Blog: Things We've Tried This Week

(PS- this covers more than a week, but "Things We've Tried the Past Fortnight" seemed a little too formal for me!)

I am really not a ton of fun since my brain tumor.

That sucker slowed my activity level down substantially. Unfortunately, that slows down my writing, too.

I feel like we don't "go and do" as fast or as much as I used to, but we're so lucky and blessed to have people that have stepped up in my place.  My kids have enjoyed getting to try new things with new people who have offered to help our family, and that makes me so happy :) I may not always be the one taking them to do things, but I know they're having a great time, anyway!

This past weekend, my daughter was able to check out Lake Ridge Nursery's Pumpkin Patch, which is open through this evening, but will be open again next year, so no worries!  A great neighbor and her granddaughter took her.  Savannah, my daughter, loved all the bouncy houses and the racing toilets.

No joke.  They have toilets you race.

At $15 on the weekend, I consider this to be pretty pricey, but there is a lot to do, and you don't have to leave Woodbridge.  A snack (apple or ice cream cone) is included in admission.  Pumpkins are by the pound, so we usually opt to hit the grocery store and get them at a flat price.

Next, my Sister in Law came into town and we happened past Confections Cupcakery during their weekly Sunday Happy Hour, where cupcakes are $1 while supplies last.  They announce the hours on their facebook page each week, and it was 4:30 the day we went.  Some weeks, they apparently sell out before happy hour begins!  I'd been to Confections once before when they first opened, and to be honest, I wasn't super impressed.  However, I'm really glad that we went back because the cupcakes were moist and the frosting wasn't too sweet! Plus, I loved the seasonal flavors, like pumpkin spice.  I love anything pumpkin!!
Pictured: Snickers, Vanilla, Pumpkin, Cookies and Cream, Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate, Red Velvet, Salted Caramel (take II), Lemon, Apple, Snickerdoodle, and Coconut.

If you head over for cupcake happy hour, you'll want to be sure to arrive early.  We arrived at 4:25 and there was already a line!! Also, note that it's first come, first served.  There was a very angry lady who didn't want to wait in the line and asked if she could pay full price if she could just go first, but the answer was no- so don't think you can cut the line!!

Finally, and this is going back a weekend, we were able to check out Prince William Recycles Day, which was really really cool.  I'll do a separate post just on that, but I wanted to mention that the Prince William Landfill facility is really neat!! They offer bus tours (and when you're a homeschooler that would be a walker, getting on a bus is a big freakin deal!) of the facility, and we learned a lot! First, we learned that the landfill uses pipes to extract methane gas from the trash, which it turns into energy in an on-site power plant.  We also learned that using various recycling and junk programs, the landfill has drastically reduced the amount of waste that actually goes into the ground.  The tour was really  neat- and with good reason, apparently people come from all over the world to tour our landfill! Who knew! Field trips are available.


Giveaway: The Smart Car Wash

One of our newest sponsors, The Smart Car Wash has an awesome giveaway this week for a $50 gift card for services of your choice! Whether you use this to clean up your own car (and we all know that mommy cars are a mess, let's be honest) or save it for the special guy in your life as an awesome gift, this is definitely one giveaway we could all use!! 

Located at 13589 Minnieville Road in Woodbridge (behind the Dunkin Donuts right before/after Lowes depending on your direction!), The Smart Car Wash is the World's first LEED certified wash- meaning that you're being eco friendly AND cleaning your car!  

A few fast facts about The Smart Car Wash:

-Recycles 100% of its water
-Collects 100,000 gallons of rain water from its roof, which it cleans into drinking water
-Uses 100% Wind Turbine enegry
-Uses only 40 gallons of water to make your car sparkle- the average home wash uses 140 gallons
You can learn more about their commitment to being eco-friendly on their website

The Smart Wash offers both exterior-only washes, full service washes, and detailing packages.  Exterior only washes start at just $10, but right now, they're running a $5 wash promotion through the end of November.  If you want to upgrade, they're running a few coupon specials, too!

Definitely check out The Smart Car Wash in Woodbridge for an eco-friendly car wash!! 

