By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
Lucky us! As if the Northern Virginia (and metropolitan Washington, DC, area in general) didn’t already have enough fun offerings, more new and expanded attractions continue to spring up. Not even four full months into the year, 2017 is, as the past few years have been, brining new attractions for all ages to enjoy. Below are eight of the new family-friendly new attractions in Northern Virginia that opened recently or whose opening day is coming very soon.
1. Autobahn Indoor Speedway – Sterling, Virginia
Driving is a thrilling adventure when you can go fast and take the kids along! Autobahn Indoor Speedway lets them to that with European-style go-karts. The Formula One-inspired karts have touch screens and turbo-boost. In addition to the adult karts (for drivers at least 13 years old), Autobahn has junior karts for racers who are at least 48″ tall (and at least 8 years old) so kids and adults alike can enjoy top speeds safely on an indoor track. Joining the Autobahn Manassas location, which opened in 2015, is the Autobahn Sterling facility, which opened last month.
2. Monster Mini Golf – Chantilly, Virginia
Another fun indoor facility that recently opened is Monster Mini Golf in Chantilly. This unique miniature golf experience is 18 holes of indoor glow-in-the-dark fun for all ages. With bright monster décor (much of it green, purple, and orange) and animated props at every turn, it’s like having Halloween year-round. The course is designed for both adults and children to enjoy. A DJ provides he music, and a large arcade area awaits you before or after your games. The Chantilly Monster Mini Golf also opened earlier this year.
3. Washington Valor – Washington, DC
Making its debut this month is our area’s newest professional sports team: the Washington Valor, an Arena Football League franchise. The Washington Valor presents us with the opportunity to see professional football played in an all-weather, more intimate environment with family-friendly prices and activities. The season goes through the end of July with seven home games at the Verizon Center.
4. Burke Lake Park Double-decker Range – Fairfax Station, Virginia
The newest attraction on our list opened just today! The Burke Lake Park Golf Center just opened its fully renovated double-decker range. The illuminated 64-station driving range features 24 covered and heated stations to accommodate practice and classes through cold winter days. There’s also an area that can be reserved for private functions, and new classes and camps, and a pro shop and clubhouse renovations will be completed this fall, all part of the Burke Lake Golf Course Improvements project.
5. Go Ape – Springfield, Virginia
Fairfax County is getting its own adventure ropes course soon! Go Ape will open a ropes course and zip line attraction at the South Run RECenter in Springfield that will feature more than 99 suspended obstacles 20 to 40 feet up in the forest canopy, plus 9 zip lines and a specially designed course for kids. The Go Ape Springfield course was created in partnership with Fairfax County Park Authority and opens May 5, 2017.
6. ZavaZone – Sterling, Virginia
Prefer to have your adventures take place indoors? Look to ZAVAZONE, an indoor adventure park dedicated to active fun “for people from ages 5 to 105.” At a ZAVAZONE facility, you can partake in ninja courses, ropes courses, trampolines, climbing challenges, zip lines, and more in one location and all for one price, since you pay by the hour, not the activity (prices range from $19.50 for one hour to $54 for four). ZAVAZONE has one location in Rockville, Maryland, and is opening up another in Sterling in the fall of 2017.
7. Farm Brew Live – Manassas, Virginia
Also set to open sometime this year (likely in the summer) is Farm Brew Live, on the site of the historic Thomasson Barn at Innovation Park in Prince William County. The complex will house the 14,000-square-foot 2 Silos Brewing Co., company store, and The Black Sheep kitchen + bar that will specialize in locally grown, small-farm ingredients. It also will be the site of a 10,000 square-foot beer and sound garden with The Pit Barbecue, ample outdoor seating, fire pits, event space, walking trails, bocce ball courts, and live music.
8. Alamo Drafthouse – Woodbridge, Virginia
Fans of the Alamo Drafthouse, a movie theatre chain famous for its in-theatre food and drink service and strict no-talking/no-texting policy, will be happy to know a second Northern Virginia location is coming soon. Alamo theaters feature long rows of tables in front of each row of seats, with an aisle between each row to accommodate waiter service before and during the movie. The chain also features fun events such as sing-alongs for popular classic movies. Alamo has one location now at One Loudoun and is set to open another theatre in late summer or early fall 2018 in Woodbridge at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center.
Which attraction are you looking forward to the most? Are there other new attractions in Northern Virginia that should have been on our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Autobahn photo courtesy Autobahn Indoor Speedway
Washington Valor logo courtesy Washington Valor
Go Ape photo courtesy Go Ape USA