Curlicues of painted flame seem to crackle white hot from the mouths of dragons that come to life on the walls beneath the black lights at Glow-A-Rama. The echo of clacking billiard balls drifts past the painted knights, monsters, and underwater vistas, reaching the ears of players batting ping-pong balls back and forth. Patrons tap incandescent spheres across the 18-hole mini-golf course, which was designed and constructed by the owner and is free of the sand traps that slow traditional golf and attract nesting Jimmy Buffetts. Black lights also extend into the game room and party rooms.
Birthday-party guests master the lost art of golf bowling, which involves tapping a golf ball into 10 glowing, diminutive pins. Around Halloween, visitors run the spooky gauntlet of a haunted house festooned with shimmering graveyard murals and pictures of the wolfman without his makeup.
As the James and Maury Rivers wind through the Blue Ridge Mountains, they carry kayakers, canoeists, and inner-tube riders past sheer rock walls, boulder-studded rapids, and tree-blanketed mountain peaks. For more than 30 years, the outdoorsmen at Twin River Outfitters have facilitated adventures for explorers of all experience levels on the nearly 100 miles of these rivers in the upper James River Basin. In addition to renting watercraft for independent exploration, Twin River's team leads guided outings, including overnight excursions. The headquarters also encompass a paddle shop, where a knowledgeable staff advises outdoorsmen on gear such as boats, life jackets, and oars autographed by local salmon.
Initially planting vines for neighboring wineries, Virginia Mountain Vineyards' staff slowly began to dabble in the art and science of winemaking. Then, in 2006, they began crafting their own varietals on-site. Today, staffers tend to more than 5,000 vines across nearly 10 acres of picturesque land, plucking ripe grapes to transform into red, white, sweet, and specialty wines. Events are regularly held at the vineyards, including a summer concert series, special tastings, and trying wines straight from their barrels.
Certified massage therapist Carrie Nolan coaxes sore and stressed muscles into a more relaxed state with a mitigating menu of clinical massages. The long, flowing strokes of the swedish massage are designed to increase oxygen flow in the bloodstream and oust toxins from their muscular fortifications and the deep tissue massage strives to evaporate stress caused by muscular misalignment, past injuries, and repetitive one-handed clapping. Athletes can prepare for big games and staring contests with the sports massage, which aims to relieve swelling and prevent fatigue as well as injuries. Expectant mothers can indulge in a prenatal massage, which seeks to reduce the flow of stress hormones to the baby and nourish them with increased circulation while relieving matronly lower back pains. This massage can also be enjoyed by new moms to help reduce the chances of depression following pregnancy and intolerably long rounds of marsupial-themed Pictionary.
Sown since 1919, Johnson's Orchards' 200 fertile acres buttress the Blue Ridge Mountains foothills and checker the landscape with thousands of apple trees. Patrons hand-select 10 pounds of nearly 200 varieties of apples, ensuring the fruits suit specific standards for weight, hue and doctor-repelling abilities. After stocking up on apples, visitors are welcome to meander the foot trails cutting through the orchard, while tots encouragingly pat the heads of amiable farm animals. Visitors can also tipple cold cider straight from the press and weigh down restless hot air balloons with jellies, relishes, and 25 different fruit wines from the on-site winery. A picnic pavilion affords idyllic views and a space to dive into vitamin-packed feasts.