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Pursuing the Perfect Weekend

City of Fairfax offers many activities for visitors and longtime residents alike.

In order to escape from the everyday stresses of modern life, residents of the City of Fairfax need hardly leave their hometown. Fairfax offers opportunities to explore nature, travel back in time and entertain children of all ages. Here’s a suggested schedule of activities for those looking to enjoy a perfect Fairfax weekend.

Friday, 1 p.m.

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

From pre-Revolutionary days, through the Civil War and beyond, the City of Fairfax is steeped in history. So, the best place to begin the perfect Fairfax weekend is by exploring the city’s rich history at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center.

The museum, located on Main Street, is home to displays on the City of Fairfax and its surrounding areas. “The museum tells the story of Fairfax from the time of Native Americans to the 21st century,” said Susan Gray, curator and visitor services manager.

“We hear from people who come in and have lived here forever and never been here before,” said Cami St. Germain, historic resources specialist. St. “People don’t realize what rich history we have.”

The Visitor Center, attached to the Museum, is a state visitor center with local, regional and statewide tourist information that includes maps and brochures. Over 400 years of history are packed into the museum’s walls with exhibits that are either rotating or semi-permanent. The current long-term exhibit is called “Housing Suburbia” and details information on post-World War II housing. The temporary exhibits change every one to two years. Those exhibits are chosen by the interest of the visitors, staff and what kind of artifacts the museum can get a hold of, Gray said.

The museum also organizes a walking tour through the historic City of Fairfax, sponsored by the Office of Historic Resources. They are conducted seasonally, $5 for adults and $3 for children. The tours are themed, such as women’s history sites and will be based on mainly one historic building or place, Gray said.

The Museum and Visitor Center is located at 10209 Main St. They are free and open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 703-385-8414 or visit http://www.fairfaxva.gov/MuseumVC/MVC.asp.

Friday, 3 p.m.

Fairfax Surf Shop

Boarders unite. The Fairfax Surf Shop is a store dedicated to selling surf boards, skate boards and snow boards. In addition to the boards, it sells, head to toe, all the apparel needed for whichever activity as well as trendy everyday clothing. The shop is seasonally managed. In the summer it is in skate and surf mode but during the winter it is a complete snowboard shop, Manager Joe Nielsen said.

“The store has a lot of good brand names,” said Greg Jacobsen, a frequent customer.

“It has really friendly people also,” said customer Scott Krieger. The shop also makes repairs to the boards they sell.

On June 21-23, 2007, the Surf Shop sponsored the first ever SkateFest Fairfax at Van Dyke Park on Old Lee Highway. The money made at the skate festival went to Children’s Hospital, Nielsen said. They are hoping to have the festival every year from now on.

After the skate day, the Surf Shop formed an eight-member skate team. The team goes to any contests in the area to compete and skates at parks and on roads while passing out Surf Shop stickers. Although the team is set with eight people right now, the shop always accepts “Sponsor Me” videos that are five to 10 minute videos of the person showing their skating skills.

The Fairfax Surf Shop is located at 3936 Old Lee Highway. For more information call 703-273-0015 or visit www.fairfaxsurfshop.com.

Friday, 4 p.m.

Van Dyke Park

After buying your skate gear at Fairfax Surf Shop, head over to Van Dyke Park to test your skills.

Amid a city of traffic and buildings, Van Dyke Park is a calming atmosphere for a break of city life. The city-owned park offers a lighted basketball court, lengthy exercise trail, multipurpose play areas, picnic shelters, playground equipment, lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball court and a skate park. The park also has the ability to host birthday parties and other celebrations.

The park includes many fields for pick-up games of soccer, football and other sports. "We have a co-ed soccer team that meets here every weekend," Andre Coles said. "We came here after we got kicked off the George Mason field."

Another perk to the park is the play areas for children already include toys, which makes the trek to the play area for parents with small children must easier. "My kids like the sand box area," said Ibis Rivera, of her two children Andres, 3, and Deanna, 1 1/2. "They already have toys here so we don't have to bring anything."

