Cheap Tricks Lose the Wallet


Recent studies suggest that, in accordance with customary local belief, the world does indeed revolve around Charlottesville. We’re not too big, not too small; not too wholesome, not too seedy; not too hot, not too cold. In the words of Outside magazine, Charlottesville is one of those “dream towns that have it all.” Only one problem: You haven’t received your cut. While all the fat cats on Main Street bling it up in their limousines and cement ponds, you prepare for another summer in the gutter using discarded napkins to write your Great American Novel.

 Unless your sweater has “DMB” monogrammed on it, you could stand to save a little dough—especially considering all the great cost-cutting opportunities available in the area during the June-to-August lull. That’s why C-VILLE came up with its complimentary list of places to go, people to meet and things to do with your summer that won’t burn your bank account. Many great ones didn’t make the list: breathing, sleeping, looting…you can do those anywhere. C-VILLE’s list is made up of 25 no-cost alternatives—from groping produce at the City Market to scoping out the local meat market—that contribute to making Charlottesville what it is. In it you’ll find ways to be entertained that the scalpers don’t want you to know about, how to get your education without the hassle of college loans, not to mention the hidden secret behind that oft-dismissed “free lunch” (if you’re willing to take on the challenge).

Some free things require long hours of work or negotiation. Others will leave you with a little free time left over. Some may seem obvious. Others will shock and surprise you. The one thing they all have in common is that, if you play your cards right, they won’t cost you a dime.

Catch some air at the skateboard park

Playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is great and all. You get to practice wicked tricks and, when you’re done, still have the ripped thumbs to prove it. But if the rest of you needs a chance to catch up, head to the McIntire Skate Park, which extends its daily hours starting June 14 as schools let out. Hit the park’s Skatelite ramps, jumps and boxes or go kick some ass in a pick-up game of hockey. By the summer’s end you’ll be tanner, fitter and maybe even have a couple cool battle scars so that people will believe your lies about the time you nailed a 540-varial-double-backflip and landed with a manual/nosegrind combo.



  Send a message to terrorists

Putting aside horns, red lights, pollution, parking, the little nervous tic you get every time you sit in traffic and the fact that C-VILLE’s Rant line is on speed dial in your mobile phone, there’s one very good reason not to use your car this summer: gas prices. The extra money you’ve been feeding your tank recently must be taking its toll on your paycheck. Instead, catch Charlottesville Transit Service’s free trolley, which theoretically makes its rounds every 15 minutes, Mondays through Saturdays, 6:38am to 11:53pm. You may think the trolley can’t get you to where you need to be in time. But its simple route up and down Main Street—circling UVA on one end and the Downtown Mall on the other—means you’ll never get lost, laid over or side tracked. Pretty soon, you’ll forget 29N ever existed.


Get your grub on

If you’re one of the scores of local residents suffering from acute penuriousness, the problem may seem all too familiar: You’ve blown your budget on drinks and, with the few bucks left in your pocket, find yourself forced to choose between dinner and that one last shot of Old Crow. You know what you have to do. Take the Crow and head to the third floor of Miller’s where you can gorge yourself on free popcorn until a stocky bartender cuts you off.

 While Miller’s true place in the summertime hall-of-fame belongs to its patio, which is one of the fastest-filling retreats for weekend strollers on the Downtown Mall (and a great place for people-watching), the Miller’s upstairs, with $1 pool and a typically rowdier crowd than its downstairs counterpart, is a retreat from the retreat. When you’re ready to reemerge, the barred-up pool-hall window provides a great vantage point for scoping out open outdoor tables below.


Play doctoral student

The folks at UVA didn’t invent the library, but they sure did perfect it. And since erstwhile Heisman Trophy contender Matt Schaub caught the midnight train to Georgia, the best way for townies to appreciate the massive public learning institution in their backyard is through its wealth of academic—or in some cases, just plain frivolous—resources. Check out the 1940 Henry Fonda classic The Grapes of Wrath at the Robertson Media Center on the third floor of Clemons Library. Then stroll over to Alderman Library’s Special Collections and ask to see the original manuscript of Steinbeck’s novel. (Good luck with that.) Once you’re thoroughly inspired, head to one of the school’s many computer labs, rarely crowded during the summer, to begin work on your own masterpiece. In other words, write a couple sentences, check your e-mail and give up.


Pitch your crackpot idea

Your teachers said you needed to get your feet on the ground. Your colleagues told you it would never fly. But that theory of yours on how distributing yellow hover-boards to all City residents would ultimately put an end to world hunger—well, thinking like that is what helps grease the wheels of the American governmental system.

 “The crackpot idea is the fundamental right of all Americans to propose,” says UVA Politics professor Larry Sabato (who took time away from his frequent cable news appearances and Associated Press punditry to comment on hometown government). Every first and third Monday of the month, City Council gets paid to settle into their chambers and hear your zany pitches for how to make Charlottesville a better place. And if you’re not there to exercise your rights, you can bet another loony will be there to do it for you.




