Mommy and Me Eyewear from Visionworks

Beyoncé and Blue Ivy. Kate and Charlotte. Lisa and Zoë. Reese and Ava. Kate and Suri. Michelle and Malia and Sasha.

Mother daughter teams with style are so much fun to follow in entertainment and social media. At 11 years old, Eve is not yet flipping through magazines, but she is becoming more interested in style choices and trends. Which thrills my fashion interested mama heart! The two of us had a blast trying on eyeglass frames from Visionworks that embraced mother-daughter style.

Our first twinning try-on were tortoise Chelsea Morgan frames with blue, summery sides. I liked the combination of elegance and fun in the women’s version, and Eve thought the bright aqua sides on the Chelsea Morgan kids’ frames made them more playful than an all-tortoise style.

Next we tried the Vera Bradley classic tortoise frames for women and girls. I loved the sleek styling and subtle colors on the sides and ear pieces. But Eve and I both flipped for the secret very-Vera patterns on custom cases and on the insides of the frames.

These patterns and touches make the frames feel even more special, especially for the Vera Bradley eyeglass frames for kids.

Next Eve and I tried on Visionwork’s Chelsea Morgan frames in shades of pink. The last time I wore pink glasses frames was in the 1980’s, when I was Eve’s age! After decades of black and tortoise, these hot pink metallic frames were an eye opening change. Eve’s tried a Chelsea Morgan kid style with a black retro front and purple-patterned sides. We both felt daring and cool.

Now, which one would we choose to wear for everyday???? Thankfully, we do not have to choose, because Visionworks currently has a Buy One, Get One deal at no additional cost. So we can either each pick a frame as a mother/daughter team, or we can each choose one pair and another spare for style options!

Of course, we couldn’t leave Alice out of the act! Alice and I chose Visionworks GUESS sunglasses to get our mommy and me twinning on. Both the women’s and kids GUESS sunglasses are full of glamour and good vibes for summer. Alice has been proudly sporting her big girl shades at every opportunity, and I have to admit that I have as well.

These eyeglass choices? They are just the tip of the iceberg. Visionworks has so many fashion-forward frames to choose from. Whether you are filling your prescription for near- or far-sightedness, for progressives, reading or sunnies, Visionworks has HUNDREDS of choices, both online and in-store. Visionworks offers eye exams and accepts hundreds of insurance plans. Check out their special offers and big discounts at Visionworks.com!

This post was sponsored by Visionworks. All opinions are my own. 

 

Pandora: World of Avatar OPEN at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Think of the worlds that Disney parks have taken us to.

The Asian kingdom of Anandapur in Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Animal Kingdom, with crumbling ruins, a Yeti-dwelling mountain train and Tibetan prayer flags.

The Cadillac Range Mountains and Route 66 Americana retro charm at Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure.

The fairytale-come-to-life realizations of Beast’s Castle, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Now, multiply that feeling those previous “lands” gave you by about a million and you will come close to anticipating the experience you will have when you walk the alien moon of Pandora on your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This brand new land opened May 27 and allows visitors to explore the world created in James Cameron’s 2008 film Avatar (and its upcoming four sequel films which will be released in 2020, 2021, 2024 and 2025).

I had the chance to attend the Pandora: World of Avatar dedication and press preview this week, and I am still processing the complete genius of this new 12-acre section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Every rock, plant, flower, FLOATING MOUNTAIN and detail in Pandora’s Valley of Mo’ara truly makes you feel as if you are on another planet.

The cast members all speak the Na’vi language, and their Disney badges state their home planet of Earth, as opposed to the standard badge locators of city, state, country or college. There are no signs directing you to the attractions because you are on a planet that is not ours. At night, the entire land glows with bioluminescence.

To get into the complete Disney + Cameron imagineering experience, here is the story you enter when you cross the bridge into Pandora: “For the first time ever, Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) has made it possible to explore Pandora, offering unique expeditions and previously unimaginable possibilities in interplanetary adventure travel.”

