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.
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.
Ocean View Fishing Pier extends 1,690 feet into Chesapeake Bay, enabling anglers to cast their lines into one of the East Coast's most bountiful fishing spots. An onsite bait house and tackle shop equips visitors with the necessary gear, from rods and reels to crab pots and minnow traps. Every day, custom-built vessel the Judith Ann offers the chance to coast away from the pier for half-day fishing adventures, and an onsite restaurant keeps grumbling bellies from scaring away finned targets.
With the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean in its backyard, the Xscape Water Sports complex lends itself to activities ranging from jet skiing and kayaking to journeys on aqua cycles—wheeled vehicles that let riders pedal over waves while tossing newspapers onto the top hatches of resident submarines. The shop's 2,000-square-foot loft includes a private guest space, snack bar, gift shop, and a yoga area, whereas the sand outside hosts beach games such as horseshoes and volleyball.
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.