Go crazy with people-watching

No use trying to hide it. Everybody does it. And that small percentage of the population that denies doing it are probably the ones doing it the most. After all, how could a city like Charlottesville be the great cultural bastion that it is if it wasn’t for its colorful characters and the people who watch them? On a busy night at the Downtown Mall, you can see hundreds of stories pass before your eyes: That group of yuppies there just sealed the biggest business deal of their lives; those gutter punks came through on a boxcar six months ago and never left; the woman with the tambourine will one day be the next Bob Dylan. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with a little people-watching, try navel-gazing or star-searching for an interesting twist. The best places to practice are the patios and terraces of local restaurants/coffeehouses. Public benches will also suffice, but beware—someone else may be watching you.


Sugar Hollow’s sweet relief

No summer would be complete without a visit to the County’s favorite free swimmin’ hole, Sugar Hollow Reservoir. It’s an adventure just getting to the reservoir, located deep in the northwestern part of Albemarle, not far from the Appalachian Trail. The 30-minute drive takes you beyond Garth Road and past the one-store community of White Hall, over sharp curves and perilous single-lane bridges. Risk getting lost and finding yourself in the none-too-friendly company of Virginia Tech fans.

 But the sublime beauty of the dam and peaceful surroundings make it all worthwhile. Nearby trails are perfect for mountain biking. Or wade through the river to an old fire road, which leads you to the popular Blue Hole. There, if you’re daring, you can swing from a rope off the 15-foot ledge and into the frigid water below.


See a work in progress

Think of Charlottesville as your personal art school but without the tuition. Those who want to learn about the creative process behind great art works can head to the McGuffey Art Center, a nonprofit artistic cooperative off Second Street NW in the former McGuffey Elementary School. The center opens the doors of its 23 studios to the public for 17.5 hours a week, to see projects like Miki Liszt’s modern dance explorations, Rosamond Casey’s book-making and Rose Csorba’s rather…interesting…puppets. If you seek a more hands-on artistic experience, head to Cilli Original Designs Gallery’s newly established lounge nights, Thursdays, 8pm-midnight, when artist Monty Montgomery opens the studio below the Downtown Mall’s Jefferson Theater for participants to share ideas and to get feedback or guidance on their own projects.


See a bigger work in progress

When the weather gets warm, it’s time for building projects to move out of their “under development” phases and into the nitty-gritty of construction. Sure, there may be hassles associated with having the lot across the street turned into a work site: noisy crews, messy runoff and that heinous orange mesh wire. But when all is said and done, what remains is a monument to progress, a fixture to assume its permanent place in the architectural history of Charlottesville. This summer, grab your lawn chair and sunglasses, and head out to see these many projects insinuate themselves plank-by-plank into your world: the Walker Square apartments, which promise to revitalize and gentrify life south of Main Street; Hollymead Town Center, which offers economic growth at the expense of culture; UVA’s arena project, bringing better basketball and more traffic; and Court Square renovations, due to make the Downtown area more tourist friendly and spike property taxes.




Look to the stars

Penniless romantics throughout the ages have discovered that gazing at the stars can turn the tide of even the lamest dates. No need to make it look cheap, though. UVA’s McCormick Observatory, located atop the aptly nicknamed Observatory Hill, off McCormick Road, hosts free public nights the first and third Fridays of every month, running through the summer from 9 to 11pm. A glimpse into the observatory’s 26-inch telescope will make dinner and a movie seem colder than the Boomerang Nebula’s minus 272 degrees Celsius. When the moment is right, say something about how your darling is more beautiful than the Transit of Venus and her heavenly body will be yours.


Douse yourself in cool music

You can sense the gentle rushing of James River, just over the levee and across the tracks from Scottsville’s Dorrier Park, as you spread your blanket and watch night fall to the music of Rhythm on the River. Compared with the bustling scene at Charlottesville’s Fridays After 5, Scottsville’s monthly summer concert series, starting Sunday, June 6, with Los Angeles’ EastMountainSouth, offers just the right mood for a relaxing evening, “like Golden Gate Park in the ’60s, but probably with less ganja going around,” says Rhythm on the River President Jan Glennie-Smith. The Scottsville festival doesn’t sell beer, thus avoiding a boozy ruckus—but picnics are encouraged and a sixer of Bartles & Jaymes in your basket isn’t going to set off any alarms.


Get touched by an Angel

You’ll be moved. You’ll be provoked. You may get a little depressed. But if you do, just remember what a great bargain you received on your catharsis at Live Arts’ production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches. The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, about two men coming to terms with having AIDS in the 1980s—and a lot more—runs for 17 shows during June. But if you want to see it for free, you have only four chances. As always, free tickets are available at the C-VILLE Weekly office (106 E. Main St.) on a first-come, first-served basis for the show’s preview night, Thursday, June 3. Each of the following Wednesdays through June 23 is pay-what-you-can, which is sort of like getting in for free, if you can endure the mighty glare of Box Office Manager Darryl Smith.


Streak The Lawn

From a strictly legal standpoint, it would be irresponsible to engage in the UVA tradition of streaking The Lawn. The fear of getting busted by campus police for indecent exposure and having your name added to the State’s list of sex offenders, alongside unwed couples guilty of “lewd and lascivious cohabitation,” may deter some. But hypothetically speaking, if you were to streak The Lawn, summer would be a good time to do it. With all the students gone, you can enjoy maximum privacy…unless you count the web cam mounted on Old Cabell Hall ( Or professor Larry Sabato, who says he sees sprinters au natural practically every night during the school year from the window of his Pavilion IV apartment.



