A·MAZE·D Port Discovery

Your Kids Will Be A·MAZE·D at Port Discovery + Giveaway (CLOSED)

Last week, Port Discovery Children’s Museum opened A·MAZE·D: The Puzzling World of Dave Phillips. 

In this new exhibit, you and your kid will be challenged as you explore giant indoor mazes. Navigate your way through a life-sized cardboard box maze and jump from dot to dot in Hop Dots…

Run! Jump! Celebrate! There’s family fun time ahead! Join us to make festive art projects, dance off Thanksgiving…

Posted by Port Discovery Children’s Museum on Saturday, November 25, 2017

Using logic, math and problem-solving skills you should be a maze master once you’re done! You will even Learn about the history of mazes and labyrinths, see original maze art, and much more.

Admission to the exhibit is free with Museum entry. $15.95 per person for individuals two and older. Members and children under two are admitted for free.

So do you want to get lost for a day? Port discovery is giving away a set of 4 tickets to THREE lucky Off The Potomac readers. ENTER NOW!

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Winner will be announced on Facebook THIS FRIDAY – December, 1st 2017

For more information on the exhibit CLICK HERE!

GIVEAWAY: Monster Jam Brings BIG things to Hagerstown Speedway

This post has been sponsored by Feld Entertainment for Monster Jam. The following comments and opinions are my own.

As a mom, my first introduction to Monster Jam trucks were early last year for a Lowe’s Build and Grow Workshop with Noah. He built Grave Digger one week and Blue Thunder another. Ever since then, the kid has been hooked!

In addition, Hot Wheels partners with Monster Jam… and we all know that Noah is a SUPER Hot Wheels fan. So it should come to no surprise that he has the Hot Wheels Monster Jam Trucks too. I have had my eyes on their show for a while but because I know it gets loud, I wanted Noah to be a little older. But trust me, this kid is ready. He watches shows all the time on YouTube.

As you can see… these are twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound MONSTER machines on an obstacle track. You will witness these trucks speeding up to 100 mph, flying high as 35 ft and smashing through anything in their way! This competitive series is back this month at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland for three days. There are 8 trucks* and drivers you can expect at the shows:

  • GRAVE DIGGER driven by Pablo Huffaker
  • MONSTER MUT driven by Kevin Crocker
  • HOT WHEELS driven by Scott Buetow
  • CAROLINA CRUSHER driven by Gary Porter
  • MUTANT driven by Steven Sims
  • EL TORO LOCO driven by Kayla Blood
  • STONE CRUSHER driven by Steve Sims
  • HOOKED driven by Bryan Wright

*Trucks/drivers subject to change.

Monster Jam HagerstonNoah has no idea that we are going. I am excited for him. Even more that I have the opportunity to share this experience with another family as well. Off The Potomac is giving away 4 tickets to one lucky reader. Do you know what’s even better? YOU get to choose which day you want to go! (However we are going Sunday… just saying. lol) Here are the performance dates:

Friday, July 28th – 8:00 PM

Saturday, July 29th – 8:00 PM

Sunday, July 30th – 4:00 PM

Don’t miss your chance to win! You can even increase your chances with multiple entries. so ENTER NOW!

Giveaway ends July 23rd 2017. Winner will be announced Monday, July 24th 2017.

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Hagerstown Speedway is located:

15112 National Pike, Hagerstown MD 21740

To guarantee your trip, you have four ways to purchase:

  1. Visit www.ticketmaster.com
  2. Visit the Hagerstown Speedway Box Office
  3. Call Ticketmaster at 1-800- 745-3000
  4. Visit www.speedwayshopping.com

***On the Day of Show, all ticket prices will go up $3.00***

You can also see the trucks up close and meet drivers with admission to the Pit Party: Pit Party Passes are available for an additional $10 at the Hagerstown Speedway box office in person, online, at TicketMaster.com or Charge by Phone at 800-745- 3000. Same day event ticket along with Pit Pass is required for entry.

For more information on the Monster Jam, log onto www.MonsterJam.com. or follow Monster Jam via Facebook or Twitter.

This post has been sponsored by Feld Entertainment. All comment and opinions were my own.

