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iPic Theaters in North Bethesda Opening: Halloween Party, Free Tickets, Free Memberships

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Ground-breaking new luxury movie theater (that is actually affordable!) 

Free Halloween family event on Friday October 31 when school is out and open house celebrations through Thursday November 6

Free Premium Seating movie ticket when you join by November 5

Future fabulous dinner and movie date nights and memorable family movie experiences 

iPic Theater Opens in North Bethesda on Friday October 31

Have you heard about the new iPic Theater opening at North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development? iPic Theaters are a visionary entertainment escape providing moviegoers an affordable luxury experience of ultimate comfort and service. It offers self-chosen reserved premier seating, some of it reclined with pillows and blankets, as well as elegant meals and libations that you can enjoy right in the theater.

Moviegoers can indulge in the most comfortable theatrical environment, an unprecedented level of service, and choice of Premium and Premium Plus seating, both offering plush leather seats. Premium Plus seating offers fully reclining seats, personal pillows and blankets, free popcorn and a special order-by-iPad system. Ninja-like servers are summoned at the touch of a button to deliver the gourmet “dining in the dark” iPic Express menu, expertly crafted by James Beard Award-winning Chef Sherry Yard, and a farm-to-glass cocktail program by nationally lauded iPic Mixologist and Master Sommelier Adam Seger. Premium seating ticketholders may purchase their food and beverage directly from iPic Express and carry it into the theater to enjoy at their seats.

Check out this video to view the iPic Theater experience.

9735_IPIC_PikeRose_FreeTicket_LandingPage_900xTBD_v2 (2)Family Open House on Halloween Friday (when school is out!)

iPic Theaters invites the public to family-friendly party to come see this awesome new theater in our community! The week-long event will kick off on Halloween with family-friendly events, including complimentary Halloween face painting and a Thriller dance crew. The daytime Halloween day fun happens from 12-4pm on Friday October 31. There are family-friendly movie screenings, too, like Alexander and the Terrible, No-Good…so stay to see a movie on the school holiday!

There is also live entertainment and activities for the duration of the week, such as stilt-walkers, selfie photo booths and DJ. These family activities will take place this weekend Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-9pm, and Monday through Thursday from 5pm-9p.. Perfectly timed for weekends and after school, families can enjoy a preview of the iPic experience with exciting culinary and mixology demonstrations. Check iPic North Bethesda for movies and showtimes.

Great Cause for Opening Week

iPic hopes to set a record for the largest movie theater opening fundraiser by raising $35,000 through a community watch-a-thon, Eyeballs for Charity. For all the movies viewed at iPic Oct. 31 through Nov. 6, local charities will receive donations!

iPic’s grand opening will benefit seven area charities: Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (10/31); NIH Charities (11/1); Children’s National Medical Center (11/2); Common Threads (11/3); Ryan Kerrigan Blitz For The Better Foundation (11/4); St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (11/5); and National Organization for Missing and Exploited Kids (11/6). Net proceeds from ticket sales and food and beverage sales will benefit each individual charity on its dedicated day.

Membership Benefits + Free Tickets if You Attend Open House!

iPic Pike & Rose membership program means that you can reserve your movie seats ahead of time via iPic’s proprietary reservation system on www.ipic.com or via the iPic App. iPic’s membership program offers guests discounted pricing, priority access to purchase tickets to new release movies, exclusive access to special screenings and the ability to earn points on purchases redeemable for movie tickets and more.

The first level of membership is totally free; much like a store loyalty program! Members receive a specially-price menu every Tuesday and Tuesday $2 select beers and $5 house wine, and special e-mail offers. There are other reasonably-priced membership levels that offer more savings and benefits.

I will be joining as a Sapphire Member, which normally costs $15 but if you sign up before November 5th is totally free! This will allow me priority ticket purchasing: exclusive 24-hour, 72-hour, or 1-week advance access to tickets for new releases before they go on sale. I will also get a free birthday ticket, a free anniversary dessert and the ability to learn points on all ticket, food, and non-alcoholic beverage purchases redeemable for free tickets.

Sign up as an iPic Member before November 5th to receive a free Sapphire Membership AND a free movie ticket!

For more information on becoming an iPic member, visit www.ipictheaters.com/become-a-member.aspx.

See you there!

 iPic Theaters Pike & Rose

11830 Grand Park Avenue

North Bethesda, MD 20852


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by iPic Theaters. 



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

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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.