Bone up on the irrelevant

You may have seen them before inC-VILLE’s Get Out Now calendar. Each week, free lectures pass through on dozens of scintillating topics like “Contemporary Indigenous Photography in Australia” or “Extreme Star Formation in the Local Universe: From Ultracompact HII Regions To Proto Globular Clusters.” And who could forget “Roles for Glial ERK and p38 MAP Kinases in Reactions to Brain Surgery”? Someone has to go to them and it may as well be you. Learn to turn any casual parlour conversation dead silent in deference to your vast amounts of random knowledge. Better yet, bring a cohort so you can insist that “The Speaker of the House: Past and Present” is something everybody ought to have an opinion on. As an added bonus, most museums and lecture halls offer top-of-the-line air conditioning.


Train to be a Hogwaller Rambler

It’s not about the glory when it comes to The Hogwaller Ramblers. The Hogs have looked fame and fortune in the face, stared them down and gone back to the bar for another round—where you’re likely to find them several nights of the week, playing free regular gigs at the Blue Moon Diner (Tuesdays), The Shebeen (Thursdays) and Escafé (Sundays). Though the Hogs’ roots-driven music is some of the best around for what it’s worth, it’s difficult to call them a band. The words “conglomeration,” “tradition” or “jam session” might fit better. During its 13-year run, the group has hosted around 30 members with connections to many well-known “side projects.” Spend some time hitting the shows and learning the songs and, chances are, they’ll let you become a member, too.

Look up your buddy’s record

You’ve been trying all spring, but just can’t seem to persuade your friends that their summer days would best be spent serving you ice-cold lemonade as you relax in your hammock. What you need is some leverage. The State general district court system’s Virginia Courts Case Information webpage ( gives you instant blackmail at your fingertips. All you have to do is click on the city or county in which a transgression occurred, select the nature of the violation (hint: the juiciest stuff is in criminal) and type the person’s name. Your old lady gets on your case about driving too fast. But did she mention the five speeding tickets she has under her belt? And it turns out that night your boyfriend refuses to talk about wasn’t spent cheating on you, but rather in the local drunk tank. Thank goodness for open government!


Free French help

Il y a une année puisque les Américains ont célébré leur “mission accomplie” en Irak. Qui peut douter que la prochaine étape en la guerre contre le terrorisme sera d’envahir la France, et probablement le Canada aussi? Quand tout est fini, une connaissance de base des expressions françaises, comme “Apportez-moi une autre bouteille de vin, cochon!” et “Où est ta Jean d’Arc maintenant?” aidera considérablement à soulager les tensions d’initiale entre les deux cultures …

 Alors, peut-être la dominance imminente mondiale n’est q’une possibilité, en attendant l’élection en Novembre. Néanmoins, on ne peut pas nier l’importance d’être un bon diplomate à ces périodes incertaines. On ne sait jamais quand il pourrait être utile pouvoir parler une autre langue: après avoir perdu vos bagages à Paris, en voyageant à la Somalie pour une mission humanitaire, ou demander à quelqu’une de vous montrer ses doudounes, à la Nouvelle-Orléans.

 Need help with French? Call Jason at 293-3190 to schedule a free meeting.




See how the other 3% lives

Just as the über-wealthy get the urge to go slumming every once in a while, your lower-income status doesn’t prevent you from acting like a Brazilian playboy or Hollywood diva on occasion. First, slap on your monocle and stroll into a ritzy boutique to try on some new duds. When you’re done admiring your fine self in the mirror, on your way out, grab a copy of that other free newspaper, The Real Estate Weekly, to skim the “Open Houses” section and arrange for a tour of your pretend mansion. (A good place to start might be Real Estate III, which advertises homes for a mere $500,000-plus in Foxchase subdivision, with open houses every weekend.) As a final coup de grace, try a Porsche on for size. You need only be a legal adult and have a valid driver’s license to experience the finest in German engineering, says Greg Stratos, sales manager at BMW of Charlottesville/Crown Porsche: “We don’t discriminate.”


Tennis, anyone?

Perhaps it was the Boar’s Heads, Glenmores and Farmingtons that prompted Tennis magazine to name Charlottesville its No. 1 tennis town in 1999. But with 63 public courts in Charlottesville and Albemarle, it’s easy to make sport like the idle classes without shelling out the hefty membership fees. Each of the area’s four high schools offers lighted courts, as do Piedmont Virginia Community College, UVA’s Snyder Tennis Center and Tonsler Park at the corner of Fifth Street and Cherry Avenue. Drag the kids out to practice with you until they’re ready for the City Youth Tennis Team’s summer league, which meets at Pen Park starting June 14 for advanced players, ages 10-18 (970-3271). The sooner they become the next Venus and Serena, the sooner you can open your own country club.