Want to enter to win our $50 Gift Card Giveaway? Use the Rafflecopter Below!

As always, prize is provided by post sponsor, in this case, The Smart Car Wash.  Please refer to their materials for any liability/release.  PwcMoms is not responsible for services provided.  Apple/Google Play/Facebook/Twitter are not affiliated with this giveaway.  For our full contest rules, which you agree to by entering, please click HERE.  The Smart Car Wash is a paying sponsor of PwcMoms.com. 


Northern Virginia Players Presents: Dr. Doolittle Junior

Northern Virginia Players is thrilled to announce their next musical, Doctor Dolittle, Jr.  The classic tale of kindness to animals comes to life in the stage adaption of the original Doctor Dolittle! Animal kindnesses will trot, crawl and fly its way onto the stage and into your hearts in DOCTOR DOLITTLE JR. With a cast of 54, all of the characters we've come to love through the stories of Hugh Lofting and the magical movie musical are given new life in the JUST released stage version.  The musical tells the classic tale of a wacky but kind Doctor who can talk to animals. The show takes the audience on a journey from the small English village of Puddleby-in-the-Marsh to the far corners of the world in search for the Great Pink Sea Snail--the oldest and wisest of the creatures on earth.
Northern Virginia Players has been thrilling audiences with their musicals since their inception.  Outstanding action, music, sets, and costumes will bring this loved musical to life and is sure to continue in their tradition of thrilling audiences of all ages.  Show dates:  November 8, 9, 15, and 16 at 7:30.  Matinee shows November 9 and 16 at 1:30.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit their website at NVPlayers.com or call  703-866-3546.  Group rates are available.  Call for group information.  Please stop by their FB page for pictures of previous productions:  NVPlayers
In keeping with our commitment to community service, Northern Virginia Players will be accepting monetary donations to benefit America’s Vet Dogs.  Their mission is “to help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.”  Collections will take place at all 6 shows.  Join us in helping our veterans talk to the animals. http://www.vetdogs.org/
Don’t miss this one!


Week in Preview: October 28- November 3, 2013

Soooo, I'm a little behind and Monday's half over.  

I'm sorry.

Here we go:

Pre-register/Pick up Tickets for:
Reptile World Third Annual Janice Eisenhart Memorial Program. Learn about the facinating world of reptiles during this captivating program with LIVE animals! (please note: this program will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.) For students in grades K and up and their parents. Free tickets are required and will be available beginning October 28.  (Program will be held November 4 at 7pm at Central Library) 

November 7th at 9:45am- Dr. Suess (Ages 3-5) Code 310401
Let your imagination run wild with Dr. Suess. Join us as we read several of his books and explore them through various projects and activities. $15 SBDCRC November 7th at 9:45am *Note: Let’s Celebrate Fall and Dr. Suess have the same ID Code in the magazine, so confirm you are registered for the correct class when calling.

November 7th at 7pm at Bull Run Library- Tell everyone what you're thankful for with this fun centerpiece for your family's Thanksgiving table. Grades K-5. Younger siblings welcome with an adult. Registration required, online, by phone or in person.

Wonderful Wednesday at the Freedom Center in Manassas- Pumpkins: Get ready for fall and Halloween with a day of pumpkin arts and crafts. Caregiver participation required. Cost is $10/class. (703) 993-8444

Girls Lock In and Sleepover (3rd-5th Graders) Code 310204
Join us for a night full of fun.  Snacks and Breakfast will be provided.  Come dressed in your favorite PJs and fuzzy slippers.  Pre-registration required by November 1.  For girls only in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade.  $30, CAFC November 16th 7pm-7am

Monday, October 28
From 2-3, join Potomac Library for a Halloween "Mish Mash": Wear your costume, if you'd like, and join us for stories, songs and fingerplays for children ages 2-5. We will have trick-or-treat after the stories! Drop in; no registration required.

