Two years ago we stumbled across a gem! Now every time we travel to Lancaster, PA we make it a priority to stop at The Speckled Hen. Located in the heart of Starsburg this charming cafe is known for its fresh, local and delicious menu. The Speckled Hen Coffee is the perfect place to get breakfast while vacationing in Lancaster because of its ideal location, atmosphere and appetizing menu. Some of their featured items include craft coffee, espresso and tea and an array of pastries and fresh off the skillet recipes that are fresh, local & simple.
One of the things I love the most about this cafe is its atmosphere. While at the same time as it being simple and elegant it is also warm and inviting. You can tell that The Speckled Hen is kid friendly and family focused by their ability to recognize the needs of parents and their little ones. They truly show that they value families by incorporating a scrumptious and healthy kids menu, plethora of high chairs and children’s corner nearby tables so families can relax and unwind while children play.
It’s nice to enjoy delicacies and the beauty in little things; which most of the time as a mom I feel I’m not the audience typically catered to. At the Speckled Hen presentation is everything from fresh flowers on the table to heart shaped designs in the coffee, every thing has a special touch. I wish we had a place like this in Southern Maryland; with the only options being Star Bucks and Dunkin Donuts at home the Speckled Hen is definitely a special treat.
Visit their website for a full menu, hours and address: http://www.speckledhencoffee.com/
A few years ago while visiting the Outer Banks my family and I had the chance to enjoy Duck Donuts. We were super excited to find out that a new location just opened up in Lancaster, PA. Our family LOVES fresh donuts. We especial love Duck Donuts!
When arriving you don’t have to worry about your favorite donuts selling out because the donuts are made fresh to order. When ordering you get to choose a glaze and toppings. Than you can step back and watch the process. It’s pretty cool to see the dough made, mixed, poured and cooked than dipped in a glaze and drizzled with toppings. The donuts are placed in a box and are ready to eat. They are always served fresh and warm!
Calories don’t count on vacation so I always get at least two and a hot cup of coffee to pair with. I also love how darn cute the store is. Murals and posters of a duck character and quotes are displayed around the restaurant. They are whimsical and hilarious- this place is sure to bring a smile to your face.
The Playful Parent was created in 2016 as a blog to share the joys and craziness of parenting. The founder of The Playful Parent is a full time domestic energizer and has a Bachelors from Marymount University and a Masters in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.
1442 Concord Ave, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland 20762
INDOOR PLAYGROUND IDEAS Date: OPEN DAILY Time: ALL DAY Location: VARIOUS LOCATIONS THROUGH OUT SOUTHERN MARYLAND Details: SEE INDOOR PLAY GUIDE LINK Event Type: INDOOR PLAY Age Group: All Ages Cost: VARIES Registration: Drop-In
Date: Monday – Thursday Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Location: Family Place to Play, Waldorf, MD Details: Family Place to Play Fun Center is a large indoor playground that can accommodate private parties and also is a great place to bring kids to play. Open Play provides many different ways for kids to be stimulated both physically and mentally. Event Type: Free Play Age Group: All Ages Cost: $11 (2 Hours)/ 2 and under $6.60 Registration: Drop- In Welcome https://familyplacetoplay.com/ways-to-play/
Little Jumpers Date : Most M/W/F (Always check Pump It Up site first) Time : 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Location: Pump It Up Waldorf Details : This special open jump is for our guests aged 1-6 years old only. If you’re worried about older kids running around the smaller ones, this is the perfect time for your little jumpers. Our designated toddler area is for 1yrs-3yrs only. 2 yrs-6yrs are allowed to jump on the inflatables. Daycares are more than welcome to participate in Little Jumpers. We ask that if you are going to bring more than 5 participants that you call ahead to let us know. Cost: $5.00 per child Information: https://www.pumpitupparty.com/waldorf-md/calendar/
***ALWAYS CHECK THE SCHEDULE OR CALL FIRST TO MAKE SURE LITTLE JUMPERS IS STILL ON THE CALENDAR. ***
BUSCH GARDENS CHRISTMAS TOWN Date: November 17, 2018 -January 5, 2019 (WEEKENDS ONLY UNTIL DEC 9) Place: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA Price: Cost of Admission to park/ FREE to Season Pass Holders Information: Christmas shines brightest at Busch Gardens Christmas Town in Williamsburg, Virginia. The world’s most beautiful theme park is aglow with over 8 million Christmas lights, making it the largest Christmas light display in North America. Enjoy kid-friendly, thrill rides, merry entertainment and dining options. Stay warm with a mug of the park’s signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate, meet Santa Claus in the North Pole and capture an unforgettable memory with a Christmas photo. Most of all, enjoy this most wonderful time of year with friends and family. CHRISTMAS TOWN PLAYFUL PARENT GUIDE
CHRISTMAS DOLLS AND TRAINS EXHIBIT AT ST CLEMENTS Date: December 1-January 1 (12:00 PM – 4:00 PM) *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas* Place: St. Clements Island Museum, 38370 Point Breeze Road, Coltons Point, MD Price: $3 Adults/ $1.50 Children 6 – 18, FREE Children 5 and under. Information: Exhibits will feature special doll collections from the Black-eyed Susan and Southern Maryland Doll Clubs. Dolls will be arranged to depict Christmas scenes and vignettes of Chesapeake coastal living in the early 20th century.