Sample the world

Never mind milk and bread. The real reason you keep going back to the grocery store week after week is obvious. The supermarket sample is the ultimate freebie—you can’t resist that smiling face doling out miniature portions of guilt one toothpick at a time, enticing you to cave in and just put the sausage patties in your cart. At local gourmet stores, you can find samples from each of the four basic food groups and then some, allowing you to turn the simplest toilet-paper run into a truly cultural experience. Enjoy a little sushi here and some extra-ripe Brie on a Triscuit there. Wash it all down with a trip to a local winery for even more sampling extravagance. And if shopping in style is your specialty, make sure to head to the City Market on Water Street, the place to see and be seen buying locally grown goods, produce and crafts, Saturday mornings through October.


Give something back

You’ve gleaned every available free resource, so the next step is to give back to the community. The volunteer opportunities abundant in the area are, in many cases, what sustain those small, cost-free pleasures you take for granted, like the Rivanna Trail (which has workdays every second Saturday of the month). If you enjoy watching construction, call the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity to find out how you can help build houses for those in need. If karaoke’s your bag, contact the Music Resource Center about ways to volunteer working with teens in the community. And if you simply enjoy life, giving blood is a quick, simple and painless…O.K., so it hurts like the Dickens… way to pass it on to someone else. All will leave you bubbling with a feeling of magnanimity, which may be one of the best free things of all—next to looting. For more ideas on how to volunteer, see Get Out Now, starting on page 26.


Get serenaded with Top 40 hits

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who are for Maroon 5 and those who are against them. Before you start getting serious with your soul-mate-apparent, wouldn’t it be wise to know what you’ll be singing along to on the radio during those long trips to your mother-in-law’s? Will your beau be there with you when you’re cranking the Chumbawamba, or will he try yet again to slip in that infernal C.W. McCall CD? Karaoke night will test your date’s mettle when it comes to the issues that matter. And if you’re looking for someone, head to the free sing-a-longs at Baja Bean on The Corner (Tuesdays) and Buffalo Wild Wings in Barracks Road Shopping Center (Thursdays) to see whose heart melts when you take the mic.


Try 100 different kinds of yoga

If Charlottesville were to come under nuclear attack, leaving nothing but cockroaches, it would only be a matter of time before the little buggers set up their own yoga center. Perhaps more than any other pastime, yoga exemplifies the fitness-driven, extra-crunchy lifestyle that pervasively steers local residents. From specialty techniques (Inward Bound Yoga), to the exotic (Union Yoga’s viniyoga) to Alex McGee’s ever-intriguing “Yoga for Stiff Guys” at Studio 206, there is a veritable smorgasbord of styles available for you to mix and match in the area. Best of all, most places offer the first class free to newcomers so you can see just what it is you’re missing out on. C’mon, one little taste won’t hurt you. Just try it—you’ll like it.


Declare your independence from admission fees

Maybe you should go to Monticello, but you can’t afford to part with your hard-earned dead presidents for yet another lesson about why you’ll never be as good as Thomas Jefferson. And anyway, if you had that kind of money it wouldn’t matter because you could look at the estate on the back of a nickel and be satisfied. Fortunately, if you live in Charlottesville or Albemarle County, you can get to Monticello for free just by accompanying a paying guest. Your guests may beg and plead for you to split the cost, but hold your ground—remind them that if Jefferson had wanted them to have free admission to Monticello, he would have written it into the Constitution or something.



Monday, May 31

Oakencroft Winery holds its Spring Fiesta to release their 2002 Merlot Reserve and 2002 Petite Verdot, along with tastings, tours, picnic time and live music. $10, 11am-5pm.

The Outdoor Adventure Social Club takes you horseback riding in the mountains. $28 plus membership, 3pm.


Wednesday, June 2

The Wintergreen Nature Foundation’s Jay Shaner leads a hike up Reddish Knob. Bring lunch and water. $10-15, 8:30am.


Thursday, June 3

Bulk up your library at the Barnes & Noble Book Fair to raise money for The Virginia Museum of Natural History. Free, 9am-11pm.


Friday, June 4

The Barnes & Noble Book Fair continues. Free, 9am-11pm.

Sculptor James Welty visits the UVA Art Museum for a gallery talk. Free, 5pm.

The Jimmy O Band plays Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.

The Outdoor Adventure Social Club offers a backpacking trip to Three Ridges Wilderness returning Sunday evening. $18 plus membership, 6pm.


Saturday, June 5

The Strawberry Festival and Mountain Heritage Day heads to Stanardsville’s United Methodist Church with strawberry-themed food and activities, music and more. Breakfast (8am), parade (11am) and festival (10am-dusk).

The Outdoor Adventure Social Club offers a backpacking trip to Three Ridges Wilderness returning Sunday evening. $18 plus membership, 8:30am.

The Barnes & Noble Book Fair continues. Free, 9am-11pm.

The Rivanna Trail Foundation celebrates National Trails Day with a morning of trail-building. Registration required. Free, 9am-noon.

Monticello holds “Saturdays in the Garden” at Tufton Farm with Laura Krom teaching you how to make garden baskets. Registration required. $30, 9:30am-2pm.

Stamp collectors stick with the Charlottesville Stamp Fair. Free, 10am-5pm.

Go on a rock climbing excursion with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. $24, 10am-7pm.

Take a workshop on “Buddhist Practice: Development of Inner Peace and Compassion” with the Jefferson Tibetan Society at the Wesley Foundation Building. $40, 10am-4:30pm.

