Fun in Alexandria

Fun in Alexandria

<i>What to do, what to do? No plans, no prospects, and every channel on cable seems to be participating in a "Movies I've Already Seen 10 Times" marathon. This list provides dozens of entertainment, dining and learning options for any day of the week, in and around town. Some entries are family friendly, some are a great way to meet new people, and others are just annual rites of passage. There was a goal to bring you 101 fun things to do in the area... we found more. Read on, and then get out and enjoy life.</i>

<b>Visit a Historical

Civil War Site</b>

<i>Fort Ward Park, Museum and Historical Site

4801 W. Braddock Road


Fort Ward served as the fifth largest Union fort in the defense of Washington, D.C. during the Civil War. Now, visitors can take a guided tour of Fort Ward, which sits upon a 40-acre historical site. A Civil War Museum and reference library are also on the grounds, as well as an outdoor amphitheater, a playground and picnic areas. Guests can start the day by visiting the museum and learn of the history of Fort Ward through an Orientation exhibit and a 12-minute video presentation. Follow that up with a self-guided walking tour of the historical Fort. Fort Ward Park, Museum and Historical Site is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 5. It is closed on Mondays.

<i>Christmas in Camp</i>

Learn how the holiday was observed during the Civil War with living history interpreters, period music and light refreshments.

<i>Revolutionary War Encampment</i>

Living history presentation with authentic skirmishes. Summer camps for kids and tours of the museum, the fort and nearby Civil War sites are also available.

<i>Memorial Day Jazz Festival</i>

Performers scheduled for 2006 include Yvonne Johnson, Al Williams, Larry Brown Quintet and the James Bazen Big Band. Food and drinks will be for sale with picnic baskets welcome. Free.

<i>Civil War Camp Day</i>

Living history program featuring Union and Confederate re-enactors and civilian interpreters. This late-war event features camp scenes, children's games, period music, vignettes, firing demos and tours of the fort.

<b>Shop Fresh</b>

<i>Alexandria's Farmer's Market

Market Square

301 King Street


Get up early on a Saturday morning and go to the Alexandria Farmer's Market, the oldest continuing Farmer's Market in the country, running year round on Saturday morning from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. Lots of vendors selling everything from fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables to candy, artisan breads, jewelry and works of art. Occasional cooking demonstrations, street buskers, leafliteers.

<i>Del Ray's Farmer's Market

at Mount Vernon and East Oxford Avenues</i>

If you want guaranteed, authentic, within 125 miles local produce hit the smaller Del Ray Market, Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. until noon May to November. In addition to fresh fruits vegetables and flowers, the market sells organic meats from a Berryville farmer, fresh fish and shellfish from a Maryland vendor, breads, pralines and honey.

The <i>Mount Vernon Farmer's Market</i> by Sherwood Regional Library is open from May-Nov. on Tuesdays, from 8-noon.

<b>Fall Weekends at Gunston Hall</b>

<i>Gunston Hall Plantation

10709 Gunston Road


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Special tours of George Mason’s plantation estate are offered through October. Cost is $2, $1 ages 6-18 in addition to regular admission cost of $8, $7 for seniors, $4 for students. Topics include Slave Life tours, World of Women, Farmyard tours and Hidden Landscapes.

<i>Join the Colonial Cooking Demonstrations</i>

Cooking demonstrations are just one of the many events at Gunston Hall, a 550-acre National Historic Landmark that was originally the home of George Mason. Other events include Slave Tours, Farm Tours, Military Reenactments and children's events. They have special holiday events as well and they have a beautiful setting on the Potomac River, perfect for picnic, party or special event.

<i>'Tis the Season for A Plantation Christmas</i>

Step back in time Dec. 2 and 3 from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. into an 18th-century holiday season on the plantation. Follow the path of lanterns to the mansion and tour rooms by candlelight. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage, sip steaming cider in front of a bonfire, and taste food prepared over an open hearth. Costumed characters greet you in the house and on the grounds as they take part in dancing, fiddle playing, and other 18th-century activities. $14 for adults, $7 for ages 6 - 18, free for children under age 6.

<b>Visit George Washington’s home</b>

<i>Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington Parkway


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

View George Washington's historic home which resides on a 500-acre estate overlooking the Potomac River. Visit the dozen or so outbuildings that have been restored—greenhouse, stables, slave quarters and kitchen. Join them for special events, such as a biannual wine festival, colonial craft fair, Independence Day Celebration, throughout the year.

<i>The Holidays at Mount Vernon</i>

The Washingtons' seasonal entertaining is interpreted daily, including Christmas Day and New Year's Day; the rarely seen third floor is open, and ginger cookies and hot cider are served around the bonfire near a replica of a Valley Forge military encampment.

<i>Birthday Celebration at Mount Vernon</i>

Admission is free to George Washington's home with a wreath-lying ceremony followed by musical performances.

<i>Red, White and Blue Concert</i>

A day-long celebration at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. 18th-century patriotic music, a wreath-laying ceremony, performance by the National Concert Band of America and birthday cake.

<i>Fall Harvest Family Days</i>

Harvest celebration with dancing, blacksmithing, wagon rides, bake sale and free pumpkin for children under age 11. George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens in October. Included with price of admission.

<i>Mount Vernon by Candlelight</i>

Learn about George and Martha Washington’s Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor.

<i>Mount Vernon Forest Trail</i>

This nature walk through George Washington's wilderness leads past mature oak and hickory trees, past holly and laurel shrubs and features attractions such as Washington's cobble quarry and a wooden footbridge over a 100-foot wide ravine. Interpretive signs throughout the trail list facts about the woods and wildlife.

<i>Enjoy a Glass of Virginia Chardonnay</i>

Wine Festivals at Mount Vernon, held twice a year in May and October. The May event is more formal and business oriented, while the October event is more laid back. Both offer wine in one of America's most historical, most beautiful backyards. There are also great views of the Potomac and a tour of the Mount Vernon Estate. Learning about Virginia's wineries is a bonus.

<i>See an 18th-century Water-Powered Mill</i>

Visitors will tour an 18th-century water-powered mill in operation by a colonial-attired miller. They will discover how it works, and learn about the character and accomplishments of George Washington — one of the nation's most innovative and successful farmers.

<b>Annual Antiques in Alexandria</b>

<i>Episcopal High School

3901 W. Braddock Rd.



<a href="" target=”_blank”> </a>

Features 60 dealers from around the country and includes early American furniture. Special lectures, luncheons and other events. Tickets required.

