by Claudine Kurp
My partners in crime at the BEST hall of them all. ZAPP HALL!
As a self-professed design junky I have long dreamed of a pilgrimage to the Round Top Antique Fair. While the Round Top Antique Fair has gained recent attention since being highlighted on the HGTV show Fixer Upper, the fair has been around for ages. I first started drooling over this bi-annual, 3-day event 15 years ago when shelter magazines like Country Living and Traditional Homes started highlighting the plethora of design barns and tents filled with gorgeous antiques. After my recent move to Texas, it was finally my turn to experience Round Top 2015! I recruited a few friends and told my husband he had to watch the kids. Off I went!
With more than 60 barns, dance halls, and tents...there is no end to the design inspiration and shopping opportunities that await visitors. I discovered that the fair is spread over many miles of sweet, little Texas towns. It is best to research all of your options before heading out to conquer Round Top. With over 100,000 visitors, endless tents and vendors, you will want a plan especially if you are there for a day trip.
Each tent, show, etc. has its own personality and offering. Some of my favorites destinations were Marburger Farm, Zapp Hall and North Gate. There was just so much to see in a day! While we ran out of time, I absolutely want to hit the Junk Gypsy store on my next trip to Round Top. Oh yes...I am headed back!
As a Round Top rookie, I was elated to have one of my best buds with me. She had been to the fair a number of times and helped me navigate the endless vendor choices. We hit the Marburger Farm Antique Show first and fell head first into high-end antique pieces. Round Top promises incredibly unique items for every buyer.
As we progressed down the Round Top path...we eventually hit Zapp Hall. Zapp Hall is made up of number of tents, some filled with fun kitschy clothing others offered a nice sampling of Americana antiques. This was by far the most fun we had during the day. Zapp Hall has an awesome vibe. There was live music, fun folks...throw in a little alcohol and instant party. Can you say "open container"?
Well...I am happy to report, the trip was a total success. While I didn't buy a lot of goods...I had such a fun time with my girlfriends. I was also able to check off one of my "Design Bucket List" items. If you plan on making the trip, I would recommend booking a room ASAP for the upcoming Spring 2016 show. Rooms goes quickly. We stayed in nearby Brenham, Texas. While our drive was only 90 minutes from The Woodlands, Texas, we were exhausted by 8pm. It was worth getting a room. If you are feeling adventurous, head back to Zapp Hall in the evening. Expect live entertainment and even an adult prom replete with old prom dresses and bad tuxedos.
Before leaving and heading home I had to make one more stop in Chappel Hill, TX. One of my favorite design bloggers, Holly Mathis Interiors, recently helped launch the insanely adorable store, True Blue Home. It didn't disappoint. I would recommend making this apart of your Round Top, Texas journey. Main Street is completely charming with little shops and cafes all dressed for the season.
Well that is all...y'all! I am loving Texas. Next up...I am heading to Waco, Texas to check out the Magnolia Market @ The Silos. I promise to report back with lots of pictures.
1. Rent a room months in advance.
2. Try to stay for at least two days.
3. Most vendors do accept credit cards but you will be able to bargain more effectively with cash.
4. Many of the the vendors can assist with shipping options.
5. Kids and husbands are welcome, but I would not recommend bringing either=;)
6. Fly into Bush Intercontinental or Hobby Airport and then head toward Round Top.
7. Most of the folks I saw were packs of women out for a long weekend with friends. Many of the visitors had brought coolers with wine and beer in VERY large SUVs. They certainly know how to carpe diem in Texas.
8. Most of the bigger shows/tents offer some nice options for quick or lingering meals. The main road, Rt. 237, is also littered with little cafes that open for the 3-day event.
by Micaela Williamson
We attended Disney on Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic at the EagleBank Arena (formerly the Patriot Center) on opening night. The show boasted the incredible scenery, costumes and magic that you can expect from Disney, along with some talented skaters and well choreographed numbers. What I liked about this particular show was that so many Disney characters were represented.
The first act started off with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy and transitioned into segments from hits such as Pinnochio, Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, a medley of princesses and more.
Frozen fans will be delighted to find out that the longest performance of the evening was a 20 minute reenactment of many of the popular scenes and songs (yes, you know the songs I am talking about) from the hit film. Literal sparks went off when Elsa performed Let It Go. If you have a Frozen fan, this is a must-see Disney on Ice.
The second act opened up with Toy Story and continued with Mulan, the dancing genies and Aladdin, The Lion King, and ended with a spectuclar grand finale featuring dozens of well-known Disney characters.
Disney on Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic was a great show for the whole family. Although the show has something for everyone, we would highly recommend the performance for ages 3-8. There are still remaining tickets and the show runs until Sunday. Also, parking is free and very easy at the EagleBank Arena.
Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic
Eagle Bank Arena (formerly Patriot Center)
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Dates and Times of Performances:
· Wednesday, October 21 @ 7:00 p.m.
· Thursday, October 22 @ 7:00 p.m.
