0
Votes

Adventures

Go on the Attack

<lst>AG Paintball Games

20136 Gant Lane

Leesburg, VA 21075

Field: 703-771-3965 Office: 301-417-0137

<bt> For more information on paintball, check out www.agpaintballgames.com.

<ro>Get Lost

<lst>Corn MAiZE

15789 Temple Hall Lane

Leesburg, VA 20176

703-779-9372

<bt>This corn maze at Temple Hall Farm Regional Park encompasses 11 acres of land and challenges the minds of explorers to find the one exit. It usually takes people between 40 minutes and an hour to make their way through the 10-foot high walls of corn. It is part of the fall festival, from Sept. 8-Oct. 29.

Go to www.nvrpa.org and click on the link to Temple Hall to find out maze schedules, hours of operation and prices.

<ro>Get a Bird's-Eye View

<lst>Balloons Unlimited

41153 John Mosby Hwy

Aldie, VA 20150

703-327-0444

<bt>Its home office in Aldie, Balloons Unlimited offers ballooning in Middleburg — at Flying Horse Farm — and in the Shenandoah Valley. Flights are scheduled twice a day, every day, all year round. The price for adults in $200 per person. Children under 16 are $100 when accompanied by an adult. Hours are 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m. for the summer. Reservations made a couple weeks in advance are recommended.

<ro>Take Flight

<lst>AV-ED Flight School

Leesburg Executive Airport

1001 Sycolin Road, S.E.

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-777-9252

<bt>Believe you can fly? Take a discovery flight at the Leesburg Executive Airport to see if flying is for you. Discovery flights last 30 minutes and cost between $50 and $70, depending on the type of plane. If you like it, enroll in flight training lessons, approximately $179 an hour. The Leesburg Executive Airport also offers courses for experienced pilots, including a GPS seminar, Multiengine basics and Commercial Knowledge Test Prep.

box2:

<hdr30>Concerts

<ro>Savor the Sweet Sounds

<lst>Tarara Winery's Sounds of Summer

13648 Tarara Lane

Leesburg, VA 20176

703-771-7100

<bt>This summer concert series is hosted by one of the wineries in the area and runs from early July to

mid-September. Concerts are held Saturday evenings, from 6-9:30 p.m., rain or shine. Picnics, prizes and vacation give-aways are also part of the fun. The price for adults is $10, while children under 12 get in free. Tickets are available at the winery or online at www.tarara.com. Complimentary shuttle service is also available.

<ro>Enjoy the Music

<lst>Bluemont Concert Series

P.O. Box 521

Purceville, VA 20134

540-338-4640

<bt>This private, nonprofit corporation has arranged more than 5,000 events for Northwest and Central Virginia for more than 25 years. Performances have been held in 68 different communities, offering a selection of music — including, but not limited to — jazz, bluegrass, rock, rhythm and blues, folk, and African dance.

Bluemont events have taken place on courthouse lawns and in public squares, as well as school assemblies and hospitals. While many people bring picnics to enjoy during the show, this family-friendly corporation prohibits smoking and the consumption of alcohol.

Concert schedules can be found at www.bluemont.org.

<ro>Dance on the Lawn

<lst>Loudoun Summer Music Fest

Loudon Foundation

41834 Bristow Manor Drive

Leesburg, VA 20175

<bt>This concert series is put on by The Loudoun Foundation — a nonprofit organization that raises money for Loudoun charities and after-school programs. Attending the concert is an easy way to meet new people, dance by the stage, or simply relax and enjoy the music.

Tickets are $15 at the gate or $12.50 online and if purchased at Manhattan Pizza in Ashburn, Kirkpatrick's Irish Pub in Ashburn or Loudoun Motorsports in Leesburg. Children under 12 can attend the concerts for free if they come with an adult. The gates open at 5 p.m. with the headliner on stage by 7 p.m.

Schedules can be found at www.liveatbelmont.com.

<ro>Go Unplugged

<lst>Acoustic on the Green

<25 W. Market St.

Leesburg, VA 20178

703-737-7084

<bt>Now in its third year, this annual summer concert series offers residents the chance to listen to a variety of acoustic music every Saturday, from 7-9 p.m. Held on the green of Leesburg's Town Hall, each of these free concerts features acoustic solo, duo or trio performers in classic rock, blues, pop and bluegrass. Series creators Stilson Greene and Pat McKinney raise money each year to present the series to the public. So come out, bring your family, a blanket and enjoy the show.

