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    @rbuck65 recently hiked Bearfence #Mountain off of #SkylineDrive, and this was the reward! This #hike is fairly short with a nice payoff. The trail head is near mile marker 56.4 on the Skyline Drive. #photooftheday #repost #epic #hiking #mountaintop #sunset #blueridgemountains #vaoutdoors Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here!
    Have you hiked Roaring Run Trail in Eagle Rock, #VA? An excellent family #hike, the trail passes rock walls, cascading water, five foot bridges and even a natural water slide before ending at Roaring Run Falls. At the head of the trail is Roaring Run Furnace, ruins of a 19th century furnace operation. Roaring Run #Creek is also known for trout fishing. #VAOutdoors #waterfall #loveva #repost #roaringrun #virginia #perspective #photooftheday Kudos to @spezzaroo for the beautiful photo!
    Hot diggity dog! It's National Hot Dog Day, so we thought we'd share this beef brisket, apple jicama slaw, poblano #BBQ #footlong #hotdog from the Continental Westhampton for #lunch. Grab a hot dog at your local joint and celebrate! #loveva #vafoood #nationalhotdogday #rva #craftbeer #vabeer @rvanews
    Can you imagine waking up and walking out on the porch to find yourself amongst the trees with a sweeping view of the Dan River Gorge's Blue Ridge Mountains? That's exactly what you'll experience when staying the night at Primland #Resort's Golden Eagle #Treehouse! Photo props to @visitvbr. Don't forget to share your tree top stay with us by tagging #LoveVA! #repost #Virginia #porch #mountain #goodmorning #photooftheday #primlandresort @primlandresort
  • Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

    The Stars are Aligned for Family Fun!

    by Casey | Posted on December 13th, 2011

    An often overlooked family fun spot is the planetarium.

    Think of it. It’s dark, the stars are bright and twinkling, and you’re not a bit cold even though it’s December.

    Consider these planetarium events in the coming weeks as you entertain children on break from school.

    Star of Wonder at the Virginia Living Museum

    Star of Wonder at the Virginia Living Museum

    In Newport News is the Virginia Living Museum Planetarium. This month you’ll find a variety of special star shows, including “Star of Wonder,” an immersive look at the journey of the Magi following the Star of Bethlehem. See “Star of Wonder” on these dates at these times:

    • December 14-16, 18 @ 2:30
    • December 17 @ 2:30 and 6:30
    • December 19-23, 26-31 @ 11:30 and 2:30

    Also at the VLM is the show “Virginia Skies,” an ever-changing program with an astronomer. Take a current look at the skies above while the astronomer highlights visible planets and details signs of upcoming astronomical events. Q&A is encouraged! Visit December 14 through 31 for 1:30 p.m. showings.

    In Harrisonburg, James Madison University hosts free shows at their planetarium every Saturday at 2:30 and 3:30. Expect a 25 minute talk about the current night skies, including the identification of any visible constellations, planets, and comets.
    Likewise, Radford University near Blacksburg offers free planetarium shows. “Star of Bethlehem” is akin to the “Star of Wonder” show at the Virginia Living Museum, and can be seen the following dates and times:
    • December 15 @ 7:30
    • December 17 @ 10:30
    • December 20-22 @ 7:30
    Head to a college observatory for free star-gazing. Those you can utilize are:
    • Keeble Observatory at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. Open Wednesday nights from 7:30 to 10 p.m. September through May as the weather and viewing conditions permit. Call ahead to verify availability.
    • Leander McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Open the first and third Friday of the month (except for holidays) from 7 to 9 p.m. Public nights are not for large groups. Groups should make a reservation for a second or fourth Friday night viewing. Call ahead to verify viewing conditions and availability.
    Have fun exploring and put LOVE at the heart of your time together this month.



    Family, The Holidays | 1 Comment

    A Unique Ride for Lights

    by Casey | Posted on December 9th, 2011

    Natural Tunnel State Park. Courtesy of Virginia State Parks

    Natural Tunnel State Park. Courtesy Virginia State Parks

    In Duffield, the Heart of Appalachia, lies Natural Tunnel State Park. It’s a beautiful setting year ’round, but something really exciting for visitors of every age happens around this time of year: 8 Days of Christmas!

    Eight Days of Christmas at Natural Tunnel occurs December 9, 10, 16, and 17, and is a light show with a twist: experience the lights from the chairlift! Thousands of bulbs and animated figures are delightful sights as you descend. The fun doesn’t end when the chairlift does. There are carolers and other entertainers by campfire for your enjoyment. Add a cup of hot chocolate to this peaceful night and you’ll realize you’re in a real winter wonderland.

    Care to stay? There are still cabins available for this weekend, but the weekend of the 16th is sold out.

    Park Fees:

    • Weekday Parking: $2
    • Weekend Parking: $3
    • Chairlift: $3; under age 6 is free
    • Off-Season Nightly Cabin Rate: 2BR $88; 3BR $110; 6 BR $275
    Natural Tunnel image courtesy of Virginia State Parks

    Natural Tunnel State Park. Courtesy Virginia State Parks

    Getting There:

    1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway
    Duffield, VA 24244

    Natural Tunnel State Park is about 13 miles north of Gate City and 20 miles north of Kingsport, TN. From I-81, take U.S. 23 North to Gate City (about 20 miles). The turn-off to the park is at mile marker 17.4 on Rt. 23. Take Natural Tunnel Parkway about one mile east to park entrance.

     

    Quick facts about Natural Tunnel:

    • The Commonwealth of Virginia acquired the tunnel and 100 surrounding acres in 1967, and later acquired an additional 850 acres. The park was opened in 1971.
    • The tunnel is 850′ long and 100′ high inside.



