Total turn off: 25 hot ways to get off your duf



If you like Gilligan's Island , you'll love canoeing at Chris Greene Lake

 Are you goofy like Gilligan? Bodacious like Mary Anne? Or richer than sin like the Millionaire and his wife? Whichever Gilligan's character you're most like, you're sure to enjoy a rustic canoe ride at Chris Greene Lake. Don't forget to stage your own shipwreck when you get mid-lake. Once you're thrashing in the water screaming for help, maybe a brilliant Professor-wannabe will come to your rescue– in his coconut-powered outboard!

Canoe rentals at Chris Greene are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day at $5 an hour. The lake is open from 7am to dark.

From Charlottesville, take 29 North to a left on Rt. 649 (Airport Road). Turn right on Rt. 606, and then left on Rt. 850 (Chris Greene Lake Road). 296-5844


 If you like Judge Judy , you'll love Judge Crigler!

 Judge Judy has won audience acclaim for her caustic wit and no-nonsense style on the bench, but she's got nothing on our own U.S. District Court Judge B. Waugh Crigler, who hears cases every week at the Federal Courthouse at the west end of the Downtown Mall. Watch the defense squirm under Crigler's lynx-eyed gaze. Watch a crimson tide creep up the prosecutor's neck as Crigler spouts case law faster than an auctioneer sells baubles. He's the jurist who ruled on a cable TV kickback case by saying "If it walks like a duck..." Around that same time (about a decade ago), he dismissed the Daily Progress' case against some prominent local realtors the Progress had sued, telling them to take a walk together along the Downtown Mall. Chuckle along with Crigler as he smirks at weak excuses (but not too loud, or those lynx eyes could turn your way). Good times, indeed.

Get Crigler's federal court schedule at


 If you likeWild Kingdom , you'll love Virginia Safari Park

 Who can forget the daring-do of Jim Fowler of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom? In one episode, still reeling on, Fowler leaps from a helicopter onto the back of a snowbound elk. He's dragged while heroic music and the whirring of his 'copter play in the background.

"It worked, just as we had planned," intones Marlin Perkins in a placid voice-over from the safety of his Land Rover miles away– while video runs of "able assistant" Fowler being dragged through a snowdrift.

While you may not get to tackle elk or wrestle 'gators, you really will come face to face with some unusual animals at Virginia Safari Park at Natural Bridge. Hungry bison, zebras, and camels stick their noses in your window looking for tidbits, and giraffes nibble from your hand. Just don't tell PETA. The Norfolk-based group has already declared war on the other private zoo in the Natural Bridge area.

Take I-64 west to I-81 south. Take Exit 180-B. At bottom of exit ramp, go straight across US 11 toward KOA campground and follow Safari signs. 540-291-3205


 If you like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition , you'll love volunteering for Habitat for Humanity

 Each week, Ty and the crew on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition descend on a needy family and turn their shack into a palace. Tears flow freely as terminally ill children turn on their 62-inch flat-screen TVs and ride the $10,000 go-carts in their new theme-park backyards. Grandmothers faint when they see their new whirlpool tubs and have their mortgages dramatically ripped in two by corporate spokespeople.

That's Hollywood for you! Here in the real world, you can help a local family get a roof over their heads by volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Skilled craftspeople are always needed, but even if you've never lifted a hammer, you'll still be welcome.

For more information, see or call



 If you like Clean Sweep , you'll love having a yard sale

 Count on The Learning Channel to make even the most mundane activities seem scintillating. Last year, the network responsible for popular series such as A Baby Story, A Dating Story and A Wedding Story launched Clean Sweep, a 30-minute drama about a messy family and their efforts to clean house. These families make Charlie Brown's buddy Pigpen look like a neatnik: their offices are piled ceiling-high with papers, their bedrooms are so cluttered there's not an inch of floor visible, and their garages resemble the day after Armageddon.

