Small-town charm and booming nightlife meet in Loudoun
Loudoun has boomed over the last decade or so, changing its rural feel into full-blown suburb while still retaining the agricultural and small-town elements.
Happening this week, Feb. 17-23
FOOD & DRINKS
Chocolate and Cabernet
Monday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Valentine’s Day celebration continues at Breaux Vineyards this Monday. Guests will be able to enjoy delectable chocolate treats paired with the vineyard’s own sparkling wine and cabernets. // Breaux Vineyards: 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville; $40-$45
PARKS & REC
Wednesday, 7-9 p.m.
Spend your Wednesday night playing bingo for a good cause. Head over to Crooked Run Brewing for a few rounds of bingo and some drinks for a chance to win amazing prizes. All proceeds from the game night will go towards the Homeless Animals Rescue Team. // Crooked Run Brewing: 22455 Davis Drive, Sterling; $5
Coffee With the Curator
Thursday, 10-11:30 a.m.
Join Claudia Pfiffer, the George L. Ohrstrom Jr. head curator, for a morning coffee. As you sip on your drinks, listen to the story of painter Ellen Emmet Rand and the challenges Pfiffer encountered while putting together the Leading the Field: Ellen Emmet Rand exhibit. // National Sporting Library & Museum: 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg; $5
Dragon Murder Mystery
Thursday, 7-9 p.m.
Dragon Hops Brewing is turning back the clock to 1920 for a special murder mystery event. Help detectives find the killer at the grand movie premier before he strikes again. Make sure to dress in your best 1920’s attire for a chance to win a prize. // Dragon Hops Brewing: 130 E. Main St., Purcellville; $15
Beer and Art: Norse Mythology
Friday, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Discover the world of the Vikings at Old Ox Brewery. Join lecturer John Daum as he discusses the origins of Norse mythology, including stories of everyone’s favorite gods Thor, Loki and Odin and the final battle of Ragnarok. // Old Ox Brewery: 44652 Guilford Drive, Suite 114, Ashburn; free
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS
2020 Loudoun County Winter Barrel Tasting
Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Celebrate the second annual Loudoun County Winter Barrel Tasting event with a special tour of the county’s best wineries. Travel to 14 wineries across the region, including Cana Vineyards, Stone Tower Winery and Willowcroft Winery, as the winemakers pour glasses directly from the barrel. // Various wineries in Loudoun County; $40
Critters & Crafts
Saturday, 1-2 p.m.
Take your kiddos to the county animal shelter for a special cat-themed crafting session. Kids will learn more about animals as they create their cat-themed craft. Afterwards, everyone in attendance will take a tour of the building to visit the cats, dogs and bunnies at the shelter. // Loudoun County Animal Services: 39820 Charles Town Pike, Waterford; recommended donation of paper towels or one box of gallon ziplocks
Polar Bear Fun Run
Sunday, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Enjoy this unusually warm February at the Polar Bear Fun Run. After your run, warm up with delicious hot chocolate and treats. Try to wear the most scantily-clad outfit for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Potomac Running. // Potomac River Running Store: 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, Leesburg; free
What they lack in size, expertly prepared baby back ribs more than make up for in lip-smacking satisfaction. These spice-crusted specimens offer up mouthfuls of savory meat shaken up by zesty-sweet sauce.
After closing in Herndon, Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food is back with fried fish, ribs and the Colossal Pork Chop Platter: a pork chop, two sides and cornbread.
Bangkok street food and modern approaches to Thai cooking, like a tamarind-tomato sauce noodle dish, fill out the menu of One Loudoun’s Sense of Thai St. On the weekend, expect late-night dance parties.
The sprawling Smokehouse Live combines a barbecue meat counter, a bar and lots of live country music.
Consistently recognized as one of the best restaurants in the greater D.C. area, Patowmack Farm is an elegant trip into nature with stunning, creative and always seasonal dishes from award-winning chef Tarver King.
