At each Show Bride event, local vendors showcase their wedding wares and nuptial know-how so that brides and grooms may glean inspiration and connections in preparation for the big day. Couples can trade creative thought bubbles while walking arm-in-arm through a roomful of exhibitors that cover 50 categories of wedding execution, from bands and bartenders to dental work and help scrapbooking a lock of every wedding attendee's hair. Each event-goer has ample one-on-one time with vendors for brainstorming, accepting free samples, and hoisting vendors atop chairs to get a feel for their structural integrity. Enter for free prizes that differ at each event but include such largess as travel, gift cards, and goody bags.
The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth showcases 20 varieties of sport in a kid-friendly interactive environment. Spar with offspring in imbibing information about national pastimes such as basketball, baseball, football, soccer, auto racing, and auto racing-soccer. The exhibits focus on game-changing people, moments, and events in collegiate athletics, Olympic contenders, infamous moments, medicine and health, and the media. Admission for children aged 2 and younger is free.
• For $18, you get two tickets to a 90-minute cruise departing at 11:30 a.m. (a $32 value) or a two-hour cruise departing at 3:00 p.m. (up to a $36 value). • For $24, you get two tickets to a two-hour sunset cruise departing at 7 p.m. (up to a $48 value). Sunset cruises run daily through August.
THEARC Theater was created out of necessity. The first theater in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, it was founded to provide residents living east of the Anacostia River with expanded cultural opportunities and hide-and-seek spots. Constructed by local nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River, the theater aims to improve the lives of children and adults in southeast Washington through educational, health, and social-service programs such as free theater workshops and youth internships in technical theater management. Noting the tower of glass windows that crowns the entrance, the Washington Post called it "a veritable lighthouse of learning—a $27 million, 110,000-square-foot campus set on 16 beautiful green acres."
G-Force Karts boasts a massive, all-indoor facility that provides entertainment in any weather. The twists and curves of the indoor karting track challenge drivers of any age. Adults can tear through turns in custom-built GT 5 karts, while kids can get a taste of speed in the safety-conscious junior karts. Not far from the track lies the inflatables area, where kids can bounce and slide in single- and dual-lane obstacle courses while parents watch from central tables. The newest indoor entertainment, though, is G-Force's paintball arena. The staff provide every player with all the tools they need, including guns that fire softer, less-messy z-balls.
Duckpin bowling is a little like ten-pin bowling, in that there are ten pins. But as patrons at Victory Lanes have been discovering since 1984, that's about where the similarities end. Between the shorter pins and the smaller, finger hole-free ball, it's a bit tougher to roll a strike in this game. But that's why players at this classic alley roll three times per turn, unlike the two shots you see in ten-pin bowling or the zero shots you see in magician-only bowling.