Bob Wollam's life is in full bloom. Since 1989, the gardener has surrounded himself with 11 acres of fresh flowers, more than 80 varieties of trees, shrubs, and perennials, and a volunteer army of green-thumbed interns. And the plants aren't the only beauty to fill the grounds. A federal house dating back to 1819 features antique furnishings and was fully restored over Bob's first ten years on the farm. Guests are welcome to spend the night, and get full old-fashioned experience with fresh-baked goods from Bob's sister Karen, who lives next door, and eggs or career advice from the farm's chickens.
In a newly renovated fitness center with polished hardwood floors and expansive windows, the exercise experts at Dancing Mind welcome students of all ages and fitness levels as they combine physical practice with meditation to strengthen bodies and minds. Here, students have more than 100 weekly classes to choose from, including empowering yoga, sweat-kindling cycling classes, and body-sculpting CrossFit sessions. Yoga classes practice inside a studio equipped with special athletic flooring and heated up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps detoxify the body and keep sinews limber for safer stretching. Students of every age, background, and experience levels are sure to find a yoga class to suit them: from Power Yoga, to the cardio- and weight-infused yoga of PowerSculpt, to the deep stretching and meditation of Yin Yoga, to Little Pretzels, a yoga class designed for young children. While instructors lead inspiring classes, assistants offer supportive adjustments to help students gain a better understanding of their bodies and poses.
Meanwhile, CrossFit classes gather in their own dedicated gym to challenge one another to the practice's high-intensity, functional movements?each one universally scalable to any fitness level or ability?in order to build strong, chiseled bodies. Cycling instructors get students' hearts pumping in the center's fully equipped studio for 45-, 60-, and 75-minute classes filled with invigorating music and carefully choreographed workouts. After class, guests can cool down in brand new showers and locker rooms, or lounge with new friends by the fireplace.
MoBu Kids, an indoor playground and classroom for kids that has been voted in the past ParentsConnect Parents' Picks Best Kids' Party Place and Best Indoor Playspace. During open play, youngsters scramble atop custom-designed foam playground equipment and roll around safe gymnastics flooring like Olympic-level tumbleweeds. They also test footholds in a rock-climbing wall and zoom down the slide of a petite tree house.
A more structured blend of learning and recreation characterizes small classes led by energetic instructors. Music and movement strengthens the link between notes and motion, bolstering language or motor and social skills according to age. Art-class masterpieces spring from the colorful depictions in a storybook, and ballet encourages dancers to forge creative steps, like the stubbed toe hop. Similar themes run through summer camps and private birthday parties.
While many yoga studios claim to nurture minds as well as bodies, few have a library to back it up. Bikram Yoga Falls Church's staff indeed stand by their holistic approach to health by lending out books from a growing library as well as offering 39 classes a week. The team of certified instructors take the Bikram hot-yoga approach for these classes, which emphasize proper alignment and stillness throughout a vigorous, fixed series of 26 postures cycled through twice over the course of 90 minutes. Instructors help students stretch a wide range of muscles while increasing strength and encouraging determination and self-control with complex stretches and balances. Their yoga studios are heated to 105 degrees to deepen each stretch and detoxify the body. Instead of exercising with you or wearing masks and exercising as you, the staff circle the room, helpfully providing corrections on proper alignment and motivational words.
Extreme Laser Tag sets the stage for space-age combat with its labyrinth of smoky corridors, ramps, and neon-lit walls. Equipped with Nexus Generation laser-tag technology, the arena can host up to 60 vested combatants as they split into teams and vie for points by scoring chest shots on their opponents.
Large plasma monitors outside the arena display the hectic battles in real time, with beam-by-beam battle stats showing who is the scoring leader and who has been melted into plasmic goo. The facility frequently accommodates birthday parties, large corporate gatherings, and fundraiser groups; everyday customers and private partiers often join in battlefield alliances, exacting laser-powered revenge on bosses and double-crossing imaginary friends.
BalletNova's instructors jet?, pirouette, and shuffle into their teaching studios from backgrounds that include well known national and international training programs and performance companies. Held seven days a week, their friendly but challenging classes placed second in Washington City Paper's Best Dance Class 2010 Readers' Poll. Sessions span a wide range of terpsichorean territory, from classic ballet to hip-hop and tap to conditioning classes that grab techniques from Pilates, yoga, and aerobics. More than 650 casual and preprofessional movement enthusiasts build their skills in a 20,800-square-foot facility with two 864-square-foot studios, four larger studios, and a 20-cubic-foot studio for hiding out when the rhythm is going to get you.