If you didn’t know it by now, Virginia is loaded with some pretty cool places for kids. Not just museums for kids, but really really cool things to do, places to visit, and awesome experiences.
To start with the obvious, Virginia’s theme parks cater to all ages but can be the most fun, perhaps, for teenagers seeking a thrill. They’ll get their kicks on rides like the speedy new Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion or the stomach-in-your-throat free-fall drop of Griffon at Busch Gardens.
One of the newest things for older kids is the opportunity to ski during the summer. “Huh?,” you ask. Yep. LibertyMountain Snowflex Centre in Lynchburg is open year ’round and it’s the first synthetic ski slope in the country. Is your teen’s summer not completely booked yet? Send them to Snowflex Summer Camp, July 5-23. Call 434-582-3539 for information.
For the ‘tweens – those who are not quite a teenager and definitely not a kid (scoff!) – Virginia has some pretty cool opportunities, too. The Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge is way cool. There, the animals roam free and you ride through their habitat on a tractor-drawn wagon. Armed with a bucket of grain, you can feed the residents as you ride. Don’t be alarmed, but there are tigers and cheetahs, too … separate from the general population, of course. You’ll also see free-flight birds, and can feed giraffes from their height. It’s a great place to spend the day.
Want to get lost in the crowd and pretend to be an 18th century family for a day? At Colonial Williamsburg, you can rent costumes for the kids at the Costume Rental Center (oh, and good to know … children 5 and under are FREE and ages 6-17 pay a discounted rate). If you’re unsure where to start in this grand old city, take the Children’s Orientation Walk. It’s offered daily and lasts approximately 30 minutes.
One of the most exciting places for the littlest family member is the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Several acres have been dedicated to hands-on agriculture, treehouse fun, and water play. The treehouse is probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen. You might just want to build one of your own! Never fear, no one actually has to climb a tree; kids and families of all abilities can soar above the garden in this magical look-out. See the calendar for special family programming and events.
Have we whet your appetite? Check out the rest of our Cool Places for Kids on Virginia.org.