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 18, 2012

ICE! and Christmas on the Potomac

Filling up on Ogre pops and Ogre milk with other bloggers and their families before getting started!

Have you been to ICE! yet? Thanks to this little 'ole blog, our family had the incredible opportunity to attend for free this year and we had a BLAST! In past years we've participated in different aspects of Christmas on the Potomac, but we hadn't ever been to ICE! Now that we have experienced ICE! I can promise it won't be our last time!

It's not too late for you to make Christmas on the Potomac a new family tradition, too! It continues through January 6!

As you may have heard, it's really, really cold inside ICE! -- 9 degrees to be exact. We bundled up in our warmest clothes and happily donned the bright blue loaner parkas but were still just a bit chilly. Actually, Abel passed on the parka touting the cold rating of his winter coat. Um, he regretted that decision!

The sculptures themselves were truly incredible. The kids (as a 6 and 2yo are wont to do) were trying to race to the next thing and so I had to keep up with them, but I could have lingered a lot longer to really take in and appreciate the sculptures. In fact, I recommended ICE! to friends with an 18mo but suggested they get a sitter and make it a date night.

Nathaniel LOVES Puss in Boots so this was his favorite! I mean look at those details -- incredible, right?

We all gave the ice slides a go. I, however, was really, really bad at it! I guess I assumed since it was ice I'd slide right down and so I didn't really get my legs up in the air (as instructed!) so I kind of scooted down. Abel got a good laugh at that one!

By the last room, the boys were cold and ready to be done. But I could have spent a lot of time here. This nativity scene was truly breath taking!

One of my favorite parts of the Gaylord is just being at National Harbor. After ICE! we (literally in this case!) rolled around the grounds for a bit!

Then we went back inside, met Gingy and decorated a gingerbread train!

Then rolled around a little more!

By then Nathaniel was pooped. Plus, he's kind of terrified of costumed people (including Santa!) so Lucas and I had some bonding time with the character meet and greet. Lucas is just the perfect age for this -- his smile got bigger and bigger with each character!

ICE! -- definitely a new holiday tradition for our family!

I was provided free tickets for my family to attend these events but all opinions are my own! ICE! and Christmas on the Potomac are open until January 6, 2013.

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where to Buy Local this Holiday Season

Illustration by Ray Vella via

Are you thinking of buying local this holiday season? Here are three awesome opportunities to support local Prince George's County enterprises!

Community Forklift

Community Forklift is celebrating Green Friday and Small Business Saturday with a store wide sale, free workshops, hot cider and cookies! November 23-25all regularly-priced items at the Forklift and in the Salvage Arts Department are 20% off!! What a perfect opportunity to find something special for that impossible-to-buy for person on your list! Or, purchase what you need to make your dreams of a DYI Holiday come true!

Franklin's Restaurant Brewery and General Store

Franklin's is celebrating Small Business Saturday and their 20th Anniversary on Saturday, November 24 by having a Sooper Dooper Saturday Sale and Celebration. EVERYTHING in the General Store will be 20% off from 10am until 10pm. This is one of our absolute favorite places to find cool and unique gifts for everyone on our list!

Cheverly Community Market 

The Cheverly Community Market will host an extra-special Holiday Market on Saturday, December 8 from 9am until 1pm. Their Thanksgiving Market was jam packed with incredible local vendors and artisans and the Holiday Market is sure to be even better. What a great opportunity to talk with and meet the farmers, producers, bakers and artists behind special gifts for your loved ones.

How, when and where are you buying local this holiday season?



Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dreaming of Christmas on the Potomac

On Saturday we got a little reprieve from the heat with temps in the 70s but I still shook my head at the women I saw wearing jeans and sweaters. What? Did they think it was winter?

But then I stepped into my own winter wonderland at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor when I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Christmas on the Potomac 2012!

Just a small part of the Winter Wonderland the folks at Gaylord created for us!

We're longtime fans of Christmas on the Potomac. Three years ago, we visited for the indoor snowfall, light display and train. Last year, I took Lucas on a special daytime "date" to meet and greet the DreamWorks' characters and do a scavenger hunt.

But this year I definitely want to do it up big and go to ICE! Shrek the Halls. I've heard so many reports from friends about how awesome it is and this year they're doing it even bigger and even better. This year's theme Shrek the Halls (who doesn't love that adorable ogre?) will be constructed of 2 MILLION pounds of ice.

Not to mention, beyond ICE! they're bringing back all the incredible Christmas decor, train, gingerbread decorating, fountain show, indoor snow (for real! It's magical!!) and more.

And as easy as it is for us to get to National Harbor, I'll tell you what I'm really dreaming about: enjoying the hotel package as a special get-away for the four of us. (Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming that dream....who knows, maybe it will come true someday!!!!)

