Master falconer and bird-of-prey expert Mike Dupuy shares his love of the 4,000-year-old sport of falconry during exciting and informative demonstrations with his avian costars. A professional public speaker, Mike entertains his audiences with personal anecdotes and motivational speeches that use falconry as a metaphor to encourage them to follow their dreams. Guests also get to learn about each feathered raptor while it surveys the crowd for wild Energizer bunnies, and Mike encourages audience interaction by inviting volunteers from the audience to hold the hawk and try in vain to teach it to bark like a dog.
As part of the national ALS Association, the DC/MD/VA Chapter provides help and hope to individuals living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their families, with a mission to help treat and cure ALS through research and advocacy. The chapter's staff works to help individuals and families establish communication systems, collaborate with health-care providers, and access resources for medical care and support.
For more than 20 years, the FAA-certified flight instructors at Washington International Flight Academy have safely guided pupils skyward and imbued them with the skills necessary for numerous licenses and certifications. Under an instructor's watchful eye, guests control a Cessna 172 on a 30-minute airborne trek during discovery flights, which can later be applied toward courses for a private or commercial pilot’s license with optional multiengine rating. A commercial pilot’s license qualifies more seasoned flyers for instructor certification, where they learn how to teach essentials, including how to tell the difference between a landing airplane and a diving roc.
Along with in-depth courses, Washington International Flight Academy accommodates patrons with rentals of its massive fleet, charts and piloting supplies from its fully stocked shop, and lodging for out-of-state students.
The first running of the Potomac Hunt Races took place in 1952, and the event has been an annual tradition in Montgomery County ever since. The event celebrates steeplechase racing—a form of competition that originated in 18th-century Ireland, when riders would dash across uneven terrain and use towering church steeples as their beacons. Today, regular two- to four-mile tracks have become the battlegrounds for steeplechase events, and horses equipped with on-board GPS systems have made church steeples obsolete. Potomac Hunt Races carries on the tradition of this modern-day version of steeplechase racing, while implementing a tradition of its own: donating a portion of the proceeds from each year's event to charity.
At PB Dye Golf Club, golfers wallop, pitch, and putt through more than 7,000 yards of lush, forested greenery on a challenging course that was ranked as one of the best in the state in Golf Digest magazine. Push a dimpled projectile across some of Maryland's only Penn G-2 bent grass greens, which lie at the end of rolling fairways and are defended by bunkers as closely as a mother bear protects her vinyl collection. A flowing waterfall and pair of ponds flank the course's 9th and 18th holes and add aquatic scenery while threatening to capsize novice club-swingers' confidence. With five different tee distances on each hole, the course yields a par-72 rating for men, par-73 rating for women, and par-18 rating for habitual liars.
At Adventure Park USA, visitors amble, shriek, and laugh through a sprawling 17.5 acres replete with Old West–themed rides and attractions such as the Wildcat roller coaster, which dips and curves around a track in order to elicit screams of joy. Outdoor diversions such as bumper boats and go-karts stoke competitive fires, and a collection of little tykes rides invite pintsize riders to spin in teacups or gallop on carousel horseback. Open year-round, a 22,000-square-foot indoor frontier playzone thumbs its nose at inclement weather with laser tag, an arcade, a ropes course, and a climbing wall. Owner Larry Stottlemeyer continues to expand this already extensive list of family-friendly diversions.