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Summer is officially in full swing. That means days filled with fun in the sun and beating the heat by playing in the water. Since we spend the majority of our time in or around water during the summer, one of the first orders of business each summer is scheduling our little ones for swim lessons. We want to make sure that while our children are making those summer memories of splashing or perfecting the perfect cannon ball that they are also being as safe as possible. For this year’s lessons we turned to the Sunsational Swim School.

Sunsational Swim School Swim Lessons That Come to You

Convenience meets comfort

The Sunsational Swim School is a unique swim lesson experience that partners a play-based learning environment with a water safety awareness program, all with the convenience of in-home lessons. That’s right, Mom. No more trekking to a swim center across town!

What Age Should You Start Swim Lessons?

With Sunsational Swim School, you are easily able to coordinate swimming lessons with a trained instructor at the pool of your choice, at a time that works best for your schedule. Simply visit their website, enter your zip code, and within a few clicks you are provided a list of certified instructors to choose from.

Safety first

Drowning can occur in just a matter of seconds and is the second leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of 14. The Sunsational Swim School understands the importance of teaching young children and their parents water safety right from the first lesson.

Tips for Starting Swim Lessons

Our Sunsational swim instructor not only shared important information and facts to keep our kids safe, but they made it a priority to incorporate safety into each lesson. Everything was covered from not running around the pool to what to do in the event that your child fell in the water.

From Tadpole to Seal

The Sunsational Swim School owner Sarah Sebe has created a fun and progressive swim program. With seven instructional levels to choose from, your little swimmer is ensured a swim program that will help them prepare for their water filled days ahead.


When presented with children at a variety of ages and skill levels, our instructors were quickly able to assess and tailor lessons unique to each child’s needs. Lesson length depended on age and skill level, and always concluded with a fun homework task for the children to practice in between lessons. This was great to reinforce their new skills!



As our Tadpole, Starfish, and Jellyfish wrapped up their time with the wonderful Sunsational instructor, they received a special reward and certificate. As moms of busy little ones who spend most of their time waterside throughout the summer, the biggest reward was seeing our children gain both skill and confidence at one of their favorite summertime activities.

Water Safety Tips Every Parent Needs to Know

Swim lessons were provided by Sunsational Swim School. All opinions are our own.

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I am certain I’m not the only one eagerly awaiting warm and sunny days. Here in New England, April showers have been quite persistent. While my kids do their fair share of playing in the rain, it’s still pretty chilly, which means that outside playtime only lasts so long. On these long rainy days of early spring, I need to be equipped for indoor fun!

10 Rainy Day Activities for Toddlers

10 Rainy day activities for toddlers
1. Make your own sensory bins

My son’s occupational therapist gave us this idea and the boys love it! Go to any big box store and buy plastic storage bins. I buy medium-sized bins that fit on the table and I also ensure they have secure lids… for obvious reasons. What you fill your bins with is up to you — we mostly do dry rice, pasta, or beans. I like to hide items inside that the boys have to dig around to find — lots of fun and great for their fine motor skills.

2. Build a fort

This is one of my boys’ favorite activities. It’s so simple and yet it gives you hours of entertainment. I pull out old sheets and blankets and help the boys hang them from the furniture safely. They’ll read books and hang out in their new hideout for hours.

3. Baking

My boys love to help in the kitchen. Baking is a great activity for us to do together, the boys feel accomplished, the house smells awesome, and well, every gloomy rainy day calls for a tasty treat!

4. Bathtub painting

What kid doesn’t like to make a mess? I say let them do it in the bathtub on a rainy day! Not only will it keep the mess contained, but you don’t have to worry about the cleanup. Looking for a fun bathtub paint recipe? Check out mine on Mainely Mama.

5. Make a home movie theater

Some days are just made to be movie days. A rainy and gloomy day in New England — or wherever you live — is a perfect excuse. My boys line up their chairs, I make popcorn, and they make “tickets” to get in to the show.

6. Make your own Playdough

After years of avoiding it, I finally started making our own Playdough. It’s actually super easy and smells a heck of a lot better than the store-bought version! Made with simple ingredients found in my pantry, it’s a great rainy day project. I also highly recommend experimenting with different scents using spices or essential oils, like this Pumpkin Spice Playdough recipe.

7. Play dress up and do a photo shoot

This can be really fun… if your kids are like mine and like to be silly and have their picture taken. Hang a white sheet on a wall in your house (preferably one that gets good natural light), get out your dress up clothes and props, and have a blast in your own photo booth. Take lots of pictures of your little ones having a fun, and if you have a timer on your camera, be sure to get in some of the pictures (years from now you’ll be glad you did).

8. Build an obstacle course

We are lucky enough to have a great basement for this, but use whatever space you have for this fun way to get some extra rainy day energy out of your toddlers. You can use everything from couch cushions to laundry baskets to exercise balls to mini trampolines. I love the ideas in this obstacle course post from

9. Create a time capsule

The saying goes, “The days are long, but the years are short,” and it’s so true. These crazy rainy days can send my head spinning, but soon enough they’ll be a fleeting memory. Create a time capsule on your next rainy day at home — include a list of everyone’s current favorites (foods, words, toys, etc) and have each kiddo put in something special.

10. Do a scavenger hunt around the house

This doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, but while the kiddos are napping (if you’re lucky enough to have nappers) or while they’re eating lunch, put together a scavenger hunt. Perhaps it’s a list of things they need to find — something blue, something furry, something old, something that makes noise — or if they’re a little older, write clues leading them to around the house and eventually to a small prize, snack, or new activity.

What’s your go-to rainy day activity?


This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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Easter season is here and with it comes all things spring: flowers blooming, birds singing, and beautiful warm weather.  These Rice Krispies bird’s nests are the perfect little treat for spring.  They are simply Rice Krispies treats shaped like nests and filled with everyone’s favorite Easter candy, jelly beans!  They take only minutes to prepare, taste like the classic treats we all know and love, and they look absolutely adorable, too!


Classic Rice Krispies treat recipe

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Yields: 12 servings


The first step in making these treats is to whip up a batch of the classic Rice Krispies treat mixture.  This recipe is found on the back of the cereal box and can be made on the stovetop or, our personal favorite, the microwave.

-4 cups miniature marshmallows
-3 Tablespoons butter
-6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1. Combine marshmallows and butter in a large mixing bowl.
2. Heat in microwave for 2 minutes and stir.
3. Microwave an additional 1 minute and stir.
4. Add cereal and stir until it is well coated.


Bird’s Nests

Now you are ready to form the treats into nests. We found waiting a few minutes to allow the mixture to cool made it easier to work with (and the perfect time to scoop a bite or two on a spoon…you know, when no one is looking!).

To make the nests, simply start with a small ball shape (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter). Then press down in the center of the round shape to form it into what look like a nest. Last, have your kids drop a few jelly beans in the center of the eggs.  So simple, yet the perfect spring treat!


Tip: The mixture will be very sticky to work with, so we found placing our hands in sandwich baggies and spraying the baggies with a little cooking spray helped. 


What treats do you enjoy making with your kids for spring?
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You can’t go far these days without someone touting the benefits of essential oils for just about everything you can think of. From migraines to allergies, there’s an oil for whatever ails you. But what about babies? Many oils can be too strong for babies unless formulated and mixed in such a way to make it safe for little senses. More and more companies are taking the worry and guess work out of essential oils, allowing your babies to reap the benefits in safe and absolutely adorable ways.

The Wunders

1. Slumber Belly Bunny by The Wunders

For you it’s peace of mind that your baby is enjoying all of the benefits of essential oil in a portable and safe way, for baby it’s a soft and adorable new buddy. The Slumber Belly Bunny is a soft and cuddily stuffed toy that hides an interchangeable scent pouch within it’s belly. In seconds you can go from lavender for sleep to eucalyptus for cough and colds.

