Founded more than 25 years ago at a single store in suburban Maryland, Wild Bird Centers has since spread its bevy of birding gear and wildlife-watching supplies to approximately 50 locations across the United States and Canada. At each shop, knowledgeable and friendly staffers compile an immense inventory of top-quality birdseed, including their own exclusive blends of premium, field-tested ingredients. They equip patrons with a cavalcade of bird-watching accouterments such as binoculars, birdhouses, birdbaths, and Big Bird costumes and help customers to enhance their wildlife wisdom with gardening tools. To further help patrons to decipher the symphony of birdcalls they hear, Wild Bird Centers proffers a Backyard Birds Field Guide, which includes helpful information about the characteristics and habitat of common avian species. Additionally, all purchases contribute to customers' Birdie Bucks accounts, Wild Bird Centers' customer-rewards program.
Since 1972, The Mosaic Tile Company has been the distributor for all your ceramic tile and stone needs. As the largest independent distributor in the Mid-Atlantic Region, The Mosaic Tile Company offers ten Design Centers displaying some of the most diverse ceramic tile products from around the globe. mosaictileco.com
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
The trained staffers at Clay Cafe Chantilly shepherd burgeoning clay maestros through one-hour classes that yield custom pieces of art. During the Paint-Your-Own pottery class, nab a piece of unfinished ceramic and adorn the blank receptacle with dinnerware-safe paints devoid of toxins or cereal-tainting hints of meat loaf. The Sponge Painted Teapot class and Great Grapes Wine Cooler class equip students with sponges and outliners to decorate their very own mantelworthy pieces. Meanwhile, kitchen cabinets can open their dish domicile to tropical-themed dishes painted in the Sunset on the Beach Oval Platter class or drink in the Peppermint Candy Striped Mugs class, in which students design four mugs to elegantly hold morning cups of coffee or mead. The staffers then glaze and fire the finished work, preparing masterpieces to be picked up 10 days after class.
Ski Chalet proffers the latest in snow-slicing technology with professional in-shop services and top-flight gear. Prep your skis for mountain season with a thorough tune-up, which delights snow gliders with an indulgent stone grind, bevel, and hot-wax treatment before whispering inspirational quotes in their ears and sending them back to the slopes. Lift loafers can peruse skis, boots, bindings, and poles in the pro shop, or they can complete a preexisting mountain-defeating arsenal with protective wear like GoreTex-laced gloves ($64.95) or ear warmers ($30). Newer skiers can count on friendly, helpful service to pair them with appropriate equipment.
Northern Virginia Magazine floods readers’ worldviews with new, intimate perspectives on the region, delivering in-depth coverage on noteworthy places, events, and individuals. The magazine reports current news on topics such as health and beauty, family, education, and the ongoing effort to reanimate the Statue of Liberty. Its entertainment features highlight the latest cultural, artistic, and social happenings, as well as reviewing new restaurants and the best places to shop, travel, and entertain in the area. The magazine turns a textual spotlight on movers and shakers in its profiles of top local doctors, lawyers, leaders, and personalities.
Recurring pieces in Northern Virginia Magazine acquaint subscribers with the fresh prose of popular writers on staff. "Relish" by Stefanie Gans explores the region's food industry, reviewing products and restaurants and getting advice from guest contributors on pairing alcoholic beverages with their long-lost twins. "Pets" finds writer Jenni Terry undertaking humorous and educational adventures involving the column's furry, eponymous subjects. Staff writers and contributing editors take turns with monthly, in-depth examinations of serious and light Northern Virginia topics, from crime and politics to getaways.