The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley includes 6 acres of lush gardens and a purpose-built museum facility designed by architect Michael Graves. Visitors can marvel at the exterior of the Glen Burnie Historic House as they explore the unique design and languid paths of the public gardens, which knit together the stately Grand Allée, the mini Hidden Garden, and a tranquil water garden that flooded the original garden of old chia pets. The museum showcases four main galleries, displaying Valley memorabilia, a Civil War exhibition, and a collections of miniature houses and rooms, paintings, furniture, and portraiture dating to the mid-eighteenth century to the formerly private collection of benefactor Julian Wood Glass Jr.
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.
Hidden among Strasburg's thicket of spindly trees, patchy grass, and dirt fields, castles and wooden forts stand strong while flying saucers hint of an alien invasion. This is all part of Skyline Paintball's battlefield landscape, which includes twelve fields such as Mars Attacks and Frontier Fort. Before slinking through trenches and underground bunkers, players load up on fresh paintballs by Kee and GI Sportz, sold by Skyline onsite. Refs oversee matches to ensure everyone understands the finer techniques of pointillism and that no one uses a marker that fires faster than 280 feet per second. Less experienced players who rent equipment play in separate games from more experienced players who own their equipment, helping ensure games are evenly matched. Players can walk on during open play each Saturday and Sunday during which up to 20 players can sling rainbows of paint throughout strategy-laden matches. For paintless competitions, Skyline also hosts laser tag sessions.
Wind rustles through the trees of the George Washington National Forest as knobby bike tires crunch over fallen leaves on a single-lane rocky trail. While mounted on rented Kona mountain bikes and outfitted with Kali protective gear, cyclists navigate trails that wind through the forest and the Massanutten mountain range, led by Shenandoah Trail Cruisers's seasoned guides. Their tours are customized to suit riders' abilities, preferred duration, and desired level of Sasquatch interaction. Each begins with a basic introduction to mountain biking before groups embark on trails that range from easy gravel roads and packed dirt and single-track trails to more advanced and rugged trails with steep slopes, bumpy roads, and scattered mud patches, resulting in rides that teach shifting, breaking, body position, and adjusting riding to new obstacles.
A 2,000-year-old game from Asia. An Argentinean polo player. A farm in northern Virginia. What may seem like the openings to three different stories is actually the description of one place: Middleburg Polo Academy. The scenic farm ground originally set the scene to a polo boarding and training facility by seasoned polo player Daniel Tognini and his wife, Ilene. These grounds morphed into an academy in 2007, thanks to the Tognini children, who had become enraptured with polo and the eponymous collared shirts the horses wore. Striving to inspire other youths with the game he first mastered in his native Argentina, Tognini fills Middleburg’s calendar with classes, camps, and private tutorials, teaching the history of polo and techniques to help students eventually compete in the sport.
Along with Middleburg Polo Academy, Daniel runs Amigos Outback Adventure and specializes in rustic outdoor activities. Families gather together to enjoy authentic adventures such as trail rides, canoe and river boat trips, and outdoor wine tastings.
Multitudes of furry creatures, both foreign and farm dwelling, reside within the sprawling 21 acres of Leesburg Animal Park's exhilarating grounds. Inquisitive imps and animal-loving adults will be enchanted and educated with exotic animal exhibits featuring lemurs, African serval cats, white-handed gibbons, giant tortoises, and more. For an even closer look, the animal petting and feeding area allows visitors to softly pet heads, scratch ears, and satisfy stomachs of each curious creature they encounter ($1 for a cone of food).