Go canoeing on the Maury River from Lexington to Buena Vista with the Virginia Canals and Navigation Society. Must have your own canoe. Reservations required. Free, 10:30am.

The Covesville Ice Cream Festival features music from Jonoah, Michael Cvetanovich, Tom Proutt & Emily McCormick and Heather Berry & Virginia Carolina at the Cove Presbyterian Church. 2-5pm.


Sunday, June 6

Join the Wintergreen Nature Foundation’s Bill and Nancy Corwin for a morning bird walk. Register by Thursday at noon. Meet at the Monocan Building. Free, 8am.

The Strawberry Festival and Mountain Heritage Day continues in Stanardsville with a concert from Nashville’s Todd Sanson (5pm), games and strawberry-themed activities.

See the Butterfly Celebration with a butterfly release in the Montpelier Butterfly Garden at Montpelier. $25/butterfly, 3pm. Registration required. 540-825-4840.

EastMountainSouth does mellow music for Scottsville’s Rhythm on the River with Red Beet. Dorrier Park. 6pm.


Monday, June 7-

Sunday, June 13

Wintergreen welcomes the pros at Stoney Creek Golf Course for the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Golf Championship. Free, 7:30am.


Wednesday, June, 9

Sandy Rakowitz comes to the Animal Connection to teach inspirational training methods to your pup. $70, 9:30am-5pm.

Canoe the James River with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. Bring lunch and water. $25-30, 1pm.

The Animal Connection hosts Yappy Hour at Darden Towe Park, where you can bring your pooch and meet others to walk him with. Free, 6-8pm.


Friday, June 11

Get down with Wanda and the White Boys at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, June 12

As part of the Great Eastern Trail Run Series the 15K Hardrock Carter Mountain Challenge comes to Charlottesville. Registration required. $30-35, 8am. Carter Mountain Orchard off Thomas Jefferson Parkway (Route 53).

The Rivanna Trail Foundation holds a “Second Saturday” workday. Free, 8:45am.

Join Blue Ridge Mountain Sports for an overnight backpacking trip to High Mountain Meadows. $40, 9am.

The Piedmont Center for Horticulture opens up the garden gates of the Woltz Garden. $5, 9am-noon.

First Colony Winery hosts its third annual Pig Roast with hayrides, music, wine tastings and tours. $10-18, noon-4pm. Reservations required.

The Wintergreen Nature Foundation invites young naturalists to learn about litter at Wintergreen. $3-5, 1pm.

Barboursville Winery presents Opera in the Vineyard with the Virginia Opera at the Barboursville Ruins. $35-200, 3-8pm.

NASA’s Jeff Halverson visits Wintergreen as part of the Field Studies Institute to present “An Evening with the Stars,” a guided tour of the night skies. Free, 7:30pm.

Celebrate the UVA Art Museum’s 30th birthday at “Exquisite Collage” with food, drink, art and fun. $75, 8:30pm.


Saturday, June 12 – Sunday, June 13

Raise money for the National Sclerosis Society with the MS 150 Bike Tour that starts and ends at Walnut Creek Park. $45 and minimum $200 pledge to ride, 6:30am.


Sunday, June 13

Congregation Beth Israel celebrates its 100th anniversary with a walking tour of Jewish Charlottesville led by anthropology professor Dr. Jeff Hantman. $8-12, 2pm.


Tuesday, June 15

Light House Youth Media presents “Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet,” with films by youth from all over the world. $10, 6-8pm.


Wednesday, June 16

Take a trip to Blandy Experimental Farm, Virginia’s State Arboretum, with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation and learn about how to restore a meadow from director David Carr. $10-15, 8am.


Friday, June 18

Don’t get stoned, but check out the Stoned Wheat Things at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, June 19

The Sierra Club leads a six-mile hike around Jump Rock to Maury River. Bring food, water and appropriate clothing. Meet at the old Howard Johnson on Afton Mountain, Route 250. Free, 8:30am.

Lynn Richmond gives a lecture at Monticello on “The Natural History of Eastern Forests: A Botanist’s Perspective.” $5, 9:30am.

Shenandoah Shakespeare presents Shakespeare Saturdays for Families: “Foolish Rhyming Mortals (A Mid Summer Night’s Dream).” Registration required. $15, 10am.

The Nature Conservancy holds a special trail construction day at Fortune’s Cove Preserve Trail. Registration required. Free, 10am-4pm.

Congregation Beth Israel celebrates its 100th anniversary with a walking tour of Jewish Charlottesville led by UVA history professor Dr. Phyllis Leffler. $8-12, 2pm.

Taste wines, nibble on cheese and listen to the tunes of Blue Ridge jazz on the top of Wintergreen Mountain at the Wintergreen Wine Festival. Reservations required. $10-$12, 2-4pm.

The Cardinal Point Concert Series brings in the King Bees for some rhythm and blues. $7, 3-7pm.


Wednesday, June 23

Go on a tour of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and then move on to the Hollywood Cemetery, both with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. Bring lunch. $25-30, 8am.


Thursday, June 24

Adopt-a-Highway with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. Free, 10am.


Friday, June 25

Don’t skip the Skip Castro Band at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.

