My friends over at Kid Trips made this great list of things to do to this summer for kids - but hey, adults need ideas too! Check it out - I think I can knock out more than half of them :)
ENTER BELOW TO WIN ONE OF FOUR FAMILY FOUR PACKS OF TICKEST TO CELEBRATE FAIRFAX!
Mark your calendars for Celebrate Fairfax! on June 7-9, 2013 at the
Fairfax County Government Center. Presented by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc, the annual festival hosts tens of thousands of visitors during the three-day run.
The 25-acre site is magically filled with fascinating sights and sounds of more than 300 exhibitors, food vendors, crafters and interactive activities. Celebrate Fairfax! showcases live concerts on eight stages, ExxonMobil Children's Avenue, a petting zoo, the Fairfax County
Karaoke Championship, carnival rides, and great festival foods. Another fun activity for kids is the Inova Train Ride to Good Health.
Nightly fireworks, presented by SAIC, are a highlight of the festival, and one of many great family programs. This year's Bud Light Main Stage features top national headline performers:
The B-52s, Spin Doctors and the Summerland Tour 2013 - Alternative Guitars starring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge!
Tickets: At the gate:
$12 adult (11 & Older); $5 youth (3-10); 2 & Under Free; $10 Seniors & Military.
Discounted tickets can be purchased in advance at www.CelebrateFairfax.com.
Performances on the Bud Light Main Stage include:
Friday, June 7th at 7:15pm – Summerland Tour 2013 – Alternative Guitars starring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge
Saturday, June 8th at 8pm – The B-52s
Sunday, June 9th at 4:30pm – Spin Doctors
Craft Beer Garden and Silent Disco – Features craft brews and exceptional acoustic artists by day, and dueling DJs in a club-like atmosphere by night. Two DJ's spin the crowd into frenzy and the only way you can hear it is with specifically tailored, wireless headphones. At our silent disco, rather than using a traditional speaker system, live music is broadcasted and picked up by specially designed wireless headphones worn by the audience. Each headphone has two channels, one for each DJ, and the audience can switch back and forth between the two channels depending on what music they want to dance to. Two DJs, two different types of music. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the amusing effect of a room full of people dancing to silence. Entertainment for everyone!
Greenology - This signature program at Celebrate Fairfax!, educates and motivates guests on leading a greener and healthier life. The Greenology exhibit at the 2013 Celebrate Fairfax! Festival will include the Dominion Virginia Power stage which offers demonstrations, lectures and performances geared toward giving attendees of all ages a better understanding of healthy living and the opportunities for positive changes in everyday life.
Fairfax County DockDogs Championship – The world’s premier canine aquatics competition is coming to Fairfax! DockDogs is a national dog jumping competition that will feature four-legged athletes from around the region. Three competitions combine to make one action packed family oriented show. Dogs compete in Big Air (long jump), Extreme Vertical (high jump), and Speed Retrieve by jumping off of a 20 foot dock into a 40 foot pool of water. The overall best competitor wins the Iron Dog. Dock jumping is a fun and exciting canine sport open to all breeds.
ExxonMobil Children's Avenue - Located at the heart of the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, is a
playground of interactive activities for the youngest of our guests. With a primary focus for those 12 and under, ExxonMobil Children's Avenue is a not-to-miss destination for all young families.
Programs in ExxonMobil Children's Avenue have a basis in education, fun, and imagination. All activities are interactive, and include a petting zoo, Busch Garden's Children's stage, Inova Health System Train Ride to Good Health and new this year, Silent Disco Jr. and an Instrument Petting Zoo.
All programs and activities in ExxonMobil Children's Avenue are FREE with festival admission.
Fairfax County Karaoke Championship - Think you have what it takes to be the Karaoke Champion of Fairfax County? Well now is your chance! The Celebrate Fairfax! Festival is proud to present the fourth annual Fairfax County Karaoke Championship. The competition will consist
of three rounds: preliminary rounds starting March 17th at various local venues (see www.celebratefairfax.com for a full list), semi-final and final rounds -- both at the Celebrate Fairfax!
Festival on Saturday June 8th. One winner will be named Fairfax County Karaoke Champion and will receive the grand prize of $1,500.
For more information on any of the festival's programs, or to become a part of the festival as a volunteer, please browse our website, www.celebratefairfax.com, or contact the Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. office at 703-324-FAIR (3247).
Looking to keep the kids busy this summer? How about a chance to check out the programs at The Music Loft in Herndon for FREE? Enter to win A SUMMER OF MUSIC LESSONS (8 weeks of 30 minute lessons -- a $300 value).
Top 5 Beneﬁts of Studying Music with The Music Loft
#1 All instrumental lessons in one location, saving you time.
One family can take lessons on multiple instruments on the same day. We offer instruction on ALL of the popular instruments.
#2 The most qualiﬁed teaching faculty in the area.