· Friday, October 23 @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
· Saturday, October 24 @ 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
· Sunday, October 25 @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Tickets start at: $20
To order tickets by phone: 1-800-745-3000
To order tickets online: www.ticketmaster.com
*Ticket pricing is subject to change based on market demand.
To discover more about Disney On Ice, go to DisneyOnIce.com.
Disclaimer: I am a Feld Family Ambassador. I receive free tickets for my own family for sharing this information. All opinions are my own.
We're big fans of the family-owned artisanal skin care company, Amalthea Ridge (see our previous blog, "Learn About Raising Kids and Homesteading From Local Mom and Founder of Amalthea Ridge"). Using goat milk from her own herd of goats, biochemist and founder, Sarah Wehri, Ph.D, creates dreamy lotions, face creams, soaps, and more. After being frustrated by the lack of products to relieve her daughter's skin irritation, back in 2011 Sarah began researching natural ingredients and decided to create something herself. Soon family and friends started making product requests, so selling them on a small scale seemed like the next logical next step. Sarah uses her knowledge of protein and lipid biochemistry to formulate unique, skin-supporting products. “From the first formulations, Amalthea Ridge has focused on high-quality, natural ingredients and our homestead fresh goat milk as the foundation of our products. We make a point of sourcing organic and fair trade ingredients with a preference for local ingredients whenever available. ”
Together with her husband, Keyvan Moussavi, the family-run business is now ready for the next step. “We continue to experience increased demand for our unique skin care products from direct consumers and retail stores requesting to resell them. Our current equipment is unable to keep up with demand.” explains Sarah. “A successful Kickstarter campaign would mean the purchase of equipment to meet demand as well as materials to begin creation of the next generation of Amalthea Ridge products.”
Kickstarter project backers can select a variety of rewards composed of Amalthea Ridge products. Amalthea Ridge products made special holiday gifts and gift wrap is included upon request. Sarah and Keyvan are working hard to ensure rewards ship in time for holiday gift giving!
To learn more about Amalthea Ridge visit www.AmaltheaRidge.com, access the company’s Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/570726383/amalthea-ridge-artisan-natural-skin-care, and email Sarah at homestead@AmaltheaRidge.com
Girlstar at Signature Theatre
(Ticket Giveaway below)
The world premiere of Signature Theatre’s Girlstar will be playing Oct. 13-Nov. 15, 2015. Girlstar is a musical tale about one girl’s breathtaking journey to become star! Packed with irresistible pop tunes and special effects, Girlstar is a treat for all ages.
Here’s some more info about the show:
Legendary record producer Daniella Espere is searching for her next international sensation. She discovers it in her long-lost niece, Tina, who dreams of being a world-famous pop star. Despite warning signs that all may not be as it seems, the two eagerly forge a mother/daughter bond and Daniella transforms Tina’s image, voice and talent into star quality – but not by the usual means.
With an electrifying pop-laden score, Girlstar invites audiences of all ages to follow one girl’s breathtaking journey and asks, how far is too far to go to become a star?
Plus, Signature Theatre is offering a special family four pack for two adults and two children between the ages of 6-17. For more information about the show and tickets, please visit the Signature Theatre website.
Interested in attending the show? Win a voucher for a pair of tickets to any performance through October 25th by leaving a comment below.
Leave a comment below to enter and the winner will be picked on October 15, 2015.
by Sarah Erdman
Arts on the Horizon prides itself on providing "high-quality theatre for young audiences and their families at an affordable rate" and their focus on the 0-6 year old crowd comes out with their funny, engaging, interactive shows. Clocking in at around 30 minutes, the shows are mostly non-verbal but incorporate music and movement. The professional actors know how to draw in the young audiences and aren't phased by exclamations, wiggly bodies or occasional tears.
Performances are staged all over Northern Virginia, but they keep the set-up similar no matter the venue. Before the show the waiting area has toys and books, so young audience members don't use up their "quiet bodies" before the show begins. You can opt to sit on the floor or there are chairs at the back of the theater. After the show, there are activities and information that you can take home with you to extend the fun.
On stage right now, Arts on the Horizon is performing "Point A to Point B" a new show inspired by the America on the Move exhibit at the National Museum of American History. As they describe it:
"It’s just another day at the Lab, but today’s particular assignment has the two employees scratching their heads: a ball keeps appearing from a spot labeled “Point A” and needs to travel to “Point B.” The catch is that the ball can never travel the same way twice!"
All the kids in the audience were laughing and pointing and calling out suggestions to the two scientists as they built different contraptions to move the ball from "A" to "B." You also saw the scientific method at work as they tried different methods and recorded the results. My 3 year old couldn't take his eyes off the stage, and even my 3 month old watched with serious intent, before falling asleep (another thing I like about their shows, they are younger sibling friendly and I could care for the baby without having to leave the theater).
"Point A to Point B" is on stage at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. A great venue with a lot of artist studios and plenty of space to run around or picnic. There is some road construction in the area, so if you are driving in from Fairfax/DC, pay attention to the detours. Performances are running October 14th-18th and there is a $5 "Flash Sale" for tickets on the 14th!