Enter the show's team of cleaning "experts" to swoop down, sweep out, and then force the traumatized packrats to hold a yard sale. Whoever sells more gets to keep a prized trinket.

You don't need to be on TV to clean house and sell your junk. Join up with a friend or two, color-code your goods, and watch the money roll in. Add a little competition– person who unloads most flotsam gets a dinner at Cassis, perhaps?– and watch the fun double along with your money.


If you like MTV Block Party , you'll love hosting your own block party

 All you need to host your own MTV-style block party is a boom box and an itty-bitty bikini (for girls) or some saggy drawers (for guys). Put a few friends up on your roof grinding to a hip-hop beat, host a wet t-shirt contest in the street, and set the stopwatch... are the police here yet?

A true MTV-style bash won't fly in most Charlottesville neighborhoods, but a toned down affair could be fun for the whole street. Get your neighbors in on the action– everyone bring a dish, chip in on the booze, do it before dark– and chances are the badges won't come anywhere near you.


If you like Sweatin' to the Oldies  with Richard Simmons, you'll love Bikram Yoga

 Back in 1988, a frizzy-haired, squeaky-voiced Richard Simmons was all the rage as he shimmied, shook, and worked up a light mist of perspiration that was immediately absorbed by his red terry cloth headband.

These days, active types have quite a few more exercise options. In particular, there's Bikram yoga, which is performed in a room heated to 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit– good for keeping muscles limber and for working up a dripping sweat. Sorry, Richard. That red headband won't cut it. As temperatures heat up this summer, Bikram has an added benefit. Work out in 115-degree room, and when you head back outside, the summer day's 95 degrees will feel downright nippy!

Bikram Yoga Charlottesville is located at 109 Fifth St. SE. For information on, class times, and fees, visit or call 220-1415.


 If you like Victory Gardens , you'll love a stroll through the UVA Pavilion gardens

 Luscious leaves and festive flowers feature prominently on Victory Gardens, but we hear a romantic stroll through the UVA Pavilion gardens can actually result in a "score." Now that's lush.

The Pavilion Gardens are open daily until dark. 924-7969.


 If you like the PGA, you'll love Putt-Putt

 There's nothing quite like the drama of the PGA tour, especially now that Tiger's got his game back. But your kids might not agree that televised golf is edge-of-your-seat viewing.

Putt-Putt's a different story. Just let your kids know from the get-go that you expect excellence– a hole in one is a good place to start, sure, but it's not enough, not if they're going to be future Tigers. Trust us: If you're going to retire on junior's winnings, you need to get those kiddies swinging soon.

It's located at 1525 East Rio Road, and as long as school's out, it's open long hours, from 9am to midnight. $5 adults/$2 kids 4 and under with paying adult. 973-5509


 If you like What Not to Wear , you'll love Friday nights on the Downtown Mall

 Full-body Lycra? Holiday-themed tunics with leggings? How about a pink tube-top cinched around an ample midriff? If you like What Not to Wear, you'll love sitting at a Mall cafĂ© any given Friday night surveying passersby. Just beware– two can play this game, so dress carefully! (If you get tired of looking at Goths, there are often spiffy ice dancers and buff hockey players honing their craft over at the Charlottesville Ice Park.


The Ice Park schedule can be obtained at 817-1423 or While waiting for the under-construction Pavilion, Fridays after Five (817-0220) has moved over to Garrett Street. And this summer the City is sponsoring a new acoustic series to bolster the construction-beleaguered East End, "Thursday Tunes at Noon."


 If you like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,  you'll love Trivia Night at Fellini's or Mellow Mushroom

 Which far Eastern country was never occupied by a European nation? How many calories are in a Big Mac? Who was the first actress to win an Oscar? Before you try out for Millionaire, get some practice at the local level. And for good luck, bring a smart friend or two!

Prizes are not too shabby: $20 off the bar tab for first-place winners at Fellini's. At the Mushroom, winners get gift certificates for food at the restaurant and t-shirts on some lucky nights.

