The hotel is located on Harbor Island, which means that every room was a water view of some kind, which is nice.
What I loved:
-Super close to the airport & free shuttle
-Easy peasy close parking
-Free Wi-Fi for HiltonHonors members. It was fast enough that my girls streamed a movie.
-Super comfy beds!!!
What could have been better:
-Kiddos loved the pool, but it is definitely not a resort size pool.
-No on-site coffee bar. (Latte snob here :))
-Single on site restaurant was pricey.
Stopped in here while hubby was at a conference. We loved our food and the kids wanted to come back with dad for dinner.
Prices are high, but on par with other restaurants in the area. Kids meals include drinks, main entree, and 2 side choices. Or you can just pick 4 sides for kiddos sharing or not wanting a full meal.
We sat outside and enjoyed the planes flying over from McCarren airport nearby.
Iddy Biddy Pool School has an outstanding swimming program for children. We started going to the free baby swim classes from 3-8 months. My three sons have each loved these classes; and it was great to see them get so comfortable in the water at such a young age. The free prenatal classes were amazing for my second pregnancy, and I highly recommend those to all my doula and childbirth education clients!
There are so many factors that keep us going to Iddy Biddy Pool School. The warm 92 degree water makes it easy for our children to stay comfortable and concentrate; especially since they can get easily chilled. The classes focus on a safety first learning environment which is so important! The children learn without flotation devices so they do not have a false sense of their own abilities.
The standard of teaching is excellent. The instructors are certified and spend time explaining what the children are learning in each level. The coaches also volunteer for special Olympics and are obviously invested in the children they are teaching. There are only 4 children per class so my boys get lots of attention. It's been amazing to see their progress. I highly recommend Iddy Biddy Pool School!!
My family visited Prince William Forest Park on a warm Saturday in February.
First, we stopped at the visitor center. The enthusiastic rangers helped my kids identify items on a table where they could pick up at touch things. This activity was actually part of their extensive junior ranger booklet.
The rest the visitor center focuses primarily on the history of the park as it has been used by the government over the past 100 years or so.
Just a short walk from the visitor center is a new playground. The equipment is fun - but I imagine it can get very busy in the summer months. The playground area is not tiny - but not huge either. Probably just the right size for a class coming to visit the park on a field trip.
We hiked some trails near the visitor center. You'll want to make sure that you have a map as there is quite a network of trails to choose from. There is a creek and a suspension bridge. There are also lots of fallen trees that my kids enjoyed climbing around on in the wintertime.
There's four sites that make up the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Battlefield - and I didn't really know where to begin. But, now that I've been to Chancellorsville, I think it was a good choice.
Why Visit Chancellorsville?
- It's the precursor to Gettysburg. If you've ever wondered exactly how Gettysburg happened, Chancellorsville is a good place to start. The Confederates won at Chancellorsville and Stonewall Jackson died.
- I can never follow the detailed battle diagrams and picture where everyone is moving. But, at Chancellorsville it all seemed to make a bit more sense. The Union gave up the high ground and the Confederates won - yes, overly simplified, but it's basically what happened.
- The video is pretty decent, does not show an excessive amount of blood and gore, and helped my first and second graders understand the importance of the site.
- The hike at Hazel Grove was a nice 1.5-2 mile walk for the kids - lots of hills to run up and down and plenty of canons to see. When I saw the hiking was a requirement of the junior ranger booklet here -- which seemed like a good fit for us. The hike was a great balance of nature and history.
Junior Ranger Program
For the junior ranger booklet we hiked at Hazel Grove, saw the video at the visitor center (which has a nominal fee), and carefully examined the memorial to Stonewall Jackson directly behind the visitor center.
If you are interested in going to the Wilderness Battlefield or the Spotsylvania site in the off season, junior ranger materials are likely available at Chancellorsville.