By Kate Masters
Alexandria inaugurates Metroway, the region’s first traffic lanes dedicated to buses
Fredericksburg boy heads home after receiving experimental drug treatment to beat viral infention
Federal judge sides with prosecutors on disclosing secret island getaway to jury in McDonnell corruption case
Fairfax County schools superintendent endorses later start times for high schoolers
By Micaela Williamson
For several years Eric Axilbund had been trying to open up a combination sports and family entertainment facility to be located in the Alexandria area, but was unable to raise enough money to get it off the ground.
“While I was working on raising more money to achieve this goal, I started an events company that operated inflatables at large and small outdoor events,” says Axilbund. “I discovered that Kid’s Choice Sports Center had opened up in Annandale; I stopped in to see if they were interested in using my company for any special events. The owner happened to be there, and they were looking to partner with a company to set up a bounce and party center. We were able to come to terms and moved in shortly thereafter.”
Now, the new Alexandria Coliseum, located in Annandale, is promising to bring inflatable fun to families closer to the Beltway. The facility boasts the biggest inflatables in the area. The slide stands at 22-feet-tall. There is also a giant soccer themed moon bounce and an inflatable two level crossover challenge obstacle course.
Open bounce is offered every day from open to close for a fee of just $9.99 per child. There are no time limits either. Once a child enters, they are given a wristband and are even able to come back later in the day, without paying again, to enjoy more jumping fun.
Since Alexandria Coliseum is located in Kid’s Choice Sports Center, guests get the benefits of having multiple activities under one roof. Right now, the building is shared with Fairfax Athletic Center, Blue Box Sports, Foxy Mommy Fitness and other sports leagues. While one child is having soccer practice on the turf field, another child can be playing in the fun center. They also offer free Wi-Fi and seating both in the amusement area and in the observation lounge.
Birthday parties and events rule the roost at Alexandria Coliseum. Prior to the party, a party host conducts and interview with the birthday child and uses that interview to help tailor the party to make it special and amazing. Rather than running around, the hassle-free party experience allows parents to relax, enjoy the party and focus on taking pictures and having a great time. Special parties and events are also available for sports’ teams and scout groups.
Axilbund adds, “One of our popular events is Teen Night. We bring in a local DJ and karaoke, have pizza and drinks and open exclusively for high school students.”
Alexandria Coliseum is still continuing to improve and update its space. By the fall, they plan to introduce a redemption style arcade, and in early 2015, a ropes course and bumper cars will be added to the attractions. They are also currently exploring the feasibility to add some limited food service.
Kid’s Choice Sports Center hopes to open a few more centers in the region, and Alexandria Coliseum plan to grow with them.
Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.
Posted by Editorial / Friday, July 11th, 2014
By Ariel Yong
French or not, if you’re looking to celebrate Bastille Day, here are six places with French-inspired deals for the Monday holiday. Some celebrations begin tomorrow and have a few reservations left.
Fontaine Caffe & Creperie is celebrating all weekend long with French cheese and sparkling cider tastings. / 119 South Royal St., Alexandria
Vive la Revolution! Bastille Restaurant is serving a three course prix fixe menu for $39 from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The menu includes shrimp beignets and citrus cantaloupe panacotta. / 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria (limited availability as of this morning)
2941 Restaurant and Chef Bertrand Chemel invite you to “A Taste of France Dinner” with a seven course tasting menu. / 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church
On Monday, The Wine House is celebrating with a Burgundy Dinner featuring Albert Bichot with special guest and host Guillaume Suss. Entrees include escargot and tuna tartare. / 3950 University Drive, Suite 212, Fairfax (1 reservation left as of this morning)
A free round-trip ticket to Paris and free champagne? La Cote D’Or Cafe is hosting a Waiter’s Race at 2:15 p.m on Monday. Carry a martini glass full of champagne on a waiter’s tray, finish the race with the most champagne left in the glass and you’re heading to Paris for free. Choose dinner entrees from a prix fixe menu and there will be free champagne and live music. / 6876 Lee Highway, Arlington
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Bloomingdale’s and Clinique will introduce the ‘Smart Custom-Repair Serum‘ on July 15. In the hot days of summer our skin undergoes some serious damage, the serum targets both the surface and beneath the skin to better attack those problem spots. The benefit of it’s double penetration is that it targets the source of uneven skin tone, dark spots, lines, wrinkles and more. Pricing starts as low as $59 and is available at your local Bloomingdale’s.
