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UltimateMama spent last weekend with the family in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA.  Although the visit was a short one it was chock full of sites!

UltimateMama offers up a few tips for a family friendly vacation:

– Start your day early to avoid the crowds!

– Take advantage of the Smithsonian Institutions 19 national museums and the National Zoo which are all free.  UltimateMama happened to visit the Air and Space Musuem on family day which was a treat for the kids who loved all the art projects throughout the museum.  UltimateMama arrived at the National Zoo early and was able to see all the animals and exhibits before the crowds rushed in!  Although the day was hot, the kids didn’t mind as they enjoyed the wonderful refreshing “misting” machines.  Zoo parking was only $15!

– Walk through the Hishhorn Museum’s Sculpture Garden to see modern sculptures by the masters, located next to the Air and Space Museum at The National Mall

– Put your little ones on the carousel at The National Mall– Eat at ella’s Wood Fired Pizza on 901 F Street, N.W., near The National Mall

– Enjoy a short hike in Great Falls Park, Virginia to see the falls of the Potomac River in their glory

– Pay your respects to soldiers and visit the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA

With Father’s Day right around the corner UltimateMama offers up a few suggestions for Father’s Day 2011:

– help your child create a paper doll of daddy

– take advantage of the free shipping offer at J.Crew with code: FREESHIP and pick up some blue gingham boxers or nautical socks

– buy him a classic dress shirt with french cuffs from Charles Tyrwhitt (many shirts are reduced to $39 from $139)

– assist your child in the kitchen and offer him a special afternooon snack of manchego cheese with quince paste 

– create a photo memory scrapbook with your child and include tickets from concerts, sporting events, plays, and other excursions

– surprise him with tickets to a baseball game, tennis match, or show

– order a personalized apron for daddy from allheartchefs

– get him a tee time at a GREAT golf course

UltimateMama loves giving her kids lots of fruits and vegetables!  Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack are important times to promote a healthy lifestyle by showing your children how to eat healthy! 

Avoiding pesticides is also important for clean living.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released its 2011 “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” so check it out now!

UltimateMama spent last weekend with the family in Lancaster, PA touring Amish Country.  Lancaster is perfect for kids of all ages as there are so many family friendly activities and events to take advantage of on a daily basis.

A few tips for a family friendly vacation to Amish Country in Lancaster, PA:

– Stay at the AmishView Inn & Suites.  Excellent complimentary full breakfast with waffles, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, cereal, fruit, oatmeal, bagels, breads, beverages, and more! Wonderful indoor pool. Clean, spacious rooms (our family took advantage of the suites). All right on a farm!

– Try the Plain & Fancy restaurant for dinner. The turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce was AMAZING! The restaurant even has a kids menu.

– Take the family for an Amish Buggy Ride with Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides.  Tour farms and learn all about Amish Country from friendly guides.

– Spend a day at Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park for kids.  This park is excellent for young children.  Parents like it because kids under the age of two are free!  My girls loved the amusement park rides — and the pony rides!

– Go early and enjoy a ride on the Strasburg Rail Road.

– Have fun with hundreds of trains at the National Toy Train Museum.

– Shop a little at the Tanger Outlet Center in Lancaster, PA

– Pick up some honey (and see the bees), jam, apple butter, and bread at Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Market before you leave!