8 Events & Places to Visit for a Local Spring Break
If you're staying local for Spring Break this year, there are plenty of fun spots to explore & new activities to try. Here are my picks for family adventure this spring that are under an hour & 30 minutes from #RichmondVA.
1. Illuminate the Estate: This special event is at The Estate at River Run, the former home of coal baron William Massey (you’ve heard of the Masseys, right?!). This gorgeous estate is 22,000 square feet & has stunning views of James River! If you arrive before sunset, you will also be able to see The Walking Dead's film site.
This is a self-guided tour through the illuminated estate. Lighting and Sound Co. created a gorgeous light display around the property & synced it to music.
If you want to plan an entire evening of fun, check out Courthouse Creek Cider, about 5 minutes away. Their farm location has animals, live music & food. It's the perfect family friendly spot for dining!
Dates: April 2 & 3- 6:00pm- 10:00pm
Cost: $11.95 for adults & $8.95 for children (under 8).
2. Gordonsville, Virginia: Gordonsville is about 65 miles northwest of Richmond in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We love eating at BBQ Exchange and grabbing coffee + treats at Krecek Cakes. We also love all of the hiking options & historical sites like Market at Grelen & Montpelier.
>>> Market at Grelen: The Market at Grelen is a 1,000 tree nursery with PYO fields (summer, fall & winter), a gift shop, a casual cafe, and over 5 miles of trails. You could eat lunch outside on the patio & taste the ice cream flights before exploring the property. The trails are hard pack or dirt, so bring your baby carrier!
Hours: The cafe is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 - 3:30. The trails are open Wednesday through Sunday from 9-4.
Cost: It is free to hike the trails.
>>> James Madison's Montpelier: James & Dolly Madison’s historic home is on 2,700 acres with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Montpelier has over 8+ miles of trails, historic buildings, gardens & archeological sites. You can explore on your own, take a guided tour, have a picnic & even participate in archeology digs! The trails are dirt, brick & mulch, so bring a baby carrier or an all-terrain stroller. They also connect to Market at Grelen trails.
Hours: The grounds, trails & shop are open Thursday through Monday from 9 AM-3 PM.
Cost: Tickets cost $10 per adult, $5 per child 6-12 & 5 and under are free.
3. Virginia's Historic Triangle: The Historic Triangle is about an hour east of Richmond, between the York & James Rivers. Jamestown, Williamsburg & Yorktown are living history sites that offer so much for families to explore.
>>> Colonial Williamsburg: Colonial Williamsburg is about an hour away with lots of things to see & do. It's 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 an ice skating rink in December & January to the every day events like military activity & carriage rides, Colonial Williamsburg is a fun place to explore with your family. There are also free itineraries on Colonial Williamsburg's website.
Hours: It's open daily from 9 to 5 (or later depending on the location & activity).
Cost: It's free to walk down Duke of Gloucester Street, but tours of the Governor's Palace & carriage rides and other activities have admission prices. A single day ticket for an adult is $35.99 & for a child is $19.99 (ages 6-12). These tickets include a selection of guided sites, historic trades, and gardens, as well as staged performances on the Charlton Stage and in the Hennage Auditorium & Art Museums collections.
>>> Veterans Park: This 19 acre park is less than 10 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, and it has one of the best playgrounds we have ever been to! There’s open green space, basketball courts, pickleball courts, sand volleyball courts, picnic shelter & Kidsburg! Kidsburg is a 30,000 square foot ship themed playground! This playground is really fun - it even has a zip line!
Hours: It's open daily from sunrise to 10pm (March-October). This park has lights! Restrooms are open from 7 a.m. to close.
>>> York River State Park: This park is 2,531 acres & has more than 30 miles of trails along the marsh, river shoreline and through the woods. This state park has two playgrounds, an amphitheater, observation decks, boat rentals, and more. The biggest draw for us is the beautiful shoreline, especially Fossil Beach.
Hours: Daily from 8am to dusk
Cost: Parking costs $5. If you have an REI receipt, there's a free parking coupon at the bottom of it.
>>> Freedom Park: This 600 acre park offers so much for families from trails & a playground to an adventure park & historical sites. Freedom Park was home to one of the earliest Free Black Settlements in America. This park is also where a Revolutionary War battle was fought & its home to an 18th century cemetery. It’s in James City, less than an hour from Richmond & you could easily spend a day here!
Cost: Everything is the park is free except for the Go Ape Adventure course.
>>> Jamestown Beach: This beach is just over an hour from Richmond in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown Beach is ADA accessible, family & dog-friendly. This is a much closer option than Virginia Beach, and it’s a really easy day trip.
Hours: It's open daily from 8am to sunset.
Cost: It is free to visit before Memorial Day. There is a parking fee between Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day ($4-$7 depending on day).