While it is nice to imagine a luxury trip without worrying about finances, most of us have to consider costs when making plans. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with TV shows and video games for entertainment. With a reasonable budget in mind, we researched fun activities that are also friendly to the wallet and came up with these 13 spring activities that won’t break the bank. Add these plans into the mix to make your weekends enjoyable AND affordable.
Note: Due to COVID-19, some activities and attractions may have limited operating hours and additional safety meaures in place; check websites for updates.
1. Rent Kayaks or Paddleboards at Your Nearest Watersport Outfitter’s
Photo Credit: Scott K. Brown
More Information: Although prices vary depending on location, most Virginia State Parks rent out kayak, canoe, and paddleboard equipment. Here are a few other companies that have affordable rentals:
- Penguin Paddling in Occoquan: Kayak rentals start at $16/hr. and $10/hr. for youth rentals.
- Riverbend Park in Fairfax: Kayak rentals start at $18/3 hr.
- Riverside Outfitters in Richmond: Kayak and paddleboard rentals starts at $29/2 hr.
- Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield: Kayak and paddleboard rentals start at $10/hr.
2. Admire Exotic blooms at the Botanical Gardens
Photo Credit: Matt Long, IG account: @landlopers
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond: $13 for adults, $8 for children 3-12, children under 3 are free.
- Norfolk Botanical Gardens: $12 for adults, $10 for children and youth 3-17, children under 2 are free.
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna: $6 for adults, $3 for children and youth 6-17, children under 5 are free.
- Williamsburg Botanical Garden at Freedom Park: Free admission.
3. Discover the Wonders of the World at a Museum
- Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond: Adults $19, children 6-12 $17.50, preschool 3-5 $14
- Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth: Adults $11, children and youth 2-17 $10
- National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly: Free admission, parking $15
- Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville: Adults $5, children 6-12 $3, children under 6 free
- Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville: Adults $7, children and youth 3-18 $5, free for children under 3
4. Attend a Festival in Virginia
Photo Credit: Corey Pittman, IG account: @mainfocusmedia
More Information: Prices vary for each event, but many are free or less than $16.
Note: Due to COVID-19, many festivals in Virginia have been cancelled for the foreseeable future; check festival websites for details.
5. Pick Tulips and Daffodils at Burnside Farms
More Information: Entry is $6 per person during the week and $8 per person during the weekends. Season pass for the farm is $10. Children under two are free. Tulips are $1 each and daffodils are 2 for $1.
6. Take the Bikes Out on a Trail Day
Photo Credit: Rachel Stevens
More Information: Free entrance to trails, although some parks may require an entrance fee.
7. Explore the Wilderness at One of Virginia’s National Parks
Photo Credit: Nate Dennison
- Shenandoah National Park: Bike and walking fee is $15 per person
- Assateague Island National Seashore: $20 per vehicle
- Blue Ridge Parkway: Free
- Cumberland Gap: Free
8. Play a Round of Miniature Golf
Photo Credit: April Greer
- Wilderness Presidential Resort in Spotsylvania: $2 per person.
- Mulligan’s Golf Center in Harrisonburg: Adults $7.50, children 4-12 $6, children under 4 $3
9. Learn about Interesting Animals from Around the World at the Zoo
Photo Credit: Sam Dean IG: @sdeanphotos
- Fort Chiswell Animal Park in Wytheville: Adults $12, children 3-12 $10, children 2 & under free.
- Metro Richmond Zoo: Adults $17.75, children 2-11 $11.75, children under 1 & under free.
- Virginia Zoo in Norfolk: Adults $17.95, children 2-11 $14.95, children under 2 free
- Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke: Adults $10, children 3-11 $8, children under 2 free
- Luray Zoo: Adults 13 and up $12, children ages 3-12 $6
- Roer’s Zoofari in Vienna: Adults $17, children ages 3-12 $12
- Wilson’s Animal Park in Winchester: General Admission $9, children under 3 are free
10. Cheer on a Local Team at a Minor League Baseball Game
- Norfolk Tides at Harbor Park– Tickets
- Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium – Tickets
- Richmond Flying Squirrels at The Diamond – Tickets
- Salem Red Sox – Tickets
- Lynchburg Hillcats at City Stadium – Tickets
- Pulaski Yankees at Calfee Park– Tickets
- Danville Braves at Legion Field – Tickets
Note: Due to COVID-19, games for the 2021 season may have been postponed or cancelled. Check schedules for details.
11. Tour Virginia Caverns
More Information: Here are some of the popular caverns that are less than $16:
- Gap Caverns in Ewing: Adults $8, children 5-12 are $4. No children under 5 admitted.
- Dixie Caverns in Salem: Adults 13 and over $14, children 5-12 $6, children under 5 are free.
- Endless Caverns: Adults 13 and over $20/tour, children 4-12 $9, 3 and under free
12. Take in a Scenic Sunset from a Lighthouse
Photo Credit: Chad Williams, IG account: @echadwilliams
- Cape Henry Lighthouse in Fort Story: Adults $8, children 12 and under $6
- Assateague Lighthouse: $5 adults, $3 children
13. Learn About Virginia’s Rich History
Photo Credit: Skylar Arias Adventures, IG account: @skylar_arias_adventures
More Information: Find all historic sites in Virginia, or visit a few of the popular destinations:
- Mount Vernon: Adults $20, Youth 6-11 $12, children 5 and under are free
- Monticello: Gardens and Grounds are free to tour, house tours start at $10 for children and $29.95 for adults
- Jamestown: Adults 13 and up are $17.50, youth 6-12 $8.25, 5 and under free
- American Revolution Museum at Yorktown: Adults 13 and up $15, youth 6-12 $7.50
Although this is a good start, there are plenty of other inexpensive activities throughout the state that work with any budget. Tell us what your economical ideas are for spring fun in Virginia!