Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • In anticipation of summer, Colonial Williamsburg has a special trip giveaway offer for Traveling Mamas readers. One lucky family will have an opportunity to win one (1) complimentary 4 day/3 night package getaway to enjoy interactive history and unparalleled southern hospitality at one of the country’s most popular must-sees for families. This summer, Colonial Williamsburg will be introducing a variety of new interactive programming adding to the fun, and the Colonial Williamsburg Resort is celebrating 75 years of hospitality, so you’ll enjoy the best in customer service, as well.

    Colonial Willamsburg Family Travel Destination image by Colonial Williamsburg

    Colonial Williamsburg Family BlacksmithProgram highlights this summer include RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn, the second chapter in a popular text message-based adventure through the Historic Area. To save the Revolution, players text in for clues that help them decipher codes and find symbols in Historic Area locations they might not otherwise explore. Find your allies among Historic Area interpreters and see if you have what it takes to save the Revolution! Additionally, Colonial Williamsburg’s newest exhibition building, the Public Armoury is open, showcasing historic tradespeople at work.

    Kids are invited to play games, learn to dance and practice 18th century manners at the Benjamin Powell House, help tend the plants at the colonial nursery, pick tobacco at Great Hopes Plantation, or take their shoes off and stomp in the mud helping the brickmakers at the brickyard. For a fun, family meal, the new Huzzah! BBQ Grille features great BBQ favorites with international flair.

    At the Williamsburg Woodlands, families can take advantage of the Fun Zone, including an outdoor pool, putt putt, shuffle board, ping pong, magic shows, cookie decorating, making your own sundaes and more, all right on-site at the hotel.

    With this offer, families can also take advantage of nearby Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Bounce giveaway package includes:

    • 4 days/3 nights at the Williamsburg Woodlands, an official Colonial Williamsburg Hotel
    • Daily breakfast
    • Admission to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums
    • Admission to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA
    • Access to the Fun Zone (outdoor pool, putt putt, ping pong, shuffle board, cookie decorating, magic shows and more)

    The package has a value of more than $800. Can’t make it this summer? This offer can be used anytime within the next 12 months, depending on your schedule.  Some blackout dates apply. The Summer Bounce Package is good until August 30, 2012. Aug 31-Nov 20, the package would include accommodations, breakfast, Colonial Williamsburg admission, and components of the Fun Zone (putt putt, ping pong, shuffle board).
    Colonial Williamsburg Family mini golf activity image by Colonial Williamsburg

    How to Enter:

    Leave a comment letting us know if you’ve ever visited Colonial Williamsburg and/or what activities your family likes to participate in during your summer family vacation. That’s it! Comments close on May 14, 2012 at 11:59PM EST. One comment will be chosen randomly via and the winner has 48 hours to respond once notified by email from Must be at least 21 years old. Transportation is not included and we’re opening this contest to citizens worldwide who are planning a visit to the US in the next 12 months. One entry per email address per day. Valid comments will be recovered from Spam.

    Thanks to Colonial Williamsburg for providing this fun family giveaway to readers.

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  • Happy Friday! It’s the last day of the workweek, and as added bonus, many of these deals are good to buy through the weekend.

    We list these daily deals to show you that even though they might be targeted at a local audience, they can be great for travelers. While you have to buy the deal this weekend, some of them can be used anytime during the next year. So, take a look and see if any of them might save you money on your future vacations.

    New Orleans, Louisiana: $40 for Two Adult Jazz Cruise Tickets at New Orleans Paddlewheels ($80 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in New Orleans!

    Norman, Oklahoma: $99 for a One-Night Romantic Stay, Evening Refreshments, and In-Room Breakfast at Montford Inn Bed and Breakfast in Norman (Up to $239 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Oklahoma City!

    Madison, Wisconsin: $35 for a Four-Course Wine Tasting for Two and a Bottle of Wine to Take Home from Von Klaus Winery in Baraboo (Up to $72 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Madison!

    Wichita, Kansas: $14 for a Five-Attraction Pass at All Star Sports or All Star Adventures ($30 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Wichita!

    Providence, Rhode Island: $99 for an Aerial Mansion Tour for Three People from Bird’s Eye View Helicopters in Middletown Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Providence!

    Blackstone, Virginia: $105 for One-Night Stay in King Suite ($210 Value) or $80 for One-Night Stay in Queen Suite ($160 Value) at The Grey Swan Inn Bed & Breakfast Find Today’s Daily Deal for the Best in Hampton Roads!

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $115 for a Tandem Jump at Skydive Philadelphia ($195 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Philadelphia!

    Boston, Massachusetts: $99 for a Boston Fall Foliage Helicopter Tour from East Coast Aero Club ($199 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Boston!

    Burlington, Vermont: $349 for a Two-Night Vermont Getaway and Cooking Class for Two from The Essex Resort & Spa in Essex (Up to $758 Value) Find Today’s Daily Deal on the Best in Boston! (To find this deal, look in the right sidebar on the Boston deals page.)

