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Treat Your Kid(s) To a Day Out in Staunton


Late spring is an ideal time of year to get out and about with the family. Staunton has a lot to offer before summer camps start, and it’s just too hot to do anything besides tan by the pool. Our town has a delightful blend of history, culture, and outdoor fun for families. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers or tweens, there’s something for everyone. Here’s how to spend a kids’ day out in Staunton.

Museums

Combine your family’s love of history with your love of the outdoors. Part museum, part park, the Frontier Culture Museum uses costumed interpreters to bring history to life. The museum is a collection of farmstead exhibits that showcase the daily routines of the Valley’s first inhabitants. Explore authentic dwellings, learn about traditional crafts, meet farm animals, and participate in hands-on activities. It’s an educational experience that’s both fun and enlightening.

While not specifically designed for kids, the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum offers insights into the life of the 28th U.S. President. Older children interested in history may find it fascinating.

Indoor Fun

Learn to bowl at Staunton Bowling Lanes, which has optional ramps and bumpers to keep little frustrations at bay. Sign up for the Kids Bowl Free summer program to save money for the arcade and snack bar. Visulite Cinema shows popular new features for both kids and their grown-ups. Stuck screening the next Sonic movie? Ease the pain with a beer and a bottomless bag of popcorn. Finally, Crack the Code Escape Room will keep everyone thinking even though they’re not in school. Bond with the kids as you work together to unravel the mystery and escape the room in an hour. No screens allowed!

Bookstores and Shops

Got a reader? Staunton’s independent bookstores The Book Dragon (new and used) and Staunton Books (used only) sell books at good prices for the entire family. Pufferbellies sells only new books for children, but they also have an exciting collection of toys and games that everyone will enjoy browsing. 

Tubular Toy Box sells a mix of new, pre-loved, and vintage toys and comics. You’ll go in for the kids but also leave with something for yourself! Kids who are into model-building or DnD will have the best day ever as they check out the shelves at Frontline Model Kits & Hobbies and The Dragon’s Hoard. You can find all your medieval themed gifts and possibly catch a Dragon Walk at Medieval Fantasies Gyfte Shoppe. Queen City Gifts and Games has gifts and art from local makers as well as a lounge area for kids to hang out and play games. Don’t forget to visit Baby Opal, a delightful children’s boutique that carries clothing, aesthetically-pleasing toys, baby books, and more. Older kids will love browsing the retro fashions and huge sunglass collection on the top floor of 17 East Beverley Antiques.

A trip to Staunton isn’t complete without a visit to the Staunton Farmers’ Market for fresh produce and more. If you’re lucky, you might run into Staunton’s own Spiderman!

Treats and Sweets

Newly renovated, The Split Banana has reopened to serve delicious gelato and sorbet. Get free upgrades on Waffle Wednesdays! Prefer that waffle with other toppings instead? Load up a Belgian waffle with your favorite toppings like berries, whipped cream, Oreos, and more at Sweet Addie’s. The family will also love the old-fashioned custard-style ice cream Kline’s or Wright’s Dairy Rite.

See how we put dessert first? Kids like that. However, if you’re looking to main-meal your fam, take a seat at Shenandoah Pizza for big slices the whole family will enjoy. Baja Bean cooks up the Mexican of your dreams, and the Depot Grille specializes in American comfort food.

Parks

Gypsy Hill Park is a sprawling 214-acre green space where families can enjoy a variety of activities. Look for playgrounds designed for younger and older children. The duck pond has delighted generations of Staunton children along with the nearby Gypsy Hill Express mini train that costs $1 to ride on the weekend. You’ll also find a large public swimming pool, picnic areas, paved loop for bike rides, and a bandstand that hosts live music and kids movies in the summer. In addition to Gypsy Hill Park, consider Montgomery Hall Park. Kids can burn energy on the playground, walking trails, and wide green spaces. There’s a public pool and a well-maintained 18-hole disc golf course as well.

Check out these Staunton-area hikes that are great for younger legs.

Festivals

The free, family-friendly Happy Birthday America celebration lights up Staunton each Independence Day. Have a blast with a 5K race, a lively parade, concessions, live music from local acts and country group Wilson Fairchild, and fireworks. At the end of the summer, Staunton Augusta Art Center’s holds the 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. And in September, 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. 

Get ready to spend a kid’s day out in Staunton! You’ll have fun, learn, and bond as you make memories.


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