Family-Friendly Spring Break
Spring break is here, and that means it’s time to kick the cabin fever and get outside with the kids. Now that the weather is warmer, Staunton is bursting with stuff to do. Whether you just have a day or you’re looking to fill the entire week, here’s how to have a blast with your kids in Staunton.
Attractions and Museums
- Has your family hit the rails yet? Since last summer, the Virginia Scenic Railway has offered train rides through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Kids will love the modernized 1940s vintage train cars, meal service, and the chance to see the countryside from a unique perspective.
- Get your hands dirty at the Frontier Culture Museum. This outdoor living history museum allows visitors to experience life in early America and Europe. Families can see historic buildings, learn from costumed interpreters, pet animals, and even help out with farm chores.
- See a show at the American Shakespeare Center. This world-renowned theater company performs Shakespeare and other plays in an authentic re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor Blackfriars Playhouse. The lively and engaging performances will entertain and educate.
- Visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum to learn about Wilson’s connection to Staunton and much more. The museum offers programming for all ages, and younger folks will love learning about the Wooly the sheep mascot and completing the creative projects detailed on the activities page.
- Stop in at Sunspots Studios to watch artisans creating art from molten glass. Feel free to ask lots of questions about the process or even reserve a spot in a “Blow Your Own Ornament” session, led by a trained artist.
- Work together to solve a puzzle at Crack the Code Escape Room. Pick from several challenges like Subway, NYC, Crazy Cat Lady, or The Dark Mage’s Rise. You’ll have an hour to decipher the clues and break out of the mysterious room.
- Knock down some pins at Staunton Lanes. This bowling alley has rental shoes, an arcade, a snack bar, and bumper lanes for beginners.
- Montgomery Hall Park has miles of wooded trails perfect for mountain bikers or nature lovers. Along with tennis and basketball courts, the park has a seasonal pool and an 18-hole disc golf course. Wear the kids out on the traditional playground or at Nature Ridge, a playground made of natural elements to aid in exploring nature and having fun.
- Gypsy Hill Park is a large city park that features playgrounds, a duck pond, a fishing lake, a golf course, a seasonal swimming pool, and a miniature train to ride. Look for upcoming events like free concerts, Earth Day fun, ball games, 5ks, and more.
- Get out of town to Shenandoah National Park or George Washington and Jefferson National Forests for a dose of hiking, views, and fresh air.
- Channel your inner cowpoke with a guided trail ride at Star B Stables. Appropriate for all skill levels ages six and up, the rides feature gentle horses, patient guides, and incredible views of the Valley.
- Discover a different point of view of the Shenandoah Valley while walking an alpaca. Point of View Alpaca Farm should be apart of your next adventure. Learn about them, feel them, feed them from your hand, and take them on a guided walk through the pastures, past lavender fields and to the bank of the soothing and relaxing Middle River.
Here are some attractions that are easy drives from your Staunton main hub:
- Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson, is located just an hour’s drive from Staunton. Families can picnic, eat ice cream made from historic recipes, and take guided tours of the house and gardens. There’s even a special, hands-on tour designed for kids ages 5-12.
- Natural Bridge State Park is a stunning natural wonder where families can hike, take photos of the giant limestone arch, and check out the light show at night. You’ll also like the nearby Virginia Safari Park, an award-winning drive-thru adventure where you can feed animals from the comfort of your car. Also in Natural Bridge, Dinosaur Kingdom II will wow families with life-sized dinosaur sculptures and other quirky sights.
- Head underground at one of the area’s commercial caverns: Grand Caverns (Grottoes), the Caverns at Natural Bridge, and Melrose Caverns (Harrisonburg) are all nearby and boast tours and dramatic natural features.
- Tuck into a big meal at Kathy’s Restaurant, where they heap on goodness and serve traditional breakfast fare served all day.
- Wright’s Dairy Rite is a retro diner that serves kid favorites like burgers, fries, shakes, and ice cream. Kids’ meals come in boxes shaped like classic convertibles.
- Shenandoah Pizza & Taphouse creates delicious gourmet pizzas with lots of fresh ingredients. Grown-ups will like the big beer menu and regular live music.
- The Depot Grille has a big menu full of American favorites. Kids will like looking at the antique train cars and the nearby railroad bridge and parents will appreciate selections from the bar.
- If your family enjoys Mexican, order dinner at the Baja Bean. The menu has loads of options including choices for the younger set and an impressive tap list for the grownups.
- Don’t skip one (or more) of the 24 fresh-made flavors of gelato at The Split Banana or indulge yourself with a giant soft-serve cone from Kline’s Dairy Bar, which has been a Staunton favorite for decades.
- Tru by Hilton and Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot have great locations convenient to downtown Staunton as well as I-81 and I-64.
- Reserve a room at the Howard Johnson. There’s plenty of parking and it’s an easy walk to downtown and dining.
- Book a campsite at Walnut Hills Campground.
With these activities and more, Staunton is a great destination for a fun-filled and memorable spring break with your kids. Start planning today!
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