<b>Historic Garden Tour of Alexandria</b>


<a href="" target=”_blank”> </a>

This tour features privately-owned Old Town homes and gardens, historic churches and other historic properties. Part of the "America's Largest Open House," which highlights over 250 locations in Virginia during Historic Garden Week in April.

<b>Juneteenth Celebration</b>

<i>900 block Wythe Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Juneteenth celebrates the joyous day in African-American history when slaves in Texas first learned of their emancipation. Family-oriented celebration includes music, reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, entertainment and food.

<b>First Thursday in Del Ray</b>


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Family-oriented street festival along Mount Vernon Avenue with themes such as "A Taste of Del Ray" and "Lights, Cameras, Fashion." 6-9 p.m. the first Thursday of every month May-September. Free.

<b>Ethnic Festivals</b>

<i>Alexandria Recreation Department

Special Events


Each festival shares the culture of its people through entertainment, food and arts & crafts. Festivals are coordinated with co-sponsoring organizations and occur rain or shine throughout the summer.

<b>Annual Art on the Avenue</b>

<i>Del Ray

Mount Vernon Avenue


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Mid-Atlantic regional arts festival that celebrates an array of arts and artisans, provides entertainment for all ages, and offers a variety of American and ethnic food. The event, held along Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray, includes more 300 artists and five musical and entertainment stages.

<b>Virginia State Rose Show</b>

<i>Schlesinger Center

3001 N. Beauregard Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Garden Club of Virginia and Hunting Creek Garden Club present this annual show in October. Free.

<b>Guided Archaeology Tour</b>

<i>Schuter’s Hill


Take a guided tour of the dig at Schuter's Hill, near the George Washington Masonic Memorial. Free. Reservations required.

<b>Alexandria’s Heritage Trail</b>

<i>Alexandria Archaeology Museum

105 N. Union Street, #327



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Take a 20-mile, guided bike tour and learn about the city's history along the way. Free. Reservations required.

<b>Holidays on the Avenue</b>

<i>Del Ray

Mount Vernon Avenue, Commonwealth to Monroe Avenues


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Del Ray neighborhood kicks off the holiday season with its annual holiday tree lighting at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center. It's a luminary display with entertainment.

<b>Kwaanza Workshop</b>

<i>Alexandria Black History Museum

902 Wythe Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This family event is held at the Alexandria Black History Museum. Free.

<b>Check Up On History</b>

<i>Adams Center for the History of Otolaryngology

One Prince Street



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Dedicated to the history of treating the ear, nose & throat, this unusual museum includes a display of hearing aids, surgical instruments and rare books.

<b>Roots Remembered: African American Heritage</b>

<i>Alexandria African American Heritage Park

Holland Lane


“Truths that Rise from the Roots Remembered” is the name of the bronze tree sculpture that honors the contributions of African Americans to the growth of Alexandria.

<b>History, Page by Page</b>

<i>Alexandria Black History Museum

902 Wythe Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Originally the segregated library for Alexandria's African American residents, the Center documents the local and national history, culture and contributions of Black America.

<b>Pay Respects to Soldiers of the Past</b>

<i>Alexandria National Cemetery

Wilkes & Payne Streets</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

One of the 14 sites established and dedicated by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 to serve as military burial grounds. The cemetery contains some 3,500 graves of Civil War soldiers, including U.S. Colored Troops and four men who lost their lives chasing Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

<b>Land and Water Meet at River Farm</b>

<i>American Horticultural Society

7931 E. Boulevard Drive

703-768-5700 </i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Originally part of the estate of George Washington, the farm features 25 acres of lawns, gardens, meadows and woods on the Potomac River.

<b>Spend Time with Spooks and Spirits</b>

<i>Alexandria Colonial Tours


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Alexandria's Original Ghost and Graveyard Tour. Entertaining, costumed guides take you by lantern-light on a six-block walking tour filled with ghosts, spirits and legends of this historic city. Tours offered seasonally and leave from Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King Street Company also offers other kid-friendly tours.

<b>Step into the Past</b>

<i>Alexandria's Footsteps to the Past


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Learn about early history of Alexandria, documented ghost sites and visit a cemetery where George Washington's friends sleep. Tours leave from Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King Street.

<b>Walking with Washington</b>

<i>Alexandria Archaeology Museum

105 N. Union Street, #327



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Take this free, two-hour walking tour to learn about Alexandria's favorite son. Leaves 1:30 p.m. from the fountain in Market Square, 301 King Street on Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2006.

<b>Symposium on George Washington</b>

<i>George Washington National Masonic Memorial

101 Callahan Drive



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This annual event looks at a specific time period in Washington's life. President's Weekend 2006. Tickets include lunch, with discounts for students.

<b>Gadsby's Tavern Birthday Celebration</b>

<i>Gadsby's Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal Street



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Tavern fare, toasts to George Washington and 18th-century dancing, President's Day Weekend. Tickets are $75 for banquet and ball; $30 for ball only; advance reservations required. Free open house at the museum earlier in the day.

<b>George Washington Birthday Parade</b>


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The largest parade honoring the first president and Alexandria's hometown hero features marching bands, floats, military and reenactment units, Masonic groups, equestrian entries, antique cars and of course, George and Martha Washington throughout Old Town Alexandria. Free.

<b>Annual Needlework Exhibition</b>

<i>Woodlawn Estate

9000 Richmond Highway


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The largest and most prestigious needlework exhibit in the country. View amateur and professional stitchery at the plantation George Washington gave to his adopted granddaughter, Eleanor "Nelly" Custis Lewis.

<b>St. Patrick's Day Celebration and Parade</b>


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Join the festivities throughout Old Town, including the Fun Dog Show at 10:30 a.m. at Market Square, and Classic Car Competition, also at 10:30 a.m. on N. Royal and Pitt Streets.

<b>Alexandria Guitar Festival</b>

<i>Old Presbyterian Meeting House

321 S. Fairfax Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Suzuki children's classes, master classes and concerts by internationally acclaimed artists, such as Nathan Fischer, Risa Carlson, Nicholas Goluses and others.

<b>Lantern Tours</b>

<i>Gadsby's Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The seasonal return of these popular candlelight tours, offered Friday nights, focusing on tavern life in the 18th century. $5, $2 for ages 11-17, free for 10 and under.

<b>Doggie Happy Hour</b>

<i>Holiday Inn Select

480 King Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., meet two- and four-legged friends in the courtyard of the Holiday Inn Select. Eats, treats and drinks for all from April through October.

<b>Annual Alexandria Arts Safari</b>

<i>Torpedo Factory

105 N. Union Street


Art demonstrations and lots of hand-on activities for children of all ages.

