Volcano Island Waterpark

There are few things that are more enjoyable in the middle of summer than relaxing at a water park.  You can kick back on a reclining deck chair and soak up some rays before hopping into a pool for a refreshing dip to cool off and then do it again.  Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling, Virginia is home to one such place, the Volcano Island Waterpark. This Nova Parks masterpiece is the perfect place to escape a humid summer day in Virginia.  

Whether you decide to visit as a special treat or you have an annual pass and go there weekly, Volcano Island is designed for the entire family’s entertainment.  With an assortment of water features, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and a restaurant for when hunger strikes, this island themed waterpark will keep you wanting to come back time and time again.

Cool Off with Refreshing Water Features

Volcano island features two multi-story waterslides.  One is a 230-foot long open slide that takes you through multiple twists and turns before splashing down in one of the parks many pools.  The other water slide is a 170-foot closed slide, where you gather speed in total darkness only to be blinded by the sun reflecting off the water as you exit into one of their refreshingly cool pools.  No matter how many times you climb the steps to the top, you will never tire of sliding down, out of control towards the pool.

The centerpiece of Volcano island is a large pool featuring a 500-gallon dumping bucket.  This massive play feature consists of multiple open and tube slides, squirt guns, fountains, platforms to jump from and the oversized bucket that will surprise you with the massive deluge it produces.  Located in one of the shallower pools, this feature is fun for the oldest adults and the youngest children.

Another feature you can’t miss is the large main pool with enough space for everyone to enjoy.  This pool is ideal for swimming or simply floating around and socializing. There is even a small tree stump slide.  This short but fast ride has you gaining speed until you are spit out into four feet of cold water.

Lastly there is the splash pad.  This water feature is full of cannons, buckets, sprinklers and showers.  It is a great spot for the kids although parents will love it too.

Simon Says

Remember the old electronic game Simon you probably played as a child?  Well Volcano Island features its own version, the Neos game. Like the game Simon where you had to repeat the sequences that the computer picked for you, this attraction is almost the exact same except reproduced on a scale that is ten feet wide.  This free game is perfect for when you need a respite from the water and feel like drying off for a bit.

Beat the Heat and Enjoy the Shade

If you find yourself getting a bit waterlogged and need a break from the water, you can relax under the tiki themed canopies and enjoy watching the palm fronds blowing in the wind.  This is a great spot for those who wish to kick back with a book to help pass the day.

Not Just a Waterpark

While the aquatic features are what draws you to the park, there are other options to enjoy.  Next to the water portion of the park is an 18-hole miniature golf course. You can challenge your friends and family to a quick round and see if you can make a hole in one.

Dine in Paradise

Volcano Island features the Paradise Café, where visitors can choose from an assortment of foods that everyone loves.  Choose from pizza, burgers, hot dogs and even vegetarian options to fill your stomach. It doesn’t matter if you get messy either, because you can hop right back in the pool.

Group Fun

Volcano Island is perfect for throwing birthday parties or hosting other groups. They specialize in hosting groups of 10 to 25 people in one of the three separate areas designed for parties.  They offer packages featuring your choice of foods, refreshments and dessert as well as providing free invitations. Contact them ahead of time to plan a memorable experience for your child’s birthday.

Safety Comes First

All Nova Parks put an emphasis on safety.  Every pool features multiple lifeguards on duty, and their rules are designed to make sure that guests enjoy themselves in a setting that has minimal risk.  All staff are tested regularly to ensure they are always prepared for any situation. Volcano Island puts a premium on the professionalism of their staff, so that guests can be at ease and enjoy the park to the fullest extent.  In addition, all Nova parks are smoke free establishments. To learn more about the rules and regulations for Volcano Island and their entire family of water parks, visit the Nova Parks website.