For more information and the concert schedule visit www.leesburgva.com

<ro>Listen to the Classics

<lst>Loudoun Symphony

P.O. Box 4478

Leesburg, VA 20177

703-771-8287

<bt>No need to travel to Washington, D.C., to hear a symphony perform, the Loudoun Symphony holds a season every year between October and May. Season tickets are $55 if purchased before Oct. 1 and $60 after that date. All performances are held at local high schools where audiences will be treated to music from Beethoven to Gershwin. In addition to the regular season, the symphony holds a fund-raising gala every June and a connoisseurs' concert in November, both of which are open to the public. For more information visit www.loudounsymphony.org

<ro>Let Imagination Take Flight

<lst>National Air and Space Museum

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway

Chantilly, VA 20151

202-633-1000

<bt>Located minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center opened in December 2003 and is the companion facility to the Smithsonian Institution's museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Among the planes on display are the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird — the fastest jet in the world — and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay. The centerpiece of the museum's space hangar is the space shuttle Enterprise.

The center also offers an IMAX Theater, flight simulators, food service, a museum store, free tours, daily educational programs and school group tours and activities.

The center is open daily, from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The price to park at the facility is $12. Admission is free. Visit the center online, www.nasm.si.edu/museum/udvarhazy.

<ro>Follow the Grapevine

<lst>Loudoun Wine Trail

Loudoun County Department of Economic Development

1 Harrison St., SE, MSC #63

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-777-0426

<bt>These easily-accessible wineries are the primary producers of vinifera and New World grape wines. Families gather here for afternoon lunches and friends spend the day visiting with one another. It is a great place to relax, taste the award-winning wines and take in Loudoun's reputation as being "Wine Country."

For a list of special events, visit www.loudounfarms.org.

The 12 different wineries include Breaux Vineyards, Chrysalis Vineyards, Hidden Brook Winery, Hillsborough Vineyards, Lost Creek Winery, Loudoun Valley Vineyards, Swedenburg Estate Vineyards, Tarara Winery, Village Winery, Waterford Vineyards, Willowcroft Farm Vineyards and Windham Winery.

<ro>Make Friends with a Squirrel Monkey

<lst>Leesburg Animal Park

19270 James Monroe Highway

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-433-0002

<bt>This park offers spectators a chance to get up-close and personal with a variety of resident animals, including giant tortoises, squirrel monkeys, boa constrictors and llamas. From the exotic to the everyday, the park is home to a plethora of animal friends.

During the summer, the park is open Tuesdays-Thursdays, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and Fridays-Sundays, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The price is $9.95 for adults and $7.95 for children 2-12 and seniors over 55; children under 2 are free.

Ride passes, $12, and pony rides, $3, are also available.

For a list of animals at the park, check out www.leesburganimalpark.com.

<ro>Go Back in Time

<lst>Oatlands

20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-777-3174

<bt>This national historic landmark saw its genesis in 1804 and is centered around a 22-room, Greek revival house that was once the heart of a 3,400-acre plantation. Visitors can stroll through Oatlands' four acres of gardens and grounds, including a greenhouse erected in 1810 — the second oldest greenhouse of its type in the country.

Oatlands is open April through December and offers daily tours and special events. The site is open Mondays-Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children ages 6-16. Admission is $7 for garden and grounds only.

More information can be found online at www.oatlands.org.

<ro>Enjoy a Pint

<lst>Old Dominion Brewery Company

44633 Guilford Drive

Ashburn, VA 20147

703-724-9100

<bt>This small, privately-owned brewery was established in 1989 and serves 31 types of beers — a majority of which are available throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

In 2004, Old Dominion produced more than 26,000 barrels of its beer, which ranges from ales to lagers to stouts and more.

Specialties include an Octoberfest Lager and an Oak Barrel Stout, a brew conditioned in oak bourbon barrels.

In addition to its annual festival in June, the brewery also offers tours Saturdays, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The main pub is also open seven days a week and offers lunch and dinner along with the brew. Visit the Web site, www.olddominion.com.

<ro>Learn Local History

<lst>Loudoun Museum

16 Loudoun St.

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-777-7427

<bt>Loudoun Museum offers a thorough glimpse at the county's history and heritage. From learning about the original 1759 layout of the Town of Leesburg to discovering why Loudoun was divided among Confederate and Union lines during the Civil War to exploring maps, relics and artifacts from the past 200 years and beyond, the museum is a must-see for history buffs and local residents alike.

