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    Get your outdoor #zen on with #yoga in the #stables at Salamander #Resort. You might even be joined by the #barn #cat, Pumpkin! #loveva #virginia #earthday #vaoutdoors #repost #photooftheday#pet #stable @salamanderresort
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  • Posts Tagged ‘the arts’

    School’s Out. Now What?

    by Casey | Posted on June 8th, 2012

    Moms and dads, are you looking for something fun, creative, energy-burning, and awesome for your kid(s) to do this summer? Boredom is killer. Feels like just yesterday I was on a reading marathon for the duration of summer. Not that there’s a thing wrong with reading all summer, but, ya know. A kid’s gotta play sometime.

    Marine Science Consortium

    Marine Science Consortium

    Enough about my summers and more about yours. What’s the plan for your tikes and/or big kids? There are summer camps for nearly anything they have an interest in, so let’s get to it.

    On Virginia.org we have a handy set of articles that detail Arts & Music, History, Outdoors, and Sports camps (as they’ve been brought to our attention). Jump on over there to get the whole hog, but here are a few that I especially like and hope that you will find interesting, too.

    If your child enjoys playing in the dirt or has a fondness for hunting buried “treasures,” perhaps the Diggin in History Archaeology Camp at the Chesterfield Historical Society would be an apt camp for him or her. Kids 8-12 will be taught the proper use of tools, how to set up a site for a dig (can’t you imagine your backyard now?), excavation techniques, and more. They’ll have the chance to examine historical digs and take a trip to Petersburg National Battlefield. $95/student.

    What child has not dreamed of flight? It seems to be in our DNA that we’d like to soar as the birds do. At the Virginia Space Flight Academy on Wallops Island, your little space cadet can explore model rocketry, robotics and flight simulation. As if that’s not cool enough, field trips include visits to NASA’s Range Control Center, Payload Testing & Assembly Center, launch sites, and more. Students should be 11 to 15 years old. Six one-week all-inclusive overnight camp sessions are available beginning July 1. $795/student.

    The Latin Ballet invites kids 5 to 16 to put on their dancing shoes for some ballet, Latin jazz, modern and hip-hop classes. Kids will also have a chance to try their hands at percussion. Who doesn’t want to bang a drum? The camp is broken into three two-week sessions (9 AM to 4 PM), July 9-August 17, at either the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen or Richmond Center Stage in Richmond. $325/session.

    New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

    New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

    A variety of Civil War camps are available all across Virginia all summer long. From Newport News to New Market, up to Bristow and back to Petersburg, your little soldiers can get schooled on battlefield life as well as the roles of those who were left at home. Camps begin as soon as June 23 and run into October, if need some weekend adventure plans. Rates begin at $70/person.

    Do you have a drama queen in your house? Maybe the Living Storybook Drama Camp is just what she needs to channel her inner diva. Held at the Spencer Penn Centre in Henry County July 23-27 from 10 AM to 2 PM, the week culminates in a recital on Friday where the one-day-Academy-Award-winners will deliver their lines with grace. $90/student.

    Hang ten with the big boys (and girls) when you take up one of the righteous Billabong surf camps at Virginia Beach. The chicas have their turn in one of four two-day sessions (July 12-August 15) with the dudes choosing one of eight three-day sessions (June 20-August 15). Girls are $110; boys are $160.

    Budding culinaristas have a chance to take classes spun from hit television shows – Cupcake Wars, Ace of Cakes, and Top Chef sound familiar? In Martinsville at The Artisan Center, kids can participate in their own cook-offs and bake-offs. Camps begin June 18 and are 8:30-11:30 AM. $55/student.

    If dolphins melt your heart, the Marine Science Consortium on Wallops Island must be your summer destination. Three-to-five day all-inclusive overnight camps range from coastal mammals and fish to dangerous creatures. Campers should be 10 to 15 years old, depending on the session chosen. Camps are $299-$599/student and start as soon as June 24. See all available camps.

    There are dozens more where these came from, so go check ‘em out.
    Arts & Music * History * Outdoors * Sports


    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Art? We have trails for that.

    by Casey | Posted on April 30th, 2012

    If you’re on the hunt for handmade treasures why not throw in a scenic drive and make a weekend of it? Virginia’s artisan trails are immense. Each trail highlights Virginia’s beauty captured in virtually any medium of your choice, as well as right in front of your eyes.

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network is known as ‘Round the Mountain. The network claims 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, vineyards, and more. It’s important to note that The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail intersects and may, in fact, run the same course occasionally as the ‘Round the Mountain trail network, so lend an ear while you treat your eyes.

    To make the ‘Round the Mountain network easier to navigate, the system is broken up into smaller trails.

