Sometime in 1952, Gilbert and Vernie Kingree stood in front of Stoney Creek Park—the combination grocery store and dance hall they owned—watching a friend skate up and down the street on his new roller skates. The Kingrees, the parents of five children, immediately saw how roller skates could entertain the whole family. They quickly decided to add a wooden roller rink to their facility, and that’s how Stoney Creek Roller Rink & Fun Center was born.
Since that day, the owners have continued to add new attractions in an effort to entertain familial units. These attractions include bumper cars, laser tag, and an arcade with more than 85 games, only half of which are actually sleeping robots. Visitors still glide around a classic roller rink on rented rollerblades or skates, but they can also putt on a nine-hole green-turf miniature-golf course. Smaller visitors hop inside a ball pit after navigating plastic tubes and slides in the indoor play area, and guests of all ages refuel with oven-baked pizza and hot wings served in an onsite restaurant.
When Mike "Pev" Peverill’s teamed up with his brother Todd to build Pev's Paintball Park from the ground up, his driving force was to grant guests the chance to test their sense of strategy and adventure. This goal is achieved each day on his park's 48 acres of land boasting 12 different themed playing fields dappled with huts, log stacks, and other obstacles. The park is open to paintballers of all skill levels, and all customers receive an orderly safety briefing before they begin play, much like the gentlemanly crumpet and tea parties that prefaced each battle in the Revolutionary War.
Additionally, to ensure that grumbling stomachs don’t give hiding spots during paint-slinging battles, Pev’s offers a fully stocked and licensed onsite concession offers sustenance for battle-weary players.
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.
Hidden among Strasburg's thicket of spindly trees, patchy grass, and dirt fields, castles and wooden forts stand strong while flying saucers hint of an alien invasion. This is all part of Skyline Paintball's battlefield landscape, which includes twelve fields such as Mars Attacks and Frontier Fort. Before slinking through trenches and underground bunkers, players load up on fresh paintballs by Kee and GI Sportz, sold by Skyline onsite. Refs oversee matches to ensure everyone understands the finer techniques of pointillism and that no one uses a marker that fires faster than 280 feet per second. Less experienced players who rent equipment play in separate games from more experienced players who own their equipment, helping ensure games are evenly matched. Players can walk on during open play each Saturday and Sunday during which up to 20 players can sling rainbows of paint throughout strategy-laden matches. For paintless competitions, Skyline also hosts laser tag sessions.
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 the regional park chain 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 décor, 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.