Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ocean Dunes Waterpark, Arlington, VA

Absolute perfection was achieved this week when we took a drive to Arlington, VA. for a visit to Ocean Dunes Waterpark. Located only 40 minutes from Silver Spring at Upton Hill Regional Park, we had a great time playing at this wonderful and splash-filled place. The most fun was had on the climbing aparatus which resembled something you would find at a regular park, except that it had water spouts, pipes, and slides to make it even more fun. Every few minutes, a large bell would go off and a big bucket of water would pour down the roof and shower the kids. The water got them wet but was not overpowering. This great park also had two big waterslides for kids that are older, a lap pool for adults, a pool with ramp entry that does not exceed 3 feet of water, and a baby pool which had many water toys to play with. Both kids (2 and 4 years old) had a great time at the park. Additionally, compared to other water parks, the prices were very affordable and they had staff at every part of the water. When it seemed like there was some sort of emergency, 5 lifeguards darted over immediately to check on the situation. Nothing was wrong and everyone was fine, but upon returning, the lifeguard told me that they are very cautious and take every situation seriously, which was really nice to see. My son also fell over and got a small scrape and the people in the first aid room were really nice and friendly to him. They also have a large snack area next to the pool area. This water park is just a part of several activities on the premises as they also have biking trails, a mini golf course, and batting cages. We can't wait to go back soon!!!

Ranges from $5(after 4pm)-$12(unlimited water park and mini golf) dollars per person depending on what you want to do and what time you go. This is a seasonal activity as it is an outdoor water park. Season passes can be purchased for a discounted price.

May 28 – 30
Memorial Day Weekend: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
June 1 – June 16
Monday – Friday: Closed
Weekends: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
June 17 – August 2
Daily: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
July 4: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
August 22 – September 2
Monday – Friday: 11:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Saturdays and Sundays: 11:00 PM – 7:00 PM
September 3 – September 5
Labor Day Weekend: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Mini Golf & Batting Cage Hours

March 12 – April 24
Monday – Friday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
April 25 – June 16
Monday – Thursday: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Fridays: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays:  10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
July 4th: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
June 17 – September 5
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
September 6 – October 30
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday – Friday: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday & Holidays: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM

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Bowie Baysox, MD

Not all baseball stadiums are created equal! It's hard to decide which age is appropriate to take children to a baseball game. After all, they are expensive and the idea of a child sitting still for 3 hours is just ludicrous. However, minor league baseball games are a great starting point as there is more space to get up and move around, the tickets are usually less expensive, and there are more kid friendly activities taking place. The Bowie Baysox stadium has a big open area for kids to stand to try to catch foul balls, a kids play area complete with merry-go-round, and inflatable games, etc.. Minor league players tend to be more friendly and willing to sign autographs before and after the game, and they really try to get kids involved. We spent 14 dollars per ticket and sat 3 rows off the field next to the dugout, and it is so much more exciting to be so close to the players. They also do several contests throughout the game including races, throwing t-shirts into the crowd, and staff that dance on top of the dugout. Bowie is a great place to take young ones to for a first game. 

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Go Kart Track, Bladensburg, MD

If you are feeling the need for speed, dart down to the Go Kart Track in Bladensburg, MD.  Located right near College Park, this small place is simple, but satisfies the urge to fly around a race track.  We got there right when it opened and had almost the whole track to ourselves. While the facilities themselves were definitely not modern, the go karts were in good condition and seemed well maintained. The employees were also friendly, stopping to take our picture when we were all done (upon our request). The track is small, and there is a shaded area with benches to watch the racers when you are done racing. The cost of racing is 6 dollars for 6 laps which goes by very quickly. However, most other go kart places are more expensive anyway, so this is an easier way to monitor how much you spend. They have both, single and tandem karts and if you get a tandem kart, you only pay for the driver.  You must be 54 inches tall and 8 years old to drive a Go Kart, but kids as young as 3 years old can be a passenger in the tandem kart. This place is also located within a few minutes of the College Park Aviation Museum which makes for a good pair of inexpensive activities for the day with kids.

$6 for six laps
                                                11AM TO 10PM SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

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Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a beautiful stadium to take in a game with friends and family. Ranked by as the 5th best stadium in all of major league baseball, Camden Yards seats roughly 45,000 people and provides both open and shaded seats. Tickets range in price, but remain very affordable for a major league baseball team. Competing in the toughest division in all of baseball, the Orioles also play many of their games against top talent from major cities on the east coast. This stadium is only 20 years old and many stadiums since then have been built based off of the model that was used to make Camden Yards one of the first modern stadiums to be built with a vintage look.  Night games are especially fun to take in as the Baltimore city skyline can be seen when looking out into the outfield.

Pricing: Tickets range from $
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Centennial Park, Ellicott City, MD

Centennial Park is centrally located between Silver Spring and Baltimore and provides a beautiful park for a variety of outdoor activities. The lake has trout and bass to fish for, several playgrounds located throughout the park, and several sports courts, including basketball and volleyball.  Additionally, they have a fantastic boating area where canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats can be rented for under $10 per hour. However, be cautious in getting there right at opening time as the boat house is run by teenagers and they showed up 15 minutes late on multiple occasions. The lake and the entire park is well maintained, and has fantastic concrete paths for walking or biking.  There are many beautiful places to have a lakeside picnic and the people are very friendly. We look forward to going back to this park soon!!!

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