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101 Ways to Have Fun in Alexandria/Mount Vernon

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The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra performs concerts throughout the year.

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George Washington's Birthday parade is on Feb. 16, 2009.

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Kite flying at Gunston Hall.

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Martha Washington greets guests at Mount Vernon Estate's Cheese and Wine Festival, held annually in the Spring and the Fall.

<b>The Sporting Life

</b>Alexandria Sportsman's Club

Meets Monthly at Old Dominion Boat Club

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 and older, 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 Member Steve Lehman 703-470-4301 (cell).

Fort Hunt Sportsman Association

703-360-3134

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 the second Thursday of each month at rotating locations. For information and a meeting schedule, contact Rick Genuario at 703-360-3134.

Attend the Opening Day of

Your Local Little League

Alexandria Little League

703-739-4444

www.alexandriabaseball.com

Alexandria Potomac Little League

(formerly Bucknell Little League)

703-768-5588

http://eteamz.active.com/apll/

Fort Hunt Little League

703-798-0893

Woodlawn Little League

703-780-9682

www.woodlawnlittleleague.com

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 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!’

Pohick Bay Regional Park Golf Course

10301 Gunston Road

703-339-8585

www.nvrpa.org/pohickbaygolf.html

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 Craig Palm with questions.

Greendale Golf Course

6700 Telegraph Road

703-971-3788

www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/greendale

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.

Play Soccer

Gunston Recreational Micro Soccer Fields (Grist Mill Park)

703-360-7013 and 703-313-8530

www.playgunstonsoccer.org/fields.php

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.

Swim Forever

Alexandria Masters Swimming

alexandiamasters@earthlink.net

www.alexandriamasters.com

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. Swimming abilities range from beginning lap swimmers to college.

Catch a Wave in the Pool

Cameron Run Regional Park

4001 Eisenhower Ave.

703-960-0767

www.nvrpa.org/cameron.html

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, splash in the splash pads, 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 a pond, a nine-station batting cage, picnic shelters, and a special event pavilion.

Land a Kick-Flip

Schuyler Hamilton Jones Skatepark

3540 Wheeler Ave.

703-838-4343

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.

Hit Golf Balls at a Computerized Driving Range

TopGolf

6625 South Van Dorn St.

703-924-2600

www.topgolfusa.com

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>Alexandria Youth Sports Office

703-838-4345

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.

Young Athletes Can Improve Their Game

Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center

1108 Jefferson St.

703-838-4345

Kids can learn the basics 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.

Attend Amateur/Pro Boxing Events

Dennis Porter

Charles Houston Recreation Center

901 Wythe Street

703-838-4234

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 fights throughout the year — either in the metro area or statewide. During the last two years 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 Dennis Porter.

Hit The Ice

Mount Vernon Recreation Center

2017 Belle View Blvd.

703-768-3224

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: www.FairfaxCounty.gov/parks. Or, get a hold of a free Parktakes magazine by calling 703-222-4664.

Get Into the Swing of Things

The StrikeZone Academy

826 South Pickett St.

703-823-0061

www.thestrikezoneacademy.com

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

Join the Horsey Set

Woodlawn Stables

8907 Richmond Highway

703-780-4344

www.woodlawnstables.com

With a summer horsemanship camp and group lessons for those over 8 years, and classes for adults and children, Woodlawn Stables has been teaching English saddle riding for more than 25 years. For the required goods, trot on over to an associated store, Woodlawn Stablery, which provides English tack, riding apparel and accessories, as well as Breyer model horses, from 8405-J Richmond Highway in Potomac Square (703-360-2288).

Rock On

Sportrock-Alexandria 
5308 Eisenhower Ave.
703-212-7625

http://www.sportrock.com/locations/alexandria.asp

The closest to a mountain range Alexandria has is the 12,000 square feet of indoor climbing walls at Sportrock Alexandria. A thorough calendar of course offerings for children and adults of all age levels, and the opportunity to walk in and take a beginners’ class on the spot, makes any time the right time for a climb.

Jazz it up with Jazzercise

Hollin Hall Senior Center

1500 Shenandoah Road

703-765-0142

www.jazzmtvernon.com

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.

