By Mary Gallagher
Using our favorite Virginia Beach hotel the Founders Inn and Spa as our home base we have a lot of activities to pick from this spring in the Hampton Roads area. Included here are lots of ideas for the cities of Smithfield, Hampton, Newport News and Bacons Castle in Surry. This is by no means the complete list of things to do in this wonderful and historic area of Virginia but it will certainly get you started.
The Founders Inn and Spa
5641 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
T. 757 424 5511 or USA Toll Free 1 800 926 4466
Most people come to Virginia Beach for the beach, walking the boardwalk, playing in the waves or to visit the historical sites of Jamestown and Williamsburg and that is great, but then many of us want a bit of peace, calm and luxury afterwards which the well located Founders Inn and Spa is quick to provide to its guests.
The Georgian architectural style of the brick buildings on spacious grounds, the wonderful formal gardens are perfect for a first or second wedding or just strolling. We sat on our balcony and watched the sunset over the plantings and fountains with Abigail, a beautiful white swan and long time resident, slowly paddling around the pond.
The choices for dining cover quite a range with Executive Chef Scott Simpson adding international flavors to his creative menus. We had a sumptuous Sunday brunch in the Swan Terrace at $29.95 pp (with a crowd of locals and other hotel guests), outstanding room service and a light meal from the Hunt Room’s pub-like menu – all of which we would recommend highly.
Whether you choose the Presidents suite or a standard room, and we experienced both, you’ll enjoy the colonial furnishings, soft color palette and general quietness of the hotel.
They have an outstanding indoor pool and health club adjacent to the Flowering Almond Spa. Our visit to the spa was a wonderful experience that we won’t forget for quite sometime.
Many of my favorite hotels stays have been in Europe and the Founders Inn and Spa reminded me of a fine hotel in Baden Baden, the gardens of historic properties in France and the food equal to the best of American cuisine with worldwide influences. ￼
Check the Founders Inn website for frequent special offerings like this:
Stay two consecutive nights and enjoy a third night with our compliments. Guests also enjoy full access to the indoor swimming pool, gym and fitness center at no extra charge. This is a great opportunity to explore all Virginia Beach has to offer, visit friends, play a round of golf, enjoy the great outdoors or simply relax and unwind in beautiful, tranquil surroundings.
This offer is valid for any 3 consecutive nights and is based on a max of 2 people sharing a room, subject only to availability. Complimentary room night will apply after the second night and will not appear on the room bill.
Slip away for a chance to rest and restore in grand style. Package includes:
Overnight accommodations in the Presidential Suite
Choice of Champagne or sparkling cider
Three course prix fixe Virginia wine dinner for two
Two 50-minute spa treatments or 50-minute couples massage
Breakfast for two in Swan Terrace restaurant
Available only Friday and Saturday nights
A hotel representative will be in contact with you within 24-hours of booking to confirm spa and dining appointments.
Prices do not include taxes and/or gratuities, unless otherwise noted. Rates are based upon availability. Other restrictions may apply.
See our story on visiting Smithfield at https://gallagherstravels.com/?p=4940
Smithfield & Isle of Wight Convention & Visitors Bureau
319 Main Street, Smithfield, VA 23430
(757) 353-5521, (800) 365-9339
2nd Annual Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest at Windsor Castle Park
Saturday, April 13 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in downtown Smithfield
Featuring seven Virginia Wineries, an Organic Wine Tent, and eight Craft Brew Tents offering over 100 tastings! Advance Tasting Tickets go on sale on-line January 15th. Tickets will be available at locations on February 11th. Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at gate. Designated driver tickets: $15, only available at the event (will not sell out!) A “21 & up” event ONLY. Come to the hottest riverfront event in Hampton Roads on Saturday April 13th, but make plans to stay in Smithfield all weekend! Experience everything that “HamTown” has to offer – Wine Dinners, Hotel Packages, Fri Concert, Shopping, Art Galleries/Studios, Walking Trails & More! Only 2500 Event Tickets…this event will sell out!
Proceeds benefit: Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Christian Outreach Program (IWC), Windsor Castle Park Foundation and the Rotary Club Community Projects. For information on volunteering, sponsorship opportunities, chalets, etc. go to: SmithfieldVAWineBrewFest.com.