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, or really, worked to make a kidless getaway happen. But thanks to the generous offer of our brother and sister-in-law (who have four kids themselves), we celebrated a Friday night through Sunday afternoon retreat at the most peaceful, beautiful, relaxing and chic resort we have ever visited: Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Virginia.

Heaven. On. Earth.


Over the years of A Parent in Silver Spring, readers have e-mailed me or left comments on the blog asking about getaways for couples. And I have not had any first-hand recommendations to offer. Sure, we have gone away for the weekend to Lancaster County to see trains and ride Ferris wheels. We love visiting beaches and amusement parks and taking trips with the kids. But a couple’s weekend? Clueless. I literally Googled “nearby Washington, DC getaway” and stumbled upon the Salamander’s idyllic photographs.

Now I have an emphatic, firsthand getaway recommendation for my parent friends: Head thee to Salamander. 


Family-friendly resort…but we went kid-free

I will write a piece in the future on all of the family-friendly offerings at Salamander Resort, and there are many. Kids are welcome, family activities are available, there are Kids Club nights, babysitters can be hired for evenings and we loved seeing children enjoying themselves throughout our weekend.

But last weekend, we really needed the chance to recharge our depleted parental batteries and enjoy some time together as a couple. And we wanted it to be relaxing and luxurious, a celebration of scoring sitters our marriage.

After ensconcing our kids with family, we headed to Middleburg, probably the most simultaneously chic and quaint city in America. We turned onto a graveled road and immediately entered the Salamander bubble.

Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill


Our car was whisked away, our luggage was deposited in our suite for us and we were immediately escorted to dinner in the resort’s signature restaurant, Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill. It is stunning, at once relaxed and luxe. From the octagonal dining room you can see views of the grounds, from fire pits to rolling greens and the equestrian barn.

We settled in with cocktails and dug into delicious fish and steaks. The food is nouveau steak house, with something decadent or healthy for everyone. Chris treated himself to a steak with the trimmings, I went with delicately-dressed rockfish and a sashimi starter. The wine list was well curated and diverse. We were too full to even consider dessert (that never happens with us!) Harrimans is a fabulous dinner choice even if you are not staying as overnight guests. I look forward to driving in for a special brunch or dinner in the future.



That night we walked the gorgeous grounds and were startled by all the stars. Since moving from downtown Silver Spring to northern Colesville/almost-Ashton-Silver Spring, we have been having some awesome astronomy nights. But nothing compares to the wealth of stars you can see in Middleburg. Salamander even provides Celestron Sky Scouts telescopes and start-gazing experiences if you are so inclined.

Remarkable rooms


Our suite was big and beautiful. We did not even use the sitting room, as the big king bed was ideal for reading and watching movies, and the massive bathroom provided lots of relaxing hangouts, from the claw-footed tub to the experiential shower. I am a sheet freak, and the linens were a perfect Pima cotton sateen. The gift shop manager said that sheet sets would be available for purchase soon, they have been so loved by guests. Each room has its own Keurig for coffee, tea and cocoa self-service, and the minibar was stocked with the two in-room must-haves: healthy snacks and spirits.

Equestrian experiences


We awoke refreshed and ready for our first resort activity: a tour of the equestrian center and a mini/modified Equi-Spective learning experience. Neither Chris nor I are experienced riders. Chris took lessons as a boy and I have bumped along on trail rides on friendly country horses, but absolutely all levels are welcome and will find an equestrian experience for them. From the never-ridden to the experienced rider with her own mount (you can bring your own horses with you and they will be lodged almost as luxuriously as the guests), everyone is accommodated.

I would live in Salamander’s stable if I could. It is flawless and like something out of a Ralph Lauren pictorial. Cocktail parties, conferences and formal events are frequently held in it, and I can see why. It is such a great combination of fancy and homey, with the friendly horses offering ears to be scratched, the fresh wood and hay smells and the Hermès-esque leather riding tack all around. I immediately started thinking of women’s blogging retreats being held in the glass conference room, followed by Yoga in the Stable sessions. (Who’s in?)


Sheryl Jordan, the Equestrian Center Director, led Chris and me in a one-hour Equi-Spective learning experience. There was no riding involved, instead we learned how our interactions with horses can teach us so much about ourselves and our leadership abilities. Chris is a director in his workplace, and I am constantly switching gears as a freelancer/consultant/blogger and of course, mom. We learned about self-carriage, how to better listen to others and our environment, how to be open-minded in our communications, how to lead with humility…all through interacting with the most incredible horse, Gentleman’s Quarterly aka Gent (named because he himself is very confident and stylish.)