The Outdoor Adventure Social Club holds an information session and photo show for potential members. RSVP. Free, 8-10pm.


Saturday, June 26

All ages are invited to canoe the James River with the Wintergreen Nature Foundation. $55-60/pair, 9am.

Peggy Cornett hosts Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden, discussing a “Lewis and Clark Garden.” $10, 9:30am.

Get wet with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club when they offer a white water rafting trip to West Virginia. Returning Sunday evening. $88, 10am.

The Nelson County Summer Festival kicks off with Tiger Lily, Terri Allard Band and a reunion of world beat band Baaba Seth fun and games, food, and representatives from local wineries. $10-15, 11am-6pm.

Jefferson Vineyards celebrates independence with “Red, White and Bluegrass,” including bluegrass tunes, food, drink and more. Reservations required. $14-28, noon-5pm


Sunday, June 27

The Nelson County Summer Festival continues with a bluegrass and more by the Jan Smith Band, Hackensaw Boys and Seldom Scene. $10-15, 11am-6pm.

David Adamski of the Wintergreen Nature Foundation gives a workshop on moths entitled “How to Get Moths to Land on Your Bedsheet” at the Monecan Building at StoneyCreek. $3-4, 6pm.


Wednesday, June 30

Jack Hillard and the Wintergreen Nature Foundation lead a hike to the Jones Falls in the Shenandoah National Park. Bring lunch and water. $10-15, 9am.


Friday, July 2

Catch some cool bluegrass with King Wilkie at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.

Kick off the July 4th weekend with a trip to Staunton and a Vespers Service with gospel singing at Gypsy Hill Park. Free, 6pm. 540-885-9583.


Saturday, July 3

Staunton celebrates July 4th a day early with a parade, talent program and music from Rumors and 1960s hit makers The Coasters at Gypsy Hill Park. Free, 10am-11:30pm. 540-885-9583.

It’s a “Red White and Listen to the Blues” weekend at Oakencroft Winery. $10, 11am-5pm.

Go hike and spend the night at Dolly Sods in West Virginia with Blue Ridge Mountain Sports leading the way. $40, 11am.

Celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday with a potluck with the Jefferson Tibetan Society at Mint Springs. Free, 4pm.

Dixie Power Trio mixes Dixieland music with rock ‘n’ roll at Scottsville’s Rhythm on the River with The Rogan Brothers. Fireworks to follow. Dorrier Park. 6pm.

Guest chef John Marshall from Al Di Restaurant in Charleston comes to Palladio Restaurant at Barboursville Winery to cook a special four-course meal. Reservations required. $85, 7pm.


Sunday, July 4

Monticello celebrates Independence Day with a Naturalization Ceremony, featuring the remarks of W. Richard West, Jr., the director of the National Museum of the American Indian and music from the Charlottesville Municipal Band. Free, 10am.

It’s a “Red White and Listen to the Blues” weekend at Oakencroft Winery. $10, 11am-5pm.

Staunton wraps up its three-day July 4th celebration at Gypsy Hill Park with a gospel service and music from Grammy-nominated gospel singers, The Crabb Family. Free, 11am. 540-885-9583.


Wednesday, July 7

Kids can play games from Colonial times like Capture the Flag at Montpelier. $8, 9am-noon.


Friday, July 9

The Nighthawks aren’t at the diner, they’re at Fridays After 5 on the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, July 10

The Rivanna Trail Foundation holds a “Second Saturday” workday. Free, 8:45am.

The Piedmont Center for Horticulture welcomes visitors to the Reed Garden to see the 10,000 day lilies. $5, 9am-noon.

Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden welcomes Laura Sullivan at Tufton Farm speaking on “Perennial Plant Propagation.” Registration required. $10, 9:30am.


Wednesday, July 14

Take a trip to Montpelier with the wee ones to learn about “Yolk Folk.” $8, 9am-noon.

The Animal Connection hosts Yappy Hour at Darden Towe Park, where you can bring your pooch and meet others to walk him with. Free, 6-8pm.


Friday, July 16

The Casuals play Fridays After 5 on the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, July 17

Star gaze, swim and go caving in West Virginia with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club. Return Sunday evening. Cost TBA, 9am.

As part of Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden, Peter Warren holds a “Garden Insects Workshop.” Registration required. $10, 9:30am.

Go to Staunton for food, seminars and wine as part of the Daylily Festival at Andre Viette’s Nursery. $15, 10am-6pm.

The Cardinal Point Concert Series brings in the King Bees for some rhythm and blues. $7, 3-7pm.

Bring in Bastille Day with a “Fete de la Bastille Dinner” at Jefferson Vineyards, including a five-course meal and lots of wine. Reservations required. $85, 6:30pm.


Saturday, July 17- Sunday, July 18

Monticello holds a “Plantation Community Weekend,” bringing the look and feel of the 19th century to Mulberry Row with artisans dressed in the costumes of the day. General admission, 10am-5pm.


Sunday, July 18

The Animal Connection offers a holistic dog care class with trainer Wendy Volhard. $75, 9am-4pm.

Have a summer evening at Montpelier with “period lively arts” of music, dance and theater presented by the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society. $5, 6:30pm.


Wednesday, July 21

Bring your kids to Montpelier to make masks and learn about myths. $8, 9am-noon.


