Since 1973, skaters have been sailing effortlessly across Fairfax Ice Arena?s spacious, icy surface during public skate sessions, figure skating?lessons, and hockey leagues for all ages. At the family-owned arena, a staff of dedicated skating coaches guides students while calling upon experience from the St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice, Disney on Ice, and the lesser-known On Golden Pond on Ice. The arena is open throughout the year, hosting a full hockey and figure skating?pro shop in addition to its Arena Caf?.
Many of the Northern Virginia Regional Parks feature sparkling springs, rolling countryside, and wooded trails. Others, however, feature 230-feet waterslides and giant plastic mermen. That?s because NOVA Parks includes a handful of recreational splash havens with towering slides, giant dumping buckets, and pristine pools.
Each waterpark is characterized by its own theme and unique whimsical d?cor, from the massive parrot that watches over Pirate's Cove to the lofty palm trees and grass huts that speckle Volcano Island. The latter location even boasts a landscaped mini golf course with 18 holes and challenging obstacles. All of the parks feature their own snack bars, where servers sling kid-friendly treats such as funnel cakes showered in sweet powdered sugar and popsicles with homework answers written on the sticks.
Your kids might never have to sing "Rain, rain go away," now that Kid Junction's on the scene. No matter the weather, kids from infants to nine-year-olds can unleash their unlimited stores of rambunctiousness at the indoor, two-story playground. They clamber up several levels in the central play structure, tunnel through tubes and bound over bridges, before jettisoning themselves down multiple slides. All the while, parents can keep a watchful eye on the pint-sized goings on thanks to see-through panels and netting. Secure check-in/check-out procedures ensure children only leave with the caretaker who they arrived with.
And when it comes to the arcade, parents can rest equally easy. Instead of games geared toward older kids, such as Mortal Kombat or Tax Return Hero, Kid Junction's games are designed to enhance motor skills and self-confidence. Younguns can shoot hoops, play air hockey, or roll skee-balls, for example. They can even dust off their imaginations at the kid-sized townscape, complete with post office and grocery store. Meanwhile parents relax with a cup of coffee and hop on the complimentary wireless internet access before they gather their kids for a meal of hot dogs or mac 'n' cheese at the cafe.
Movable walls, luminous rocks, mirrors, ramps, and unexpected dead ends. These are just a few of the obstacles players face at Ultrazone Laser Tag, a multi-level arena that, much like a spring-break DJ’s apartment, is always flooded with black light and fog. Before separating more than 66 players into mulitple teams and setting them loose in the arena, a game master delivers rules and moves teammates to the vesting room, where they grab laser guns and flashing vests. As the beat of pulsing music hammers the arena, players stream into the field, launching beams at opponents and attempting to seize their strongholds. When players are hit they aren't eliminated from the action; a computer keeps a running tally of points throughout the mission and awards champion status to the team with the highest count after the game. The facility also includes an arcade and a snack area.
SkateQuest offers wintery fun throughout the year, enabling hockey players, figure skaters, and recreational skaters to enjoy sliding across frozen frontiers in any season. Public skating sessions on Friday evenings (7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.), Saturday afternoons (1:10 p.m.–3 p.m.), Sunday afternoons (3:10 p.m.–5:10 p.m.), and Wednesday and Friday mornings (11:10 a.m.–12:40 p.m.) allow water walkers to scathe the chilled surface during times when the rink is not reserved for hockey or ice-fishing practices. In addition to the well maintained, twin-sheet of solid cloud tears, SkateQuest houses a newly remodeled pro shop stocked with professional hockey and figure skating accouterments. In between skating sessions, patrons may enjoy a sandwich, coffee, or calzone from the SkateQuest Café.
During the Gold Rush, Prospector Pete staked his claim, eager to find his share of gold. Unfortunately for him, the only thing he dug up was water. Today, at Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole, Pete's discovery turns summers golden, with more than an acre of water-filled attractions. In the center of the park rises the old mine site, Pete's Peak, where twin water slides carry riders down to the pools at its base as they squeal with glee or try to calculate their speed based on the moon's gravitational pull. Younger splashers get their feet wet at Tenderfoot Pond, and older guests chase down spikes at the water volleyball courts. A lazy day can be spent circling the park in Rattlesnake River, where a slow current saves swimmers the trouble of paddling.