Party on a Budget

Party on a Budget
By:  Angela Pounders
I told myself that I would not be the type of parent who would go all out and spend a lot of money for my children’s birthday parties.  Instead, I would buy a few themed items and work around that with what I had and/or buy some inexpensive items to go with it.  My parents never went all out and I have some of the best birthday memories.  To me, it’s not about how much money you spend, but about the time spent together.

This year, Sweet Girl, my (now) four year old, wanted an Elmer the Elephant party.  (He’s a patchwork elephant featured in books by David McKee.)  I couldn’t find party stuff to buy so I had to be creative. Love Bug, my (just turned) two year old, picked a Thomas the Tank Engine theme.  Of course, there is a ton of stuff out there with Thomas!  However, I ended up spending about the same for each girl’s party with these easy, fun and inexpensive ideas.

Plates and Napkins:  I always let the girls pick out plates and napkins that go along with their chosen theme.  We have done solid colored plates and printed napkins before as well.  I found the cutest elephant napkins that stand up.  There is a wide variety of designs available.  So, not only did we have napkins, but a table decoration at each spot! 

Tablecloth:  Go with a solid color and something that can be reused.  If you are having a bunch of children over, plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Store work great.  Oriental Trading has a good selection to.  We used our nice cloth tablecloths (you know, like the ones you pull out for the holidays) this year for the girls and it made them feel so special.

Decorations:  A lot of money can be spent in this category, but it doesn’t have to be.  I printed out color pictures of Elmer and his friends and also of Thomas and friends to hang around the living/dining rooms. I also printed some in black and white so the girls could color them and used those as decorations, too. You can find a lot of free printables online to go along with any theme.  I found some elephant party invitations at the Dollar Store and used those for decorations and for making Sweet Girl’s birthday card. Remember, think outside of the box!  Also, streamers and balloons in colors that go with your child’s theme are an inexpensive addition to the décor.  The Dollar Store is the best place to go for these disposable decorations.
The new idea I came up with this year is free!  I thought it would be fun to decorate using books.  Yes, the kind you read.  We went to the library and checked out a bag full of books for each girl’s theme.  We set the books up around the living/dining rooms.  They decorated the rooms and were in reach when the girls wanted to look at them.  You could also buy some new books for your child and put them out the morning of his/her birthday as a surprise.

Activities:  Again, you can find many free printables online with patterns and craft ideas.  There are also a variety of BINGO type game sheets that you can print out, too.

Sweet Girl really wanted to look like Elmer and asked if I could paint her.  Um, no, but how about coloring a t-shirt to wear instead?  I drew a checkerboard on a couple of t-shirts and let the girls go at them with fabric markers.  I even made one!  What child wouldn’t think it was neat to draw on and make his/her own shirt?  You could prep each shirt with a picture related to your child’s theme (draw it on, iron-ons, etc) and have each child decorate his own shirt.  An activity and party favor in one!

Cake:  Maybe you feel like you’ve saved enough money with everything else to buy a bakery made cake, but why not make one at home?  Whether you make it from scratch or a box, it is so fun to have the birthday child make the cake with you.  Sweet Girl even wanted to help place the animal cake toppers (which doubled as toys afterwards—another money saving tip!) on her cake.
I hope these fun, easy and inexpensive ideas help you with the next party you plan.  Remember to think outside of the box and be creative.  Think about how things can serve double functions to save even more money.  Spend more time and less money and everyone will benefit from it!

Angela Pounders is a transplant to Prince William County Park from Arlington.  She is blessed to be a stay at home mama to two beautiful girls.  As a former teacher (as well as preschool director and Children and Family Director), she is always on the look out for fun, easy and educational things to do with her girls.  She shares her ideas on her blog, The Master’s Daughter.


Favorite Books for Toddlers

Favorite Books for Toddlers
By Carolyn Brace

"Image courtesy of [Ambro] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

Once upon a time I used to read books to my pregnant belly. Then I read to my tiny little babies while they snuggled in my arms. Soon those books were chewed on with great love. Before I knew it we were reading books at every meal (a great time to read since they are a captive audience) and now we are constantly nagging our 8 year old to put away her book at dinner and talk to us. I live in a house with five children who love to read. They are ages 8, 5, and 2. No, that doesn’t equal five kids, until I mention that I have three 2 year olds. Three opinionated 2 year olds. It is wonderful that they love books, but with that love comes strong opinions and definite favorites. With that, I thought I would share my 2 year olds’ latest favorites with the hope that your children will enjoy them too.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

This book really touches on the bedtime routine and nervousness children feel when they are alone in their rooms. I recommend reading it with a great amount of drama and theatrical skills. Yell and holler along with Llama as he wonders where his mamma has gone. My children also like to point out Llama’s stuffed llama as they too sleep with stuffed animals. They clearly see themselves in Llama.