The pulled pork pairs well with Monk’s large selection of 10-plus sauces, but the Carolina mustard vinegar is just about perfect: sweet, tart and a kick of heat that hits just right.
In this large restaurant, swathed in deep reds and displaying Indian demographic facts and a huge, shimmery wall hanging of the Taj Mahal, the food remains generous. It’s an offering of beautiful food in Loudoun, a county filled with Indian restaurants.
The combination of Korean and Cajun works to build an eclectic menu: Think gumbo and jambalaya, but also bulgogi and chap che.
In a field in Aldie sits Pev’s Paintball, a place for group and walk-on play in areas featuring caves, forts, towers and wooded areas. Summer camps are available, and different events are held throughout the year.
Hockey, figure skating, summer camps, open skate, it all can be found at Ashburn Ice House where kids and adults can get on the ice and show off their skills. There are pick-up games and leagues for hockey, and on Wednesday the rink turns into an open playground with toys, bubbles, colors and snow.
This new urban destination in Loudoun County is still under construction, but the main plaza by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema contains a large fountain area. There are plenty of tables and seating areas surrounding the fountain.
At Sport Bounce of Loudoun, kids exercise and have fun all at once. The facility is over 10,000 square feet and is filled with giant inflatables. There are inflatable bounce areas, castles and slides for kids to explore at their time there.
This fine arts and performing art center teaches children the basics when it comes to art, theater and acting. Instructors help develop skills and techniques and offer seasonal camps as well.
The Zone boasts an impressive arcade with over 40 state-of-the-art-games including NBA Hoops and Fruit Ninja. Along with the arcade room, The Zone also offers laser tag, bowling and plenty to eat and drink.
Experience a working farm just outside the suburbs of Northern Virginia. At the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains sits the 400-acre Great Country Farms that hosts numerous events throughout the year to get little ones excited about farm life. There are also wagon rides, jumping pillow, cow pie putt putt, a dog picnic zone, fishing pond, barn yard and mazes.
Want-to-be scientists have a place to work out their theories through Curiosity Zone’s programs and camps that all focus on science enrichment programs. Using hands-on-activities in the kid-sized science lab, children will gain 21st century skills in an engaging, entertaining way.
Ticonderoga Farms may be known as the place to go cut down your Christmas tree, but it is a place for all seasons. This family-owned farm has more than 1,000 acres for kids to explore and play on the different play spaces. They also host a community garden for residents to rent.
In Leesburg, there is 12,000 square feet designed just for skateboarders, inline skaters and bikes. Obstacles, ramps, fun boxes, rail slides and half pipes make this course one to hone tricks and make for a day of friendly competition.
Seventy acres and 16 courses make up this paintball field in Leesburg. Fields include ones with man-made and natural bunkers and scenario play like ghost town, fort, castle, fire base and more. Group reservations and walk-on play are available.
Just south of historic Leesburg sits Leesburg Animal Park, home to big cats, white-handed gibbons and zebras, too. They’ve also got llamas, donkeys and cute critters like ducks and bunnies. They offer pony and camel rides, host live animal shows and have indoor and outdoor play spaces with slides and trampolines.
Empower Adventures includes a 20-acre course with interconnected suspension bridges, platforms and zip lines through the woods of Loudoun’s hunting country. Young ones can check out the Kiddo Zip Line, a 200-foot zip line that launches kids from the ground level. Guests wanting an even more unique and challenging experience can take flight under the stars during Empower’s Moonlight Canopy Tours (on select dates).
The thunder of horse hooves is only the beginning of excitement at Great Meadow’s Twilight Polo games. Each Saturday night starting at 5:30 p.m., three matches will be played as visitors rest upon plush green grasses or in a rail side box (seating for six). During halftime, kids chase the mascot, Polo Bear, in a two-lap race around the arena. After the matches everyone is invited to stay for a dance party with a DJ in the pavilion.