I joke about being jealous of all the pink breast cancer events (Brain Awareness is Grey.  You know who wants to eat grey yogurt or buy grey shirts? Nobody.), however it's important and Novant Health has a fun event where you can get screened, too, tonight from 6-9pm in Haymarket: Our popular Ladies’ Night Out event is back and bigger than ever before. Shop jewelry styles and accessories while trying the latest makeup trends, sampling tasty appetizers and sipping mocktails. Enjoy a complimentary chair massage, enter to win fabulous prizes and walk home with a swanky swag bag. Most important, take the time to get your screening mammogram while supporting other women. Be part of the power of pink and join us. 

Tuesday, October 29
Don't run out of time to visit the pumpkin patch!! Our Fall Fun Guide has a big list of them, as well as trunk or treats and more! 

Spooky Tots at Virginia Gateway, Atlas Walk in Gainesville, will be at 10:30am.  This free event will include songs, facepainting, Halloween Crafts, giveaway, and more! 

Wednesday, October 30
Trick or Treat at Envoy! On Wednesday, October 30th Envoy Nursing home will be giving out candy to little trick or treaters that show up at our facility between 2pm and 6pm. This offers a safe environment for little ones to trick or treat and allows our residents to enjoy seeing them in their costumes! (14906 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Woodbridge, VA 22191) We'll be there at 4pm. 

From 4-7pm, kids who come in costume will get a free 4 count kids meal at Chick Fil A Sudley Manor (Manassas)

Thursday, October 31 HALLOWEEN
Chinn Library will host two costume parades, one at 10:30am and one at 2pm.  

Join the Marketplace at Madison Crescent for face painting, goody bags, trick or treat, and a costume contest with cash prizes from 3pm-5pm! 

We've got trunk-or-treat or trick-or-treat events on the calendar at Manassas Mall, Potomac Mills Mall, Manassas Park Community Center, Manassas St. Thomas and Church on the Move,

Friday, November 1
As the weather gets colder, figure out your favorite indoor play area!! We've got bounce houses like Kids N Motion, House of Bounce, Jump N Jimmys and more!! We'd love your feedback as it's been years since we've been to some of them! Send your reviews to us via email or Facebook

Saturday, November 2
Haven't had enough Halloween yet? A zombie walk is what happens when a group of people dress up like zombies, meet someplace and then lurch, shuffle and basically go for a walk together making zombie noises.  The 3rd Annual Fredericksburg Zombie Walk, benefiting the Hope House, SECA, the King George Food Bank and S.E.R.V.E, will take place November 2nd, 2013. Please bring a nonperishable food item, a household cleaning product or a roll of paper towels to donate and read the event information in its entirety.

From 7:30-10, Middle Schoolers can enjoy a night out at Chinn Rec Center: DJ/Music, wallyball, dodgeball, basketball, lounge area.  7:30-10pm $5, PWCS Student ID required. Grades 6-8 ONLY. 

Sunday, November 3
Middle and High Schoolers can enjoy a free open gym at Potomac Crest Baptist Church beginning at 6pm. 


Sponsored Post: Animated Child Programs for Fall

We are so thankful for all the businesses that support what we're doing at PwcMoms!! Animated Child is one of our fantastic sponsors, and we want to share with you more about a few of the programs they offer.

1. Before/After School Care:
Animated Child is the alternative to typical Before and After School Care.  Our program allows children to explore and learn while they spend  time in our Open Exploration area. Many parents have compared it to a children's museum! We ditch the traditional teaching model and learn science, technology, engineering and math in a completely hands-on environment.  Children can feed our animals in the Nature Smarts area and construct buildings in our Spatial Smarts area. Homework help is always at the ready and our S.T.E.M. room houses multiple computers for online learning. Join our program and receive 2-FREE Weeks of tuition! 
Call 703-763-0003 for enrollment information.

2. Classes in Language, Art, Social Skills, and STEM Topics
Animated Child is full service enrichment center offering classes in Spanish, French, Art, 2-D Gaming Design and P.E.E.R.S. social skills. Language classes are $200  for 1 class per week. $340 for 2 classes per week. Classes are in 8 week sessions. Enrollment is ongoing. Register any time!  Membership guarantees enrollment and great discounts.