Hours of Operation and Admission

Volcano Island is open every weekend from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Once school lets out for the summer we are open daily, generally from 11am through 7pm. Check their website to see the exact hours and days they operate as these are subject to change based on factors such as the weather.  Admission varies depending on whether or not you reside in specific jurisdictions and group rates are available.  Annual passes are also available for individuals as well as for entire families that are valid at all Nova Parks.   Contact Volcano Island at (703)430-7683 for prices.

Summertime always presents a challenge for parents as they juggle work with keeping the kids occupied.  Parents are always looking for ways to entertain their children while not breaking the bank. As the temperatures rise and school lets out children will always want to do something fun while escaping the heat.  Volcano Island Waterpark in Sterling, Virginia offers the perfect solution for families looking to spend a day together or for anyone looking for an escape to a tropical paradise for the day.

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Regal Countryside Stadium 20 Theater

Attending the cinema is one of those activities that everyone enjoys from time to time.  It could be that you want to take someone out for dinner and a movie for a first date, or you simply want to escape for a few hours and lose yourself in a great story while enjoying the cool air.  Whatever reason you might have for attending the movies, the Regal Countryside Stadium 20 in Sterling, Virginia is the place to go for films buffs.

First Run Films in a Stadium Setting

Regal Cinemas features 20 big screens, showing a wide variety of first run films.  All the theaters offer stadium seating, so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Featuring Dolby Sound and showing certain IMAX films, cinema devotees know the sound quality will be top notch and the visual quality is so vivid, you will think you are watching something in person.   

International Films

Regal Countryside Stadium 20 caters to film lovers of many different cultures.  Not only do they present American and other English language films, but they also present some of the best films Bollywood has to offer.  Regal makes an effort to cater to the large Indian population by showing films in Telugu, Punjabi and Hindi, so that expat Indians are able to get a taste of home and the beautiful films of India.   

Retro Design

Regal Countryside Stadium 20 is a throwback to theaters of the 20th century.  The exterior has a slight art deco vibe to it, and like many older theaters, it is one of the anchors of a local mall.  Entering this Regal location is like stepping back in time to the days when Hollywood was still the home of glamour, and movie stars still had that air of mystique to them.   

Group Events and Private Screenings

Regal Cinemas offer up a wide variety of options for groups to attend the movies.  From hosting birthday parties for children to setting up private screenings for groups of 25 or larger, there are several options to choose from if you wish to attend the movies with a large group of people.   

Special Promotions

Regal Cinemas has a plethora of promotions available to people looking for a little more from their movie going experience.  From something simple like free refills on all large popcorn and soda purchases to discounted tickets, there is an offer for most everyone to take advantage of.  

There is also the Regal Crown Club, which offers participants discounted movie tickets as well as the opportunity to earn points towards free concessions and movie memorabilia.  Regal Countryside Stadium 20 also offers gift cards for those special occasions for that special somebody in your life.

No matter the reason for wishing to go to the movies, be it for a reminder of home with a foreign film or simply to escape reality and lose yourself in a blockbuster film, Regal Countryside Stadium 20 in Sterling, Virginia is the ideal place to see a film.  With its comfortable setting and multitude of different movie going options, you can’t go wrong when you attend a screening here.

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Rebounderz – Big Fun in a Small Town

Sterling Park, Virginia is rich in history, which is only natural considering how close it is to Washington D.C. If you feel like you have seen it all in Sterling Park, from Algonkian park to Dulles International Airport to the Heritage Farm Museum, there might be something new for you.

It’s this little place called Rebounderz, and it is Sterling Park’s very own indoor trampoline park. These places came onto the scene about a decade ago, and they are a huge hit with both the kids and the kids at heart.

Indoor Bouncing Fun

Rebounderz is similar to those bouncy houses you’ve seen at kids’ birthday parties for years and years, except imagine an entire building like that!

One of the really cool things about Rebounderz is the different activities you can participate in while bouncing around. They offer dodgeball and basketball in addition to what they call “open jump”, which is what you typically would imagine in a trampoline park.

