One giveaway ends, and another begins! (Congrats to KFDC reader, Kelly V., winner of The Nutcracker tickets).
This time the loot comes from one of my very favorite places to treat the kids (okay, and myself) in DC: Sprinkles Cupcakes. Only this prize doesn’t come loaded with calories like their scrumptious goodies. The Georgetown store is now selling a toy cupcake bakery, part of a new line by JAKKS Pacific of mini play environments created through collaboration with top consumer products.
The Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery has Christmas present written all over it. They will be available for purchase at the Sprinkles Georgetown store for $15. You can also enter the giveaway and try to win one.
Giveaway: For a chance to win a miWorld Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery signed by Sprinkles Founder Candace Nelson, simply leave a comment telling me what your child hopes Santa will bring this Christmas. To be eligible, you must like KFDC on Facebook. The giveaway will run through the end of this week.
As you get ready for Dad’s big day this weekend, here are some special promotions in honor of Father’s Day to check out.
Old Navy– On Saturday, June 16, Dads have the chance to win a DIY Network Man Cave makeover and other prizes like tool kits, flat screen TV’s and gas grills at “Shoot & Score” pop-up basketball hoops games set up in Old Navy locations around the country. The promo will run all day, and coupons and discounts will be given out, too.
Medieval Times – Treat Dad to a meal fit for a king — for free! This Friday through Sunday, June 15-17, Dads can enjoy the new two-hour tournament show and four-course medieval feast for free when accompanied by one full-paid adult admission. Just use code DFWEB when you purchase tickets. (Not valid on prior purchases or gift certificates, and cannot be combined with any other offer. Advance reservations and payment required.)
Caribou Coffee – They will be “raising a mug to dad” this Sunday, June 17, by offering a free beverage with any drink purchase. Customers who show this official Father’s Day BOGO coupon – either printed or on their phone – and purchase a beverage at participating Caribou Coffees will receive a free drink (be sure to see offer details at bottom of the coupon).
Sprinkles Cupcakes – Get the special DAD Box filled with peanut butter chip, red velvet, black and white, and vanilla milk chocolate cupcakes adorned with stars and DAD sugar decorations. The box is sealed with a “DAD Digs Cupcakes” sticker.
The kids’ joint party at Watkins Nature Center – double the birthday fun!
Every year since starting this blog, I’ve done one big post about birthday parties. They are kind of a thing for me, and rather than reiterate why, I’ll just direct you to this post and this one, which not only cover the background on my quest for good party venues, but also have a bunch of recommendations for places to host a bash for your child. And in keeping with the once-a-year tradition, here’s another post dedicated to the birthday party, a compilation of potential locales to celebrate our kids’ big days. And if you know of a good one that I have yet to mention, feel free to add it in the comments.
Welcoming another party guest
Watkins Nature Center
I’ve suggested birthday parties at nature centers before, but Watkins now gets individual mention – and huge props – after I hosted my kids’ bash there earlier this year. It couldn’t have worked out better for us. Since Owen and Sasha’s birthdays are just two weeks apart, we once again took advantage of the opportunity to throw a joint party. However, that meant we needed a venue that could accommodate guests of both kids. It also had to be indoors for their mid-winter party. On top of that, we wanted an activity that both birthday honorees, ages 3 and 6, would enjoy. Watkins came through in spades. Their party room accommodates up to 50 guests – 25 children and 25 adults, which was way more than other nature centers I checked out. We played up the “bringing the outdoors in” concept during what’s usually a cold time of year (it ended up being an unseasonably gorgeous day and the kids got to enjoy the trails, pond, and rescued birds around the center along with the animal and nature exhibits inside). But best of all, both Owen and Sasha were thrilled about the main event: A live animal show, a 30-minute viewing of some of the center’s feathery and reptilian residents. As far as logistics go, you can’t beat it. The cost for a three-hour rental (that includes set up and clean up time) is $155, which is pretty stellar in the DC area. You bring your own food, cake, and supplies, and plenty of tables and chairs are there for you to set up as desired. The party room is cute with big, colorful insect and amphibian paintings on the walls, and there’s much more to awe kids in and around the center. I recommend booking well in advance, as they only have two party time slots per weekend – from 1-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays. For reservations, call 301.218.6702 (Update: Rates & options have changed since this was published. Check with Watkins for the most current info.)
National Building Museum
The NBM was included in my first birthday party post, but with some new options available, it makes the list again. Craft Activity Birthday Parties are available in a variety of themes: Castle & Crowns and All Aboard! Train Construction are for children 3-6, while Tower Power and Crazy Creations are suitable for 6-11-year-olds. Each two-hour party includes a building orientation, hands-on craft, and party time in a museum classroom. All guests also receive complimentary tickets to view exhibits after. Cost is $250 for 10 guests, $15 for each additional guest. Another option for kids 6-11 is the Brick City Party, a tour of the Lego Architecture exhibit, a chance to construct their own brick buildings and create a Lego city, and a birthday celebration. The two-hour party costs $300 for 10 guests, $15 for each additional guest. You must be a member at the Family Level or higher to book a party at the NBM, but I highly recommend getting the membership, anyway – at $80/year, it pays for itself if you and the kids visit the Building Zone and exhibits even just a few times.