The skatepark is a popular place among Fairfax residents who want a safe place to skateboard, instead of on the streets. Charles Robinson enjoys brining his son Cyrus, 7, to the park. "It's close to home and he likes the skatepark," Robinson said.

The park is also home to the Fairfax County's Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Van Dyke Park is located at 3730 Old Lee Highway. It is open from dawn to dusk. For more information or to request to reserve a pavilion at the park call the Fairfax City Parks and Recreation at 703-385-7858 or visit their Web site at http://www.fairfaxva.gov/ParksRec/ParksRec.asp.

Friday, 4 p.m.

Daniels Run Park

Across the street from Van Dyke Park, and located behind Daniels Run Elementary School, Daniels Run Park is a more private and quiet recreational area. The elementary school includes a playground, practice soccer fields and softball fields. The park itself includes bike, hike and jog trail, picnic shelter and small tot lot.

Daniels Run Park is located at 9800 Barlow Road. Open dawn to dusk. For more information call the Fairfax City Parks and Recreation at 703-385-7858 or visit http://www.fairfaxva.gov/ParksRec/ParksRec.asp.

Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Play Bingo

Spell B-I-N-G-O and win $1,000. The Fairfax Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) hosts a smoke-free bingo tournament every Friday night at Fire Station 3. The tournament consists of three parts with two intermissions, giving those who want to smoke a chance to go outside, said Joe Mellender, president of the Volunteer Fire Department.

Persons who want to play must buy the pack of six-cards for $18-$20. They can purchase extra games for $1 a piece. The Winner Takes All board is $3 per sheet. Players have the opportunity to win up to $1,000 in a single night. If more than one person wins per game, the money is divided among them.

The machine that pulls the bingo ball is completely computerized. For the players’ convenience, the Fairfax VFD has screens in the front so players can see the line of numbers. They also have television screens in each corner and a video camera that catches the number on the ball before the “caller” to grab it to ensure fairness. “It’s easier if they have some knowledge of bingo before they come, but we always have someone here to give them a crash course,” Mellender said.

In addition to bingo, an Auxiliary sells food, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, candy, ice cream and much more at each tournament, said Auxiliary Vice President Peggy McElhinney. Coffee is free. The money made by the Auxiliary and from the bingo boards helps to purchase fire and rescue equipment.

Bingo begins every Friday at 7:15 p.m., at Station 3, 4081 University Drive in Fairfax. After 8 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., new players are not allowed to enter. Players aged 12 to 16 must play with a paying adult. The hall has a capacity of around 250 people. For more information and official bingo rules call 703-273-3638 or visit http://fairfaxvfd.com/.

Friday, 10 p.m.

The Auld Shebeen

Finish the evening with a late night dinner or drink and a round of Irish music at The Auld Shebeen. The restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy Irish cuisine and atmosphere without ever needing a passport. Owned by three Irish friends, The Auld Shebeen, which also means “The Old Speakeasy,” transports customers back to Ireland with their decorations and music, said one of the owners, Mick Boyle.

The traditional Irish pub and restaurant has been open in Fairfax City for 2 1/2 years. Every Friday night, live music plays in the Cellar, beginning at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover charge. On Saturday, a traditional Irish session is offered from 12-2 p.m. and the nights include a dance party with DJ Ruben in the cellar with no cover charge. It features live traditional Irish music every Friday and Saturday evening from 7-9.30 p.m. in the restaurant. The bands vary from The Flying Cows of Ventry, Brendan Sheridan, Tom Stringer and many more, all playing traditional Irish music. On Sundays, an acoustic session is offered from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with local solo and small group musicians.

“I started coming here with my friends because there was always a good atmosphere,” said Rob Oakes, a waiter at the restaurant. “And I could put whatever music I wanted on the jukebox.” In addition to the live music, the Cellar, a room in the basement of the restaurant, offers Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments and karaoke. The bar also includes two plasma TV’s and is set on sports channels.

The cuisine includes Irish-themed steaks and salads. On Mondays, the restaurant offers half price on all Irish fare from 4-10 p.m. The restaurant offers a lunch, dinner and student menu. In addition, there is a late-night and party buffet menu. The restaurant is a popular place for families and the bar popular among college students and adults.