Playing War Is Better Than Fighting War

Eagle and Empire Game Shop

8405-D Richmond Highway

703-360-5363

Players of miniature war games gather at this shop to play each other. Games played include Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K, Warmaster Ancients, Flames of War and Command Decision. Meetings are on Friday nights, the weekend and sometimes Wednesday nights. While it is free to participate, one needs to bring one's own pieces. People should call the shop on Wednesdays to find out the weekly schedule.

Knitting Nights

Knit Happens

127A North Washington St.

703-836-0039

www.knithappens.net

The self-described Nirvana for knitters shop Knit Happens hosts a Knit n’ Nosh 5-7 p.m. the first Friday of every month, and is open late — until 8 p.m. — every Wednesday for quality after-work knitting time. New classes every quarter allow anyone over 14 to learn how to cast on and cast off, or practice for intermediate purling.

A Spot of Tea

Woodlawn Plantation

9000 Richmond Highway

703-780-4000

www.woodlawn1805.org

Taste the Woodlawn Plantation's special blend of tea and period confections. Guests will learn about tea customs of the early 19th 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. Occurs one to two Sundays a month, except July and August. Reservations required.

<b>Making History

</b>

Fort Ward Park

Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site

4301 W. Braddock Road

703-838-4848

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 self-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. Fort Ward Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The rest is open from 9 a.m. to sunset.

Christmas in Camp

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

Revolutionary War Encampment

Living history presentation with authentic skirmishes.

Memorial Day Jazz Festival

Performances will be scheduled for 2007. Food and drinks will be for sale, picnic baskets welcome. Free.

Civil War Camp Day

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

Gunston Hall Plantation

10709 Gunston Road

703-550-9220

www.gunstonhall.org

Tours of George Mason’s plantation estate are year-round. Topics include slave life tours, the world of women, farmyard tours and hidden landscapes. Special activities include Plantation Sleuth for children on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer, Constitution Day in September, Nature Walk in October and Archaeology Day in October. Admission cost is $8 for adults, $7 for those 60 and over and $4 for students.

Join the Colonial Cooking Demonstrations

Cooking demonstrations are 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 military reenactments and children's events. Gunston Hall has special holiday events as well and its setting on the Potomac River is perfect for picnic, party or special event.

'Tis the Season for a Plantation Christmas

Step back in time during December 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 visitors 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.

Fly a Kite in the Fields at Gunston Hall

This annual event will be held, weather permitting on March 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington Parkway

703-780-2000

www.mountvernon.org

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. Visit the estate for special events, such as a biannual wine festival, colonial craft fair, Independence Day Celebration, throughout the year.

Celebrate the Holidays

The Washington’s seasonal entertaining is interpreted daily, including Christmas Day and New Year's Day; the rarely seen third floor is open. Takes place during daytime hours.

Birthday Celebration

Admission is free to George Washington's home with a wreath-laying ceremony followed by musical performances and the littlest hometown parade celebrating the General’s birthday. Held on Presidents' Day.

Red, White and Blue Concert

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. To be held on July 4.

Slave Memorial Commemoration

In late September a special ceremony and wreath laying commemorating the lives of the slaves who lived and worked at the Mount Vernon Estate.

Fall Harvest Family Days

Oliver Evan's system for grinding corn into corn meal. George Washington owned the patent on this system. It will be shown at Gristmill in October. Apples will be roasted. Included with price of admission.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Learn about George and Martha Washington’s Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor. Will be held 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in late fall.

Mount Vernon Forest Trail

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.

Enjoy a Glass of Virginia Chardonnay

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 and a visit to George Washington's wine cellar. There are also great views of the Potomac and a tour of the Mount Vernon Estate. Learning about Virginia's wineries is a bonus.

See an 18th-century Water-Powered Mill and Distillery

Visitors will tour an 18th-century water-powered mill and distillery 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.

76th annual Historic Garden Tour of Alexandria

April 18 10a.m.-4p.m.

703-768-5741

www.VAGardenweek.org

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.

Guided Archaeology Tour

Saturday, Oct. 21

Schuter’s Hill

703-838-4399

Take a guided tour of the dig at Schuter's Hill, near the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Free. Reservations required. Next tour at 1:30 p.m., Oct. 21.