I know it's hard to start thinking about Christmas when you've just started your back to school shopping, but for you planners or bargain-hunters, there's a great deal going on right now. Tickets for ICE! are already on sale and there are great early bird specials going on. Won't it be nice, come December, to have one thing checked off your list already?

And the awesome thing for us locals is that we can so easily visit during a non-peak date -- missing out on the massive crowds and getting an awesome discount!

Okay, now I'm off to keep on dreaming about all that ice...maybe it will cool me down today!

Disclaimer: I was invited to a special sneak-preview of Christmas on the Potomac and enjoyed a winter wonderland and yummy treats plus two gingerbread-making kids for my kids. However, I was not required to blog about it and was not compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.


Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Train Your Dragon

As you know, my family and I were offered free tickets to attend the How to Train Your Dragon LIVE! Spectacular at the Verizon Center last night. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, my boys are out of town so we couldn't go. (Trust me, I was SO tempted to go alone but I would have felt terrible enjoying the show without Lucas and Nathaniel.) Instead I sat at home reading all the amazing tweets from my friends who were there.

My discount code (MOM) still works so if you're on the fence you can still buy tickets!

Here are what a few of my other blogger friends have to say about the incredible show:

Thien-Kim at I'm Not the Nanny says you'll love it even if you haven't seen the movie. (KIM! It's a fantastic movie -- rent it today!!)

Robin at The Not-Ever-Still Life enjoyed it because she's a "visual cataloger."

If you go, let me know. I'd love to hear about your experience!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular + Discount Code

Two things:

1. We are huge fans of the Dreamworks movie How to Train Your Dragon. Six year old Lucas loves the movie and, quite frankly, so do I!

2. I was really disappointed that I didn't learn about Walking with Dinosaurs until it had already left DC.

So when I heard that How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular was coming and that it was even bigger and better than Walking with Dinosaurs, I knew we had to get tickets.

Disclosure: I was offered free tickets for my family to attend this special event. But all opinions are 100% my own. And I'll definitely write an unbiased review after the show for you, too!

Eeeeeeek! I am so excited! We'll be going on Thursday, July 19 (join us!) and the show will be in DC through the 22nd at the Verizon Center. (It's also playing across the country through February.)

I have to admit that I have trouble conceptualizing big things -- like suspension bridges and skyscrapers -- and after reading this description, I'm having a little bit of trouble conceptualizing this show....

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON LIVE SPECTACULAR breaks every rule of theatrical entertainment to fully immerse audiences into the show in ways that have not been attempted before. Barely contained within the arena, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON LIVE SPECTACULAR utilizes the full venue, maximizing every dimension of the performance space to transport audiences into a mythical world of fire-breathing dragons who soar overhead at great speeds. The state-of-the-art animatronic technology and large-scale cinematic projections interact seamlessly with the live actors, who bring DreamWorks Animation’s heart-warming story to life through theatrical storytelling, martial arts and acrobatics. It's not to be missed!

Can you imagine it? I mean the Verizon Center is BIG. Really big. Even though I can't quite grasp it--or maybe because I can't quite grasp it--I can't wait for it! I haven't told Lucas yet, but when I do, that boy is going to lose. his. mind.

So here's the thing, regular ticket prices range from a low of $29.50 to a high of $69.50 (excluding fees). A limited number of premium seats and special VIP ticket experiences and family packages are also available.  Click here to purchase tickets, for show times and much more. Click here for details on how to meet the dragons as well as other VIP opportunities! 

BUT here's the even better thing: Not only did the lovely folks putting on this little (haha!) show offer me free tickets, they're offering my readers 25% off tickets for all weekday performances -- even Friday night! Just enter the code MOM in the promo box which says "MOMMY BLOG." Note: this code is actually good for tickets for any location across the country (so save this post if your location isn't on sale yet!).

I'm just going to leave you with one more little fun fact: Toothless (we all adore Toothless, right?) weighs over 7,500 pounds and flies over 1.2 miles throughout the performance. Um, that's equivalent to a Range Rover soaring through the arena. Wow!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Now on Facebook!

I'm so happy to announce that you can get the best of Out by Ten (and much, much more!) now on Facebook! I'm calling the new page "Family Friendly Prince George's" because that's really what we're all about here at Out by Ten.

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 (see those handy categories over there ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>>>) for lots of great ideas.

Please head on over to our Facebook page and give me a great big "like!"

I'll see you on your wall soon!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Comic Book Day!

I had never read a comic book in my life until my husband stopped by Big Planet Comics in College Park, MD, about two years ago. If I recall, he was looking for the new comic his friend illustrated, but instead he came home with a stack of comic books that were perfect for then four-year-old Lucas.

Friends, it was amazing. Our little ball of energy who NEVER had even one minute to sit and page through a book on his own was suddenly sitting for 10-15 minute stretches pouring over his new comic books.


Since then I have definitely read my share of comics as bed time stories!

