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Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

18 Places for Winter Family Fun in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on January 15th, 2014

The weekend is coming and your kids are tired of being cooped up. Or maybe, you’re tired of them being cooped up with too many hours of technology and gaming systems. Let’s solve that conundrum with a variety of ideas to spark the family fun you’re after.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge

Waterpark. Yes, you read correctly. Water. Park. There are two in Virginia that are perfect for a wintry Saturday or an entire weekend away.

Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg is 67,000 square feet of splashing good times. How does a four-story treehouse, 1,000 gallon tipping bucket, four pools, eight slides, two giant hot tubs, and a wave pool sound? Stay the night and enjoy the waterpark all you want; passes are included. Arrive early to maximize your park fun time!

Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville has a 50,000 gallon centerpiece called The Flow Rider – an indoor surfing attraction with a five-foot incline. In addition, an adventure river, eight slides, a frog pond for little swimmers, water cannons, and a giant tipping bucket make this a fun place for any age to hang out. An overnight stay is not required.

Museum hop in Richmond. Located side by side, the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Science Museum of Virginia are great places to escape and let the kids get hands-on. The little ones will love busying themselves with imaginative play, but then it’s on to discover the wonders of the universe … all in the same day! Have more than a day or want to swap the museums around a bit? The Virginia Aviation Museum is located near the Richmond International Airport and has 30 aircraft on site, including an SR-71 Blackbird.

Glow-A-Rama

Glow-A-Rama

Kids’ indoor amusement opportunities have came a long way since I was a kid. Take miniature golf, for example. Now you can putt 18 holes indoors, in the dark, with blacklights. Find that a Glow-A-Rama in Buchanan. High energy indoor fun includes laser tag and warehouses filled with things to bounce in, on and off of.

Skyline Laser Tag, Winchester
Panther Family Laser Tag, Sterling
Shadowland Laser Adventures, Chantilly

Birdie’s, Chesapeake
Putter-A-Round Mini Golf, Harrisonburg

Rebounderz, Sterling
Rebounderz, Newport News
The Playroom, Chester

Finally, the obvious places for families to play in winter are Virginia’s four mountain resorts – Bryce, Massanutten, The Omni Homestead, and Wintergreen. Each has its own personality and special offerings (snowtubing, anyone?), so check out Winter Sports for the details on each.

Have a great suggestion for family play during the winter season? Please leave a comment!

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Family, Winter | 1 Comment

10 Ideas for a Great Winter Break

by Casey | Posted on December 12th, 2013

The kids are surely stoked to have their winter break creeping ever closer, 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.

Busch Gardens' Christmas Town

Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town

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.

First Night Winchester

First Night Winchester

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.

Downtown Richmond Ice Skating

Downtown Richmond Ice Skating

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 quite a collection of clothes worn in popular movies at Hollywood Costume.

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.

10. Fill in the gaps with a family fun event; we have a calendar to help you out. Or, check out our Cool Places for Kids collection with 70 age-appropriate points of interest.

Virginia is for Lovers.



Family, The Holidays, Winter | 1 Comment

60 Films in 60 Days at the VMFA

by Casey | Posted on December 10th, 2013

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond  rolled out their first of “60 Films in 60 Days” on November 29 to coincide with their beautiful new exhibit, Hollywood Costume, on display through February 17. At a very reasonable $5 per person, seeing a film every now and again is an easy and affordable way to entertain guests into the New Year.

Superman ©Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Costume Design: John Bloomfield

Superman ©Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Costume Design: John Bloomfield

With titles like The Birds, The Matrix, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Titanic, and Twilight Saga: New Moon, there’s certainly a film to appeal to most everyone.

Films are shown at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and 1:30 p.m. the other days of the week.

See the Schedule

Prior to the movie, take your ticket stub to Amuse for a discount on lunch or dinner. Additionally, your receipt from Amuse will get you $1 off another film. Just take it to the Visitor Services desk for redemption.

Virginia is for Lovers.



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10 Classic Virginia Experiences

by Casey | Posted on November 12th, 2013

Looking for a well-rounded list of things to do, see and experience during the holiday and winter seasons? Consider this one of them.