3.  Open Play and Parents Nights Out
The Animated Child provides an integrated environment where children are encouraged to be curious and independent. Our setting is created for the inquisitive child. We aspire to develop a deep sense of self in our children.
Open Exploration Times: (Monday-Friday)
9:00am-10:30am                    Open Explorations are $9 ($7 for members)
Open Exploration Times: (Saturday)
The atmosphere is made to promote imaginative and creative problem-solving skills that generate intrinsic motivation. The Animated Child exists to bring into being an organic movement of emotionally balanced children that recognize abilities within themselves. Our innovative center is inspired by the multiple intelligences of Gardner’s theory, and we engage children in every element in order to highlight their unique way of learning. The vital element of emotional and social intelligence with a global perspective makes the Animated Child a leader in children’s education. The Animated Child recognizes the crucial value of a second language and provides a playful curriculum for complete immersion in language and culture.
4.  Birthday Parties
Various theme options available, including Minecraft!! Visit the website for details and options, as well as pricing. 


Giveaway: Game Truck of Woodbridge Party!

 Today's super fun giveaway comes to you from our sponsor, Game Truck of Woodbridge.  We're incredibly thankful for the businesses that support what we're doing here at PwcMoms, so that we can keep bringing you free events, ideas, and more!! Thanks, Game Truck! 
 Game Truck of Woodbridge will come to your event location and host an awesome party.  They run a state-of-the-art Mobile Game Theater featuring four flat screen TVs, dozens of video games, the latest consoles, climate control (yes, you can even party in the truck now that it's getting cold!!) and experienced GameCoaches who staff your party!!  
Whether your child is a gaming aficionado and would love a high-tech party, or you're hosting a larger event for your organization or business, Game Truck of Woodbridge has you covered! 

Here's what other parents have to say!
"I was amazed by it all and from beginning to end they made me comfortable with my decision to choose Game Truck for my son's birthday. He was so happy and is still talking about it I can't wait to do it again. We most definitely will be doing it again =) THANK YOU" 

"I have nothing to suggest! Game Truck was a wonderful addition to our Labor Day event for the staff and residents of SERVE. Thank you for sharing the day with us!" 
"Awesome awesome awesome! My son loved it as the birthday boy :) 

For Today's Giveaway, here's what they're offering!!

Enjoy an exciting party in comfort and style with GameTruck of Woodbridge. With our state-of-the-art Mobile Game Theater featuring five flat screen TVs, dozens of video games, the latest consoles, climate control, and staffed by experienced GameCoaches, we bring you the ultimate gaming experience. We handle schools, corporate events, private parties and birthday parties.

While supplies last all party guests get a Skylanders Swap Force poster and a Trash Pack toy collectible. The birthday VIP also gets Skylanders Swap Force figure. 

Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't win (or can't wait!) here's a bonus:
We would also like to make a special offer to PWCMOMS. Book a 2 hour party and save $40 when you mention coupon code (ZM42). Coupon is only good for the Woodbridge location and areas we serve. Offer expires Nov 15th Call Andrea at 703-946-5088 or email andrea.smith@gametruckparty.com to book your party today or get more information. 

Disclaimer: Game Truck of Woodbridge is a paying advertiser, and PwcMoms has not tried their services.  Prize is provided by Game Truck of Woodbridge, please refer to their materials for waivers/terms/conditions.  By entering, you agree to be bound by our rules for giveaways.  As always, our giveaways are not affiliated with Facebook/twitter/iTunes/Apple/GooglePlay or anyone who's raking in the cash with a forklift.  Good luck! 


Fitness Standards in PWCS

Awhile back on Facebook (click on "Facebook" to read the conversation), I shared a news story about the new fitness program that took over for the Presidential Fitness Awards.  Now called "The Presidents Challenge" the program includes some things I considered questionable, including a pinch test to determine BMI. The article itself was about a girl receiving a letter that she was overweight- and looking at her, I'm not sure I see it.  In fact, I know I don't.

Anyway, we finished up the conversation with me promising that I would hound email PWCS and get some firm answers.  Took awhile, but I was put in touch with their head of Physical Education, who provided me with the following documents.  PWCS does not participate in the President's Challenge, but they do have their own similar program.  It DOES include a skin fold BMI.  Now, we had teachers respond that they did not believe PWCS would ever do a BMI on a kid, and that might be true at individual schools, but this is the policy I was provided, so I'm sharing it with you.