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Get Lost in the Sunflower Maze at Ladybugs Alive

ladybugs alive

The only thing better than a corn maze is a sunflower maze! I know you have seen those dreamy photos online a people drowned in a field of Sunflowers? I have always said to myself that is a place I need to be. However, every year I would miss the calling at Ladybugs Alive. The thing with flowers is that they only hold up but for so long. That means you have to catch them blooming at the right time.

Then Summer 2017 rolls around and I almost miss my chance to go AGAIN. This week was the last week and the Sunflowers were down to about 70%, so I made a last-minute decision to just GO! And I am so glad we did. If you have time in the early Summer, make your way down to Chaptico, Maryland in St. Mary’s County for this unique treat. You might even be greeted by the owner Jerry. He planted and cut out the maze himself. That’s what makes this trip even more special. Here is a little taste of what you can expect:

 

Bees.

Bees on Sunflower Ladybugs Alive
If you want to be in a sunflower maze, you need to be tolerant and not allergic to bees. They are everywhere. But don’t worry, they have lots of other “beesness” to attend. Just let them work. We need them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than just sunflowers.

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Lots of different flowers in the butterfly garden right across from the maze.

Butterflies.

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And what’s a butterfly garden without the butterflies right?

Lots to learn.

Kids get their own clipboard so that they can go on a scavenger hunt for birds and insects throughout the property. Included is a magnifying glass to confirm their findings and a marker to check off all their discoveries. Pretty cool right?

Plenty of play.

On a hot day, everyone can come into the shed for some ice-cold water and puzzles to play. Once the kids get cooled off they can go back outside for a game of cornhole or memory. Noah did not want to leave this place. It was a struggle. lol

A beautiful sunset on the field.

Sun set on sunflower field lady bugs alive
The property closes after 9pm. It is perfect to watch the sun set on the field and catch a few lightning bugs on your way out!

Jerry and Pheobe were awesome. Noah of course also kept them entertained. We will definitely try to make this a yearly visit.

If you would like more information and would like you plan your own visit to Ladybugs Alive, visit their facebook page before you go!

Have you ever been to a Sunflower Maze before?

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Take a Sip and Ride with Vino 301

It seems like people on reality TV are always on some fancy chauffeured trip to a vineyard. Aside from the catfights, I told myself that will be me and my friends. Then one day, Leslie from Vino 301 Wine Concierge offered a complimentary wine tour for two in Southern Maryland. How could I turn that down? It was my cousin’s birthday so it was the perfect treat! But when we were picked up in THIS… I knew it was going to be a Sunday Funday. Just like on TV. 😛

At the pick-up site, we were professionally greeted and gifted wine totes and a stemless glass. Guests are free to bring their own bottle for the ride. If not, there are courtesy refreshments on board. Bring special cheeses and meats to pair with any bottle you do bring. Vino 301 will gladly store it for you.

We were on the Heritage Region Tour and our first stop was Thanksgiving Farm Winery. If you like vineyards that feels like home, this is the one for you. The owners Doug and Maureen Heimbuch grow and make their own wine. As a result, our time with them was extremely informative and attentive. We loved being able to enjoy and learn about each wine.

Thanksgiving Farm
Left: Stephanie of dailyappetite.com | Middle: Ashlee of willdrinkfortravel.com

Our second stop was Running Hare Vineyard. The picture says it all. Since this a large/popular location, things move fast here. The tastings wasn’t as intimate and as Thanksgiving Farm but there was good music, views and vibes. Plus food trucks. That still equals good time!

There was surprise. The beer. I am not a beer drinker but I had my first beer flight at the Calvert Brewing Company bar on site and enjoyed it. It was included in the tour. My favorite was the Calvert Cream Ale.

 

With my cousin Dionne.
But before you go…There are a few things you should know about Vino 301 Wine Concierge:

  • You have options. Choose between a regional, chocolate, special vent or customize your own tour.
  • The more the merrier…especially when you bring your favorite music or wine for the ride. This kind of thing is perfect for group outings or celebrations.
  • There is a discount for non drinkers. Yay!
  • You will not only have a personal driver, but a separate and personal guide. Our guide Christina was extremely enthusiastic and resourceful. She was ready to answer any questions we had. Christina even contacted me the day before via text message to introduce herself and confirm our trip. Great service.
  • Wine drinkers should be prepared to buy a bottle or full glass of what they like. Remember…this is just a tasting. If you’re a wine drinker like myself, that won’t be enough. Since you won’t be driving for a while…HAVE FUN!
  • Speaking of having fun… Time will seem to fly. You will probably leave wanting more on a beautiful day like ours.
  • Plan to dine with you company before or after your trip. That’s what we did and it really completed the tour for me.

