Where is your next Birthday Party? Great ideas from 2 – 80!
Go Blue Ridge Travel is looking for the best activities for kids in the northern Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley as part of the Kids Bucket List series. This week we are turning to two oldies – the Roller Rink and the Drive In Theater!
With 60 years and growing, Stoney Creek Roller Rink and Fun Center is into the third generation of family ownership with the fourth generation also joining the work staff. Keeping a business thru this many generations is almost an insurmountable task. “It is because of our core family values which has allowed this us to succeed,” said Debbie Warner, owner and general manager. Like all successful businesses you have to change as the world changes around you. Debbie Warner said “What has not changed over the 60 years is the need for the family to have fun together. This is just good wholesome family fun. Stoney Creek Roller Rink is so well received that we are pulling from seven surrounding counties from Frederick to Warren to Rockingham and three states including West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The rink is for any age group. We just had an 80 year old celebrate her birthday here. I held my breath until she was off of the roller rink floor.”
Stony Creek is much more a roller rink today. With almost an acre under roof, Stony Creek offers a Skate Floor, Bumper Cars, Laser Tag, Mini Golf course, a Tubes and Tunnel Multi-level Play-land just for small children. They also have a large arcade with over 85 games. “Children like adults love multi-task. They are not as physically active and due to the hi-tech world they are growing up they need a lot of stimulation. Our goals is to offer good wholesome affordable fun.” Concerned about your stomach, Stoney Creek features Piccadilly Circus Pizzeria with fresh over baked pizza, hot wings, hotdogs, ice cream and much more!
Stoney Creek is one of the few activity businesses where as an adult you can come in as a spectator and not pay. Make a trip down Interstate 81 and visit the largest indoor amusement center. This activity is a $(inexpensive) on our Kids Bucket List.
Another popular activity that has been here many years is the Drive In Theater. This is close to my heart because my family owned two drive in theaters for years. Just as a farm is a ‘family worked business’ so was my family’s drive in theater. I started very young filling popcorn containers and ‘pumping’ sodas in the concession stand. As I grew up my responsibilities changed to working in the ticket booth taking in the admission dollars. It was a great environment to learn work ethnics. It was also a lot of fun!.
The Family Drive In Theater in Middletown is one of only 386 theaters left in the United States with 10 in Virginia. Jim Kopp, General Manager, saids, “The increased popularity of the drive in theater is due to several things:
- People love the outdoors. Watching a movie under the stars is a big attraction
- Families and Friends can go from car to car so the drive in theater offers a great nighttime gathering spot without having to throw a party at yourself
- Kids can watch the movie or play or fall to sleep once they are worn out.
- Very affordable. Admission is much cheaper than the traditional movie theaters plus you can bring your own food or buy it inexpensively at the concession stand.
As a young person growing up, Jim said he relished his time at the movies. “It was good affordable fun which is what it is today! For my brother, sister, and I the drive in theater was our entertainment. And it was relaxing for our parents as well. The theater is a great value since you get double features as compared to going to a traditional movie theater.”
“Many people do not know we do birthday parties! Each party has a host from our staff. Kids love it plus after the party they get to see a movies as well with their friends.”
The drive in theater is also a great place for a fundraiser including PTA’s/PTO’s. “Once we close down after Labor Day for just the weekends, then the school organizations hold their events during the week when they have the entire theater to themselves. We have also done company outings as well,” said Jim. “In North Carolina where I owned a drive in theater we stayed open year round and did a great New Year’s Eve celebration with a huge Popcorn Container dropping from the sky at midnight. We are watching the weather up here and deciding if we can stay open year round as well.”
What is this Hollywood Movie Money I see on your website? “When you buy a DVD you will see a Hollywood Movie Money coupon enclosed. It can be used for FREE admission to the movies and other attractions!”
Like the roller rink, drive in theaters is an $ (inexpensive) Kids Bucket List experience. Check out the Fall Festivals coming up this September and October at Go Blue Ridge Travel!