Location: Edward T Hall Aquatic Center, Prince Frederick, MD Details: Enjoy this special children’s pool that features a zero depth entry up to 3 feet depth heated pool with slides, climbing features, and water drop buckets.
**Leisure pool will close from 4:00pm – 7:00pm for swim lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays**
LIGHTS ON THE BAY Date: November 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019 (5pm – 10pm) *Including holidays* Place: Sandy Point State Park Price: $15 Per Car Information: Head to Sandy Point State Park from November 19th to January 1st. Not only will you see Christmas lights, but 3D glasses are available to make your experience even more amazing.
WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT WATKINS REGIONAL PARK Date: November 23, 2018-January 1, 2019 (5-9:30 pm) Place: Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland Price: Tickets range from $5 per car or van to $30 per bus, see website for details. Information: Join in celebrating the 30th anniversary of Watkins Park’s Winter Festival of Lights by driving thru a spectacular holiday display of more than one million lights and one of the tallest tree displays in Maryland. Participants are encouraged to bring a canned or nonperishable good to be donated to a local food bank.
ZOO LIGHTS Date: November 23, 2018 to January 1 (except Dec. 24, 25 and 31) 5-9 PM Place: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC Price: Free admission Information: Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with a dazzling light show set to music!
41TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT THE MORMON TEMPLE Date: November 29, 2018 – January 1, 2019 Place: Washington, D.C., Temple, 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, Maryland Price: Free Information: The Festival of Lights is one of the D.C. area’s great community traditions. Beginning December 1st, the Festival features free performances nightly in the comfortable, state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors’ Center. A different performing artist or group is showcased each night, including bell ensembles, choirs, orchestras, and more! Each performance is presented twice nightly.
BULL RUN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Date: November 21, 2018 -January 6, 2019 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas* Place: 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121 Price: $20-$25 Depending on what night you go. Information: Every year from Thanksgiving until just after New Year’s Day, you can experience the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. Drive the festival route from the comfort of your car; turn out your headlights and just follow the magical glow. After viewing the lights, bring your family and friends to the holiday village to enjoy rides, refreshments, and of course, photos with Santa Claus (holiday village open select nights). The festival happens annually at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Virginia. Monday – Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday – Sunday and Holidays 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Holidays include November 23, December 24, 25, 31, and January 1).
Details: Through the power of technology and the help of Santa’s elves, Santa will call your child to find out what they want for Christmas and to find out if they have been naughty or nice. Calls will be made between 6:00-8:00p on Monday, Dec. 10. Limited to first 200 registered.
BROOKESIDE GARDENS GARDEN OF LIGHTS Date: November 16, 2018 – January 1 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas* Place: Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, Maryland Price: $25 per vehicle Sun.-Thurs.; $30 per vehicle Fri.-Sat. Information: Walk thru this beautiful display of holiday lights that features more than a million colorful lights. Following your walk among the lights, warm up inside the Conservatory and enjoy a colorful display of holiday poinsettias, flowering plants and evergreens.
Location: Charles County Public Library- Potomac Branch
Details: Join us for an evening of crocheting, knitting and socializing with other beginning and advanced crafters. We will share basic stitches and techniques to help you begin your crochet and knitting journey. All participants must bring their own yarn and needles.
AWARD WINNING ANNMARIE GARDENS IN LIGHTS Date: November 30, 2018 – January 1, 2019 Nightly (6-9 PM ) *Closed 12/3, 12/4, 12/24, 12/25*Place: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons Price: $7 for ages 3 and over, FREE for kids 2 and under. Information: Walk through the wooded path and enjoy lighted vignettes of famous people, places and works of art. Look for hidden treasures in the trees and green shamrocks in each vignette.
FREE PERFORMANCES EVERYDAY- KENNEDY CENTER Date: Monday – Friday Time: 6:00 PM Location: Kennedy Center- Millenium Stage Details: See link for schedule of performances. Different musicians, actors, singers and dances each night. Event Type: Performance/Concert Age Group: All Ages Cost: FREE Registration: No Ticket RequiredMILLENIUM STAGE EVENT LINK
Details: Come to our Spanish Club and make “new amigos” as you practice speaking, discover new phrases and finally figure out verb conjugations! Basic Spanish vocabulary and conjugations skills required.
The Playful Parent was created by Kristy a mother of two energetic boys. She has a Bachelors degree with a interest in Secondary Education and Masters in Clinical Community Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. “I believe that children learn through play! I love to do fun things with my children and hope that sharing our adventures provides other families with inspiration and resources that lead to quality time together and a love for learning!” This non profit 501c3 organization was started so parents would have a family friendly place to come to, feel supported and leave with information that is useful. This site is kept advertisement and influence free in order to keep the site from clutter and bias opinion. Your support, feedback, likes and comments are essential; this site was designed to connect the community. The Playful Parent offers resources such as guides, calendars and ideas for making learning fun. In addition, TPP is present in the community and hosts a handful of events to support SOMD in raising healthy families.
***Home Page/Cover Photo Credit to MARIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY***