Top 5 Reasons to see The Wolf in #Raleigh ! Thru 4/2 @TheatreRaleigh #FamilyFun

Looking for some family fun or somewhere different than the playground to go with your little one? Then head to the Kennedy Theatre at Duke Center For Performing Arts to see  “The Wolf” presented by Theatre Raleigh. 

This kid friendly production, directed and choregraphed by Lauren Kennedy Brady, combines elements from well known stories as Little Red Riding Hood, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Three Little Pigs and Peter and the Wolf. Follow those characters and see what they have in store for The Wolf.
SobeSavvy.com shared a review of the play in 2016, so we were excited to be invited again to experience this fantastic play with #outandaboutAva, now 5 yrs old. To see her reaction to this play a year later, now that she is a year older was wonderful!

Savvy Tip: Make sure to stop by the fun “Capture the Wolf” photo booth and hang around after the show to meet the cast!

Top 5 Reasons you should see The Wolf 

  1. Whether you are age 3 or 93, this play is for everyone. Both young and adults audiences will find the production to be entertaining and delightful!
  2. We loved how the characters perform in close physical proximity to the audience. The show is so engaging and approachable, we felt like we were part of the play!  
  3. Kennedy Theatre is uniquely intimate, which is one of the main reasons The Wolf is perfectly suited for this venue.Kids can even sit on floor pillows stage side to help capture The Wolf!
  4. For 1 hour (no intermission), you can feast your eyes on dance, theatre and imagination all in one room. 
  5. You don’t want to miss your chance to finally see The Wolf get outsmarted! Take that, take that..we’re not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!

The Wolf is an original show written by Joe Calarco and Andre Catrini and is part of The 2017 Family Series sponsored in part by Duke Health and plays until April 2,2017. For showtimes and ticket information, check here.

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Family Travel Guide #ArlingtonVA | @StayArlington Where to Stay, Eat, Play

Arlington, Va has long been known mainly just for it’s proximity to the nation’s capital. Well I am here to share that Arlington is a awesome destination all on it’s own. With a population of 1/4 million people, Arlington is a gem well worth exploring because it packs a lot of excitement,charm accessibility and affordability into one small area. My family and I, aka #HeighPartyof3, went on a roadtrip to Arlington,VA and here is our weekend family travel guide! 

Where to Stay

Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza  

Savvy Tip: Arlington is home to more than 40 hotels offering rates up to 20 percent less than those in downtown Washington,D.C.

Arlington has many options when it comes to accomodations. At the suggestion of Stay Arlington, we stayed at the brand new Hyatt Place in the Courthouse district. In my opinion this eight-story hotel property is located in an awesome area for walking and exploring Arlington on foot or the metro 2 blocks away. Hyatt Place Arlington is perfect for families as well as business and leisure travelers as it has everything one needs for a comfortable stay. The guestrooms are spacious and allowed us to rest easy after driving up for 4 hrs from Raleigh.

With inviting spaces to connect, meet, socialize, eat and drink, this innovative hotel is truly designed around the modern traveler.Speaking of eats and drinks, this hotel offers a Grand and Go case in the lobby where you can get sandwiches and salads 24/7 as well as order from a gallery menu.So whether getting in late or early you will never go hungry here. Be sure to check out the drink menu if you are in the mood for ‘satisfying sips’ for a night cap.Since it was St.Patricks Day (well evening) when we arrived, I decided to drink green and ordered me an apple martini. CHEERS~It was great!

During our stay, we enjoyed their complimentary A.M.Skillet breakfast which has a build your own yogurt station and hot egg and waffle options presented in what else but a skillet ! My little girl enjoyed putting almonds and granola in her oatmeal. For some of our visit, #outandaboutAva got a lil stomach bug. Thanks to the kind and helpful staff at Hyatt Place Arlington for making some customized chamomile/mint tea to help her feel better! We all loved the Hyatt Place as our home away from home.

What to Do

Explore~  We stayed in the vibrant Courthouse district which is within walking distance to a variety of shopping, entertainment and restaurant options. Just across the river from nation’s Capital, Arlington boasts the neighborly, small-town community vibe with all the amenities and conveniences of major urban centers.In addition to its many historical attractions, Arlington is just minutes to the National Mall and other regional attractions. Here are some of the places we explored:

Arlington Farmers Market

Since 1979, residents and visitors alike have enjoyed the weekend Arlington Farmers Market. All things produce and much more can be found in this local gem of a market.

Rocky Run Park

We actually happened upon Rocky Run Park. Set in a quiet residential street, this park has something for everyone. Extensive kids jungle gym activities and basketball courts and multi use turf fields. Great spot for letting the little {and big} kids burn off some steam and have fun.

Arlington National Cemetery

We decided to visit the hollowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s shrine to honor those who have served our country. Both beautiful and peaceful, the cemetery is a place to pay homage anf remember those who sacrificed. We enjoyed exploring the impressive landscape and saw many moving experiences like: the Eternal Flame, President Kennedy and Family and Medgar W.Evers grave. If you are looking for a particular place of interest, use the ANC Explorer app available on the cemetery’s website, on-site kiosks or through online app stores. To see more of my photos from our visit to Arlington National Cemetery, see here.

National Mall

One of the perks of staying in Arlington is that you can visit The National Mall, the Smithsonian museums and other places in our Nation’s Capital because they are all just minutes away on Metro. Since we drive up, we just crossed the Potomac River in less than 10 mins to see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Albert Einstein Memorial and the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. A must see!

#PhotoswithAlbert 

National Harbor Capital Wheel

If you happen to visit Arlington by car like we did, you will learn that its location ‘inside the Beltway’ (I-495 and I-95) makes it easily accessible from many routes. There is plenty of on-street and private parking options. About 20 mins away is the National Harbor , where we were invited to visit their family fun regional attraction, the Capital Wheel. If you have a sense of adventure, take this ride up to the sky to see the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) landscape for miles around!

Where to Eat

Bayou Bakery 

In the mood for Louisiana-style favorites, coffees and desserts? Stop by Bayou Bakery. Owned by New Orleans-born chef David Guas who hosts The Travel Channel’s “American Grilled”, Bayou has brought authentic cajun cuisine to Northern Virginia. 

We had some delicious beignets and coffee as a mid morning snack. The place was bustling with families and couples alike. Their living room atmosphere, full of casual charm and vintage Southern character, makes this place a welcoming eatery for breakfast or lunch.

Earl’s Sandwiches

I first learned about Earl’s when looking up what restaurants were close to the hotel. With great reviews on their Facebook page, I knew the location at 2605 Wilson Blvd would be a wonderful place to feature as a must go to lunch spot. There are 2 locations (Clarendon,Ballston) in Arlington where you can get you one of Earl’s delicious sandwiches.

Owner Stephen Dugan(as seen in photo above) was there making sandwiches and taking orders himself! He shared that after being in business for 11 years, his customers love their homemade sandwiches, salads and soups made without the hassle. Looking for a Gluten Free meal? No worries. Any sandwich can be made into a salad for no additional cost. Breakfast sandwiches are served all day and they offer a catering menu too. We ordered 2 items from their monthly Fab Four menu: lump crab cake sandwich (deliciously grilled and served on a sesame seed bun), fish and fries (all served together on one sandwich-yum!) and we all drooled over my daughter’s grilled chicken breast sandwich, shown here. My daughter said it was not good..it was FANTASTIC! Everything was delicious, fresh and tasty. 

Kona Grill

Located in Rosslyn, one of Arlington’s urban villages, Kona Grill is one of the 500 restaurant options available in Arlington that offers diverse cuisine and a delightful epicurean experience. Known for their variety of amazing appetizers, mouthwatering entrees, fresh sushi and creative cocktail creations, I knew Kona Grill would be the perfect dinner option for us as a family. They also offer a kids menu and there’s a beautiful aquarium in the center of the restaurant that my daughter loved. This place is popular so make reservations and go early if have a little one. I will be sharing my full review as my #FoodieFriday feature. Stay tuned!

With plenty of “National History.Local Flavor”, our stay in Arlington was indeed memorable. We look forward to returning when it’s warmer as there is some shopping I did not get to do at their infamous Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and more fun to be had!  

We did do some online shopping prior to our trip with SunglassWarehouse.com and partnered with them to show you how we travel in style.I’ll be sharing more about this brand that offers classic sunglass styles at affordable prices in a future Fashion Friday post. Since our roadtrip took us to Arlington, VA & Washington DC, I thought it would be fun to style their (from left to right) Canoe driving sunglasses for me, Arlington for Him (very apropo don’t ya think) and Lincoln (for my lil one and Mr. President himself..lol)

Until next time..Happy Travels!

Save Money & Plan the Best Birthday Ever! – 15% off @SkyZone Jump Around Birthday Package @usfg

Hey Moms, Dads, Party People! Got an upcoming birthday to plan for your little one and want to save time & money but splurge on FUN!? Then look no further than Sky Zone Raleigh. Sky Zone offers several out-of-this-world birthday (and special event) party packages to make your party soar, literally!

If you’ve never heard of Sky Zone, it’s an innovative indoor trampoline park that offers a variety of activites. Let me share some of what they have to offer:

  • wall-to-wall trampoline courts that are designed as a fun and fit outing for all ages, shapes and sizes. 
  • Open Jump, allowing guests to leap, bound and soar 
  • Ultimate Dodgeball, a friendly and healthy dodgeball competition. 
  • Sky Zone’s original SkyRobics class, which combines advanced calisthenics with a three-dimensional cardio and strength training program

 This park is the ideal venue for groups seeking unforgettable events such as theme parties, corporate team building, field trips and much more! For a unique and memorable birthday party, or for the end-of-the-year team celebration, bring your group to Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. Get ready to soar higher than ever before as you bounce across our patented, all-trampoline, walled playing courts. 

Ready to take your next birthday to the SKY? Save time and money and let Skyzone Raleigh do all the planning, set up (and cleaning up) for you. Find all the exciting details to schedule your party Here: http://www.skyzone.com/raleigh/Birthday-Parties!

And guess what…My SobeSavvy readers get to save with this coupon >>>>! Best Birthday Ever! – 15% off Jump Around Birthday Package
http://usfamilyguide.com/coupons.php?bid=12680&dealid=2648 .@usfg
Have you ever been to Sky Zone before? Let me know below. I plan to treat #outandaboutAva and her friends soon for a special themed party. Stay tuned as I will share my full review and pics here!

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#ArtThursday Spotlight on #NasherMuseum | Things to Do in #Durham #NC #yonasher 

This past Sunday, I planned a Family Funday at The Nasher Museum of ArtSet on Duke University’s West Campus, this museum is known for leading-edge exhibitions that travel to institutions worldwide. On display now are the works of Nina Chanel Abney , which was one of the main reasons for my visit.

The exhibition Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush is on display until July 16, 2017 and features art from a 34-year-old African American woman from Chicago who was identified by Vanity Fair magazine as one of the many artists championing the Black Lives Matter movement.  Be sure to mark your calendar for April 11, 7pm for Artist Talk with Nina Chanel Abney where you will get a chance to meet the artist and celebrate her first solo show at the Nasher Museum.

Royal Flush is a 10-year survey of approximately 30 of the artist’s paintings, watercolors and collages. It is her take on various current and historic observations and comparisons to societal attitudes and norms toward everything from race relations to sexuality. It was colorful and insightful. Since my daughter is 5, I opted to take her into the exhibit and focus on the colors, shapes seen in the artwork. I explained how Abney uses spray paint and stencils to create her art and talked about the materials used such as acrylic on canvas.

* Savvy Tip:  You can ask staff  to show you a preview of Nina Chanel Abney’s work regarding the mature content so you can make the call of whether or not to bring your child into that pavilion. 

In the other pavilion, you will find their permanent collection with objects ranging
from Medieval art to African art to Central American to European. They have a scavenger hunt that goes along with that pavilion in particular, so my child really enjoyed that activity! You get a minibooklet where the little ones are to find various artworks depicted throughout the museum. They even are to make a sketch of their favorite piece. Needless to say, #outandaboutAva loved playing detective in the Nasher Museum !

Savvy Tip: Admission is always free every Thursday , 5-9pm . Go to nasher.duke.edu/calendar to see when you can catch other free events like their Free Highlights Tour and Free Family Day !

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is a stylish modern museum that always has interesting exhibits, tours and guest speakers. In addition, they have a wonderful restaurant in the museum where we had the pleasure of dining at their popular Sunday brunch. Check back here tomorrow for my #FoodieFriday review of the Nasher Cafe !

 If you are looking to make Sunday Funday plans with your family while visiting Durham, NC, I highly recommend a visit to the Nasher Museum !

 


 
 

 

 

My Family Visit to @ncartmuseum in Black & White ~ an ode to the must see ANSEL ADAMS exhibition

Ansel Adams is one of my favorite artist and America’s most renowned photographers. His black and white photographs reveal the importance Adams placed on the awe-inspiring power and beauty of the natural world. When I heard that his Masterworks were on display thru May 7, 2017 at NCMA/North Carolina Museum of Art, I knew I wanted to plan a day for my family (fondly referred to as #HeighPartyof3) to visit Raleigh’s beloved art museum. All hands in, let’s get ready to explore!

I have been to the NCMA before to catch a special theater performance presented by Theatre Raleigh , but have never been during the day or with my husband and daughter. We moved here in 2015 and still are discovering places we love to go to as a family. This art museum along with its park is now one of our favorite places. Admission is always free (there is a charge for programs and special exhibitions), there are Weekend Family-Friendly tours and Free Public Tours, a restaurant on the premise, and an amazing museum park ! Before you even step inside of the buildings, there is art and the beauty of nature to behold.

The North Carolina Museum of Art is the crown jewel of the Southeast U.S. art world .It is comprised of two buildings, East and West and a Museum Park. This complex has an impressive collection of art and artifacts comparable to other first tier museums. Be sure to ask for special kids art exercisize booklets that the little ones can use while touring the museum. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to Monet watercolor paintings to Rodin sculptures, this museum is world class. We started in the WEST BUILDING ,which is home of NCMA’s permanent collection, it houses Iris Restaurant  and Iris Sip, the Museum store and the Southeast’s largest collection of sculpture by Auguste Rodin in the Rodin Court and Garden. As impressive as their permanent collections are, their special exhibits are just as amazing.

*Savvy Tip: if you are seeing the museum with your child/children ages 2-5, be sure to pick up a What’s in the Box? Activity Cards. We had fun exploring art through themes provided on the cards.

We needed a food break and lucky for us we scored a coveted reservation at the renowned Iris restaurant inside of the West Building. Most museum restaurants are known for high quality food and Iris did not disappoint. Their brunch menu was available and we took advantage of it. Uur 5 yr old enjoyed their all the fixins waffle. While I had their chicken salad and hubby ate the Huevos Rancheros. All inventive and filling without being too heavy.The airy atmosphere and all of the smartly dressed guests made it a pleasant lunch to remember.

*Here is where I take my break from getting my Ansel Adams black and white photography on to show you their delicious food in color! *

After Brunch, we headed over to the EAST BUILDING , which is where the exhibitions are, the North Carolina Gallery, the seasonal film series is held, contemporary galleries, the Art Reference Library, and the Membership and Box Office is located. Here is where we picked up our tickets for our time slot to see Ansel Adams Masterworks. No photography is allowed in the gallery and they do have family friendly guided tour times. 

As one of the most famous American photographers, Ansel Adams captured the natural wonders of the American west like no other. This exhibit had a plethora of original Adam prints taken over the course of his 5 decades behind the lens. The framed black and whites are placed at even eye level with the perfect overhead lighting. It was crowded but you could still freely gawk and ponder at all of his wonderful work.

I hope my family’s visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art (and my personal black and white photo tribute to Ansel Adams) has inspired you to plan to go with your family. There is something for all ages to enjoy! Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @ncartmuseum or Check out ncartmuseum.org for tickets and more information !

North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road  

Raleigh, NC 27607

919-839-NCMA     ncartmuseum.org

#TravelTuesday Feature ~ #FamilyTravel Fun Itinerary for Greensboro, NC #VisitGSO

With a great selection of 135 attractions, Greensboro has been on my family’s radar to visit ever since we moved to Raleigh, NC almost 2 years ago. That’s why when I learned the Triad Women’s Blogger Network was holding their first meetup of the year in The Gate City, I took the opportunity to reach out to VisitGreensboroNC.com, who guided us in where to stay, eat, play while there. Here is a look at my family’s, aka #HeighPartyof3, itinerary during our weekend visit. 

FRIDAY

We checked into the Home2Suites by Hilton Greensboro Airport . 

This extended stay property is located near the airport, so for those flying into and out of Greensboro this is a great location. They have a nice gym and a indoor pool. Breakfast is included so you have fuel to start your day of exploring Greensboro !

SATURDAY

I attended the meeting with Triad Women Bloggers Network, while my husband and daughter checked out The Greensboro Children’s Museum.What is the Triad Women Bloggers Network? It is a group, founded by Ashley Carter of http://www.fabellis.com, of women bloggers in the Triad North Carolina area who connect, build, empower and encourage each other. The meetup was held at Urban Grinders which is part coffee shop, part art gallery, 100% cool. It was the perfect place to hold the event, which included an amazing Blogger panel, swag bag for each attendee and great networking. Check out photos from the meetup here.

Photo Credit:Triad Women Bloggers Network

According to my daughter, aka #outandaboutAva, I missed all the fun at The Greensboro Children’s Museum.

Having a 5 yr old means that you first realized that there are actual museums devoted to just children, What a concept !!

Having visited other kids museum, this one turned to be pretty unique. Besides the usual pretend Post office and Dentist office , this museum has an extensive outdoors area dedicated to agriculture, vegetation and even a tractor and a hen house. Science and hands on arts and crafts made this museum a fun and a learning experience. Centrally located downtown , this is a can’t miss for families with the under 10 set.

We met up for lunch at The Table on Elm, located in Downtown Greensboro . I will be sharing an in depth review of this restaurant as my #FoodieFriday feature this week, so stay tuned! I will say that this place is a must try and I am still dreaming of their desserts. It’s the perfect grab and go eatery to get lunch, and walk to one of the 2 nearby parks.

LeBauer Park and Center City Park are both adjacent to each other

City Center Park is a stylish park with beautiful walkways sprinkled with public art pieces that sometimes are actually benches ! They have an attractive amphitheater where free concerts and events are held all summer long.

Lebauer Park is a new urban park/playground area we had heard so many positive things about. It takes up a few acres of prime real estate downtown so it did not disappoint. What makes this place great is the plethora of activities that can be had at one time in a clean and modern park setting. Ping Pong tables, badminton, miniature golf..ALL of the equipment right there for the public to use at their leisure. I have not seen anything like this here in the states before. Other places would charge for these facility perks but here it all for free. They have a lot of tables on the perimeters where coupes and families were enjoying their lunches whilst their kids romped around. It was very pleasant and even though there was a crowd there on a Saturday afternoon, it never felt crowded. A must see for any visitor to the Gate City of Greensboro.

#soTravelSavvy tip: Get off the beaten path when visiting a new city. You never know what you may find. We saw so many beautiful murals while doing so!

SUNDAY
No Family Travel to Greensboro would be complete without a visit to the Greensboro Science Center.

This attraction has a trifecta of activities. The aquarium, Science museum and the outdoor zoo. We spent the entire morning here looking at snakes and sharks and tigers ! The layout is logically set up so guests meander throughout the indoor sections that eventually lead them to the outdoor zoo and Skywild zipline/elevated walkway attraction. We so enjoyed every part of this complex. The interactive science experiments were so much fun. The zoo had Gibbons and of course that big Bengal Tiger.The petting zoo was an awesome part also that my little one enjoyed. The whole complex is just a wonderful concept.Here is a video roundup of our day at the Greensboro Science Center. Enjoy!

#soNCsavvy Tip: Don’t leave Greensboro without learning more about the role this NC city played in the Civils Right Movement, Black History and American History.

Although it was our first visit to Greensboro , it won’t be our last as it is a quick road trip away. Tell me, have you been to the Gate City of Greensboro and explored all they have to offer ? If not, what are you waiting for?! If so, share your experience below….as seen here at The Greensboro Science Center, we’re all ears! 

#outandaboutAva gets creative with her @American_Girl #GOTY2017 Gabriela McBride #AGdoll #Fun 

​Disclosure: We received the doll for review and the opinions are that of my own/DD

We were excited to hear the news of American Girl’s debut of its 2017 Girl of the Year – Gabriela McBride, which became available January 1, 2017. Why were we excited ? As a mom, I love to see representation and diversity in dolls and it was another opportunity for my daughter to bond with a doll that as she would say “looks like me”. 

We learned that Gabriela is a true talent who uses her passion for the arts—specifically spoken word poetry—to overcome personal obstacles and create positive change for her community. Gabriela launched with a beautiful 18-inch doll, plus several performance-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys. We’re also happy to hear that, unlike past Girl of the Year characters, Gabriela will be available throughout 2017 and beyond!

After unboxing her, my daughter was most impressed with her outfit. She liked the layered top & jeans and commented that the shoes are easier to put on and take off in comparison to some other dolls. It also comes with a book that shares how Gabriela focuses on expressing her true feelings when speaking up gets scary. Gabriela is inspired to use her talents and be creative for a cause. 

The doll comes with clear rubber bands and a pink headband. My daughter squealed in delight over the brown curls and could not wait to style it ! (as seen in this YouTube video). 

Coming in March, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic to create and distribute Express Yourself, a program for classrooms that empowers students to use the arts as a tool for self-expression ,to connect students with Gabriela’s inspiring message and to bring awareness to spoken word poetry. The classroom resources will give teachers the tools to encourage students to find their creative voices, just in time for National Poetry Month in April.

Learn more about Gabriela here-and get ready to imagine, dream and create! After reading her inspiring story to my daughter, I told her “May her Dreams be as Big as her Smile~Always! “