“You can get a good pint of Guinness here,” Dave Kerr, from Ireland, said. “It’s owned by three great Irish guys, and they do a really good job.”

The Auld Shebeen is located at 3971 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax and is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Sunday brunches are coming soon. For more information on the restaurant, events or planning a private party call 703-293-9600 or visit www.theauldshebeenva.com.

Saturday, 8 a.m.

Havabite Eatery

Start the day with a hardy breakfast at a downtown favorite. The white siding on the front and the warm red furniture inside of the Havabite Eatery in the heart of Fairfax City creates an inviting environment for visitors. “We have many passersby come in who are just visiting the city,” said Poppy Tsaderakis owner of the restaurant. Opened in 1978, the Eatery, bought by Tsaderakis 4 1/2 ago from the previous owners, offers a menu with Greek and Italian style food. The lunch specials consist of a sandwich with French fries or meal with garlic bread. The dinner specials contain a meal with garlic bread and a house salad.

The interior of the family oriented restaurant is decorated with thought to the foreign themes of the food. “People keep coming back because of the food and the atmosphere,” Tsaderakis said. She tells of many customers who come in every week, ordering the same food from waiters, many from the same family, recognizing their faces and their orders.

In addition to visitors to Fairfax City, scores of judges and lawyers dine here because of the close proximity to the courthouse. In the summertime, the restaurant adds tables and chairs to a patio next door for patrons to enjoy the weather and the large plates of colorful food at the same time.

Customers can enjoy a variety of meals, all made from scratch at the restaurants. “Our restaurant is one of the only ones in this area who is family oriented and makes homemade food,” Tsaderakis said. Some of the most popular meals include the Greek Salad, gyros, lasagna, spaghetti and the steak and cheese sub sandwich.

The Havabite Eatery is located at 10416 Main St. in Fairfax. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Eatery is open Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is closed on Sunday. The Eatery also features a carryout menu. All catering menu items require 48-hour notice. For more about the restaurant, reservations or catering questions call 703-591-2244 or visit www.havabite.com/index.html.

Saturday, 9 a.m.

Downtown Coalition Farmer’s Market

Work off some of that breakfast by walking over to the Downtown Coalition Farmer’s Market, located in the courthouse parking lot on Main Street.

Every Saturday morning, the DFC, a nonprofit organization that works to revitalize the historic downtown Fairfax, sponsors the weekly market. “We are not a traditional market,” said Brenda Snyder, the market organizer.

The market includes vendors that sell everything from fruits and vegetables to plants, bakery items, fresh-squeezed orange juice, antiques, original paintings and jewelry. The market also opens its doors to arts and crafts by local artists. In addition, the market occasionally has a South American musician come who plays the flute, which becomes very appealing to children. “We are a community market,” Snyder said.

The Farmer’s Market consists of just over 25 vendors. The vendors are charged a fee for the season by the DFC, but are then allowed to keep all the profit from what they sell at the market. The fee charged to the vendors and put into the DFC to support Fairfax. Some new vendors include a Hawaiian skin care company, an Argentinean chorizo company, which grills the chorizos right in front of the customer, and a Honduran coffee company.

The Downtown Fairfax Coalition Farmer’s Market is open Saturday from early May to late October, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is located at 10500 Main St. in Fairfax, between the Historic Fairfax County Court House and Wachovia Bank, For more information visit www.geocities.com/communitymkt/index.html.

<ro>Farmer’s Market

<lst>The Fairfax County Farmers Market is open every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Van Dyke Park, 3730 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax. The market is open May 1 to Oct. 30. For more, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farm-mkt.htm or call 703-642-0128.

<bt>Saturday, 10 a.m.

The Virginia Room

In the Virginia Room, located on the top floor of the Fairfax City Regional Library, amateur historians will find a large collection of historical and genealogical information on Fairfax County. Resources in the room include periodicals, court records, deeds, wills, birth certificates and more. The room also includes a historic newspaper index on its Web site with newspapers such as the Fairfax Herald and Fairfax City Times and visitors can read the newspapers on microfilms.