Recently the baby was so sick but, we as moms know, life still goes on. I was able to essentially take an oil diffuser with me, from grocery cart to the car seat, she just hung on to this little eucalyptus filled guy which helped keep her breathing clear, even when on the go. Now that we’re all healthy again, we keep it full of lavender for crib snuggling and naps away from home. The Slumber Belly Bunny comes with a bottle of lavender, eucalyptus sold separately. (Slumber Belly Bunny, $30)

Babymoov 2

2. Babymoov Digital Humidifier and Diffuser

Having kids means having at least one humidifier stashed away somewhere for when kindergarten germs get the best of you. Just after Christmas the plague hit our house hard,  so I was definitely able to put the new Babymoov Digital Humidifier and Diffuser through its paces. (At one point I had it running almost 24 hours a day for 6 days). I loved the digital screen that allowed me to set the level of humidity to whatever I needed and a timer to change the humidity level automatically at a set time.

The top has a round 360-degree rotating nozzle, which housed a tiny cup for oil diffusing. Since this isn’t a true diffuser you’re not going to get the oil strength you would from one, however I found it to be just fine and served the purpose well. You’re also not obligated to put oil in it since the little cup is removable when not needed. Rounding out all of these great features, this humidifier is also super quiet, has a huge water reservoir, shuts itself off when the water runs out and has two different colored nightlight (red and blue). (Babymoov Digital Humidifier and Diffuser, $100)


3. Oilogic Essential Oil Care

Placing oil directly on babies sensitive skin is definitely a no-no unless, of course, within the right oil-to-carrier oil mixture. But how do you know if you’ve gotten it right? Thankfully two moms from Texas have taken the guess work and fear out of essential oils by creating an entire line of safe, pre-mixed oils, lotions and vapor baths. These little miracle mixes have quickly become a staple in my home, warding off everything from sleepless nights for the baby to monsters and nightmares for my five-year-old. And now my oldest even asks for a dab of Relax & Calm before school everyday. The pre-mixed roller balls come in Bug Bites & Itches, Itchy Eyes & Sneezes, Ouchies & BooBoos, Relax & Calm, Slumber & Sleep and Stuffy Nose & Cough. The bath vapors come in Stuffy Nose & Cough and Slumber & Sleep, each with cordinating lotions. (Oilogic Essential Oil Care, $10)

Young Living

4. Dino Land Ultrasonic Diffuser by Young Living

Diffusing oils in your home does everything from heightening your mood to helping you sleep to even warding off illness and easing pain, kids included. Diffusers in my children’s room are essential and this one from Young Living is just too cute. The dinosaur scene is just a cover which makes it interchangeable with other designs from Young Living, great for moving room to room.  Other features include six different volcanic “eruption” settings and continuous or intermittent (10 minutes on/10 minutes off) setting with automatic shutoff. (Dino Land Diffuser available through a Young Living representative, $120)

Diffuser Necklaces 004

5. YooHoo Children’s Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace by Crunchy Fox

Just because they aren’t home doesn’t mean kids can’t reap the benefits of essential oils. These adorable owl necklaces I found on Etsy are just the thing for utilizing essential oils everyday. Today it may be test day where a little juniper berry is needed, or maybe she’s been battling headaches and it’s peppermint to the rescue. Whatever the case, these cute little owls will do the trick, also available in sports themes and unisex styles. (YooHoo Essential Oil Necklaces, $15)

Do you use essential oils with your little ones?
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Best Child Safety Products Savvy Sassy Moms
10 Best Child Safety Products

When it comes to your child, I’m sure their safety is constantly at the forefront of your mind. Luckily for us, there are products out on the market that can do everything from keeping track of where they are using GPS to a car seat that installs itself. If you’re a tech geek like me, then this list of 10 high-tech child safety products is for you.


1. Evenflo SensorSafe

We’ve all heard the stories and seen the headlines, another innocent child locked in a hot car, forgotten by a distracted parent. Evenflo has taken it upon themselves to find a way to make sure this doesn’t happen. They created the EvenFlo SensorSafe infant car seat, the very first car seat with an alarm. Upon arriving at your destination you car will chime, reminding you your baby is still in the vehicle. A sensor in the chest clip sends a wireless signal to a receiver in your dash. Bonus: it will also tell you if the chest clip comes unbuckled.