Alexandria’s Heritage Trail

Alexandria Archaeology Museum

703-838-4399

www.alexandriaarchaeology.org

Take a 20-mile, guided bike tour and learn about the city's history along the way. Free. Reservations and helmets required. Next tour will be 10 a.m. on Oct. 14.

Check Up On History

John Q. Adams Center for the History of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

One Prince St.

Alexandria

703-836-4444

www.entnet.org/museum

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

Roots Remembered: African American Heritage

African American Heritage Park

Holland Lane and Duke Street

703-838-4356

oha.alexandriava.gov/bhrc/bh-heritage-park.html

"Truths that Rise from the Roots Remembered" is the name of the bronze tree sculpture by Jerome Meadows that honors the contributions of African Americans to the growth of Alexandria. The 8-acre park, near Hooff's Run, surrounds a 19th-century African American cemetery discovered by Alexandria Archaeology. The park is available to rent for some events.

History, Page by Page

Alexandria Black History Museum

902 Wythe St.

703-838-4356

www.alexblackhistory.org

Originally the segregated library for Alexandria's African American residents, the center documents the local and national history, culture and contributions of Black America. The museum plays host to a variety of events throughout the year, including special exhibits, lecture series and holiday festivals.

Pay Respects to Soldiers of the Past

Alexandria National Cemetery

1450 Wilkes St.

703-221-2183

www.cem.va.gov/nchp/alexandriava.htm

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.

Spend Time with Spooks and Spirits

Alexandria Colonial Tours

703-519-1749

www.alexcolonialtours.com

Alexandria's original ghost and graveyard tour. Entertaining, costumed guides lead by lantern-light 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 St. Company also offers other child-friendly tours.

Step into the Past

Alexandria's Footsteps to the Past

703-683-3451

www.footstepstothepast.com

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 St. Seven days a week the tour starts at 7 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays it also starts at 8:30.

Walking with Washington

Bob Madison

703-683-2636

www.washingtonbirthday.net

Take this free, two-hour walking tour to learn about Alexandria's favorite son. Leaves at 1:30 p.m. from the fountain in Market Square, 301 King St. on Sundays. Throughout February.

Symposium on George Washington

George Washington National Masonic Memorial

101 Callahan Drive

703-991-4474

www.washingtonbirthday.net

This annual event looks at a specific time period in Washington's life. Tickets include lunch, with discounts for students. Event will take place on Feb. 28.

Gadsby's Tavern Birthday Celebration

Annual George Washington Birthnight Banquet and Ball

Gadsby's Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal St.

703-838-4242

www.gadsbystavern.org

Tavern fare, toasts to George Washington and 18th-century dancing, Feb. 14. Held since 1797. Tickets are $100 for banquet and ball; $50 for ball only; advance reservations required. Free open house at the museum the following Monday.

Lantern Tours

Gadsby's Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal St.

www.gadsbystavern.org

703-838-4242

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

Architectural Adventure

Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House

9000 Richmond Highway

703-780-4000

www.popeleighey1940.org

Built in 1940 of cypress, brick and glass, the "Usonian" house exhibits many of the significant contributions that Wright made to contemporary architecture. Open Tuesday through Sunday March-December, closed January and February. Admission is free for those 5 and under, $3 for those older but not beyond high school graduation and $7.50 for adults.

Step Back in Time

Alexandria Tours

703-329-1122

hlday2@msn.com

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

See Where Post-Slave Society Began

Gum Springs Historical Society

8100 Fordson Road

703-799-1198

www.gshsfcva.org

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.

Visit George Washington's Church

Christ Church

118 N. Washington St.

703-549-1450

www.historicchristchurch.org

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. It is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. unless there's a wedding or a funeral. Contributions suggested.

Visit a Historic Congregation

Old Presbyterian Meeting House

323 S. Fairfax St.

703-549-6670

www.opmh.org

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

Visit a Stone Mansion

Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax St.

703-549-2997

www.carlylehouse.org

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 colonial governors during the French and Indian War.

George Washington Comes to Dinner

Feb. 7 from noon to 4 p.m., visit the Carlyle House and interact with re-enactors portraying George Washington’s visit to the house in 1760 for dinner after church.

