Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the wall by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
For 350 years, the Middleton family has proudly worked the 280 acres of Cedar Hill Farm. Their fields used to be only sewn with tobacco and corn, but now, the Middletons have carved out space for their annual fall festivities. In their 6-acre corn field, they've devised a maze where guests can test their navigation skills through towering stalks of corn. They've also summoned the Great Pumpkin to endow them with a pumpkin patch filled with jack-o-lantern-ready gourds, accessible via a rumbling 30-minute hayride. Nearby, farm animals await to meet families, so kids can finally learn about country life from someone other than an imaginary scarecrow friend.
Colleen Seely, a horse trainer and judge for local equestrian shows, channels her love for the gentle creatures into Fox Pointe Farm, L.L.C., which she opened in 2005. The 27-acre expanse houses two arenas—one lighted with professional footing and the other sandier than a hermit crab's beach house—as well as two barns' worth of stables, grassy pastures, trails, and a swimming pool. Within the tranquil setting, Colleen and her staff train and board steeds for showing at local venues or the farm's own school. Focus shifts from horses to riders during lessons for all ages and abilities, in addition to summer camps for avid athletes. Some overnight camps span an entire week, during which 10 girls bunk in the air-conditioned Fox Den cabin after a day of riding.
At Rivertowne 12 Cinemas, children’s films, supernatural thrillers, comedies, and superhero blockbusters all share equal billing. Twelve auditoriums light their silver screens with 3D and digital projections, carrying audience members to other worlds so they don't blow their savings accounts while trying to make a space elevator.
More than 150 varieties of wine, beer, and spirits flow freely into souvenir glasses, slaking thirsty throats with unlimited sips as guests nibble artisanal snacks at the National Harbor Wine and Food Festival's tasting stations. More than 100 international wines and local libations activate palates, and guests venture to the tasting theater to take in a seminar from wine pairers and gourmet chefs. Live steel-drum music sets the beachy airwaves quivering as attendees relax in the whiskey-and-bourbon lounge and experts demonstrate how to hand roll cigars, a skill that impresses friends and stops rival spies from secretly filling the cigar with live wolverines.
As the Potomac River flows in the distance, George Mason’s historical Georgian mansion overlooks sprawling fields, hiking trails, and a 250-year-old boxwood allée. A senior statesman, Mason laid the foundation for this site in 1755, building his new family home just yards away from the site of his grandfather’s house. Though the original 18th-century carriage roads, tree banks, and wide vistas have since disappeared, experts have reconstructed much of the property’s original splendor through archaeological digs; the written memoirs of George’s son, John; and the testimonials of kidnapped time travelers.
Today, trained guides lead guests on tours of the mansion, which features more than 50 pieces of art and furnishings detailing the life of the politician, his wife Ann, and their family. As guests learn about Mason’s role as the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and as an advocate of freedom of the press and religious tolerance, they walk through opulent halls and rooms designed in French modern, neoclassical, and Chinese styles. In addition to tours, the house and grounds host seasonal events such as an old-fashioned candlelit Christmas celebration, a spring kite festival, and an autumn séance to summon the Great Pumpkin.