Is there any surer way to feel 17 again, with no responsibilities, than jamming with friends? Check out the Meetup group DC Rockers, where musicians of all abilities and types—voice, guitar, keyboard, drums—get together and lose themselves in rock and blues. Some sessions are at members’ homes; for others, participants chip in $5 or $10 to rent a studio.
Sometimes the best way to chill out is with a piece of heavy machinery. Aspirational hobbyists can find a haven at Arlington’s TechShop (2110-B Crystal Dr.; 703-302-8780), a hive of laser cutters, ironworkers, table saws, injection molders, and other devices sure to please even a novice tinkerer. Never used, say, a metal lathe before? TechShop’s teachers offer classes to get you up to speed.
Sure as Shooting
Any hobby that requires extreme focus will clear your head, whether it’s painting or reading—or shooting a gun, which fans swear blasts away stress. Take aim at clay targets at the Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center (10400 Good Luck Rd., Glenn Dale; 301-577-7178) or Bull Run Regional Park Shooting Center (7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville; 703-830-2344). You can learn to use a handgun at the Gilbert Indoor Range in Rockville (14690 Rothgeb Dr.; 301-315-0300) or Blue Ridge Arsenal, also indoors, in Chantilly (14725-K Flint Lee Rd.; 703-818-0230).
Driving the Range
It’s just you, your clubs, and a bucket of balls—plus maybe headsets to totally tune out the world. Hit a golf ball just right on a driving range and it’s nirvana. At 1757 Golf Club in Dulles (45120 Waxpool Rd.; 703-444-0901), the range has 56 lit hitting stations, each with artificial turf in two different heights to mimic course conditions. Twelve bays are covered. The driving range at East Potomac Golf Course (972 Ohio Dr., SW; 202-554-7660), in the shadow of the Washington Monument, has 100 lit stations, 26 of them heated and covered.
This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Washingtonian.