Don't let its name scare you away. Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is a 725-acre park that features a variety of wildlife habitats including wetlands, forests and grassland. The park is a great place to catch wildlife in action, to seek peace and solidarity with nature or to switch up your usual workout routine.
Peace and Quiet
With endless amounts of traffic, construction and new housing developments taking control all over town, it's hard to believe that such a tranquil park like Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve actually exists in Loudoun County. According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve is the perfect site to observe nature and watch for birds. The landscape features a variety of habitats, a pond, plants and trees including oak and hickory, and meadows of milkweed, goldenrod and thistle. Animals you may see while exploring the land include deer, great blue herons, eastern bluebirds, woodchucks, barn owls and the occasional bald eagle.
If losing weight is on your New Year's resolution list take note: watching what you eat is half the battle. Think your only option for grocery shopping is the big name supermarkets? Think again! There are plenty of locally-based farms and farmer markets throughout Loudoun County that offer the best fresh foods. Stop by one to see (and taste!) the difference.
You Pick the Best
Ever get to the grocery store only to think to yourself, "This is the best they've got?" Chances are that pile of apples and oranges traveled a very long distance from the fields to your local produce aisle. Plenty of damage can occur during that cross-country journey in the belly of an airplane or in the back of a semi. Instead of searching around for that one ripe bunch of bananas or grapes, head on over to a local farm where you pick the best out of the bunch.
If the holidays left you feeling more frazzled than fabulous, then consider taking some much needed time off for some rest and relaxation at Cloud Nine in Leesburg.
The Best of the Best
Ranked as the number one salon in Loudoun County via Leesburg Today's annual "Best of" survey, Cloud Nine Salon, Spa and Boutique offers everything you need to rest, relax and revamp yourself in the new year. Choose from a variety of salon and spa services including hair cut, color, style and design, facial and body treatments, waxing, massage and makeup assistance. The salon and spa also offers brow and lash tinting services, hair and eye lash extensions as well as bridal party beauty consulting services. Shop the latest brands in hair and skin care plus bath oils, gels and body lotions at the on-site boutique.
According to HelpGuide.org, volunteering provides many benefits both for those who volunteer and those who receive services. Volunteering connects you to people, something that our technology-driven society lacks, as well as provides opportunities to work on your social, professional and relationship-building skills. Volunteering also helps keep your mind and body healthy by increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, combating depression and keeping you active instead of lazying around on the couch. It also brings fulfillment to your life. Think about it: instead of wasting time and money coveting the latest "it" bag or the hottest new car, spend a little time and energy improving the lives of others and that feel-good feeling will last longer than any seasonal fashion item ever will.
New Year, New You
It's the new year and chances are you're planning to do things a little bit differently in 2013. Whether you desire to get back into a favorite sport, curious to try something new like a marathon or yearn to get back into your skinny jeans, get a head start on your new year resolutions with help from one of these local fitness centers today.
More Than Just a Gym
If the last time you worked out was during the Flashdance era, then take note: today's gym is much more than just an empty mirrored room with a free weight stand. Many local big-name gyms offer a variety of health and fitness services including personal training, group fitness courses, state-of-the-art cardio and free weight equipment, swimming pools and much more. Lifetime Fitness (44610 Prentice Dr., Sterling) offers its guests a salon and spa plus a rock climbing wall and basketball courts while Fitness First (11674 Plaza America Dr., Reston) features more than 60 fitness classes at all hours of the day and night. L.A. Fitness (1490 Classic Path Way SE, Leesburg) features racquetball courts as well as a kids care center.
Forget sitting at home and letting your fingers have all the fun. At Laser Nation, you and your family are all part of the action. Separate into teams or set off on your own personal mission to score the most points. Run through a dark multi-level labyrinth full of corridors, ramps and fog. Laser Nation also features an observation deck, where guests can catch all the play-by-play action and keep track of scores, tons of arcade games, free high speed internet and a snack bar--perfect for refueling after an exciting game of laser tag. More than 45 players can play at one time and a single game lasts approximately 30 minutes. Whether you stop by for an hour or stay for the entire day, it's a great and affordable way to get active with your kids and have fun.
Whether your child is a soccer star or needs a new year's revolution in the fitness department, Athletic Revolution in Ashburn has you covered.
More than Just a Gym
Athletic Revolution is a youth fitness and athlete development program aimed at improving your child's speed, agility, strength and power. The fitness facility also provides weight management advice and positive lifestyle support for kids and teens. Located in Ashburn, Athletic Revolution offers its members various sports-specific classes, including kids soccer and lacrosse, as well as general classes, like youth fitness classes and boot camps for mom and dad. The facility also provides multi-day camps and clinics during winter and summer breaks.
The Tally Ho Theatre first opened its doors in 1931 and became the place to go to catch first-run movies as well as the occasional live music and comedy show. Due to competition with multi-theater establishments and a steady decline in business, the previous tenants of the Tally Ho pulled out of their lease and shut its doors in September. Don Devine, building and commercial real estate developer, envisioned transforming the shuttered theatre into a performance hall reminiscent of those located in Arlington, DC and other destinations far from Leesburg. Today, the Tally Ho features not only live music, theater productions, special events and other artistic performances.
If you find yourself out of ideas on how to keep the kids entertained over the long holiday break, or you simply need an excuse to get out of the house, then head on over to one of these Christmas light shows, guaranteed to entertain kids and adults alike!
Light Up Your Night
Ever wondered what 500,000 LED lights and displays look like? Come visit the Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights in Vienna and see for yourself. The botanical garden is transformed into a winter wonderland featuring a Gingerbread Village, a two-story animated fountain and a skating pond display. Walk among lighted trees, nature displays and holiday themes. The Meadowlark Winter Walk also features a nature walk, costumed characters, a butterfly garden and snowflake shop.
With the horrible situation at Sandy Hook Elementary School making headlines around the country and the world, many issues stem from this senseless act of violence including mental health awareness. If you or someone you know is suffering from mental anguish, including stress, depression and anxiety, consider speaking with a local mental health professional. And, remember, there is always someone out there to help you with whatever it is you are going through.
First Comes Love
Whether you are unable to find the right words to express your wants and needs to your spouse or you are recovering from the aftermath of an illicit affair, licensed professional counselor Michael N. Ceo, M.A. offers a variety of ways to handle conflicts in marriage. Couples counseling services may include individual assessment sessions, improvement of relationship skills to include conflict resolution, emphatic listening and negotiation skills as well as a thorough look through each other's childhood, family life and personal histories.