The friendly staffers at Bounce House's multiple Virginia locales breathe new life into the term sock hop, as well as lots of air into inflatable play surfaces. During Open Jump sessions and birthday parties, sock-clad moppets aged 1–12 can hop to their heels’ content across a cadre of themed inflatables, which catapult youngsters into TV-station simulacra and onto the surface of an air-hockey machine. As parents supervise, they can compare their children's bouncing with that of the stock market using complimentary WiFi. Each Bounce House fuels fun by keeping its snack bar fully stocked.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
At Tidewater Hit and Pitch, a team of professional baseball and softball coaches pass their wisdom onto future generations of pitchers and fielders in one-on-one coaching sessions and group camps. The staff breaks down the sport into three digestible parts?pitching, hitting, and fielding?which helps players hone discipline with drills while imparting universal skills such as balance, body control, and how to dispose of chewing gum besides swallowing it.
It's been more than 25 years since American Rover raised its majestic red sails and floated out on its first narrated tour. From April to October of each year, the 135-foot schooner still journeys across the smooth waters of Hampton Roads Harbor and the Elizabeth River. As its flags ripple in the wind, the three-masted sailboat explores sights such as Old Fort Norfolk and the battleship Wisconsin. Its captain narrates each of these excursions and invites guests to take turns at the helm and man the sails.
At night, American Rover transforms into a floating party. Twinkling harbor lights, live musicians, and a fully stocked bar set the mood for birthday celebrations or everyday outings. Meanwhile, climate-controlled lounges hide passengers who have an awkward history with the man in the moon.
For many, owning a yacht is as unlikely as parallel parking a yacht on the eighth try. Since 2001, SailTime Virginia Beach has been dedicated to ousting these doubts with an innovative and affordable model for boat access. In addition to its membership and ownership programs, the business hires USCG-licensed master captains to take the helm for charters on their fleet of Hunter sailing vessels, which range from the 22' Hunter 216 to the 36' Hunter 36. When traversing the cresting waves, passengers may spot pods of porpoises, who often leap out of the water to high-five onlookers. Those wishing to sharpen their own nautical skills can enroll in SailTime's ASAC-certified sailing school.
There's a clear star at Red Dog Saloon?its face plastered everywhere on the walls and even on the restaurant's sign itself. The saloon's cartoon bulldog mascot greets visitors, though its stern face is not nearly as welcoming as what waits at the bar?tap after tap of draft beer.
The drinks pair with bar-food favorites such as loaded nachos and pizza. Weekends, meanwhile, line up a breakfast and brunch board of fare that encompasses waffles and country-style eggs benedicts with home fries. Red Dog Saloon keeps patrons entertained after they eat with pool tables and lots of TVs, which show sports such as professional football, college football, professional baseball and kindergarten quidditch.