Good news: If you take a Regional Tour on a Thursday or Friday between June 1 and September 8, 2017 you can use code SUMMERTOURS for 10% off.

So give it a try and let Vino 301 know OTP sent ya! 😉

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ICE at Gaylord National Harbor

Chillin’ on ICE! at Gaylord National Harbor

ICE slide Gaylord National Harbor

We finally had a chance to see what ICE at Gaylord National Harbor is all about. ICE! is a holiday attraction featuring two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures. This year the theme is “Christmas around the world“. The ice is so well sculpted and colored that I often forgot everything was ice. We knew ahead of time it would be 9 degrees so we all came layered and prepared. I heard a lot concerns about the temperature but once we put on the BlueParka over our existing coats, we were perfectly fine. Just don’t forget your gloves!

Depending on your interest, you can be in an out of there as quick as 20 minutes anyway. 

Since ICE! is a self-guided show, there is more seeing than doing. The main attraction would be the ICE! slide.

ICE slide Gaylord National Harbor

You can go on as many times as you’d like but twice is probably more than enough. For what you get, the price may seem a little steep so it’s best to utilize a Groupon or discount if you can.

Once you leave ICE!, the real family fun begins with the rest of “Christmas on The Potomac”. Here is some of what you can expect: 

  • Hot Chocolate
  • ICE! Family Picture Review and Purchase
  • Village of the North Pole
  • Breakfast with Charlie Brown™ & Friends
  • The Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt
  • Gingerbread Decorating Corner
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop®
  • Sights and Sounds of the Season Laser Show
  • Photos with Santa
  • Potomac Express Train, Christmas Carousel and Attractions
  • Story time with Mrs. Claus

Brace yourself people…everything is sold separately. None of this is included in your ICE! ticket purchase.

You might not feel the need to go every year but ICE! is definitely something you want to consider putting on your bucket list. It would also make a great staycation if you booked a room for the night. For more information, visit HERE and Enjoy! 

On Board for Urban Pirates at National Harbor

Aye!

When urban and pirate slang meet.

(Not everyone will get that one lol… it’s ok.)

In a geeky way its fun for me to share anything close to the shores of the Potomac. So when it comes to this blog, the only thing better than being “off” the Potomac is actually being ON it.

That’s where Urban Pirates at National Harbor come into play.  A friend of mine kindly gifted our family with her Groupon voucher so we could share our experience with you. Urban Pirates is an interactive cruise. There are options available for both adults, family or parties. We of course went with the Family Adventure and were lucky enough to catch the last sail of the season.

Both adults and children are encouraged to participate through role-play as a pirate. Although the pirate count for our sail was low, the energy was still very high. Here is what our experience was like:

First we were given an Urban Pirate vest (on loan – not to keep).

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

Then each pirate picks out their own tattoo.

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

After laying down some ground rules, safety tips, and pirate slang…

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

We danced, played limbo and games like “pirate says”.

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

We also enjoyed an interactive story time.

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

Throughout the trip, we were interrupted by a scallywag called “Mad Dog”.

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

Since pirates never surrender, we to went the nearest water cannon on board to protect our ship.

(Aaarrrggghh! Mad Dog actually has their treasures…which calls for strategic negotiation bait and switch).

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

 

Once recovered, the pirates divvy up the “booty” and Mad Dog goes off into the sunset on the Potomac, never to be seen again.

 

Urban Pirates National Harbor

Yo Ho Ho!

Cute right? I am sure the adult version gets a lot more interesting (with BYO alcohol) lol. If you would like to take part in this adventure, cruises will resume April 2017. Get more information HERE! 

Fall Family Fun at Middleton’s Cedar Hill Farm in Waldorf

In with the cool breeze comes pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hay rides. Lucky for us, there are plenty of family farms in Maryland. It is a little mission of mine to visit a different farm every year. This fall we chose Middleton’s Cedar Hill Farm. The weather could not have been more perfect! Here is what we did:

PLAYTIME

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We started off with a little free play for Noah. The play area was designed with recycled products. Noah loved the sand and tires the most.

 

CORN MAZE

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We took advantage of the online educational game to find our way through the 8-acre maze.  There is also a kiddie soy-bean maze that is about 2 feet tall and 1.5 acres large.