<b>The Art League’s Pottery Sale</b>

<i>The Art League Annex

Corner of Duke and Union Streets


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Each year, the annual show and sale includes works donated by respected artists in the field.

<b>Alexandria Festival of the Arts</b>

<i>Old Town Alexandria

King Street from Washington to Union Streets


Join more than 150 local and nationally known artists for this two-day, outdoor art festival featuring paintings, sculpture, jewelry, glassware, photography and more each September.

<b>18th Century Craft Fair</b>

<i>Historic Mount Vernon Estate

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Dozens of juried artisans demonstrate their crafts and sell their wares, with Colonial music, a variety of entertainment, including fire-eaters, puppet shows, magicians, jugglers, and hearty food. Sightseeing cruises courtesy of Potomac Riverboat Company and Spirit Cruises. Fair included with price of admission to the Estate.

<b>Death Comes to Carlyle House</b>

<i>Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The historic house presents an exhibit on the mourning practices of 18th century Virginia, with the house itself draped in mourning. On Oct. 29, an 18th century funeral will be re-enacted 6-10 p.m., with a replica of a coffin and a deathbed scene. That night, Alexandria's Footsteps to the Past ghost tour begins at the house and concludes at John Carlyle's grave. Exhibit included in regular admission of $4, $2 for children. Re-enactment is $10, $5 for ages 7-12; re-enactment with ghost tour of Old Town is $20.

<b>Alexandria Holiday Tree Lighting</b>

<i>Market Square

301 King Street


Features musical entertainment with greetings from the Mayor and Santa Claus.

<b>Holiday Parade of Boats</b>

<i>Alexandria Marina

Cameron Street


Alexandria's harbor lights up when more than 50 brightly-lit sailing and powered leisure boats cruise along the Potomac River at the City's historic waterfront. Festivities are on the docks with Santa, children's author Leslie Young and Scottie dog Plaid, the U.S. Marines, WASH FM and the Starbucks Cheer Patrol.

<b>Alexandria Heritage Trail</b>

<i>Alexandria Archaeology Museum

105 N. Union Street, #327


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Explore the archaeology and history of this unique 22-mile urban trail. Visit more than 40 museums and historic parks open to the public to learn the heritage of Native Americans, Colonists, African Americans, Civil War civilians and soldiers and more.

<b>Alexandria's Greek Revival Art Gallery</b>

<i>The Athenaeum

201 Prince Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

A Greek Revival building built in 1851, it was the home to the Bank of the Old Dominion, where Robert E. Lee did his banking. Today it is an art gallery and home of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association. Closed Nov.-Feb.

<b>An Architectural Adventure</b>

<i>Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House

9000 Richmond Highway


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Built in 1940 of cypress, brick and glass, the "Usonian" house exhibits many of the significant contributions that Wright made to contemporary architecture. Open daily March-December, closed January and February.

<b>Find Inventions and Inspiration</b>

<i>U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Museum

600 Dulaney Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Exhibits about ordinary inventions people come in contact with everyday but seldom stop to think about. Fascinating facts about everything from corn flakes to ketchup to personal computers. Open weekdays.

<b>Special Trips for a Special Occasion</b>

<i>Potomac Belle Charters

L.A. Yachts Inc.

2412 Belle Haven Meadows Court


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Custom yacht docked in Old Town Alexandria, specializing in corporate meetings & celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions. Ideal for 10-35 guests. Available April-December.

<b>Take a Personally-Tailored Tour</b>

<i>Alexandria Tours


Step back in time on a walking tour of historic Alexandria. Professional guides tailor a tour for your special interests.

<b>Bask in the Alexandria Ballet</b>

<i>The Alexandria Ballet

703-548-0035 </i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Known for its dance school and special performance for young audiences. The 45-minute version of "The Nutcracker" is a community favorite.

<b>Learn to Sail at Belle Haven Marina</b>

<i>Belle Haven Marina

1201 Belle Haven Road


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Mariner Sailing School at Belle Haven Marina is the largest in the D.C. area. Spring lessons for youth and adults. Boat rentals are also available.

<b>See Where Post-Slave Society Began</b>

<i>Gum Springs Historical Society

8100 Fordson Road


<a href="" target=”_blank”> /<a>

Visit the first community for freed slaves at Gum Springs Historical Society. The Museum and Cultural Center in Alexandria features an exhibit of photographs nearly 100 years old.

<b>Spend an Afternoon at the Stables</b>

<i>Woodlawn Stables

8907 Richmond Highway


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Classes are offered for adults and students at these Alexandria stables, which have been in operation since 1979. Full-care boarding is also available.

<b>Family-Friendly New Year's Party</b>

<i>First Night Alexandria

421 King Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

First Night, a New Year's Party all over Alexandria from downtown Old Town to the Masonic temple, jazz to classical to blue grass, dances, lots of kid stuff, skits, comedians and a plethora of places to stop off and eat. But have your supper early before the New Year's Eve prices kick in.

<b>Food and Films</b>

<i>Old Town Movie Theater

812 1/2 King Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

At Old Town Movie Theater, see classics or newer films, hear live music or comedy in comfort, and buy a drink or a meal. No waiters, but that also means no interruptions.

<b>Relax with Bluegrass Music</b>

<i>Tiffany's Tavern

1116 King Street


Tiffany's on upper King Street, the best place in town for bluegrass on Friday and Saturday nights. The crowds range from barely-legal to gray-haired and fill the tavern quickly. The owner and his wife are congenial and the music is great.

<b>View Art Exhibits</b>

<i>The Athenaeum

201 Prince Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Athenaeum presents exhibits on painting and other fine arts including architecture, weaving, films, photographs, art-related lectures, small theatrical and musical performances and dance classes and performances.

<b>Visit George Washington's Church</b>

<i>Christ Church

118 N. Washington Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Construction on the church began in 1767, and visitors can sit in Washington's seat during services. Docents are on hand daily to welcome visitors and answer questions.

<b>Visit a Historic Congregation</b>

<i>Old Presbyterian Meeting House

323 S. Fairfax Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Washington's funeral took place here. The cemetery includes the grave of John Carlyle and the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier.

<b>Visit a Stone Mansion</b>

<i>Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Operated by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the Carlyle House is a window into the 18th century life in Old Town. John Carlyle was a prominent Scottish merchant in the early days of Alexandria, and his house was the site of an important meeting of governors during the French and Indian War.

<b>Watch Historic Renovation in Action</b>

<i>Lee-Fendall House

614 Oronoco Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Philip Richard Fendall built this wood frame house in 1785. From 1785 until 1903, the house served as the home to thirty-seven members of the Lee family. Currently, visitors can observe extensive renovations in progress.