Guiding walking tours are available and various exhibits are open throughout the year. The museum is open Mondays, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m., and by appointment only Tuesdays.

Visit the Web site, www.loudounmuseum.org.

<ro>Go Milling Around

<lst>Aldie Mill

39401 John Mosby Highway

P.O. Box 322

Aldie, VA 20105

703-327-9777

<bt>At Aldie Mill — a working mill first built in the early 1800s and now owned by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation — the heritage of water-powered mills is preserved.

Demonstration grinding and tours of the site take place on weekend afternoons. Forming the core of the mill's mission is historic research, archaeological investigations, preservation and restoration work and educational programs.

An annual art show and sale is held every June and the mill also participates in the Aldie Harvest Festival, held annually in October.

The mill is open from late April to late October, Sundays, from 12-5 p.m. The Aldie Mill Web site is located at www.aldiemill.org.

<ro>Get Hands On

<lst>The Smithsonian Naturalist Center

741 Miller Drive, S.E.

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-779-9712

<bt>The Naturalist Center — an extension of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. — invites visitors ages 10 and older to view its collection of more than 36,000 objects of natural history, books and scientific equipment. The center features a full range of services, special events and school programs.

Open Tuesdays-Saturdays, the center's hours of operation are 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

<ro>Relive a Civil War Battle

<lst>Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

Ball's Bluff Road

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-737-7800

<bt>The regional park is the site of the Battle of Ball's Bluff, the largest Civil War engagement to take place in the county.

The park includes a one-mile hiking trail and interpretive signs, Ball's Bluff National Cemetery and picnic tables.

Free guided tours on held Saturdays and Sundays, from early May through October, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., while the park itself is open from dawn to dusk throughout the year. In addition, the park is home to a Living History camp, each November.

For more information on Ball's Bluff or other Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority locations or other park programs, go online to www.nvrpa.org

<ro>Take in a Show

<lst>Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center

17501 Franklin Park Drive

Purcellville, VA 20132

540-338-7973

<bt> Ticket prices vary. Performance dates and directions can be found at www.franklinparkartscenter.org.

<ro>Go Antiquing

<lst>Historic Leesburg/Antique Shops

Intersection of Business Route 7/Business Route 15

<bt>The Leesburg Antiques and Collectibles Dealers Association represents more than 120 dealers in the Leesburg area. Member businesses include the Black Shutter Antique Center, Cobblestones Ltd., Greener Pastures Antiques and Collectibles, the Leesburg Antique Emporium and the Leesburg Court of Shoppes. Leesburg's Many business have Web sites online.

For an extensive list of shop names, hours and antique

descriptions, go to www.leesburgantiques.com and follow

the various links. First Friday takes place the first Friday of the month, February through December, 6-9 p.m. Many of the shops offer extended shopping hours and there is live entertainment.

<ro>Experience Early Living

<lst>Waterford Homes Tour/Crafts Exhibit

The Waterford Foundation

P.O. Box 109

Waterford, VA 20197

540-882-3018

<bt>Since 1943, the Waterford Foundation has held this annual autumn fair, which draws artisans and craftsmen from around the country. Along with exhibits, there is also music and dancing, Civil War re-enactments, citizens in historical dress, and food — from apple cider to Loudoun sausage.

Visitors will discover how early furniture, tools and housewives were made and see historic homes and American life 200 years ago.

This year, the fair will be held Oct. 2-4, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets in advance are $13 per person, per day and $15 at the gate. Children under 12 are free.

To visit the Waterford Foundation Web site, go to www.waterfordva-wca.org.

<ro>Celebrate Community

<lst>Sterlingfest

Sterling Community Center

120 Enterprise St.

Sterling, VA 20164

703-406-7749

<bt>This communitywide event involves arts and crafts, vendors, nonprofit organizations, children's marketplace and game area, an open house at the local fire station and two stages of entertainment. Food and treats will also be available.

The event — held this fall Oct. 10, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sterling Community Center — is sponsored by the Sterling Foundation, which will use proceeds for the beautification of the community.

More information on Sterlingfest can be found at www.sterlingfoundation.org.