The most popular feature is definitely the ninja warrior course. Its layout is similar to the show, Ultimate Ninja Warrior, and participants can try out the hanging doors, slack line, quad steps, warped walls, and much more.

There are three levels of difficulty, so be sure to try a challenge that is appropriate for you and your kids. The highest level actually ends up being a pretty intense workout for adults!

Games and Chances to Win Prizes

In addition to their jumping sections, Rebounderz has a great arcade complete with claw machines, pinball machines, Skeeball, and a variety of the latest games. Rather than the traditional ticket/token system at most arcades, they utilize a sort of debit card that allows you to easily add “tokens” without carrying a big cup of coins around.s

The points earned from winning games are also stored on the card, so those long strands of paper tickets are a thing of the past. Their card system is simple and environmentally friendly.

Perfect for Kids…and Kids at Heart!

Rebounderz is the perfect place for kids. Summer camps are available for youngsters to participate in hours of jump time as well as numerous other fun activities including the ninja warrior course. They also give parents the opportunity to rent out the whole place for birthday parties.

For those parents with little ones, there is an option for you, too! Rebounderz offers “toddler time”, which is only $10 and allows you and your child under 5 to bounce around in a spot away from all the other commotion. That means you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting trampled by the bigger kids.

Considering the staff members have to deal with kids literally bouncing off the walls all day, they display the utmost professionalism and do everything to ensure you have the best experience.

And for those kids at heart, Rebounderz also offer corporate events. Renting out the facility for the day can be a great way for you and your coworkers to unwind, have some fun, and ultimately bond over this one-of-a-kind experience.

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Potomac Heritage Trail

Residents of Sterling, Virginia who are fans of nature are lucky to have the Potomac Heritage Trail running right through their back yards.  Established in 1983 as a National Scenic Trail, the PHT consists of over 700 miles of existing and planned sections, spanning several states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.  

Running through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington D.C., the PHT traces the outstanding cultural, historical and physical features of the upper Ohio River watershed, which runs through Western Maryland and Pennsylvania; the Potomac River corridor; and the Rappahannock River watershed, which is found in Virginia.  All this is managed by the National Parks Service.

What Makes the Potomac Heritage Unique?

Unlike the Appalachian Trail, which runs almost the entire length of the Eastern United States, the Potomac Heritage trail is a more general route with multiple side paths to explore.  Some of the paths run parallel to one another on either side of the Potomac River and are connected by various roads.

Also, the PHT intersects with the Appalachian just outside of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, making it possible for the most adventurous explorers to hike along parts of both scenic routes.  The PHT additionally connects with the American Discovery Trail along a portion of the C&O Canal Towpath running from Washington, D.C. to Oldtown, Maryland.

When the PHT originally became a National Scenic Trail in 1983, it consisted of three sections.  The longest was the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, which ran 184.5 miles along the D.C. and Maryland side of the Potomac from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown, Washington D.C.  There was also the 18 miles of the Mount Vernon Trail in Virginia and the 70 miles of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Pennsylvania.

These paths were a mix of different surfaces such as gravel, asphalt and natural surfaces which shows the wide variety of landscapes and cultures that make up the region.  This is unlike other National Scenic paths, which have a more homogenous quality to them.

PHT Association

The Potomac Heritage Trail Association is a membership-based organization dedicated to the interpretation, preservation, development and construction of the PHT.  The group works with local, state and federal officials and authorities to develop new sections along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic corridor. The group, along with other advocacy groups sponsor, work trips to maintain and construct natural surface portions of the trail.  These include the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, the Great Falls Trail Blazers, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Oxon Hill Bicycle Club among many others.

Guidebooks to the Potomac Heritage

There are also two guidebooks dedicated to mapping out the PHT for people wishing to try hiking different areas.  The Potomac Heritage Trail: A Hiker’s Guide exclusively deals with the PHT and all the pathways that it is comprised of while The C&O Companion guidebook has a section devoted to this specific portion of the PHT.

