The Historic Smithfield Plantation invites visitors to step back into 1774. The house has sheltered the Preston family through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and now stands as a document of the past with a home and plantation grounds.
At NRV Superbowl, bowlers of all ages and skill levels hurl spheroids down 32 sleek lanes during birthday parties, bowling lessons, and friendly matches. During breaks between games, families and friends can munch on pizza or win prizes in an arcade filled with more than 30 redemption games. For an additional challenge, crews of up to twenty-four guests can battle it out in an otherworldly two-story laser tag arena decked out with eerie glowing walls, giant robots, and alien plant life.
Ride a Rescue at Winterfrost Farm is Reagan Miles's dream fulfilled. The outfit rescues horses from abusive or neglectful situations, and gives them a new lease on life as trusty mounts for sightseeing equestrians. Trail rides allow visitors to scale the farm's rolling hills, traverse open fields, and wind through tree-lined paths in groups of no more than 12. Proceeds from the Ride a Rescue program go toward caring for other rescue horses.
Engines roar across a tire-lined track, where single and double go-karts speed through turns and on toward victory. Alongside a track for junior go-karts, this is only one of the attractions that greets visitors to The Zone. Baseballs soar across the batting cages' mesh big-top tent, and the mini-golf course dots its baize landscape with obstacles such as miniature barns or tiny warehouses filled with smaller replicas of the mini-golf course. Indoors, video games fill an arcade with a symphony of electronic beeps, while party rooms play host to shindigs with themes such as princesses and activities such as crafts.
While stationed on Long Island to conduct secret war research for the U.S. government during World War II, O. Winston Link started snapping photographs of the Long Island Railroad tracks behind his lab. Eager to capture large-scale railroad pictures at night, he built his own customized flash equipment. After the war, Link harnessed that creative curiosity by spending five years photographing the Norfolk and Western Railway, the last large steam-powered American railroad. From his 20 trips to the railway's tracks in four states, Link collected 2,400 pictures.
His work didn't garner attention until the 1980s, when he published his first collection of railroad photos in the lauded book Steam, Steel & Stars. The West Virginia Historical Society continues to preserve his legacy with the O. Winston Link Museum, which showcases Link's Norfolk and Western project while filling in its historical context. Throughout seven galleries, patrons hear the sounds of bustling locomotive engines, adjust the lighting of an interactive diorama's photograph, and ogle Link's original photographic equipment, including flashbulbs, power boxes, and super power boxes. The museum underscores its edifying galleries with a plentitude of tours, workshops, and ongoing photography programs.
In the 1850s, the Norfolk & Western Railway made its way to Big Lick, Virginia, transforming the sleepy town into a locomotive hub of the south. The Virginia Museum of Transportation walks visitors through this industrial change with its historic steam and diesel engines, cabooses, model trains, and rail collection, which features more than 50 pieces of rolling stock, including some of the most advanced Roanoke-made steam engines ever built in the Norfolk & Western Class J-611 and Class A-1218. Railway exhibits recount the exploits of the industry’s most renowned names and provide an opportunity for visitors to hop aboard an actual diesel locomotive and complain loudly about the lack of complimentary peanuts. Additional engine-powered attractions include a century’s worth of automobiles and the recently reopened Wings Over Virginia Aviation Gallery collection.