In 2002, Mike Southard took a leap of faith worthy of The Dukes of Hazzard. He left a career in the elevator industry and decided to pursue his true passion: stock-car driving. Southard launched Try It Racing and On Track Racing Experience, determined to share with others the thrill he had felt many times in the victory lane of late-model stock-car races. His business has grown from a few humble events and clients each year to a fully packed schedule at some of the country's longest running and most renowned racetracks. Some things haven't changed, however—you can still find Southard behind the wheel of the two-seat ride-along car, taking patrons around curves and straightaways at top speed.
Adrenaline fiends satisfy their cravings while driving or riding around tracks such as Orange County Speedway, where industry legends Jeff Gordon and Scott Riggs have burned their share of rubber. A professional photographer and in-car video cameras can capture the excitement at each event, memorializing guests' wide-open eyes, exhilarated smiles, and high-intensity games of I Spy.
From its four locations around Hampton Roads, Cinema Cafe combines old-fashioned American cuisine with first- and second-run films. The multisensory experience has garnered the movie houses a total of 11 gold medals in the Virginia-Pilot's Best of Hampton Roads 2012 awards. Thanks to a roaming wait staff, diners can place their orders mid-film and enjoy them right in the theater, a practice that discourages pizza scalpers from stalking customers in the lobby.
Bowling at Sparetimes is all about fun and convenience. Bumpers in each of the 32 lanes rise and fall with ease so that parents and children can share a lane, and an automatic scoring system keeps track of frames as pins clatter to the floor. The snack bar provides sustenance in the form of pizza and sandwiches, while the arcade offers a chance to stretch out fingers on both hands. Bowlers also take a break between games at the Winners Circle sports bar, where they can continue enjoy a game of pool or electronic darts. On the weekends, the lights go low during glow bowl, when music videos take over the two 10‘x12’ screens hanging above the lanes and black lights give white T-shirts a bluish gleam so that they can be used to direct approaching UFOs to the parking lot.
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.
Soft waterfall lighting floods Zenya Yoga & Massage Studio's space, a holistic repository of all things relaxing. Light music skirts the earth-toned walls as a fleet of yogis guides students of all skill levels through a variety of yoga classes, including gentle flow, anusara and prenatal, using hands-on guidance to provide slight postural adjustments, easing beginners into complex poses, and ramping up the challenge for seasoned practitioners. Amber bamboo flooring meanders through the center, undergirding private rooms that house pampering body-therapy sessions that range from honey facials and body polishes to deep-tissue and Thai massage.
Though hiding from opponents deep within the jungles and cave mazes surrounding ancient Incan temple ruins would normally induce acute panic attacks, it's actually part of the fun at LazerRush. After viewing an instructional film that covers the game's rules, players equip themselves with a laser-sensitive vest and phaser. Once inside the 5,800-square-foot arena, they slalom through dark and smoky corridors on missions to defend their base, conquer their competitor's base, and confuse as many vagabond cats as possible.
After each game, scorecards reveal where participants placed, which opponents they hit, and which opponents hit them in turn. Outside the arena, meanwhile, scoreboards keep spectators abreast of the action inside, as do large plasma monitors that stream each game.