Sometime in 1952, Gilbert and Vernie Kingree stood in front of Stoney Creek Park—the combination grocery store and dance hall they owned—watching a friend skate up and down the street on his new roller skates. The Kingrees, the parents of five children, immediately saw how roller skates could entertain the whole family. They quickly decided to add a wooden roller rink to their facility, and that’s how Stoney Creek Roller Rink & Fun Center was born.
Since that day, the owners have continued to add new attractions in an effort to entertain familial units. These attractions include bumper cars, laser tag, and an arcade with more than 85 games, only half of which are actually sleeping robots. Visitors still glide around a classic roller rink on rented rollerblades or skates, but they can also putt on a nine-hole green-turf miniature-golf course. Smaller visitors hop inside a ball pit after navigating plastic tubes and slides in the indoor play area, and guests of all ages refuel with oven-baked pizza and hot wings served in an onsite restaurant.
Hot Shots Family Fun Center enchants guests of all ages with four outdoor attractions. Three streams, six ponds, and a waterfall line the par-40 miniature golf course, cultivating peace of mind as players grapple with creative hazards. Friends can test their fear factor on the 24-foot drop slide, attack one another with a barrage of cushy Nerf balls using Cannonball Air Blasters or enjoy the Hot Shots bounce house. Everyone enjoys the food at the Nineteenth Hole Cafe, where adults can even enjoy a sip while kids wear themselves down.
Kings Dominion boasts family entertainment ranging from thrill rides to kids' areas, a water park, and live entertainment. Over 17 roller coasters and high speed attractions await groups, such as the all new Windseeker, which plants riders on a 301-foot tower in swings that travel up to 30 miles per hour. A Peanuts themed kids' area entertains with Snoopy rides and discount psychiatric advice, while a 20-acre water park includes high-speed water slides, lazy rivers, and dual wave pools. Guests seeking to take a break can sit back to watch live entertainment, or prepare for zombie uprisings with the Kings Dominion annual Halloween Haunt.
Kangaroo Jac's avenue of inflatable structures bustles with giggling swarms of children 10 and younger. During walk-in play, youngsters milk the all-access admission by repeatedly plummeting down the safe but steep fortress slide, hurdling over obstacles in the crossover course, and exploring the expansive Koombo Kombo—a two-story, inflatable dreamscape, elaborate enough to house a balloon animal Citizen Kane. Abiding by the facility's core values to provide "hassle-free birthdays," staff members help organize and clean up after parties, hosted in a private room where each child can gorge themselves on pizza, drinks, and birthday wishes.
The parent area's TVs and WiFi keeps adults up-to-date on national news, whereas the toddler area and MagicLand bounce zone keeps tots up to date on local gibberish. Throughout the year, Kangaroo Jac's supports the community by donating to local organizations and hosting dedicated playtime for children with special needs.
As a professional golf instructor, Leslie W. Mercer worked tirelessly to make the game accessible to everyone. His daughter, Anne Marie, opened The Highlands Golf Park in 1997 to ensure her father's efforts–and more importantly, perhaps, his love of golf–made an impact on future generations. To this day, The Highlands remains a family affair. Anne Marie's daughter, Gretchen Scheuermann, now runs the park and guides golfers as a LPGA Class A teaching professional.
The Highlands Golf Park provides a robust golfing experience to match its rich history. A versatile driving range is the centerpiece of the facility's practice features. Carved into the natural landscape, the range boasts 44 grass and mat tee stations, areas for pitching and chipping, and lights for practicing at night or after accidentally popping the sun with an errant tee shot. Away from the range, players can soak up tips during lessons or polish up their short game by putting through the 18-hole Pirate Pete's Mini Golf Course.
Amid the tree-canopied foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, clusters of tubers and kayakers drift idly down the James River for a day of relaxation or recreation on these local waters. For more than 20 years, outfitters Kevin and Geneva Denby have facilitated just such excursions, providing not only the watercrafts, but guided instruction on paddling or floating technique and transportation to their launch site. Among the day trips offered, river adventures come by way of self-guided trips in the Denbys’ kayaks, rafts, or canoes, as well as several overnight trip options that ensconce visitors in the local scenery for up to two days at a time. The pair also furnishes expeditioners with supplies such as live bait, tackle, cameras, and sunscreen for their adventures. Upon return, Kevin and Geneva invite guests to wash off the day’s sweat, sunscreen, and kisses from passing boat captains in their hot showers.