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.
Amid all the indoor turf-sports fields of the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex, there's one dark maze that's lit by black lights and glowing neon walls alone. In this shadowy space, players blast beams of light from their lasers, engaging in team combat and open play inside a 5,700-square-foot, space-themed arena. They dodge behind glowing wall lights, illuminated mock computer screens, and walls painted to resemble metal and rivets. Players as young as 5 can navigate the arena's black-lit halls, while the staff helps keep competition friendly during open play and birthday parties.
Nestled in America's Historic Triangle in an area that was first colonized in 1633, The Williamsburg Winery stretches across 320 acres of picturesque farmland known as the Wessex Hundred. The vineyard's first grape-crushing dances took place in 1987, and they've since developed to produce 25 sip-ready varietals along with a lengthy list of vintage library wines ideal for tucking in a cellar or serving to a homesick time traveler from 1993.
In a setting styled to evoke the mood of an 18th-century European winery, tours meander along a pebbled walkway alongside simple stucco structures before ducking inside a quaint wine museum. Inside the tasting room, private wine cellar, or the Gabriel Archer Tavern that overlooks the grounds, oenophiles can swirl, sip, and throw their heads back to gurgle aged libations from a large roster of wines.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Founded in 1889, Preservation Virginia is one of the oldest historic-preservation organizations in the country. Its dedicated team has worked on more than 200 historic places, including landscapes, structures, and archaeological sites. The organization provides visitors with a tangible example of life in the past at a number of historic homes from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Patrick Henry's and Chief Justice John Marshall's homes. Historic Jamestowne, the site of the first permanent British settlement in North America, recreates the landscape of the first meeting between the explorers and Native Americans. Due to the work of the organization, visitors still gaze upon a yeoman planter's cottage that dates back to 1740. Preservation Virginia also teaches aspiring laymen during conservation workshops, compiles lists of endangered historic sites, and spearheads tobacco-barn-protection efforts.
For most, a cardboard box is something to recycle, but for some, it's the foundation of a trusty racing vessel. That's because to compete in the Williamsburg Jaycees Cardboard Boat Regatta, crew members must build a boat out of corrugated cardboard, simple adhesives and paint, and race it on the Yorktown waterfront. A pair of shipmates bring their vessels to The Watermen's Museum, lower them into the murky depths, and paddle with all their might. The race awards grand prizes in four categories: fastest finish, best sinking, best design, and pirate--wherein participants battle with water guns, trash-talking parrots, and buckets to stall their opponents while they paddle for toward the finish line. Proceeds from the race go to benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Greater Virginia Peninsula.