The Proehlific Park Family Sports Complex and Fitness Center is a sprawling facility, whose space opens up for youth and adult programs, fitness activities, and sports. Three basketball courts and a 70-yard turf field welcome soccer and flag-football leagues. Meanwhile, the fitness center holds a weight room, spinning studio, cardio center, along with group exercise classes such as yoga, Zumba, and Pilates. While not relaxing in locker rooms complete with saunas, customers will also find free wireless and a smoothie bar in the lobby.
Dedicated to granting kids a safe, fun play space where even tumbles result in laughter, Monkey Joe's goes out of its way to foster a friendly environment for all guests. Throughout the day, the eagle-eyed staff—in adherence with a rigorous Safety Access Child Control System—oversees kids at play on the inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and climbing walls that dapple the indoor play area, with video monitoring on hand for further peace of mind. The main play area fields the bounces of youthful guests aged 12 and younger, and the Mini Monkey Zone's games and puzzles afford toddlers a chance to escape the world of older kids and their pre-algebra jokes for a recreational haven of their own. In addition to walk-in play, a bustling party zone facilitates gravity-defying birthday celebrations tended to by cheery staff. As their progeny run and jump, parents can retreat to the tranquil confines of the adult lounge with a computer station, comfortable chairs, and flat-screen TVs. Even after the ebullient crowds of tots have cleared the premises, the staff remains committed to children's well-being as they scour every inch of the inflatable equipment with sanitizing cleaners that evict common germs trying to nap in the cloud-like nooks and crannies.
Engines roar across a tire-lined track, where single, double, and junior go-karts speed through turns and on toward victory. 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.
Two intimate, 80-seat theaters showcase a carefully chosen crop of independent, art, foreign, documentary, and local films, as well as occasional special events, though today’s Groupon is only valid for regular scheduled screenings. Bring a film-buff friend or humorously mismatched buddy cop and catch one of the theater’s talkies, which have recently included The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Potiche, and Everything Must Go. Two jumbo sodas and a jumbo popcorn will keep your noggins fueled so that you can predict plot twists and your mouths full so that you don't accidentally blurt out predictions.
A bearded and scruffy Shawn Hash launched his outfitting business 20 years ago with a spartan collection of four bicycles, two canoes, and a pickup truck. Tangent Outfitters now oversees a small flotilla of aquatic craft as it leads guests to all the outdoor adventures the New River and its surrounding valley have to offer. Tubing trips afford a leisurely 1- to 2-mile jaunt down the river, with plenty of pit stops at sunny beaches, swimming holes, or riverside nail salons. Instructors bring a slice of Hawaiian watersports to Virginia with standup paddleboard lessons or teach guests to snag unsuspecting smallmouths with guided fishing trips. The surrounding mountainous trails invite bikers to speed through their dirt-stained paths, and the riverbeds host seven different types of kayak and canoe day trips. Adventurers can stock up on excursion rations at Tangent's onsite deli.
On the scenic Smith Mountain Lake, run-about motorboats and WaveRunners create arcing, white-capped wakes atop the water. Nearby, slower-moving pontoons host anglers and picnickers. The captains of each of these vessels owe their enjoyable day to the family-owned Hales Ford Marina & Boat Rentals, which loans its equipment to locals and visitors alike. In addition to pairing clients with the right boat, staffers also perform repairs and maintenance, including winterization for a variety of vehicles.
After a day plowing the fields, the young Dan Andrews would jump from the tractor, feel his boots sink into the freshly turned earth, and then grab his rifle for an evening of hunting on his family's farm. Once he graduated college, Andrews found himself wanting to share his passion for the outdoors, forged by experiences such as hunting trophy buck and stalking duck along the farmland's creek beds. He returned to the land that had sustained his family for five generations and founded Drake Landing.
Today, Andrews and his team—which includes staff claiming accreditation by the National Sporting Clays Association—oversee a preserve that spans separate ranges for shooting sporting clays, pistols, and rifles. In addition to maintaining rigorous safety standards at the ranges, crews also supervise a 3-D archery course out in the forest. For outdoorsmen desiring live field experience, Drake Landing's team leads guided upland hunting for pheasant and quail as well as hunting trips for dove, deer, and Red October.