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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Spring in Virginia – A Photo Essay

by Casey | Posted on April 2nd, 2012

Bright green foliage emerges from the trees, the buds burst open, and new life springs all around. Spring in Virginia is an inspirational season. Get outside and enjoy it!

[Interested in the photos? Click each one for more information.]

Lamb
Edmonds Farm in Lancaster is a working farm owned that specializes in premium, all natural Bison and pork. March 8, 2012.
Natural Bridge Hotel
Renowned for southern hospitality since Thomas Jefferson’s era, the historic Natural Bridge Hotel & Conference Center is adjacent to the Natural Bridge & Cedar Creek Trail. The cherry blossoms are beautiful! April 1, 2012.
Daffodils
Daffodils are springing up all over Virginia! April 4, 2011.
Edgewood Plantation
Once part of Berkeley Plantation, Edgwood Plantation (circa 1849) is now a bed and breakfast. April 5, 2008.
Virginia Living Museum
View, touch, experience and explore nature at its best at the Virginia Living Museum. April 7, 2009.
Springtime at the Virginia State Capitol.
Springtime at the Virginia State Capitol. April 11, 2008.
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. It is the restored 18th-century capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest, most populous outpost in the New World. It is also the story of the United States and how diverse peoples and cultures created a society that valued liberty and equality. April 19, 2009.
Caledon Natural Area Preserve
A national natural landmark, Caledon Natural Area Preserve is known as one of the largest concentrations of American bald eagles on the East Coast. April 27, 2011.
Town of Blackstone
The town of Blackstone was settled in the mid 18th century at the cross roads of several stage coach and transportation routes. It was originally named Blacks & Whites for its two rival tavern keepers. May 1, 2011.
The Anne Spencer House and Garden
The Anne Spencer House and Garden is the location of internationally acclaimed Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer’s writing cottage. Restored in the 1980′s, the garden served as the inspiration for much of her poetry. May 5, 2011. 
Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park
The historic 105-mile Skyline Drive, a National Scenic Byway, traverses Shenandoah National Park, a beautiful, historic national treasure. View wildlife and breathtaking views of Virginia. May 10, 2009.

Do you have beautiful spring photos? Feel free to share them with us over on our Facebook page. Put LOVE at the heart of your spring adventures in Virginia.

Spring in Virginia
Spring Festivals
Earth Day & Arbor Day
Order a free Virginia is for Lovers Travel Guide



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Spring Break Theme Park Savings

by Casey | Posted on March 27th, 2012

Perhaps a little spring escape is in order while the kids take a break from school. If that’s what your family has in mind, we bring you good news of great savings!

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion

Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion are always top-of-mind for families looking for ready-made entertainment. Take advantage of these savings:

  • Busch Gardens Sesame Street Forest of Fun Preschool Pass – Children aged 3 to 5 can go to Busch Gardens free when parents secure this park pass online. Children receive unlimited admission through October 28, 2012.
  • Busch Gardens Spring Deal for Children 6 to 9 – Purchase one adult pass and get a free pass for a child in this age range. Use promo code BGWPAMPERS. The pass is good for one visit only.
  • Kings Dominion Everyone’s a Kid Price – Choose a day this spring to play at Kings Dominion and pay the kids ticket price of $37.99. Valid April 6-May 31, 2012.
  • Kings Dominion tickets are $10 cheaper when purchased through their website. If you wait until 3 days before your visit, save $15 per ticket.
  • Busch Gardens Open Dates: Daily March 30-April 15; Weekends April 20-May 20; Daily May 25-September 3
  • Kings Dominion Open Dates: Daily April 6-15; Weekends April 21-May 20; Daily May 25-September 3
Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens

Save on your accommodation near the theme park of your choice with these deals from our partners.

Enjoy your time together in Virginia. Happy Spring Break!



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Spring Break at a Virginia State Park

by Casey | Posted on March 15th, 2012

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.

Bear Creek Lake State ParkVenture 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.

For the geocaching pros, check out The Bear Necessities multi cache in the mountains of Douthat State Park in Millboro.

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.



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We’re All Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

by Casey | Posted on March 14th, 2012

ShamROCK N' ROLL in Norfolk

ShamROCK N' ROLL in Norfolk

Even if your blood lacks an ounce of Irish descent, you must admit that it’s hard to fight the fun of St. Patrick’s Day!

For the Family

Roanoke’s Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration and McDonald’s St. Pat’s Parade is one giant festival the whole family will love. Enjoy pipe bands, the Bonniest Knees and Classiest Lass Contests, inflatables, face painting, the Wells Fargo “Buffalo Bill” Stagecoach, Celtic dancers, cloggers, and lots of great music.

