a fun, free resource for DC area families

Frozen on Ice: Disney on Ice’s Finest Show Yet

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.37.17 PM

I know I always blog that Disney on Ice is so great for families, but OMG, Frozen on Ice is the best show yet.


The special effects, combined with everyone’s favorite winter’s tale of sisterly love, is incredible. My kids, jaded Disney on Ice regulars that we are, were astounded by the show’s beauty. The lights! The snow! Sven on skates! Olaf losing his head and butt! Kristoff does flips!

And most importantly ELSA and ANNA are there, singing and skating! Waving to you! You get to see them while sitting down and eating popcorn, versus a two hour line at Disney World. My three-year-old Alice could not contain herself during the show. She danced, sang and cried with excitement.

I thought the quality of the show was top-notch. It is basically a Broadway show of the animated film, complete with the soundtrack your children know and love.

Due to high demand new show times have been added to the schedule of showings (13 total!) at the George Mason University Patriot Center, offering you more options to see Elsa, Anna, Olaf and company.

Thursday, October 23rd @ 7:00 p.m.

Friday, October 24th @ 10:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 25th @ 10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 26th @ 10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Monday, October 27th @ 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

All shows are at the Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax, VA 22030. Get tickets.

7 Marvel Universe LIVE! Surprises


My kids and I had a blast at the opening night of Marvel Universe LIVE! at the Verizon Center. The show was packed with surprises. But this post contains NO SPOILERS. There were many twists and unexpected thrills that I will not give away, because you should truly take your kids to see it.  Here are simply the cool factor surprises that made this arena show stand out in live family entertainment.

7. Pyrotechnics – There were more blasts of light, fire and seemingly-real explosions in the arena than I would expect in a two-act show. The kids were stunned.

6. Acrobatics - The actors were top-notch acrobats and gymnasts, executing flips and twists that seemed animated.

5. Motorcycle stunts – Loads of motorcross stunts were an added bonus. I mean, who doesn’t love a growling Wolverine or a saluting Captain America…but now imagine them while popping wheels and catching air.

4. Wire work – We never saw Spider-Man on Broadway, but he and other heroes soared overhead, even while upside down in the classic Spidey squat.

3. Exciting storyline – My son Charlie was impressed by the story, and a book-obsessed 10 year old is a tough crowd. Basically Loki, Thor’s brother and bad guy, wants the Cosmic Cube, the “one ring to rule them all” in the Marvel Universe. It is now in three pieces and some superheroes are in peril, so the entire Marvel catalog and SHIELD team must band together save the world.

2. One liners - One of my favorite elements of action movies is a well-delivered, snarky or clever quip. I have never heard so many of them packed into two hours.

1. Fight sequences – Multi-person martial arts fights scenes featured fabulous choreography. Eve and I were particularly amused by Black Widow’s opening scene as she fights off five guys while talking on a cell phone. She was channeling some serious Scarlett Johansson.

And the bonus, biggest surprise of all:

Silent children – My often restless children were completely engaged throughout and did not pester me for shaved ice or nachos or squabble with each other. (Well, not while the show was in progress.)

We recommend! Tickets are available to this weekend’s shows.

Verizon Center | September 4-7
Remaining show times:
Friday, September 5 at 7:30 PM
Saturday, September 6 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 7 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Get tickets

Patriot Center | September 12-21
Show times:
Friday, September 12 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 13 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 14 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Friday, September 19 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 20 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 21 at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM
Get tickets

Tickets can also be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, via www.ticketmaster.com, and at the Verizon Center and Patriot Center box offices.

All Ticket prices start at $35.00. Ticket pricing is subject to change based on market demand.

Disclosure: My family and I received media passes and an invitation to a pre-event celebration. No additional or monetary compensation received.

GIVEAWAY: FROZEN Disney on Ice in Fairfax, VA


Disney on Ice Brings FROZEN to the Rink

We are big, huge, massive fans of Disney on Ice at our house. We are also in the midst of a full-blown, unbelievable Frozen obsession (it has been going strong since Thanksgiving.) I know we are not alone.

So it is pretty exciting that Disney on Ice is bringing Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, Sven and the gang to the Patriot Center in Fairfax October 22 – 27.

Here is a video sneak peek.

Tickets are on sale now for all 12 shows.

Date and Time of Performances at the Patriot Center on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax:

  • Wednesday, October 22nd @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 23rd @ 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 24th @ 10:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 25th @ 10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 26th @ 10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, October 27th @ 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster online and phone 1-800-745-3000.