<ro>Root for the Home Team

<lst>PONY Fastpitch Softball

Lower Loudoun Girls Softball League

P.O. Box 651330

Sterling, VA 20165

703-444-4697

information@llgsl.com

<b>An annual summer event for the past decade, this year's PONY National Tournament will bring 230 travel softball teams into the county, from June 28 to Aug. 4. Play will be in the 14-and-under and 18-and-under age groups and games will be played on 41 different fields throughout Loudoun, including Claude Moore Park and Potomack Lakes Sportsplex in Sterling.

Food, drinks and souvenirs are available for spectators, who can purchase daily or weekly passes for games.

For more information on game schedules, teams and locations, go to the Web site at www.llgsl.com. LLGSL is co-hosting the tournament along with Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

<ro>Find a Bargain

<lst>Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

241 Fort Evans Road, N.E.

Leesburg, VA 20176

703-737-3071

<bt>This conglomeration of 110 outlet stores offers bargain shopping in an outdoor village setting. Stores include Ann Taylor, Nike, Barneys New York Outlet, Burberry, Crate & Barrel, Kenneth Cole, Liz Claiborne, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Williams-Sonoma and much more.

Hours of operation are Mondays-Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

<ro>Tour a Preserve

<lst>Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

21085 The Woods Road

Leesburg, VA. 20175

703-669-0316

<bt>The 700-acre Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve protects plants, animals and various habitats along the rolling hills near Goose Creek. Wetlands, fields, forests, trails and wildlife make a visit to Banshee Reeks well worth it.

The preserve is open on a scheduled basis for groups and to the public, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the third consecutive Saturday and Sunday of every month.

<ro>Experience Country Living

<lst>Lucketts Fair

42361 Lucketts Road

Leesburg, VA 20176

703-771-5281

<bt>The 2005 Lucketts Fair, which runs Aug. 26-27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day is billed as a weekend in the country jam-packed with bluegrass, crafts, antiques, cloggers, a farmyard zoo, hay rides, cakewalks, down-home food and old-fashioned fun for the whole family.

The fair first began in 1972, when the inhabitants of the small village of Lucketts first began putting on an annual fair at the Old Lucketts School — a building erected in the early 1900s.

Admission to the fair is $8 for adults, while children 5 and under are free.

<ro>Go Ghostbusting

<lst>Hauntings 2009

16 Loudoun St.

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-777-7427

<bt>A part of the Loudoun Museum's Halloween program, the Leesburg Hauntings ghost tours run Oct. 23-24. Participants will take tours of 18th- and 19th-century homes and hear tales of colonial residents who haunt historic Loudoun. Tours run every 15 minutes and reservations are strongly recommended. The tour is not appropriate for children under 12.

Admission is $15 presale if tickets are reserved, $20 for adults at the door, and15$ for museum members.

<ro>Family Fun at the Fair

<lst>Loudoun County Fair

Loudoun County Fairgrounds

P.O. Box 4100

Leesburg, VA 20177

703-777-3835

<bt>From barbecue dinner to livestock auctions to side-saddle horse riding to tug-of-war to carnival rides to bingo to a professional rodeo, the Loudoun County Fair is an enjoyable time for all.

The fair will take place this year at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds, from July 26-Aug 1.

A complete list of events can be found at www.loudouncountyfair.com.

<ro>Celebrate the Celtic

<lst>Potomac Celtic Festival

525-K East Market St., No. 295

Leesburg, VA 20176

703-938-9779

<bt>This summer festival features continuous live ethnic music and dance on multiple stages, a craft market, Celtic living history demonstrations, import and specialty vendors, Scottish games, pipe bands, poetry readings and storytelling, authentic Celtic foods, language workshops and much more.

For more information, go to www.potomaccelticfest.org.

<ro>Get Ready for Some Football

<lst>Redskins Park

21300 Redskin Park Drive

Ashburn, VA 20147

703-726-7000, training camp hotline

<bt>Attending a training camp practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn has been a treat available to fans since the team moved its home base to Loudoun.

This summer, specific practices will be open to the public, with Fan Invitations, downloadable from the Web site. The schedule has not been released as yet, but updates are available at www.redskins.com.

Admission and parking is free and fans are permitted to bring coolers, drinks — non-alcoholic — and cameras for still photography. Video cameras are prohibited.

<ro>Catch the Buzz

<lst>Loudoun Beekeepers Association

703-771-2655

<bt>Based in Leesburg, the Loudoun Beekeepers Association offers classes on beekeeping, as well as various member and nonmember functions.

For more information, call LBA president Suzy Jampoler at 703-771-2655 or go to www.loudounbee.org.