On this alien moon is also the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), a collective of scientists, xenobiologists and conservationists. The PCI researches every aspect of this mysterious and alien world and also restores the Pandora ecosystem from the irresponsible mining and environmental damage of the Resources Development Administration, which we learned about in the Avatar film.

Basically, you get to pretend that you are a Richard Branson type who has paid to experience interplanetary tourism, and the blue native people of Avatar happily welcome you (attack free!) to their amazeballs gorgeous world. “It’s set a generation after the world Cameron created,” says Disney Imagineering creative executive Joe Rohde. “We’re at peace and welcomed by the Na’vi to learn from them.” Rohde was the chief creative of the Pandora design and construction, and he and his colleagues truly created an unforgettable and transformative experience.

In the coming days I will be sharing with you in detail the new experiences that Pandora: World of Avatar offers visitors to Walt Disney World. These experiences include….

Valley of Mo’ara: Overhead are the floating mountains that will dazzle you. They do not look like theme park design. You are really on another planet, as far as your brain and eyes are concerned. You will see massive exotic plants with which you can interact. Na’vi drums that children and visitors can play. Na’vi totems and cultural items throughout. The waterfalls, bridges, plantings and every single detail is either completely alien-natural, Na’vi-constructed or Alpha Centauri Expedition-branded. There are no Mickeys. You are 4.4 lightyears away, yo.

Avatar Flight of Passage: You fly on a banshee while your soul is transported to an Na’vi Avatar matched to you. It is so high tech 4D you really believe you are flying. It is the single most beautiful, thrilling and fantastic theme park ride I have ever ridden. My friend Jeannette Kaplun of Hispana Global summed it up best, “It’s like Soarin’ on steroids!” Avatar Flight of Passage feels like falling in love while having your best ever flying dream.

Na’vi River Journey: Board a boat and float through the mystical, sacred Kaspavan river. The animals, bioluminescent plants and Na’vi people reveal themselves in this otherworldly family-friendly ride.

Satu’li Canteen: A truly delicious fast casual restaurant, Satu’li Canteen offered the best quick service meal I’ve ever eaten at Walt Disney World (and I always find great quick WDW food!) The restaurant is designed to be a former mess hall from the human staff that were on Pandora in the Avatar film. Now the Alpha Centauri Expeditions peeps have converted it to a place to feed their tourists from Earth.

Pongu Pongu: Parents and kids alike will flip for the refreshments at this Pandora drink stand. Pongu Pongu means “party party” in Na’vi and serves unicorn-like rainbow slushies, frozen cocktails for boozers (I had a couple of these, they were amazing!) indigenous Na’vi beers and sweet snacks you will not find anywhere on else on Earth (or elsewhere in Walt Disney World).

Windtraders: This gift shop is THE place to find your favorite totem from your time on Pandora. Adopt a baby banshee. Purchase the Na’vi ears and headband combo in place of your usual mouse ears. I found the best goodies to take home to my kids at Windtraders and I will share with you all the awesome that I brought home this time, and what I plan to purchase on our next expedition. (Of course, if you would like to get a head start on Pandora: World of Avatar merch, you can shop select items at home now thanks to Shop Disney Parks!)

Colors of Mo’ara: Have your face painted in designs inspired by the Na’vi, as well as purchase Na’vi native attire and toys at this outdoor outpost.

And for kids (and adults) who love taking the Wilderness Explorers challenges while in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora offers new badges to collect!

I cannot wait to share with you detailed descriptions and images of these aspects of Pandora: World of Avatar in the days ahead. Until then, check out for yourself the amazing Pandora cam that allows you to virtually explore the Pandora world, and Ewa ngahu [EY-wah NGAH-hoo], which means Eywa (God) be with you in Na’vi.

I was invited to attend the Pandora: World of Avatar dedication and press preview as a guest of Walt Disney World Resort. 

Cheerios and Walmart: Buy One. Give One.

