The colorful walls of Bella Ballerina’s studio echo with the patter of little feet springing across the wood floors. Classes welcome tiny dancers aged 18 months to 10 years, with ballet barres only a couple of feet off the ground and story time at the beginning of each session. The teachers, all professional dancers with years of performing and teaching experience, lead their students through basic ballet moves while sprinkling in jazz and tap. In addition to the classes, Bella Ballerina also hosts birthday parties that combine the things kids love: cupcakes, ballet, goodie bags, and another day lived without meeting whatever lives under the bed.
What's more autumnal than Dominion Octoberfest and Fordham Spiced Harvest Ale? Sipping the craft beers under red and orange leaves at the fall edition of Northern Virginia BrewFest. Sprawled across the grounds of Bull Run Regional Park, the 8th annual celebration of craft beer pairs guests with samples of brews from around the country. As participants savor ales, porters, stouts, and pilsners, they can peruse arts and crafts vendors, snack on gourmet cuisine offerings, and dance to live music. They might also attend cooking demonstrations that incorporate beer, teaching folks how to make more than just beer cereal.
As the promoter of antique shows across the East Coast, Dordy Fontinel's career is almost as storied as the pieces of vintage Americana she vends. A collector since her teenage years, Dordy first started in the antiques business in 1978, eventually moving into promotion in 1992. She was joined in her new venture by her husband, Stillie Mason, an auctioneer with 18 years of experience. Together, the pair helps dealers display their wares to new crowds of collectors, filling their events with vintage home decor, jewelry, and accessories?many of which date from the 1760s to the 1960s.
Looking to put a new spin on a classic family activity, the minds behind Glowgolf decided to give the game an update. Its incandescent courses place friends and family amid a tropical-fantasy golf world of neon orange, green, and violet surroundings. Players putt luminous orbs through vibrant treasure chests and glimmering windmills while negotiating tricky obstacles near walls portraying black-lit aquatic scenes. With more than 20 locations spread over 10 states, Glowgolf's fluorescent labyrinths challenge human players and traveling gnomes alike.
Spread over 70 wooded acres, Hogback Mountain Paintball hosts family-friendly games across 14 distinct playing fields for players ages 10 and up. Taking advantage of the natural topography, seven of the courses are geared toward Woodsball play, where teamwork and stealthy maneuvers are paramount to success. Four additional fields host scenarios based on a storyline or theme. Finally, four smaller fields are used for fast-paced games of speedball.
Augustine Golf Club's award-winning course was sculpted to reflect its natural beauty with its distinctive par 4s sculpted by course architect, Rick Jacobson. Although the greens at Augustine declined for a few years, recent renovations have restored the course to its former glory, once again luring golfers to its babbling streams and forest. Farther north, rivals Augustine's sister course, Raspberry Falls. Course architect Gary Player remarked that the Falls, once an 18th-century plantation, “was made for a golf course.” Inspired by this ideal setting, he dreamed up the links-style course at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, whose meandering brooks, stone walls, and stacked-sod bunkers evoke Scotland, while its vista of the Catoctin Mountains remind players they’re in Virginia.
These golf havens have more than picturesque views in common—they are two of six award-winning courses united by Raspberry Golf Management’s portfolio, which stretches from Virginia to Pennsylvania and skips over to Arizona. Gary Player’s design team for Raspberry Falls included Tim Freeland, who went on to design two of the firm’s other courses: Royal Manchester Golf Links, whose bentgrass fairways sidle up to the Susquehanna River, and Old Hickory Golf Club, a parkland-style course crisscrossed by Beaver Creek. The management company's other gems include The Legacy Golf Resort, where cowboys used to ride their rocking horses around a 7,500-acre ranch, and Bull Run Golf Club, which sprawls across more than 450 acres of meadows and woodlands at the foot of the Bull Run Mountains.