We learned a great deal from Sheryl and Gent in just a small amount of time. It was exciting to lead Gent as he cantered around the ring (note: the flag stick I am holding visually directs the horse in the ring, it does not touch the animal) and then to signal to him to stop and lead him toward us. It may sound goofy, but I felt extremely calm and empowered and connected when I brought Gent to me with only my body language, and when he approached me to be petted and our heads touched, I felt pure happiness. We learned also how to lead Gent and have him follow us. We loved every second.

Learn more about the Equi-Spective experiences at Salamander.
Learn more about the various leveled equestrian programs at Salamander.


Gold Cup Wine Bar and Billiard Room


Invigorated by our new horse sense, we were ready for lunch (after believing we would never want to eat again after the night before) in the Gold Cup Wine Bar and Billiard Room. We loved the cozy leathery club feel of this more casual restaurant, located right next to the lobby and porches for perfect people watching. And dog watching! Salamander is extremely dog friendly, a rarity in a luxury resort.

Our lunch started with a Bloody Mary for Chris, a cappuccino for me and then a charcuterie board to share. Delish! Our sandwich and pasta entrees were yummy and healthy, too. We plotted future Saturdays of horse riding and then game-watching and lunch-eating in the Gold Cup. It would be a fabulous day destination, and the meal and service were truly great.


We headed back to our gorgeous room for a nap. For all the glamour surrounding us, an elusive nap in the middle of the day was one of the best items on our itinerary!

Salamander Spa and Wellness Center


I do adore a good spa treatment. It is a problem. But I feel so incredible for weeks after, I have to say that massages, facials and other wellness treatments are totally worth it. I have tried many spa locations, from the bare-bones to the schmancy, and Salamander’s Spa and Wellness Center does not disappoint.

It dazzles.

I recommend that everyone book a holistic spa treatment experience at the Salamander, no matter how small, simply to have access to the indoor vitality areas. The aromatic steam rooms, therapy pools, custom experience showers (you can program the shower to recreate a warm rain forest storm!) and spa-exclusive outdoor pool and cabanas are divine. There are other indoor and outdoor pools at the resort, but this special area is reserved for spa guests.


Chris and I each enjoyed a 50 minute massage, but we spent a few hours trying out all of the relaxation options available. The indoor relaxation areas are sorted into male and female areas, but we met up at the outdoor pool.

Our massages were amazing, tailored to our personal preferences and our bodies’ needs. I mentioned that I have been having more headaches lately, and my massage therapist, Colleen, recommended a scalp and temple treatment to help with that. I walked out of there feeling better than I have in a long time.

I loved choosing the aromatherapy scent that would be utilized during the massage and the absolute professionalism of the staff. Every breath we took while in the spa was infused with zen. It was such a treat, and such a retreat, too.


Feeling so naturally high and giddy as we approached 24 hours kid-free, Chris and I could not help goofily smiling as we walked around the resort taking pictures and soaking up the relaxation that permeated the place. We then walked the 3/4 mile path into Middleburg, and I will share our favorite finds in the town in an upcoming post.

Tree Top Zip Tours


The next morning we harnessed our adventurous spirits – literally – and suited up for our first ever tree canopy zip line tour. (Yes, we live one mile from Sandy Spring Adventure Park, but we have not yet tried.) It felt exciting to do something thrilling after experiencing so much relaxation.

Tree Top Zip Tours by Empower are based on the Salamander Property. You do not need to be a guest to sign up for a zip line tour. As this was our first time zip lining, we opted for the standard tour. We had a blast! We flew over 20 acres of trees and countryside via two “Indiana Jones”-esque bridges and five zip lines of various lengths. The tour lasted approximately two hours and we were led (and kept safe) by our two guides. We were joined by five other brand-new zip liners who were delightful. We created a fun community while up in the treetops, taking each other’s photos, filming videos and encouraging each other.

There are other, more intimate, intense or educational zip tour experiences available, as well. The tour is open to children who who are at least eight years old and weigh 75 pounds, and kids age 8-15 must be accompanied by an adult. Learn more.


Salamander Resort and Spa is the perfect weekend getaway

As we waited for the valet to bring our decidedly un-Salamander-chic minivan around, Chris and I could not help grinning. We were recharged, relaxed and just happy to be together. We were looking forward to reuniting with the children, and we missed them…but not as much as we expected. And we felt a little sheepish admitting that.

When we arrived at their aunt and uncle’s house, we found our kids playing with four cousins and two dogs, hardly looking up to greet us. The kids happily declared they did not miss us at all. It was a wonderful weekend for everyone.


