Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to live music.
Each year, the Washington Redskins team up with Easterns Automotive Group to host a car show at Redskins Park. The show gives fans access to the team's practice field, as well as an opportunity to meet Redskins players and cheerleaders face-to-face. An array of classic, custom, and exotic cars on display compete for prizes, and the entertainment also includes a DJ booth, inflatable games, and face-painting booths.
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.
As a child, Michael O’Daniel would sometimes spend his days among giant aircraft in a hangar as his father, a Pan Am pilot out of Miami, was at work. Michael found himself daydreaming about one day being able to fly; by 1980 he was a private pilot. Eventually he became taken with another form of flight—paragliding. He founded Powered Paragliding USA and over the years has spread his wings over Peru, Costa Rica, and he once completed a flight across the entire length of the Panama Canal.
A few years ago, Michael was joined at Powered Paragliding by Brian Goff, another pilot. Goff has hundreds of hours of flying experience; he's been behind the controls of everything from helicopters and airplanes to aerobatic planes and hot air balloons. Today, Michael and Brian man flights for clients of all experience levels. They can fly tandem with beginners, or train budding para-pilots on technique, safety, and how to switch lanes with birds. Expert flyers can take to the skies by purchasing their own paragliders and paramotors from the company.
Spanning 18,000 square feet of turf-covered courts and batting cages, Raider's Edge hones bat-swinging skills with practice areas and instruction for individuals and groups. Baseball- and softball-pitching machines spit endless volleys of spheres, their speeds adjustable to accommodate both little leaguers and six-armed spider-men. The two spacious turf courts can also accommodate practice for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, and dual pitching lanes allow pitchers to perfect their craft side by side. Weekly exercise and softball practice programs focus on skills such as hitting, fielding, and pitching, and young players put their skills into practice as part of Raider’s Edge’s Red Raider softball teams.
Balanced Bodies' windows look out onto Runnymede Park, where deer often emerge from the woods and blue herons land near the stream. Inside the studio, groups work to capture the animals' ease of movement, flowing from plank positions into mermaid side stretches while maintaining pristine posture and giving effort without strain. Co-owners Carrie Smith and Adriana Ferrer-Perez believe that through Pilates exercises, their students can attain pain-free, fully functional movement for life. The duo oversees seven other instructors—nearly all claiming BASI teaching certifications—who lead classes in mat work, Reformer machines, and the Avalon System designed by Rael Isacowitz. Balanced Bodies also serves as a BASI Pilates teacher-training host facility, where aspiring instructors can undergo comprehensive and specialized teaching courses, including one that demonstrates how to dunk full-size exercise balls.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.