Entertaining Family & Friends: Five Ideas for Outdoor Explorations

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Nov 24, 2015 | Updated: Dec 5, 2016

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It’s the time of year when the most treasured people arrive on your doorstep to spend quality time reconnecting and catching up. Joyous, to be sure, but filling every waking moment with something fun for your guests is … a challenge. May we help?

Burn off energy, stretch your legs, and share in a memorable outdoor experience together. These ideas will get your blood pumping and deliver great “point-and-shoot” opportunities for the scrapbook.

This is the second of a three-part series of ideas to help you maintain your sanity while showing gracious hospitality and LOVE this holiday season.

 

— GET ACTIVE AT A VIRGINIA STATE PARK —

Virginia’s 36 state parks are open year ’round for your exploration and enjoyment. Hike or bike the trails, or get involved with an organized activity. Geocaching is a hit with families. Inquire with a park ranger about a GPS unit to get on your way.

#OptOutside: Black Friday goes GREEN! Visit a Virginia State Park between November 26 and 29, 2015 and take photos. Upload those photos for a chance to win a lifetime pass to the parks, gift certificates, and cool prizes from REI. More Information

Douthat State Park

Douthat State Park

 

— GO FOR A HIKE —

Our curated list of 15 Favorite Winter Hikes will give you ideas for great look-outs, waterfall hikes (they may be beautifully frozen!), and even jaunts to fire towers.

Doyles River Trail

Doyles River Trail

 

— HIT THE SLOPES —

Snowmaking typically begins early- to mid-December (and sometimes earlier) at Virginia’s mountain resorts. Check the slope reports and plan accordingly for a fun time tubing, snowboarding, and skiing. Ice skating is also available at some locations.

Snow Reports:

Bryce Resort
Massanutten Resort (don’t miss their indoor waterpark!)
Omni Homestead Resort (check out their heated outdoor pool!)
Wintergreen Resort

Massanutten Resort

Massanutten Resort

 

— SKATE AWAY, INDOORS OR OUT —

Stars on Ice will have nothing on you guys! Whirl and twirl away a few hours at any of Virginia’s indoor or seasonal outdoor ice skating rinks. Skate rentals and warm concessions are typically available, and if you’re skating outdoors at night, snow is always in the forecast at select rinks.

Ice Skating at Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center Ice Skating

 

— BUNDLE UP FOR A BIKE RIDE —

We identified 10 Virginia Bicycle Routes Perfect for Any Season, and that includes this one. Of recent interest and notoriety is the Virginia Capital Trail winding from Richmond to Williamsburg along Route 5 and the James River. The entire length of the trail is now open and many cyclist have been enjoying the scenery and seasonal beauty.

Virginia Capital Bike Trail: Shiplock Park

Virginia Capital Bike Trail: Shiplock Park

 

Where do you most enjoy taking your friends and family when you need a breath of fresh air? Leave a comment to share.

 

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