What started in 2005 as a teen center, the Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink, after a renovation in 2010, now offers entertainment to people of all ages, from roller skating, basketball, air hockey, foosball, ping pong, arcade games, Xbox One and more.
This rec center has a giant waterslide, vortex, lazy river, spray features and a water playground: everything a kid could desire of an indoor waterpark.
Dulles Indoor Sportsplex lets the games go on rain, snow or shine. Offering adult leagues in soccer, basketball, volleyball and inline hockey, the facility also hosts youth leagues in soccer, futsal, basketball, lacrosse and inline hockey. There are youth programs and camps throughout the year, and the space can be rented for parties and events.
Give your kids an exhilarating day to remember at Monkey Joe’s, where the party keeps going long after the pizza and cake. Celebrate your kid’s big day with energy-zapping inflatable playgrounds. Little ones under 3 get a special area built with age-appropriate play and safety in mind.
Rebounderz is more than just a normal bounce facility. There is a 24,000-square-foot open area to jump in, but there are also in-air dodgeball and basketball slam tournaments. They offer unlimited open jump Monday through Thursday and unlimited dodgeball on Sunday.
Tropical paradise can be found for kids in Northern Virginia at Volcano Island. Indulge them in a 500-gallon dumping bucket, squirters, water slides and falls, all enclosed in tropical foliage with grass huts.
At Alamo you don’t just walk in and watch a movie—you eat, drink and are entertained. With a full menu and a drink list just as long, catching a flick at this theater is an all-in-one night out. And big Hollywood films aren’t your only option. The theater hosts signature nights for almost any genre of movie buff: sing-alongs, tough-guy movies, decade themes and more.
Spend the day indoor skydiving at iFly in Ashburn and learn how to fly in a vertical wind tunnel that simulates free-falling. During your first time at iFly, you can expect to be assisted by an expert instructor and receive your personalized flight certificate.
Top Golf isn’t just a driving range with a deluxe bar for adults. Families can enjoy 36 holes of exciting putt-putt golf. Sign up online for the KidsZone newsletter and be the first to know about special events and receive coupons.
Taking the place of KingPinz, Bowlero (opening summer 2017) is taking bowling up a notch with a modern-day bowling alley complete with blacklight lanes, TVs streaming live sports, concerts, movies and music, arcade, laser tag, billiards and cocktails.
In two hours you can stroll through the town of Leesburg and learn all about the paranormal residents that still walk the streets and inhabit the homes. On the tour you will also learn about paranormal research and investigations. You may even get to “touch a ghost.”
Located in two 19th-century buildings in historic downtown, the Loudoun Museum offers diverse exhibits and programs for history buffs of all ages. Through hands-on exploration and lively demonstrations, see how Leesburg has changed–and how it has remained the same–since the Civil War and the American Revolution. Must-see sites include the Stephen Donaldson Log Cabin and the children’s Colonial Garden.
With sprawling grounds, a historic manor home and more, Oatlands, a National Trust Historic Site, is a hub of historic education in Loudoun County offering self-guided or interpretive guided tours of the 1700s-era plantation. Patrons can take in rolling pastures, terraced and herb gardens and a reflecting pool, while inside they can learn about the families who resided at the mansion circa 1804 or take the Enslaved Community tour focusing on the Carter Family, the largest slave owners in Loudoun County during the late 1800s.
Leesburg got its own music venue just a few years ago when Tally Ho Theatre opened (another movie theater-turned-music venue). This space hosts indie, throwback and tribute bands along with hosting other events.
Middleburg is hunt country, so it’s not surprising one of the town’s crown jewels of art focuses on sporting and equestrian life. The 6-acre campus houses a research library and a fine art museum focusing on the history and traditions of angling, horsemanship, shooting, steeplechasing, foxhunting, polo and more.
The well-rounded 13,500-square-foot facility, built on an old dairy farm, is a showcase for all the arts in Loudoun County. It houses a 200-seat performance hall, a visual arts gallery and classroom space. Events range from all mediums to all ages.