And tomorrow, May 5, is Free Comic Book Day! Yes, comic book stores across the country, including our favorite, Big Planet Comics, will be giving away free comics to anyone who stops by the store!

But! Wait! There's more!

Capitalizing on the timing of the release of the Avengers movie and Free Comic Book day, Disney is offering a free comics app! The app is free but several comics are for purchase. But there are lots of free comics under the DigiFree section! I just downloaded it, which unfortunately means Lucas will be trying to steal my phone even more than ever!

Are you as clueless about comics as I was a few years ago? Here's a great article that recommends comics based on books or shows your kids (or you!) already enjoy.

Happy Free Comic Book Day!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Truck Touch is Coming!

Truck Touch is one of our favorite days of the year! Nathaniel is currently obsessed with trucks of all shapes and sizes. On Saturday his mind is going to be blown!!!

Hope to see you there!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

PBS KIDS is encouraging kids to Explore the Outdoors!

The two things my boys love most in the world are playing outside and watching TV so when I heard that PBS KIDS was partnering with the National Recreation and Parks Association (of which my dad is a 30+ year member!) I was intrigued to learn more.

Through April 20, PBS will present four weeks of themed on-air programming and online content designed to inspire kids and families to get outside and discover nature.  Locally, National Recreation and Park Association member parks, along with local PBS member stations, will be hosting events where kids are invited to experience the environment with fun and educational activities from PBS KIDS. 
I feel pretty lucky to have a retired park ranger and recreation director for a dad and some of my best childhood memories are being outside with my family. My dad was constantly pointing out hawks, trees, snakes, plants (hello poison ivy!) and one time we encountered a super-cool beaver dam!

And I'm grateful that both our boys love being outside, too. All they need is a stick and some dirt or mud and they'll happily get filthy and entertain themselves for a long time!

As happy as they are to be outside, though, I'd be lying if I didn't mention how much my boys LOVE watching TV! PBS KIDS is our go-to station and so it's great to know that there will be shows encouraging them to actually turn off the TV and get outside to explore! 

Here are the details:

Explore the Outdoors Programming
Leading up to Earth Day, PBS KIDS will present four weeks of “Explore the Outdoors” themed programming from popular series including WILD KRATTS, DINOSAUR TRAIN, THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, and CURIOUS GEORGE. Premieres include new episodes from WILD KRATTS, THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT!, CURIOUS GEORGE and a new Earth Day themed episode of ARTHUR, airing Monday, April 16.  On Friday, April 20 (the Friday before Earth Day), PBS will also present a special line-up of environmentally-themed programs to gear kids up to celebrate Earth Day. Themed weeks include:
WILD KRATTS “Backyard Adventures Week” - March 26-30
This special week features five episodes all about venturing outside to explore the wonders that are as close as your own backyard. The week concludes with the premiere of a new episode, “Flight of the Pollinators,” on Friday, March 30, which explores the amazing delivery system of plants and their animal partners.
DINOSAUR TRAIN “Nature Trackers Week” - April 2-6
This encore presentation of four “Nature Trackers” episodes of DINOSAUR TRAIN includes “Stargazing on the Night Train/Get Into Nature!,” “Shiny and Snakes/Tiny Flowers,” “Buddy Explores the Tyrannosaurs/Rainy Day Fight” and “That’s Not a Dinosaur/Tiny’s Garden.” The storylines follow Buddy, Shiny, Tiny and Don as they make their own discoveries in nature.
The episodes encourage kids to get outside, get into nature and make their own discoveries.
THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! “Nature’s Know-How Week” - April 9-13
The Cat, Nick and Sally go on a variety of outdoor adventures this week, including journeys to Drippety Dry Desert and Splishy Splashy Pond.  Two new episodes premiere: “Super Cleaner Uppers/Itty Bitty Water” on Monday, April 9, and “Amazing Eyes/Water Walkers” on Thursday, April 12.
CURIOUS GEORGE “Explore Your World Week” - April 16-20
During this special week, everyone’s favorite monkey dabbles in a range of activities – from radio DJ-ing, to painting, to building a home for a squirrel.  The week includes three premiere episodes – “DJ George/Curious George Paints the Desert” on Monday, April 16, “No Knowing Gnocchi/Here Comes the Tide” on Wednesday, April 18, and a special Earth Day episode, “Junky Monkey/Jumpy Warms Up,” on Friday, April 20.
Online and Mobile Resources for Families

Kids can continue their environmental exploration online at  to find environmental and outdoor themed games, activities and videos and on mobile through the PBS KIDS Video App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
PBS Parents will provide resources for parents to explore the outdoors with their own families on The site will provide activities from the on-air episodes, listings for PBS KIDS Day in the Park events, and ideas and resources that families can use to explore the outdoors any time.

I was not compensated in any way for this post. We're just big fans of PBS KIDS and the National Recreation and Parks Society in our family so I am happy to pass along this great info!

Original post by Out by Ten. Thanks for reading!