I also am so honored to get to giveaway FOUR tickets to one lucky winner for the Monday night October 27 show. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY: Cirque du Soleil AMALUNA at National Harbor, 4 Tickets


My family and I attended our first ever Cirque du Soleil performance, Amaluna, and we were awestruck. Would you like to go, too? Amaluna is at National Harbor Washington DC until September 21

Amaluna is Cirque du Soleil’s 32nd production and the artistic company will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2014. For the first time in Cirque du Soleil’s history, Amaluna features a cast that comprises 70% women, with a 100% female band.

Director Diane Paulus, winner of a 2013 Tony Award said she drew from a series of classical influences when creating the concept of the show; including tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. She said, “I didn’t want to build a ‘women’s agenda’ show. I wanted to create a show with women at the center of it, something that had a hidden story that featured women as the heroines.”

I will admit that all that feminism and mythical imagery flew right over my kids’ heads. What they loved were the acrobatics, the artistry, the amazing tricks and the beautiful showmanship. This was by far the most professional, beautiful circus my family and I have ever experienced. It was like watching a thrilling and extraordinarily entertaining ballet.

The back story: Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.

My daughters loved the “princess”-centered story, but my son just thought it was an exciting night at a “half theatre, half circus, thing” as he so knowingly called Amaluna.

Cool fact: The compact, circular stage set-up means that every seat in the house is equally good!

Here’s a video sneak peek of the show.

You can purchase tickets to Amaluna here

I know that your family will enjoy Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna just as much as our family! To enter to win 4 tickets to a performance of your choice before September 9, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Family Offerings at Atlas Intersections Festival


February 21 – March 8


The Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival from February 21 – March 8, 2014 is a unique all-arts festival which brings together more than 100 performing groups over eight days to offer intersections of music, theatre, dance, film, opera and spoken word.

I have culled from the INTERSECTIONS website and press release the information about Celebrate Family performances and Family Saturdays events for families and children.  To see the full line up of performances, visit IntersectionsDC.org.

Saturday Feb. 22 at 1:30pm

Zaniness reigns when a mischievous pack of pound puppies and their comic genius partners, Scott and Joan Houghton, present a circus comedy dog act meets hilarious canine thrill show.  Returning to the festival after charming a sold-out house in 2011, this family friendly show is sure to leave you howlin’ for more.  Come support two great causes – the Atlas’ family programs and DC animal rescue. Enjoy some free family activities with our friends from DC Actors for Animals, Metro Mutts and Atlas Vets in the lobby before and after the show.

50 minutes
$15/$12 student/senior
For ages 2+
The Singing Lizard
A Free Café Concert for the Very Young
Liz DeRoche works her musical magic for the youngest concert goers with her rocking keyboard and fabulous vocals.  Hosted by Boogie Babes.
Saturday, Feb 22 at 12:00pm – 12:45pm
Right before Mutts Gone Nuts
Kogod Lobby
Check out the full line-up of free cafe concerts — many of them family-oriented!

Arts on the Horizon 
Under the Canopy

Touch and explore the wonders of the rainforest in an interactive, non-verbal show especially for babies and toddlers.
Friday, Feb 28 at 10:00am & 11:30am
Saturday, Mar 1at 10:00am & 11:30am
Sunday, Mar 2 at 11:30 am
Friday, Mar 7 at 10:00am & 11:30am
Saturday, Mar 8 at 10:00am & 11:30am
Lab 1
35 minutes
For ages 0 – 2 (and ages 3 – 4 friends)


Gala Hispanic Theatre & Wit’s End Puppets
Fabulous Mayas
A bilingual adaptation of traditional Mayan legends and fables featuring puppets, movement and song from an innovative puppet company and award-winning Hispanic theatre.
Saturday, Mar 1 at 10:00am
Saturday, Mar 8 at 1:00pm
Lab 2
50 minutes
For ages 5+


Quynn Johnson
 Lucky’s Tap Dancing Feet 

Lucky’s Tap Dancing Feet

Will Lucky the horse learn to tap dance? Find out in this delightful family show featuring young actors and tap dancers created Quynn Johnson based on her popular children’s book.
Saturday, Mar 8 at 4:00pm
Sprenger Theatre
50 minutes
$16.50/$11 student/senior
For ages 5+

A 2014 INTERSECTIONS Multi-Show Pass is a good way to save if you plan to attend or bring your family to three or more performances — you will receive 20 percent off. You can obtain a multi-show pass at the box office or by calling 202.399.7993 ext. 2. 

Disney on Ice This Weekend: All Shows On!