Here's the info:

Guest Post: Prince William Living Creative Halloween Drinks

This post is reprinted with permission from Prince William Living Magazine.  Be sure to check them out for more great ideas, and their fantastic "Family Fun" column, which I personally find to be both witty and enjoyable.  The author is a genius.  ;) 
You can find free copies at Wegmans, Prince William Ice Center and many other distributors.  Subscriptions are also available for a very affordable rate. 

Chillingly Creative Drinks For Halloween

11677_AIf you’re planning a monster bash this Halloween, brew up drinks so frightfully delicious that it will spook the taste buds of every little ghost, witch and goblin.

The Spooky Smoothie is a flavorful combination of vanilla milk and Greek yogurt, which is blended with ice and topped with whipped cream. The fun is all in the orange-tinted Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, so make sure to serve it in a clear glass. And ghosts will rise from the dead for the chocolaty Monster Mash Mudslide. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TruMooMilk.11677_B

Both of these tasty concoctions feature TruMoo, which is made with 35 percent less total sugar than the leading chocolate and vanilla milk competitor and has no high fructose corn syrup. That’s one thing that won’t scare you this Halloween season.

Spooky Smoothie
Yield: 4 servings

3          cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color
1 1/2    cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt
5          cups ice cubes
1/4       cup fat free whipped cream
Candy corn for garnish, optional

In blender, combine vanilla milk, yogurt and ice cubes. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

To serve, pour into serving glasses. Top with whipped cream and candy corn.

Monster Mash Mudslide
Yield: 4 servings

4          cups TruMoo Lowfat Chocolate Milk
10        chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
1/2       cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
8          mini chocolate chips or mini chocolate candies (orange/brown color recommended)

In blender, blend chocolate milk and chocolate wafer cookies until smooth. Heat mixture in saucepan or microwave until just heated through.

To serve, pour chocolate milk mixture into 4 glasses. For each serving, spoon a large, upright dollop of whipped topping to resemble a ghost. Insert chocolate chips or chocolate candies into dollop for eyes.

Note: To enjoy a cold mudslide, do not heat in saucepan or microwave.


Week in Preview: October 21-October 27, 2013

My fabulous Sister-in-Law, the very awesome Jordana Lorraine (in case you're ever in LA and need to look fantastic) is coming into town this week.  Unfortunately, for reasons I'm not quite clear on, we told our children this last week, so this week I will be hearing "IS SHE COMING TODAY????" despite the fact that I put it on the calendar.

It's gonna be like a week-long "are we there yet", but I'm still excited.

This means that I'll definitely be using my calendar this week to keep the kiddos busy and keep their minds off their impending Auntie visit!!

As always, our calendar is a free resource that you can add to! Include your church/community group events, open plays, classes without subscription requirements, and more! We'd love to hear from you.  Also, remember that this list is not complete, it's just a few events we want to feature this week, for no real reason, we just think they look fun.  Click "calendar" above to see all the events we know about, or to add your own!

Pre-Register For:
Zombie Zumba on the 26th- Prizes for the best costume! Call 703-670-7112 for more details! Ages 13+

"Not so Scary Halloween Bounce" at Pump it up on Wed, Oct 23, 6-8:30pm & Thurs, Oct 24, 6-8:30pm includes costume contest and Halloween craft, balloon drop as well as fun activities throughout the store and a treat for each child! This event will not be too scary and is appropriate for all ages. (Must be at least 34" tall and 2 years old to play on our equipment.) Tickets: Regular sale - 10/7-10/22 - $12.95 per child At the door - 10/23 & 10/24 - $14.95 per child (if not sold out) Adults may purchase pizza/drink separately. Costumes are welcome and encouraged, but please NO facepaint, face masks, weapons, or other sharp objects.Registration is non-refundable, but may be transferred to another Pump It Up Special Event, 1 time, provided space is available and notice is given to us by 10/21/13.