With grandparents living in three different states and cousins located all across the country, our family is always looking for new and easy ways to show others we love them. That’s why we are loving the Walmart and Cheerios Buy One, Give One way to share the love. All you have to do is buy a specially-marked box of Cheerios at Walmart, find the reward code inside the box, and enter it online. Then you will be able to personalize an awesome e-card to send to a loved one, and they will receive your e-card as well as a prompt to enter their mailing address to receive by mail a VIP coupon for a free box of Cheerios!

There’s nothing like a wholesome bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, and who doesn’t love a brand new box of Cheerios in their pantry? Cheerios are especially loved by our family members who have celiac disease and are gluten-sensitive, so we love this personal and healthy way to show our gluten-free cousins the love with a gluten-free gift.

This fun promotion is good while supplies last and all coupons for the free box of Cheerios should be redeemed before May 20, 2018.

Go to Walmart’s Cheerios page to learn more and starting giving! 

 

Incredible Mother’s Day Gift: Donation to Capital Area Food Bank In Mom’s Honor

Is there anything more important than honoring the hardworking, sacrificing, loving mothers in our lives? 

Take Agatha Achindu of Yummy Spoonfuls baby food (pictured above, right), who founded her company with a mission to help mothers everywhere healthfully feed their children, and who has spearheaded Spoonfuls of Giving, the donation of 100,000 Yummy Spoonfuls meals to hungry children. She is pictured above at the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), where she donated hundreds of Yummy Spoonfuls meals that will help so many local families. A mother of three herself, helping other moms through nutrition is her life’s passion and mission.

Take Kirsten Bourne, Marketing Director of CAFB, (pictured above, left) who works every day to ensure that the food bank and its 444 community organizations can provide good, healthy food to our DC, MD and VA neighbors who face hunger and food insecurity. Since becoming a mother this year with the birth of her daughter, her work to serve moms like herself has taken on new meaning.

Take this personal story of two generations of mothers doing all they can to raise their children as single moms by Christel Hair, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement at CAFB. Christel writes, “During my time at the food bank, I’ve met so many women who are working and raising children like I was, but doing it without enough food. And as hard as it was for me, I know it can be much harder.”

This Mother’s Day, we can honor our mothers, grandmothers or other women in our lives with a gift in their name to the CAFB. Our gift will provide meals to a mother in our area who’s working hard to feed her children, but could use a little support. Your gift will provide life-changing food that can make all the difference to her and her family.

Cool presentation factor: When we make a donation by this Sunday, May 7th and check the “honor/memorial” box, a beautiful card with our personal message will be sent on Mother’s Day. And after Sunday you can still make this special gift and an email will be sent to her inbox explaining the impact of your donation.

Give the gift of a Capital Area Food Bank honor gift this Mother’s Day.

Other ways to help the Capital Area Food Bank through food drives and donations.

How to volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank (bring the kids!).

I am personal supporter of CAFB. This post is not sponsored. 

 

Montgomery Parks Summer Camps

Make it an active and exciting summer with Montgomery Parks’ Summer Camps!

The summer camps offered through Montgomery Parks have been some of the best enrichment experiences of my three kids’ summers. Led by incredible education experts and caring counselors, my children have had a blast with camps focused on archaeology, basketball, chess, outdoor adventure, dance and art. With full- and half-day options located throughout Montgomery County all summer long, you can easily find the camp (or three) that is perfect for your child.

Some summer camps that I am looking into for my kids….

Week in the Park Camp based at Wheaton Sports Pavilion: Nature walks through Wheaton Regional Park, rides on the Miniature Train and Carousel, tennis lesson at the Wheaton Indoor Tennis facility, ice skating lesson at the Wheaton Ice Arena, a field trip to the South Germantown Splash Playground and daily camp games, songs, arts and crafts and more.

Lacrosse & Field Sports Camp based at Wheaton Sports Pavilion: This full day, five day camp is designed to give your child the opportunity to learn and play Lacrosse and other field sports in a single week.