For further information call (757) 375-5182..
The Garden Club of Virginia’s 80th Historic Garden Week Tour
Saturday, April 20 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. in downtown Smithfield
Sponsored by The Elizabeth River Garden Club and The Nansemond River Garden Club this tour features historic homes and gardens on South Church and Main Streets. Experience the harmonious blend of 18th century Colonial, Federal, Georgian and Victorian period homes and buildings. Smithfield is proud that its Historic District is designated as a Virginia State Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Historic Register. Tickets are $35 and are available at the Visitor Center or online. For further information call (804) 644-7776
Editors note: In Smithfield we recommend any meal with Chef Leon at the Smithfield Gourmet Bakery and Cafe 220 Main Street. Smithfield.
Bacons Castle, Surry VA
TripAdvisor | Virginia Green Attraction
See our story on Bacons Castle at https://www.gallagherstravels.com/historic-bacons-castle-architecture-and-history-found-in-surry-county-va/
Afro- Atlantic Foodways
Michael W. Twitty will be sharing his expertise in the history and heritage of enslaved African-Americans and their foodways. General Admission
Did you cheer for Downton Abbey’s 1920s cricket match? Then you will really cheer when you attend our 1760s cricket match played at Bacon’s Castle. General Admission
80th Annual Historic Garden Week
The house and 17th century historic garden will be open every day this week, debuting brand new research on the historic garden! General Admission
Historic Architecture Symposium
In celebration of Historic Preservation Month, Bacon’s Castle will be hosting a symposium on 17th century architecture. Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited to 25 participants. Register online at preservationvirginia.org/events before July 6th for $10 off the $50 per person registration so register early!
Historic Gardening Symposium
The Garden at Bacon’s Castle is the oldest known English Formal Garden in North America. Speakers will discuss the archaeology and new research on the garden. Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited to 25 participants. Register online at preservationvirginia.org events by April 20th for $10 off the $35 per person registration so register early!
Hampton is the site of America’s first continuous English-speaking settlement and is home to such visitor attractions as the Virginia Air & Space Center and Riverside IMAX ® Theater, Hampton History Museum, harbor tours and cruises, Hampton University Museum, Fort Monroe, award-winning Hampton Coliseum, The American Theatre, among others. You’ll find year round events too.
1 Turtle Island Quartet with Michael Doucet
Michael Doucet, founder and fiddler in the world’s best Cajun Band, Beausoleil, is the ideal partner for Turtle Island – the world’s pre-eminent cross-genre string quartet. A Question and Answer session will follow the performance. The American Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
1-3 Third Annual Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival
Presented by Folk City Tattoo and Twisted Ink magazine, the Third Annual Hampton Roads Tattoo Arts Festival will celebrate all aspects of the tattooing industry. During the event, interested attendees have the option of speaking with tattoo artists and having the work performed on-site. The cost of each tattoo is in addition to the entrance fee price and is negotiated between customer and artist. Hundreds of tattoo artists, tons of vendors, and live music/shows all weekend. . Even the kids can enjoy face painting and temporary tattoos! Hampton Roads Convention Center. Fri. 12:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 a.m., Sun. 12:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. $25 daily, $45 Weekend Pass, $35 Military Weekend Pass, Children 12 and under free. 757/484-1319. www.hrtattoofest.com (1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
2-9 Downtown Hampton and Coliseum Central Restaurant Week
Good Taste Matters. Restaurant Week is upon us in Hampton. From March 4 through March 11, enjoy a 2- course lunch for $10 and/or a 3 course meal for either $20 or $30 at participating restaurants in Downtown Hampton and the Coliseum Central/Peninsula Town Center districts. Reservations are recommended but not mandatory. Downtown Hampton and Coliseum Central. 757/727-1271. www.hamptonrestaurantweek.com
2 Clifford the Big Red Dog Birthday Party – Celebrating Read Across America Day
Clifford is 50! Help us celebrate Read Across America Day and Clifford’s 50th birthday with a Big Red Dog Bash! Play birthday party games, enjoy birthday cake, participate in story time with the Hampton Public Library and explore Birdwell Island with the traveling exhibit Clifford the Big Red Dog. Activities are included in regular exhibit admission. 10:00 a.m. –
2:00 p.m. 757/727-0900. (600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669)
8-10 9th annual Progressive Insurance Virginia RV Show
Meet with RV dealers from across the Mid-Atlantic at the 9th annual Progressive Insurance Virginia RV Show. During the event, attendees will want to take the opportunity to meet with experts in the RV field, as well as enjoy special deals on travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motor homes. In total, there will be 10 RV dealers showcasing their recreational product and accessories for campgrounds.
