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.
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.
Though some of Virginia Wine Tours’ staffers swear by Argentinean Malbecs and others favor New Zealand Rieslings, one thing’s certain: they’re all passionate about Northern Virginian wines. These aficionados conduct tours through a sweeping array of vineyards across the region, including the intimate Bluemont Vineyard in Loudon County, the sprawling Gray Ghost Vineyard in Rappahannock County, and the mountainside Naked Mountain Winery in Fauquier County. During these full- and half-day trips, they enlighten groups with local area viniculture facts and anecdotes, as well as encourage them to mix and mingle amongst their fellow wine enthusiasts. Virginia Wine Tours provides tour groups with transportation to and from wineries, sparing customers the inconvenience of having to worry about parking their cars or mastering the art of vehicle levitation.
The Guitar Lab elevates musicians' guitar-playing skills with lessons for players in all stages of the learning process. Lessons cover a wide range of knowledge, from music theory and sight reading to improvisation, with a focus on experimentation. Instructors also put an emphasis on ensemble playing, offering lessons with The Guitar Orchestra, in which up to 12 guitarists participate in workshop-style group lessons.
BalletNova's instructors jeté, pirouette, and shuffle into their teaching studios from backgrounds that include Le Ballet Classique de Montreal, the stages of the International Dance Festival, and the Israeli Ballet Company. Held six 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 that follows the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus 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. :m]]