Days off school mean no homework. No bus pickups. No lunches to pack. In our household we bask in the glow of school holidays. We eat, play, shoot baskets, watch movies, and hang out. What’s not to love about this type of day? But five people in one house all vying for control of the remote or the game controller or a laptop makes for a crazy, noisy day. As a work-at-home-mom, my work day can become challenging with the kids and husband home from school. While it is tempting for us to stay home, every so often planning a trip on a day off school is a must. Some months ago we ventured out to a new type of high-tech driving range just outside Washington, D.C. While the kids finished up any lingering homework or played games with dad, I did my daily work tasks. Once I logged off, we set off for Top Golf.
Top Golf is a driving range-- but driving range does not begin to describe what it offers: Top Golf is a driving range gone high-tech. You play with real golf balls and clubs -- your own or a loaner set. Each ball is embedded with a unique microchip. You simply aim one of your balls at one of the targets on the driving range grass…and swing away. The accuracy and distance of your shot determines your points.
This game is fun for all ages. From expert golfer to a four-year-old, Top Golf is a hit. My youngest - seven - had the best time swinging away at balls. My husband - a golfer - played a more precise game. My tween and teen were eager to get the top score. It didn’t take long before all three kids were clamoring for a chance to see how far they could drive their golf balls.
Each game costs between $4.80 and $6 and includes 20 computerized golf balls. After each of us swung at a ball, our score was displayed on a computer screen within each of the golf suites...similar to bowling. The all-weather facility offers 76 golf suites that are covered and heated for year-round game playing.
After a swinging our clubs over and over again, we worked up an appetite. The Top Golf menu offers a wide range of appetizers, sandwiches, and drinks. Alcoholic beverages are available. My teen and I split a huge plate of nachos, while my son and daughter had chicken tenders off the kids menu. My husband enjoyed a hamburger. The Top Golf waitstaff or caddies were attentive to our needs, and the delicious food provided a welcome distraction for my "can't wait his turn" son!
Top Golf provides entertainment, as well as a chance to try a new sport or practice an old one. Clubs are provided free of charge, which is perfect for those traveling to D.C. My children and I used the loaner clubs while my husband brought his own set.
For an extended stay in D.C. with family, you may find that you want to throw in a fun family activity amidst touring war memorials and museums. The Residence Inn Washington, D.C., has the family in mind with a daily free hot breakfast buffet and dinner "social hour" buffet. Another option for families is the Embassy Suites Washington, D.C. -- includes a hot breakfast buffet. For the business traveler, the centrally located Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C. offers a retro lobby and newly renovated rooms.
Top Golf is located about a 30-minute drive from Union Station in the heart of D.C. The journey by Metro (the Washington area public transit authority) is longer, but doable. From Union Station, take the Red Line to Metro Center. Transfer to the Blue Line heading towards Van Dorn Metro station. Take a cab from the Van Dorn Metro to 6625 S. Van Dorn Street. Check online or call 703-924-2600 for opening/closing times and if reservations are needed.
– Jill Berry of Musings from Me
[Photo Credit: Flickr/turbotoddi]