Fellini's (979-4279) hosts Trivia night every Tuesday, starting at 7:30. Mellow Mushroom (972-9366) holds its version on Wednesdays at 9pm, but get there early because it fills up.


If you like Survivor, you'll love to host a "mystery meat BBQ"

Isolated in some remote location, Survivor contestants greedily gobble unusual fare– maggoty meat, anyone? Well, we can hardly recommend you serve up baby flies at a neighborhood BBQ, but we can recommend a little culinary adventure.

When you're making your standard burgers this summer, grill up something unusual– ostrich or alligator– and see who notices the difference. Caution: there could be some ruffled feathers.


If you like American Idol, you'll love Karaoke

There must be something appealing about baring your soul before a crowd of armchair critics and then getting eviscerated by a heartless judge. If there weren't, millions of people wouldn't be applying for a spot on American Idol. Why not try your hand– or rather, your voice– at one of the local karaoke nights happening around town? Just pray there are no Simons in the audience. And if it goes well? We hear Idol has another season....

Karaoke happens at a variety of venues each week. Check the Hook's weekly calendar for times and locations throughout the summer.

If you like Oprah, you'll love training for the Women's Four-Miler

If Oprah likes running, it has to be good, right? After all, she's the woman who almost single-handedly revived the book club, whose favorite diet becomes the latest weight-loss mania, and whose hair styles and wardrobe are of intense interest to women of all ages, races, and creeds.

Oprah's not here right now, but if she were, she'd tell Charlottesville ladies to train for the Women's Four-Miler. She might say, "You'll never know the personal growth you can experience until you've tested yourself. My relationship with Stedman was never better than when I was training for the marathon. We communed. It was simply intense."

And remember: for Oprah bonus points, be sure to weep tears of joy as you cross the finish line on September 3.

Training for the Four-Miler begins June 18 at 7:45am at the UVA track. $15 registration. For more information, call Joan Esposito at 951-5137 or 760-1028.


If you like the Iron Chef, you'll love the City Market

For foodies, few shows beat the Iron Chef, which features chef Kaga Takeshi and his small army of fellow Iron Chefs, who supposedly live together in a castle. Each week a challenger chef arrives to do battle. Using one ingredient, each chef prepares a multi-course meal, which is then judged by Takeshi and a guest judge.

You can do culinary battle, too, by visiting the City Market Saturday morning and picking one ingredient to feature. Will it be summer squash? Red peppers? Silver queen? Take the challenge to a new level– try creeping phlox! Or for the really daring cooks, pick up a tub of John Coles' now-verboten goats'-milk chevre and have at it. The possibilities are endless, and victory is almost certainly assured.

The City Market happens in the Water Street parking lot downtown 7am-noon each Saturday rain or shine. 970-3271.


If you like Absolutely Fabulous, you'll love wine tasting

Calling all bitter lushes. Charlottesville has a wealth of wineries, and if you're anything like Edina and Patsy on Ab Fab, a day spent drinking is, well, a day like any other day. Pile on the make-up, grab your toxic drinking buddy, and make a weaving beeline for the nearest vineyard. One suggestion: to avoid recovering from your brutal hangover in the nearest correctional facility, appoint a designated driver.

Wineries closest to town are Oakencroft (296-4188) on Garth Road and Jefferson (977-3042) near Monticello. Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard (977-3895) has a gourmet farm shop. First Colony is near Simeon (979-7105). Heading west, find White Hall Vineyards (823-8615) and King Family Vineyards (823-7800). The Virginia Wine Marketing office (800-828-4637) and many tourist spots have maps to all of them. If all else fails, you can get your fix in town at a new wine bar on the Downtown Mall called VaVino ( or at the Market Street Wine Shop (979-9463) located– you guessed it– on Market Street.