<ro>Take a Ride

<lst>Georges Mill Farm Bed and Breakfast

11867 Georges Mill Road

Lovettsville, VA 20180

540-822-5224

<bt>Georges Mill consists of a Civil War-era stone home nestled on a 100-acre farm located in the Short Hill mountains. Enjoy fishing, antique shopping and quiet walks through woodland paths.

Adding to the get-away, bed-and-breakfast feel of Georges Mill, patrons may take guided horseback riding tours at Georges Mill Farm & Stables. Highlights include viewing the gap in the Short Hill mountains where Virginia and Maryland are joined together by the Potomac River.

To set up a tour, call 540-822-4110 or go online to www.georgesmill.com.

<ro>Learn to Farm

<lst>Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum

21668 Heritage Farm Lane

Sterling, VA 20164

703-421-5322

<bt>Located in Sterling's Claude Moore Park, the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting objects, documents and photographs related to agricultural and rural life in historic Loudoun.

Hours of operation are Tuesdays-Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, from 12-5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children 2-12. The museum is also home to a variety of farm animals during the summer and has annual events, such as the Spring Farm Tour and the Agricultural Awareness Day Poster Contest.

More information can be found online at www.loudounfarmmuseum.org.

<ro>See the Sights

<lst>Rust Sanctuary

802 Children's Center Road

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-669-0000

<bt>Rust Sanctuary is an Audubon Naturalist Society sanctuary. The property includes a manor house and 68 acres of land budding with nature trails and picnic tables. In total, the sanctuary protects six kinds of habitats, including wildlife gardens, meadows, hedge rows, mixed hardwood forest, pine plantation and a pond.

Further information on Rust Sanctuary and other local sanctuaries can be found at www.audubonnaturalist.org.

<ro>Hit the Ice

<lst>Ashburn Ice House

21595 Smiths Switch Road

Ashburn, VA 20147

703-858-0300

<bt>For those looking to hit the ice for some skating, the Ashburn Ice House features two professional-sized ice rinks, professional-style locker rooms, a pro shop, state of the art sound and lighting, a mezzanine/viewing lounge and a video arcade. Open public skating, lessons, camps, clinics and hockey sessions are held throughout the year.

Check out www.ashburnice.com for the latest schedule of events and skating hours.

<ro>Collect Some Crafts

<lst>Annual Autumn Arts & Crafts Festival

21544 Old Vestals Gap Road

Sterling, VA 20164

703-444-1275

<bt>This second-year event will be held at Claude Moore Park and the Lanesville Heritage area in Sterling on Sept. 26. It will feature 100 or so crafters selling handmade jewelry, baskets, wood items, candles and more. Tours of the Lanesville House are also being held. Food and live musical entertainment will be provided. Admission is free.

<ro>Become a Green Thumb

<lst>Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival

703-777-1368

<bt>Downtown Leesburg is turned into a botanical paradise as 100 vendors offer landscape displays with designers on hand, fresh flowers, trees, shrubs, garden sculptures, arts and crafts, fountain displays and more.

Food and other entertainment is offered, as are activities for kids. Next year's festival will be, April 17 and 18, 2010. There is a $3 suggested donation.

For more information, go to www.idalee.org.

<ro>Fresh Off the Farm

<lst>Loudoun Farmers Markets

P.O. Box 716

Hamilton, VA 20158

540-454-8089

<bt>The six Farmers Markets in Loudoun County provide and guarantee fresh produce. The men and women that grow and sell these products open their market the first week in May and continue selling through October. Every market offers different events.

The markets are spread across Loudoun County at the following locations: Cascades: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., The Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place; Leesburg: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Virginia Village Shopping Center; Middleburg: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Stonewall Avenue; Purcellville: Thursdays, 4 p.m.-7 p.m., 21st Street; Brambleton: 9 a.m.-1p.m., 42405 Wood Drive; Ashburn: 8a.m.-12p.m., Ryan park Shopping Center.

<ro>For the Young

<lst>Loudoun Youth Fest

1 Harrison St., fifth floor

Leesburg, VA 20175

LYI@loudoun.gov

<bt>Held for the first time this year at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, the Loudoun Youth Fest is planned by teenagers, for teenagers. Designed as a fun way to get important information out teenagers about issues from drunk driving to safe sex to education, this youth festival does it all. This year's event included performances from local dance groups and musicians, an art competition, a rock climbing wall, a sumo wrestling ring and a three-on-three basketball tournament. Plans are underway for next year's event and those involved hope to make the event even bigger and better. Visit www.loudounteens.org for all updated information.

