1.) Harrisonburg Children’s Museum – “A hands-on, interactive museum where children (ages 2-12) and their families can explore and learn together. The museum offers a wide range of activities including culture, science and technology.”
2.) Massanutten WaterPark – One of the pricier things on the list but definitely a good way to entertain your children for hours.
“Massanutten Indoor WaterPark is open year-round for family fun, group and birthday party entertainment while the Outdoor WaterPark is open from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Hours do vary seasonally. The indoor park is 42,000 sq. ft. of aquatic fun! The park features: eight indoor water slides, a multi level aquatic fortress, an adventure river, indoor/outdoor warm pool, kiddie pool, and Virginia’s first and largest FlowRider®. The FlowRider® is a simulated surf machine the pushes 50,000 gallons of water a minute to produce the endless wave for body boarding or stand-up riding. It is the ultimate skill and thrill attraction! Lessons are available for those wishing to learn how to surf here at Massanutten. The outdoor park is 88,000 sq. ft. of splashin’ good times and includes a wave pool, multi-lane mat racer, and activity pool. The activity pool features three basketball hoops, two floating cross walks that will be sure to test your balancing skills and a spray deck for all ages. There are two restaurants, a state-of-the-art arcade and surf shop all at the WaterPark too!”
3.) Frontier Culture Museum – This happens to be one of my favorite museums, although I haven’t been there in years.
“To tell the story of these early immigrants and their American descendents, the Museum has moved or reproduced examples of traditional rural buildings from England, Germany, Ireland, West Africa, and America. The Museum engages the public at these exhibits with a combination of interpretive signage and living history demonstrations. The outdoor exhibits are located in two separate areas: the Old World and America. The Old World exhibits show rural life and culture in four homelands of early migrants to the American colonies. The American exhibits show the life these colonists and their descendents created in the colonial backcountry, how this life changed over more than a century, and how life in the United States today is shaped by its frontier past.”
4.) Luray Reptile Center – People take this place for granted I think. It’s small but a lot of fun.
“Seeing zookeepers interact with animals and know them personally. Having a zookeeper available to answer your questions. Getting Close and personal with animals is something Luray Zoo does best! Have you ever been close enough to a tiger you can count their whiskers?”
5.) Luray Caverns – Although Luray is my personal favorite the valley offers lots of caverns nearby. There is Endless near New Market, Va, Shenandoah Caverns in Quicksburg, VA, and Grand Caverns in Grottes, VA. Luray Caverns however “contains a bey of stalactite and stalagmite formations. They are the largest caverns in the eastern USA.”
6.) Blue Hole – Although each side of the county has their own versions of “Blue Hole” Bergton, VA’s has always been a close fun one for me. I don’t know that it gets better than being in the George Washington National Forrest, jumping off rocks into a beautiful swimming hole. God does such a perfect job at entertaining us in nature and for free ;-). Here’s a great resource to find a great swimming hole near you http://www.swimmingholes.org/va.html.
7.) Skyline Drive – This is probably one of my favorite things to do. I love hiking and just being in nature with nowhere else to be but there. You can get a hiking guide when you enter the park and there are endless hikes and picnic areas to just enjoy the day in.
8.) Twincreeks Llama Trekking – I have never heard of this place until I wrote this but I am very excited to give this a try. I love llamas.
“Hiking with lamas will add a whole new dimension to your wilderness adventure. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the local wildlife and wildflowers as well as some interesting tidbits about the history of the area. Located just 1 and a half-hours west of Washington, DC, Twin Creeks Llamas offers half-day hikes into the Blue Ridge Mountains with our llamas carrying a delicious picnic lunch. Our hikes vary in length and difficulty, depending on your interests and abilities. Our trails vary in difficulty from easy to moderately strenuous. We have selected the trails with the objective to have fun, enjoy nature, and relax. Our goal is to provide a variety of experiences for the conditioned as well as the unconditioned hiker. Hikes are offered on weekends only. We operate throughout the year with the exception of Mid June though the end of August. These months are generally too hot and humid for the llamas. Reservations are taken on a first come, first served basis. ”
9.) Cass Scenic Railroad State Park – For those Thomas the Train loving kiddos. “Nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers excursions that transport you back in time to relive an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life.”
10.) Virginia Safari Park– We did this a few years back and it was a great time. I wouldn’t suggest using your own car though unless you can easily clean the inside. We did the trolley and it was a lot of fun. “You’ll be able to see animals run and frolic without abandon … or block your path … or lay flat-out in the sun … the choice will be theirs; they are free to roam, no pacing back and forth in front of a barred exhibit!”
This isn’t one specifically because there are so many great state parks. Virginia and West Virginia offer some of the most beautiful state parks in the US. There is usually very little cost involved in a picnic, admission and good old fashion imagination. These parks have everything you need to have a day of fun with your whole family and certainly bring a sense of peacefulness to mom.
This is just a sliver of all the valley has to offer. I could have made this list 10 times longer but who needs 100 things to do in one summer. 10 is a pretty good goal, I think. Enjoy your fourth of July week and have a great time this summer.
Most content found at: Familysdayout.com, a great resource for finding things to do anywhere in the US.