The Neighborhood Sing - Along and When will Sarah Come

The first book is written and photographed by Nina Crews, while the second is written by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard and photographed by Nina Crews. You may have read books by Nina Crews’ father, Donald Crews and she has clearly inherited his talent and vision. My children have always loved real photographs of people in books. They like to see other children’s actions, expressions, and movements. The Neighborhood Sing –Along is a collection of favorite children’s songs with authentic, beautiful pictures of children. The only downside is that it is long and my children want to read every single page of the book: sometimes twice.

When Will Sarah Come is perfect for any child with an older sibling who attends school. It is the story of a little boy who wonders all day long when his sister, Sarah, will be coming home. Life just isn’t the same without her. Its repetitive nature has my children reading along with me and happily predicting the ending.

Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Who needs words? Good Night Gorilla has only a handful of words but that is all it needs to capture my children’s attention. They love saying goodnight to all the animals and gasping with delight when there is nothing on the page but the surprised eyes of the zookeepers wife. (Once again, being theatrical is a big plus). With three children reading at the same time we opted for the lap book sized version and it wore out after receiving heaps of love.

Grandpas are for Catching Worms by Harriet Zeifert

What child doesn’t like to lift the flaps of a book? Many lift the flap books have lost their flaps in this house, but either my children are becoming more gentle or this book is sturdier because it still has all it’s flaps intact. This delightful story gives us a chance to remember our grandpa, who lives 10 hours away and is not seen too often, and to talk about all the wonderful things we can do together as families. Harriet Zeifert is a fantastic author for young children and also has lift-the-flap books for mommies, daddies, brothers, sisters, grandmas, cousins, teachers and many holidays.

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley and Don’t let the Pigeon Ride the Bus by Mo Willems

What 2-year-old child doesn’t want power and control? In these books the children get to tell the monster to go away and tell the pigeon “NO!” as he constantly asks to drive the bus. After only a few readings my children were happily yelling “Go Away” and “No” at these engaging books that encourage audience participation. Another plus? My 5 year old can easily memorize them and “read” them to his younger siblings.

Last, but not least, books with your children as the main characters!

I use Shutterfly to create books with pictures of my children. Whether it’s a quick book with the pictures of all the people we love or a long journey through our memories of the holiday season, children love to see themselves and the people they love. What is more fun than a book about yourself?!

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again. The best way to teach your children to read is to read to them. So grab any book and enjoy! You’ll create a foundation that is priceless.


Preschool Busy Bag Exchange

 Preschool Busy Bag Exchange 
by Courtney Power

If you already have a Pinterest account I am probably not going to tell you anything you don't already know. If, like me, you still don't pin keep reading because I've got an exciting idea for you. Preschool Busy Bag Exchange Being a non-pinner I had to google the term when an interest thread was started on my local neighborhood mom's Facebook page. Basically, it is the same principle as a cookie exchange but instead of baked goods you swap games/activities geared at the preschool age group.

As a mom of a 4yr old and 21 month old with self-professed "paint by numbers" crafting ability, I jumped at the idea of making multiple copies of a kid's game in exchange for getting back all new games in return. Our exchange was the Wednesday before Spring Break and the activities were lifesavers on vacation. A special thanks to Kelly who organized our neighborhood exchange and to all the other Montclair Moms who participated, you ladies ROCK!

We had 16 moms participate in our exchange. This may seem like a lot, especially when you’re in the throes of making 16 copies of a game, but when you walk away with 15 new games it is totally worth it. Below are pictures of the different games made. [Note: there are 17 items listed because two were bundled together] Some are overtly educational (alphabet match-up), some are just for fun (I-spy bottles) and some build great fine motor skills (anything with clothespins). While this was titled as “preschool” busy bag exchange the games really fit a spectrum of ages. My youngest one uses the I-spy bottle as a shaker and loves the pool noddle threading with no concern for following a pattern whereas my older child can easily do color matching but has been stretched by letter and sound identification.

