#12 – Visit the Air Force Memorial



The Air Force Memorial, dedicated in 2006 features three stainless steel spires reaching 270 feet into the air which represent the contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds performing a “bomb burst” maneuver. A statue of the honor guard is nearby and a Contemplation Wall as well as a Glass Wall representing The Missing Man flight formation are also part of the Memorial.  The site, perched on a hill, offers an excellent vista of Washington, DC. In the summer, The Air Force Band performs frequent concerts on the grounds.

#11 – Play Putt Putt at Upton Hill Regional Park

The miniature golf course at Upton Hill Regional Park features cascading waterfalls and aquatic features.  The course is open from mid-March through October.

#10 – Try the halfpipe at Powhatan Springs Skate Park

How about skateboarding at Powhatan Springs skate park?  The nearly 15,000-square-feet skatepark  has a combination of street-style elements and old-school elements such as bowls and half-pipes.

#9 – Go roller skating at Thomas Jefferson Community Center

Most Saturday nights from mid-October through late March, the Thomas Jefferson Community Center offers roller skating for families from 6:30-8:30 PM and teens only from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve Weaver

#8 – Have a Family Skate Night at Kettler Capitals Ice Rink

2007-08 Washington Capitals practice sesison a...
Image via Wikipedia

The Kettler Capitals Ice Rink at Ballston Mall is the new training center for the Washington Capitals Ice Hockey team.  They offer public skate sessions, lessons, camps, skate parties and the opportunity to watch the Capitals practice.

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#7 – Visit the Planetarium


The David M. Brown Planetarium, which has provided more than forty years of service to Arlington students and the community, is named for the Arlington native and astronaut who was killed in the Columbia space shuttle disaster.  Fans are now conducting a Save the Planetarium campaign to raise the funds necessary to provide needed renovations and keep the Planetarium open.

Author’s Note 12/4/2011:  Thanks to successful fundraising, the Planetarium is now undergoing much needed renovations and is currently closed.  It is expected to reopen during the 2012-2013 school year.  Check the website for details.

#6 – See a show at Signature Theatre

One of the Nation’s best regional theatres, the Award-winning Signature Theatre in ShirlingtonVillage has a mission “to produce contemporary musicals and plays, reinvent classic musicals, develop new work, and reach its community through engaging educational and outreach opportunities.”  The theatre moved to a new building in 2007 which more than doubled its size from the previous location.

#5 – Celebrate Virginia Garden Week

Celebrate Virginia Garden Week in late April. The Fairfax Garden Club’s tour changes location each year but it is always in the vicinity.  For 2012, the tour will be held in Arlington on Tuesday, April 24th from 10-4.  Visit the Virginai Garden Week site for details.  You can also take a tour in nearby Alexandria.

#4 – Visit the Pentagon Memorial

Pentagon Memorial

Pentagon Memorial (Photo credit: jjgardner3)

If you can’t get reservations for a guided tour of the Pentagon, visit the Pentagon Memorial. The Pentagon Memorial park consists of 184 memorial units for each of the lives lost when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.   The memorial units representing the 59 lives lost on Flight 77 face so that when reading the name of the victim to whom that unit is dedicated, the visitor to the memorial park faces the sky. When looking at a memorial unit dedicated to one of the 125 victims who were working inside the Pentagon, the visitor will see the victim’s name and the Pentagon in the same view.  It is open seven days a week 24 hours a day.

#3 – Take a guided tour of the Pentagon

The Pentagon is the world’s largest office building.  But plan this one in advance – you must get reservations ahead of time.  The free one hour tour covers approximately a mile and a half in length and is offered Monday through Friday during normal working hours.  To make a reservation, click this link.