Best of NoVA 2018 Arts and Entertainment

Best of NoVA 2018
Family & Kids

Looking for a new place to spend family night? From laser tag to kid-friendly restaurants, here are your fellow Northern Virginians’ favorites.


Cartoon Cuts
This hair salon doubles as an entertainment destination with one goal: making your child happy. The waiting area is stocked full of video games, toys and art tables. Ellie the Elephant provides a stimulating wash before getting into the stylist’s chair, where children can watch cartoons, movies and games. The salon also services parents of children for a one-stop salon visit. –TM // Multiple locations; cartooncuts.com

Party Venue

Tiny Dancers
Tiny Dancers offers a memorable fairy tale experience for the birthday guest and friends. Using costumes and props, a ballet story will be crafted with assistance from a Tiny Dancers instructor and party assistant. Each guest will go home with a special keepsake, including a birthday gift for the guest of honor. –TM // 10875 Main St., Suite 11, Fairfax; tinydancers.com

JNJ Battle Quest
Courtesy of JNJ Battle Quest

Laser Tag

JNJ Battle Quest
The locally owned and operated laser tag company offers a 5,200-square-foot arena for the whole family to play in a safe environment. The company is committed to serving the Gainesville community by offering specials for organizations, teams, youth groups and schools. –TM // 13525 Wellington Center Circle, Gainesville; jnjbattlequest.com

Pottery Studio

Kiln & Co.
Guests have the options of making their own ceramics or choosing from a wide selection of unique pieces at this locally owned pottery studio. Pottery painting and life casting services are offered in-studio.  The studio also offers birthday party packages, summer camps and special events. –TM // Multiple locations; kilnandco.com


Let the Light in Photography
Wendy Atkinson is an on-location photographer in NoVA specializing in portrait photos. The company offers a number of packages suitable for every customer. Let the Light in was also voted best photography studio by Northern Virginia Magazine readers in 2015 and 2016. –TM // 14601 Vint Hill Road, Nokesville; letthelightinphotography.com

Kid-friendly Restaurant

Red Robin
This restaurant is known for two things: gourmet burgers and ensuring guests have a good time, every time. The menu offers recognizable food items and friendly staff go above and beyond to make personal connections with all guests. The fun, energetic environment in Red Robin is ideal for children of all ages. –TM // Multiple locations; redrobin.com


Claude Moore Colonial Farm
Go back in time to the year 1771 to find out what life was like prior to the Revolutionary War at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This living history museum encourages all visitors to participate in the activities offered on an 18th-century farm. As of this printing, the Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm and the National Park Service are discontinuing their relationship at the end of the year. NPS will still own the land and is weighing options for its future. –TM // 6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean; 1771.org


Educational Connections
Educational Connections offers the most customized tutoring experience for children by choosing tutors based on personality, subject needs, special needs, gender and previous experience. Hiring only 5 percent of tutors who apply, the tutoring company employs only the most qualified individuals. With an average client rating of 9.5/10, customers are always satisfied. –TM // 3923 University Drive, Fairfax; ectutoring.com

Indoor Entertainment

Monkey Joe’s
The inflatable arena offers slides, jumps, obstacle courses and many other features to keep children of all ages entertained. The space can be reserved for birthday parties, fundraising and special events, but walk-ins are always welcome for unlimited play. –TM // 23521 Overland Drive, Suite 120, Sterling; monkeyjoes.com


Bull Run Academy of Gymnastics
Filled with modern equipment and an experienced staff, this gymnastics facility holds recreational classes, competitive programs, camps and birthday parties. Head coach and owner Mary Henry is a certified USAG judging official and member of the National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges. This summer, BRAG will be moving into a new 28,000-square-foot location off Vint Hill Road near Lee Highway. –TM // 7120 Lineweaver Road, Warrenton; bragnow.com


Arlington Central Library
The mission of the Arlington Public Library is to provide access to information, create connections among people and promote reading and culture for every Arlingtonian. In addition to book rentals, the library offers free computer use as well as art exhibits and study spaces. Volunteer opportunities are available for those that wish to contribute. –TM // 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington; library.arlingtonva.us/locations/central-library

Spray ground

Our Special Harbor Spray Park at Lee District Park
Children love this Chesapeake Bay-themed spray ground that features a spraying osprey nest, Chessie the sea serpent, misting sunflowers and a lighthouse. For a quieter experience, a beach area featuring bubblers and water tables is always open.  General admission is free. –TM // 6601 Telegraph Road, Franconia; fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/recenter/lee-district/family-recreation-area


Mindframe Education
Children can take their education to the next level with Mindframe Education, a STEM-focused learning center. The after-school and summer programs offer expert instruction, hands-on learning and digital tools for youth to take with them into their future careers. –TM // 44933 George Washington Blvd., Ashburn; mindframeeducation.com

Bounce Space

Rebounderz is the place where family, fun and fitness all come together for the ultimate experience. The indoor trampoline arena offers attractions such as ninja warrior courses, jump towers, dodgeball trampoline arenas, basketball slam jumpers, arcades, cafes and a play area for small children. –TM // 22400 Davis Drive, Sterling; rebounderz.com

Martial Arts

Top Kick
Martial arts classes at Top Kick are about more than “punches and kicks.” The life-changing classes teach children lessons in respect, focus and confidence. The facility offers an after school program where children can be picked up from school and head straight to martial arts classes. A summer camp option is offered as well. –TM // Multiple locations; topkickonline.com

Batting Cages

Upton Hill Regional Park
The Upton Hill batting cages are fun for individuals of all experience levels. There are six baseball cages with slow, medium and fast pitch speeds, as well as three softball cages with slow, medium and fast pitch speeds. Bats and helmets are provided free of charge to all guests. –TM // 6060 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; novaparks.com/parks/upton-hill-regional-park

Water park

Splash down Waterpark
This Manassas water park invites visitors to “enjoy the beach without the drive.” The man-made water park features different attractions for all ages and abilities, eateries, swimming lessons and party rentals. Tickets and season passes can be purchased online. –TM // 7500 Ben Lomond Park Road, Manassas; splashdownwaterpark.com

Swimming Lessons

Swimkids Swim School
Knowing how to swim is in your child’s best interest. SwimKids offers swimming lessons for children of all ages and abilities, starting at two months. Classes are offered seven days a week year-round to accommodate busy family schedules. –TM // Multiple locations; swimkids.us

Dance Classes

Tiny Dancers
The family-owned studio offers literacy-based ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and musical theater classes that provide dancers with a strong technical foundation. Students between the age of 2 and 5 begin dance curriculum embodying famous fairy tales and move up to a more intensive focus on technique, style, interpretation and choreography as they advance in the program. –TM // Multiple locations; tinydancers.com

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