    From the west and bordering Kentucky and Tennessee is the Wilderness Road Artisan Trail encompassing Lee and Scott Counties. North of that are the Lonesome Pine (Wise County) and  Rivers to Ridges (Dickenson and Buchanan Counties) artisan trails. Creeping west toward the Clinch River and named for it is the Clinch River Artisan Trail of Tazewell and Russell Counties.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson @CameronDavidson.com.

    The Interstate 81 corridor is a busy one. Hop off the rat race and see these trails with much to offer. In Montgomery County (Blacksburg) is the Montgomery County Artisan Trail, but if you venture just west you’ll also encounter the artisans of the Giles Art & Adventure Trail. Moving south along I81 is the New River Artisan Trail in Pulaski, Mountain Crossroads in Bland County and Wytheville, Smyth County Artisan Trail in Saltville, and Countryside Artisan Trail in Abingdon, Damascus, and Bristol. While you’re in Abingdon, check out Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway. In reality, it’s a great place to kick off the whole adventure!

    If you’re already off the beaten path and perhaps traversing the captivating Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find artisans all around you. Beginning in Franklin County around Rocky Mount, you’ll be in the middle of the White Lightning Artisan Trail (yes, THAT kind of white lightning).

    As you move south into the front-porch jam town of Floyd, you’ll also be in the midst of great art on the Floyd County Trail. Harmony Trail goes into Carroll County and the Hillsville area. Southwest is the Woven Mountains and River Bends Trail of Grayson County along the North Carolina border. Back to the east is the last trail of the network – Hidden Treasures - in Stuart and Patrick County.

    As if those trails aren’t enough, the rest of Virginia boasts some art, too. Venture the Discover the Arts Trail in Hampton Roads. It highlights 35 visual arts and 16 performing arts venues around the Historic Triangle.

    In Nelson and Albemarle Counties you’ll find the Monticello Artisan Trail. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop to agriculture and history, the arts along this trail will fulfill a wide array of tastes.

    To  the west and spanning Staunton, August and Waynesboro is The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley. A world-class theatre in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse gives this particular trail a little oomph.

    Lastly, the Western Highlands Artisan Trail includes Alleghany, Bath, Craig, and Highland Counties. From The Homestead to beautiful Humpback Bridge and famous maple syrup, this trail has tremendous scenic value in addition to the handmade arts.

    Visit Virginia.org/ArtisanTrails to download trail brochures and plan your trip. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



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    16th Annual Virginia Arts Festival

    by Casey | Posted on April 5th, 2012

    Incredible artists, commissioned works, extraordinary collaborations, and unforgettable performances … it’s all waiting for you at the 16th Annual Virginia Arts Festival, April 16-June 6.

    For 16 years, this acclaimed festival has brought the world’s great artists to performance venues throughout the Hampton Roads area, making this beautiful region – already beloved for its beaches, pristine waterways, wildlife, and historical attractions that date back to the earliest days of our country – a cultural destination for travelers from around the world.

     

    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

    Key Events:

    April 16: Renée Fleming

    April 24: Béla Fleck & The Flecktones – The Original Line-Up

    April 27-29: Virginia International Tattoo

    May 5: Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show Spectacular

    May 12: Al Pacino: One Night Only

    Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show Spectacular

    Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show Spectacular

    May 19: Virginia Beer Festival

    May 25: Harlem Renaissance Orchestra

    June 6: Virginia Arts Festival Finale & OpSail 2012 Opening Night Gala

     

    See the full schedule of events, preferred lodging partners, dining options, and more at www.Virginia.org/VAArtsFestival/.

     

     



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    Spring in Shenandoah National Park

    by Casey | Posted on February 17th, 2012

    With the unseasonably warm temperatures Virginia has had over the past bit, the trees will be budding in Shenandoah National Park in no time. Plan your weekend drive up to the Park around an event or travel package. Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming up this spring.

    Spring Ride

    Take a Spring Ride!

    Be the early bird that catches the worm when you book the Early Bird Spring Special to stay at Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge! Book your one-night stay for sometime between March 29 and June 21 to lock in a $119 room rate. The stay includes breakfast for two.

    Once per month from April through November, Skyland Resort hosts a Vintner Dinner - a four-course meal paired with wines. The best part about this dinner is that an overnight stay for two, delicately etched Shenandoah wine glasses, and breakfast the following morning are included!

    • $359/couple
    • Call 800-788-7852 to make your reservation. Seating is limited.
    • Dates: April 13, May 18, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, and November 9.

    Perhaps wine without the dinner and stay is what you fancy. If so, the Park offers a weekly wine tasting at both Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland Resort. Tastings are Thursdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and include assorted chesses and a handcrafted glass for you to keep. The fee is $15.