A Virginia Room librarian is always present to help, though calling ahead with special requests is always a good idea, said Suzanne Levy, Virginia Room librarian. The room’s extensive Civil War collection includes information on the Confederacy with a collection of Confederate service records.

The information found in the Virginia Room is likely to be understood by people from fourth grade and above. For younger children, Virginia Room librarians work with the librarians in the main floors of the library to make sure the child is getting the right information.

The Virginia Room is located on the top floor of the Fairfax City Regional Library, located at 3915 Chain Bridge Road. In the coming months the Virginia Room, and the library, are moving from Chain Bridge Road to the corner of Lee Highway and North Street. Updates may be checked either on the Web site or by calling the room. The Virginia Room hours are Sunday from 12-6 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 703-293-6383 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/vr/.

<ro>Dining

<lst>The City of Fairfax offers a wide range of dining choices. Here are just a few places to enjoy lunch or dinner in the Fairfax area.

* Coyote Grille, located at 10266 Main St. in Fairfax. Southwestern cuisine. Open daily at 11 a.m. For more information call 703-591-0006 or visit www.coyotegrille.com.

* King Kabob, located at 10250 Main St. in Fairfax. For more information call 703-359-8231.

* Thailand Thai Cuisine, 9650 Main St. in Fair City Mall. For more information call 703-764-1114.

<bt>Saturday, 1 p.m.

Fairfax Art League Gallery

For all the budding Fairfax artists, the Fairfax Art League Gallery is a place to show and see pieces of art. Created in 1986, the Gallery is located on the second floor of the Old Town Hall in downtown Fairfax and displays art from a number of artists in different media, such as oil, acrylics, photography and more, said Carol Caputo, president of the Fairfax Art League.

A major draw of the gallery is that it is a, “beautiful gallery in an old historic building,” Caputo said. It gives people walking around in the center of the city an opportunity to view art. The variety of work on display makes it an interesting gallery. The majority of the artwork displayed at the Gallery is available for purchase at the Gallery itself. The exhibits change once a month and spotlight different artists who are either beginning their artistic journey or professionals, making a living from their art.

The Gallery includes a membership program with monthly meetings on the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m. “Each meeting includes a short business session, refreshments and a demonstration by an accomplished professional in some phase of the visual arts,” Caputo said.

The membership fee is $30 a year but the Gallery offers a few free opportunities to decide whether this is something that really does interest you, as a patron. In addition to the demonstrations, members of the Art Gallery can display and sell their artwork at the Gallery with the featured artists.

The Fairfax Art League Gallery is located at on the second floor of Old Town Hall at 3999 University Drive in Fairfax. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional exhibits are on display at the Enterprise Center, located at 4031 University Drive, Fairfax during business hours. The meetings occur at the Green Acres Center at 4401 Sideburn Road in Fairfax. For more, call 703-352-ARTS, then press 6, call Caputo at 703-273-1277 or visit www.fairfaxartleague.com/gallery/gallery.html. Volunteers are always needed and welcome.

Saturday, 3 p.m.

Paint Your Own Pottery

After taking in other people’s art, it’s time to create some of your own.

On the busy traffic of Main Street, walking into Paint Your Own Pottery creates a calming sensation. Owner Susanna Ekvall, originally from Italy, opened the store in 1996 for people to come in paint their own piece of art and enjoy themselves. “It’s beautiful to be able to create something personal for a gift,” she said. Ekvall tells how proud she is to be able to be a part of the important events in a person’s life. Many customers come with their newborn baby and record their footprint on a plate with paint.

The store is open for walk-ins, birthday parties, wedding showers and any event that can be celebrated. “My daughter, Deena, asked to have her birthday party here because she had painted pottery before through other birthday parties and camp,” said customer Sharon Dubrow. “The kids were all so happy with the results.” For parties of eight or more, the store will reopen after hours, with reservations. Customers can bring their own food and drinks and enjoy a night of painting and conversation. For people without a reservation, the price is $7 per person plus the price of the piece of pottery. This price also includes the glazing and firing of the pieces. “You leave with a piece that is going to stay with you for a lifetime,” Ekvall said. The store is also starting to offer classes in mosaics and beading.