A cool way to celebrate a kid’s big day is on ice… make that, at the ice skating rink. And there are several in the area that host parties. Kettler Capital Iceplex has a package for $185 that includes party room rental, admission for 10 kids and 2 adults to the public skate session, skate rentals, food and drinks, party host, and party supplies. More guests can be added for extra cost. Cabin John Ice Rink in Bethesda rents a party room for $50/hour (you bring food, supplies, etc.) and a studio rink for $185/hour. You can also forego the private rink, and guests can skate during public skate sessions (admission is $3.50/ages 3-4, $5.50/ages 5-10, $6.50/ages 11 and up.) Be sure to book a party room during public skate times. For an ice skating party under the sky, the Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink is a great option (though only open November – March). Their birthday package includes a 25-minute skating lesson, then skate time, and tables can be reserved for party time. Cost is $12/person with a six-person minimum. These are just three suggestions; for even more ice skating options, check out the venues listed in this post.
When I was a kid, I probably had at least three birthday parties at the roller skating rink. I can even recall donning a sparkly headband (one that went around my forehead, not on top of my head), scrunching my legwarmers around my ankles, and circling the rink as Xanadu blared in the background. Surely, that’s not completely a thing of the past (Olivia Newton-John is due for a major comeback, right?). At least it’s not at a few area roller rinks. One of them is Wheels Skating Center in Odenton, Md., where birthday party packages for up to 10 skaters are available. Packages include admission and skate rental, pizza and drinks, 45 minutes at a party table, supplies, a free skate pass for each party guest, and special goodies for the birthday kid. Skate Zone in Crofton, Md., is another place to get rolling, with a few party packages starting at $195, are available. The basic includes admission and rentals for 8 guests, food and drinks, game tokens, an hour at a party table, supplies, and goody bags.
Pirate Ship Parties
Buccaneer-obsessed kids can fulfill their pirate dreams on the high Chesapeake “seas.” Two different companies in Baltimore and Annapolis offer party packages for swashbuckling birthday boys and girls. Owen has attended – and had a blast at — parties at both locations. And if his birthday fell at a different time of year, he’d probably opt to celebrate it at one of them. Urban Pirates in Baltimore offer three birthday packages starting at $275 for 15 guests, 30 minutes of boarding activities, 60 minutes of sailing on the Fearless, a special Pirate birthday song and goodies for both the honoree and guests. Cake time costs extra, so you may have to plan for another venue, perhaps a nearby park, for that. Visit the website to see all of their party options. Pirate Adventures in Annapolis has a few packages available, all of them including 30 minutes of face painting and dress-up before a 75-minute cruise aboard the Sea Gypsy, a ride that takes party-goers out on the Bay and includes fun and games of the pirate variety. Depending on the package, there may or may not be time in a party room after, so you might have to figure out another option for cake. Package prices begin at $675 for 45 passengers, and while that sounds steep, you might consider doing what a friend of mine did, and sharing the party with a friend.
After attending a Mother’s Day cupcake decorating session here, Sasha declared Sprinkles as her next birthday party venue. And I completely understand why: Cupcakes! Ones you get to frost yourself and adorn with all the pretty and fun toppings you like. In an adorable pink-walled (and floored) party room above the shop. Sprinkles provides the bare cupcakes, then sets out several flavors of frosting along with a variety of cute, edible sugar decorations — sprinkles included, of course — so that party guests can make their cupcakes look and taste exactly the way they want them. And you’re welcome to bring your own food and drinks for party fare other than the scrumptious treats. The cost for all of this is $500 and includes two hours of rental time, 4 dozen full-sized cupcakes or 6 dozen mini cupcakes , all decorating tools, Sprinkles to-go boxes, and a party coordinator to assist, and set up/clean up by Sprinkles. The rate might sound steep, but as the room accommodates 20 guests seated and 30 standing, it could possibly be a shared party.
ComedySportz 4 Kids
This improv show at The Comedy Spot in Ballston Common Mall is how Owen wants to celebrate his next party. We’ve never been, but I looked into this option for the kids’ birthdays this year and learned they were too young, as it’s recommended for first graders and up. The fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants show encourages audience participation and even invites theatre-goers to get in on the act, too. Afterwards, groups can stay for a party on stage. Rates are $10/person for up to 30 guests, plus $100 for the post-show celebration. You bring all the food and supplies; they’ll help you clean up when it’s over. And if you want to go big for the occasion, you can buy out the entire show and have the place to yourselves for $600 (another joint birthday possibility).