Death Comes to Carlyle House

The historic house presents an exhibit on the mourning practices of 18th century Virginia, with the house itself draped in mourning. Will open in October. On Oct. 28, an 18th century funeral will be re-enacted, with a replica of a coffin and a deathbed scene. The exhibit included in regular admission of $4, $2 for children. There will be an extra charge for the re-enactment.

Return to Early Victorian Times

Lee-Fendall House

614 Oronoco St.

703-548-1789

www.leefendallhouse.org

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 restorations in progress.

Visit GW's Fire Station

Friendship Fire House Museum

107 S. Alfred St.

703-838-3891

www.friendshipfirehouse.org

A visit to Friendship Fire House Museum gives a historical perspective on firefighting in the colonial era. It encompasses not only antique fire apparatus but also an array of personal gear and interesting photographs, with information from a guide. Friendship Fire Company was founded 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. 234th anniversary of the Friendship Firehouse will be celebrated on Aug. 1.

A Dose of Early Medicine

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop

105-107 S. Fairfax St.

703-836-3713

www.apothecarymuseum.org

Visit an authentic 18th- and 19th-century apothecary shop. Visitors can view samples of hand-blown glass and early medicines. After an extensive renovation, the Apothecary is expected to open this summer. There will be an admission charge.

Freedom House Museum

1315 Duke Street

703-836-2858

www.freedomhousemuseum.org

Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and on weekends by appointment

The Freedom House is located in the headquarters of the Northern Virginia Urban League. The building was formerly the offices of Franklin & Armfield, one of the largest domestic slave traders in the South during the 1800s.

<b>Going with the Dogs

</b> St. Pat’s Fun Dog Show

Market Square at 10:30 before the St. Pat’s Day Parade, the first Saturday of March.

Designated Dog Walkers Needed

Doggie Happy Hour

Hotel Monaco

480 King St.

703-549-6080

www.doggiehappyhour.com

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.

No Doggie Paddling Here

Canine Cruises

Potomac River Boat Company

Alexandria City Marina

703-548-9000

www.potomacriverboatco.com

Every second Thursday of the month, there will be special canine cruises on the Potomac River aboard the Admiral Tilp.

Living Off the Leash

Grist Mill Dog Park

4710 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway

703-324-8662

Let your dog run free at the new Grist Mill off-leash dog park. Your dogs will love to frolic with their canine companions in the one-acre, fenced in park covered by crushed stone.

<b>Alive with the Sound

</b>Alexandria Guitar Festival

Evening performances: Old Presbyterian Meeting House

321 S. Fairfax St.

Classes and afternoon performances: The Athenaeum

201 Prince St.

703-548-0035

www.alexandriaguitarfestival.com

Classical guitar music. Suzuki children's classes, master classes and concerts by internationally acclaimed artists, such as Benjamin Berdery, Ricardo Cobo and Nicholas Goluses. July 15-23.

Relax with Bluegrass Music

Tiffany Tavern

1116 King St.

703-836-8844

Tiffany 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.

Go Hear the Symphony

Alexandria Symphony

2121 Eisenhower Ave. Suite 608

703-548-0885

www.alexsym.org

For music lovers there is of course the Alexandria Symphony now in its own space at Northern Virginia Community College. Summer’s Children’s Program and Concert held annually in June.

Hear the Local Chorus

Alexandria Choral Society

703-548-4734

www.alexchoralsociety.org

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

Twilight Tunes

Music at Twilight

Sundays, June-August

Fort Ward Park

4301 W. Braddock Road

703-883-4686

From June 18 to Aug. 10 this year, the Music at Twilight series enlivens the evenings at Fort Ward Amphitheater. Relax in the park and listen to good music.

Get Jazzed

St. Elmo's Coffee Shop

2300 Mount Vernon Avenue

Thursdays, 8 to 10 p.m.

The Not So Modern Jazz Band plays straight-up Dixieland at the coffee shop every Thursday nights, purely for the joy. It's not your espresso that's making your feet tap.

A Legacy of Music

Alexandria Citizens Band

Market Square

301 King St.

301-883-4686

Friday nights in the summertime, the city’s oldest performing arts organization performs in Market Square.