“Cool” Summer Ice Skating Camp based at Wheaton Ice Arena: This full-day camp is for all, from absolute beginners to up-and-coming ice skating stars.

Totally Tennis based at both Wheaton Indoor Tennis and PBA Tennis Center in Cabin John : Totally Tennis campers will enjoy a positive learning environment that not only builds tennis skills, but also fosters teamwork, self-confidence and sportsmanship. Campers will be divided by age and experience.

Snag your spots today at Montgomery Parks Summer Camps!

Perfect Quick Treat for Kids to Make Themselves: Perfect Size for 1

Friday was kindergarten orientation at our elementary school. For incoming kindergarten families, this means a lovely day for soon-to-be kindergarten kids and their folks to come meet the teachers, play games, make friends and get comfy with the school while it is in session. For outgoing kindergartner families, this means no school and a mad dash for child care, telecommuting and keeping the children occupied.

So Friday I worked from home while Alice and her buddy Laina played inside, outside and thoroughly enjoyed their day off. Thankfully they did not “BBC Dad” me during any video conference calls, but they did make two, or twenty-two, requests to “bake something!” Sadly, I did not have the time to go full-on Cupcake Wars with them, but I did supervise while they tried out the new Perfect Size for 1 quick and individual cake treats from Duncan Hines.

Alice and Laina both chose the S’mores Cake flavor, and enjoyed using their new reading skills to sound out the steps and do them on their own. I hung around to help reach things and take photos.

All they needed to make their cakes were mugs, spoons, a measuring spoon and about a minute. They poured their individual pouches into their mugs, added carefully-measured water (although the directions say you can get creative with other liquids), stirred and then we heated.

Voila! In just a minute these cuties had a warm, delicious, freshly-made S’mores Cake and I never had to turn on my oven or watch my kitchen be destroyed. I had a bite of Alice’s and it tasted like a bakery muffin: sweet and decadent, studded with chocolate chips and marshmallows.

I could have polished it off with a cup of coffee but then I was unceremoniously kicked out to “go back to work!”  But not until after receiving hugs for “letting us make something!”

Perfect Size for 1 was the perfect treat for Alice’s playdate, and is a quick and easy way to have a single serving of baked delish when you need a cake fix.

This post is in partnership with Duncan Hines and The Motherhood. 

Favorite Weekend Getaway for DC Families: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay

If you are ready for a waterfront getaway, whether this spring or after school is out for summer, the  A Parent in Silver Spring crew recommends the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. It is close — less than two hours from the DC area! Located in Cambridge, Maryland on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake and on the idyllic Choptank River, this vacation spot is without the stresses or messes of beach traffic but still provides the sun, the swims, the entertainment and the relaxation every busy family needs.

Full disclosure: We try to do as many getaways as our family schedule and budget can afford and the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is at the top of our list. After staying for a weekend last summer, we had to head there again during spring break. Our second stay was even better than our first. We purchased two of our three nights at the property, covered all of our meals and other expenses, and received one night’s press review stay. If work and school would have allowed, we would have purchased more time at this drivable paradise locale.

The resort is geared towards families, and all five of us found our stay there to be peaceful and yet every bit as entertaining as those that feature cartoon characters. As soon as you check in you and your kids are presented with a schedule of all of the options for family relaxation and excitement. Each day there are are at least 12 different activities for kids and families to enjoy, most of them at no additional cost.

You will not be bored! can stay at the resort 24-7, soaking it up in the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake’s four waterfront pools: one with a slide, one infinity-style, one kid-friendly hot-tub style small pool that is both inside and outside and one massive indoor/outdoor for all-weather swimming and “dive in” evening kid movies.

There are also golf courses, tennis and beach volleyball courts, mini golf, frisbee golf and a full roster of kids’ “camp” style activities will keep you busy. The six on-site restaurants will keep you fed, from the casual coffee shop and convenience store Bay Country Market, the poolside lunch shack Dock’s Poolside, and of course, the four full-service restaurants, too.