Paint Your Own Pottery is located at 10417 Main St. in downtown Fairfax. It is open Monday, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. No reservations are required for groups of four or few Monday through Friday. Reservations are recommended for Saturday, Sunday, holidays or teacher’s days. For more information on prices, classes and parties call 703-218-2881 or visit www.trulyyourpottery.com.

Saturday, 4 p.m.

Woody’s Ice Cream

It’s time to cool off after a hot day of painting by visiting Woody’s Ice Cream. Opened in 1998 by Woody Lashly, the ice cream shop is a favorite among Fairfax residents. “It’s a good country feel when people come,” Lashly said. “It makes people feel like they are going back in time.”

The ice cream stand is located right off Main Street. Lines form up the street early in the day by customers waiting to get a taste. The menu includes ice cream in a cone or cup, in flavors chocolate, vanilla and twist. Customers can also pick from a dip to sprinkles. In addition, there are root bear floats and sundaes, all for a good price.

Lashly, who retired from the automobile business and opened the shop, has a goal to made the best product money can buy. “It is so close to home and it’s yummy,” Jennifer Konchar said as she fed her daughter Bella ice cream. Konchar also said she appreciates the friendliness of the Woody’s staff. Lashly wanted to make a shop that would be enjoyed by someone from 1 to 100 years old. “It’s the people of Fairfax that make this place so successful,” Lashly said. Lashly said he has looked at expanding the shop but has no plans yet.

The ice cream shop is located at 4005 Stonewall Ave. in Fairfax and is open Monday through Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. For more information call 703-273-8977.

Saturday, 7 p.m.

Historic Fairfax City Walking Tours

On Saturday evenings, Historic Fairfax City sponsors a walking tour that begins at the Sweet Life Café at 3950 Chain Bridge Road, weather permitting.

“Fairfax City has quite a few buildings that are historic,” said Karen Stevenson, president of Historic Fairfax City. “The Court House is pretty unique in the fact that it is as old as it is and has so much history behind it.” Tours begin at 7 p.m. every Saturday through October. The cost is $5 per person or $15 per family. Call about group rate information. All the tours are led by docents from Historic Fairfax City. To make a reservation call the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center at 703-385-8414 or Sweet Life Café at 703-385-5433. For more information visit www.fairfaxva.gov/MuseumVC/WalkingTours.asp.

Saturday, 8 p.m.

Cinema Arts Theater

Independent movie watchers unite at Cinema Arts Theater in Fair City Mall in Fairfax. Cinema Arts prides itself on showing “independent films that you can’t see anywhere else,” said Chris Colson, a manager for 5 1/2 years. In addition to the independent films, the theater offers inexpensive tickets and special deals. Before 11 a.m., all tickets are $5. Matinees, before 6 p.m., tickets are $6.50. In the evening, the price goes up to $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for seniors (60 and up), children (12 and under) and college students with valid current I.D. On Wednesdays, seniors pay only $3 all day. The theater includes a concession stand with typical movie food as well as smoothies and gourmet sandwiches.

On top of the inexpensive ticket prices, the theater offers bonus cards, in which every dollar spent earns rewards. Avid movie goers can join the film club that meets on selected Sundays at 10 a.m. for the purpose of screening and critiquing independent or foreign films not yet in release in this area. To join the club, a six-film series packet must be bought. Those interested may call the box office at 703-978-6853 or come by the theater.

Theater owner Mark O’Meara sits in the theater on Saturday nights during previews and asks the audience which films they would be interested in seeing. O’Meara said that customer feedback is important. “People like the atmosphere at Cinema Arts,” O’Meara said. “It is homey and feels older.”

The theater also plays host to the annual Jewish Film Festival.

The Cinema Arts Theater is located at 9650 Main St., in Fair City Mall. The movie schedule can be found by either calling 703-978-6991 or going online to www.cinemaartstheatre.com. Tickets can be bought online and directions can be found on the Web site.