    Houston, Texas: $140 for a tandem skydive with Skydiving Houston ($250 value) Find Today’s Deal in Houston!

    Dallas, Texas: $150 for a tandem skydive with Skydiving Dallas ($257 value) Find Today’s Deal in Dallas!

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  • 2010 is the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway – 469 miles of scenic roads that connect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah Valley National Park in Virginia.

    The road construction began in 1935 as part of FDR’s New Deal job creation efforts, and I am so appreciative of the visionaries who thought to preserve the gorgeous waterfalls, upland meadows and forests that make up the terrain.

    It’s one of the best drives out there for families, and here are my Top 5 reasons why:

    1. You have to slow down.

    No, really, you have to slow down. The speed limit on much of the parkway is 45 miles per hour, and with all the curves in the road, you couldn’t speed if you wanted to. This forced slow-down is great for all the too-busy, stressed out among us (i.e. ME). There’s no hurrying, so you may as well take a deep breath and take in that gorgeous scenery.

    2. Scenic overlooks abound.

    There are places to stop every few miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some serve as hiking trailheads, and others have great little picnic spots.

    3. Cell phone service is spotty.

    That’s not something I would usually count as a blessing, but in this case, it means several hours with no calls from the office and no new e-mails coming in. And the teens in the car can’t spend all their time texting or on Facebook. Plus, radio stations are hard to come by. No radio + no cell phone service means your family will actually have to engage in a conversation together. A lengthy one.

    4. Tunnels!

    What kid (or adult, for that matter) doesn’t love to drive through a tunnel? There are tons of them on this mountain drive.

    5. There’s a mountain everyone can climb.

    Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississppi, and it’s also one of the easiest to climb. Just turn off the parkway at Mount Mitchell State Park in North Carolina, and drive until the road ends. From there, it’s just a 680-yard walk to the summit (and there’s a snack bar and restrooms, to boot!).

    There are many 75th anniversary activities planned throughout the summer and fall in communities adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I encourage you to drive a piece of it on your travels – whether it be 10 miles or all 469, it will be worth it.

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  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg LogoWilliamsburg, VA is the first REAL vacation this Traveling Mama ever experienced. My brother was too young to go, so I had my parents all to myself as I experienced Colonial Williamsburg with its living history. In fact, I still have the Martha Washington rag doll I begged my parents for and I recall sleeping many nights in my Colonial mop cap that I refused to part with. So, I am very excited to announce our Ultimate Boycott the Staycation Giveaway. The folks at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Embassy Suites really want to help a lucky reader and family spend some quality time AWAY from home.

    Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is a European-themed park bursting with adventure at every turn. Busch Gardens took roller coaster design to bold new heights in 2007 with the debut of the world’s tallest and first floorless dive coaster, Griffon. Situated on 100 action-packed acres, Busch Gardens boasts more than 50 thrilling rides and attractions, ten main stage shows, a wide variety of award-winning cuisine and world-class shops. With something amazing around every corner, your family will come together like never before.

    Busch Gardens Williamsburg Roller CoasterWith this great giveaway, you can experience Howl-o-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg as a romantic escape, a girlfriend getaway, or with a few dollars more, the entire family can enjoy. Don’t be scared to bring the entire family during this fun time at Busch Gardens. The official Howl-O-Scream site rates rides and events for families so you’ll know if something might be too scary for the littlest ones.

    Double Suite at Embassy Suites WilliamsburgThe whole family will enjoy two nights at Embassy Suites Williamsburg, one of the area’s premier lodging choices for families or couples. Their extra large rooms provide plenty of space for all members of the clan.

    So, what’s the big giveaway?

    • 2 Season Passes to Busch Gardens Williamsburg
    • 2 $25 Exxon Mobile Cards
    • 2 Busch Gardens Tee Shirts
    • 2 Water Country USA Visors
    • 2 Nights Lodging at Embassy Suites Williamsburg (must be redeemed by Oct. 31, 2008)

    Isn’t that an awesome giveaway? So, what do you have to do to win? Just leave a comment on this post telling us how you’ve Boycotted the Staycation so far this summer. As Traveling Mamas, we’ve been doing our best to Boycott the Staycation by visiting Florida, California, Puerto Vallarta, The Grand Canyon, and of course Hawaii, just to name a few places. So, leave a comment and make some plans to enjoy Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Maybe you can even visit Colonial Williamsburg and bring home a mop cap. The park’s annual festival of fright begins Sept. 19 and runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 26.

    For more information or for planning purposes go to, BuschGardens Williamsburg Official Site, and Embassy Suites Williamsburg Official Site.

    Eligible entries are for US Residents only. Immediate family members of Traveling Mamas are ineligible for this contest. Leave a comment on this post, with up to one entry per calendar day, per email address. Contest ends midnight August 26, 2008. Winner will be announced on Winning Wednesday, August 27.

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