If you like Fear Factor, you'll love rock climbing at Wintergreen

Dangling 100 feet over shark-infested water is pretty standard fare for the contestants on Fear Factor, who routinely perform seemingly life-threatening stunts– all with the hope of eventually taking home a cash prize.

Think you could do that? Get some practice at Wintergreen's Outdoor Wilderness Leadership School, which offers three-hour rock-climbing workshops for beginning to advanced climbers. Wintergreen can't guarantee your survival– but there sure won't be any sharks swimming below.

Rt. 664, Wintergreen. 434-325-8166


If you like The Simple Life, you'll love peach-picking at Chiles

Most people throw on jeans and a t-shirt before heading out to Chiles to pick peaches, but you can take a hint from now-embittered buddies Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie and dress for this country event. Squeal when a rotten peach stains your new Marc Jacobs dress; curse when step in a hole and break the heel off your new Manolos. And make sure you're carrying a rat-sized dog. Your fellow peach pickers won't know what to make of you, but isn't that what life is all about? Learning from each other?

Chiles Peach Orchard offers peaches, strawberries, and other fresh fruits for picking. Open Mon.-Sat., 10am-6pm, Sun., noon-6pm. Route 691 between Crozet and Greenwood. 823-1583.


If you like Baywatch, you'll love a day at Walnut Creek

Suit up and head out for a day of frolicking in the lake, but don't expect Pam to show up. While Baywatch is well known for its sexy slo-mo shots, at Walnut Creek and other area lakes, you're more likely to see frazzled moms racing at high speed after their terrorizing tykes. But hope springs eternal, so keep your eye peeled for some sexy coeds catching the rays.

Walnut Creek: Rt. 29S, left on Rt. 708 (Red Hill Road), right on Rt. 631 (Old Lynchburg Road), park is 1/2 mile on left. 480 land acres, 45 water acres, two beach acres. Canoe rentals from Memorial Day to Labor Day; fishing; electric motor boats; picnic shelters; bike trails. 979-0964

Chris Greene Lake: Rt. 29N, left on Rt. 649 (Airport Road), right on Rt. 606, left on Rt. 850 (Chris Greene Lake Road). 120 land acres, 62 water acres, two beach acres. Canoe rentals Memorial Day to Labor Day. Fishing, with wheelchair-accessible fishing pier; electric motor boats allowed; playground; picnic shelters. 973-3790

Mint Springs: Rt. 250W, right on Rt. 240, left on Rt. 788 (Railroad Avenue), right on Rt. 684 (Mint Springs Road), left into park. 504 land acres, eight water acres, two beach acres. Fishing, playground, picnic shelters, hiking trails. 823-5889


If you like ER, you'll love the Fourth of July

For the most safety-conscious among us, a trip to the ER is a rarity– and often for something relatively minor, like a wicked case of poison ivy or a tumble from a bike. But come July 4, Independence Day celebrants– as many as 10,000 of them– fill emergency rooms across the country with injuries inflicted by home fireworks. Bottle Rockets can be more damaging than an enraged chimp, and are often most likely to take out an eye, but they can also blow off a thumb, a nose, or another crucial body part. (Perhaps that's a reason the Monticello Naturalization Ceremony skips the pyrotechnics.) So if you want to see how our local ERs compare to the hit NBC show, do those fireworks yourself. Otherwise, why not head out to the big blast put on by the pros.

Fireworks take place this year at:

Charlottesville: McIntire Park; gates open at 5pm. Three bands, children's games, no alcohol. 220-0799

Scottsville: Dorrier Park; fireworks at 9:30, following free concert at 6pm. July 4 parade at 11am. 286-26237

Crozet: Claudius Crozet Park; open at 6pm. Don't miss the rides and games that are part of the Crozet Volunteer Firemen's Fourth of July Carnival. 823-5834


If you like American Dreams, you'll love the Drive-In

For a taste of one of the most nostalgic American experiences in the '60s, few shows beat American Dreams, which follows the life of sweet Meg Pryor, who auditions and is selected to be a dancer on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. You can relive the innocence of that earlier age at the Drive-In in Fork Union. The place is a veritable time-warp–- don't expect the latest sound systems or Cinerama projection; about the only thing 21st century are the movies on the screen... which are visible as long as you can see above the dashboard– and the fog doesn't roll in. If that happens, you might want to try the drive-in over in Lexington.