If you miss this run, don't worry! The show will return at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in November and they will also be doing "Snow Day," "Space Bop," (for kids 0-2!) and "Blossoms Rainbow" during this season. Enjoy the show! For more info, visit http://www.artsonthehorizon.org/
About the Author: Sarah Erdman is a museum professional, early childhood educator and Mom in Northern Virginia. She owns Cabinet of Curiosities LLC and hopes to bring the wonder of museums to young children throughout the Washington, D.C. area.
Disclosure: The author received complimentary tickets for her review. No other compensation was received.
by Micaela Williamson
My kids have been wanting to go to Great Wolf Lodge for years, and I have to admit that I was intrigued and excited to check it out too. When Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg invited us to discover what's new, we happily took them up on the offer and made the drive down to one of our favorite places in Virginia, the Williamsburg area.
There are rooms for all types of families and budgets at Great Wolf Lodge. We stayed in a family suite and loved the woodland theme. The comfortable, clean room included tasteful woodland decor, two queen beds, a separate sitting area with a sofa, dining table and gas fireplace, a spacious bathroom, and a mini-refrigerator. Find out about all the rooms at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg by visiting the official website.
Things to do at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg:
The Water Park:
For good reason, the water park at Great Wolf Lodge is its most famous attraction. I was a bit nervous to visit an indoor water park with my family. Would it be clean? Would the staff be attentive? Would there be enough for my children to do? As soon as I stepped into facility at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg, my worries were put at ease. My kids had the time of their lives (and us adults had a blast too!) We were there during a very rainy and stormy weekend, but our attitudes were sunny inside the warm, 84 degree water park.
The facility was very clean and well maintained. We were impressed with the amount of larger waterslides. Even though we were there on a Saturday, we never had to wait in line too long. A number of the attractions had tubes and rafts for multiple riders so the whole family or parent/kid combinations could enjoy the slide together. Besides waterslides, there was a wave pool, lazy river, area for younger children, floating logs for balancing and a surfing ride called Wolf Rider Wipeout. We let our third grader who is a decent swimmer try the Wolf Rider Wipeout but felt the waves were too strong for our kindergarten child, even though he did meet the height requirement.
The focal point of the water park is the Fort Mackenzie® Treehouse. With soaking buckets, climbing bridges, interactive spray fixtures and water slides, the whole family couldn't stop smiling!
New this year to the water park is slideboarding. Slideboarding is the world’s first interactive video game waterslide. Using rafts that double as video game controllers, riders score points by touching flashing lights as they zoom down the slide. Once they reach the bottom, they can see their score on the master scoreboard.
More Family Fun:
Great Wolf Lodge is known for its intricate MagiQuest fantasy scavenger hunt game. For those unfamiliar with this, it includes magic wands, dragon battles and enchanted missions. For younger kids that are not ready for MagiQuest, I love lodge has just instituted a new interactive game called Clubhouse Crew. It starts similar to a build a bear workshop where children can pick a stuffed animal and customize it with a special outfit. Inside each stuffed animal is a computer chip for the game. You are then then sent on a treasure hunt to Clubhouse Crew kiosks in the resort to check in and perform simple touch screen tasks. At the end of the journey, your child gets a picture with their stuffed animal that is emailed to the provided email address. My kids enjoyed searching for all the Clubhouse Crew stations and especially liked the keepsake of a new stuffed animal remember their trip to Great Wolf Lodge. The entire game takes about 30 minutes to play. Not only is it a memorable experience, but it is also the perfect length of time for young attention spans.
Other fun indoor entertainment options include 4D movie experience, video games, Scoops Kid Spa (an ice-cream-themed spa designed just for kids) and a bowling alley. In nice weather, head outside for mini golf and the brand new Howlers Peak Ropes Course. (Find out more about attractions here)
Howlers Peak Ropes Course:
New this year to Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg is the family-friendly Howlers Peak Ropes Course (extra fees apply.) The ropes course features tightropes, zip-lines, traverse bridges and reaches heights up to 50 feet. At the 40 foot mark, there is a pulse-pounding “quick jump,” which allows braver souls to walk off a platform into thin air and sail down to a landing pad directly below. Be sure to bring safe closed-toe shoes (such as sneakers) for climbing as open heel shoes or flip-flops are not permitted on the course. Also, kids must be at least 48 inches tall to participate on the main course, but there is a dedicated smaller course for little ones or those not up for the challenging heights. Safety is always taken into consideration and the ropes course is closed in inclement weather.
Have you visited Great Wolf Lodge before? Share your tips in the comments below!
Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg
549 E Rochambeau Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Disclosure: I was invited with my family to come and experience what's new at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. We received a complimentary stay, breakfast, and were able to take part in attractions throughout the resort. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own and reflect my experiences. Unless otherwise noted, all images are property of Kid Trips LLC and may not be used without written permission.
We can hardly contain our excitement. Disney on Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic is coming to the EagleBank Arena (formerly the Patriot Center) in Fairfax in just two more weeks. You can read all about this exciting performance and learn how to purchase tickets on our blog. Plus, enjoy this complimentary coloring sheet for your little ones. It's going to be a great show!
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