AC 1200

2. AngelCare Video Movement & Sound Monitor

The AngelCare Video Movement & Sound Monitor is in a class all its own. AngelCare blended their award-winning, under-the-mattress movement monitor with a top-of-the-line video monitoring system to create a monitoring system with all the bells and whistles you could ever want. In my opinion, the cherry on top is that this monitor creates it’s own wi-fi network, meaning you don’t have to have wi-fi in your home to use it and to connect to it from your smart device.

3. iSwimband

The iSwimband is a wearable sensor that notifies your phone or tablet if the device has been submerged longer than a preset limit — or if it even enters the water (for your little non-swimmer.) It works in any type of body of water, is completely portable, works with both Android and iOS and can handle up to 8 iSwimbands per device — enough for your whole crew. This isn’t just a summer must-have, think winter by the lake, hot tub or anytime your children will be around a body of water. The iSwimband is an excellent extra level of security for water safety for an amazingly low price, just $39.99 for one.


4. BeLuvv Guardian

Did you know about 8,000,000 children go missing every year? That’s frightening and, in many cases, preventable. The BeLuvv Guardian is a wearable GPS-tracking system for your children that not only tracks your child’s whereabouts but will also send push notifications to your phone if your child goes out of a pre-designated perimeter. The Guardian is iOS and Android compatible, lightweight and water resistant. There is even a version for Fido!


5.Pacif-i Smart Pacifier

Coined as “The worlds smartest dummy,’ the Pacif-i is no ordinary pacifier. This smart binky tracks and records your baby’s temperature, syncing via Bluetooth to a free app on your iOS or Android device. If that’s not enough, it also will tell you if your bundle of joy has wandered off, can GPS track, is dishwasher safe (what!?!) and will buzz in order to help you locate it if — ok, when — it gets lost! That really is smart! The Pacif-i is available for preorder here in the states on their website.


6.Sproutling Wearable Baby Monitor

If you’re interested in knowing everything about your baby then the Sproutling is for you. Created by two fathers, Sproutling is a wearable activity monitor for your baby. Think FitBit for infants but multiply that my a thousand and you might be close. The Sproutling senses your baby’s motion, skin temperature, position and sleep patterns. The Sproutling is so smart it will tell you how much time you have until your baby wakes up from their nap, when she’s actually awake and what kind of mood she’s in before you even walk into the room. (Do they make one for husbands?) Most importantly, Sproutling will notify you immediately the minute something is seriously wrong. Just think of the peace of mind that comes from this tiny device. It’s so popular that it’s currently sold out, but you can get yourself on the wait list via their website.



7. 4moms Origami GO and infant car seat

It’s absolutely impossible to talk high-tech baby gear and not have 4moms somewhere on the list. Known for some of the coolest items on the market right now, 4moms is at it again with two new products guaranteed to make you giddy. First we have the Origami Go, the umbrella version of their outstanding Origami stroller. Just like it’s big brother, the Origami GO folds and unfolds on it’s own power, has an onboard generator, daytime running lights, and a LCD display, but this one is under 16 pounds. Just wait until you see what 4moms has cooked up for the highly competitive world of infant car seats. The 4 moms infant car seat INSTALLS ITSELF. Just let that sink in for a second. It also has auto-tensioning and leveling, 2 LCD screens and a no-thread harness. Both products are currently awaiting a release date so keep your eyes open. Wow.