Joyful Noise

Pipes, Pedals, Praise and Prayer

Sundays

Old Presbyterian Meeting House

321 S. Fairfax St.

The program Pipe, Pedals, Praise and Prayer continues this summer at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House. Half-hour concerts begin at 5 p.m. and are followed by a reception and a church service at 6:30. Upcoming performances will feature Edward Moore of Catholic University (July 9) and Jason Abel of Christ Church (July 16).

Bask in Ballet

Alliance Dance Institute 
(703) 354-6000
www.adidance.com


Known for its dance school for ages 3 to 7 and special performances for young audiences. Virginia Britton's adaptation of “The Nutcracker" is a community favorite.

<b>Live Local Theater

</b>

Little Theatre of Alexandria

600 Wolfe St.

703-683-0496

www.thelittletheatre.com

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.

Port City Playhouse

Lee Center

1108 Jefferson St.

703-838-2880

www.portcityplayhouse.com

Port City Playhouse operates in a small theater and does the more avant garde, edgy stuff. Prices are a bit more than a movie and the plays are very good.

Metro Stage

1201 North Royal St.

703-548-9044

www.metrostage.org

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

<b> On the Waterfront

</b>

Dining On The River

Cruise Ships Dandy and Nina's Dandy

Zero Prince Street

703-683-6076

www.dandydinnerboat.com

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 265 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 703-683-6076 or visit the Web site.

Learn to Sail

Belle Haven Marina

Belle Haven Park

703-768-0018

www.saildc.com

Washington Sailing Marina

Daingerfield Island

Mariner Sailing School at Belle Haven Marina is the largest full-time in the D.C. area. Spring lessons for youth and adults. Boat rentals are also available. The marina rents sailboats, canoes, kayaks and flat-bottomed fishing boats.

Enjoy a Picnic

George Washington Memorial Parkway

703-289-2500

www.nps.gov/gwmp

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

Enjoy a Walk or Bike Ride

Mount Vernon Bike Trail

703-289-2500

www.nps.gov/gwmp

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.

Learn to Build a Boat

Alexandria Seaport Foundation

Alexandria waterfront between Cameron and Queen Streets

703-549-7078

www.alexandriaseaport.org

This private foundation offers classes in boat building, both for individuals and for groups. Those in the classes make rowboats that can be converted to sailboats. They can keep and use the boats.

Go Bird Watching

Along the Potomac River

703-289-2500

www.nps.gov/gwmp

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.

Tours on the Potomac River

Potomac River Boat Company

Alexandria City Marina703-548-9000

www.potomacriverboatco.com

Potomac River Boat Company is a private company that offers sightseeing tours and private charters. Homeport for all the boats is Old Town Alexandria.

Take a water taxi to Maryland’s National Harbor, just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. A one-way ticket is $7, and a round-trip ticket is $14.

Experience Alexandria's historic waterfront on a 40-minute, narrated sightseeing cruise aboard the Admiral Tilp. Adult: $10; Child $5.

Cruise the Potomac River on the Miss Christin from Old Town Alexandria to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. The cruise is 50 minutes each way. The fare includes admission to Mount Vernon. Adult $30; Child $17. Group rates available.

Enjoy a leisurely, round-trip 90-minute cruise up the Potomac River featuring Washington's majestic landmarks aboard the Matthew Hayes. Feel free to get off in Georgetown for a bit of sightseeing, and catch a later trip back to Old Town. Adult $20; Child $10.

Special Trips for a Special Occasion

Potomac Belle Charters

Alexandria City Docks

703-868-5566

www.potomacbelle.com

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

Pedal Under the Stars

Ride the Mount Vernon bike trail after dark

Whether you are intimately familiar with every bend in the trail, or a newcomer to the area, riding the trail by the light of a headlamp, the moon and stars is a fresh way to experience the marshes, riversides and woods of the Mount Vernon Trail. Hop on the trail at any point. Be sure to have a good light on your bike and to ride in a group for safety.

Land and Water Meet at River Farm

American Horticultural Society

7931 E. Boulevard Drive

703-768-5700

www.ahs.org

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