By Amy Suski
Academy of Natural Sciences: For our boys, the showstoppers in this museum were the dinosaur skeletens and especially the 42-foot Tyrannosaurus rex. Another exhibit they really enjoyed was the Big Dig, a hands-on exhibit where kids can don protective eyewear and use real tools to dig for mystery fossils. Other cool exhibits include Animal Grossology, live Butterflies, wildlife dioramas, naturalist shows, and a hands-on discovery center for children.
The Franklin Institute: At this world-class science museum kids can pretend to be a blood cell and crawl through a an 8-foot long artery, explore the skies in the planetarium, watch a live science show demonstration, discover 3D printing, build a mars rover using K'Nex, watch an IMAX movie, and more. This summer also be sure to see the world's largest display of LEGO creations in The Art of the Brick and learn about the amazing life of conquests of Genghis Khan.
Enjoy the best of summer at the annual City of Falls Church Concerts in the Park series on Thursdays at 7 p.m. from June 25 through August 6. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner and enjoy free performances by local musicians.
Concerts are held at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) and are open to the public. In the event of rain, concerts will be held in the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.). For more information, call 703-248-5077.
The concerts are sponsored by the City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks and the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS). The schedule is available at http://www.fallschurchva.gov/Concerts.
June 25: Falls Church Concert Band - concert music
July 2: The Flannel Underground - 90's hits
July 9: Dear Creek - jazz/blues/folk/rock
July 16: Ocho de Bastos (Eight of Clubs) - Latin Pop
July 23: Mama Tried with Randy Barrett and Dede Wyland - bluegrass
July 30: Andrew Acosta Band - roots music
August 6: Tom Principato - blues rock
Image Credit: The City of Falls Church
The Workhouse is proud to celebrate the 7th year of its Youth Arts Camp program, challenging the creativity in ages 3-17 since 2009. The Youth Arts Camp program at the Workhouse has exploded with great opportunities in Fine Arts all year round. Campers work alongside professional artists and excel in several mediums, learning various techniques and creating unique artwork with every visit. Take a second look at the tuition rates, do the math, and find most of their camps might cost less than a babysitter! With a one-week Spring, an eight-week Summer, and a series of Mini Arts Camps, no child is ever left without an avenue to explore their creativity. See offerings and register early for the camp at https://reservations.workhousearts.org/Info.aspx?EventID=5.
For those who aren't familiar with the Workhouse Arts Center, it has quite a storied past. Originally a reformatory turned medium security prison, the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA found home in brick architecture built in the early 1900’s. The Workhouse has since been revamped and repurposed to provide enjoyable entertainment experiences and serve hundreds of students in multiple visual arts media, such as: drawing, painting, mixed media, ceramics, glass and culinary arts! Discover this incredible camp for your budding artist this summer.
If your schedule or location doesn't allow for a Workhouse Art Center summer camp, definitely put this location on your staycation calendar! The best way to experience the Workhouse Arts Center is to take it at your own pace! For the adventurous types, they have provided a downloadable, printer-friendly, self-guided walking tour that takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
This route highlights the artist studio buildings, gallery spaces, glass program, ceramics program, and the Prison Museum. The route is paved and flat, with the only set of stairs being in W-16 (there is also an elevator available) so this route is perfect for all ages and abilities. For more information about the studio and gallery policies, please click here.
For more information on a Field Trip or Tour: http://www.workhousearts.org/visit/tours-field-trips.
For more information on the Fine Arts Camps, visit this LINK.
Image Credit: Workhouse Art Center
This is a sponsored post by: http://www.workhousearts.org/visit/tours-field-trips
Preschooler Getaway at Sesame Place
If you have a little one or two, there is no amusement park better than Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. More than just a section tucked away in a big park, this entire park is geared toward the preschool set. Everything from the menu choices to the changing rooms is made easier for families. Instead of dodging gangs of teenagers, your family can enjoy a place meant just for them, with the comfortable scale and feel of a friendly neighborhood. For more reasons why we loved Sesame Place, read on.
Furry Friends: During our first visit, my first born was absolutely awestruck by meeting his best friends Elmo, Grover, Bert & Ernie. Hugging opportunities abound throughout the park and are so precious they alone are worth the price of admission. After recovering from being starstruck by all the furry celebrities, we found even more fun things to do.