8. Brio Safe Outlet

Brio has given the electric wall socket a much needed makeover with the Brio Safe Outlet. Started as a Kickstarter campaign, Brio wanted to come up with an easy way to keep kids safe in their own homes. Statistics state up to 7 kids a day are taken to the hospital from shocks and burns from regular household electric outlets. The Safe Outlet completely eliminates any shock hazard, as it only brings electricity to the outlet if it senses a plug, then powers it accordingly. Fingers, toes, toys, are all safe, because the outlet would be turned “off” to those. And don’t think you need fancy know-how to install, the Brio Safe Outlet is installed like any other home outlet.

kinsa resize

9. Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer

is one of the coolest all-around household thermometers I have ever laid my hands on. The Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer works in just 1 second and syncs wirelessly to your iOS or Android-enabled smart phone. Within the free app you can create individual profiles, store and track temperature information and medications. The app will even give you advice or tell you to seek medical attention immediately. The Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer is currently doing an Indiegogo campaign, so if you’re quick you can get one right now for up to 40% off the MSRP.


10. Yada Digital Tiny Traveler

The Digital Tiny Traveler by Yada is a video monitoring system for your car created in order to cut down on parental distractions in a time when distracted drivers are one of the main causes of car accidents on the road. Installing in just seconds, the camera has 3 mounting options for rear or forward facing babies, and the 3.5″ video monitor mounts to your dash just as your average GPS system would. This camera even comes equipped with night vision, so from road trip to quick trip, you will always know what your baby is up to.

Which of these high-tech baby items are you dying to try?
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Spring is here which means it’s time to start freaking out over how little you worked out over the winter and how quickly summer will be here. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the latest gear and gadgets to solve your biggest exercise pet peeves. From untied shoe laces to earbuds that wiggle out mid-workout, we’ve got the fitness gadgets you need to get your butt in gear. No more excuses!

Problem: Untied shoelaces

Solution: Clipzeez


Nothing stalls a workout or run like stopping to re-tie your shoelaces. With Clipzeez, you’ll never have to worry about losing pace or time from an untied lace. I love that they can be used with any type of shoe, work with your existing laces, and most importantly, that they work! From mud runs to marathons, basketball shoes to hockey skates, Clipzeez keeps your laces tied. (As a side note, they are also great for kids, adults with special needs or the elderly.)

Problem: Headphone wiggle out

Solution: Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds

Jabra Sport Pulse

I love these headphones. First, no wires. The Jabra Sport Pulse earbuds deliver the beats you need without any annoying wires and while still letting you control music playback, volume and even take calls with a quick tap on the earbuds. Second, these are designed for working out. You won’t have to worry about these popping out during your sprint or last burpee. Finally, the Jabra Sport Pulse are a multi-tasking wonder and are the world’s first stereo earbuds with a built-in biometric heart rate monitor. Used with the Jabra Sport Life app, you can plan, track and evaluate your workouts.

Problem: No where to stash your keys

Solution: FlipBelt


I’m guessing you aren’t exercising in bulky sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. I’m guessing you’ve got yourself a pair of cute leggings or shorts and a stretchy workout top with interesting straps or piping that shows off your best parts while keeping everything where it should be. This is all great – except when you’re trying to figure out a place to stash your keys, lip balm or phone. With the FlipBelt, you can keep your exercise essentials close at hand without sacrificing your sleek outfit. Slip your essentials into the pocket and then flip it over to keep them secure. Simple, sleek and easy to color coordinate with your workout wear.

Problem: You like to run at night…and get really thirsty.

Solution: GoMotion Synergy Hydration LightVest


This do-it-all vest has everything you need. A lightweight design that won’t weigh you down. A 1.0 L water bladder to keep you hydrated. Bungee storage straps to store your layers. A three level, 100 lumen LED light to help you see the trail ahead as well as reflective trim and dual flashing LED tail lights to ensure you’re visible to cars around you. Just add your favorite pair of kicks and some motivation.

 What are your favorite fitness gadgets?
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Baby bibs are an essential baby item that all kids learning to eat need. Babies are messy, they spill and drip their food everywhere, the last thing you want is to have stains all over their cute clothes. A bibs main purpose is to protect your kid from these messes, but a baby bib can also be an accessory, that is fashionable and functional at the same time.

Fashionable and functional baby bibs

Make my day baby bib

When I was introduced to the Make My Day Baby Bib line, I initially thought “Why did I not think of that?” the Baby Bibs are just so cute! Besides being fashionable, the bibs are made out of a super soft, durable, BPA-free silicone, that can be used over and over again and still look great.