A picture of my haul!

1) Counting/Shaking Eggs: match egg top and bottom, insert lentils or candy to match the number
2) Connect the Dots: a laminated flip book of connect the dots puzzles and a dry erase marker
3) Color Match: grab color card with appropriate clothespin
4) Number Tracing: trace numbers with monster finger puppet using rhyme to help remember
5) I-spy Bottles: small water bottles filled with rice and assorted treasures to find
6) Pool Noodle Lacing: pool noodle segments of different colors & numbers, pattern cards to replicate

7) Double Trouble: use the loose shapes to recreate the patterns
8) Felt Puzzle: match felt puzzle pieces to outline on background
9) Magnetic Fishing: wooden dowel fishing pole, felt fish with shapes and numbers
10) Color/Number Wheel: grab color or number with appropriate clothespins
11) Popsicle Shape Makers: Velcro dots allow creating of shapes with Popsicle sticks

12) Popsicle Stick Puzzle: line up popsicle sticks to create the puzzle image
13) Lacing Cards: practice lacing shoelace in the holes
14) Playdough Gingerbread House Mats: use playdough to make assigned number of decorations
15) Pipe Cleaner Threading: thread appropriate color and number of beads on the pipe cleaners
16) Colored Animal Sorting: use tweezers to sort animal figurines by color or animal type
17) Alphabet Match Up & Beginning Word Sounds: match uppercase letter bottle cap to lowercase letter or to picture that matches the beginning word sound

If you are interested this would be great to do just before school ends, in the middle of summer when boredom sets in or anytime really. Some thoughts on successfully executing a busy bag exchange. -- 16 participants were a lot and more than probably a high threshold level. You want to have enough participants to make the crafting effort worth your time and money, especially since it is generally more cost effective to buy materials in bulk but not too many that it becomes overwhelming and you run the risk of repeat or extremely similar activities. -- we used a Facebook event to organize our exchange. This way each participant could post a link to or describe what they planned on making (avoiding repeats). You could also feasibly use a Facebook group to coordinate as well. The communal forum also allowed for sharing of supplies that participants might have had in excess or weren't using. -- the exchange date should be set a couple of weeks if not at least a month from the initial setup time. This gives everyone time to browse for ideas, shop the sales and make the game/activity. -- Pinterest and Google are great places to get ideas. There are a ton of very crafty mom bloggers out there. -- for all you military mommas out there we had a participant from out of state who mailed in her contribution. If you were organizing for a geographically separated group you could either share addresses or ship to a single POC who would then separate, collate and ship.

The school year is drawing to an end of if you are going to host one of these with your child and classmates, now’s the time to start organizing!

Courtney Power is an Air Force wife and mom to two crazy kids. She lives in Montclair and can’t say enough good things about the Prince William County community and Montclair Moms in particular. 


National Park Week April 22-26

Coming up next week is the 2013 National Park Week! From Mon. April 22 -  Fri. April 26 you can get free admission to national parks! So pack up the kids and a picnic and get your park-playtime on!

Here in Prince William County, that means free admission to:
Other parks that will have free admission that may be worth a day trip are:

Find a complete list of parks participating in other states, by visiting the NPS website here.
Thank you Beltway Bargain Mom for sharing!


New Chick-fil-A Salads & Wraps

Chick-fil-A has been listening to what customers want when they visit restaurants – and that’s more nutritious options made with premium ingredients packed full of flavor. Two recent studies found that:

  • 50% of consumers want restaurants to offer healthier foods
  • 64% of consumers agree that it is important to eat healthy and pay attention to nutrition
  • 38% of consumers are more likely to visit restaurants with healthy menu options
  • 48% of consumers are very likely to try new or unique flavors    
Chick-fil-A is confident customers will find that in its new salads and wrap.

That’s right…On April 29, Chick-fil-A’s® entrée salad line is getting a makeover. The company is introducing three new premium salads – the Chick-fil-A® Cobb Salad, Chick-fil-A® Asian Salad, Chick-fil-A® Grilled Market Salad – as well as an improved Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap® for the health-conscious customer. All three of the new salads contain two full servings of vegetables and are each less than 430 calories. Check out this video for a “Behind the Scenes” look at the new Chick-fil-A salads.