The Potomac Heritage Trail is just one of the many naturally beautiful paths that are part of the National Parks Service.  The PHT is perfect for lovers of nature who enjoy hiking regardless of their level of experience. Luckily for residents of Sterling, Virginia there is a trail just outside their doors waiting to be explored.

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Claude Moore Park – A Little Something for Everyone

In Sterling Park, Virginia, there is a park that is a favorite among residents called the Claude Moore Park. This park has natural habitats, a historical area, recreational facilities and educational opportunities.

History of Claude Moore Park

The park was named after Dr. Claude Moore, the last resident to own private land on the area that would eventually become a staple of the Sterling Park community. Dr. Moore was a medical officer during World War I.

Dr. Moore bought the property in 1941 from the Lane family, who had owned the land for 162 years. He owned it until 1975, when he donated his property to the National Wildlife Foundation. So, the land was only owned by two families over its 200 years of being occupied, a rare occurrence even among the thirteen colonies.

Dr. Moore wanted to keep the site as a place where people could learn about and enjoy nature, so when the land was sold to developers in 1986, he fought in the court system to make sure they would not bulldoze the natural beauty.

He was ultimately successful, with the county buying the land from the developers and designating it as a historical park in his name in 1990.

Historical Trails

Be sure to stop at the Visitor’s Center to pick up a brochure of the Claude Moore Park Lanesville Area Walking Tour. Take time to walk through the Park and its natural beauty and read the interpretive displays along the way.

The Vestal Gap Road, originally a Native American footpath, became a major route for settlers between Alexandria and Shenandoah Valley pre-revolution and served as a byway for troops in the French and Indian War. The road was named after John Vestal, who ran a ferry where today’s Route 9 crosses into the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Historical Buildings

Nestled in the park are several historic buildings: the 1779 Revolutionary War-era Lanesville Ordinary, the schoolhouse, and the Frogshackle.

The Ordinary played an important role in the War of 1812, at one point providing temporary housing for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Ordinary is a two story, side gabled frame house with a history that belies its “ordinary” appearance.

The schoolhouse on the property is one of the oldest one-room schoolhouses in Loudon County. The second floor was the residence of the teacher.

Another building of importance is the Frogshackle, a log cabin that today houses the hands-on nature center.

Family Fun and Recreation

There are many picnic areas to enjoy, fishing opportunities, and several hiking trails through the natural habitats, with the longest trail being 3.5 miles. Color-coded markers indicate the trail range from 1/4 to 3 miles. Inside the Visitors Center is a classroom-type arrangement, mirroring the style of the old schoolhouses.

Interpretive programs, classes and camps are offered to encourage children to explore the natural world. Claude Moore Park is ideal for families to picnic and enjoy the great outdoors.

For sports fans, their sportsplex offers baseball, softball, and generic rectangular fields. In fact, the beauty of this park makes it a frequent site of choice for local softball tournaments.

There are also two ponds where fishing is allowed certain times of the year. This park is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy beautiful surroundings and learn the history of the Vestal Gap Road.

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Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events

The Southern United States has had a love affair with auto racing that dates all the way to the lawless days of Prohibition.  This can be seen every weekend on the dirt tracks and other various race tracks across the south. Hopeful drivers usually get their start racing go karts before working their way up to vehicles with bigger engines.  

Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events, located in Sterling, Virginia is one of those places where kids can get their first taste of motor sports.  Most people think go-karts are just for children, but they make even adults feel like they are Richard Petty for a little while.

High-Performance Fun

Unlike older go-karts with their leaky gas-powered combustion engines, Autobahn Indoor Speedway has embraced modern technology. They feature electric cars that have the instant acceleration and torque that brings an adrenaline rush to all drivers.  

