Though some of Virginia Wine Tours’ staffers swear by Argentinean Malbecs and others favor New Zealand Rieslings, one thing’s certain: they’re all passionate about Northern Virginian wines. These aficionados conduct tours through a sweeping array of vineyards across the region, including the intimate Bluemont Vineyard in Loudon County, the sprawling Gray Ghost Vineyard in Rappahannock County, and the mountainside Naked Mountain Winery in Fauquier County. During these full- and half-day trips, they enlighten groups with local area viniculture facts and anecdotes, as well as encourage them to mix and mingle amongst their fellow wine enthusiasts. Virginia Wine Tours provides tour groups with transportation to and from wineries, sparing customers the inconvenience of having to worry about parking their cars or mastering the art of vehicle levitation.
When you hear that a place always accepts walk-ins and has a BYOB policy, you would most likely envision a restaurant. But the staff at Hot Fired Arts doesn't bake food?they fire up customized ceramics and glass pieces. Guests can show up anytime to pick and decorate a piece, whether they want to paint a bowl, embellish a mug, or combine glass pieces into a colorful pendant without using sorcery. Once finished, they leave their work to be fired by the staff, and return to pick it up once it's complete. They offer projects for all ages?including kid-friendly glass-fusion sessions?as well as a party room that can be reserved for special events for kids or adults.
The Guitar Lab elevates musicians' guitar-playing skills with lessons for players in all stages of the learning process. Lessons cover a wide range of knowledge, from music theory and sight reading to improvisation, with a focus on experimentation. Instructors also put an emphasis on ensemble playing, offering lessons with The Guitar Orchestra, in which up to 12 guitarists participate in workshop-style group lessons.
MoBu Kids, an indoor playground and classroom for kids that has been voted in the past ParentsConnect Parents' Picks Best Kids' Party Place and Best Indoor Playspace. 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.
The Intro to Photography class is produced by Monte Zucker Photographic Education (MZPE), which provides quality professional photographic instruction. More than 30,000 enthusiastic students of all levels have attended their photographic tours on three continents over the past seven years to learn how to combine the power of technical expertise and artistic vision to create beautiful photos and films. In addition to offering the tours, MZPE produces instructional books and DVDs, as well as teaching in-depth photo-master classes around the world. The 2002 United Nations Photographer of the Year, celebrated photographer and mentor Monte Zucker once stated, "I don’t photograph the world as it is. I photograph the world as I would like it to be." Continuing on in his memory, current instructor Bob Ray teaches with an entertaining, passionate presentation that focuses on learning immediately in class. The experience provides an aspiring photographer a comprehensive set of tools to reach his or her artistic potential.