Friday, July 23

Get wet with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club when they offer a white water rafting trip to West Virginia. Returning Sunday evening. $88, 10am.

Celebrate the country life at the Orange County Fair at Montpelier. $2, 3-10pm.

CC & Co. rock on at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.

The Outdoor Adventure Social Club holds an information session and photo show for potential members. RSVP. Free, 8-10pm.


Saturday, July 24

The Orange County Fair continues at Montpelier. $2, 9am-11pm.

Arrange flowers at Monticello with Janet Miller as part of their Saturdays in the Garden program. Registration required. $10, 9:30am.

Jump in with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club when they offer a white water rafting trip to West Virginia. Returning Sunday evening. $88, 10am.


Sunday, July 25

The Orange County Fair continues at Montpelier. $2, 9am-4pm.


Wednesday, July 28

It’s “Bats in the Belfry” at Montpelier. $8, 9am-noon.


Friday, July 30

Don’t change the channel on the English Channel when they play Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, July 31

Taste tomatoes with Maggie Stemann Thompson through Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden series. Registration required. $10, 9:30am.

Oakencroft Winery holds a Tomato/Salsa Fest with wines, tours and live music. $10, 11am-5pm.

Palladio Restaurant at Barboursville Winery welcomes guest chef Dave Everett of Blue Talon Grill in Williamsburg as he cooks a four-course meal. Reservations required. $78, 1pm.

Sunday, August 1

Oakencroft Winery holds a Tomato/Salsa Fest with wines, tours and live music. $10, 11am-5pm.

Day Break heads to Scottsville’s Rhythm on the River with Ryegrass Rollers. Dorrier Park. Free, 6pm.


Wednesday, August 4

Kids can learn about all the wonders of “Water Walkers” out there in the great big world at Montpelier. $8, 9am-noon.

Friday, August 6

Alligator does Grateful Dead covers at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, August 7

Learn about “Durable Native Plants” with Matt Sensabaugh at Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden. Registration required. $10, 9:30am.


Wednesday, August 11

The Animal Connection hosts Yappy Hour at Darden Towe Park, where you can bring your pooch and meet others to walk him with. Free, 6-8pm.


Friday, August 13

Corey Harris & 5×5 sing the blues at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, August 14

The Rivanna Trail Foundation holds a “Second Saturday” workday. Free, 8:45am.

Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden series welcomes Tom Buford, Peter Hatch, Gabriele Rausse and Kerry Gilmer for a “Summer Fruit Tasting.” Registration required. $10, 9:30am.


Friday, August 20

Terri Allard sings at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.

The Outdoor Adventure Social Club holds an information session and photo show for potential members. RSVP. Free, 8-10pm.


Saturday, August 21

Monticello’s Saturdays in the Garden features “The Ornamental Kitchen Garden” with Maggie Stemann Thompson. Registration required. $10, 9:30am.

Get wet with the Outdoor Adventure Social Club when they offer a white water rafting trip to West Virginia. Returning Sunday evening. $88, 10am.

Palladio Restaurant at Barboursville Winery welcomes guest chef John Brand of Keswick Hall to cook a four course meal. Reservations required. $85, 7pm.


Friday, August 27

Monticello Road rocks and rolls at Fridays After 5 on the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Tuesday, August 31- Sunday, September 5

Ride the rides, eat the cotton candy and see the livestock at the Albemarle County Fair.


Friday, September 3

Celebrate Labor Day with The Houserockers at Fridays After 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater. Free, 5pm.


Saturday, September 4

As part of the Great Eastern Trail Run Series, run the 100K or 50K Great Eastern Endurance Run through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Registration is required. 100K $85-100, 50K $55-70, 6am. Meet at Rockfish Gap, on 64W at exit 99 at Rockfish Gap.

Saturdays in the Garden at Monticello holds a “Seed Saving Workshop” with Allie Skaer and Stephen Bromm. Registration required. $10, 9:30am.

Oakencroft holds its Harvest Music Festival with live music, tours and tastings. $10, 11am-5pm.

Mountain Cove Vineyards and Winegarden hosts its second annual Labor Day Old Time Music Festival with live music, tours, tastings and food. $10, noon-5pm.


Sunday, September 5

Oakencroft holds its Harvest Music Festival with live music, tours and tastings. $10, 11am-5pm.

Mountain Cove Vineyards and Winegarden hosts its second annual Labor Day Old Time Music Festival with live music, tours, tastings and food. $10, noon-5pm.

Renowned bluegrass fiddler Vassar Clements saws away at Scottsville’s Rhythm on the River with Uncle Henry’s Favorites. Dorrier Park. 5:30pm.



The McGuffey Art Center presents “Planet Art,” “a festival of creativity for children,” from June 15-June 30 featuring free workshop in everything from ceramics and stained glass mosaics painting and dance. Times vary.

The Old Michie Theatre offers a series of summer programs for children. June 14-18, “Pre-Theatre” for ages 5-7 from 1-4pm; July 5-16, “Shake Hands with Shakespeare” for ages 9-14 from 9am-3pm; July 19-30, “Theatre Camp,” for ages 8-13 from 9am-3pm; August 2-13, “In Love with Shakespeare,” for ages 11-16 from 2-5pm; August 16-20, beginners “Puppeteer’s Paradise,” for ages 5-7 from 9am-noon; August 16-20, “Incredible Improvisation,” for ages 13-17 from 2-5pm. $165-340.

