Though the designers of Columbia SportsPark might have squabbled over how many batting cages to build or whether the mini-golf course should have a waterfall, they unanimously agreed on one factor—the park should be a place for families to spend time together. Today, their collaboration fulfills that mission with a sprawling 15,000-square-foot playground of family-friendly recreational activities. Along the 18-hole mini-golf course, lush plants, gushing waterfalls, and pristine ponds recreate the peaceful feel of a tropical garden or DMV lobby. Skaters pull off stunts at the 15,000-square foot outdoor skate facility with ramps, pipes, and a four-foot spine, while batters slug practice balls in cages equipped with professional fast- and slow-pitching machines. Beyond the daily family outings, Columbia SportsPark regularly hosts camps, skate lessons, and community gatherings throughout the year.
The Class AA Minor League Baseball Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, the Bowie Baysox won their first division title in 2008. Managed by Brad Komminsk, the team plays at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Maryland. Take your pick from 33 non-Saturday-night games.
The highly anticipated college clash pits Virginia Tech against last year's WAC champion Boise State in what Rivals.com is calling the number one non-conference college football game of the 2010 season. Coming into this season, the Hokies are ranked number six in USA Today's coaches' poll, while the Broncos hold the number-five spot. Catch all the gridiron action from the stadium's party-deck, located at both end zones directly above the stadium's high-definition video boards. Once in the club-level zone, you and a fellow football fanatic have exclusive access to all the club-level amenities, including restaurants and bars, expansive lounges with plush leather chairs, and dozens of high-def televisions sprinkled throughout the area. Parking is included in the price of your Groupon.
Golf requires power, precision, and soft touch, and Laurel Golf Center helps players hone all three at one location. Covered hitting stalls facilitate year-round practice at the driving range, where golfers can take aim at six target greens or try to nestle their golf ball inside a passing cloud. Short game practice areas let golfers hone chips, pitches, and shots with awkward lies from a practice bunker. To perfect their feel around the greens, guests can roll through the 18-hole miniature golf course.
In 2005, the Montreal Expos became the Canadian Expats, pledging a new allegiance and taking on a new identity as the first big-league club to inhabit America's capital since the Senators moved to Texas in 1971. In 2008, the team christened its new stadium, Nationals Park, which today welcomes up to 41,418 fans, its 4,500-square-foot HD scoreboard almost distracting from the panoramic views of the Potomac riverfront, the Capitol dome, and the Washington Monument. Accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design stadium, Nationals Park also sits 24 feet below street level, making its main concourse even with city sidewalks and saving many fans the danger of riding frozen, thin-aired escalators just to reach their seats.
United Social Sports brings recreational athletes together to socialize and showcase their hand-eye coordination. Free agents or team-sized groups register for the organization’s casual coed leagues dedicated to traditional sports such as softball and volleyball as well as carnival games such as cornhole and skee-ball. Each league hosts 6–8 weekly matches, which culminate in a final tournament and an end-of-season party—much like youth-sports leagues, but with postgame drink specials.