    Family, Outdoors, The Holidays | Comments Off

    Give Artsy this Season

    by Casey | Posted on November 28th, 2011

    Stroll through Virginia’s galleries to find the perfect piece for the aficionado or hard-to-buy-for on your list. You’ll be amazed at the handiwork the Commonwealth’s artisans conjure up. From ironworks to canvases and hot glass, the gift opportunities are spectacular.

    Torpedo Factory

    Torpedo Factory

    Thursday, December 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. the artisans of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria will host an Open House. The event is Hawaiian themed, so please dress accordingly while you shop the studio for affordable, original artwork. Live music and refreshments cheer up the atmosphere, and the Center would be most grateful if you’d bring  a non-perishable food donation for the Carpenter’s Shelter – Northern Virginia’s largest homeless shelter.

    First Friday is an event you’ll find (sometimes only during the warmer months) across Virginia. Take advantage of this monthly gathering and get some of your shopping out of the way. This Friday’s First Friday and other special Friday night events include:

    - Olde Towne Portsmouth, 5-8 p.m.
    - Old Town Winchester, 6-9 p.m.
    - Uptown Martinsville, 5-11 p.m.
    - The Artisan Center in Martinsville, 4-8 p.m.
    - Crafter’s Village Arts & Crafts Show in Rocky Mount, 2-8 p.m.

    This weekend, December 2-4, visit The Art League in Alexandria for their special Ceramic and Pottery Show and Sale.

    The Del Ray Artisans Gallery, also in Alexandria, is hosting their 16th Annual Holiday Market this weekend, too. Twenty artists offer pottery/ceramics, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts, and glass products for your shopping pleasure.

    Appalachian Arts Center

    Appalachian Arts Center

    In Waynesboro you’ll find the P. Buckley Moss Museum. Pat Buckley Moss will be at her nearby home, The Barn, this weekend signing prints and meeting her collectors. If you’d like to purchase a gift and have it personalized as a Christmas gift, this is your only chance! Hours for meeting Pat are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shop the Museum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

    The Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd is hosting its 17th Annual Winterfest Arts and Crafts Festival this Friday and Saturday. Feel free to bring the kids – there are activities for them!

    Visit the studio of potter Nan Rothwell this Saturday and Sunday as she hosts an Open House. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit Las Vidas Mejoradas, public health projects in the Peruvian Andes.

    Other Notables:

    - Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway, Abingdon
    - Appalachian Arts Center, Cedar Bluff
    - Sun’s Traces Gallery, Barboursville
    - Nancy Thomas Gallery, Williamsburg
    - Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts
    - Sunspots Studios & Glass Blowing, Staunton

    For more arts and crafts shopping opportunities, visit Virginia.org.



    Arts, The Holidays | Comments Off

    The Magic of the Season

    by Casey | Posted on November 22nd, 2011

    Gordonsville Tree Lighting

    Gordonsville Tree Lighting

    How fleeting those moments are. You know the ones. A child’s eyes tell all – wonder, amazement, joy, and a speechless love. See that sparkle appear when you take your child or grandchild to a parade or tree lighting this holiday season.

    Gather ’round the community tree and sing carols with candles in hand. The warmth of togetherness is unmatched when you take time out, join hands, and celebrate a season of abundant love. Take part in one of these annual tree lightings this year:

    Enjoy one of these upcoming parades!



    Family, The Holidays | 3 Comments

    Newport News Puts the Celebration in Lights

    by Casey | Posted on November 19th, 2011

    Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights begins in Richmond, moves on to Williamsburg, and then lands in Newport News, where the light show is a two-mile drive-through and then some.

    Hollydazzle

    Hollydazzle

    Celebration in Lights takes place in Newport News Regional Park beginning November 24. The park encompasses 8,000 acres, with two beautiful reservoirs that reflect the more than 750,000 bulbs you’ll see. Kids and adults alike will delight in the whimsical figures – 70 animated – with themes that include “Battle of the Ironclads” and “Santa’s Enchanted Kingdom.”

    Perhaps a little-known fact, Celebration in Lights is Virginia’s first and longest-running drive-through light show. See the beauty through January 1 for $10/car or $60/bus.

    On December 2 a dazzling event aptly dubbed Hollydazzle will take place at City Center at Oyster Point. It’s one of the most unique holiday displays you’ll find, with special effects, fireworks, and music. This is a free event.

    For families seeking an original Christmas, see Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star at Virginia Living Museum between November 23 and December 31, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s a planetarium event that follows the Star of Bethlehem, just as the Magi did. $21/adult and $17/child (museum admission + $4) Show times very; please check theVLM.orgfor exact times.

    Star of Wonder at Virginia Living Museum

    Star of Wonder at Virginia Living Museum

    “Since 1965, the museum has journeyed in the footsteps of the Magi seeking the identity of a mysterious star which foretold the coming of a king… Over the years, the scientific thinking has changed, archeology has revealed new clues, and our understanding of who the Magi might actually have been has grown. Our best theory for what the sign of the wise men might have been has changed, too. Now, it is time for us once again to update our understanding. The show was completely revised in 2008 to offer a truly immersive look at the journey of the Magi while examining the latest clues and seeking once more to understand the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem.”
    - Virginia Living Museum

     Perhaps packaging some of this fun into a weekend travel package will make the planning easier. If so …

    Point Plaza Suites and Conference Hotel is offering admission to Celebration in Lights along with a snack bag of tasty treats and breakfast for two  from $89/room.

    Eager for more 100 Miles of Lights info? See Virginia.org/100MilesofLights/.

     



    Family, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off