In addition to these new nutritious menu items, Chick-fil-A is adding calorie counts to its menu boards nationally in conjunction with the salads launch. The new menu boards are just another way Chick-fil-A has made nutritional information easily accessible to its customers, including an online meal calculator, in-restaurant nutrition pamphlets and even nutritional information printed from the register upon request.

I'll be giving away four (yes 4!!) Chick-fil-A gift cards with a free salad/wrap offer each month through April!  
To enter, tell us your favorite Chick-fil-A location in a post below and "Like" us on Facebook. You can also "like" your favorite CFA location on Facebook for extra chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: The giveaway items were provided to me free of charge and I received a gift card to enjoy myself too. All opinions shared on this blog are always my own. 


Happening This Weekend: City of Manassas 6th Annual Spring Cleaning Day

The City of Manassas 6th Annual Spring Cleaning Day is more than what it sounds like.  The day is packed with festivities!  Kids will be able to make earth friendly art projects, live entertainment will be on hand, there will be free pedicab rides, community organizations will have booths with giveaways, food vendors, police and fire trucks, and  much, much more!

For all the details, as well as a schedule of events, please visit the official website at:




Tickets on sale Saturday, April 20 at 10:00am!

November 27 • 6:30pm

(4500 Patriot Circle Fairfax, VA – George Mason University)

 The Fresh Beat BandNickelodeon’s preschool music group and stars of the hit TV series of the same name, are giving fans one more chance to see them live as they hit the road again for 60 performances on their nationwide concert tour.  The live concert comes to Fairfax, VA on November 27, 2013.  The wildly popular The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert Tour will resume on Nov. 12, 2013 in San Antonio, TX.  The band will travel to theaters in new markets and revisit places including New York City’s Theater at Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater L.A. Live.  In 2012, more than 400,000 fans saw the concert making it one of the year’s most successful music tours. 

ON SALE: Presale for CITI® Card Members Starts Tuesday, April 16th at 10 AM; Tickets Go on Sale to General Public Saturday, April 20 at 10:00 AM at LiveNation.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Patriot Center box office (M-Th 10a-7p, F-Sat 10a-5:30p), or charge by phone (800) 745-3000.

PRICES: $49.50, $39.50 (Reserved)
All dates, acts and ticket prices subject to change without notice. Ticket prices subject to applicable fees.

About Live Nation Entertainment:
Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment and ecommerce company, comprised of four market leaders: Ticketmaster.com, Live Nation Concerts, Artist Nation and Live Nation Network. Ticketmaster.com is the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five ecommerce sites, with a database of over 119 million fans who visit our sites. Live Nation Concerts produces over 22,000 shows annually for more than 2,300 artists globally. Artist Nation is the world’s top artist management company, representing over 200 artists. These businesses power Live Nation Network, the leading provider of entertainment marketing solutions, enabling nearly 800 advertisers to tap into the 250 million consumers Live Nation delivers annually through its live event and digital platforms. For additional information, visit www.livenation.com/investors.


4 simple ways to sneak exercise into your day!

4 simple ways to sneak exercise into your day!

 Gone are the days when I had hours to spend at the gym or time for long runs through the neighborhood. Now that I am a stay at home mom with 4 small kids, I have to make sure to grab all opportunities to sneak some 'fitness' into my day! Here are 4 simple ways to help you fit in fitness:

 1. Dance parties! My kids love when I put on loud music (especially Gangham Style, of course!) and we dance all around the house. You are guaranteed to work up a sweat if you do this for 30-40 minutes.

 2. Lunge, squat, lunge. Whether we are at the park or just playing in the basement, I practice this one. I lunge, I squat, I lunge. Repeat as many times possible. Do this 4-5 times per week and you will notice firmer and stronger legs.

 3. Make use of your stairs. I don't have a gym membership, but who needs one when you have a built in stair master in your house? Here is a stair workout that I love to do 2-3 times per week. Quick and intense!

4. Races! My boys are very competitive and love to race Mommy. Sometimes, I even let them win! ;) Either way, we do this over and over for 20-30 minutes and I'm exhausted. The extra bonus is they are usually exhausted too!   How do you squeeze fitness into your day?  