1. Hike a portion of  the Appalachian Trail. Start in Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Yorktown Victory Center

Yorktown Victory Center

2. Navigate America’s Historic Triangle – Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. All of America is rooted in the happenings of this area, from the 1607 landing at Jamestowne to the new nation ideas bred at Williamsburg and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown. That’s a lot of history in a pretty tight radius.

3. If seeing sites that include words like biggest, endless, deepest or tallest are on your bucket list, we can help you mark them off. Virginia has eight caverns, including the largest in the eastern United States, one that has no end, the deepest, and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world.

4. One key annual holiday event allows you to drive the longest boardwalk in the country - the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s the McDonald’s Holiday Lights on the Beach, part of Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights connecting seven twinkling cities.

100 Miles of Lights - Virginia Beach

100 Miles of Lights – Virginia Beach

5. There’s nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can find them across Virginia. Check out our Main Streets and then look in places you wouldn’t suspect, like Richmond‘s Shockoe Slip, the Freemason District of Norfolk and Old Town Alexandria.

6. Have a whale of a time on board a boat bound for winter wildlife viewing off the coast of Virginia. The team at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is happy to take you into the Atlantic for a chance to see the fin and humpback whales migrating this time of year.

7. Eight United States Presidents have hailed from the Commonwealth and you can visit their homes and libraries as well as the places they dined, studied and enjoyed the social scene.

8. More than 230 wineries, 60+ craft breweries, and a quickly growing number of cideries and distilleries are toasting the holidays and inviting you to warm from within. Designated drivers are mandatory.

9. Strike a chord in the birthplace of country music – Bristol - and travel The Crooked Road to see and hear music history and tradition at places like Carter Family Fold and the Ralph Stanley Museum.

10. Zip line through a snowy winter wonderland at Wintergreen Resort. It’s 900 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Don’t forget to wear a ski mask. Brrr!
What would you add to a list of quintessential things to do in Virginia? Leave a comment!
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The Holidays, Winter | 3 Comments

5 Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays

by Casey | Posted on November 6th, 2013

As the season of holidays creeps ever closer, find ways to make the most of your time together and make it memorable. Why not consider an overnight or two in a Virginia destination known for its merriment and cheer?

 

The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

Spend the holidays in Abingdon! This picturesque small town will fill your heart with holiday joy. World class art venues, cultural events and historical sites are all wrapped up in Christmas lights.

  • Stay: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Copper Lantern Inn, River Garden Bed and Breakfast
  • Dine: Babycakes Cupcakery and Abingdon Tavern
  • Visit: Barter Theatre, Holston Mountain Artisans, Wolf Hills Brewery, Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

Escape to a cozy winter weekend in Harrisonburg, where holiday events on Main Street highlight the beauty of the season.

  • Stay: Joshua Wilton House, Stonewall Jackson Inn, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
  • Dine: Shank’s Bakery, Clementine Cafe, Corgans’ Publick House
  • Visit: You Made It!, Winter Farmers’ Market, Forbes Center for Performing Arts
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria

From charming King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, the area presents lively, entertaining holiday opportunities for the whole family.

  • Stay: Morrison House, Lorien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Monaco
  • Dine: Fish Market Restaurant, Hard Times Cafe, Caboose Cafe & Bakery
  • Visit: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Woodlawn, Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria Black History Museum
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Downtown Culpeper

Downtown Culpeper

Enjoy the spirit of a classic Virginia Main Street when you and the girls make it a shopping weekend in Culpeper.

  • Stay: Thyme Inn, Suites at 249, Hazel River Inn B&B
  • Dine: Hazel River Inn Restaurant & Pub, Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Foti’s
  • Visit: Mount Pony Theatre, Belmont Farm Distillery, Old House Vineyards
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Virginia Living Museum

Virginia Living Museum

Capture the memories as you indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul in Newport News, the heart of Coastal Virginia, this holiday season.

  • Stay: Newport News Marriott at City Center, Boxwood Inn, The Pequod Inn
  • Dine: Crab Shack on the James, The Lunch Bell
  • Visit: Virginia Living Museum, 100 Miles of Lights, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Looking for more great holiday getaways? This is the first in a series! Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

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48 Hours, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Winter | 12 Comments