The electric go karts available top out at 50 mph and feature many of the same technologies of modern race cars.  Featuring dual disc brakes and 4-point raving harnesses, Autobahn keeps the drivers safe. The rear differential and responsive steering give the driver a true racing experience, so they can power through the curves.

The Thrill of the Road

Autobahn Indoor Speedway provides grand prix style road courses, so drivers don’t get bored from only turning left.  There are also reflexive barriers providing advanced safety while racing ten cars deep. There is also high-tech timing systems keeping track of your lap times down to 1/100th of a second while live lap times are kept running during the race so the driver can keep up with their performance.

Fun for Juniors and Adults

Autobahn provides racing instruction for children 8 years and older in junior karts that offer the same thrill as the full-size karts.  This provides children with a safe, controlled environment to learn the ins and outs of motor racing, so they will be ready when they graduate to the larger Formula One style karts.  

In addition to showing them the excitement that motor racing provides, this early education also will help them become better drivers when they are eventually allowed to get behind the wheel of the family car.

Race Against Yourself or Others

Not only are there racing leagues that drivers can participate in, but drivers can compete against the clock, keeping track of their best lap times.  Autobahn Indoor Speedway is also an ideal venue for parties and group events for businesses and groups of friends looking to compete. Drivers can call ahead and book time for their groups, or you can simply “arrive and drive” as long as space is available on the track.

With motor racing being one of the most cost prohibitive sports to get involved in, Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events provides the perfect intro to the sport of automobile racing.  Children can see if racing is a sport they might want to pursue while adult dreamers can unleash their inner Fireball Roberts as they speed around the track.

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3 Reasons to Visit Sterling Park, Virginia

Located just west of Washington D.C. is the small town of Sterling Park, Virginia. At a population of about 27,000, it is a quiet alternative to the hustle of the big city. While Sterling Park may be small, it has a lot to offer.

The town started, like many other places in the area, as a collection of thousands of acres of farmland owned by a handful of people. The ownership changed hands over the years, but it wasn’t until 1959 when the building of the town began in earnest.

The year 1959 was when construction was initiated on the Dulles International Airport, now the major feature of Sterling Park. Since then, the town has become known as both a great place to raise your kids and a good location to run a business.

The town features three high schools, three middle schools, 12 elementary schools, two colleges, and a number of corporate headquarters. But beyond that, there are plenty of hidden gems in the parks and local scenery that appeal to folks of all ages.

Here is a look at some of the most notable attractions in Sterling Park.

Dulles International Airport

Washington Dulles International Airport was intended to be the major airport for travelers coming to and from Washington, DC. It replaced Washington National Airport as the main avenue of air travel after its construction was completed in 1962.

While it is now one of three major airports serving the Washington, DC area, today it remains one the busiest airports in the country, with over 60,000 passengers a day on average.

Many residents of Sterling Park rely on the airport for their livelihood, and in fact the town did not exist until Dulles became a part of the landscape. Sterling Park is similar to the old railroad towns of the west, popping up only after becoming a major transportation hub.

Algonkian Park

This park is a favorite among the residents of Sterling Park. It is very expansive, totaling 838 acres. It features a golf course, dozens of miles of walking trails, a boat launch, and much more. You can even take a kayak tour down the Potomac river.

Residents say there is nothing like watching the leaves change color in the fall as you float down the Potomac. For years, it has been a place where families and friends gather to enjoy the great outdoors.

Heritage Farm Museum

Sterling Park has its roots in agriculture, and it recognizes this with the Heritage Farm Museum. The museum has a lot to offer and is catered towards kids, offering summer camps and year-round field trips.

Some of the notable exhibits include the Waxpool general store, Ms. Su’s Schoolhouse, and the Claude Moore’s Children’s Farm. On the children’s farm, kids can have fun “milking” the resident cow, or head over to the schoolhouse and general store to pretend they are schoolteachers and shopkeepers from the early 1900s.

The museum also has an American Indian history exhibit, highlighting the people and culture that was here before us with preserved tools and pictures from the time.

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