Girls Lock In and Sleepover (3rd-5th Graders) Code 310204
Join us for a night full of fun.  Snacks and Breakfast will be provided.  Come dressed in your favorite PJs and fuzzy slippers.  Pre-registration required by November 1.  For girls only in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade.  $30, CAFC November 16th 7pm-7am

Reptile World will be at Central Library on November 4th from 7-8pm, Third Annual Janice Eisenhart Memorial Program. Learn about the facinating world of reptiles during this captivating program with LIVE animals! (please note: this program will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.) For students in grades K and up and their parents. Free tickets are required and will be available beginning October 28.

11-7 Class- Dr. Suess (Ages 3-5) Code 310401
Let your imagination run wild with Dr. Suess. Join us as we read several of his books and explore them through various projects and activities. $15 SBDCRC November 7th at 9:45am *Note: Let’s Celebrate Fall and Dr. Suess have the same ID Code in the magazine, so confirm you are registered for the correct class when calling.

Snow and Story @Prince William Ice Center- Our popular Snow and Story Hour is designed to provide toddler and pre-school age children with a safe and fun time playing on our ice, with snow and a variety of toys.  The on-ice session is followed by cookies, hot chocolate and a story.  The cost is $7 per child.  Email mbrennan@pwice.com to reserve you spot.  Space is limited.
Drop-In Snow and Story will take place on October 9th and 22nd, November 6th and 19th, December 4th and 17th, January 8th and 21st, February 5th and 18th, March 5th and 18th.

Monday, October 21
Don't run out of time on the pumpkin patch! We've got our list of Fall Fun up here, and it includes pumpkin patches, trunk or treat, and more!!

Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway from our sponsor, Max Muscle Sports Nutrition Manassas!

Tuesday, October 22
10:45am- Play Gym at Novak's Gymnastics is a fun way to introduce the sport of gymnastics to children 5 years old and younger. Play gym is a non-structured play time for you and your child to get an opportunity to explore and play in the gym. A coach is present to assist and guide you and your child. A brief 5 - 7 minute warm-up is led by the coach to familiarize your child with the basic positions and terms of gymnastics. $5.00 each visit per child. First time is FREE!  Although there is no registration fee for this activity, parent must fill out a Novaks' registration form for children to participate.

7pm- The ARC of Prince William County facilitates an Autism Parent Support Group that meets the 4th Tuesday of each month. This parent-run group offers support, education, and social opportunities for families who have children (of any age) on the Autism spectrum. Child care is available. Call 703-730-3124 or email jrussell@arcgpw.org for more information.

Wednesday, October 23
10:45 at Central Library- Music & Motion alternating with Storytime. Music & Motion is held every two weeks. It is a chance for you and your child to shake, wiggle, move and groove while you're both singing, dancing, and playing with rhythm sticks, scarves and more! Storytime is also held biweekly. Each time there are stories, songs, fingerplays, flannel boards, and a craft or a movie. If your child wishes to do the craft, please pick up a craft stick at the Information Desk before the program. Craft sticks are limited to the first 24 children. For ages 2-5 with an adult. Drop in; no registration required. Oct 23 - Storytime - Falling Leaves

3pm at Dale City Neighborhood Library- "Library Baby" We sing! We play! We read! Stories, songs and fingerplays for moms and babies. Ages 0 to 2. Drop in!

Thursday, October 24
4-5pm at Chinn Library Children ages 6-10 can have fun reading to a PAL (People Animals Love) registered therapy dog. Drop in; No registration required.

7-8:30pm at Chinn Library This not very scary, spooky spirit that has tissue paper streamers fluttering in the wind. This is a free, drop-in family program. One craft per child.

Friday, October 25

Beginning at Dusk, St. Paul UMC will show a fall movie on the outdoor screen.  Bring blankets and enjoy a night out under the stars.  1334 and 1400 G Street Woodbridge VA 22191

6:30-9pm $5 per person, costumes encouraged! Join us for Haunted Mini Golf at Lake Ridge Park!