Disclosure: I initiated our reservation at Salamander Resort and Spa, and we were prepared to pay full price for our weekend getaway. However, we were generously provided a reduced rate, upgrades and several comped experiences for review. All opinions are my own. 

Snowshoe’s FreeFall Festival: Great Getaway Sept. 26-28


This looks fun: Snowshoes’s FreeFall Festival

A weekend (sans kids) of live music, yoga and enjoying the beautiful outdoors of Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia sounds pretty darn heavenly. Just a few hours drive from the DC area, attendees can see headliners Michael Franti with Spearhead and Slightly Stoopid, G. Love and the Special Sauce, as well as many other musical acts.

The musical stages provide guests with 180-degree sunset and fall foliage views, guaranteed to deliver dramatic evening and daytime backdrops to the festivities.

There is also a special group yoga session with Franti playing an acoustic set, while yogis lead the poses, as well as other opportunities for yoga and wellness/fitness activities. 

Along with the concerts and yoga-ing, the FreeFall weekend event will bring downhill and cross-country mountain bike races, a mountaintop brew fest celebration with a vast assortment of the nation’s finest craft beers and local BBQ, a Dock Dogs competition, a mountain bike movie premiere and a Saturday night fireworks display above the resort’s village. Guests can also participate in the Lifestyle Camp, which includes outdoor adventure activities and sporting events.

The 2014 FreeFall Festival is open to the public, and will be the perfect weekend to take in the fall colors in West Virginia’s beautiful mountains.

Mountain views, live music, yoga and beer. This sounds like my own personal paradise. Call the grandparents to take the kids and get your tickets!

Tickets are now on sale. For a single-day ticket if purchased prior to September 15 the price will be $25, $35 if purchased after September 15. Tickets are $40 for the two-day event if purchased prior to September 15, $60 if purchased after September 15. Two-day ticket purchases made before September 15 will also include a free single day adult lift ticket valid from opening day of the winter ski and snowboard season to December 25, 2014.

A wide range of lodging options including first-time ever tent camping on the slopes at Snowshoe will be available.

For more information about this great getaway, visit the Snowshoe FreeFall Fest site.


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.

Light the Night Walks in the DC Area


My family and friends’ lives have been changed by cancer, including leukemia and blood cancers, as I know so many of your lives have been, too. We feel helpless. We call for more research. We donate to funds and participate in events that raise money for patient services and the search for a cure. We yearn for a world in which cancer does not take lives before they have been fully lived.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) the Light the Night Walk is one way that we can work to end cancer.

I had the honor of meeting three young children who were in remission from leukemia (they are pictured above.) They volunteered to appear with me on the WUSA9-TV morning news broadcast to both model back to school clothing and urge local families to come out to the Washington, DC area’s autumn Light the Night Walk events.

Additionally, my dear friend Kristin walks in the DC event each year in honor of her father, a man I was blessed to meet many times, who lost his battle with leukemia. I am proud to support her walk each year, knowing it helps her grieving process as well as raises important funds for blood cancer research.

If these families who have fought on the front lines of the cancer battle believe in the LLS Light the Night Walk, then I believe in it, too.

This fall, let’s walk to the end of cancer by joining the LLS Light The Night Walk to shine a light on finding cures and providing access to treatments for blood cancer patients.

Child patients especially need our support. Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and adolescents less than 20 years old. For kids battling cancer, the journey back to a healthy life can be a long one. For these kids, returning to school means additional challenges, such as keeping up with schoolwork.

This year, Sylvan Learning is partnering with LLS through Light The Night with a commitment to raise $250,000 and to donate more than 12,000 hours of free tutoring services in nearly 200 communities nationwide to help young blood cancer patients and their families with the transition back to school.

Here are local LLS Light the Night Walk that can use our participation!

Park Place in Annapolis – September 27

Rockville Town Square – October 11

Howard County Maple Lawn Fulton, MD – October 11

Reston Town Center – October 17

Washington DC Freedom Plaza – October 18

Camden Yards Baltimore – October 25

Register with your family at the links above for the LLS Light the Night Walk nearest you!

I am a compensated ambassador for the Light the Night campaign. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Favorite Classes for Kids in Montgomery County Maryland


Here are some of my family’s favorite classes in the area.