Saturday, Midnight

University Mall Theater

Midnight’s the right time to do the Time Warp.

University Mall Theaters, a second-run movie theater, shows the blockbuster movies from the big theaters when they are no longer showing them, and before the movies come out on DVD. The theater, owned by Mark O’Meara, same owner as the Cinema Arts Theater, is an inexpensive alternative to the bigger theaters, as long as you are willing to wait to see the movie. Adult ticket prices are $4 and children (under 14), seniors (over 60) and students (with a valid GMU I.D.) are $3. With the lower ticket prices and the significantly lower food prices, the University Mall Theater is a favorite among Fairfax residents.

“People feel like it’s a neighborhood theater,” O’Meara said.

The theater also offers many specials to entice customers. Tuesday’s are called “Two Buck Tuesdays” with tickets all day costing only $2. Every Saturday night the theater shows “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which is rated R, at midnight. The theater also has a “Six Dollar Deal” in which any group of 15 or more, if they are purchasing their tickets together, can get a ticket, small popcorn and a small drink, normally around $10.50, for $6. This deal can facilitate having birthday parties, school trips, corporate events or any special occasions at the theater. During the summer, the theater offers a summertime cinema camp Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. only and shows a variety of G and PG rated movies.

University Mall Theater is located at 10659 Braddock Road in Fairfax. For more information on the film club or movie schedule call 703-273-0876 or visit www.universitymalltheaters.com.

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Oak Marr Miniature Golf Course

A fun time for people of all ages, the Oak Marr Miniature Golf Course is a good way to start the day or play a competitive game of miniature golf with some friends. For adults, a game, including a golf club and a colorful ball, is $5 and the group rate is $4 per person. Juniors and seniors play for $4, with a group rate of $3 per person. After-hours rentals are $75. The course is open until Labor Day daily from 10:00 a.m. to dusk. From Sept. 4 until the end of October the course is open weekends from 10 a.m. to dusk and Fridays from 4 p.m. until dusk.

The course is located at 3200 Jermantown Road in Oakton. For more information call 703-281-6501 or visit the Web site at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/minigolf/.

Sunday, 12 Noon

Take a Dip

The Fairfax area is home to numerous pools for residents to jump in and cool off from the summer heat. Here are profiles of three pools and the names and numbers of other pools in the area.

The Fairfax swimming pool is located on Roberts Road. To swim there you must be a member or have a guest pass with a member. To become a member stop by the pool to pick up a membership form. The pool includes a main pool with two 1-meter diving boards, a baby pool with a mushroom that sprays water, a snack bar and a basketball area. The pool also has a swim and dive team, said Manager Kelly Henderson. Fairfax swimming pool is located at 4200 Roberts Road. For more information call 703-691-8166.

The Mantua Swim and Tennis Club is another pool in which only members are allowed to swim. Currently, there is a waiting list to become a member but some members rent out their membership to others, said Manager Daniel Callahan. The pool includes two diving boards, a baby pool, 25-meter lap pool, volleyball court and tennis courts. The pool also has a swim and dive team. A perk to Mantua Swim and Tennis Club is the clubhouse on top of the office that can hold birthday parties and other celebrations.

Mantua Swim and Tennis Club is located at 9330 Pentland Plaza in the Mantua neighborhood. For the pools hours and more information call the office at 703-273-5363.

Mosby Woods Pool is open to residents anywhere in Fairfax. The pool includes a main pool, baby pool, playing fields and picnic tables. Birthday parties and other celebrations can also occur at the pool, Manager Emily Kuehn said.

Mosby Woods pool is located at 3136 Plantation Parkway. For more information on the pool call 703-691-9536 or visit their Web site at www.mosbywoodspool.com/.

Unlike many other pools in the area, Oak Marr Rec Center offers a day to day pass to the Olympic sized indoor heated pool. The pool includes one and three meter springboards, three and five meter platforms, a wading area and an outdoor deck. Other facilities offered are locker rooms, a sauna and family changing area.