Our faculty have degrees in music education and professional performance experience. Our instructors are dedicated to helping you achieve YOUR personal musical goals. With 18
instructors to choose from, we are conﬁdent that we have the right teacher to meet your needs. Our teachers are dedicated to providing the best music education in a warm, friendly, nurturing
#3 Our award winning Master Classes and FREE recitals.
We are the ONLY music school to include as part of your students comprehensive music education program free recitals and numerous master classes every semester.
#4 A family friendly environment with a comfortable waiting room.
Instead of waiting in a crowded music retail store showroom, our families enjoy a spacious, professional waiting room with comfortable couches and chairs, kids toys, Wi-ﬁ, and coffee.
#5 A wide range of lesson times available to ﬁt your busy
Monday-Thursday 3:00pm-8:00pm AND Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm
Historic Mount Vernon invites visitors to sip wine while watching the sunset on George Washington’s home! Sunset Celebration at Mount Vernon, an event over Memorial Day weekend (May 25 – 26), offers a rare opportunity to visit Mount Vernon after the daytime crowds have departed. Visitors may take evening tours of the Mansion, relax and enjoy wine and desserts available for purchase on the
lawn overlooking the Potomac River.
Delight in 18th-century music, dancing, games, and wagon rides. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and immerse yourself in the 18th century as the sun sets on the plantation with costumed residents like the charming Lady Washington. This family-friendly event celebrates the beginning of summer on the plantation.
Tickets are $18, adults; $12, children ages 6-11; and free for five and under. This event requires a separate ticket from daytime admission. Annual passes are not valid for this event. All activities, with the exception of food and wine, are included with admission to this event. Tickets may be purchased online in advance at MountVernon.org or at the Ford Orientation Center ticket window until
8:00 p.m. the evening of the event. Guests must be prepared to show identification to purchase wine.
Tickets can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/126pxez
Chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay introduces his first restaurant in Virginia with the opening of Bobby’s Burger Palace (BBP) in Woodbridge, VA, the 15th BBP location nationwide. Located adjacent to Potomac Mills—a Simon Mall—BBP offers an assortment of burgers inspired by Bobby’s extensive travels throughout America and his love of the grill in a casual and convenient setting.
“At any time of year, my favorite thing to eat is a cheeseburger,” says Bobby. “And at BBP, I celebrate America’s variety of flavors, styles and cultures surrounding this classic staple, offering a selection of specialty burgers, served at a great price. I’m very excited to open the first BBP in Virginia and be able to share this with the Woodbridge community.”
Each BBP burger is Bobby’s tribute to America’s regional flavors and traditions, made with only premium-quality ingredients and condiments. Cooked to order, patrons can choose from 10 signature burgers such as the Philadelphia Burger with Provolone cheese, griddled onions and hot peppers; the Buffalo Style Burger with red hot sauce, blue cheese dressing and watercress; the Dallas Burger spice crusted with coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ sauce, and pickles; the Santa Fe Burger with queso sauce, pickled jalapeños, and blue corn chips; and the Palace Classic Burger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and red onion – are all served on a sesame seed bun. Also offered is a BBP Burger of the Month, which in May will be Stephanie’s All-American Burger with American cheese, yellow mustard, pickled jalapenos and shredded lettuce. All burgers may be prepared with Certified Angus Beef or ground turkey, and a grilled chicken breast option is also available.
INSIDER DINING AT BBP When dining at the BBP, Bobby reminds you to get your burger crunchified, which means topping any BBP burger with crisp chips at no additional cost. Crunchified selections include the Crunchburger® with double American cheese and potato chips and the Crunch Salad with chopped vegetables, romaine, crispy tortillas, white cheddar cheese cubes and balsamic dressing.
I have a lot of things to say in this post - so just one title doesn't seem to do it justice.
Last weekend, I was quite envious of one of my neighbors' smoked chicken BBQ. So my other neighbor, Justin, and I decided we'd try our own luck at smoking some proteins since we're both pretty enamored by food.
We made smoked chicken drumsticks, beef brisket, and a pork shoulder. I had the chicken drumsticks in a brine overnight. I gave all three meats a generous coating of the Pork Barrell BBQ Dry Rub that I found at Costco.
I have never actually brined anything myself. Hell, I've never even cooked meat with a bone in it until Saturday's drumsticks. I googled every single recipe for the "best chicken brine" ever - and I couldn't quite figure out what would work for me. So what did I do? Made it up, of course.
What you'll need:
1 gallon cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
10 gallon ziploc bag
1. Whisk salt and sugar into water until it starts to dissolve.
2. Pour brine into ziploc bag. I also added a good helping of my dry rub into the bag.
3. Add chicken (I always rinse my chicken first before cooking - you don't need to wash the chicken with soap as seen on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2).
4. Leave in brine overnight - or at least a minimum of 2 hours.
After letting the chicken smoke for 2.5 hours, it was the most tender, juicy, flavorful deliciousness that I've ever made. The skin gets kinda rubbery in the smoker, so we dipped them in the deep fryer for 3 minutes afterwards. PERFECTION.
I seriously don't know why I don't brine every time I cook chicken - it made a world of difference.