Lisa is a stay at home mom of 4 boys (ages 7 and under). In her life before kids, she was a personal trainer and marathon runner. Now she blogs at Workout Mommy to provide motivation, inspiration, and ideas on how to fit in exercise, fitness, and health in your busy day. She firmly believes that exercise is what keeps her (somewhat) sane and it's a lot cheaper than therapy! Workout Mommy can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


Get Outdoors with NoVA Outdoors

If you haven't heard about NoVA Outdoors, our area's finest blog for reviewing parks and playgrounds, you've been missing out!  You can expand the county list on the left sidebar to find a large number of parks in Northern Virginia and beyond.  Families love the honest reviews and pictures, so you can "know before you go."  

I got a chance to chat with Kamber Petty,  local mom and founder of NoVA Outdoors and asked her a couple of questions. 

Kamber Petty, NoVA Outdoors

What do you look for when reviewing parks and playgrounds?

When I'm reviewing parks I look for fun equipment for the kids to play on, restrooms for the potty training crowd and natural areas where the kids can walk the trails. Safety is always a concern so I look for parks that are kept up and if the equipment is in good shape.

Have you had any funny moments on any of your adventures. 
One of the many funny moments I've had over the past two years while reviewing parks was with my oldest Cooper. Cooper was 3 years old at the time and I asked him what he thought of the park we were at. I'll never forget, he put his hands on hips and in a very serious voice he told me he was concerned there were no swings for his baby brother Max. From that day on every time we get in the car after a park visit he lets me know what he likes about the park and what was missing.

Although the website boasts many, many reviews.  Here are some that are specific to towns in Prince William County. Click on the town to read the reviews. 

Article written by Micaela WIlliamson, author of Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents DRAGONS

My mom got to take my kids to the opening night performance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® presents DRAGONS last night and they had a blast!
In honor of the Year of the Dragon, Ringling Bros. and Bailey presents DRAGONS at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA! 

DRAGONS performs at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. from April 10 – 21. 
My kids enjoyed the daring Kiev Aerial Troupe, a unique, never-before-seen act specifically designed for the DRAGONS performance. Spinning 30 feet in the air in specially-designed Plexiglas spheres measuring five feet in diameter, the nimble young women execute striking aerial poses and maneuvers. The Kung Fu Kings displayed awe-inspiring martial arts and stunts which wowed the crowd. Plus the clowns and animals were also favorites.

Here's more information about the performance! 

Description: The anticipation builds throughout DRAGONS as Children of All Ages bear witness to one phenomenal Ringling Bros. circus act after another. From Shaolin Warriors who execute intense and fearless Kung Fu martial arts dating back to the 5th Century, to the equestrian acrobat Cossack Riders who perform intricate maneuvers on horseback, to the Torres Family who will shatter all records by putting eight family members on specialized motorcycles in the Globe of Steel. Each performance pays tribute to the spirit and strength of the DRAGON. You can only experience this kind of fiery excitement at Ringling Bros.
The All Access Pre-show Party is hosted one hour before show time and is free to ticket holders. The Pre-show allows audience members to meet and take photos with performers, try on circus costumes, learn circus skills and have the chance to win a masterpiece painting by one of the Ringling Bros. artistic Asian elephants. 

The Patriot Center | April 10 – April 21, 2013

 Show times:
 ·       Wednesday, April 10 – 7:00 pm
 ·       Thursday, April 11 – 7:00 pm
 ·       Friday, April 12 – 10:30 am, 7:30 pm
 ·       Saturday, April 13 – 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm
 ·       Sunday, April 14 – 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm
 ·       Thursday, April 18 – 7:00 pm
 ·       Friday, April 19 – 1:00 pm; 7:30 pm
 ·       Saturday, April 20 – 11:30 am, 3:30 pm; 7:30 pm
 ·       Sunday, April 21 – 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm
Fairfax Ticket Prices: $15.00/$20.00/$30.00 (Circus Celebrity, Front Row and VIP available)
Plus you can get a discount by entering code MOM (Save 40% on weekday shows Monday - Thursday. Save 20% off weekend shows Friday - Sunday)
Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 800-745-3000, via www.ticketmaster.com, and the Patriot Center box office.

Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending show and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. All opinions shared are my own


Arts Alive Free Festival!

Saturday, April 13, 2013
Noon to 8:00 p.m.

Hylton Performing Arts Center
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Arts Alive is a free festival with performing and visual arts on multiple stages, booths, children's activities, unique vendors and artisans, face painting, live demonstrations, make and take art projects, and more!