Saturday, October 26
"Haunted Happenings" Grab the family and your dog and join Historic Manassas, Inc. and the Old Town Business Association for a wickedly good time in Old Town Manassas on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m

11am – 4 pm; $5 per child, children under six free
Where did the tradition of Halloween come from? Pumpkin carving? Trick-or-Treating? Join us for a kid friendly trip to All Hallow’s Eve past and present. Tour the scarecrow display that will decorate Rippon Lodge. Play old fashioned games and enjoy traditional treats. Children are encouraged to wear their costumes.
Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge, 703-499-9812

Family Day — Halloween Special Event
Crafts, games and a costume parade are just the beginning of this annual fun, festive (not the least bit spooky) event for ages 2-10.
12:00 pm – 2:00

Sunday, October 27
In DC @National Building Museum- Haunted Halloween Pop-Ups
Per child: $10 Member | $15 Non-member. Ages 6 and up with adult supervision.
Learn to make a pop-up Halloween decoration from guest artist Carol Barton, then create a spooky
haunted house scene of your own. Festivities include crafts, treats, and ghost stories (more silly than spooky) about the Museum.

Trunk or Treat at Park Valley (Haymarket), First Presbyterian (Dale City), and Haunted House at Lake Jackson VFD (Manassas)


The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner

I feel like something of a hotel aficionado after spending six weeks in hotels during my radiation treatments at Duke.  We stayed in a super sketchy Homestead Suites for the first two weeks and switched to a La Quinta that was awesome, but still, you'd think after over a month of hotel, I'd be all stayed-out.


When we received and invitation to come and enjoy a night at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, we rallied.  A "staycation" can be a really fun change from your regular date-night routine, and we were excited to check it out!

We hear that the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner has fantastic suites for families, as well as children's teas, too, but we opted to go child-free and enjoy a date night/hotel stay that didn't involve children OR doctors.


While the Ritz-Carlton isn't the most modern of hotels, its reputation for elegance holds true.  Classically decorated, the details are what makes the Ritz-Carlton a destination hotel.  The staff are professional, courteous, and attentive.  The hotel is attached to the Tysons Galleria, which is known for its upscale and designer shopping, and the restaurant is delicious.  Little touches like being able to text the valet staff and have your car waiting make a big difference.
Okay, fine, and there are phones in the bathrooms, which my husband yelled out to me, and totally made me laugh about Pretty Woman all night.
 We started our evening with dinner at the Entyse Bar and Lounge which offers an extensive wine list as well as a varied menu for all tastes.  Case in point, I had Pad Thai (which typically comes with shrimp but I ordered vegetarian) while hubby enjoyed Filet Mignon with whipped potatoes and asparagus.

 For an appetizer, he ordered clam chowder and I had a mezze platter with hummus, tabbouleh, and baba ghanoush.  I have no clue how middle eastern food and pad thai go together, but I really love eggplant, so I was happy :)
 Again, the little touches are so enjoyable- our dinner was followed with a plate of small, sweet bites, which we enjoyed before our creme brûlée.  The meal was quite good, and the service was excellent- our waiter Luis was friendly and attentive.  Friday nights also feature live jazz, which we enjoyed quite a bit! Entyse has two dining areas, which allows for large groups (there was one in the bar area celebrating a birthday and having a great time), as well as more intimate dining, including the area we were in, which had several tables as well as stuffed-chairs/sofas with tables, as well.
The hotel offers many amenities, including a business room, spa, pool, lounge, and more.  We decided, however, to walk off some of our dinner in the attached Galleria mall.  Austin (my husband) wound us right through to the mall thanks to his years working at Booz Allen, which frequently rents space for larger hiring events, meeting and off-sites at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  Their wedding room looked lovely, as well.  I notice these things since my baby brother is getting married in September.

We had a lovely evening at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  Having a quick "staycation" was a great way to switch up our date night routine, and being in the heart of Tysons allowed for plenty of options for fun, with shopping, movies, and more all located either within walking or courtesy shuttle distance of the hotel.  To plan your own staycation at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, or to enjoy one of their many events, including pumpkin carving, Nutcracker Teas, Princess Teas, and more, check out their events calendar, located here.

Disclaimer: We were offered a free night's accommodations and meals at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  All opinions, however, remain my own, and only links to the calendar and the requirement I include pictures were dictated by the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.  All writing is my own.