For the Athletes

Abingdon plays host to the Shamrock 4-Miler - a brand new run with a great ending – a post-race party with BBQ from Bonefire Smokehouse and beer from Wolf Hills Brewery. Go ahead and dress in your favorite green garb … they’ll be judging.

Down on the Boardwalk of Virginia Beach this weekend’s highlight is the 40th running of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. Included is the marathon, half marathon, 8K, and running events for children, too. Post-race parties will include Murphy’s Irish stew and Yuengling, of course!

For the Partiers

Block Party? The merry ol’ section of Norfolk known as Ghent brings you Shamrockin’ in Ghent 2012! Party Friday evening with traditional Irish sounds by local bands, food by Belmont House of Smoke, and various beverages. Wear your green and get your party on.

In Richmond, Shamrock the Block in Shockoe Bottom is the place to be … with 20,000 of your closest friends! It’s a free event, so enjoy the live music, purchase lots o’ food, and choose from plenty o’ frosty beverages. Noon to 6 p.m.

In Norfolk, the AT&T ShamROCK N’ ROLL event includes bagpipers, Irish fair, and all things green. Held at TowneBank Fountain Park at the waterfront, this weekend looks to be perfect for it.

For the Tasters

Nellysford is celebrating at two wineries! Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery invites you for a wine and food pairing. Wear your green and you’ll take home a free logo glass with your purchase. At Wintergreen Winery, the party is on with Irish music, dancing, mayhap a leprechaun, and of course – wine.

A buffet of Irish-inspired delights will be available for your grazing pleasure at the Natural Bridge Hotel, as will Virginia micro-brews and Irish beers. Take a walk beneath the natural wonder of the Bridge itself before the festivities kick off at 3:30 p.m. Or, stay the night for $139/couple.

In Berryville, Veramar Vineyard is breaking out the mischief AND the Blarney Stone. It’s rumored that a leprechaun may be lurking in their parts, too. Expect music, fun, wine, and yummy potato soup.

Irish dancers kick their toes to traditional music while you sip the fine wines of Potomac Point Winery in Stafford. An Irish menu will be offered all weekend long.

A special Irish food and wine pairing awaits you at Fox Meadow Winery in Linden. It’s called Pot of Gold Tasting and includes an elite array of gold medal-winning wines.

 

Find more St. Patrick’s Day events and family fun on the Virginia.org Events Calendar.



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Virginia’s Theme Parks Boast New Rides for 2012

by Casey | Posted on February 28th, 2012

Alpengeist iat Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

Alpengeist is just one of the thrilling coasters at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

If you’re crazy for coasters and lament the loss of Busch Gardens’ Big Bad Wolf in 2009, no worries. Verbolten is a brand new thrill ride through the Black Forest of Germany that you’re sure to love.

Busch Gardens writes …

“A German tourist center serves as the ride entrance and as the launching point for an exciting autobahn touring experience where an unexpected detour launches riders into the verboten Black Forest. Set in the re-envisioned Oktoberfest section of the park, this all-new multi-launch, indoor/outdoor roller coaster utilizes electromagnetic technology to propel riders through a high-speed thrill packed with twists, turns and plunges. This exhilarating new coaster will feature many ‘firsts’ when it debuts.”

The last piece of Verbolten’s track was installed on January 17, 2012, completing the 2,835 feet of the ride. With special effects and thematic to-do’s left to complete, look for Verbolten to open late spring. Get a flavor for the ride by watching the clip below.

Kings Dominion in Doswell has a couple of fun new things to show you this season as well – most notably, WindSeeker, a 301′ spinning tower of swings. Take a friend up with you to enjoy the two-person swing, and hold on tight. Kings Dominion writes …

“WindSeeker is a ride that is fun, thrilling and relaxing at the same time, making it an attraction that families enjoy riding together.  It’s also one of the best night ride experiences around.”
WindSeeker at Kings Dominion

WindSeeker at Night, Kings Dominion

At 25-30 mph, tilting at a 45-degree angle, and more than 300 feet in the air, I’m not sure that I would call WindSeeker relaxing. (If I try it out, I’ll let you know.) One thing KD claims and I feel confident in, is this …

“A ride on WindSeeker will provide riders with a birds-eye view of the park and surrounding countryside.  On a clear day, riders will be able to see 18 miles out into the region.  Incredible!”

The view from on-high must be epic. With an 18-mile view, you just might be able to see Richmond’s skyline.

For information about Virginia’s theme parks, visit Virginia.org/ThemeParks.
Be sure to see family friendly packages that include theme park visits, too!



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