<b>Alexandria Orientation Starts Here</b>

<i>Ramsey House Visitor's Center

221 King Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This former home of William Ramsey, Scottish merchant and city founder, now houses all the information necessary to direct visitors to Alexandria's myriad attractions, restaurants, transportation facilities and other necessities for visitors and residents alike. Open everyday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

<b>Enjoy a Walk, Bike Ride or Picnic </b>

<i>Mount Vernon Bike Trail and George Washington Parkway


<a href= target=”_blank”></a>

With the Potomac River as your companion, ride your bike, jog, or walk the 18.5-mile trail from the Mount Vernon estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

The scenic parkway connects the historic sites from Mount Vernon to nation's capital. The first section of the parkway was completed in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birth.

<b>Visit GW's Fire Station</b>

<i>Friendship Fire House Museum

107 S. Alfred Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

A visit to Friendship Fire House Museum gives a true historical perspective on emergency preparedness in the Colonial Era. It encompasses not only antique fire apparatus but also a wide array of personal gear and interesting photographs all explained by a volunteer guide who is also a member of the Friendship Volunteer Fire Engine Association established in 1774. Open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Free.

<b>Learn to Build a Boat</b>

<i>Alexandria Seaport Foundation

Alexandria waterfront between Cameron and Queen Streets


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This private foundation offers classes in boat building, both on an individual basis and under the aegis of various group structures. After the flat bottom rowboats are complete most are donated to various environmental organizations, such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, for use in ecological projects.

<b>From War To Art</b>

<i>Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This 1918 structure, built by the U.S. Navy to manufacture torpedo parts, now houses some 200 artists and artisans, as well as their studios, galleries, and shops. More than 800,000 visitors a year venture into this one-of-a-kind free art center on the Potomac River. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter and July 4th.

<b>Dining On The River</b>

<i>Cruise Ships Dandy and Nina's Dandy

Zero Prince Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Climate-controlled, year-round dining and dancing while sailing the Potomac River and taking in the view of the nation's monuments is offered on these two cruise ships. Reservations are available for couples or groups up to 200 for both lunch and dinner cruises. Midnight dance cruises are also available from both Alexandria and Georgetown's Washington Harbor. For reservations and other details contact the reservation desk at the number listed or by visiting their Web site.

<b>Celebrating Your Scottish Side</b>

<i>Scottish Christmas Walk</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Welcome in the holiday season the first weekend in December with the 35th annual Scottish Walk festivities. Begin with the scotch tasting on Friday night in a tent behind the Campagna Center. At the same time you can buy all your greens for Christmas. Saturday morning is the Scottish Walk itself, a multi-hour parade of bands, bagpipers and more kinds of dogs than you ever knew existed. The day will also offer home tours, church ceremonies and other events. It's every Alexandrian's way to start the season.

<i>Virginia Scottish Games</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

<i>Scottish Heritage Festival</i>

<a href="” target=”_blank”></a>

Two Scottish festivals believe it or not lest someone forget Alexandria's Scottish roots. The first is the Scottish games at the Episcopal School so people can throw cabers, the size of telephone poles, while wearing wool in the hot sun. Luckily there is beer and Scottish food and crafts. The second festival in September is the Scottish Heritage Festival at Fort Ward Park that has vendors, food, and demonstrations of Scottish life including sword play.

<b>That's a Lot of Candles</b>

<i>Celebrate Alexandria's 257th Birthday

Oronoco Park</i>

The best birthday party ever is the one Alexandria throws to celebrate itself. Always the Saturday after the 4th of July, once at Jones Point Park, now at Oronoco, it features local singing groups, The Alexandria Symphony, lots of food, your own or vendors, cannon and fireworks and a great big birthday cake.

<b>Giving and Getting:

Fun that Supports a Cause</b>

<i>Alexandria Volunteer Bureau

2210 Mt. Vernon Avenue


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Alexandria Volunteer Bureau's annual fund-raising dinner and auction at the Virginia Theological Seminary in March. The auctions, both silent and spoken, are fun with items for all pocketbooks, the food is good and it is an affordable fund-raiser.

<i>The Taste of Alexandria held at Collingwood Library and Museum

8301 East Boulevard Drive</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Taste of Alexandria, a fund-raiser for Campagna Center, held in May at Collingwood. It is a lovely site, a garden party where hats are expected if not required, samples of food from a variety of restaurants are offered and the raffles are interesting. Sometimes a bit disorganized but a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

<i>Alexandria Waterfront Festival

Oronoco Bay Park</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Red Cross summer festival, usually in June, is held at Oronoco Bay Park from Friday night to Sunday night. Featuring lots of live music at several stages, vendors, beer and food, the festival is the major fundraising event for the Alexandria Chapter of the Red Cross.

<b>Live Local Theater</b>

<i>Little Theatre of Alexandria

600 Wolfe Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Little Theater of Alexandria is the traditional tried and true. The troupe has a deft touch with comedy, their timing is impeccable and the theater itself is charming.

<i>Port City Playhouse


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Port City Playhouse operates in a small theater and does the more avant garde, edgy stuff. Prices are the same as a movie and they are very good.

<i>Metro Stage

1201 North Royal Street


<a href=" " target=”_blank”></a>

Metro Stage, now in its own place always offers an interesting and different season and does cabaret to boot.

<b>Go Hear the Symphony</b>

<i>Alexandria Symphony

2121 Eisenhower Ave. Suite 608


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

For music lovers there is of course the Alexandria Symphony also now in their own place at Northern Virginia Community College.

<b>Hear the Local Chorus</b>

<i>Alexandria Choral Society


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Don't miss their summer garden party as well as their concerts throughout the year.

<b>Visit the home of National Sojourners, Inc. </b>

<i>Collingwood Library & Museum

8301 East Boulevard Drive


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

An extensive collection of American Indian history; a collection of Harpers Magazine beginning with issue number one; an unusually diverse and valuable 280-volume collection from the personal library of a former U. S. Army Chief of Staff. The building housing the library overlooks the Potomac River and there is adequate room and facilities to cater receptions on the magnificently landscaped grounds for a picnic, party or wedding. Collingwood hosts many of these affairs during the course of each year.

<b>Learn To Dance the Minuet</b>

<i>Gadsby’s Tavern and Museum

134 North Royal Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This original tavern and adjoining City Hotel have been restored to their original late 1700s architecture and décor. George Washington frequently dined here and the Birthnight Celebration was held here, a tradition that continues to this day. Diners at the Gadsby Tavern Restaurant can enjoy authentic fare served by waiters in 18th-century attire. The original tavern houses a museum with colonial furnishings and is open to the public.

