Updated December 22, 2014.
The kids are surely stoked for winter break, and it’s your chance to do something awesome with them without missing time from school. So what to do, what to do … I have a few ideas.
1. If you haven’t yet, you must see all of the Christmas lights. I don’t mean your neighborhood lights (although some of those are pretty awesome), I mean the big boys that make up Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights (Virginia Beach Boardwalk, anyone?), or large displays like the Elks National Home in Bedford or Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna.
2. Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town is a winter wonderland sensation. Stroll through the lights and decorations to get a flavor of each country, literally. Specialty foods and drinks are a highlight, not to mention the seasonal shows and rides.
3. Check out some of Virginia’s notable high-action museums like the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly or the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.
4. Board a boat in Virginia Beach and try your hand at whale spotting. Both Fin and Humpback whales migrate off the coast of Virginia between late December and mid-March.
5. Virginia’s ski resorts have more than skiing. Plop down on a snowtube and let the good times roll. Or try snowboarding or a trip down a zipline (brr!). When you’re ready for a warm-up, find great restaurants on site, as well as other kid fun centers.
6. Celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family at a fun celebration. There are daytime activities as well as events built with families in mind. They’re called First Night celebrations. See the list.
7. Have a little lady who’d love some pampering with her mom? Slip off for a girls’ spa day at one of Virginia’s famed destination spas.
8. You might be surprised at the fun exhibits you’ll find in Virginia’s museums. Spend a few hours testing your mental and physical agility at Boost! or browse the amazing, priceless treasures of Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing. Both of these can be found in Richmond.
9. Ice skating is a favorite pastime for some. If this is your thing and you want to share it with the kids, Virginia has quite a few rinks to choose from.