Music Together Montgomery
The first class my first child and I ever took! Children from baby to age 5 take classes with their parent or caregiver in Music Together’s beautiful, research-based musical instruction approach. Music Together classes are a great way for parents and caregivers to nurture their children’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement, regardless of their own musical ability. I particularly recommend two classes taught by friend and fellow mother Kristin Gruen; her classes will be held on Thursday mornings at Elite Dance Studio in Silver Spring.  There are also classes held at the Round House Education Center in downtown Silver Spring, Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Garrett Park Town Hall, the JCC in Rockville and more. Check out the class schedules for fall.

Montgomery County Park and Recreation Classes
Swimming. Dance. Mini gym. Art. Soccer. Nature programs. My children have been loving, enjoying and thriving in the Montgomery County Parks and Rec class offerings since 2004. It amazes me how reasonable and top-quality are the opportunities offered for local families! Registration has opened and there are so many great extracurriculars to choose from.

Wheaton Park Stables
The stables near Brookside Gardens offers horseback riding classes for all children, including private lessons for children and adults with special needs. The new fall session begins September 13. Sessions tailored to individual rider’s interests, goals, and needs. A warm and friendly environment where everyone can enjoy the wonderful world of horses. For more information or to schedule your session, contact Carla at csr55@verizon.net.

Rockville Montgomery Swim Club
If your child had a fabulous time swimming in your summer pool or club meets, consider enrolling him or her in a year-round swimming program. My kids love RMSC and improve every single time they enter the pool to train with their top-rate instructors. Before my children were ready for RMSC however, they improved their stroke technique and endurance with the SwiMontgomery program offered through Montgomery County Recreation.

C&O Family Chess Center
Learning chess has opened up my son Charlie’s mind to new horizons in math and logical learning. He has also made great friends and learned a past time and skill he will relish for the rest of his life. If your school offers a chess club hosted by C&O, SIGN YOUR CHILD UP. IF they do not, check out the other chess instruction options as well as the Saturday Chess Club meet ups at Lakeforest Mall.

Maryland Youth Ballet
MYB is known to be one of the finest schools of classical ballet in the region. It offers classes for dancers of all ages and abilities (such as my daughter Eve, who adored the “real ballet school” feel of her classes when she was a preschooler and kindergartener) and it also serves as a training ground professional dance hopefuls.

Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Academy 
Now located in Gaithersburg, MBT offers professional instruction to students age 2 through adult. Although some students aspire to dance careers, MBT accepts all who are interested, regardless of physical limitations or future aspirations, including an adaptive ballet program for those students with developmental or physical disabilities. MBT trains dancers in ballet, jazz, modern, tap and hip hop through The Academy with dance studios in Gaithersburg, MD and gives academy students the opportunity to perform in professional performances alongside professional artists. Check out the current schedule of classes.

Elite Dance Studio
My girls are currently perfecting their pliés, shuffles and chassés at Elite. Located in Colesville in the Cloverly Towne Center, Elite offers dance training for children aged preschool through high school in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical. There are also adult dance and Zumba classes. We like this place so much that I even drive around with one of those circle magnets on my car. That is love, I tell ya.

What is YOUR favorite place for kids’ classes? Leave your recs in the comments! 

Note: Although MYB and MBT are advertisers, all opinions are completely mine, this post is not part of our contract and all class enrollments in the programs mentioned are paid in full by my family. 

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

Ropes Course for Kids at Terrapin Adventures in Savage Mill


Terrapin Adventures in Savage Mill, Maryland has added a Terrapin Explorers course for kids age 5-9.

My Charlie and Eve were some of the first kids to try out the new course on opening day, and they were dazzled by the experience. Both of my kids are a little tentative when it comes to heights and risks, but the gentle, confident, plentiful staff members are with the children every step of the way. Knowing they had constant support made all the difference to Charlie and Eve, and gave them the confidence to walk tightropes, cross swinging bridges, crawl through suspended tunnels and even zip line.

The course has two levels, accessed by the decks of a wooden tree house home base. There are 22 elements for the kids to conquer.

There is a great viewing area for parents. My kids also had a great time on the outdoor climbing wall.

Children are completely and safely supported through harnesses, helmets and many safety procedures.

Matt Baker, Chief Adventure Officer at Terrapin Adventures, says, “This course adds a whole new dimension to our on-site programs. It is a new venue for parties and just plain outdoor fun to challenge your youngsters. Children can gain confidence, get exercise and soar through the air.”

While kids enjoy the course, packages are available so parents can climb the tower right next door and still be in sight of their children. Older siblings can always tackle the adult zipline, ropes course, giant swing or climbing tower.

Birthday parties are available.