<b>Learn About Early Medicine</b>

<i>Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary Shop.

105-107 S. Fairfax Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Visit an authentic apothecary shop from 1792. Currently undergoing an extensive renovation, the museum is expected to open in the Fall of 2005. Visitors can view samples of hand-blown glass and early medicines. They can also learn about the early days of medicine.

<b>Ride the Vertical Elevator</b>

<i>The George Washington Masonic National Memorial

101 Callahan Road


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This building serves many purposes. Not only does it contain an extensive collection of George Washington documents and artifacts, but it is also a meeting place for members of the Masonic Fraternity. Both the assembly hall and theater are the site of many special events held throughout the year.

<b>Play Soccer</b>

<i>Gunston Recreational Micro Soccer Fields (Grist Mill Park)


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Join one of the many micro soccer teams that play two seasons (fall and spring) on these fields. Also enjoy the playground and picnic areas and let your dog enjoy the dog park.

<b>Go Bird Watching</b>

<i>Along the Potomac River</i>

<a href=" " target=”_blank”></a>

There are many sites along the George Washington Parkway where bird watchers can stop and view herons, eagles and ospreys, to name just a few.

<b>Tours on the Potomac River</b>

<i>Potomac River Boat Company

Alexandria City Marina703-548-9000</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Potomac River Boat Company is a small, private company which offers sightseeing tours and private charters aboard its five vessels. Homeport for all the boats is Old Town Alexandria. View some of Washington's fabulous monuments, George Washington's home at Mount Vernon and Alexandria's historic waterfront with Potomac Riverboat Company's boat cruises on the Potomac River. Tours are available six days a week in season and offered mid-March through October.

<b>Swim Forever</b>

<i>Masters Swim Program</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

U.S. Masters Swimming is a national organization which promotes swimming for adults over 18 years old. They offer structured coached workouts with Curl-Burke Swim Club. Workouts are held throughout the year at various local pools and emphasize fitness, conditioning, and stroke mechanics. Our swimming abilities range from beginning lap swimmers to college

<b>Catch a Wave in the Pool</b>

<i>Cameron Run Regional Park

4001 Eisenhower Avenue


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Cameron Run Regional Park offers a variety of recreation facilities in an urban area, including Great Waves water park. Catch a wave in the wave pool, twist and turn down four-story water slides, take a plunge down speed slides, play with friends in the shallow waters of the play pool. Little ones will enjoy the tad pool. The park also features a deluxe miniature golf course with pond, a nine-station batting cage, picnic shelters, and a special event pavilion.

<b>Land a Kick-Flip</b>

<i>Schuyler Hamilton Jones Skatepark

3540 Wheeler Avenue


Visit the Schuyler Hamilton Jones Skateboard Park on Duke Street at the intersection with Quaker Lane. The 11,000 square foot park features 6- and 4-foot half-pipes, a fun box, a 3-foot spine, and rails. It is free and open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

<b>Tee Off with the Pros</b>

<i>Pohick Bay Regional Park Golf Course

6501 Pohick Bay Drive


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Pohick Bay Regional Park Golf Course features an 18-hole, par 72 golf course, as well as tournaments and golf lessons. Contact golf course manager Beth Borostovik with questions.

<i>Greendale Golf Course

6700 Telegraph Rd.


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

6,353 Yrds., Par 70, 18-Hole

Greendale is a municipal course in Fairfax County. It features an 18-hole, par 70 course as well as lessons, on 148 acres of rolling grounds with asphalt cart paths.

<b>Hit Golf Balls at a Computerized Driving Range</b>


6625 South Van Dorn Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Golfers of all skill and experience levels have the opportunity to work on numerous aspects of their game — chip shots with a nine iron, or long drives. What makes the TopGolf experience original is the fact that golfers receive immediate feedback through the use of a computerized scoring system which measures length and accuracy of shots. Golfers can shoot at various flagged target areas in the large, open range, then measure the results of their shot on a small electronic scoreboard located right next to the shooting area. The experience is great fun in group outing settings. Also on site are two TopGolf miniature golf courses.

<b>Enlist in a Coaching Clinic</b>

<i>Lee Recreation Center

1108 Jefferson Street



The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers coaching clinics for individuals — with or without experience — who are interested in coaching youth sports. The clinics — for those who coach baseball, cheerleading, basketball, softball, and football — are held two times seasonally (spring, summer, fall, winter) at the Lee Center. Sessions are held evenings and are two hours long. There are two types of coaching training offered — Certification through the National Youth Sports Coaches Alliance; and 'Pursuing Victory With Honor,' which focuses on sportsmanship.

<b>Young Athletes Can Improve Their Game</b>

<i>Lee Recreation Center

1108 Jefferson Street


Kids can learn the basic fundamentals of their favorite sport by attending a Fundamentals Clinic through the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. Local coaches or volunteers will teach youngsters the way to play the game the right way through the teaching of basic playing techniques. Youngsters will also learn the importance of good sportsmanship. Whether it’s learning more about hoops, baseball, softball, or football, kids will gain a greater appreciation of their sport.

<b>Attend Amateur/Pro Boxing Events</b>

<i>Charles Houston Recreation Center

901 Wythe Street


The Alexandria Boxing Club is located at The Fred Smith Center, which is an extension of the Charles Houston Recreation Center. Every weeknight, members of the ABC team — both pro fighters and amateurs — practice their craft under coach Dennis Porter. The ABC team competes in numerous boxing exhibitions throughout the year — either in the metro area or statewide. Last January, the team captured first place at the USA/Virginia State Tournament Championships in Arlington. There is a true love and passion for the sport at ABC. To visit a practice session or to find out when local `Fights Night' events are scheduled, call the Charles Houston Rec Center.

<b>Experience ‘Friday Night Lights’ at a High School Football Game</b>

It doesn't have to be a night ball game! How about a Saturday afternoon game watching one of the Alexandria private schools — Episcopal, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes, or Bishop Ireton — play a rival team. There is almost a college-like atmosphere at these games with cheerleaders, bands, and roaring fans. The same can be said about Alexandria/Mount Vernon's public school teams — T.C. Williams, Mount Vernon, and West Potomac High Schools — when they play on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. For those individuals long removed from their high school days who want to re-live a little of their past, or youngsters who want to be a part of the high school football excitement, attending a local home game in Alexandria is a great way to spend an evening. Here are some upcoming games to keep on your calendar — West Springfield at West Potomac (Friday, Oct. 7); Hayfield vs. T.C. Williams (1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the neutral site of West Potomac); Ireton's Homecoming game (Saturday afternoon, Oct. 1).