By Amy Suski
Climbing Structures: Sesame Place understands that although rides are fun, preschoolers and toddlers are happiest when they are allowed to move. In Cookie Monster Land our preschooler tested his bravery on a three-story net climb while our toddler crawled, jumped and rolled around the soft play area, Mini Monster Clubhouse. For little ones on the move, the numerous colorful climbing structures offer endless fun. Only after exhausting themselves in the play areas could we persuade our kids to explore some of the rides.
by Micaela Williamson
Having a young child shouldn't prevent you from traveling. The Outer Banks in North Carolina is a popular destination and offers lots of adventures for travelers of all ages. Insider tip: If your vacation isn't dictated by the school year calendar, the early fall is a great time for an OBX getaway. The water is still warm, and air temperature is pleasant. Besides spending time at the pristine beaches, we recommend these top attractions for families with little ones:
Pirate Adventures of the OBX
408 Queen Elizabeth Avenue
Manteo, NC 27954
This ship isn't a top rated attraction for kids on Trip Advisor for no reason! Staff truly entertains little ones in an interactive, fun, and never scary pirate ship voyage. Besides the pirate entertainment, kids get to shoot water cannons, pull up treasure, get their face painted, and dress up like pirates. Sometimes dolphins are even spotted from onboard! Reservations are highly recommended.
Wild Horse Adventure Tours
610 Currituck Clubhouse Drive
Corolla, NC, 27927
Ride in a hummer to get a guided tour through three distinct ecosystems and gain exclusive access to the Wild Horse Sanctuary. Get up close views of the famous Outer Banks Wild Spanish Mustangs and other local wildlife. There is no age requirement on the tours, and car seats are allowed. These adventures are great for a multi-generational activity. Visit the website for coupons and to make advance reservations.
by Denise Stern
The Bahamas and Atlantis are one of the most family friendly and easy to get to destinations we can think of! In fact, my husband and I have laughed many times that going to the Bahamas, including the drive to National Airport, takes us less time than driving up the Jersey Turnpike to visit Long Island family. Since you’ve read all the reviews and websites already, here are 5 tips you’ll only find here:
1. They are very serious about kids being 48” tall to ride the large waterslides.
This is non-negotiable and they measure each kid multiple times. While there’s plenty to do otherwise with the pools and the beach, if you have one child who is tall enough and one who isn’t, parents should be prepared to divide and conquer with one going to the big slides and the other going to the smaller areas.
2. Pack your own food.
I know, I know…you can get a wristband and a meal plan or something and be done. We love eating out too but with 3 kids, it can be a bit of a production to stop what we’re doing 3 times a day to have a sit-down meal. There are also no grocery stores on Paradise Island, only small sundry shops so you must leave the resort to find a proper food store. Driving off the island into town is a time commitment and also means using a cab. This is easy enough from your hotel but can be a real pain returning from the local town when you’re finished shopping.
Also we are those people who keep saying things like “$7.50 for a jar of peanut butter?! Are they crazy?!” So we packed a small suitcase with cereal, bread, snacks and other non-perishables to get us through the day.
Father's Day 2015 Gift Ideas
by Claudine Kurp
I always find the task of coming up with NEW gifts for Father's Day to be a bit difficult. This year I went back to basics and tried to pick items that every dad would love. Here are my favorites in no particular order.
1. Sunglasses - My poor husband has had his glasses kicked off his head by my preschooler more times than I can count. That is what you get when you give into a child that wants to ride on your shoulders all the time! I am thinking either a good pair of Nike sports glasses or classic Ray-Bans.
2. Sports Gear - This is always a fan favorite (pun intended). Hats, umbrellas, t-shirts, etc. all seem to last in my husband's closet for years. Put a twist on it and try to get a high school or college jersey that will evoke some fun memories.
3. Electronics - I selected a Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker to profile. We have had one for a year and I LOVE it! I use it both inside and out and it links seamlessly to my iPad or iPhone. The sound quality is excellent. Other options may be a camera or an iPad preloaded with his favorite eMagazines.
4. Exercise - I am getting the Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Heart Rate, Activity Sleep Band. My husband accidentally ran over his Fitbit (NOTE - maybe you should pick a bright color). This time around I am getting the updated version. Take a look at http://www.fitbit.com to see all of the cool features of each product including wireless syncing with a number of smartphones and computers.
5. Dining Out - Pick a fun restaurant and have the family take dad out. Even better, get a sitter and go out the Saturday night before Father's Day.
6. Skincare - Most men tend to overlook moisturizers and facial scrubs. Give dad a product that he will love. Kiehl's Facial Fuel has recently been all over the web as a "must-have" product. I love anything Kiehl's so this will be on my gift list.
7. Clothes - It is always nice to have a crisp new shirt and an elegant tie. Try a bit of color and shop Vineyard Vines for some great summer looks.
8. Game Night - A handsome poker set is always a fun gift. You can sweeten the gift with a promise to host a boys' poker night.
