5 Family Friendly Activities to Try at Massanutten Resort
Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Whenever we need reset, we plan a visit to the mountains... and that's exactly what we needed this fall! In October we decided to visit Massanutten Resort in the Shenandoah Valley because of its close proximity to Richmond and the easy pit stops on the way.
It's a little under 2 hours from Richmond, making it a very easy trip with little kids. We also drove through Gordonsville -- we love visiting this cute town to eat at BBQ Exchange or to explore Market at Grelen and Montpelier.
During our weekend getaway, we stayed in Massanutten's newly renovated, two-bedroom Summit condos. Each condo in this section has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a family room and balcony. It was more than enough space for all five of us - we brought our Gigi along for the fun! I recommend booking rooms 241-245 because they only have a couple steps to enter. The condos on the other side have 10-20 steps to reach the condo (10 outside +10 inside if you're on a second floor).
With little kids this space was really nice, especially at meal time and rest time. We were able to make breakfast together each morning without worrying where to eat. We were also able to keep our children on their regular sleep schedules. I also liked that basic amenities were in our condo: hair dryer, bath products, dish soap, etc.
Throughout the 6,000 acre property are hiking trails, parks and playgrounds that guests can use free of change. The Fitness and Rec Club has free movies, an arcade, a swimming pool, sand volley ball courts and basketball courts. It also has an ice skating rink in November through the winter months. We saw a lot of teenagers using this space when we were there.
While everything is pretty close together, you need to drive your car to each spot. The entire resort is on a mountain, so it's not great for walking between all of the areas.
Here are 5 family friendly activities & dining options to try during your visit:
1. The Campfire Grill: While we really enjoyed having our own kitchen in our condo, we ended up eating at The Campfire Grill twice during our getaway. We loved the outdoor space with firepits and views of the golf course. The menu was very family friendly - I recommend the pizza and the cookie skillet! My children loved being about to walk down the porch to see golf carts, wildlife like deer and groundhogs too!
Reservations are optional. We had reservations on the first night, and the second night we just showed up early, around 5:15.
2. The Live Events: We planned our visit for the Fall Festival because it would provide us with an activity for a full day! We got to listen to live music, have lunch from a food truck and played yard games with the kids. Massanutten Resort hosts festivals and events throughout the year. Here are some other ones to check out: Snow Moon Fest, Valley Fest, Summer Jam, and Village Festival.
3. Gem Mining: My children loved gem mining, especially sifting the dirt and getting wet. After we picked up our bags from the adventure center, we walked behind the building to the Massanutten Mining Company. There is a gem mining sluice and water pumps through the trough. After you get a sifter, you pour your bag of dirt in it and let the water wash away the dirt. My children were so excited to find the different stones, gems and fossils. Our bag also came with a key so we could identify what we found.
Gem Mining is really close to the summer tubing and adventure park courses, so you can walk between all of these activities.
It costs $8 for a small dirt bag and $12 for a large bag. If you purchase the large bag, you could definitely split it between two children.
4. The Indoor Water Park: We ended our weekend with a visit to the massive indoor water park, and it was so much fun! This is a must visit at Massanutten! There is a giant water-powered playhouse, lazy river, tube slides, body slides, and an area just for children 36" and smaller. There is also a snack bar and a floor filled with arcade games.
My 4 year old loved the entire water park, and he was tall enough to participate in every area except the tube slides. My husband and him ran around to all the areas for almost 3 hours until they were both exhausted. My 2 year old loved riding in the tube with me on the lazy river, and she really enjoyed the Frog Pond, an area just for babies & toddlers (anyone 36" tall or shorter). Massanutten Meltdown, the playhouse, was a little much for her - she wanted me to go down the slides with her, but you could only go one at a time. Neither of my children tried The Pipeline, but we watched children as young as 5 attempt to boogie board and surf!
It costs between $29-49 dollars per person, and children 2 & under are free . Massanutten offers military discounts and advance purchase discounts. Life jackets are available without a cost, and you need to bring your own towels. We ended up renting a locker, and it was definitely helpful, too. Depending on the ages and heights of your children you may need two adults to enjoy the park - we definitely did. I also like that the water park is open to the public, not just Massanutten Resort guests!
5. Summer Tubing: This was the first activity my family tried, and we absolutely loved it! My children love slides, and, while we were a little surprised by how fast the tubes go, they loved this thrill! Summer tubing is offered between April and October, and it is set up on two lanes that drop 120 vertical feet over the course of 600 feet.
While you also get to ride a conveyor belt to the top of the hill, this is definitely a workout between pulling your tube and carrying your kids (if you need to). Definitely wear comfy clothes!
It costs $10 for 2 rides or $14 for 4 rides. Children must be 36" or taller to ride. While everyone must ride in his own tube, you can connect your tubes together. My children really enjoyed riding in pairs and as a whole family!
We also had a "day date" on the Scenic Chairlift Ride up to Massanutten Peak. We went while the kids were napping at our condo with GiGi. It was a gorgeous ride, and we saw the beautiful fall foliage and the ski slopes! If you want to bring your kids on this one, I'd recommend this for children 7 and older because it is about a 45 minute ride.
Looking for more weekend getaways and day trip ideas? Check out this post on 6 adventures around Richmond that are perfect for day trips or weekend getaways, and check out this post on A Getaway Weekend in Roanoke, Virginia.