<b>A Spot of Tea</b>

<i>Woodlawn Plantation

9000 Richmond Highway


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Taste the Woodlawn Plantations special blend of tea and period confections, guests will learn about tea customs of the early nineteenth century followed by an in-depth tour of the house. Seatings are at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. $25 for Tea and Tour of Woodlawn, $30 for Tea and Tour of Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey.

<b>Jazz it up with <i>Jazzercise</i></b>

<i>Hollin Hall Senior Center

1500 Shenandoah Road


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Jazzercise combines elements of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, kick-boxing, to create effective programs for people of every age and fitness level. Increase your muscle tone, flexibility, balance, strength and endurance using easy-to-follow movements. Each 60-minute class follows a perceived exertion curve. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to class and register; class managers can fill you in on everything you need to know. Begin at any time.

<b>Kayak the Mason Neck Wildlife Areas</b>

<i>Atlantic Kayak

1201 North Royal Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Paddle through Mason Neck, watch ospreys tend their nests and blue heron stalk their next meal at this freshwater tidal marsh. A great spot for viewing eagles. Transportation is provided from the Alexandria store, or meet at the launch site at 10 a.m.

<b>Hit The Ice</b>

<i>Mount Vernon Recreation Center

2017 Belle View Blvd.


Ever see one of those ‘Peanuts’ TV specials where Snoopy easily glides across the ice as flawless as any Olympian skater? Well, it's harder than it looks even if ‘good 'ole Snoopy’ makes it look easy. But what a great sport to learn, and what a way to cool off during the hot months. To find out about ice-skating lessons at Mount Vernon Rec Center, go to: <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>. Or, get a hold of a free Partakes Magazine by calling 703-222-4664.

<b>Get Into the Swing of Things</b>

<i>The StrikeZone Academy

826 South Pickett Street


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

The Strikezone Baseball and Softball Academy is scheduled to open this November. The indoor facility will be the ideal place for youth players to practice their baseball and softball skills year round. Three batting cages will be available for youth teams, along with ‘Iron Mike’ automatic pitching machines. And there will be other areas to practice pitching and fielding. There will be batting, fielding, and catching instructors for beginner-level players on up through high school aged players.

<b>Love Sports?... Attend a Meeting</b>

<i>Alexandria Sportsman's Club

Meets Monthly at Old Dominion Boat Club</i>

The Alexandria Sportsman's Club is a charitable organization which honors the student-athletes of the Alexandria community. The organization, established 50 years ago, holds meetings on the third Tuesday of each month at the Old Dominion Boat Club (1 King Street, Alexandria). Special guest speakers from the local sports community highlight the monthly get-togethers. Refreshments are provided at the meetings. All adults 18-over who love sports are encouraged to attend. The organization's annual showcase event is the Awards Night meeting in May where the top athletes of Alexandria's high schools are honored. To learn more about the organization or get information on an upcoming meeting, call Alexandria Sportsman's Club President Steve Lehman at 703-461-3490 (h) or 703-470-4301 (w).

<i>Fort Hunt Sportsman Association</i>

Founded in 1963, Fort Hunt Sportsman Association raises money and presents awards to athletes and teams for the schools in the West Potomac High School pyramid and Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association. The group holds a dinner meeting on teh second Thursday of each month at rotating locations. For information and a meeting schedule, contact

<b>Attend the Opening Day of Your Local Little League</b>

<i>Alexandria Little League


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

</i>Alexandria Potomac Little League

(formerly Bucknell Little League)</i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

</i>Fort Hunt Little League

Woodlawn Little League</i>

Someone once wrote that ‘Time begins on Opening Day.’ There is something special about Little League Opening Day ceremonies each spring. Ball-playing boys and girls gather for the festivities attired in their brilliant colored baseball and softball uniforms. They, along with parents/guardians, family members and community members, celebrate the start of a new ball season. Whether you have kids playing or not, visit one of the local Little League Opening Day festivities next spring. Local leagues include Woodlawn, Alexandria Little League, Alexandria Potomac Little League, and Fort Hunt. Who knows, you might even feel younger for it and decide you want to catch some of the Little League baseball and softball action throughout the playing season. it's never too early to ‘Play Ball!’

<b>Arts Afire Glass Gallery</b>

<i>102 North Fayette St.


The Art Museum Arts Afire Glass Gallery is the country's largest glass jewelry gallery, featuring more than 300 American artists. The shop offer fine metal, ceramic, wood, and leather crafts. The museum is famous for the largest kaleidoscope selection, comprising works by more than 30 internationally acclaimed artists. The art pieces vary from small intricate marble pieces to large glass works. There is also a Judaic selection available. The beading is extremely detailed as is the jewelry. The gallery hosts six trunk shows a year, allowing the public to witness fine art at its best. Many of the artists featured at the Art museum Arts Afire Glass Gallery are not featured anywhere else. Don't expect to see the same beaded necklace anywhere else as many of the crafts are one-of-a-kind. Further information about the museum can be found on the Web site <a href="" target=”_blank”></a> or by calling 703-838-9785.

<b>Regional Activities</b>

<i>Robert F.Kennedy Memorial Stadium

2400 East Capitol Street, S.E.

Washington, D.C.


Former home to the Washington Senators and the Redskins, and present home to the Nationals and D.C. United, R.F.K. Stadium has been one of Washington's best stadiums for over 40 years. Take the blue/orange line on the metro to the Stadium-Armory stop.

<i>Ridge Trail at Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park

9200 Old Dominion Drive


Imagine biking a beautiful 1.5 mile trail smack dab between Old Dominion Drive and the Potomac River. Not only does this bike offer breathtaking scenery of upland forests and the river, deer and woodpeckers are also scattered along the trail. The terrain is random, varying from hilly to flat; therefore the biker also needs to be on guard, always ready to change gears. The ride is relaxing and peaceful especially since it's a short distance. Great Falls Park offers several other trails as well ranging from the historic hiking Patowmack Canal trail to the Swamp Trail which follows the hills of the forest, allowing hikers to observe the swamp below. Jesse Reynolds, the supervisory ranger, encourages bikers to take note of the Ridge Trail because of its beautiful scenery. He encourages everyone to come and make sure to grab a trail map available at the visitor's center. For further information about hours of the park call 703-285-2965 or visit the Web site, <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

<i>The 3rd and 16th Holes at Westfields Golf Club

13940 Balmoral Greens Avenue



Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Virginia offers a course that any golfer can enjoy from beginner to advanced. The signature holes are No. 3 and No. 16, purely because they are the most challenging. No. 3 is a par-3 hole with water guarding the front and left side of the green. There are several bunkers to the right of the green and behind the green is a huge swamp, which provides more opportunities for a ball to get lost. But nevertheless everyone enjoys this picturesque challenging hole. Another customer favorite is #16. This hole is tricky and demanding for there are trees everywhere and a creek run down the left side of the hole, eventually collecting into a lake right in front of the green. Tournament coordinator Colin Gooch says "one reason why Westfields is so appealing is because there are no houses near or on the course, so members have no reason to be worried or paranoid about hitting anything, allowing them to be completely focused and have no distractions. Westfields runs over 100 events, combination of corporate and charity. The staff is very proud of their customer service; it's pretty much a "bread and butter" relationship according to Gooch.