9. Artwork - This gift doesn't need to be expensive. Head over to any craft store and let the kids pick a fun craft to make. You can buy an inexpensive canvas and paints. Head to the backyard and let the kids go nuts creating their own work of art for dad. My husband still has a Garden Hand-Print Stepping-Stone in our yard from 2008. I found this one at Walmart, but Michael's and A.C. Moore also carry something similar.
10. Potluck - Are you short on time and/or funds? Breakfast in bed and a handmade card from the kids can go a long way. Enjoy!
Father's Day is June 21, 2015!
Treehouse Camping in Maryland
by Micaela Williamson
Like many modern moms, I learned about The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground one day when Facebook suggested that I "like' their page. After visiting the website, I was intrigued and knew this was definitely something my family would enjoy. I booked an overnight tree cottage for early June.
The Treehouse Camp has a variety of different lodging options:
What to Do:
The Maple Tree Campground is located in Rohrersville, Maryland near Harpers Ferry, WV. The region has lots of hiking, rafting, zip lining, cute shops and restaurants or learning about Civil War history in Harpers Ferry National Park or Antietam National Battlefield.
The actual campground itself is a great place for families to relax, connect with nature and spend time unplugging. It backs up to the Appalachian Trail. We went on a walk and found a Foosball table inside a pavilion. If empty, the meadow is a great place for kids to run around or toss a frisbee. Otherwise, bring some cards and board games to play at the campsite. Be sure to spend time cooking out and of course enjoying s'mores!
Travel Adventure Show Host John Golicz Lists The Best Family-Friendly Travel Destinations In The US and Europe!
by Claudine Kurp
Go Kid Trips recently caught up with travel expert John Golicz, Founder & CEO of the Travel & Adventure Show. During our interview John shared some amazing tips on family-friendly travel in the United States and Europe. John also gave us his top list of awesome travel destinations that are sure to please the whole family!
By Amy Suski
Everyone has their favorite eats at the beach and our family is no exception. If you're looking for the best of the trendy new upstarts or a undiscovered gem, this is not that list. Instead, this is our list of time-tested classic beach food favorites that our family returns to year after year. In fact, we wouldn't think of spending a week at the beach without visiting each of these nostalgic favorites at least once. And if you have your own suggestions, please share them with us in the comments section. Ever since the Bay Cafe in Fenwick closed we're still trying to find the perfect shrimp salad!
Waterman's Crabs: Ambience isn't always the strong suit of a crab house, which is why when we visited Waterman's last summer we were pleasantly surprised to find that the previously dark spot had undergone a full renovation. The delicious fresh seafood and great piles of steamed crabs are the same, but now you can enjoy them in a bright, cool, and casual dining room.
Thrasher's Fries: Beach-goers have been flocking to Thrasher's since 1929 for a reason: they are simply the best fries anywhere. My advice: when eyeing the available bucket sizes, never underestimate the amount your family will eat. When in doubt, get your own cup and let the kids fend for themselves. I think Thrasher's fries are best with salt vinegar, but any way you eat them, these rough-cut spuds will leave you licking for fingers for more.
Fisher's Popcorn: If you find yourself on the boardwalk inexplicably drifting towards a delicious smell, you're probably close to a Fisher's location. Since 1937, this family owned popcorn stand has been hand packing freshly made popcorn in a range of flavors from simple butter and salt to classic caramel. My motto is more is more when it comes to Fisher's, which is why we always buy at least three tubs of these wickedly addictive kernels: one for the beach, one for the ride home, and one for a REALLY deserving friend.
Dumser's Icecream: You can get a lot of good food at Dumser's Dairyland (fried dough, burgers, french fries, etc.) but the icecream treats are the big draw. This old fashioned ice cream parlor has been serving up classic soft serve, cones, shakes, floats and sundaes since the 1940s. The secret to their success? Dumser's makes their ice cream fresh daily.
Anthony's Hoagies: Yes, its a liquor store but it also has an amazing deli with a huge selection of creative hoagies, sandwiches, and salads. One of the 12" hoagies can feed 2-3 kids and is perfect for packing a lunch for the beach.
Dayton's Fried Chicken: There's something about the hot sun and the sandy beach that makes me crave juicy fried chicken. Actually, come to think of it I crave juicy fried chicken no matter what the place or season is -- so let's just say the beach inspires an extra-strong craving. Add some potato salad and an iced tea and thats my idea of the perfect beach cooler lunch. You don't even have to worry about making a mess of yourself because you can just swim it off in the ocean!
Layton's Breakfast: Layton's has a great breakfast, a kids menu, and gluten-free pancakes (a must for our family). Plus, they make their own donuts. Need I say more??
Alaska Stand's Burgers & Hot Dogs: When the kids just want a burger or hot dog, there's no need for anything more than a quick stop on the boardwalk at the Alaska Stand.
The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own and do not reflect those of the businesses mentioned.
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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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