This event is a definite "don't miss" for Prince William County families and gets rave reviews each year.  Be sure to check it out!


Arts Alive! 2013

Coming April 13th from 12pm-8pm
FREE, family-friendly arts festival hosted by the PWC Arts Council.

Come out to the new and beautiful Hylton Performing Arts Center to enjoy all the different outlets of the arts. Experience the local artists in our area and be entertained by their talents and abilities. Experience everything from food to dance. Fun is garunteed at this festival so don't miss out! Remember, this great opportunity is FREE so be sure to tell everyone and bring them too!

Hylton Performing Arts Address:
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, VA 20110

Follow us on Twitter! @PWCArts

(Note from Kristina- you won't need all day for this event, and plan to bring cash if you want to eat.  The performances are good, and Ruth from Edgemoor usually has painting, but other than that, expect lots of vendors and local artists selling books, photographs, jewelry, etc.)


Movers & Shakers Kids' Club at Manassas Mall

From January through October, the Manassas Mall Movers & Shakers Kids' Club takes place at 10 AM in the JC Penney Court.  Events feature musical performances, sing-a-longs, puppet shows, read alouds, interactive movement, and more.  Plus Discovery Junction is always there with fun magnetic creations for hands on play.  Check out the upcoming programs:

April 10, 2013 at 10 AM: Peter McCory Concert, Discovery Junction, and Fit & Healthy Schools

Join Peter McCory; the One Man Band; along with Fit & Healthy Schools at 10am in JCPenney Court, for an hour of moving and shaking to the music! 

May 8, 2013 at 10 AM: Uncle Pete Show, Discovery Junction, and Fit & Healthy Schools
Join Uncle Pete; along with Fit & Healthy Schools at 10am in JCPenney Court, for an hour of moving and shaking to the music! 

June 12, 2013 at 10 AM:  Mr. Don, Discovery Junction, and Fit & Healthy Schools

Join Mr. Don; along with Fit & Healthy Schools at 10am in JCPenney Court, for an hour of moving and shaking to the music! 

More programs July-October 2013 available at http://www.manassasmall.com/events.aspx

* Discovery Junction will be on hand with Magnetic Creations; let your child come play and use his imagination to create robots and much more with Magnetic Creations! For more information on Discovery Junction visit their website at www.discoveryjunction.org

*Find out more about Fit & Healthy Schools at www.fitnhealthyschools.org or facebook them on FitNHealthySchools


Occoquan Mother's Day Basket Giveaway 2013

Win The Clotheslines' Mothers Day Gift Basket

Mothers Day Basket Give Away
Register to win this amazing gift basket from the shops on Washington Street
One ticket everyday, one additional ticket
with a minimum $25.00 purchase from

Touch of Gold*
Willow Street Decor
The Clothesline
Drawing will be held Saturday, May 11th at 2:00pm. Winner need not be present.
Additional tickets may be purchased at $2.00 each.


Potomac Mills Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Simon Kidgits Club


Simon Kidgits Club highlights a decade of fun, educational programming
for children and parents

WOODBRIDGE, VA (April 4, 2013) — To celebrate Simon Kidgits Club®’s 10 years of delivering entertaining, educational programming to kids at Simon® malls, Potomac Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the Washington, D.C. area, is offering Kidgits Club members a birthday puzzle when they visit Simon Guest Services in Neighborhood 4 (near the Food Court) with a valid Kidgits membership card throughout the month of April. Children will also receive birthday bubbles* during of the Kidgits Club’s spring event on Thursday, April 18 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

As part of the ongoing anniversary celebration, children of all ages will spring into fun at this special Third Thursday event held at Bloomingdale’s – The Outlet Store in Potomac Mills’ Neighborhood 1 Fashion District.  Kidgits Club members will enjoy live musical entertainment from local children’s performer,Banjo Man Frank Cassel, delight in complimentary refreshments courtesy of Starbucks and Rita’s Ice and giveaways for moms and dads. In addition to birthday bubbles, children will also receive a complimentary pinwheel* in celebration of spring. Plus, for just $1, attendees will be able to enjoy VIK (Very Important Kid) goodie bags filled with delicious snacks**.