Shows start at dark. The theater is on State Route 612 in Fork Union, about a 40-minute drive from Charlottesville. 434-842-3624. Hull's Drive-in (540-463-2621) is in Lexington.


If you like The Joy of Painting, you'll love the UVA Art Museum

Bob Ross made painting look painless as he briskly dabbed, stroked, and coaxed pine trees and other nature scenes onto canvas in under 26 minutes. The artists whose pieces are on display at UVA Art Museum likely took a bit longer to create their masterpieces, and it shows. Would-be painters as well as art connoisseurs are sure to get their artistic longings satisfied in an afternoon of browsing. This summer's exhibits include "The Naked and the Clothed: Photographs from the Collection" through June 19; and "After Collage," through August 27.

The University of Virginia Art Museum is open Tues.-Sun., 1-5pm. 155 Rugby Road. 924-3592


If you like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, you'll love the Virginia Discovery Museum

He's been dead for two years, but he's still on-air, zipping up his cardigan and tossing a loafer from hand to hand while singing "It's such a good feeling." Kids can make a "snappy new day" at the Virginia Discovery Museum at the east end of the Downtown Mall. A dress-up area, pioneer cabin, electronics table, and lots of games for all ages make this a good rainy day– or any day– activity. And if you're up for a bit more of a drive, head down to Lynchburg for four floors of fun at the Rightmire Children's Museum in Lynchburg.

This summer's Discovery Museum exhibit, Circus: Many Faces, Many Places, opens May 28.

Virginia Discovery Museum: 524 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 1-5pm. 977-1025

Rightmire Children's Museum: 27 Ninth St., Lynchburg. 434-845-1888.


If you like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, you'll love dinner at Keswick

Robin Leach made Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous a hit with his famous line "champagne wishes and caviar dreams." It's been almost two decades since Lifestyles "jumped the shark," and for most of us, unimaginable wealth is a fantasyland we'll never visit.

But dinner at Keswick Hall's newly refurbished Fossett's restaurant can provide a pretty good taste of the good life. It may be the only place in oh-so-casual Charlottesville that recommends a jacket for the gents. If you're determined to take luxury to the next level, follow dinner with a night in Keswick's Master Suite. As Leach would say, "That baby'll set you back $725."

Fabulous, dahling.

East on Route 250 to Shadwell. At Shadwell turn left on Route 22 east. Go 1.5 miles to right on Route 744. Proceed to Keswick Estates entrance. 979-3440.


If you like Six Feet Under, you'll love Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond

Obsessed with the great beyond? Counting the days? Whether you're simply a fan of gallows humor, a la Six Feet Under, you enjoy strolling through magnificent and historic grounds, or you're shopping for your final real estate purchase, Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond will meet your needs.

Single burial plots– or mausoleum entombment– averages $5,300, while a double plot or tomb will set you (or your devastated next of kin) back about $9,000. But you'll be in good company: Here lie Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler, as well as the daughter and grandson of Mexican War hero and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis.

The stunning grounds hug the James River as it flows through Richmond, and old growth trees, flowers, and wildlife liven up monuments of all shapes and sizes.

Hollywood Cemetery is open daily 8am-6pm year round. Historic walking tours through the cemetery happen Mon.-Sat. at 10am. I64-E to the Powhite Parkway South to the Downtown Expressway. After the toll, take the Belvidere exit. At the second stoplight, turn right on Laurel; go one block and turn right on Albemarle; go one block, cross over Cherry and enter the cemetery. 804-649-0711 ext. 334