Featured Organization Friday: Keep Prince William Beautiful

Helping Our Kids to Love The Environment
By Keep Prince William Beautiful, www.kpwb.org

It is essential to the future of our planet and to the future of our young people that they learn to value our natural resources. Therefore, providing opportunities for our youth to learn about and care for our environment becomes a vital step towards maintaining and protecting our planet. With America Recycles Day around the corner (November 15), below are some free and fun ideas to turn loving the environment into family fun!

Things to do inside
1.     Make a game of conserving resources
a.     Flip that Switch! Have you kids practice turning the light switch on and off.  Put glow in the dark stickers on the light switch so that kids look forward to turning the light off when they leave the room.  Placing a portable stool near the light switch will help children that can’t reach the switch on their own.
b.     Beat the Ding! Use a timer in the bathroom and challenge your kids to beat the ding by cutting their shower and tooth brushing time to be complete before the timer sounds off.  Make it a whole house competition by tracking who is the fastest each week.
2.     Read environmental books at story-time.  
The following books, and MANY MORE,  are available through the Prince William County Library System:
a.     Crinkleroot's guide to giving back to nature By: Arnosky, Jim. 
b.     Katie saves the Earth By: Manushkin, Fran. 
c.     Recycle! : a handbook for kids   By: Gibbons, Gail.
3.     Checkout some of these safe online resources for games and activities.
4.     Take THE PLEDGE to recycle: http://www.americarecyclesday.org/take-the-pledge

Things to do outside
1.     Organize a community cleanuphttp://www.kpwb.org/Community-Cleanups.html
2.     Adopt-a- Spot http://www.kpwb.org/Adopt-A-Spot.html
3.     Carry a plastic bag on walks, pick up litter along the way.  Keep track of the types of items collected and discuss better ways to dispose of these items and/or how to decrease these types of waste. http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/images/data_form_volunteer_icc.pdf

Things to do on the go!
1.     Carry reusable containers when traveling to cut back on disposables that will increase landfill waste. 
2.     Create a car recycling bag to ensure recyclables make it home and into the curbside bin.
3.     Spot That LITTER! Write down the intersection or address where you see litter in Prince William County and email KPWB at info@kpwb.org.  Snap a few photos and send those along to help KPWB evaluate the level of litter for cleanup needs.
4.     Join KPWB on a Litter Survey by riding along with other volunteers in a van to grade the litter situation in Prince William County.  Youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. http://www.kpwb.org/Litter-Surveys.html
5.     Remember your reusable shopping bags.  

*BONUS – sign up to volunteer with KPWB at PWC Recycles Day (or any event where we are present with a booth) and receive a free KPWB tote.

Keep Prince William Beautiful (KPWB) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit environmental organization that serves Prince William County. With a focus on partnering with residents, businesses and government, KPWB aims to educate and inspire residents to be environmental stewards in order to keep Prince William beautiful.
Currently KPWB has seven programs with volunteer opportunities. Many programs have ongoing volunteer opportunities for groups and families of various sizes and ages. No matter what program a volunteer chooses to pursue, ALL of  these great programs have a lasting effect on keeping Prince William Beautiful.
Along with the ongoing programs and volunteer opportunities through KPWB, fun events and opportunities to assist KPWB present themselves throughout the different months of the year.
Specifically, in the month of October, KPWB is having a fundraiser through the restaurant, Not Your Average Joe’s, in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge, Prince William County.  Every TUESDAY throughout October KPWB will receive 15% of your purchase when you mention you are there for the cause and KPWB.

As already mentioned by an earlier PWC Moms’ blog post, Prince William County Recycles Day and Paper Shred is taking place on Saturday, October 19th, 10 am – 2 pm at the Landfill (14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas). KPWB, along with its current staff, volunteers, and Celebrity “Buster Bear” will be present and taking part in all of the fun expected for this event. If you’re planning on attending Recycles Day, definitely stop by and meet your friendly Prince William County environmental non-profit, KPWB!
Keep Prince William Beautiful 4391 Ridgewood Center Drive, Suite F,  Prince William, VA 22192