Get the Latest on Facebook!

You can get the best of Out by Ten (and much, much more!) on Out by Ten's Facebook page "Family Friendly Prince George's."

I'm now a full-time work-outside-the-home mom and while we're still going on TONS of family adventures, making time for the adventures (verses making time for writing about them!) has taken priority in my life right now.

But have no fear! Our new Facebook page is a great resource for all the wonderful family-friendly stuff happening in Prince George's County and the greater Metro DC area. Be sure to check out the Out by Ten archives on the right for lots of great activities!

Head over and give me a like and I'll see you on your wall soon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

ICE! At Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor

Photo from here.

Have you been to ICE! at National Harbor yet? I'll admit that we haven't gotten there but it is still on my must-do list this holiday season. And, lucky for all of us who are, um, slightly behind in our holiday preparations, it is open until January 10!

I really can't wrap my brain around what this attraction must be like in real life. I mean, 15,000 square feet, 2 million pounds of ice and 1,400 specially designed LED tube lights: it must be incredible! And, it's right here in Prince George's County!

ICE! has gotten rave reviews from the Washington Post, but even more trust-worthy, in my opinion, is the rave review it got from Jessica over at A Parent in Silver Spring (read about her family's visit here.)

If you are one of the thousands of visitors who has already experienced ICE! I'd love to hear about it--please leave a comment!

Additional Details:
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, MD

ICE! is open daily through Sunday, January 10, including holidays.

Children ages 3 and under are admitted free of charge with adult ticket purchase. Walk-up ticket sales will be available during the attraction's regular operating hours. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance, as many days are expected to sell out.

Tickets range from $14-$24.50 per person.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Break Camps

Are you having trouble finding childcare coverage for your kids while they are off from school but you still have to work? Or, do you know that you'll all go stir-crazy at home for so many days after Christmas?

The M-NCPPC Department of Parks & Recreation is coming to your rescue! They are offering more than 30 different Holiday Break Camps this year.

Finding the camps is a little challenging but persistence on the website will pay off. To find programs you have to go to, click on the SMARTlink logo, select your language, click on the word browse, then click on Day Camp. You can also call the Help Desk at 301-699-CALL(2255).

Here are just three examples of the types of camps being offered:

Tennis Camp at the Watkins Tennis Bubble
Ages 6-12, $90 for residents of Prince George's or Montgomery Counties
Meets December 28, 29 and 30 from 9am-4pm

Figure Skating Camp: Freestyle
Herbert W. Wells Ice Rink
Ages 6-17, $90 for residents of Prince George's or Montgomery Counties
Meets December 28, 29 and 30 from 7am-6pm

Also, many of the community centers throughout the county are offering camps for kids to enjoy "games, crafts and holiday fun." For example, South Bowie is offering a 1-day camp on December 28 from 9am-4pm for ages 5-12. It's only $20 for residents.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Train Displays

Growing up, my siblings and I loved running my dad's old Lionel model train around the Christmas tree and now Lucas has fallen in love with The Polar Express. So trains = holiday magic in our family! There are some lovely train displays in Prince George's County, DC and Baltimore this year. Here are the details for several.

College Park Aviation Museum Holiday Planes and Trains
December 19 - 26, 10am-5pm

During the holiday season, the College Park Aviation Museum gets ready for festivities as miniature trains, villages, tunnels, and depots spark the imagination and bring history to life. The National Capital Trackers bring a fascinating and constantly moving display of model railroads to the Museum. All ages. FREE with museum admission

Click here to read more about why we love the College Park Aviation Museum.

Union Station Norwegian Christmas Model Train Display
Mondays-Saturdays 10am-7pm, Sundays 10am-6pm

Enjoy the giant Norwegian model train display and the 32-foot Norwegian Christmas tree at Union Station in Washington, DC.


U.S. Botanic Garden Holiday Magic
Daily through January 10, 2010
Conservatory East Gallery and Garden Court

This amazing display of trains, Washington, DC landmarks and storybook gardens is a Washington tradition. It gets better each year!


B&O Railroad Museum Holiday Festival of Trains

The annual Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore takes place through Sunday, January 10, 2010 (except Christmas Eve & Day and New Year’s Day). It features weekend train rides with Santa and Frosty the Snowman, different model railroad exhibits each week, holiday photos (packages start at $13), train ornament craft projects ($1 each) and a Santa's Secret Shop for children (items range from $0.25 to $12). Regular museum admission applies but you can click here to print a $1 off coupon.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights

Last week I raved about the National Zoo's ZooLights in conjunction with my giveaway of a family pack of tickets. But, did you know there's another amazing light show right here in Prince George's County?

This is the 23rd year for the Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights! A very nice aspect of this wonderful display is that it is a drive through event. You and your family can enjoy it in the rain or snow or freezing temps from the cozy comfort of your own vehicle. (And, if you're like me, with Christmas music blasting!) As you slowly drive through the park, you drive under light displays and will have a lot of fun spotting them on all sides of the road. This year's display features more than one million twinkling lights as well as new displays like Santa flying a helicopter and driving a fire truck.