Hampton Roads Convention Center. Fri. 12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., Sun. 11:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. $ 7.00 online, $9.00 at the door. 804/425-6556. www.gsevents.com (1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) is celebrating more than 40 years of providing exceptional dance performances and training to its many communities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Philadanco is one of the most sought after modern dance companies in America. The American Theatre. Sat. 8:00 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. $35. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
9 Professional Bull Riders
The PBR’s Touring Pro Division is about one thing: hunger. And it’s coming your way. Buckle up: This is the stepping stone to the glitz and glamour of the elite Built Ford Tough Series, but there’s nothing minor-league about it. These are young men dreaming of the big time. Hampton Coliseum, 7:30 p.m. $40.00, $30.00, $20.00, $10.00. 757/838-4203. www.hamptoncoliseum.org (1000 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
16 Celebrate Women’s History Month with a Woman’s Place
Queen’s St. North Worship Center. 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. $25 per ticket, $45 per pair of tickets. 757/719-5120 (98 N. Armistead Avenue, Hampton, VA 23669)
Starring Guy Masterson. Written and directed by Gareth Armstrong. Villain or victim? Or is Shylock someone even more intriguing? Shylock is one of only two Jewish men in the whole of Shakespeare’s immense output. Gareth Armstrong’s Shylock is rightly one of the world’s most successful solo shows and here, Guy Masterson, perhaps the world’s leading exponent of the form, and nephew of Sir Richard Burton, demonstrates its brilliance. The American Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
22-24 Southeastern Guns & Knives Show
Founded in 1982 by “Doc” Mendelson, SGK Gun Shows carries on the uniquely American tradition of Gun Shows. Catering to dealers and public alike, SGK currently produces gun shows on the East Coast. Hampton Roads Convention Center. Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sun. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. $8. 757/315-1610. www.guns-knives.com/calendar.php (1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
25-26 Volunteer Training
Annual training at historic Fort Monroe. Reservations required. Casemate Museum.
Mon. 9:00 a.m., Tue. 9:00 a.m. Free Admission. 757/788-3391. (20 Bernard Road- Fort Monroe Hampton, VA 23651)
30 Theatre IV in The Town Mouse & The Country Mouse
By Ford Flanagan. A quiet and simple country life or the fast-paced excitement of the City? That’s the question confronting the County Mouse in this square dance meets sock hop retelling of the classic fable by Aesop. A Question and Answer session will follow the performance. The American Theatre. 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. $8. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
1-5 Spring Break Science Camps (Grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5)
For detailed camp descriptions visit www.vasc.org. Virginia Air & Space Center. 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Admission Fee. 757/727-0900. (600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669)
5 Asphalt Orchestra
New York City’s Asphalt Orchestra redefines and re-contextualizes music from the concert halls, rock stages and jazz clubs of the world – bringing it all to new audiences in ways never heard or seen before. This 12 piece band of New York’s hottest brass, wind and percussion players brings together a wide swath of music into a breathtaking show. The American Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
6 Yuri’s Night
The world’s biggest space party is coming to Hampton Roads! Join over 200 cities, in 47 countries, for Yuri’s Night, a celebration of Space Exploration. Yuri’s Night Hampton Roads’ high-tech theme will focus on space exploration and what is new and exciting at NASA. The event will feature a fusion of entertainment including dance music, a Marstini lounge, star gazing, state-of-the art exhibits showcasing NASA technologies, art displays, robots, and more! Virginia Air & Space Center. 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Admission Fee. 757/727-0900. www.yurihr.com (600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669)
9-10 Dance Brazil
For more than three decades, Dance Brazil has been thrilling audiences around the world with its dazzling artistry which is deeply inspired by the cultural tapestry of Brazil. The dancers and musicians of this fantastic company never fail to enthrall audiences with their unique fusion of Afro-Brazilian movement, contemporary dance and capoeira . The American Theatre. Tues. 7:30 p.m., Wed. 7:30 p.m. $35. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
12 Phillipe Bianconi, pianist
Longtime Hampton Arts and Virginia Symphony favorite, French pianist Philippe Bianconi returns to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. Acclaimed as “an artist whose playing is always close to the soul of the music, filling the space with poetry and life”. The American Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $30. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
17-21 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Built to Amaze!
