Are you looking for a new place to take the family this summer? School lets out in just a few weeks, so it’s time to start planning now. Staunton has tons of fun activities to delight the whole family. You can’t go wrong planning a trip around an event or festival, but Staunton is lovely any day of the year.
Events and Festivals
- June 24-26: Everyone in the family will get up and dance as the biggest names in folk music appear at Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Natural Chimney’s Park. Besides the music, festival attendees can expect a beer garden, food and craft vendors, bike rides, yoga, and lawn games for adults and kids alike.
- Bring the family to Gypsy Hill Park this Independence Day for the free, family-friendly Happy Birthday America celebration. Have a blast with a 5K race, a lively parade, concessions, live music from local acts and country group Wilson Fairchild, and fireworks. (Free)
- August 12-21: Musicians will love The Staunton Music Festival’s classical concerts spanning over 600 years. Dozens of musicians will perform in both large and small ensembles in a variety of Staunton venues like Trinity Episcopal Church and Blackfriars Playhouse. (Some concerts are free, some are ticketed)
- September 4-5: Join the fun at the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s 55th annual Art in the Park festival in Gypsy Hill Park. You’ll find amazing art, community spirit, live music, food, and creative activities for the kids. The park boasts lots of parking, shade, and playgrounds to keep everyone happy. (Free)
- September 24-25: Join thousands of seriously excited fans in downtown Staunton for themed shopping, dining, performances, and hands-on activities for all ages at the Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival. This home-grown fan festival celebrates J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter series as well as all things magical and mystical. (Many activities are free, some are ticketed)
- July 26-30: Visit Augusta Expo for the rides, shows, food, and fun at the Augusta County Fair. Check the schedule for more upcoming fun like train shows, dog shows, and tractor pulls.
- 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 Natural Chimney’s Park or Walnut Hills Campground.
- Start your day with a hearty meal at Kathy’s Restaurant, where they heap on goodness and serve traditional breakfast fare served all day. Have you ever tried a Captain Crunch biscuit? Vic’s Eats serves an eclectic menu with delights like honeybuns and fried bologna.
- For a pre-dinner beverage, check out the kid-friendly beer gardens and phenomenal craft beer at Skipping Rock Beer Co. or Redbeard Brewing Company.
- Kid-friendly Shenandoah Pizza offers plain and loaded gourmet pies that celebrate local ingredients and lore. Oh, and parents can order more beer from their extensive tap list.
- The Depot Grille is another tasty, family-friendly way to catch a bite. The restaurant serves delicious American fare and includes a menu for kids.
- 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.
- Wright’s Dairy Rite serves its kids’ meals in boxes shaped like antique cars. You sit in a booth and order your food over the phone. The food is traditional diner fare, just the way picky kids like it.
- However, if you have more of an adventurous eater on your hands, Taste of India offers a range of fresh Indian dishes. Diners choose how mild or spicy they want their dishes to be.
- Complete the day with one (or more) of the 18 fresh-made flavors of frozen gelato at The Split Banana or indulge yourself with a giant soft-serve cone from Kline’s Dairy Bar, which has been perfecting their creamy flavors for decades.
- Spend a fun Saturday morning exploring the Staunton Farmer’s Market. Listen to live music, talk to local farmers and taste seasonal fresh fruit and a variety of baked goods. This is a great way to catch a snack, introduce the kids to new tastes, and connect with Staunton’s bustling community.
- Take a hike in one of Staunton’s parks or hit the playground or tot lot at Gypsy Hill Park. Montgomery Hall Park has a regular playground and Nature Ridge, a playground made of natural elements to aid in exploring nature and having fun. Montgomery Hall also has miles of hiking/biking trails and an 18-hole disc golf course.
- Get out of town to Shenandoah National Park or George Washington and Jefferson National Forests for a dose of Next, summon your inner billy goat gruff and climb up to the historic Sears Hill footbridge to Woodrow Park.
- Step back in time at the Frontier Culture Museum, which invites visitors to explore the lives of people living in the Valley from the 1600s through the mid-1800s. Walk between working farms where costumed interpreters answer your questions and demonstrate daily activities. Little folk will love the animals, and you can rent a wagon if your kids can’t handle lots of walking.
- For a tour or a fun ride, hop on the 25-cent green trolley. You can get on and off at area attractions like the Jumbo Museum, where you can visit the oldest motorized fire engine in Virginia, and Gypsy Hill Park to feed the ducks, play on the playground, and ride the Gypsy Express Mini-Train.
Indoor Activities Everyone Will Enjoy
- Staunton is home to the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. If you come in May, you can get tickets for one of the final shows of Romeo & Juliet or The Comedy of Errors. Summer programming includes Every Brilliant Thing (in conversations with Romeo & Juliet), Twelfth Night, and Thrive, or What You Will (an exploration of themes from Twelfth Night. If your kids are a little young for the Bard, you might find an age-appropriate movie at the Visulite.
- Work together to solve one of the active puzzles at Crack the Code Escape Room. Pick from several challenges like Subway, NYC, or Staunton-themed Lang’s Legacy. You’ll have an hour to decipher the clues and break out of the mysterious room.
- Get an intro to the fascinating art of glass-blowing at Sunspots Studios. Artisans answer questions and demonstrate how they blow and shape molten glass into globes and art pieces. You’ll want to study this process or reserve a spot in a “Blow Your Own Ornament” session, led by a trained artist.
- USA Today calls Beverley Street one of the “most charming main streets” in America and several stores cater to families. Look for dollhouse gear at Warehouse Miniatures and modeling supplies at Hobby Surplus Outlet. The Dragon’s Hoard will meet your gaming needs, and Pufferbellies, the largest independently owned toy store in the Valley, has something to fascinate the kid in all of us.
- Teach the kids to knock down some pins at Staunton Lanes!
Hopefully, this list has given you some ideas on how to take your family on a Staunton Adventure this summer. Start planning today!