MoBu Kids' founder Melissa Steele devoted her time to entire classes of children for eight years before retiring to care for her two favorite youngsters—her son and daughter. Shortly after the birth of her son in 2005, Melissa opened MoBu Kids, an indoor playground and classroom for kids that was voted ParentsConnect Parents' Picks Best Kids' Party Place in 2010 and Best Indoor Playspace in 2009. During open play, youngsters scramble atop custom-designed foam playground equipment and roll around safe gymnastics flooring like Olympic-level tumbleweeds. They also test footholds in a rock-climbing wall and zoom down the slide of a petite tree house.
A more structured blend of learning and recreation characterizes small classes led by energetic instructors. Music and movement strengthens the link between notes and motion, bolstering language or motor and social skills according to age. Art-class masterpieces spring from the colorful depictions in a storybook, and ballet encourages dancers to forge creative steps, like the stubbed toe hop. Similar themes run through summer camps and private birthday parties.
Ultrazone Laser Tag might be familiar to fans of The Real World, whose cast members—fed up with drama—blew off steam by ducking colorful laser beams in the sprawling multilevel arena's fog-filled maze. There's enough space for 45 vest-clad players to face off at one time, and plasma monitors let the next wave watch the game as they eagerly await their turn. The expansive recreation center also hosts sleepover parties that grant exclusive overnight use of the laser-tag facilities, the plasma-screen theater, and the room that's inexplicably full of doorknobs. Outside the arena, an arcade keeps synapses ablaze with video games, air hockey, and golf simulators, supplemented with slices of Papa John's pizza from the cafe.
You'll be led in the ways of matching and loving under director Ron "Ald" McDonald, aka Tennis the Menace, aka the Count of Volley Cristo—a US Professional Tennis Association–certified coach and 35-year veteran of successful tennis-knowledge transmission. You'll be grouped with a handful of swingers at your own skill level, allowing you to reap the benefits of group training and assign each other catchy nicknames. Through fun drills and lightly competitive scrimmaging, you'll build on fundamentals and incorporate new flourishes into your victory dance.
More than 400,000 monthly readers flip through the pages of The Washingtonian, spending an average of 96 minutes on every issue, gleaning helpful dining tips and doctor recommendations, as well as information about local politics, business, and culture. Regular features list and review restaurants and doctors, giving readers valuable insight into area institutions, as opposed to a list of DC’s tallest presidential monuments, which offers people no new information. Online blogs such as Capital Comment and Dead Drop educate readers on national politics and foreign policy, and style and nightlife sections help deal hunters zero in on shopping and happy hour opportunities.
Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. escorts guests on an interactive journey through American history. Only here, the past isn't manifested through movies, but through wax. Inside, The President's Gallery brings visitors face-to-face with all 44 US presidents, from Harry Truman to Abe Lincoln and his signature spinning bowtie. Cultural leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., stand tall nearby, and rock stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan compose silent jam sessions in the Vintage Music Room. Hollywood stars, sports heroes, and nonpresidential political figures round out the collection, which can be visited 365 days a year.
Ultrazone Family Entertainment crafts adrenaline-filled afternoons, birthday parties, and events with a laser-tag arena and myriad in-house or rentable games and carnival attractions. Neon lights cast a hazy glow over the obstacles filling the state-of-the-art laser-tag battlefield, where combatants wield light-emitting artillery in 25-minute bouts. Guests and confused mountain goats scale the rock-climbing simulator overlooking the main hall's arcade and pinball games. The facility opens up the funscapades to birthday parties, complete with soda, Papa John's pizza, and two rounds of laser tag. Shindigs get customized with carnival rentals such as themed moonwalks, portable rock-climbing walls, and inflatable suits for sumo-wrestling matchups or attending balloon-animal weddings.