Spring Break is a time for families to recharge, reconnect, and relax. Virginia’s 35 State Parks are the perfect place to escape and have a truly laid-back break. If the solitude of natural surroundings and the beauty of spring isn’t enough to attract you, here are a few key events that might entice your family.
Venture to Bear Creek Lake State Park in Cumberland – less than an hour west of Richmond – to try your hand at archery,
enjoy a big campfire, or take a canoe tour. Archery classes are scheduled for April 7 & 14 at 1 p.m. The canoe tours are scheduled April 5 & 12 at 11 a.m. The campfire will be held April 7 & 14 at 6:30 p.m.
If you’ve wanted to learn the ins and outs of geocaching, spend some time this Spring Break at Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster. The seven miles of Rappahannock River shoreline are a scenic backdrop for Geocaching 101 on April 11 at 9 a.m. Registration is suggested and each GPS unit rental requires a $6 fee.
Eagles are the celebrated bird of Caledon Natural Area along the Potomac River in King George, but it’s the owls that get the glory for the Owl Prowl Hayride on April 13 at 7 p.m. Learn a little about the owls at the Visitor Center and then hop aboard a hayride to call them in. Reservations required. $3 per person or $8 per family.
Families with older children might enjoy the Moonlight Canoe at Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry. Reserve your spot for $18 per person to take a canoe out onto Lower Chippokes Creek and experience the nightlife in the full moon light. Ages 13 and up.
Learn to fish at False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach on April 14 at 9 a.m. You’ll be introduced to rods, reels, bait, and tackle. Reservations are required and the fee is $10 per person.
Families finding themselves drawn to Virginia Beach will also find a plethora of activities at First Landing State Park.
- April 9, 10 a.m.: April Showers Rain Gauge Workshop
- April 9, noon: Bald Cypress Hike – one mile guided hike
- April 10, noon: A Turtle Tale – meet one of the turtle inhabitants
- April 12, 11 a.m.: Create a Wind Chime Workshop
- April 12, 1 p.m. and 14th at 11 a.m.: Swamp Stomp – dip your buckets and explore the life you’ll pull from the swamp
- April 13, 11 a.m.: Bring May Flowers – decorate a flower pot and plant some seeds
- April 13, 3 p.m.: Sesquicentennial Civil War Touch Table – explore Civil War artifacts
- April 13, 5 p.m.: Beach Safari – talk a walk on the Bay shore and explore what lives there
- April 14, 1 p.m.: Once Upon a Truffala Tree – hear a reading of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax and make a Lorax craft
- April 14, 4 p.m.: Seaside Creations – create a seashell masterpiece
- April 14, 5 p.m.: Spring Creations – create spring crafts and explore the wildlife of First Landing
- April 14, 7:30 p.m.: Night Hike – leave your flashlight behind! Discover sensory awareness and nocturnal animals on this hike.
Because there are THIRTY-FIVE Virginia State Parks, there’s no way this post could ever be complete with all of the events and other things to do. I hope this is a good start for you and at least gets your mind going on a unique train of thought for Spring Break. To learn more about Virginia State Parks, please see http://www.virginia.org/stateparks/. For more events, please see http://dcrintra.dcr.virginia.gov/dcr_public/events/vieweventpublic.cfm.