Bucket’s Buddy Adventures: Explore the Shenandoah Valley

The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia is just a short drive for DC-area families, but it is BIG on amazing summer fun! We DMV parents may know that heading West to Virginia is full of fun for our families, but where should we begin?What are the best outdoor, historic, entertainment and foodie-focused offerings available between the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Mountains?Go Blue Ridge Travel Kids Trail resources are a great place to help us find the best day-trip and Read more...

National Harbor: Summer Family Day Trip

As a National Harbor "Fun"-bassador, this is a sponsored post, the first in a series about the offerings for DC-area families at National Harbor. Have a day, an afternoon or an evening wide-open on your calendar and looking to create some summer memories with your crew? National Harbor has lots of options! Free Fun  My kids always clamor to play on the The Awakening sculpture by the water. Just last weekend all three of the kids made friends, ran around, dug in the sand, and posed for Read more...

Sesame Place: Awesome Summer Day Trip

I do not know why we had not before visited Sesame Place in nearby Pennsylvania, but we will definitely be back!  My family is always hungry for travel and adventure, but our budget can not handle constant week-long quests. Day trips, though? Those we can do, especially in summer when we try and make many days feel special.A recent Sunday jaunt to Sesame Place was a winner. My elementary- and pre-school aged kids both loved the rides and water slides. The wet and dryland activity options Read more...

Best Getaway: Salamander Resort and Spa

My husband Chris and I have never been away together for a weekend...without the kids. We have had a handful of overnights together (one of which was when Chris stayed the night in Holy Cross Hospital with me after Alice was born) and solo trips to see friends, family or do work. But this was the first time we spent two consecutive nights away without kids since December 2003...when our oldest child was born.We are not martyrs. We are not helicopters. We just had not yet had the opportunity, Read more...

7 Best Things About Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Have you taken your family to Busch Gardens Williamsburg? I applied to serve as a Busch Gardens Williamsburg blog ambassador, and was selected to review the experience with my family during the 2014 season. We just returned from our visit to this massive, marvelous, seriously beautiful amusement park. Our day at the park was full of spectacular summer memories. Here were my family's 7 favorite aspects of Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  1. The Rides for FamiliesOur family ages from early Read more...

Kids’ Workshops at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center

Admit it: Before you had your first child in the Washington, DC area, you imagined yourself at the National Gallery or Hirschhorn, staring at an incredible piece of art while wearing your baby in a carrier.In my own mental picture, my baby was facing out of his BabyBjörn (hey, it was 2003...we didn't have Ergo yet) and gazing at the painting as I held his little hands in mine. His baby brow was intelligently furrowed as he absorbed the genius before him into his own cells. (Oh, and in my Read more...

Northern Virginia Pumpkin Patch: Wayside Farm (with Angry Birds!)

Wayside Farm off of Route 7 in Berryville, Virginia has animals, hayrides, a big pumpkin field and yummy food. They also have an Angry Bird-themed corn maze and an live Angry Bird launch coming up! The 10-acre Angry Bird corn maze is full of twists, turns and dead ends. Use your imagination to see the Angry Bird being "launched" at Wayside farm with a superhero-like slingshot and land at Dan-D Farms in Knoxville, Iowa. It's the first-ever multi-state corn maze!There are also pig Read more...

Best Washington DC Area Pumpkin Patches: My Piece in Washington Post Weekend

11 Pumpkin Patch Family Favorites in Maryland and Virginia I was honored to contribute to the Going Out Guide and The Washington Post Weekend a directory for DC-area parents of some Great Pumpkin places. Have a read and happy orange squash season!Pick your perfect pumpkin at one of these area patches By Jessica McFadden for The Washington PostFinally, the 90 degree days are over, and between the weekend soccer games, birthday parties and other obligations, it's time to kidnap your Read more...

Kings Dominion in Fall: Great DC Family Road Trip #PlanetSPOOKY

Disclosure: Kings Dominion Virginia provided review park tickets for my family and passes to the Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. All other expenses of the day were covered by me. All opinions expressed are my own. We all have seen the Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt ads on TV portraying zombies staggering through the park, rides transformed to fright fests and other delightfully scary touches. But that is just after dark!During the day at Kings Dominion the fun is all family friendly and directed Read more...