If you’re on social media at all, by now you’ve likely seen some kind of advertisement for The St. James. I know they’ve been popping up in my feeds since the sports, wellness, and entertainment facility opened in Springfield, VA, last fall. At that time I thought it was just a huge health and fitness center that would be a nice gym option for people who lived nearby it. Had I realized it was an enormous complex with an active entertainment center, indoor waterpark, sports opportunities galore, even a spa, we definitely would have checked it out awhile ago. But it wasn’t until recently that I became aware of all it had to offer, though once I did, I made a plan to go.
On a day off from school back in March, I took Sasha and a few friends for a first visit. It was still winter, during a stretch of cold and rainy weather, and from everything I’d read about the Super, Awesome, & Amazing activity center and interactive waterpark, it seemed like a perfect place to take the fun, adventurous crew of girls.
Our first glimpse of the The St. James as we arrived was one of awe. I knew it would be big, but didn’t know just how massive. Once we were inside and started to see more of it, we understood why. After being greeted by the front desk and getting directions to our destination, we made our way there, passing by a humongous gymnasium with at least three full-size basketball courts and a full-scale indoor soccer pitch. (These are only open to members and participants of sports leagues and camps. Later on, we also saw squash courts, Olympic sized swimming pools, batting cages, and an ice rink… they cover the sporting gamut.)
But back to the Super, Awesome, & Amazing activity center. When we got to that area, the girls took one look at the 30,000 square foot space below filled with all kinds of climbing structures, trampolines, and obstacle courses, and could barely contain their excitement. We registered for a one-hour session and bought the special socks they were required wear, then headed downstairs to get the fun started.
They donned harnesses and clipped onto wires to climb, rappel, and navigate walkways 20 feet above the ground. They bounced, flipped, and executed acrobatic moves. They swung from bars and on large platforms and crawled in tunnels to maneuver through obstacle courses. Essentially, they had a blast conquering the different elements around the space and enjoying some active fun. We might have overstayed our session a bit, but no one said anything about it.
All of that activity worked up appetites, so we headed to Vim & Victor, the restaurant/cafe (yes, there’s one in the complex) for some fuel. You can sit down for table service, or opt for something quick from a cafe line and take it to eat at a high top table or comfy seating area.
After lunch we made our way to the aquatics area, where there is a whole interactive waterpark that the public is welcome to enjoy. (There are a couple of pools in that area, too, but for members only.) The waterpark isn’t huge, but it’s pretty impressive for the contained space with plenty of features for a really fun time.
There are several slides some with tunnels, a big bucket that dumps water, sprays and splash elements all around, and “bridges” to access the different areas, and of course shallow pools that the slides lead into. There’s a locker room right outside, where the kids were able to change, and the St. James provides towels, which is convenient.
Benches are right outside the glass doors and walls of the waterpark, so parents can sit and watch (or read a book or bring a laptop and get some work done — the WiFi works well). Of course, adults can enjoy the water fun, too. Oh, a quick mention about ages… we saw kids from toddler age to early teens enjoying both the waterpark and active area. Obviously, the little ones need to be supervised at all times, but there are features that they can enjoy, too. There are height restrictions for a few climbing structures and the tunnel slides in the waterpark, but children of all ages are welcome.
Needless to say, it was a pretty great day off from school for Sasha and her friends. Because the cost can add up, this isn’t something we’ll make a frequent thing, but it’s definitely an outing to keep in mind for special splurges. And speaking of cost, admission to the active entertainment area and waterpark are $15/hour each (so $30 total) Monday – Thursday before 3pm. After 3pm and on Friday & Saturday, they are $23/hour. Certifikid currently has a deal on passes for $13-17. KFDC Tip: I saw that The St. James is offering a Free Day Pass right now, good for a one-time visit, Mondays-Fridays, from 9am -9pm through May 31, 2019, and it gets you access to a lot of different areas.
Of course, you could also consider membership options to The St. James. A friend of mine had signed her son up for a hockey league there and ended up getting a membership, so her family could use the facilities while he was at practices. She’s had all good things to say so far, which isn’t surprising. It’s a pretty incredible place.
The St. James is located at 6805 Industrial Road in Springfield, VA. Hours for the Active Entertainment Center and Interactive Waterpark are 9am – 9pm Monday – Thursday and 9am – 10pm Friday & Saturday.