<i>The Slides at Tuckahoe Park

2400 North Sycamore Street


Slide down the black and white slide on the Tuckahoe Playground located in Arlington County. The slides are very long, thus children enjoy the thrill of sliding longer. The ride is fast and the slider never knows when the tube will end for all one can see are black and white stripes. Along with having a playground that will keep children occupied for hours, Tuckahoe Park offers a variety of activities. For the competitive athlete or dads playing catch with their children, there are two baseball fields as well as two softball fields. For aspiring Andy Roddicks, there are also two lighted tennis courts. People interested in nature are provided with one water fountain, a paved trail, a nature area, and a wildlife observation opportunity. Tuckahoe Park is a natural environment that no one should pass over. Contact information and further information about hours of the park can be found on the Arlington County Authority's Web site at <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

<b>Amusement Parks</b>

<i>Kings Dominion

16000 Theme Park Way

Doswell, Va.

804-876-5000 </i>

<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Roller coaster enthusiasts will not be disappointed with the collection of classic and cutting-edge rides at this popular theme park, located right off of I-95 south. The park features the world’s first air-launched coaster, HyperSonic XLC; Flight of Fear, an indoor coaster; Volcano, a linear-induction coaster that literally launches riders out of a smoking mountain; Anaconda, a steel coaster; and a trio of wooden coasters in The Rebel Yell, the Grizzly and the Hurler. The park also features water rides, a section for young ride enthusiasts, and several shows during the day.

A "pay once/visit twice" ticket can be had for $45.99, and it allows visitors to use the same ticket for two trips to the park during public operating days (from the spring through selected weekends in September and October).

<i>Busch Gardens/Water Country USA

One Busch Gardens Blvd.



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Located nearly 150 miles away from Washington, D.C., Busch Gardens is a destination where an overnight stay might work best. Not only to explore this award-winning theme park and water park, but also for a chance to visit Colonial Williamsburg, which is located only three miles away from the park. The park opens in April and remains open through selected weekends in October.

Busch Gardens is split up into different "countries," each with their own theme. Among the popular rides are the new Curse of DarKastle, an intense thrill ride with state-of-the-art special effects; Apollo's Chariot, a "hypercoaster" that plummets passengers a total of 825 feet; The Big Bad Wolf, a suspended coaster that flies through a recreated Bavarian village at speeds approaching 50 mph; and the Loch Ness Monster, a classic interlocking double-looping roller coaster. The park also features daily shows and animal attractions.

Water Country USA, open May through September, is located next to Busch Gardens. It is the mid-Atlantic's largest family water play park, featuring state-of-the-art water rides and attractions all set to a 1950s and '60s surf theme.

The best bet for the parks are multi-day "Bounce" tickets, which are good for two or three days of admission to both parks. A three-day ticket costs $74.95 this season.

<i>Six Flags America

Largo, Md.


<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

This park, part of the national Six Flags family, features great family fun and some intense action rides. Superman: Ride of Steel, a coaster that's 200 feet tall with a 190-foot drop, and which reaches 75 mph; The Joker's Jinx, a linear induction coaster that goes from zero to 60 mph in three seconds; Two Face: The Flip Side, a coaster that features riders in face-to-face seats; and Roar, a classic wooden coaster. The park also features slightly less high-impact rides for the whole family, including a Looney Tunes-themed kids' land.

<i>The Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole

1400 Lake Fairfax Drive



Operated by Fairfax County Park Authority, the Water Mine is geared to elementary-aged children but offers attractions for everyone from toddlers to teenagers. It's an acre of slides, flumes, sprays, showers, and floatables, circled by Rattlesnake River with a 2.5 mile per hour current that gently nudges tubes along. The park opens in late May and has hours of operation until September. Children 2 years old and under are free; people under 48-inches tall have a $10 admission fee, while anyone over 48-inches has a $12 fee.

<i>Splash Down Waterpark

500 Ben Lomond Park Drive



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Billed as Northern Virginia's largest water park, Splash Down Waterpark features five different water areas, along with great summer food at the Coney Island Café, Paradise Pizza and Sweets N Treats. Among the attractions are two 4-story waterslides; Big Kahuna Beach, which features 250 tons of sand; and the 770-foot lazy river. The park is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Guests 48 inches or over pay $12.95, while guests under 48 inches get in for $9.95.

<i>Planet Splash & Play

4600 Brookfield Corporate Drive



<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>

Billed as "the premiere water park destination in the Northern Virginia Area," Planet Splash and Play features the "Master Blaster" waterslide and the relaxing "Lazy River." The park is open on the weekends in early summer and then daily for the summer. Guests 48 inches or over pay $12.95 for admission, and under 48 inches pay $8.95; those prices are cut in half after 4 p.m. Children 2 years-old and under are admitted free.

<b>Comedy Clubs</b>

<i>DC Improv

1140 Connecticut Ave.

NW Washington, D.C.


The best comedians perform at the D.C. Improv Comedy/Restaurant. From veteran comedian Margaret Cho to up and coming Matt Kazam, who has performed on Comedy Central, VH1, and MTV. Other features have been Colin Quinn from comedy central and Tommy Davidson from "In Living Color." Each show at the club generally features three comics; a newbie comedian, followed by another comedian with a longer routine, and finishing with the headline performer for the night. With all the famous comedians at the club, no wonder shows are always sold out. The club is a small enclosed area, so at times it can be cramped; at the same time though, you are sitting close to a comedian that you may have only seen on television. Guests can also enjoy food and drink as well. Have you always had a comedic itch you want to scratch, the club provides classes through the DC Improv Comedy College. Students can partake in the Club's summer camp as well. For more information go to <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

<i>The Comedy Spot

Ballston Common Mall

4238 Wilson Blvd



The Comedy Spot offers four different shows; the comedy sportz, clean curse-word free performance suitable for all ages, a comedy improv for adults only — The Blue Show and Poppy Cock, and finally and open-mic night on Sundays with a $25 prize for the funniest joker. The club also offers summer events for tweens and teens starting July 16. There is the creative drama Workshopz, which allows children to be spontaneous. The Blue Show is a mix of improv shows shown on television such as "Whose Line is it Anyway?" However; viewer discretion is advised as there is some dark humor that might not be suitable for younger children. Poppy Cock is solely improv comedy- no lines, no scripts, no cue card, nada. The actors are pressured to act on the spot. Comedy Sportz is a quick-witted show for everyone. According to the Web site, "comedy sportz is played like a team sport, with two teams battling for laughs and points as they make up scenes and songs on the spot." The best quality about this comedy club is the uniquess. Each improve show is different since they play new games with new audience suggestions.