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® Presents Built To Amaze!℠ , the 143rd edition of the Greatest Show On Earth. Surprise and wonder delights audiences with over the top feats of strength, agility and courage. Magnificent elephants, ferocious tigers, astonishing acrobats and awe-inspiring aerialists are engineered into one spectacular performance. Hampton Coliseum. Wed. 7: 30 p.m., Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 10:30 a.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sat. 11:00 a.m., 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sun. 1:30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. $15- $80. 757/838-4203. www.hamptoncoliseum.org (1000 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
19-21 Boo Williams NIKE Spring Girls Basketball Invitational
Boo Williams Sportsplex. Admission Fee. 757/637-7300. www.boowilliamssportsplex.com (5 Armistead Pointe Parkway, Hampton, VA 23666)
20 13th Annual International Children’s Festival
Travel around the world during the International Children’s Festival. Enjoy the rich array of sights, sounds, and tastes of distant lands that will captivate the senses of children and adults alike. Experience the beauty and wonder of exotic places as over thirty-five countries and cultures showcase their unique heritages. Food and beverage available for purchase. Mill Point Park, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Free Admission. 757/727-8311. www.hampton.gov/parks/icf (100 Eaton Street, Hampton, VA 23669)
20 The Acting Company & Guthrie Theater in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It
As You Like It is a metaphor of love – its power, its madness, danger, humor and reflection. When Rosalind and Orlando fall in love, they are unable to act on their feelings. Forced to flee for their lives into the Forest of Arden, they find themselves entangled in a beguiling game of love, lust and mistaken identity in one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies. A Question and Answer session will follow the performance. The American Theatre. 8:00 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
21 The Acting Company in Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck’s tale of two drifters is one of the most widely read stories in America. This is the tragic story of two California migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression. A Question and Answer session will follow the performance. The American Theatre. 2:30 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
24 Ninety Miles
In this fantastic collaboration, critically acclaimed jazz greats Stefon Harris (vibraphones), Nicholas Payton (trumpet) and David Sanchez (saxophone) bring us a distinctly unique collection of songs which celebrate the Cuban-American jazz connection. A Question and Answer session will follow the performance. The American Theatre. 7:30 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
25-27 Joyce Meyer Conference
Sharing Christ—Loving People. Each session is unique and will include a powerful message from Joyce as well as worship with Matt Redman and Christy Nockels. No registration is required. Hampton Coliseum. Thurs. 7:00 p.m., Fri. 10:00 a.m. & 7:00 p.m., Sat. 10:00 a.m. Free Admission. 757/838-4203. www.hamptoncoliseum.org (1000 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
26-28 Boo Williams NIKE Spring Boys Basketball Invitational
Boo Williams Sportsplex. Admission Fee. 757/637-7300. www.boowilliamssportsplex.com (5 Armistead Pointe Parkway, Hampton, VA 23666)
26-28 Springer Theatre Company in The Marvelous Wonderettes
It’s 1958 and we are at the Springfield High School Prom when we meet the Wonderettes- Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy – our girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts and voices to match. As we learn about their lives and loves, we are treated to the girls’ beautifully arranged renditions of classical ’50s songs. After intermission, we are whisked away to their 10 year reunion where the Wonderettes again perform with high-octane and soulful renditions of classic ’60s tunes. The American Theatre. Fri. 8:00 p.m., Sat. 8:00 p.m., Sun. 2:30 p.m. $32.50. 757/722-2787. www.hamptonarts.net (125 East Mellen Street, Hampton, VA 23663)
29 Hampton’s Annual Landing Day
A commemoration of the first settlers’ landing in 1607 and the peaceful meeting between the Native Americans and the European Settlers. Strawberry Banks, 3:00 p.m. Free Admission. 757/727-8311. www.hampton1610.com (Strawberry Banks, Hampton VA 23663)