<ro>Take to the Trail

<lst>Washington & Old Dominion Trail

21293 Smiths Switch Road

Ashburn, VA 20147

703-729-0596

<bt>Stretching from Purcellville in the west to Alexandria in the east, the W&OD Trail stretches 45 miles in length and takes the name from the railroad that ran in the area from 1859-1968.

The recreational trail is well-suited for walking, hiking, biking, jogging, inline skating, while equestrians may ride a parallel trail that stretches from Purcellville to Vienna.

For a map, mileage chart and more information on the trail, go to www.wodfriends.org.

<ro>Get Out of Doors

<lst>Algonkian Regional Park

47001 Fairway Drive

Sterling, VA 20165

703-450-4655

<bt>Situated by the Potomac River, Algonkian Regional Park offers a variety of activities for everyone. Families often gather at the park to vacation in a Riverfront Cottage or spend the afternoon at the Downpour Water Park.

The 18-hole, par-72 golf course is a main attraction, as well as the driving range and the miniature golf course. Picnic shelters may be rented for parties or for a lunch in the outdoors. The park includes a two-mile nature trail — which is known to have great birdwatching — and a playground for children.

<ro>Learn from a Master

<lst>Master Gardeners' Lunch-and-Learn

60 Ida Lee Drive

Leesburg, VA 20175

703-771-5150

<bt>Perfect for everyone from beginner to expert gardeners. Held every Tuesday between May and September, at noon, in the Ida Lee Demonstration Garden, this lunch-time lecture series is sponsored by the Loudoun County Master Gardeners. At each session a gardening expert will make a 20- to 30-minute presentation on subjects such as shade gardening, water gardening and harvesting herbs. Each presentation is followed by a question-and-answer session and a chance to get hands dirty. The series is free. For more information visit www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org

<ro>Play a Round

<lst>Local Golf Courses

<bt>Hit the links at any one of the county's public golf courses. In Sterling, visit Algonkian Regional Park where 18 holes cost between $20.50 and $44.50 and nine holes cost $13 to $29. Ashburn is home to the Brambleton Regional Park and Golf Course where residents can play 18 holes for $22.50 to $46.50 and nine holes for $13.50 to $30. Leesburg has three public courses to play on. The Goose Creek Golf Course allows weekday play for $20 to $39 and weekend play from $25 to $49. The Gary Player-designed Raspberry Falls Golf and Hunt Club offers 18 holes Mondays through Thursdays for between $59 and $85 with nine holes at $45 and weekend play Fridays through Sundays at $70 to $105 with nine holes costing $57. (For something less expensive, the Westpark Golf Club green fees run between $30 and $40 for weekday play and between $25 and $59 for weekends and holidays for 18 holes.) In South Riding, the South Riding Gold Club is open to everyone, but offers members preferred tee times. The green fees range from $40 to $81 on the weekdays and $64 to $79 on the weekends. Visit www.co.loudoun.va.us/business.golf.htm for more information.

<ro>Do-si-do

<lst>Bluemont Country Dances

250 South Nursery Ave.

Purcellville, VA. 20132

540-338-5025

<bt>Swing your partner round and round at the 100-year-old Purcellville Skating Rink. Bluemont brings big country bands and line callers to the wooden dance floor. Bluemont Country Dances are held every third Saturday of the month, October through May. The dances begin at 8 p.m., with a beginner’s workshop at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and $7 for Bluemont Friends, students and seniors. Visit www.bluemont.org/dances for more information.

<ro>Be Entertained

<lst>Sterling Playmakers

P.O. Box 1611

Sterling, VA 20167

703-437-6117

<bt>Spend an evening at the theater. From slapstick comedies to period pieces, the Sterling Playmakers offers something for everyone. The community theater group will wrap up its 10th anniversary season with shows like "Cinderella’s Glass Slipper" and "1776." In fall 2006, the Playmakers will bring "Pride and Prejudice," "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and the "Miracle Worker" to stage. The Playmakers not only entertain, but also educate the Sterling community through workshops on acting, hair and makeup, directing and producing and sound and lighting. Visit www.sterlingplaymakers.com for more information.