A friend claims this is a must on a list of area birthday party recommendations. And by the sound of it, I couldn’t agree more. I would have adored a soiree like this when I was a little girl. Catering to budding ballerinas and young entertainers, two party packages indulge the dance enthusiast’s fancy. For children ages 3 and up, there’s the Ballerina Party that includes a story, dance session in ornate costumes, tea party, and a fairy-dusted birthday cake. Kids 5 and older, can turn their party into a production with the Musical Theatre Birthday that includes a song and dance from a popular Broadway show, “auditions”, then a chance to perform the show for parents. Afterward, the party moves to a disco club where guests relax with music, apple cider, and birthday cake. Rates start at $650 for 16 guests (again, one to possibly share to cut costs). Ballet Petite has locations in both Bethesda and McLean.
The venue full of cute, themed rooms encouraging pretend play and hands-on fun for little ones gets loads of raves from parents as a great place for everyday play (Sasha, for one, loves it there). I’ve heard their birthday parties are fantastic, too. They offer a few packages at different price points, depending on the number of guests and activities included. The basic ($150) gets you an hour of playtime and cupcake decorating, and story time for 6 children. A more-frills one ($300) includes an all-day play pass, a private party room for two hours, a themed story time, and Playseum dollars to purchase a toy or activity. For more details and other party options, see the website.
Sprinkles Cupcakes MOM Box is as yummy as it is gorgeous... trust me.
Moms are in for a treat — or a few — this Mother’s Day! Several businesses have special promos going on in celebration of the big day. Here’s where you can find them…
Sprinkles Cupcakes brought back their glorious MOM Box, which features Dark Chocolate, Red Velvet, Vanilla and Lemon cupcakes. I was lucky enough to be gifted with one by Sprinkles after Sasha and I attended a cupcake decorating session a few days ago (just like this one last year), and we devoured those parcels of deliciousness faster than I should admit. If you want to treat mom to the best cupcakes in DC (imo) you can order the MOM Box here. You can also get a free cupcake on May 13 from 12-2pm by saying “People Like Us” when you’re in the shop. (A bonus tip: If you follow Sprinkles on Facebook or Twitter, you can get secret passwords for free cupcakes!)
Nando’s Peri Peri will celebrate Mother’s Day this year with a special promotion offered at all seven area locations. On May 13, moms can enjoy a complimentary dessert of their choice with the purchase of any entrée. Nando’s main claim to fame is its Portuguese flame-grilled chicken, but it also serves a variety of delicious desserts. Dessert favorites include: Chocolate Spoon Cake, Raspberry Brulée Cheesecake, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, Four High Carrot Cake, Naughty Nata (a Portuguese pastry), assorted cupcakes, and bottomless frozen yogurt.
Caribou Coffee will be celebrating the special day with a “Buy One, Get One Free” deal on May 13. Guests who show this coupon — either printed or on their smartphone — and purchase a beverage at participating Caribou coffeehouses will receive a free drink (specific offer details are at the bottom of the coupon).
Chick-fil-A restaurants are hosting a Mother-Son “Date Knight” on Monday, May 14, from 4:30-8:30pm. The evening will include special medieval-themed activities, a muscle car display, a knighting ceremony, and costumed medieval figures such as jesters, queens, and horses. Reservations are required, so go here to reserve a seating time.
Z Burger in Tenleytown and Southwest is giving free meals (regular, cheese or veggie burger plus a side of fries and a drink) to moms who say “ThankZ Mom” when they stop in on May 13 from 10:30am – 10pm.
Blogging has its benefits, and sometimes they are extra sweet. One of those occasions was a couple of days ago when I had the opportunity to bring Owen to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown for a cupcake frosting session. What a treat! Not only did I get to savor some samples myself, but my lucky kid got to create all kinds of cupcake tops with both big and mini cupcakes of assorted flavors, four varieties of frosting, two colors of sprinkles, and a big selection of fun sugar decorations to top it all off.
Kids get their cupcake on in Sprinkles' party room
I was invited to this event at Sprinkles Cupcakes along with other local bloggers as a special Mother’s Day celebration. It was a chance for us to see their party room in use and learn about their upcoming Mother’s Day promotion, the MOM Box, which each of us got to take home.
So, there you have the disclosure, and now here’s my honest opinion: The MOM Box rocks. I just received it on Monday (it’s now Wednesday), and it’s already gone. Granted, my family indulged with me, and I shared many cupcakes with friends, but I had to do that or I would have eaten every single one of those scrumptious treats myself. They were as delicious as the Box was beautiful. Dark chocolate, red velvet, vanilla and lemon cupcakes were topped with either sprinkles or sugar decorations (with daisies or spelling out MOM). And if I hadn’t been so hasty about digging into the box, I would have has the sense to snap a photo. Instead you can see what it looks like on the Sprinkles website.
The special Mother’s Day MOM Box will be available in the store May 6-8, and you can pre-order it online for easy pick-up.