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Fun in Centreville, Chantilly and Clifton -- Part One

<ro>Have a Blast with Laser Tag

<lst>At the Dulles Expo Center

Chantilly

www.ShadowlandAdventures.com.

703-263-1004

<bt>Ever tried laser tag? At Shadowland Laser Adventure Center, you can strap on a lightweight, high-tech suit and enter the 6,500 sq. ft. multi-level carpeted arena with 40 other players for the adventure of a lifetime! With your handset, remotely "tag" other players as you sneak around the darkened, fog-filled maze to earn points for yourself and your team.

Also tag wall-mounted hardware in the arena to earn special "powers" to improve your ability to play! Age 6 and up, individuals, families, youth groups, summer camps, scout troops, business team building. Another location opens Aug. 1 at 5508 Franconia Road in Springfield. Call 703-921-1004.

<ro>Strike and Spare at Bowl America/AMF Centreville

<lst>Bowl America Chantilly

4525 Stonecroft Blvd.

Chantilly

***

AMF Centreville Lanes

13814 Lee Highway

Centreville

<bt>For those local bowlers looking to knock down some pins, Bowl America Chantilly and AMF Centreville Lanes offer reasonable rates and plenty of lanes. For schedules, call Bowl America at 703-830-2695 and AMF Centreville Lanes at 703-830-3700.

<ro>Cox Farms' Fall Festival

<lst>15621 Braddock Road, corner of Braddock and Pleasant Valley roads, Centreville.

Each fall, Cox Farms becomes a 96-acre children’s playground featuring mountain slides, a castle, hay bales to climb on and mounds of soft sponges for kids to land on after leaping joyfully from a rope swing. There’s face-painting and even a life-size replica of the game, Candyland, for children to play.

Cox Farms offers three rope swings and 10 mountain slides, including Panda Pagoda, Miners’ Motel, Cox’s Mountain, Volcano Mountain, Fairyland, Winnie the Pooh’s House and the double-wide Jack-in-the-Beanstalk Barn Slide. The Volcano Mountain Slide has dragons on top and special sound effects. Food, live music, a hayride and a pumpkin patch round out the entertainment.

<ro>Annual Centreville Day Celebration

<lst>Mount Gilead Road and Wharton Lane, located in Centreville's Historic District

Centreville

<bt>Centreville Day, an annual community celebration, will be held Saturday, Sept. 16. sponsored by the Centreville Community Foundation (CCF), it features an outdoor craft show and marketplace in Centreville's Historic District. Activities and entertainment include living-history performers, historic buildings and artifacts, live music, children's games and rides, business booths and food from local restaurants.

Volunteer your time and talents to help continue a great tradition by joining in any of the committees: Parade, vendor, entertainment, permits/permissions, children's art contest or local history.

Planning meetings are the third Thursday of the month. For more information, e-mail Maryanne Toal at maryannetoal@hotmail.com. Or Call 703 966-1719 or go onlineatwww.centrevilleday.com.

<ro>Fairfax Chocolate Festival

<lst>Main Street, Town of Fairfax

<bt>The first weekend in February is the annual Fairfax Chocolate Festival. It's held that Saturday and Sunday in downtown Fairfax, in the Old Town Hall on Main Street. Bakeries, restaurants and candymakers bring delectable chocolate treats — including ice cream and chocolate fountains — and visitors buy tickets to purchase whatever they'd like to taste.

The local fire department usually starts off the day's festivities with a chocolate-pancake breakfast. Another attraction is the Chocolate Challenge in which amazing buildings, baskets and other things are carved out of chocolate.

Recreation

<ro>Dive into the Cub Run Rec Center

<lst>4630 Stonecroft Blvd.

Chantilly

703-817-9407

<bt>The Cub Run Recreation Center features a plethora of amenities, including a competitive pool with spectator seating for 175 people, a 4,860-square foot leisure pool with two huge slides, a whirlpool spa, a 3,000-square foot room multipurpose room, a 270-square foot party room, and a 9,600-square foot fitness area.

It’s next to Westfield High School and is a perfect addition to the area. Cub Run Rec Center has an advanced drowning-detection system to aid the lifeguards on duty.

<ro>Hoop Magic Sports Academy

<lst>14810 Murdock St., on the opposite side of Stonecroft Boulevard, off Route 50, in Chantilly.

<bt>The 65,500-square-foot Hoop Magic Sports Academy has courts for basketball, volleyball, badminton, martial arts, cheerleading and dodgeball. And it offers individual and group training in basketball, volleyball and martial arts. Call 703-268-5780 or see www.hoopmagicsa.com

<ro>Take Aim

<lst>Bull Run Shooting Center

7700 Bull Run Drive

Centreville

703-830-2344

<bt>Located in Bull Run Regional Park, the Bull Run Shooting Center is a hunter’s or archer’s delight — with skeet and trap, sporting clays, a newly renovated indoor archery range, and an archery and gun pro shop. Five people may occupy each of the five skeet and trap shooting fields, and 14 clay shooting spots are always available.