My kids loved the organized activities organized by the life guards and young camp counselor-like staff. The token dive for coins to use for games in the Captain’s Parlor was a daily hit. They also enjoyed beach blanket BINGO, cannon ball contests, and more group activities just for kids.

The line-up of seasonal family fun is always changing. Over spring break the grand ballroom was taken over by five massive boune house inflatables and smaller rooms were devoted to corn hole, Wii and XBox games. The kids played non-stop with friends they made on-site and still were not able to try every activity offered during our three days.

Coming Up at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake

Birdies and Brews

Straight forward 9 hole scramble event, May 12! No crazy rules…no trick shots required…just you, your team and your brews for the win!  Shotgun start at 2pm with Demo Day at the range starting at noon. The RAR van will be on hand to kick out some music and whatever craft brews they have going on!

Mother’s Day Brunch

Spend some time as a family to celebrate the mother in your life.  Mother’s Day Brunch will be offered on May 14.

For more information or to make reservations, call the concierge at 410.901.1234

 

We loved the morning complimentary waterfront yoga classes and nature walks. My big kids joined me for yoga while Chris and Alice took the nature walk, learning all about the nearby nature sanctuary and local wildlife. They spotted wild turkeys, deer, hawks, sea birds and more. Runners will also love the waterfront trails for morning runs, and the fitness center had enough treadmills, ellipticals and bikes for all (all with their own built-in TV), as well as a stocked weight room.

If you are an avid golfer or a boater, you probably already know about the River Marsh Golf Club championship course and the 150-slip River Marsh Marina. We adored the views that both provided, but did use ourselves.

The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is an A Parent in Silver Spring top pick for families in need of some recharging and vacation vibes without the typical vacation drive. We spend our time and money there, and if you have some to spare of both, we recommend you head there, too!

Let’s #ProtectPE!

This post is in partnership with  Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All opinions expressed are my own.

My three kids eagerly look forward to the days that their middle and elementary school schedules include physical education (P.E.). Both Eve’s fifth grade class and Alice’s kindergarten crew typically have a weekly hour of instruction with their schools’ designated gym teachers, in addition to daily recess and classroom teacher-led P.E. periods. Seventh grader Charlie’s gym period meets three days a week, twice a week for a single period and once a week for a double period.

Charlie has enjoyed learning how to properly lift weights in his middle school gym periods, as well as getting to select team sports units like volleyball and basketball. Eve says that she has most enjoyed climbing the ropes course at her school gym, and like her brother, she is big fan of the court sports during P.E. time.

Free spirit Alice’s favorite moments in P.E. this year in kindergarten have been learning how to jump rope, tumble and her cardiovascular favorite: dancing.

In our home state of Maryland, physical education is mandated for K-8 students, but not every state stresses the importance of P.E. for students. In fact, Only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily PE or its equivalent for the entire school year.

Research shows a strong connection between physical education and academic performance, and that children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. I see this connection between exercise and academic focus in my own three kids, who are so much more engaged in their school work when they have time to move their bodies.

According  to Voices for Healthy Kids, the vast majority of our fellow parents agree. Their research shows that 95% of parents with children under the age of 18 think PE should be part of the school curriculum for all students K-12.

The Voices for Healthy Kids initiative aims to foster a national conversation about the need to ensure quality physical education as a part of every child’s education.

Do you know the P.E. requirements in your state?

Are your own children getting enough P.E. at school?

Please join me in protecting P.E. in schools by joining the PE Action Team at www.voicesforhealthykids.org/PE

Gifted: Great Film for Tweens, Teens and Parents

What makes a good life for our kids?

This is the question we parents ask ourselves throughout our days, and countlessly over the years.

The new film GIFTED gets right to the heart of the question, exploring the importance of family, education and happiness in a child’s development. 

Tell me if these worries sound familiar…

“Should we encourage our child to apply for that magnet school program, or would she be happier going to her home school with her friends?”

“Is this school giving our kid all he needs? Should we look at other school choices? Should we move?”