Heading to Haymarket for some wedding dress shopping? Make sure to stop by Blush Bridal Boutique as they host an exclusive trunk show unveiling Justin Alexander‘s Spring 2015 line from July 25 – 27. Meet with trained bridal consultants and have a chance to inquire about any styling tips from the acclaimed designer for the line, Jose Dias, who will be in the boutique July 25-26 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and July 27 from 12-4 p.m. Any brides making purchases at the event will receive a special gift valued at $150. Set up your appointment today for this limited time opportunity.
It is a season for giving at The Nest Egg in Fairfax - a retailer for home furnishings and decorative accents will be donating a portion of upholstered furniture purchase orders with LEE Industries during the month of July to Journey 4 A Cure in Ashburn. LEE Industries, a North Carolina based furniture manufacturer, launched a new initiative in January 2014 ‘LEE L♥ves America – Giving Back‘ to promote supporting businesses in local communities. For more information check out their website leeloveslocal.com dedicated to help support the movement.
Keep your eye out for a different type of red-and-white stripes when heading to Old Town Alexandria where a ‘Where’s Waldo’ event hosted by Hooray for Books! will be held along with 25 participating local businesses until July 31. To participate in the search for Waldo print out the ‘Find Waldo Passport‘ or visit Hooray for Books! to get one. The first 125 people to get their passport stamped or signed 10 or more times can win a prize at Hooray for Books! Those that get 20 or more can enter in a grand prize drawing where the winner will be announced at the ‘Where’s Waldo Party‘ at Hooray for Books! on July 31 at 6 p.m.
By Kate Masters
Virginia legislators fight over state senator’s resignation
Prince William County prosecutors want to take explicit photos of teen in sexting case
Alexandria officials narrow down potential sites for Potomac Yard metro station
2014 State Fair of Virginia recruits performers
Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
See the stars under the stars at these outdoor film festivals happening almost every night this month. –Janeé Williams
Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival
This year’s theme, Working for the Weekend, features movies about work: “The Internship” July 11; “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” July 18; and “Up in the Air” July 25. At dusk.
Lake Anne Summer Film Festival
Lake Anne hosts themed movies every second Sunday. This month go back to high school with “The Breakfast Club” July 13.
Crystal Screen: In Flight
Crystal City takes to the skies with a plane-themed movie every Monday night at sunset. This month catch “Hot Shots!” July 7; “Up in the Air” July 14; “Con Air” July 21; and “Iron Eagle” July 28.
Comcast Film Fest
Enjoy family fun with “Despicable Me 2” July 18, and an action flick with “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” July 19.
Films in the Park
Films show every Friday in Strawberry Park with a new series each month. This month, the All American Series: “The Rookie” July 4; “Apollo 13” July 11; “JOBS” July 18; and “Captain America” July 25.
Check out more outdoor movies this summer here.
By Jessica Godart
New Silver Line to offer shuttle service to Udvar
JK Rowling gives readers a look at the elder Potter
Favorite bakery, “Crumbs,” crumbles, closes all shops
(The Washington Post)
Alexandria residents rally against factories dumping toxins in river
By Emily Rust
TSA to require U.S. bound passengers to turn on phones when boarding
Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing and Oslo announced as finalists for 2022 Winter Olympics
Battle of the Beltways begins with Orioles at Nationals Park today
Many NoVA vets find services difficult to access
Police investigate another Alexandria homicide
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
By Allison Michelli
Celebrate Fourth of July this year by getting in touch with your inner foodie. Cook-outs and barbecues can be blase, so shake it up and go out to eat for dinner. No frills, no dishes and no fuss. After filling your belly, kick back and relax at one of the many Fourth of July celebrations and firework displays happening in the area.