Keep your jewels on during meal time

The multicolor Baby Bib is a strand of jewels for girls and a tux for boys priced at $14.99.

fashion baby bib

The Make My Day Baby Bibs also come in six different single color bibs. Orange, pink and purple for girls with sweet pearls or daises. Blue, cobalt and lime for boys with fun bowties and dog tags. The single color bibs are priced at $9.99.

Silicon Baby Bibs

Baby Bib fits sizes 6 months to 3 years old

All styles are stain resistant, dishwasher-safe and have a built in crumb catcher. The adjustable strap fits sizes 6 months to 3 years old, plus no matter how hard my daughter tried to pull the Baby Bib off, she was not successful.

Make my day fashion bib

These bibs look so good it is a shame they will soon be cover in a mess.

Besides the Baby Bib, Make My Day also makes All Gone a collapsible silicone container you can take snacks anywhere and then collapse the container, to save space in your bag for the trip home. They also have some great innovative adult products for the kitchen and beverages. A perfect one stop shop for all your dinning needs for the whole family.

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The fall season is upon and us and boots are once again in the spotlight as we return to wearing our jeans, leggings and perhaps a maxi skirt here and there. This year there are three boot styles for fall that are catching the most attention — ankle boots,/booties, knee-high boots and lace-up boots. I had a blast searching for the most happenin’ ones for this season and there really are SO many styles to choose from!

One way to narrow it down is to think about what you like as “extras” on your boots. This fall many of the styles come with either buckles, straps, cut-outs or laces (and occasionally more than one of those!). Lace-up boots are definitely back in! The heel that is making the most noise (get it, making the most noise?) is the chunky, stacked heel. And no matter which texture you like, there is something for everyone as well — suede, textured leather, smooth or weathered.
boot styles for fall

1. Madewell, The Perrie Boot – $228
2. Madden Girl Mistley Stone Lace Up Boot – $70 (side note: these boots do NOT have to be laced every time since there is a zipper in the back. How awesome is that?)
3. Crown Vintage Wendy Bootie – $80
4. Steve Madden P Kamby Boot – $100
5. Anthropologie Latigo Peace Boot- $160
6. Fergalicious bootie – $47
7. Target Mossimo Jessica Suede Strappy Boot – $50
8. Payless Tanner Lace-Up Boot- $40
9. Crown Vintage Louvina Boot – $140

Here I am wearing my new pair of Jessica Simpson ankle boots. I just love the color, the buckles and the price was great too ($60 at T.J. Maxx)
boot styles for fall

Which style of boots do you want to add to your collection?

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Wedge Ankle Boots for Fall
Wedge Ankle Boots for Fall

For those of you that think wedges are only for Summer, think again!  Wedge ankle boots are on of the hottest shoe trends this Fall. There are many styles and colors to choose from but some of the most popular are the suede ankle wedge booties.  Wedges are comfortable and sturdy, which is why they are a Moms favorite go to shoe. These ankle boots allow you to strut your stuff and still look chic while still juggling your toddlers and pushing that stroller down the street.

Suede Ankle Booties

Suede ankle boots are perfect for fall weather and look best when worn with denim, chunky sweaters, a field jacket or funky skirts and a pair of leggings. TOMS wedges for Fall are gorgeous and come in a variety of colors, textures and styles. The other great things about ankle wedge boots is that they are easy to slip on and off and can be worn with skinny jeans, boot cut jeans or boyfriend jeans.

Depending on what you have in your closet, choose a color that will go well with many things you already own, if you wear a lot of black then go for the black suede ankle boots but if you wear a lot of neutral colors go for maybe a taupe or light brown. I also love the blue suede ankle boots, which can look great next to a variety of shades of denim.

Now if I could only choose….