The shooting center is open Tuesday-Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., Fridays from 2 to 8 p.m., and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Shooting Center is closed Mondays.

<ro>Park, Camp, Swim, Golf, Play, Fun!

<lst>Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive

Centreville

703-631-0550

<bt>Bull Run Regional Park is a large park with a great community atmosphere, perfect for afternoon picnics, get-togethers or large events. Picnic tables and grills are available for cooking out with family or friends. In addition to the day-time accommodations, there are 143 campsites, 90 of them with electricity.

Bull Run also offers an 18-hole mini-golf course, an 18-hole disc-golf course, a playground, and a gigantic swimming pool equipped with a slide, palm trees, aquatic monsters and shipwrecks.

<ro>Live Music and Fresh Air

<lst>Special Events Center: 7700 Bull Run Drive

Centreville

703-631-0550, Ext. 102

<bt>Another great feature of the Bull Run Regional Park area is the Bull Run Special Events Center. The center hosts great outdoor concerts that include the Capital Jazz Fest, along with other events such as craft shows and festivals. To get there, take I-66 to exit 52, drive two miles south to turn left onto Bull Run Post Office Road, then follow signs to the park entrance.

Entrance is free for member residents, which is defined as living in either Alexandria, Arlington, the city of Fairfax, Fairfax County, Falls Church or Loudoun County. For everyone else it is $7 per vehicle per day, $14 per vehicle per week, or $45 for the annual fee.

<ro>Explore Exciting Hemlock Overlook Park

<lst>13220 Yates Ford Road

Clifton

<bt>Hemlock Overlook Park provides one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences. It is a gigantic, 5,000-acre park, full of mini-quests and physical challenges, not to mention a zip wire across a small valley. The idea is to promote team work by relying on your team members to complete the tasks. It is ideal for office groups, friends or schools. For more information, including directions, log on to www.hemlockoverlook.org.

Shopping

<ro>Be a "Seoul" Man

<lst>The Grand Plaza is in the Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center at the corner of Lee Highway, Old Centreville Road and Braddock Road.

<bt>The Grand Plaza is a new, Korean-style mini-mall that resembles those found in Seoul. Inside are nearly 20 Korean-American businesses. Some of the businesses include mobile phone retailers, a chiropractic clinic, a Korean bedding store, an electronics shop, a travel agency, fashion and accessory boutiques, photo studios, a health and weight-loss clinic, a martial arts studio, and an import boutique. Besides those already in place, a spa and sauna, a Korean-style karaoke bar and a Korean-style rice cake parlor are all on tap to be installed this year.

<ro>Make a Bid at Bull Run Auction

<lst>7209 Centreville Road

Manassas

703-393-0066

<bt>Auctions just about every other week make this a great place to find anything you may want at a reasonable price. Take a gander at the current auction’s catalogue’s featuring 18th-20th century antiques, quality reproductions, furniture, decorative arts, oriental carpets, fine art, jewelry, collectibles, and other accessories. Call ahead to make an appointment for free verbal appraisals.

<ro>Great Shopping Just Around the "Corner"

<lst>Fairfax Corner is at Monument Drive and Government Center Parkway

Fairfax

<bt>Fairfax Corner is a great area with a large collection of shops and restaurants, not to mention a movie theater, gym for children and a studio for painting your own pottery. Fairfax Corner also hosts tons of events, including a fall festival and its summer concert series held every Saturday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There are also other events throughout the year. See www.fairfaxcorner.com.

<ro>Fun at Fair Oaks Mall

<lst>11750 Fair Oaks Road

Fairfax

703-359-8300

<bt>This large mall boasts 180 specialty stores including several department stores. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. To get there, take I-66 east to Route 50 west, which exits at Fair Oaks. See www.fairoaksmall.com.

<ro>Fairfax Towne Center

<lst>West Ox Road and Monument Drive, Fairfax

<bt>The Fairfax Towne Center has several restaurants for quick, but delicious food, a movie theater and Yum Yum Cafe! where people may enjoy coffee, pastries, ice cream and smoothies at tables indoors and outside or in the central plaza.

<ro>Dulles Expo and Conference Center

<lst>4368 Chantilly Shopping Center

Chantilly

703-378-0910

<bt>The second largest exhibit hall in the metropolitan area is located six miles south of Dulles International Airport and offers 200,000 square feet of exhibit space. The two-building Expo Center hosts all sorts of exhibits and events all year long, including an international bazaar, a garden expo, a computer show and sale, several crafts fairs and an expo and seminar about leading equipment technology for emergency preparedness.