On the weekends Oak Marr opens the diving boards and attaches an inflatable slide. Lifeguards administer an ability test to all swimmers. Everyone must be able to swim the length of the pool, 25 yards, in deep water. Check the pool calendar online or at the Rec Center for specific weekend activity times. Classes are also available at the pool.

The Oak Marr Rec Center is located at 3200 Jermantown Road in Oakton. The pool is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A daily pass for an adult is $6.50 and for a youth, senior (61 years and older) or student with a valid ID is $5.25. A family pass, which includes one or two adults and up to three children (total of four) is $14.00. Oak Marr also offers unlimited passes. Fees, calendar activities, classes and more information can be found on the Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/omrec.htm or by calling 703-281-6501.

Other pools in the area include:

Country Club Hills Pool. 3622 Old Post Road. Call 703-591-6114 or visit www.cchpool.com/cch.asp for more information.

Rutherford Area Swim Club. 4609 Marley Road. Call 703-978-2068 or visit www.rutherfordcommunity.com/html/rutherford_area_swim_club.html for more information.

Sunday, 12 noon

Bowl America

Bowl America in Fairfax offers a chance to enjoy bowling, food and friends for an inexpensive price, said General Manager Irv Clark. The bowling alley has been in business for 50 years and is a very family oriented company, he said. From Sunday to Thursday, a single game costs $2.49 plus the price of shoes ($3.45) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. games cost $3.09 plus the price of shoes. After 6 p.m. games cost $4.50 plus the price of shoes. Bowl America is available for birthday parties and other celebrations through their Web site [www.bowlingparty.com] or by phone. Those interested should plan on making a reservation a week in advance. Guests are allowed to bring cakes to the alley as long as the party is registered with the company. Bowl America will also provide food such as hamburgers, pizza and nachos, to the party guests for a price. There are five different types of birthday parties that Bowl America offers, and can be explained when a customer calls to inquire. Cosmic bowling, including the disco ball, disc jockey, black lights and more, begins around 10 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. During that time, games are $5 plus the cost of shoes.

Bowl America is located at 9699 Lee Highway in Fairfax. For more information on parties, cosmic bowling and prices call 703-273-7700 or www.bowl-america.com/default.asp.

Sunday, 2 p.m.

Patriot Center

Home of the 2006 Final Four George Mason University Patriots Basketball Team, the Patriot Center also sells tickets for major name concerts and theater acts. In the past, the center has had the Ringing Brothers, Sesame Street and Disney on Ice. The concerts range from country and Hispanic music to rock’n’roll and classical music. “Anything that can go into the building, we will bring in,” Barry Geisler, general manager said. This includes bridal shows and high school graduations.

Some of the upcoming concerts at the Center include Michael Buble on Aug. 11, The Cure on Sep. 19 and Disney’s High School Musical Tour from Oct. 19-21.

The Patriot Center is located at 4500 Patriot Circle. For the schedule of performances, information on tickets and anything else visit http://www.patriotcenter.com/.

Sunday, 6 p.m.

GMU Center for the Arts

A chance to dress up for a nice night out and a performance is never too far away with the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax. Michael Kelleher, lead ticket seller at the Center for the Arts box office said that the performances range from classical and contemporary works to operas, theater performances and concerts. In the past, the Center for the Arts featured performances by the Virginia Opera and the Four Top

Ticket prices depend on the performance but buying group tickets has its advantages. If more than 10 tickets are purchased then there is a 10 percent discount. Between 20 and 29 tickets, there is a 15 percent discount and 50 or more tickets, there is a 20 percent discount. Another possibility for specials is the subscriptions, Kelleher said. If a subscription for four performances is bought then there is a 10 percent discount, a subscription for six to nine performances, a 15 percent discount and 10 or more performances a 20 percent discount. All the subscriptions must be bought at the same time, but the Center for the Arts gives the opportunity to exchange tickets.

The Center for the Arts is located at George Mason University, 4400 University Drive. Tickets are available at the box office, open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or in the summer Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone at 888-945-2468, which is open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. or online through the tickets.com Web site, or by browsing our online calendar and clicking the "Buy Tickets" button. For more information on the Center, for a schedule or ticket prices call 703-993-8888 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa//.