Ultrazone Laser Tag might be familiar to fans of The Real World, whose cast members—fed up with drama—blew off steam by ducking colorful laser beams in the sprawling multilevel arena's fog-filled maze. There's enough space for 45 vest-clad players to face off at one time, and plasma monitors let the next wave watch the game as they eagerly await their turn. The expansive recreation center also hosts sleepover parties that grant exclusive overnight use of the laser-tag facilities, the plasma-screen theater, and the room that's inexplicably full of doorknobs. Outside the arena, an arcade keeps synapses ablaze with video games, air hockey, and golf simulators, supplemented with slices of Papa John's pizza from the cafe.
Recently featured in the Washington Times, Gertrude's is a salt-stained bastion of coastal cuisine, with a menu chock-full of Chesapeake classics. Chef and owner John Shields, a nationally acclaimed coastal-fare innovator, author, and crab whisperer, named the restaurant for his grandmother, Gertrude Cleary. Grandma Gertrude's traditional Baltimore crab cake recipe lives on at her namesake restaurant with a dinner order of Gertie's crab cakes ($20), which arrives dressed with a choice of eight sauces, including the Creole or three-mustard. It's served with a choice of sides such as apple and fennel coleslaw, hush puppies, or grilled rosemary potatoes. Other maritime entrees, such as the citrus barbecue shrimp ($24) and the Chesapeake rockfish imperial ($30), recognize each other from the Shark Week extras' green room and happily provide diners fishing for Bay fare authenticity with transcendent catches for immediate consumption. Also available are Gertie's seafood Creole ($24) and locally raised beef burgers ($10).
Presidential dentures, a kid-sized dental chair, and interactive brushing instruction are some of the permanent exhibits spanning the space's two floors. The museum also boasts a life-size narwhal model, an exposé on saliva, and a celebration of our country's best dental schools. This upcoming season, stop in to pay homage to the tooth fairy for Tooth Fairy Day, or get a mouthful of mammals on Jaws and Paws Day. View a listing of upcoming events here. Take the whole family (admission for children ages 3–18 is $3, and those less than 2 are free), bring a bad-breathed date for a tutorial on mouth management, or instill yourself with a new sense of appreciation for the dentist.
The winner of seven consecutive Best Custom Framing awards from CityVoter users, Masterpieces Fine Art & Custom Framing stocks more than 2,300 frames, including work by industry mainstay Larson-Juhl. Its skilled framers meld function and aesthetic form to secure works of art in everything from American hardwood to 22-karat-gold-leafing frames to metal handcuffs. Aside from framing, the staff also restores faded or creased photos to their original vivid states and brings photos to life by converting them into imitation oil paintings or watercolors that look like they were born from hours of meticulous brushstrokes.
Merlot’s Masterpiece buries the anxieties of creating art under a comforting blanket of easy-to-follow instruction with a sidecar of wine or mimosas. An instructor flits around the room, offering pointers to students perched in front of their half-completed artworks. The subject matter varies from class to class, ranging from an O'Keefe-inspired floral blossom to Monet-inspired impressionist depictions of mermaids weaving hats out of water lilies. During each session, aspiring artists sip on provided wine while making the most of the included supplies and canvas to paint the masterpiece they'll take home after the class.