The Festival of Lights is open nightly from 5-9:30pm through Sunday, January 3.

Additional Details

Watkins Regional Park Festival of Lights
301 Watkins Park Drive/Rte. 193
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Admission Fees:
$5/car or van
$10/multi-visit, transferable pass for car and vans (3 visits)
$15/mini-bus or limo
Multi-visit passes on sale nightly at the gate
FREE! On December 25

Please note: canned goods are accepted nightly as donations to local food banks.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giveaway! Tickets to ZooLights at the National Zoo on Saturday, December 12

Congratulations to Anna Lovejoy and her family! selected Anna's response as the winner. Thanks to all who entered!

Tickets to ZooLights are only $5 for members and $8 for non-members. And, active duty members of the miltary and their families get in free on Military Nights simply by showing their military ID at the entrance!

Do you love the National Zoo?

Do you love Tai Shan (the baby panda)?

Are you looking for something fun to do with your family this Saturday, December 12?

Then ZooLights ZOOTRITION Night is for you!

This is the 3rd year for the National Zoo’s annual winter celebration featuring dazzling light sculptures, keeper talks, strolling musicians, costumed characters, and performances. ZooLights is taking place Friday and Saturday nights through December 13 and every night December 18-January 2 (except Dec. 24, 25, and 31) from 6-8:30 p.m.

This Saturday, December 12, is ZOOTRITION Night, sponsored by Giant Food. You and your family can enjoy a Zoo-wide scavenger hunt for kids, delicious giveaways, hands-on demonstrations by the Zoo’s commissary (that’s like a grocery store for the animals), and tons of live entertainment. The scavenger hunt is designed to be a fun way to get kids thinking about healthy eating for both animal and humans.

You may have heard that Tai Shan, the Zoo’s beloved baby panda, will be returning to China in early 2010. Fortunately, the Zoo tells me that the Panda House will be open for extended hours throughout ZooLights so that we can all can bid farewell to Tai Shan.

Bring a canned good and receive discounts at the gift shop. Tickets are only $5 for Friends of the National Zoo members and $8 for nonmembers. On select Military Nights, tickets are free for military families. Proceeds support the National Zoo. Visit for tickets and details.

OR enter below to win tickets for your family to attend ZooLights ZOOTRITION this Saturday from 6-8:30pm! This is a very quick contest--you must enter by Thursday, December 10 at 4pm. Enter by filling out and submitting the form below. The winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries and will be notified on Thursday evening. Good luck!

Disclosure: I was offered a free pack of family tickets to keep or to giveaway to a lucky reader. I decided to give them away and was not compensated in any other way for this post.

Thanks for reading Out by Ten!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Events This Weekend

Many wonderful holiday events are taking place at special locations throughout Prince George's County this weekend. Here's a list of several that look very nice.

Darnall's Chance House Museum Gingerbread House Contest and Show
December 10-13, Noon - 5pm

Vote for your favorite kid and adult entries at this wonderful display of Gingerbread Houses!

Darnall's Chance House Museum
14800 Gov. Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro
$1 per person

Montpelier Mansion Hands-on History Day
Saturday, December 12, 10am - Noon

Children can make crafts, play games and enjoy holiday treats from the traditions of Maryland's earliest immigrants from Europe, Africa, and Central and South America.

Montpelier Mansion
9650 Muirkirk Road, Laurel

$7 per child

Belair Mansion "Kids Kandelight"
Saturday, December 12, 4pm - 7pm

A special holiday evening for kids; they'll make a take-home craft.

Belair Mansion
12207 Tulip Grove Drive, Bowie
Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Bowie Food Bank.

Once Upon a Time
Saturday, December 12, 5pm - 7:30pm

The Marietta's House Museum's rooms have been transformed into scenes from beloved fairy tales, nursery rhymes and children's stories.

Marietta House Museum
5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale
$5 per person

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kids' Night at Chick-fil-A

Last week we stumbled upon Kids' Night at the Chick-fil-A at Vista Gardens Marketplace. What fun! If you, like me, have a practically empty fridge from being away for Thanksgiving weekend or if you were the one hosting and cooking all weekend then you might just want to head over to Chick-fil-A tonight.

Here's the scoop. Every Tuesday night from 5-8pm the Chick-fil-A at Vista Gardens Marketplace offers a free 4 piece kid's nugget meal with the purchase of any combo or a dinner and medium drink. Okay, so a free kid's meal is great, right? But, nothing too special. The best part, in my opinion, is that they also have someone there doing face painting or balloon animals (I believe this rotates each week) for the kids for FREE! I know nothing excites Lucas more than a balloon animal (or hat!).

The fine print is that the child, age 12 or under, must be present and you get the free meal in the dining room only (not via the drive-thru). No coupon is necessary.

This Chick-fil-A is already one of our favorite lunch destinations because of the fun indoor play area but now we have another reason to head over on the occasional Tuesday evening.

Additional Information:

Vista Gardens Marketplace
10631 Martin Luther King, Jr. Highway
Bowie, MD 20720

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!