At Tidewater Hit & 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, which includes former New York Mets pitcher Alay Soler, 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.
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.
Racks of gleaming free weights stand near benches, weight machines, and heavy bags waiting to be punched. Located on the second floor, the gym's large windows let in plenty of natural light to illuminate exercisers during intense core classes or focused yoga sessions.
Deemed "among the top museums in the country" by a Washington Post critic, the Chrysler collection features more than 30,000 masterpieces from around the world, encompassing thousands of years of painting, decorative art, photography, and sculpture. The household membership entitles two adults and their children or grandchildren under 18 to a cornucopia of benefits, including free admission (and visitors' guest passes) to the museum's special exhibitions, invitations to members-only events, and discounts at The Museum Shop and Chrysler Café. Current exhibitions include Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey which tells the story of the mischievous monkey’s creators’ narrow escape from Nazi troops during World War II. Members can wind down with free admission to the museum's weekly seasonal Warm It! and Cool It! series of after-work concerts and discussions, geared toward young professionals and well-behaved dancing bears.
A licensed team of male and female massage therapists soothes achy musculatures using a variety of massage techniques. The one-hour therapeutic massage uses long, Swedish-style strokes and circular motions to hoist bodies onto a cloud of relaxation, relieving soreness caused by failed attempts to lick one's own back. The gentle kneading session further unwinds tense bodies by incorporating massage lotions or oils. Meyer Fitness' treatment rooms are tucked away in the back of the personal training studio, away from the rustle and bustle of clanking barbells and endlessly gossiping treadmills.
The fun vibe in Mambo Room’s dance classes and weekly socials isn’t a coincidence. The studio’s instructors hope that by sharing cultural dance in a pressure-free environment they will create a community that genuinely loves to bust a move without feeling self-conscious. With these passionate teachers at the helm, students hone fancy footwork in classes that range from salsa and bachata to Afro-Cuban to Zumba. At weekly socials, students can showcase their newly acquired moves to get comfortable leading and following with partners of all skill levels, giving their poor broom a well-deserved night off.
Before visitors to the AZA-accredited Virginia Zoo see any of its live animals, a life-size statue of an African elephant greets them. The zoo's 53 acres of landscaped grounds have welcomed new sculptures, enclosures, and eco-friendly innovations in recent decades that build on a 100-year legacy of conservation.
Mammals such as African lions and kangaroos, birds such as rhino hornbills and African crowned cranes, and a variety of snakes and amphibians roam themed habitats—some of which are interactive or equipped with viewing bubbles that protect visitors from any monkeys with paintball guns. Visitors can view these protected creatures by walking or by taking a narrated ride on the Zoo Train, a one-third scale working model of a C.P. Huntington steam engine. Zoo staffers work to preserve 16 of the resident species through cooperative breeding, field projects, and reintroduction initiatives as part of the AZA's Species Survival Programs.
Each year, Virginia Zoo staff and volunteers work together to design and plant 10 themed gardens filled with colorful exotic plants, many of which are given as treats to their 400 animals. In the garden, visitors can learn about composting, using rain barrels, and ticketing littering garden gnomes. Projects, such as recycling old tires into planters and industrial spools into stepping stones, teach children about reuse, too. The zoo also builds on its conservation efforts with an array of environmental conservation programs. Staffers use only natural rainfall and drip irrigation to water the gardens, establish rain gardens to absorb runoff, and educate visitors on environmentally friendly gardening practices in the eco-garden—earning the zoo a designation as a Virginia Green attraction.