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.
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.
A 30-acre swath of lush, Red Oak Mountain terrain surrounds Capitol Vineyards' historic facilities, where owners Lauren Shrem and Matthew Noland forge an eclectic collection of French-style wines from Virginia grapes. With help from a resident French winemaker and vintners across the state, they press an array of vintages, dispensing the elixirs during events inside the facility's historic, rustic tasting room. Constructed as a post office in the 1800s and used as a general store in the early 1900s, the site still bears its original wooden bar, floors, and grizzled prospector.
Valley Ballooning takes passengers? breaths away with safely obtained, unobstructed aerial views of the Shenandoah Valley?s majestic rivers, vineyards, and animal inhabitants. Tours at sunrise or sunset cover up to 10 miles, with experienced pilots pointing out such incomparable sights as whitetail deer bounding below or the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains frolicking in the distance. Toast packages conclude with the celebratory ringing of sparkling-cider glasses.
Vintage Piedmont unites a grandiose group of family wineries, each cozily sprawled within a 15-mile distance of the others. Ernest oenophiles can mosey among them at their own pace, ensuring no one exhausts their seeing-eye elephant. Barrel Oak Winery boasts a pastoral setting, 20 acres of vines, and a BowHaus white that blends vidal blanc, sauvignon, viognier, and more for a bright flavor ($24). At Philip Carter Winery, the 2009 chardonnay intermixes lemon zest, a vanilla bouquet, and pear notes ($24). Desert Rose Ranch & Winery sustains an unpretentious atmosphere, unlike snobbish grape groups for third cousins of royalty. Varietals include the Hitch Hollow chardonnay aged in French oak barrels, or the Sparky, a European-style rosé. Rappahannock Cellars and Hume Vineyards regale taste buds with delectable drinks from locally grown grapes. At each libation station, take home two commemorative wine glasses and receive 10% off bottles of wine.
A past Washington Post editor's pick, the Delaplane Strawberry Festival draws crowds with fresh-picked fruit, homemade pastries, and live entertainment. Guests’ arms and strawberry funnel cakes sway in time to live bluegrass and choral music emanating from the stage, and festival grounds teem with summer activities such as puppet shows, hay rides, and pony rides. Face painting covers childrens’ faces with the clownish stripes and accents needed to impersonate a post-apocalyptic warrior, and three-legged races prepare adolescents for the extra limbs they will grow as adults.