The 88’x184’ Mateflex court inside Benfield Sportscenter is a shape-shifter. One day, it might be a full-size soccer field ready for child or adult leagues. The next, it could be a baseball, field hockey, or lacrosse field. Or maybe it'll be split into several different volleyball and basketball courts, with one corner cordoned off for competitive I-spy tournaments. Whatever the sport, Benfield's staff can set up the indoor arena to meet the athletes' needs. Away from the arena, Benfield Sportscenter encompasses a 1,400-square-foot training area with exercise equipment, as well as a lobby with WiFi and a snack bar.
In addition to open sessions and leagues, the staff teaches a carefully designed child-development program for ages 3 to 5. The curriculum starts with a multi-sport class, then moves on to a tri-sport class, before finally placing kids in single-sport sessions. This encourages children to find their ideal sport, whether it's basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, or lacrosse.
The Washington Kastles are the 2009 champions of the World Team Tennis league, a 35-year-old tennis association co-founded by Billie Jean King that pits 10 co-ed teams in head-to-head action against one another as they compete for the King Trophy and a chance to face Borlock, the many-tentacled galactic tennis champion from the Ursa Wimbledon nebula. During the July 12 match, watch the Kastles take on the New York Buzz, including former number-one-ranked player Martina Hingis. You'll also receive a free Kastles T-shirt (a $15 value), and have the chance to ask Kastles coach Murphy Jensen to sign your lock of Andre Agassi's hair during a Groupon-exclusive meet-and-greet (a $25 value). With the second option, get the free T-shirt plus a seat during the July 18 match against the Boston Lobsters. Although the Washington Kastles' roster boasts both Williams sisters, neither will be playing at these matches.
Since 1973, skaters have been sailing effortlessly across Fairfax Ice Arena’s spacious, icy surface during public skate sessions, figure skating–lessons, and hockey leagues for all ages. At the family-owned arena, a staff of dedicated skating coaches guides students while calling upon experience from the St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice, Disney on Ice, and the lesser-known On Golden Pond on Ice. The arena is open throughout the year, hosting a full hockey and figure skating–pro shop in addition to its Arena Café.
Since 1966, Maryland International Raceway has gotten the engines revving of exuberant auto race fans and become one of the premier motorsports facilities in the Washington-Baltimore region. MIR has also appeared been featured on national programs and stations including Dateline, ESPN, Speed Channel, and TNN. The track seats as many as 12,500 spectators and even has a family-friendly section where no alcohol is permitted. Otherwise, guests are free to bring their own beer and smaller coolers to help cheer on their favorite drivers.
Looking to wrap their cerulean pincers around the Atlantic League’s Liberty Division with a dominant second half, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs drown opposing batters under a steady stream of fastballs and outfield dives. Fresh off his career as a Blue Crabs player, first-year manager Patrick Osborn befuddles pitchers with a lineup of crustaceous power swingers that redefines what it means to pinch-hit. Hurler Michael Schlact continues to compose symphonies of whiffing bats with an ERA of 3.72, and June 2011 Player of the Month Yunesky Sanchez casts a defensive net over the shortstop position and marauding Hamburglars.
It's possible to find art almost anywhere—from the galleries of a museum, to the side of a building, to the pages of a comic book. It's a little more difficult, however, to find all those styles in one place. That's one of the problems that Art Whino Gallery—a sleek, modern space at the National Harbor—seeks to solve by showcasing artists from around the world that run the gamut of modern high- and low-brow art. The gallery celebrates more than 1,200 established and up-and-coming talents, in part through rotating exhibits that explore new media such as stencil and wheat pasting, screen-printing, and vinyl, as well as more established arts such as burning effigies to ancient gods. An onsite store features modern-art figurines and toys as well as prints. Art Whino doesn't keep all its talent indoors, though: the gallery often helms cultural street festivals and participates in conventions and live arts-and-music events.