“I’m feeling called to homeschool. Will I be enough?”

“Is this area the best place to raise our family? Should we look at jobs in other towns?”

“Is my child happy? Am I doing this right?”

I ask myself a variation on those questions, endlessly. My husband and I ask them together. We are constantly evaluating our three children’s needs, and the essentials come down to making sure that the three elements of  FamilyLearning and Happiness are all in balance.

The role of these elements in raising kids today is explored thoughtfully and with heart in GIFTED. I took my children Charlie (13) and Eve (11) to a pre-screening of the film, along with two fellow mom friends and their tweens and teens.

The premise of GIFTED is extraordinary: Mary (Mckenna Grace) is a first-grade girl who can solve theoretical mathematical equations on the level of an MIT professor. She is a genius, full stop. It’s hereditary. Her mother was on the Nobel track before she died, and thus her uncle Frank (Chris Evans) has raised Mary since she was a baby. He wants Mary to have a happy, well-adjusted life, after seeing the mental anguish his sister suffered as a genius pushed by parents, tutors and universities from the earliest age.

Because the movie premise is not an average household occurrence, the story becomes an allegory for all of us parents and families. Is Frank doing the right thing raising Mary away from the locked tower of academia? Is he giving her the best life possible by sending her to a standard first grade classroom to get to know kids her own age? What constitutes a healthy family? Is the loving neighbor who cares for Mary daily more important to her than a glory-obsessed grandmother?

When viewed from this reflective place, the film is moving and brings us to ponder the essentials. In my opinion, GIFTED is a beautiful poem in which we parents see ourselves in Frank, the father struggling to do the right thing, making mistakes and consumed with insecurity in his parenting choices. Roberta (Octavia Spencer), as Frank’s neighbor and the stand-in mom of Mary, symbolizes the traits of support we seek out in co-parents, friends and family. Mary’s grandmother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) stands for the pressures we face as parents, externally and internally, and the doubts we feel that we are doing enough for our kids.

At least, that was my take. All of us who saw the movie together had a different interpretation of the film and an opinion on what constitutes a life well lived. Our group of parents and kids talked about the film the walk from the theater and during the entire Metro ride home that night. One young friend mused that she would love to go to college early and be a genius. But then we all pointed out to her that she loved serving on the student council, performing in the school plays, and going to birthday parties on the weekends.

The GIFTED filmmakers knew that they were creating an exciting conversation starter for parents and kids, and so they created a family Guide_for_GIFTED. I encourage you to check it out to explore the themes addressed about education, family and what is really important, and use it for talking with your kids after the film.

Definitely take your kids to see GIFTED, or meet your parent friends to watch together.

And remind yourself that you are asking all the right questions.

What some of my favorite parenting writers are saying about GIFTED: 

“If you are a critic of child actors, prepare to be impressed. Mckenna as Mary knocked it out of the park…she was the center of the movie. I forgot I was watching a little actor. I got sucked into her emotion, her cuteness, her heartbreak.” — Jenny Ingram of Jenny On the Spot

“GIFTED is an interesting and beautiful story. It’s different and unique. And in the end, you’ll leave feeling good. I don’t know about you, but in this day and age, at this crazy time in our country’s life, I need happy. I need feel-good. I need entertainment that entertains but doesn’t leave me feeling upset, angry, or drained.” — Amy Mascott, TeachMama

“The movie was great. I both laughed and cried. In the movie Mary Adler has a one-eyed cat named Fred. Later Fred is [SPOILER redacted about the awesome cat]. This was one of my favorite scenes.” [Now you really have to go see the film, or curiosity will kill….] — Delaney Smith, age 12 (daughter of Danielle Smith), Extraordinary Mommy

“If you’re a believer in families of all kinds, check out GIFTED. And don’t forget a tissue!” — ScaryMommy.com

Get tickets to GIFTED, which opens in select theaters Friday, April 7. 

Thank you to Fox Searchlight and Beyond PR Group for inviting my family and friends to a pre-screening of the film. 