1. TOMS Burlap Wedge Bootie $84.00
2. AK Anne Klein Torny Wedge Bootie $79.95
3. TOMS Moroccan Cut Out Bootie $89.00
4. ALDO Black Wedge Bootie $100.00
5. DV by Dolce Vita Pellie Bootie $89.95
6. Cole Haan Halley Crepe Wedge $119.95
7. UGG Alexandra Suede Bootie $184.95
8. Sperry Spider Harlow Bootie $99.95
9. Clarks Bell Suede Wedge Boot $139.95
10. DV by Dolce Vita Posie Bootie $89.95

Which wedge ankle boots would you choose?
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A memorable family trip to Washington, D.C. means striking a balance. You need to embrace the history and eighth-grade-class-trip-ness of it all, but you also can break away from the marble monuments to enjoy the hip, unique offerings of the United States’ capital.

As a Washington, D.C. ‘what to do with your kids’ local blogger at A Parent in Silver Spring, I’m honored to share with you how to experience both sides of the (Presidential profiled) coin when you visit with your family.

What to DO 

washington d.c. family travel guide

VIP U.S. Capitol Tour

First Street SE

Sure, you can wait in the massive line for a generic tour of the United States Capitol Building. But why wait when Members of Congress’s staff members provide weekday tours for constituents? Once you chose your trip dates, contact one of your Senators — they have larger staffs to handle tours.

washington d.c. family travel guide

White House Tour

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Hard to believe, but it is possible to take a tour right through the public rooms of the place where the leader of the free world works and lives. When you call that Senator’s office for a Capitol tour, also ask to schedule a White House tour too. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance. If you are citizen of another country, contact your embassy in Washington, DC to process your tour request.

What to SEE

washington dc family travel guide

Washington Monuments Cruise

3050 K Street NW – Washington Harbour – Georgetown Dock

The most pleasurable, and easiest way, to see those massive marble temples of democracy is to view them from the breezy decks of a tour boat. Much like the touristy cruises along the Seine in Paris, you get a beautiful view of the sights. I like to catch my tour boats from the Georgetown Dock. Various operators mean that a boat tour leaves every 15 minutes or so from 11:30am until 10pm or so. Evening cruises are especially cool. After your cruise, Georgetown provides loads of dining and shopping options.

Where to PLAY


National Building Museum

401 F Street NW – Gallery Place

DC locals love this dream of a play-space-heavy museum for crawlers through elementary schoolers. From indoor miniature golf, a huge room of imaginative play areas, various LEGO rooms and more, your child will be in hands-on heaven.

Where to LEARN

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History  – 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – Independence Avenue at 6th Street SW

Smithsonian National Museum of American History – 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW

The three museums above are those that most people think of when they hear the words “Smithsonian.” Although there are more museums in the Smithsonian family located along the National Mall, these are the most popular and the ones that best cater to children. Since there’s no admission fee, feel free to breeze in and out and simply check out the things your family will find most exciting.

What to EAT

Good Stuff Eatery

303 Pennsylvania Avenue SE – Capitol Hill

Chef Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame has several DC-area restaurants, and Capitol Hill’s Good Stuff Eatery will provide you with one of the best burger/fry/shake meals you have eaten in your life. There is a reason that Spike has won Rachael Ray’s burger challenge! The french fries with mayo bar and hand-spun shakes are delish. Mom and dad can get a Belgian beer on a tap, often a necessity after a day spent sight-seeing with kids.

Where to SHOP

Violet Boutique

2439 18th Street NW – Adams Morgan

Mom deserves some ‘me time’ after a playing Mrs. Griswold in DC all day. Head to Violet for the on-point styles, bright colors and unique accessories. The owner prides herself on curating a collection of tops, bottoms, dresses, handbags and jewelry that are accessibly-priced (almost everything is less than $100.) Yet with every item in the store, you feel as if you are in the coolest, most high end, funky boutique of your dreams.

Are you a Washingtonian or DC-tripper? Share your recs in the comments!

Images courtesy Jessica McFadden, the Architect of the Capitol,, Violet Boutique and Lil’ El and rubyshoes on Flickr via a Creative Commons license. 

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