<ro>Get Rural

<lst>Loudoun Farm Tours

Department of Economic Development

1 Harrison St., fifth floor

P.O. Box 7000

Leesburg, VA 20177

703-777-0426

<bt>Twice a year, Loudoun County farmers open their farms to the public to give residents a taste of the rural life. Every year, the Spring Farm Tour is held the third weekend in May and the Loudoun Farm Color Tour is held the third weekend in October. Residents can visit local vegetable and fruit farms to learn how to care for their own plants or maybe buy something for their home. At horse and animal farms visitors have a chance to learn about the animals and meet the newest arrivals. The local vineyards offer tours and tasting for people to enjoy. Visit www.loudounfarms.org for more information and a list of participating farms.

<ro>Spend a Day at the Park

<lst>Claude Moore Park

21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Road

Sterling, VA 20164

571-258-3700

<bt>Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, visit Sterling’s Claude Moore Park. The 375-acre park offers residents 11 miles of hiking trails, as well as playing fields and the Loudoun Farm Museum. The park is home to the Sportplex, which includes four lighted baseball fields, three lighted softball fields, a lighted football field and a practice field. The park hosts a number of activities for Loudoun families, including an Ol’ Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, which includes crafts, face painting and food, an annual Autumn Arts and Crafts Show in September, Stories Around the Campfire in October and Holiday in the Park, which includes music entertainment, wagon rides and a candlelight tours of the historic Lanesville Heritage House.

Visit www.co.loudoun.va.us/prcs/parks/claude.htm for more information.

<ro>Show Off your Muscles

<lst>Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull

Dulles International Airport Fed-Ex Terminal, behind buildings 5 and 6

Dulles, VA

703-359-4301

<bt>Each year, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police Department challenges teams of family and friends to pull 150,000 pounds of machinery, at the Dulles Day Family Festival and Plane Pull at Dulles International Airport. Each team donates $1,000 to the Special Olympics of Virginia, to get the chance to pull an airplane. The team that pulls the plane the farthest, wins. The day also includes face painting, food, and a car show. Visit www.planepull.com for more information.

<ro>Unleash Your Inner Muse

<lst>Loudoun Academy of the Arts/Gallery 222

<lst>222 South King St.

Leesburg, VA 20177

703-777-8043

<bt>Feeling artistic? Visit Gallery 222, home to the area’s leading artists. The gallery houses a variety of mediums including watercolor, drawings, photography, calligraphy and sculptures. Feeling really artistic? Take an art class at Loudoun Academy of the Arts, a school of fine arts instruction for artists of all ages and skill levels. The school offers classes, like oil painting, pastels, glass and ceramics, and all classes are taught by professional artists. Visit www.gallery222.com for more information.

<ro>Start a Tradition

<lst>Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Loudoun County Farms

<bt>Start a new holiday tradition at one of Loudoun’s 19 Christmas tree farms. Badlands, Creekview, Day Star and Great County Farms are a few farms that allow customers the option of cutting down their own Christmas tree. For a complete list of cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, visit www.loudounfarms.org.

<ro>Walk through History

<lst>Morven Park

The Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation Inc.

P.O. Box 6228

Leesburg, VA 21078

703-777-2414

<bt>This 1,200-acre, historic landmark estate of former Virginia governor, Westmoreland Davis (1918-1922), features tours, gardens, museums, a mansion first built in 1781, an equestrian center and steeplechase racing. The Museum of Hounds and Hunting is particularly interesting, as it serves as the repository of art, artifacts and literature on the sport of fox-hunting, as well as other paintings, photographs, music and books portraying famous hounds.

The park is open Fridays-Mondays, from 12-4 p.m. The price for tours of the mansion, museums and the Winmill Carriage Collection of various vehicles is $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 6-12. Special programs are held Saturday and Sunday by reservation.

More information on Morven Park can be found online at www.morvenpark.org.

<ro>Get Inspired

<lst>Designer Show House

P.O. Box 4270

15 North King St., Suite 202

Leesburg, VA 20176

703-777-7838

<bt>If you love interior decorating and want to see some of the best or get some ideas for your own home, the Designer Show House could be an inspiration. Presented by the Loudoun Arts Council, local designers compete every year for a room in the selected house. This year, the designers will by making over the Rust Manor House at the Rust Nature Sanctuary and combining modern designs with historical influences. After a summer of preparations, the show house will open Sept. 27 and remain open to the public until Oct. 15. For more information about the show house and a list of participating designers visit www.loudounarts.org.