Friday, August 16, 2013

Dynamite Gymnastics, Rockville, MD

Dynamite Gymnastics is a great gym in the Rockville Area, that has classes for all ages of children. Additionally, they have open gym hours in 50 minute and 90 minute increments that provide an affordable place for kids to run around and blow off some steam on a variety of different activities. The staff is incredibly friendly, and was very helpful in supervising the area, and answering any questions that we had. They also worked hard to praise the efforts of the children and keep them safe and happy.

The equipment includes, but is not limited to, multiple trampolines, a rope swing/climb, and a runway trampoline leading kids to a jump into the massive foam pit. They also have a huge open gymnastics floor, high and low bars, and high and low beams. After one days visit, my kids were asking to go back the next day. Children as young as 3 were playing on all different types of equipment, and the gym was in immaculate shape. Staff members were roaming through the gym wiping down the equipment, and all children were asked to wipe off their feet with baby wipes before they came in. having a fun and clean place to play was an enjoyable experience, and this will continue to be a great rainy (and sunny) day excursion for our family.


Ages: 3 and up

Cost: as low as $7.00 for the 30 minute open gym

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

Are you thinking of taking to our nation’s capital for the day? If so, make sure to stop by the Museum of Natural History! While I am sure most people are have heard of this fantastic museum, most could probably only point out that it has a huge stuffed elephant in the rotunda of the building. However, this building contains so many interesting exhibits, that our children were entertained for hours.
While there are many new and changing exhibits at this museum, some of the most impressive features are part of the permanent collection. On the first floor currently, they have Natures best photography, a discovery room, ocean, mammals, a massive fossil exhibit (including plants and animals), human origins, and of course the dinosaurs! This floor was definitely fun to look at and with such great big open spaces, there were plenty of places to roam. 

On the second level, exhibits on display included an area on genomes, a lot of the rocks and gems (including the Hope Diamond), an amazing insect zoo, which our kids were allowed to hold a few of, and a live butterfly exhibit (for a fee). My kids truly loved this floor as one child loved the large number of different rocks of various colors, while the other enjoyed holding huge bugs! There are several other wonderful exhibits in this museum as well, some that are permanent, and others that are temporary, and meant to keep the museum fresh and new.

The main level had a very large café, and there were multiple gift shops in the building. One of my favorite parts about living in this area are the wide array of activities to do, and one of my true favorite parts, is the amazing culture and history that is free and available to the public. While this museum is usually crowded throughout the day, this is worth the experience!

Cost: Free
Closest Metro station: Smithsonian
Wheelchair accessibility: Yes (there is a ramp to get into the building on at least one side, ramps throughout the museum when necessary, and several elevators to go from floor to floor.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Boomerang Pirate Ship, NW DC

Prepare to sail the seven seas…..or at least the Potomac River! This week, we went on the Boomerang Pirate ship, which docks on the Georgetown waterfront. While parking and the ride itself are expensive, the kids had a great time on this 1 hour boat tour. The group also does night tours and private parties for adults. The crew does a good job of swabbing the decks to make sure that the boat stays in pristine condition.

The activity consists of the pirates taking us out to sea to try and find the keys to their treasure chest (which had been stolen). After roughly 20 minutes, a smaller boat came driving by, waving the keys to the treasure chest at us. All of the children took to the railings and began blasting their water cannons at him. Once he surrendered, he passed the keys over, and we were able to open the treasure chest. Inside was candy and little pirate treasures that each child was allowed to pick from. 

Throughout the ride, the pirate employees did a great job of entertaining the kids with songs, games such as limbo, and pirate dancing. They also handed out temporary tattoos and did face painting as well. The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating (both in person and on the phone when booking), provided a big cooler of water and cups, and made sure that everyone was safe and having a good time. They were more than willing to snap a few pictures with the kids, and made it an enjoyable experience. The only complaint besides for the cost was that they do not answer the phone when you call. You have to leave a message, and they will call you back pretty quickly. Also, remember to leave a significant amount of time to get there as traffic is always terrible in that area. It will take much longer than any GPS says it should take.

Age Range: 3 and up

Cost: $20 per person