City Square Cafe, 9428 Battle St., Manassas. Three-course dinner featuring a red, white and blue salad made with blueberries, hard boiled egg whites and raspberries over a bed of field greens with raspberry dressing. Served with focaccia bread. For an entree choose between prime rib served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables or Mediterranean salmon served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Dessert is Martha’s Apple pie a la mode. Live music by Thom Feucht. $49 pp plus tax and gratuity. Seatings at 6:30, 7:30, and 9:30 p.m. For reservations call 703 369-6022.
Old Town Sports Pub, 8971 Center St., Manassas. $1.50/each All-American sliders starting at 3 p.m. Options include, cheeseburger, pork barbecue, buffalo chicken and steak sliders.
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Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Editorial / Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
By Kate Masters
Independence Day may be filled with fairs, fireworks and festivities, but some people just can’t handle the fizzle of firecrackers or the influx of festal families. If pyrotechnics aren’t your thing and you’ve never been able to pull off red, white and blue, try one of our alternative weekend plans, specifically conceived to help you avoid the patriotic crowds.
Karaoke at Cafe Chocolate
Anything but average, Cafe Chocolate in Annandale offers a taste of the East on a day otherwise filled with red, white and blue. The bar rents out private karaoke rooms for $30 to $50 an hour, and groups can belt out their favorite hits in English or Korean. Summon staff with a buzzer built into the room and stock up on soju, a vodka-like Korean liquor, or try a few orders of fusion dishes like kimbap or kimchi fried rice. The restaurant also offers hookahs and a separate room for smokers who like to indulge indoors. While firecrackers may light up the sky inside, Cafe Chocolate provides a temporary ticket to a country far from the USA.
7129 Little River Turnpike, Annandale
Patriotic Punch at TNT Bar
Sister bar to the ultra-hip PX in Old Town Alexandria, TNT Bar in Arlington offers a trendy alternative to the usual Fourth of July pub rush. Though it’s closed the day of, TNT will reopen on Saturday for a belated celebration, offering bourbon-based “patriotic punches” in addition to its regular lineup of rock-n-roll-inspired cocktails. The punch flows for $4 a glass during the bar’s happy hour (5 to 7:44 p.m.—don’t ask), and it’s worth stopping by for an early indulgence to avoid the big-ticket prices later in the evening. No, your night out won’t actually fall on the Fourth, but there’s nothing hipper than running fashionably late.
2413 Columbia Pike, Arlington
Catch a Flick at the Angelika Film Center
Housed in Fairfax’s burgeoning Mosaic District, the Angelika Film Center is the perfect place to hide away from typical Fourth of July festivities. The boutique cinema screens independent and specialty films, and its Independence Day lineup runs the genre gamut. A screening of Snowpiercer, a post-apocalyptic odyssey from renowned Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, closely follows a showing of Begin Again, a gentle romantic comedy starring Keira Knightly as an aspiring folk singer. If there must be a patriotic flair to your evening, try to catch the 11:45 screening of Coming to America, Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy about an African prince looking for love in the USA. Part of the Angelika’s weekly after-hours series, tickets to the flick only run $7.
Angelika at Mosaic
2911 District Ave., Fairfax
Soar High at Flight
If you have lofty expectations for Independence Day, you just might find satisfaction at Flight, an indoor trampoline park in Springfield. The facility is open all weekend, and it’s the perfect place to release some pent-up energy while enjoying a less-stereotypical observance of the Declaration of Independence. The park sets aside time for kids-only jumping from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., while grown-ups can burn off July 4 barbecue bellies with a boot camp trampoline workout on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Take advantage of the Fourth of July festivities and head to the park later on Friday, when most of Northern Virginia will be transfixed by pyrotechnic displays.
Flight Trampoline Park
7200 Fullerton Road, Springfield
Try an Art Camp for Grown-Ups
The Nats may battle the Cubs every day this weekend, but you can avoid beer stands and brats with a grown-up art camp from the Del Ray Artisans. On July 5, unleash your arty side with an all-day drawing marathon from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Coordinated by local artist Ricardo Pontes, the event allows aspiring Vermeers to drop in and out of the gallery, sketching from nude models or still life displays. Your painting might not incorporate red, white, and blue, but you will leave the studio with a one-of-a-kind work of art. Pre-register for the event with a $25 advance fee, or show up at the door for a $35 admission.
Del Ray Artisans
2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria