A gypsy rides through the crowd while standing upon two horses. Behind him follow more members of his troupe, who do back flips off their steeds and then regale spectators with fire breathing and juggling. Performed by the seventh-generation acrobats of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, this spectacle—called Ma'Ceo—often draws standing-room-only crowds every day during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. It's these kinds of glimpses into the Elizabethan era that fulfill the mission of bringing renaissance Europe to life. Turning the Kelley Farm into the Village of Merriwick, entertainers of all types, from courtiers to peasants, engage fairgoers with a range of acts. Flanked by her entourage, Queen Elizabeth travels through the streets, perhaps on her way to watch the jousters compete for her phone number, or perhaps to watch sprightly performers such as the Celtic fiddlers or the commedia troupe. Merchants peddle wares to passersby, talking up goods such as hand-forged weapons and armor, hand-tooled leather goods, and roasted turkey legs. Camel rides and bubble-filled buckets cater to kids, and adults can duck into two alehouses where quick-witted wenches pour draft microbrews and ciders. For guests who want to spend the whole weekend immersed in the renaissance festivities, organizers reserve a section of the grounds for tent and RV camping.
Building mind-bending music on a foundation of ancient Japanese taiko drums, Ōn Ensemble merges a deep, hypnotic form of percussion with everything from turntable-ism to electronica to Tuvan throat singing—creating the unique world-fusion sound that has kept fans on their toes, when they're not levitating just off them. Wired magazine's Underwire blog said that Ōn's 2009 effort, Ume in the Middle, "should appeal equally to fusion aficionados and left-fielders in search of something stranger." Despite their dauntless exploration in the realms of the avant-garde, the Ōn Ensemble has gained the ultimate stamp of approval in classical Japanese culture—an endorsement from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, instrument maker to the emperor of Japan—ensuring that Ōn doesn't fall victim to the public shaming that has torn apart so many promising avant-garde Japanese percussionists.
Home of PGA golfer Ryan Moore, Classic Golf Club challenges club wielders of all ages and skill levels with a 6,902-yard championship golf course that features bent-grass fairways, ball-gobbling water hazards, and well-raked sandcastle traps. Round up a foursome of real-life Caddyshack characters and tee off amid the natural serenity of the first hole or consult the scorecard to find the quickest route to Augusta before the Masters Tournament starts. After finishing a match, players can stop into Classic Golf Club's clubhouse to get information on upcoming tournaments or inquire about lessons for defeated friends. Though not included in this Groupon, golfers can opt to rent the services of a coal-powered golf cart ($14/person).
In March 1964, Dr. Milton Walker began his tour of England with one mission: to send cuttings from public and private British gardens back to his native America. Though he was enchanted by several flowers, he knew that none of these cuttings could be imported directly to the United States. So he had them sent through Canada. Over the next several years, staff from the University of British Columbia filtered through these samples, sending one of each plant on to the United States—and to their permanent home—at the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Today, this non-profit organization conserves 700 of the more-than 1,000 species of rhododendrons found around the world and the two species found inside the earth's molten core.
More than 10 botanical gardens house these brilliant seasonal blooms and their natural companionate flora. Guided and self-guided tours usher visitors down pathways where colorful plantings abound in gardens dedicated to alpine flowers, azaleas, a magnolia grove, and a tranquil pond filled with predatory cattails. In addition to flowers, these gardens also host seasonal events such as special plant sales and staff lectures, as well as classes on topics ranging from plant photography to gardening.
The KUBE 93 Summer Jam brings together some of the biggest names in rap and hip-hop for an all-day festival of music and entertainment. With a star-studded lineup including Ludacris, Pitbull, T-Pain, B.o.B, New Boyz, Jeremih, and Big K.R.I.T., the festival exposes fans to numerous well-known acts without the scheduling hassles and food-allergy concerns of inviting them all to a dinner party. Although concessions are not included with this Groupon, two beer gardens offer refreshing tipples to guests 21 and older. The covered pavilion space helps provide shelter from the elements, keeping heads dry during rain, cool under the sun, and slime-free during showers of frogs.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.