Introduced to Simon mall shoppers in 2003 by Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, the Simon Kidgits Club is a fun and informative program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3 to 8. Throughout the past decade, the Simon Kidgits Club has served as a community event staple for kids and parents by rewarding young members for good behavior; offering reading hours featuring favorite children’s authors; helping children enjoy time in the kitchen; and celebrating holidays like Halloween, Christmas and Easter.

More than 100 Simon malls, including Potomac Mills, offer Simon Kidgits’ Club programs which have played a key role in reaching the following milestones:
·         Engaging with over 1.8 million parents and kids since the inception of the program.
·         Hosting more than 10,000 family-focused events with more than 1,000 events annually.
·         Celebrating more than one million children’s birthdays by sending cards and receiving gifts.

Families are invited to join Simon Kidgits Club and receive a variety of benefits. Each Simon Kidgits Club member receives his or her own official Simon Kidgits Club membership package and T-shirt at the time of enrollment. Other benefits include: a ‘spin’ at the prize wheel whenever the Kidgits Club member visits the mall; special invitations to programs and events at the mall; special discounts and rewards for members only; a Birthday Club (including birthday card and gift redemption certificate); and a periodic newsletter with games, educational features and special news.

“The impact the Simon Kidgits Club has had on our members over the last decade has been phenomenal,” said Cathi Weiner, Senior Vice President, Simon Brand Ventures, “and we have also been able to use the platform as a catalyst to build relationships with consumer packaged goods companies, toy brands and entertainment properties who want to easily and directly reach parents and kids. Shoppers and sponsors alike realize the power of the mall as an entertainment and learning destination. The scope of the program has exceeded our expectations and we’re looking forward to the next 10 years.”

“Thousands of children and their parents participate in Kidgits Club activities each year,” said Jayne Stilson, SPG’s Assistant Vice President of Business Development who helped launch the Kidgits Club and has directed the program since its inception. Stilson continues, “Kidgits Club programming is varied but has always emphasized fun and learning. We’ve had a great time.”

For more information about the Simon Kidgits Club, visit Simon.com/Kidgits.

* While supplies last

** All of the proceeds collected from the VIK bags will benefit Simon Youth Foundation, which helps at-risk students earn high school diplomas and scholarships to realize their dream of going to college.

About Potomac Mills
Potomac Mills is the Washington, DC area’s largest outlet mall with more than 220 stores including Bloomingdale’s – The Outlet Store, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, True Religion Outlet, Michael Kors Outlet, Talbots Outlet, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, J.Crew | Crewcuts and Ann Taylor Factory Store.  In addition, the center boasts over 25 eateries and the AMC Potomac Mills 18 Theatres with IMAX.  A much anticipated new restaurant expansion has added The Cheesecake Factory and Bahama Breeze to the mix, with Bobby’s Burger Palace to follow later this year.  

Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world.  The Company currently owns or has an interest in 326 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 242 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S.  For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at www.simon.com.

About The Mills, A Simon Company
The Mills®, one of Simon Property Group's five real estate platforms, offers a unique brand of shopping with a mix of popular name brand outlets, value retailers and full-price stores, plus family-oriented dining and entertainment concepts. The Mills are well-located in major metropolitan markets and many are recognized as leading tourism destinations. Notable properties include Arundel Mills (Baltimore), Gurnee Mills (Chicago), Grapevine Mills (Dallas), Ontario Mills (Los Angeles), Opry Mills (Nashville), Potomac Mills (Washington, DC) and Sawgrass Mills (Ft. Lauderdale/Miami).

Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world.  The Company currently owns or has an interest in 325 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 242 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S.  For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at www.simon.com.

About Simon Brand Ventures
Simon Brand Ventures (SBV), Simon's business-to-consumer arm, is pioneering the transformation of shopping centers into a medium where consumer brands can build relationships with Simon shoppers who make over 2.8 billion visits each year.  Simon's vast franchise of market-leading shopping centers nationwide provides SBV the foundation to monetize the distribution system through numerous consumer ventures. SBV and its affiliates have engaged in a number of consumer business initiatives, including the Simon Visa Giftcard® and the American Express®/Simon Giftcard; launch of Simon platform programs such as Simon dTour Live® and Simon Kidgits Club®; a national media delivery channel including static, digital and experiential marketing and advertising vehicles; and multiple national and local marketing alliances with Coca-Cola and Visa U.S.A. among others.

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