<i>Lafter Hours Comedy Club

14114 Lee Highway



Lafter Hours sticks to the standard comedy club set up with an up and coming comedian kicking things off, followed by the featured headliner. Past headliners have been "Last Comic Standing" star Corey Kahaney and Comedy Central's Andy Campbell. There is an option for food and drink with catering provided by Fast Eddie's Sports Bar. The sports bar offers typical bar food such as buffalo wings and french fries. Reservations are recommended for both the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Seating starts an hour before the show. After the comedy show, guests have the option to party at Eddie's and dance to music.

<b>Venues for Live Shows</b>

<i>Patriot Center

4500 Patriot Circle



Located on the campus of Northern Virginia's George Mason University, the Patriot Center seats 10,000. Tickets may be purchased at the Patriot Center box office, which is open Monday-Thursday 10:00 A.M.-7:00 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tickets are also available at all Ticketmaster outlets, including all Hecht's departments stores and all Kemp Mill and Tower Records stores, and by calling Ticketmaster at 703-573-SEAT or 202-397-SEAT. Tickets may also be purchased online at <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

Group sales discounts are offered for most of the family entertainment presentations and some concerts at the Patriot Center. For more information on group sales discounts, contact our Washington Sport & Entertainment at 202-661-5061.

<i>Nissan Pavilion

7800 Cellar Door Drive

Bristow, Va.


One of the areas top outdoor venues with weekly shows, Nissan will be hosting Dave Matthews Band, Toby Keith, Stevie Nicks, the Allman Brothers, John Mellencamp, James Taylor, Eminem, Backstreet Boys, Coldplay and Motley Crew among other acts this summer.

Theatre-style reserved seating and festival lawn seating is available for this rain-or-shine venue.

Tickets to all events are available at the box office and all Ticketmaster outlets, which include all Hecht's stores and Tower Record stores. To charge by phone, call 703-573-7328. Call 703-754-1288 or check out <a href="" target=”_blank”></a> for box office hours.

<i>Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts

1645 Trap Road



Wolftrap features daily concerts during the summer. Over the next several months, Seal, Indigo Girls, Gipsy Kings, ABBA, Elvis Costello, Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Steve Miller Band are a handful of acts gracing the stages at this indoor venue. Wolftrap will also play host to Riverdance and other performance-based acts.

For ticket information, call 703-255-1868 or go online to <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

<i>The State Theatre

220 N. Washington St.

Falls Church


Built in 1936, the State Theatre acted as a movie house until the 1980s. Now serving audiences of live music, the theatre is a half-seated, half-standing room venue with seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seating is not guaranteed. The main-floor auditorium seats 160, while the balcony consists of 200 theatre-style seats. The theatre also features a full service restaurant for patrons; tables may be reserved.

The ticket booth is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday-Friday and noon to 11:30 p.m. on all show nights. Check out <a href="" target=”_blank”></a> for more information.

<i>The Birchmere

3701 Mount Vernon Ave.

Alexandria, Va. 22305


Many musical acts have found their way to this cozy, indoor (all-seated) listening hall. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dave Matthews, Vince Gill, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and k.d. Lang are just a few of the artists counted as friends of the Birchmere.

Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or in advance at The box office from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., on performance night. More information can be found online at <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

<i>DAR Constitution Hall

1776 D St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20006


Annually, more than 600,000 people visit Constitution Hall, D.C's largest concert hall. Owned by National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, the hall was originally built in 1929 and has played host to big acts such as U2, Aerosmith, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen, as well as classical performers like the National Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Tickets for concerts are only sold through Ticketmaster at 202-397-SEAT or <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

<i>The Black Cat

1811 14th St. NW

Washington, D.C.


The Black Cat features local, national and international independent and alternative music. Tickets for "mainstage" shows — performed in a 7,000 square-foot arena —are available in advance at the box office from 8 p.m. until midnight or through Ticketmaster at 202-397-SEAT or <a href="" target=”_blank”></a>.

Tickets for "backstage" shows are available at the door only. The backstage is located downstairs next to the Red Room Bar and fits about 150 patrons for an intimate, coffee-house feel.

<i>Nightclub 9:30

815 V St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20001



Located two blocks from the Cardozo Station stop on Metro, Nightclub 9:30 is a quaint concert spot, one which attracts a myriad of musical talent such as Frank Black, the Killers, Sheryl Crow, the Smashing Pumpkins, John Fogarty, the Reverend Al Green, Sarah McLaughlin, David Grey and Better Than Ezra.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for concerts Monday-Thursday and 9:00 p.m. for concerts Friday-Sunday. The club offers an upstairs and downstairs section with bars located in each. While there is no reserved seating, it is available upstairs on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Ticket prices typically range from $10-$35 and are available at the box office and online (<a href="" target=”_blank”></a>).

<i>Verizon Center

601 F St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20004


The site of the area's largest indoor concerts, Verizon will be lending its stages in the coming months to various top-name acts, including Elton John, U2, the Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, Destiny's Child and Paul McCartney.

Seating upwards of 20,000, Verizon is also the host of the NBA's Washington Wizards, the WNBA's Washington Mystics and the NHL's Washington Capitals. It is accessible via Metro on the red line (Gallery Place/Chinatown). Go online to <a href="" target=”_blank”></a> for more information.

<i>Merriweather Post Pavilion

10475 Little Patuxent Parkway

Columbia, Md. 21044


Located in the Baltimore/Washington corridor off Route 29, Merriweather typically features quality outdoor and a friendly crowd. Pearl Jam, Cake, Sarah McLaughlin, the Killers are listed among past performers, while Green Day, Jack Johnson, the White Stripes, Oasis and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be performing this summer.

Both pavilion and lawn seating is available. For tickets, call 703-573-SEAT or go online to <a href="" target=”_blank”>www.</a>.