Check out the final product:
And here's the BBQ Beef Brisket after 8 hours in the smoker:
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the finished pork shoulder. It took about 12 hours - and by the time it was done - I had enjoyed a few drinks with the neighbors and forgot about taking pics.
If you have any great BBQ recipes, tips, or tricks - please share in the comments below!
Foodies and Food Network fans have a chance to meet and eat with New York City restaurateur, author and television personality Donatella Arpaia at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town on Sunday, May 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The event begins on the H Lounge Stage, where Donatella will speak about her journey to becoming a chef, give recipe tips and answer questions. Attendees can enter their names in a raffle for a chance to win one of 10 Donatella Cooks cookbooks.
Following the presentation, guests will be invited to the Skybox Sports Bar to mingle with Donatella and purchase appetizers from Donatella Cooks prepared by the Chefs at Hollywood Casino. Selections include cucumber soup with crab, yogurt and dill shooter, and Mama’s meatballs. Guests who order one of the featured appetizers will receive a recipe card to be signed by Donatella.
The talk is free and open to the public, however guests must pay for food selections.
Donatella is one of the most influential women in the world of food, business and entertaining. The New York Post named her one of the “most powerful women” in Manhattan, and Zagat called her “hostess with the mostest.”
The restaurateur opened her first New York City restaurant Bellini, inspired by her childhood summers spent in Italy with family and food, in 1998. She soon opened three more highly acclaimed restaurants including Donatella, DBar and Kefi.
Donatella is also well known as a head judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef. She is featured as a regular contributor on the Today Show. In 2010, Donatella penned Donatella Cooks, a guide to cooking and entertaining with flair.
About Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
A Penn National gaming property, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is a world-class resort destination, offering visitors a truly Las Vegas-style gaming experience that includes 3,200 slot machines, more than 100 table games, a 50-table poker room, and both live and simulcast horse racing year round. A wide range of quality restaurants and bars are offered, including authentic Hong Kong cuisine and sushi at 9 Dragons, a 350-seat Epic Buffet, and Final Cut Steakhouse – proud recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The casino also offers an exciting nightlife experience including free concerts and entertainment at the H Lounge. On Fridays, the H Lounge transforms into Boogie Nights, the ultimate 70’s and 80’s dance party. Conveniently located about a one-hour drive from the Baltimore and DC beltways, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races is one of the region’s fastest growing gaming and entertainment destinations with more than four million visitors each year.
This is the smile of a child who just spent $10 on sugar.
In all honesty, I had not set my expectations very high for Mother's Day this year. We have had SO much going on in the past month with B having his tonsils out, complications of the surgery, and the semester of grad school coming to a close.
In order to not set myself up for an emotional roller coaster, I have learned (it took me about 6 years to figure this out) that sometimes it is better to have no expectations at all and be completely thrilled than to have expectations set high and be let down. This crazy method of thinking worked in my favor yesterday as my lovebunnie surpised me with a day out in DC!
We landed the best seats at Nationals Park - on the second deck but right over the first base line. B brought money from his piggy bank to buy the world's most expensive cotton candy - and I was pleased to find a Blue Moon in my hand :)
After the game, we went to Guapo's in Shirlington for a light dinner and pitcher of Sangria on the patio. My girlfriend, Anita, lives right around the corner in Fairlington and swung by to hang out with us in the beautiful breeze.
I am so so so lucky & thankful. BEST. DAY. EVER.
I just realized that we're only two weeks away from our neighborhood pool opening this season and I panicked with fear just thinking about getting into my swimsuit! #SuburbanPeopleProblems.
So, today, I met with my friend, John Casto of Action Fitness. With a spinach shake in hand, John talked me into actually committing to a goal. I took the plunge and signed up for personal training and his Women's Only Fitness Bootcamp starting on Monday (OH NO!). I figure by posting here that you, my lovely/supportive/encouraging readers, will keep me accountable for at least the first month. My goal is to lose 5lbs in one month - totally doable, right?
I was thinking - since I'm going to be doing this challenge, wouldn't some of you like to do it with me?! Please! We can even go for margaritas after bootcamp :) I threw this idea at John and he said he'd extend ALL OF MY READERS a FREE ONE MONTH TRIAL for the Women's Only Fitness Bootcamp in Fairfax! WOO HOO!
Plus, FIVE WINNERS will receive a FREE personal training session to get you started. How fantastic is that? It will be way more fun if we do it together!
I'm Hosting The Rebecca Minkoff TRunk Show & Summer Block Party @ South Moon Under Mosaic District! May 16
I am so excited to be hosting the Summer Block Party at South Moon Under at the new Mosaic District store on May 16! We hosted a Summer Block Party last year at the Reston Town Center store and it was a BLAST! If you've never been - make sure you arrive early - South Moon Under will be giving away SWAG BAGS to the first 50 guests in line. Hope to see you all there! xo
If you are a member of the press/editor/blogger and you'd like to attend - let me know so that we can get a swag bag set aside for you! Numbers are limited! email email@example.com.