 

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We actually made it out of the big maze on our own this time. I was determined after surrendering last year at another farm in Southern Maryland.

 

HAY RIDE

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Although the hay ride doesn’t take you around the main (scenic) area, I really liked that you sit on hay for the tractor ride. Halfway during the ride, the farmer stops by the pumpkin patch before returning. All of the farmers were very friendly.

 

PUMPKIN PATCH

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Most of the pumpkins have already been pulled from the vine. I would have preferred to do it myself but it makes it much easier for guests to quickly grab a pumpkin of their choice. Once you have your pumpkin, there is a weigh-in station at checkout. Size will determine how much you pay. But don’t be alarmed…we had a pretty decent size pumpkin for $4.

FOOD

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The market sells fresh goods and produce. Everything smells so good. We already had a tip about the donuts on the truck outside so we bought Apple Butter and Pumpkin. Apple is more popular but the pumpkin was my personal fave.

 

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It was Noah’s idea to get the popcorn too. Thanks to him, we couldn’t stop eating it. It was SO addicting! If you see a little extra weight on us, the food here is why. lol

 

FARM ANIMALS

At the end of our trip, we visited the animals. There were goat, chickens, pigs and more. The cows were very friendly but then I realized it was because we had food.

 

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This is the look they give you when they know you have that good stuff. 😛

 

I hope you can catch activities at Middleton’s Cedar Hill Farm during the fall next year. The farm is open from the end of September and throughout October from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and kids 2 and under are free. Click HERE for more information.

All Set Restaurant Silver Spring

Goodie For The Foodie: All Set Restaurant & Bar in Silver Spring

I can’t believe we celebrated our 7-year anniversary this month. As usual, we hesitated to go out. Since becoming parents, we struggle with childcare arrangements that are reliable, convenient and comfortable for the both of us. As much as we need alone time, we are still hesitant on making plans for ourselves.

This time my great-aunt watched Noah last-minute. It was SO last-minute that we were the last customers to dine at All Set Restaurant and Bar in Silver Spring. Our night wasn’t elaborate but for the sake of imagination, let’s just say we rented the whole place out to ourselves. 😛 And here is what we had:

OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL

 

All Set Restaurant Raw Oysters

FRIED CALAMARI

Hot Cherry Peppers, Cocktail Sauce

All Set Restaurant Calamari

CRAB MAC & CHEESE

Gruyere, White Cheddar, Campanelle, Old Bay, Herb Crumb

All Set Restaurant Crab Mac and Cheese

LOBSTER ROLL 

Drawn Butter or Tabasco Lime Mayonnaise, Chives, House Cut Fries

all set restaurant lobster roll

SURF & TURF BURGER

Fried Oysters, Old Bay Tartar, Coleslaw, House Cut Fries

All Set Restaurant Surf and Turf Burger

PERFECT STORM

Rum, Lime, Pineapple, Ginger, Gosling’s Ginger Beer

All Set Restaurant Perfect Storm Drink

 

MOJITO 

All Set Restaurant Mojito

RICOTTA DOUGHNUTS

Cinnamon Sugar, Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise, Chocolate Ganache

All Set Restaurant Ricotta Donughts

Champagne on the house! 😉

Going in, I was nervous about quality of food and service right before closing but it turned out great. The only issue was that the Mac and Cheese was a little watery at the bottom but it was still good. However, the lobster roll was EXCELLENT! It was actually THE BEST lobster roll I EVER had! I mean that roll is the kind of dish that you won’t stop getting because you’re too afraid nothing else at the restaurant will compare. Who knew lobster on bread could have that kind of effect on you?

And The Perfect Storm…for lack of better word…was…perfect – I might have a thing for gingery drinks now. SOLD!

The only real problem is that our time together was just too short. We were back to pick up Noah in less than two hours. Dating once a year might be normal for some couples but it’s not good enough for me. Honestly, I am a little jealous of people who can comfortably make arrangements for their children that don’t require someone driving an hour or more. Going out alone has been so rare for us that we aren’t cool with asking or accepting help anymore. The Mr. and I need to commit to more than an annual date. Don’t you think? We will be starting with once a quarter.

Update: We went on a date again less than two weeks after our anniversary! 😀

Do you have to schedule alone time with your significant other? What works for you?