happily obliged for a fun photo opportunity!
I was super excited to see Snoopy and The Peanuts Gang perform as I knew my children would just love it! It was so fun watching them, and of course beautiful, with all of the bright flowers in the background. It was such a gorgeous day outside on Saturday and with all of the flowers and trees blooming it was just so relaxing and the sweet scent of the flowers was fabulous.
After we watched Snoopy and The Peanuts Gang, we decided to head to Rita's Ice to have a little snack before it was time for us to head over to the Debby Ryan and The Never Ending concert at the Kingswood Amphitheater. If you're not familiar with her, she's from the Disney show, "Jessie." In addition to “Jessie”, Debby Ryan is widely recognized for her role as Bailey Pickett on the Disney Channel series “The Suite Life on Deck.” She also Starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Radio Rebel."
We tried to get there early, in fact we were there an hour before the concert started, but lots of other fans had made it there before us!
Here's the upcoming schedule of some live entertainment!
Stop and smell the roses with our beautiful Butterfly Princess as she floats along International Street. Strap on your dancing shoes and enjoy toe-tapping entertainment from local Country and Bluegrass bands all weekend long. Showtimes are 1:30pm, 2:30pm & 3:30pm at the Spring Bloom Stage!
4/12 Red Light Rodeo
4/18 Chris Adams
4/19 Willis River Band
4/25 Darcy Dawn & Co.
4/26 River City Band
5/2 Harley Boone
5/3 Cary St. Ramblers
Also don't forget to check out Choo Choo Soul on April 19th 1pm & 4pm at the Peanuts Showplace!
We had such an amazing time at the Spring Bloom Festival and we're looking forward to heading back sometime after May 23rd to check out Soak City, King Dominion's very own Water Park!
Make sure you head to Kings Dominion before May 3rd to check out the Spring Bloom Festival, you don't want to miss it!
By Ronja Touber
On Wednesday April 8th our family visited LEGENDS, presented by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, a fun experience for children of all ages. In this show we saw trapeze artists, acrobats climbing up poles, the globe of steel, fire performances, people doing tricks on horses, bicycle tricks, and lots more. We also saw a variety of animals such as elephants, lions, tigers, pigs, llamas, goats, dogs, and horses. The tricks in this show were amazing! I thought the trapeze artists were incredible -- they made it look so easy! The Globe of Steel was also thrilling: the 16 foot steel globe had EIGHT motorcycles orbiting around at about 65 miles per hour! To be honest, I kind of panicked once they put eight motorcyclists inside!
One thing that did bother me was the use of animals that are meant to be wild and free, living in their own habitats. [Which is why its good to know that the circus plans to retire its herd of Indian elephants to a conservation area in Florida by 2018.] On the other hand, the dogs seem to be having a great time! All in all the circus was a terrific once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you have children who love animals and tricks then this is a great show for them to see!
Ticket information: All seats are reserved. LEGENDS is being performed at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia, through April 19, 2015. The Patriot Center is a convenient venue with plenty of close-in free parking. 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: $15, $20, $30, $55 VIP, $75 Front Row. To find out more about Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS, visit Ringling.com.
Related Post: Review of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® Built to Amaze!
The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely those of the author and do not reflect those of the business entities mentioned or of Kid Trips, LLC.
by Claudine Kurp
I recently moved to Houston, Texas. The weather has been wonderful and I am currently enjoying a lovely 75 degrees. I have never lived in a tropical climate so the promise of warm temperatures for months to come coupled with my new pool, has me dreaming of a beautiful outdoor space. Truth be told, I have always been somewhat obsessed with outdoor living. In Northern Virginia, I considered the first warm March day the kickoff to the season and celebrated accordingly. Moving just gave me a great excuse to bulk up my outdoor offering of furniture and accessories.
Since moving, I feel like I am on the never-ending quest to find new items for my house. It is finally time to focus on the outside space. I have looked at a number of online sites (who doesn’t love tax free shopping) and discovered http://www.fifthroom.com for some awesome outdoor and even indoor wares for home and garden.
Schedules of Farmers' Markets in Northern Virginia for 2015
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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