Kings Dominion 2017: New Deals and Fun for Families

Kings Dominion is OPEN for the 2017 season, and open daily for Spring Break, April 7 – April 16! 

Kings Dominion is one of the best amusements parks in the nation, and it’s just a quick drive for us Washington, DC area families – how lucky are we? The A Parent in Silver Spring family loves to visit Kings Dominion as much as possible, and so when the park opened last week we knew spring had finally sprung. Our day at the park was packed with brand new fun rides and ways for families to bond.

Adults Pay Just the Kids’ Price Through June 30 

Book a day at Kings Dominion online now through June 30 and save big: you’ll only pay the child ticket price, saving $22 off each ticket at the park. Enjoy all of the world-class rides, attractions, and dazzling live entertainment that Kings Dominion has to offer.


Kings Dominion Pre-K Pass: Kids age 3-5 to visit the park for free if you register before April 30

If you have a child age 3-5, you have to sign up for the Kings Dominion Pre-K Pass! This limited time pass gives preschool-aged children complimentary admission through the entire 2017 season. (Children age 0-2 are always free.) To get this great deal, you must register online before arriving at the park between now and April 30, 2017. (The offer is not available at the Kings Dominion front gate.) After registering, you will print your e-ticket and bring it to the front gate pass processing center along with a valid form of identification that proves the child’s date of birth. (Examples of valid identification are an original certified birth certificate or travel passport; school IDs or children security IDs will not be accepted.)

Three New Family Thrill Rides in Planet Snoopy!
Kids will go crazy for the three brand new rides in Planet Snoopy that just launched!

Sally’s Sea PlaneKids and their parents join Sally as she flies through the sky on this crazy airplane adventure that rotates and rises into the air.

Kite Eating Tree: This kid-only ride takes kids up, then gently bring you down. Children of all ages will laugh and smile on this ride that takes them in the air and then gently drops them in a jumping, vertical descent.

Peanuts 500: Start your engines! Burn rubber through a circular speedway towards the checkered flag. Hang on through the turns – they’ll make you giggle!  Children and their parents can pick their car and hit the track!

FunPix – Get All the On-Ride Pics, Character Photos and More!

Put the phone away and let Kings Dominion be your family photographer! I love the brand new FunPix Photo Pass packages. Buy either than Single Day Digital Photo Pass or 2017 Season FunPix Pass and get unlimited digital, professional park photos. My crew and I tried it out and it was so fun for me as a mom to not have to keep the phone out, and just relax and enjoy being IN some of the pictures myself! We got shots with all the Peanuts Gang as well as some frame-worthy full family photos, too. We also got to take home ALL of our on-ride photos, digitally! Those scared and crazy faces got to come home with us for lots of laughs and sharing on social media.

Admission and Fast Lane Plus 

If you have big kids or adults in your party who love the rides outside of Planet Snoopy, be sure to snag the super duper deal of Admission + Fast Lane Plus tickets. If you buy an admission and Fast Lane Plus combo you will save up to $30 off the price at the park! We have three Kings Dominion coaster riders in our family, and we firmly believe that it is worth the extra cash to buy the Fast Lane Plus wristbands and skip the lines at the most popular rides.

With Fast Lane Plus, you will speed past the lines for

Volcano 
Intimidator 305
Delirium
Avalanche
Flight of Fear
Backlot Stunt Coaster
Dominator
Drop Tower
Wind Seeker

And more, including select popular Family Rides!

A very limited number are available each day so get yours online ahead of time!  The no-line-wait is the best way to spend your day and is the ultimate Kings Dominion experience.

Kings Dominion Family Guide to the park: Where to eat, stay, games to play and more! 

Want to learn more about why Kings Dominion is a fabulous find for families? Read my complete family guide to Kings Dominion! 

My family and I were invited to a press announcement event at Kings Dominion in which we were hosted with park tickets, lunch and parking. No additional compensation received. All other expenses covered by me. All opinions are my own.