Satisfy your need for speed on an indoor racetrack with no speed limits. Autobahn Indoor Speedway is a European-style go-kart track with F1-inspired karts that go up to 50 miles per hour.
Dulles Golf Center features a unique golf experience, having PowerTees, the world’s leading automated teeing system that automatically delivers another ball once a golfer strikes and can be adjusted to 40 different settings. Their tee stations are also covered, lighted and heated for extra comfort and luxury. To satisfy the kids, Dulles Golf has a Miniature Golf course, Rock Garden, which includes fountains, stone traps and lighthouses. This tech-savvy golf range with an 18-hole miniature golf course is sure to impress kids and parents of all ages.
With two locations in NoVA, there are plenty of places to get your climb on. Whether you’re an experienced climber or not, this is the perfect place for you to be active without baking in the sun. They welcome walk-in customers.
Learn about nature through this center’s small animal exhibits and seasonal programs.
Sixty-eight acres of meadows, forests and ponds make up the Audubon Naturalist Society Rust Sanctuary, which also offers year-round programs including the Fresh Air Kids series for preschoolers.
The site of the largest Civil War engagement in Loudoun County, Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park is now a serene spot for natural wandering and contemplation. A gravesite marks the spot where 54 Union soldiers are buried, all but one of whom are unknown, and there is a monument to the fallen Confederate soldier Sgt. Clinton Hatcher. Guided tours are available.
What You Can Do:
- Group and guided tours
Partake in zip-lining, rock climbing and a ropes course at Evergreen Adventure Park, which houses 13 ropes courses, four zip lines and two rock walls.
The former home of Westmoreland Davis, Morven Park is now a place for educational tours through the historic buildings and a major sports park for recreational programs, equestrian events and hiking trails.
What You Can Do:
- Athletic fields
- Equestrian center
- Historic farm
- Historic mansion and museum
Take in the views of the Potomac River as you traipse through this park with winding trails and historic buildings.
What You Can Do:
- Hiking trails
Entertainment all in one spot: There are multiple challenge courses for zip-lining on top of the center’s other offerings of team-building programs, off-road Segway tours and water sports such as tubing, rafting and kayaking.
This 838-acre park offers plenty of entertainment. There are open areas and fields for pick-up games, picnic shelters, boat launches, an 18-hole golf course and mini golf, paved hiking trails and Volcano Island Waterpark. You can also make a weekend of the park and rent out one of the riverfront cottages right along the Potomac.
What You Can Do:
- Golf course and mini golf
- Boat launch
- Water park
- Paddle tours
- Cabins and camping
- Picnic shelters
The apparel is a young contemporary style, and the store carries a variety of just about everything from clothes, shoes and tons of jewelry to bags, baby items, belts, wallets and even some luggage. With affordable prices ranging from $8 to $100 and a special line of colorful Haley Bob dresses that sell for around $200, Misguided Angels has something for everyone.
Kim Correnti leads a team of well-informed staff to assist your pet in their time of need. Recommended by veterinarians, DogGone Natural provides a variety of natural remedies to heal your furry friend. Their popularity is growing, and new locations will be opening in the area.
Carrying fashion accessories, home decor, gifts and baby supplies, this family-owned shop fills what once was a noted shopping void in the area. Located next to Harris Teeter, the shop’s friendly staff is available to put together baskets or arrangements for any occasion, or shoppers can enjoy poking around to find the perfect card, keychain or keepsake. As the merchandise changes seasonally, there will always be a new treasure to find.
There is a store on the main strip of King Street in downtown Leesburg that sets itself apart from the antique and shabby chic stores that have become synonymous with home decor shopping in the historic area: 27 South Interiors. Here you’ll find a store with an aesthetic towards modern farmhouse filled with unique private labels, but they also offer popular brands such as Gabby Furniture and local brands like Syndey Hale candles and Lauren Bruce oil paintings.
Owned by former Redskin tight end Chris Cooley, who had planned to become a high school art teacher, The Cooley Gallery’s mission is to showcase local artists and inspire more. A range of mediums can be found in this downtown Leesburg gallery and classes and workshops are held throughout the year for those looking to expand their skills.
Customers are guaranteed to find designer jeans at this shop. “We carry many different brands, [and] we pick for fit, fabric, flair and reasonable pricing. We love to help women find the most flattering fit for their unique shape and style,” says owner Jan Forman. Between $75 and $135 for jeans, $65-$190 for dresses, $35-$125 for tops and an average of $250 for Dan Post cowboy boots.
Set up as a traditional apothecary, this downtown Leesburg gem features an eclectic mix of beauty items for women and men featuring popular and hard-to-find items from around the globe. While there are skincare products, the shop—with spa in back—is centered on fancy bath items and candles, perfect for gift-giving or personal pampering.
If every dog has his day, it’s at downtown Leesburg’s The Reign of Cats and Dogs. While dubbed a place for pets and their people, the emphasis here is on dog pampering. There are plenty of playful gifts for pet people and a room upstairs devoted to cats and their people, but the primary focus here is dog fun—treats, funky leashes, adorable outfits, luxe beds and chew toys like Manolo Barkniks.
This store just off of King Street tempts Leesburg’s fashion-forward population with racks full of chic and trendy clothing from lines like Free People, Michael Stars and Rebel Designs.
If this light-filled, tastefully arranged Victorian shop in historic Leesburg doesn’t convince you to overhaul your abode, it may be time for an eye check. The 12-room, two-floor store hosts a regularly refreshed assortment of terrific shabby-chic vintage furniture and home accessories from everyday enhancements to seasonal decor and beach-house beauties.
This old 1950s motel on the side of Route 15 just south of downtown Leesburg is a place you can spend hours in, so be prepared. There are more than 50 vendors who stock their antique, vintage and salvaged finds at Vintage Magnolia, and that is everything from furniture, linens, art, table and dinnerware, antique tools, clothing and more. You can also find local artists’ work as well.
Romance is what you will find at Beekeeper’s Cottage. Carrying luxurious linens, reclaimed wood furniture, lighting, home décor and even opulent costume jewelry, this is a place where you can build your own English garden-styled home.
This antiques store, nestled among Route 15 farms outside of downtown Leesburg, sells $1 snacks like M&Ms and has a Keurig; fuel up, and make an afternoon of it. If perusing the outdoor inventory doesn’t crank up a hunger, scouring its three stories full of hand-picked items inside will. The dizzying array includes loads of antique furniture and other supercool retro finds. We especially dig the chandeliers, armoires, typewriters, coasters, apparel (from cowboy boots to fur) and dress forms.
On a Whim is placed in a trifecta of home decor shopping along with Rust & Feathers and The Hummingbird’s Nest, all of which carry antiques and salvaged goods. As you drive north on Route 15 into Lucketts, you can’t miss the pink polka-dot silo on the right. That is On a Whim, where the newly relocated Weathered Elegance also resides, and it shares a parking lot with two other home stores. If you can’t find a piece to come home with, from the as-they-are items and repurposed pieces to On a Whim’s DIY yard, you’re not looking hard enough.
For authentic Steinbach nutcrackers, head to The Christmas Sleigh. Walking into this shop is like walking into Santa’s workshop. From the delicate ornaments and Schaller papier-maches to the intricate marionettes and German attire, shoppers will no doubt walk out wanting to deck out their homes in the traditions of a German Christmas.
Although the customer base is geared generally made up of women 30 and over, anyone can find quality, professional-looking apparel here. Brands such as Sarah Campbell, Rafinalla and more will help you look sleek and chic. Men can stop into the brother store, Richard Allen Clothing, for suits, sportswear and outdoor items.
Offering custom tailoring, Highcliffe Clothiers is a shop for what they describe as “purveyors of fine custom and tailored clothing for discerning men and women.” The store specializes in American and European items that are classic and elegant. The store also carries accessories.
This is the shop that started it all. Opened in Middleburg in 2004, this local accessories chain has expanded to 28 locales in the region, with two of the stores right in Milddleburg. Here you can find on-trend accessories from earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings to handbags, clutches, wallets, scarves, sweaters and more.
Tucked away on South Madison Street in Middleburg is a store that transports its shoppers to different time periods with a fashionable flair and housewares. And it offers a fantastic arrangement that changes genres, almost as if it is a new store each year.
Composed of two log cabins from the mid-1700s and over 2,000 square feet, the store is split into three separate rooms according to the type of apparel: classic sportswear, jeans and outdoor-wear, as well as suits and sports coats. You won’t find average jeans here, as the store creates a custom high-quality five-pocket moleskin-cotton jean in England. Denim jeans are also shipped from Germany on a weekly basis.
Open for over 50 years, The Fun Shop has sold everything from cooking products to home decorations in its massive, three-building store. But their children’s store, located upstairs, was made for kids. Shelves packed full of toys glow with imagination’s endless possibilities, and books extend as high as the eye can see. The Fun Shop lives up to its name. The store also sells children’s clothes, which simply adds to the paradisiacal atmosphere.
Tully Rector is your destination for high fashion (Vince, Rag & Bone, etc.). The shop is small and tightly packed, but it’s orderly. Racks of the latest styles form clean aisles from which one can easily browse. The store fits right in with Middleburg’s charm. Equestrian-themed decorations dot the walls. Instead of a trip to Tysons Galleria and its attendant traffic and crowds, visit this independent boutique in one of Virginia’s most beautiful towns.
Town Centers and Malls
One Loudoun, the urban-inspired mixed use town center located right on Route 7 in Ashburn, is continuing to grow but currently has plenty offerings including popular restaurants like Sense of Thai St., Aggio, B One Loudoun and Eddie Merlot’s Prime Aged Beef and Seafood, to name just a few; and shopping found at BOHO Nation/BOHO Blanco, Circle K and more. Plus there is an on-going schedule of family-friendly events for everyone to enjoy.
If you want to get a great deal on designer goods, Leesburg Premium Outlets is the place you want to head to. More than 100 stores from the likes of Barney’s, Kate Spade, Coach, Elie Tahari, Armani, Burberry, basically almost any of the top brands people desire.
Village at Leesburg is a blend of 50+ shops, restaurants and everyday entertainment. Anchored by Bowlero fun can be had any day at this modern bowling alley, the fire and water fountains give a bit of respite from shopping for the kids and dining options range from coffee at Bean Bar to lunch at Bon Chon or BurgerFi to dinner at FireBirds Wood Fired Grill, Travinia or Noku Sushi to sweet treats at the Fractured Prune or The Conche, a chocolate-themed boutique restaurant.
One of Loudoun’s oldest shopping malls, Dulles Town Center holds 150-plus stores and eateries. But it offers more than just shopping stores like Nordstrom, H&M, Gap, Swarovski, the center also hosts a series of seasonal events like free summer concerts, pictures with Santa and the Easter Bunny and more.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day Annual March & Celebration (January)
- Easter Egg Hunt 2 Ida Lee Park (March or April)
- Leesburg Flower & Garden Show (April)
- Memorial Day Celebration (May)
- Western Loudoun Artist Studio Tour (June)
- Classic Car Show (June)
- Purcellville Wine and Food Festival (July)
- Loudoun County Fair (July-August)
- Luckett’s Fair (August)
- Epicurience Virginia (September)
- Lovettsville Oktoberfest (September)
- Waterford Fair (October)
- Middleburg Film Festival (October)
- Kiwanis Halloween Parade (October)
- Christmas Tree & Menorah Lighting (December)
- Christmas in Middleburg Parade (December)
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