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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

5 Spring Break Day Trips in Virginia

The countdown to Spring Break is on in RVA! And if you're school calendar is anything like ours, you also have a bunch of school holidays and half days coming up in March, April and May. So what do you do in central Virginia when you've got a day off from school? You take a day trip - of course!

I rounded up 5 Virginia destinations we've tried with our kiddos that are fun in any weather - these Virginia destinations have indoor and outside options for fun. Each one of these museums, experiences and activities has been approved by my kids. While they have been 6 or younger on each adventure, these are Virginia places and spaces that are fun for all ages. Even the grownups will have fun. The best part? All of these spots are 2 hours or less from Richmond!

*Follow @thewestendmom on Instagram for things to do with kids in Richmond and around Virginia!

Here are 5 day trips around Virginia to try this spring with your children!

1.Lynchburg, Virginia: This is one of our favorite day trips from Richmond! We usually visit both Snowflex and Seaquest in one day and visit one of the local Lynchburg restaurants for dinner before heading back to Richmond. You could also add on Amazement Square, Lynchburg's children's museum, if time allowed. If you need somewhere to stay the night, check out The Virginian Hotel. We always stay here when visiting Lynchburg, Virginia.

Liberty Mountain SnowFlex: This mountain top rec center has ski slopes, mountain tubing & a sledding hill. The mountain is covered in Snowflex - a special turf surface that’s slippy & grippy, essential for snow sports, plus it’s soft to fall on (no hard ice or packed snow)! All ages are welcome & you can even schedule a beginner lesson for any of the snow sports.

SeaQuest Aquarium: SeaQuest is a 20,000 square feet petting zoo aquarium that opened in 2019. There are about 1,500 animals - turtles, sting rays, sloths & more. You get to touch & feed animals from around the world! My crew loves visiting this aquarium. Some of our favorites are using the vending machines to get animal food + feeding sting rays & giant tortoise. We usually spend an hour & half to 2 hours exploring.

2. Williamsburg, Virginia: At about an hour from Richmond, this is such an easy day trip to try on school holidays. William and Mary's campus is next to Merchant's Square and Colonial Williamsburg, too. This is a beautiful, free space to explore!

Colonial Williamsburg is a 301 acre living-history museum with restored & recreated colonial buildings from when Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia in the 18th century. With special events like a ice skating rink in the winter to the every day events like military activity & carriage rides, Colonial Williamsburg is a fun place to explore with your family. It’s also a part of the Historic Triangle with Jamestown & Yorktown. 

Cost varies by activity, but you can explore many areas for free. We love walking Duke of Gloucester Street and picnicking on the palace green. This main street is paved - completely stroller friendly and bike friendly.

Great Wolf Lodge is about an hour from Richmond, and it’s a really easy getaway for families. This is the closest indoor water park from RVA, and it’s really fun for all ages. The indoor water park is so much fun - it has a wave pool, water slides, raft slides, a large tree house and a kiddie pool. You can even purchase day passes to the water park!

*Check here for my review.

Kidsburg Playground: This 19 acre park is less than 10 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg . There’s open green space, basketball courts, pickleball courts, sand volleyball courts, picnic shelter & Kidsburg! This playground is 30,000 square feet and it's ship themed! Kidsburg is really fun - it has an area for big kids, a fenced in play area for little kids, and it has a zip line!

3.Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia: We love not only visiting the Coastal Region of Virginia for their beaches, but we also love their museums and zoo! If you haven't checked out The Children's Museum of Virginia, Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin or The Virginia Zoo, add these places to your spring plans now!

The Children's Museum of Virginia: The Children’s Museum of Virginia is 72,000 square feet - the largest museum for kids in Virginia! It has 2 floors of interactive exhibits, including a safety zone, working port, bubble play, and a Tot Lot. Our favorites were the model trains & Toddler Tracks, Happy Paws, My Backyard & Beyond, and Dr. Forces Traveling Energy Extravaganza.

Tickets cost $11 for adults, $10 for kids (2-17) and 2 & under are free. AAA members can save $1 per ticket! Children's Museum of Richmond & Science Museum of Virginia members have reciprocal rates, too.

Nauticus: Located in Norfolk, this maritime museum has interactive exhibits on the environment, industry and military. This museum is such a unique destination for families because you also get to board and explore the USS Wisconsin, an authentic WWII battleship.

 It costs $15.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids (2 and under are free). Seniors and active duty military receive a discount. Virginia & North Carolina teachers get one free adult admission ticket with a valid teaching ID. Science Museum of Virginia members receive free admission.

The Virginia Zoo: Opening in 1900, the Virginia Zoo is on 53 acres & it’s home to over 700 animals! You can explore a variety of habitats like the Africa-Okavango Delta and Asia - Trail of the Tiger to see animals native to that region, including a zoo farm. Our favorites were seeing the baby rhino & giraffe, playing in the nature discovery zone & riding the Norfolk Southern Express! The Virginia Zoo is the only AZA-accredited zoo in Virginia.

4. Farmville, Virginia: Around an hour and half from RVA, the drive to Farmville is incredibly peaceful! Besides checking out Longwood University and Hampden Sydney College, the town has lots of restaurants and treat spots. If you park by Greenfront, you can even jump right on the High Bridge Trail.

High Bridge State Park: Want to hike the longest recreational bridge in Virginia? Visit High Bridge State Park. The High Bridge is more than 2,400 feet long & 125 feet above the Appomattox River! While the complete trail is 31 miles, you can jump on the trail at Camp Paradise. It’s just .3miles from the bridge.

I love this hike for families, especially with young children. The paths are wide & flat. It’s completely stroller friendly! You can also ride bikes, scooters or horses. A new visitor center is being built at Camp Paradise too. The 2,600 square-foot trail center will resemble a 1900s train station with exhibits & an ADA-accessible path to the trail!

Bear Creek State Park: Located in Cumberland County, this Virginia State Park is less than an hour from Richmond, next to Cumberland State Forest! It has trails for hiking, biking & horseback riding trails, archery ranges & two playgrounds. Bear Creek Lake State Park also has cabins & camping sites.

The highlight of this park, especially in the summer, is the 40-acre lake with a boat launch, fishing pier, boat rentals & swimming! It also has playgrounds on the beach. This makes playing at both the playground and in the water really easy with kids.

*Check here for my review. If you're looking for more Virginia State Parks to visit this spring break, check out my guide on My Favorite State Parks for Kids.

5. Washington, DC: While technically not in Virginia, Spring Break is the perfect time to make this two hour day trip! You could even travel by train to make your trip even more fun. Besides the obvious American history and national monuments, the Northern Virginia and metro DC area have so many fun things for families to do.

The Smithsonian Institution consists of 16 museums and a zoo, and all of them are free to visit. Our favorites are The National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo. Make sure to check each location's website to reserve tickets and confirm hours of operation. Free tickets are limited each day, so reserve your time slot as soon as you can!

The Washington Wizards and The Washington Nationals both have home games over the next four weeks (March 1, 2024 to April 10, 2024). If you've got a sports loving kiddo, it would be so much fun to attend one of these major league games.

Also, I highly recommend visiting Lego Discovery Center at Springfield Town Center. It is the newest Lego center on the East Coast, and it is an hour & 30 minutes from RVA heading towards DC. If you are driving to DC, you could make this pit stop on the way or make it a trip on its own.

This indoor Lego playland has over 2 million Lego bricks, 12 Lego zones, a ride & a cafe. All the zones are interactive & you can even participate in building workshops. We played, explored & built for over 3 hours… and my kiddos LOVED it! Tickets start at $25.99 pp. Everyone 3+ needs a ticket. Adults must have at least one child in their party to visit.

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Looking for even more day trip ideas? Check out my guide on The Best Day Trips from RVA. Ready to take a beach trip? Check out my guide on 5 Beaches less than 2 hours from Richmond.

*Follow @thewestendmom on Instagram for things to do with kids in Richmond and around Virginia!

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