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.
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.
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.
Laser tag typically summons images of bulky plastic guns, LED vests that flash red like broken alarm clocks, and cheesy black lights. In the parlance of machismo, Sudden Combat eats joints like that for breakfast. Its extreme laser-tag skirmishes are closer to real military sorties than strip-mall fracas. Sudden Combat is the first gaming spot in Northern Virgina to employ the iCombat/irTactical system?the same laser-training system used by military and law-enforcements agencies and featured on the Outdoor Channel's Elite Tactical Unit: SWAT. Locked and loaded with realistic gear that has the look, feel, and recoil of military M4s and M16s, the advanced weaponry enhances the game's intensity and realism. For the electromagnetic averse, Sudden Combat ups the paintball experience with indoor paintball Reball, which delivers the thrills and stings of a paintball match, but doesn't leave players looking like the ate at a Sherwin Williams buffet.
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.