Dining

<ro>Head to Heart in Hand Restaurant

<lst>7145 Main Street

Clifton

703-830-4111

<bt>This charming restaurant is a wonderful place for any celebration or special occasion. It has special dinners on most holidays and is open every day but Monday. The Heart in Hand Restaurant also does catering and has a cookbook for purchase. The restaurant was originally founded in 1982, offering tea and lunch, but after popularity grew dinner and holidays meals were added due to customer demand.

Many celebrities and distinguished residents have dined there, including Nancy Reagan and the cast of "CATS," and the staff has catered affairs for several notables such as Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou.

<ro>Fine Dining at the Hermitage Inn

<lst>7134 Main Street

Clifton

703-266-1623

<bt>This cozy restaurant is a great place for any intimate occasion, whether it be an anniversary, birthday or special event. The price of an entree includes an appetizer and dessert. The atmosphere on the second floor of this historic building makes for a perfect dining experience. The Hermitage can also serve up to 250 people for wedding receptions or Bar Mitzvahs. A French-Mediterranean wine list tops off a perfect night out.

For Animal Lovers

<ro>Gone to the Dogs

<lst>Centreville Dog Park

15150 Old Lee Road

Chantilly

<bt>The Centreville Dog Park is on three acres at 15150 Old Lee Road, off a gravel road leading from Old Lee, near its intersection with Braddock Road. This off-leash playground for pooches opened March 2005 and was made possible by CentrevilleDogs and the Fairfax County Park Authority.

CentrevilleDogs, a nonprofit group of 350 area residents and businesses, sponsored and maintains the 65,000-square-foot facility. It's free and is open from dawn to dusk. A chain-link fence surrounds the park, and it's divided into 2 1/2 acres for larger dogs and 1/2-acre for smaller dogs.

And dogs need not reside in Centreville to come and have fun. All licensed dogs are welcome, since that also means their shots are up-to-date.

<ro>Giddy Up, Pony

<lst>The Clifton Horse Society: P.O. Box 183

Clifton

703-250-6188

<bt>Established in 1976, the Clifton Horse Society serves the needs of those interested in horses in Fairfax County and the surrounding communities. Most club members are horse owners, but membership is open to all horse lovers. Although founded in Clifton, the society's hundreds of members now include people throughout Virginia, in other states, and overseas. Activities cover every base including recreational, social, educational and service.

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES — Organized monthly trail rides with fast and slow groups are on local trails or those within a short trailer drive of Northern Virginia. Other mounted events throughout the year have included horse/fun shows, Judged Pleasure trail rides, the Fairfax Fourth of July Parade, and Christmas caroling on horseback in the Town of Clifton.

SOCIAL — Activities include spring and fall social parties, Knowdowns (a "Trivial Pursuit/Pictionary" type of event) and Christmas caroling. Although this is not a children's riding club, social activities frequently include the whole family.

EDUCATIONAL — CHS sponsors clinics on horse care, training, vetting, safety, trailering, purchasing and maintenance of tack, and other aspects of quality horsemanship.

SERVICE — In cooperation with local park authorities and landowners, the club maintains trails and develops new ones. Funds raised support worthy causes such as Therapeutic Riding and scholarships for those pursuing equine studies.

BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP — Provides camaraderie with others of similar interests and fosters sharing, learning, and meeting new friends. CHS' monthly newsletter, Lead Line, includes articles about horse care and horsemanship, trail and pasture maintenance, other articles of interest, classified advertisements, and a calendar of CHS events and other area horse organization's activities. Members also receive a club roster with members' telephone numbers and addresses (postal and e-mail). Yearly dues are $20 for individual or $30 for family membership.

For more information or to get a complimentary copy of the Clifton Horse Society's monthly newsletter, write to CHS, P.O. Box 183, Clifton, VA 20124. Call Mary Flowers at 703-250-6188. The Web site is cliftonhorsesociety.org.

<ro>Hey, Swinger

<lst>Swing Dancing at the Dulles Hilton, 13869 Park Center Drive

Herndon, Va.

703-478-2900

<bt>If you like swing dancing, head on down to the Solarium at the Dulles Hilton in Herndon at the corner of Route 28 and McLearen Road any Friday night for a good time. All dances include a beginner class from 8:30 to 9 p.m., and then you get to show your stuff for the rest of the night during the three sets the band plays. It’s $13 a person for the whole evening. Visit www.gottaswing.com.

<ro>Fancy Footwork

<lst>U.S. National Dance Championships at the Westfields Marriott

1450 Conference Center Drive

Chantilly

703-818-0300

<bt>Produced by International Dance Productions, LLC, the U.S. National Dance Championships is a two-day event showcasing all levels and all types of dancing under one roof. The weekend includes workshops, competitions, and lots of social dancing at a great location. The company is dedicated to furthering the art form and sport of dance at all levels and will surely make for a fun weekend. This year it will be held Oct. 6-8.