3-5 Sixth Annual Hunt for Hampton History (ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED IN MARCH)
This three-day event is filled with activities focusing on our local history and includes re-enactors, music, hands-on activities, and interactive displays that celebrate our “story” and help us explore and preserve the past. This is an event for families and those interested in telling their part of Hampton history. There will be a 10th anniversary celebration on Friday, May 3. Hampton History Museum. Fri. TBA; Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Sun. Noon – 4:00 p.m. Free Admission. 757/727-1610. www.hampton1610.com (120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669)
4 International Space Day
Join the Virginia Air & Space Center as we celebrate International Space Day with liquid nitrogen demonstrations, and exciting make-n-take activities. Explore the moon, Mars and beyond in the Space Quest gallery! Virginia Air & Space Center. 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Admission is included in regular exhibit admission. 757/727-0900. www.vasc.org (600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669)
17-19 Hoop Group (Boys 9th, 10th, 11th Grade)
Boo Williams Sportsplex. Admission Fee. 757/637-7300. www.boowilliamssportsplex.com
5 Armistead Pointe Parkway, Hampton, VA 23666)
24- 25 2013 Langley Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show
The Hampton Roads Convention Center will once again welcome over 1,500 canine friends to The Virginia Memorial Day Cluster. Hosted by the Gloucester and Langley Kennel Clubs, this highly anticipated event is expected to draw over 4,000 spectators within a four day period. This year’s cluster highlights will include four days of obedience trials, four days worth of AKC Rally®, and a free Junior Showmanship clinic. Hampton Roads Convention Center. Admission Fee. 757/315-1610. www.langleykennelclub.org (1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, VA 23666)
25-27 Memorial Day Beach Volleyball Festival
This volleyball tournament is for all levels of play for those who want to watch or join in on the fun. On Saturday there will be Men’s and Women’s Pro teams as well as amateur teams competing for cash prizes. Sunday will feature coed teams as well as one of the largest Junior’s beach volleyball tournaments on the East Coast. Monday will feature a King & Queen of the Beach event. Buckroe Beach. Free admission for spectators. 757/773-4386. www.stopwatchsports.net (100 First Street South, Hampton, VA 23663)
31-June 2 Steampunk: Visions of Futures Past
Quirkadelic time-traveling band Uglyography will play a kick-off event Fri. 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. to begin a weekend of steampunk artistry and fashion coinciding with Blackbeard Festival. The band will display in the Museum’s Great Hall throughout Blackbeard Festival. Museum will be open free of charge for this weekend only! Hampton History Museum. Free Admission. 757/727-1610. www.hampton1610.com (120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669)
ONGOING 2013 EVENTS & EXHIBITIONS
Sea to Stars Ticket
Purchase this ticket good for one-time admission to the Virginia Air & Space Center, IMAX Theater, Miss Hampton II Harbor Cruise, Hampton History Museum and the Hampton Carousel at the low price of $39.40 for adults, $25.50 youth ages 4 -11. Available at the Hampton Visitor Center and the Virginia Air & Space Center. Call 727-1102 or 727-0900 for details.
(First Monday of every month) Port Hampton Lecture Series
Features authors, living historians, and local history buffs discussing topics from Hampton’s past as well as related historical subjects of a regional and national flavor. Memberships available at the door. Hampton History Museum. 7:00 p.m. Free Admission for members. Non-members, $3. 757/727-1610. www.hampton1610.com (120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669)
(Second Thursday of every month) History on Film Series
Popular movies, cinema classics and documentaries exploring various historical subjects are explored with commentary by historians and other experts. Hampton History Museum. 6:30 p.m. Free Admission for members. Non-members, $3. 757/727-1610. www.hampton1610.com (120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669)
Listed below are some of the shows, exhibits, fairs, festivals and special events in Newport News for April through June 2013. For more information, including event times and fees, visit the website or call the Newport News Visitor Center at 757-886-7777 (toll-free: 888-493-7386)