    When those flowers finally break loose, be among the group who enjoys a narrated walk or workshop all about the woodland wildflowers. May 5 and 6 is Wildflower Weekend in the Park.

    Twilight Hikes from Big Meadows LodgeLook up to the skies. What do you see? Take a walk into the “big meadow” at dusk for a Twilight Hike with Shenandoah Mountain Guides. At 3,500 feet, no light pollution or haze will interrupt your view! $10/adult and $8/child 12 and under. Select Saturdays June through September.

    Join Jeff Alt, author of “A Walk for Sunshine” and hiking commentator for ESPN’s “Inside America’s National Parks,” for a one-hour presentation about his personal 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail journey on June 23, July 14, August 11, or October 13 at 4 p.m. in Big Meadows Lodge.

    If it’s entertainment that you’re after – authentic Virginia entertainment – check out the cloggers! Two groups perform at the Park. See Hi-Horse Cloggers of Stanardsville on the third Thursday of each month (April through October). Hi-Horse are known for their traditional clogging. Come see them for free from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

    The Park regulars are the Shenandoah Valley Cloggers who dance to bluegrass, country, old time rock, pop, and more. See them every Tuesday (April through November) from 8 to 9 p.m. for free.

    Possum Ridge String BandIf Southern Appalachian music appeals to you, don’t miss the concerts by Possum Ridge String Band the fourth Thursday of every month (April through November) from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The traditional sounds of the fiddle, mandolin, and banjo pair up for a few Irish and Scottish tunes, too. The concerts are free.

    Shenandoah National Park has an entry fee of $15 per car, however, there are select days throughout the year when the fee is waived: April 21-29, June 9, September 29, and November 10-12 are the 2012 fee-free dates.

    Discover more upcoming events in Shenandoah National Park at Virginia.org and put LOVE at the heart of your mountain vacation!



    Couples, Destinations, Events, Family, Food and Wine, Outdoors | Comments Off

    Shakespeare for the Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on November 9th, 2011

    Dress up and hit the playhouse this holiday season!

    American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse

    American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse

    American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, VA has scheduled some of William Shakespeare’s best works. Which is your favorite? Choose your show and then secure your accommodation. There are two Shakespeare-inspired properties you might enjoy.

     

    The Schedule:

    Henry V – November 9, 10, 13, 19, 25 – The story of England’s hero-king and of the greatest upset in European military history, Henry V is Shakespeare’s conclusion to his great history plays.

    Hamlet – November 10, 12, 17, 18, 22, 23, 26 – Hamlet is a philosopher’s gold mine; but it’s also a ghost story, a comedy, a thriller, and a seven-murder tale of revenge.

    The Tempest – November 17, 27 – Shakespeare’s final solo play is at once a moving fairy tale, a wondrous magic show, and a farewell to the stage that still defines our humanity.

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream – November 30 – Shakespeare’s mischievous comedy of lovers, heroes, fairies, and rude mechanicals is his tribute to humankind’s power of imagination.

    The Winter’s Tale – December 3, 31 – Shakespeare’s magnificent late play is a roller-coaster ride from romance to tragedy to comedy and finally to a place of transcendent beauty that few other works of art have ever gone.

     

    Where to Stay:

    The Bard's Nest

    The Bard's Nest

    The Bard’s Nest is the newest option for travelers to Staunton. In the heart of downtown, it’s a fresh, uniquely decorated space on the second floor of one of Staunton’s 1890′s buildings. Reminiscent of Shakespeare in name only, The Bard’s Nest has all of the comforts of home, and you don’t even have to cross the street once to get to the play! Rates from $125.

     

    Anne Hathaway's Cottage

    Anne Hathaway's Cottage

    Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is an authentic thatched cottage that appears to have come straight out of England. Old world accoutrements surround you, from English antiques to the 5,000-bulb garden, but don’t be misled to think there are no “new world” amenities. WiFi, a/c, and flat screen TV are included. Half the fun of this property is choosing your room. Will it be William’s, Romeo’s or Juliet’s room that suits you? Rates from $129 (or $119, if you’re last minute!).

     

    Themed Eats:

    Try the Blackfriars sandwich at The Pampered Palate or the Shakespearean pizza at Shenandoah Pizza.

     

    Special Package:

    The Stonewall Jackson Hotel welcomes you to their historic halls with two tickets to a Shakespeare performance and breatkfast. $185-$262, based upon availability.

     

    Find additional events, dining, and more to enhance your trip at Virginia.org/cities/Staunton/.

     



    Arts, Destinations, Events, The Holidays | 1 Comment