The UVA Art Museum gives 4th- through 12th-graders the chance to explore their creativity with programs led by professional artists in mediums ranging from photography to mixed media to poetry to improvisation. Session 1: July 5-16; Session 2: July 19-30; Session 3: August 2-13. $405-485, 9am-4pm.

Studio 206 in Belmont holds two sections of “Masks, Movement and Music, a Creative Dance Summer Camp,” August 9-12. One section for ages 3 1/2 to 5 years old and another for ages 5 to 7 years old. $75, 9-10:30am and 11am-12:30pm.

Yogaville hosts a series of summer workshops and retreats to help you get in touch with yourself and Mother Earth. June 4-6: “Alive and Raw Foods Workshop”; June 18-27: “Ten Day Silent Retreat,” with daily meditation and yoga; July 9-11: “Mastering Stress and Enhancing Well-Being”; July 16-18: “Workshop of Cosmic Comedy,” to laugh at learn wisdom simultaneously; July 23-25: “Osteoporosis, Yoga and Bone Building.” $265-795.

Montpelier lets kids go to “Mud Camp,” a.k.a. Natural History Day Camp. June 21-25 for rising 3rd- and 4th-graders; June 28-July 2 for rising 5th- and 6th-graders. $90, 9am-3pm.

The Jefferson Tibetan Society has summer classes and workshops. Sundays, through June 13: Class series on “Bodhisattva Way of Life” with Geshe Thupten Kunkhen at the Wesley Foundation Building. $12/class, 11am-12:30pm; August 1-15: “Tibetan Healing Puja Ceremony.” Time and cost TBA.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History offers summer programs for children. June 28-July 2: “Creatures that Leap, Prowl, Slither and Swim”; July 5-9: “Be ‘Shore’ to Have a Great Summer”; July 12-16: “Our Earth and the Great Beyond”; July 19-23 and August 2-6: “Entomologists in Action!” to learn about insects. $115, 9am-noon.



Andre Viette’s Nursery Off Route 608 in Fishersville. 540-324-1133.

The Animal Connection 1701 E. Allied St. 296-7048.

Barboursville Vineyards 17655 Winery Rd. 540-832-7572.

Barnes and Noble 1035A Emmett St. 984-0461.

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Barracks Road Shopping Center, 1121 Emmet St. 977-4400.

Cardinal Vineyards and Winery 9423 Batesville Rd. 540-456-8400.

Charlottesville Stamp Fair Holiday Inn, 1901 Emmet St. 703-273-5908.

Congregation Beth Israel 301 E. Jefferson St. 295-6382.

Cove Presbyterian Church 5531 Covesville Ln., Covesville. 295-4457.

First Colony Winery 1650 Harris Creek Rd. 979-7105.

Fortune’s Cove Preserve Trail Off Route 651 near Lovingston. 951-0585 or e-mail

The Great Eastern Trail Run Series Meeting places vary. 293-7115.

The Jefferson Tibetan Society 980-1752 or e-mail

Jefferson Vineyards 1353 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. 800-272-3042.

Light House, A Youth Media Center 121 Water St. 293-6992.

Live Arts 123 E. Water St. 977-4177.

McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

Monticello 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy (Rt. 53). 984-9822.

Mountain Cove Vineyards and Winegarden 1362 Fortune’s Cove Ln., Lovingston. 263-5392.

Nelson County Summer Festival Oak Ridge Estate Route 653, south of Lovingston. 263-8676.

Oakencroft Winery 1486 Oakencroft Ln. 296-4188.

Old Michie Theatre 221 E. Water St. 977-3690.

Omni Hotel 235 W. Main St. 971-5500.

Outdoor Adventure Social Club 420 E. Main St. 760-4453.

Piedmont Center for Horticulture Garden locations vary. 286-2679.

Rapunzel’s 2924 Front St. in Lovingston.263-6660.

Rivanna Trail Foundation Rivanna Trail trailhead on Melbourne Road. 923-9022 or e-mail

Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville Off Route 604 in Buckingham. 969-3121.

Shenandoah Shakespeare 10 S. Market St., Staunton. 540-885-5588.

The Sierra Club, Blue Ridge Group Meeting places vary. Call 263-6199.

Stanardsville United Methodist Church Court Square, Stanardsville. 985-3888.

Stoney Creek Golf Course Wintergreen Resort off Route 664, Nellysford. 325-8255.

Studio 206 206 W. Market St. 296-6520.

UVA Art Museum 155 Rugby Rd. 924-3592.

Virginia Canals and Navigations Society Call for all details 977-3733 or e-mail

Virginia Museum of Natural History 104 Emmett St. 800-858-9642.

Walnut Creek Park Off Old Lynchburg Road. 540-776-0985.

The Wesley Foundation Building 1908 Lewis Mountain Rd. 980-1752.

Wintergreen Winery Off Route 664, Nellysford. 325-8292 or 800-594-8499.

—Compiled by Nell Boeschenstein and Ben Sellers