Although Thursday’s Disney On Ice shows at the Verizon Center had to be canceled due to the snowstorm (full refunds or exchanges were granted to Thursday ticket holders), the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday shows are ON! This is a fab, and very apropos way to find some indoor family fun during this snowy weekend. 

You will see 65 of Disney’s most unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, the beloved Disney Princesses and other favorites including Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and many more.

ickets are still available for the following Verizon Center shows:

·       Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

·       Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

·       Sunday, Feb. 16 at 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

·       Monday, Feb. 17 (President’s Day) at 12:30 p.m.

Get tickets!



Disclosure: I received tickets for giveaway and review and an invitation to a media party. No additional compensation received. 

GIVEAWAY: Disney on Ice Family Four Pack



I used to see the television promotions for Disney On Ice when I was a little kid back in the early eighties. I thought the show looked so beautiful as I watched the commercials. But although my parents were great about taking us kids to lots of shows and amusements, we never got around to seeing those Disney characters on ice skates live and in person.

So while I claim that I now attend Disney on Ice to entertain and delight my own children, often the kid in our family who is most excited is me. But as I have written about previously, my kids thoroughly enjoy the Disney on Ice shows, and they are happy to introduce little sister Alice to this favorite family outing, too.

Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic  is here in Washington, D.C. at the Verizon Center February 12-17.  The show features a retrospective of kids’ favorite Disney characters over the past century, beginning with ol’ Steamboat Willie himself and all the way up to the gang from Toy Story. Eve is especially looking forward to her favorite girl warrior Mulan. And my cheesy heart is ready to see the  figure skating art is choreographed to old school Disney songs I adore like “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

Show Times:

·       Wednesday, February 12 @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Thursday, February 13 @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
·       Friday, February 14 @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Saturday, February 15 @ 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
·       Sunday, February 16 @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
·       Monday, February 17 (President’s Day) @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $80.00 (Front Row)/ $55.00 (VIP)/ $30.00 / $20.00

To enter to win the family four pack, enter the form below! The winner will be drawn on February 4th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Miss Nelson is Missing at Adventure Theatre MTC


Currently on the syllabus at the Adventure Theatre MTC? Miss Nelson in Missing, a musical adaptation of the book beloved by kids (and substitute teachers.) 

Room 207 is terrible. Awful. Their behavior frankly stinks. And they have the nicest, most patient teacher, Miss Nelson. Watch what happens when Miss Nelson goes missing and witchy substitute Viola Swamp takes over the class.

Parents and children alike will love the humor, the catchy songs, and the Adventure Theatre’s patented style of cast members playing multiple parts and creative use of the compact set. The actors were top notch,  and the music and choreography were enjoyable.

The play is recommended for kids age five and up. I think preschoolers with the attention span to sit through a movie at the theater will also enjoy.  My second grade companions to the play give the show an A+.

The play runs through March 9. Get your tickets now!

Pssst, grownups deserve to see shows too! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to see G. Love and the Special Sauce at the 9:30 Club. TWO winners will each win a pair of tickets. 


I received media review tickets; no compensation received. 

GIVEAWAY: Monster Jam 2014


Start your kids’ year off with a trip to check out the Monster Trucks!

Monster Jam is happening at the Verizon Center on January 24 and 25th. The last time Monster Jam was in DC was in 2011, so apparently this is a rare chance to see the massive trucks race, jump and crush.

I will be heading to the show for the first time with my son Charlie and Jeep Momma and her son. We are excited to experience an American phenomenon. All I know of monster trucks is from a few TV promotions and catching a glimpse of Grave Digger on our annual drives to the Outer Banks.

According to my pre-show reading, the definition of a monster truck is a custom-designed pickup with 66-inch-tall tires and a minimum weight of 10,000 pounds. Monster trucks are capable of speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and can jump 130 feet into the air – crazy!

Attendees of the Saturday 2pm show with Pit Passes ($10 additional) are welcome to attend the Party in the Pits from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. During the Party in the Pits fans and families have an opportunity to see the trucks up close and take photos and get autographs from their favorite drivers. 

Show Dates:
Friday, January 24, 2014 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 25 – 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Buy Tickets through Ticketmaster. Ticket Prices: $65.00 VIP/ $25.00/ $20.00/ $10.00 Kids. All tickets are $2 more on the day of show. Additional fees may apply. Kid’s tickets are not valid on VIP seats.  Pit Passes $10 additional.

The Monster Jam folks have generously given me FOUR tickets to give away to a lucky A Parent in Silver Spring reader family!

Enter the form below and hope you win! The winner will be drawn on Friday January 10 at 9am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was offered four personal tickets. No additional compensation received.