Since becoming a mom, I have been taking my children to explore the beautiful outdoor spaces in Richmond. Our favorite spots have free admission and don't require reservations. I love that we can drop-in at any time to walk, watch wildlife, picnic, and play.
*During the pandemic, we visited U of R almost weekly and Crump Park more than I can count! Since all preschools and churches were closed, we haven't tried their playgrounds recently.
1. University of Richmond: We love U of R campus because there are so many things to do. When school is in session, you have to park in a visitor spot or by the lake; if school is out, you can park anywhere. All the paths are paved, so they are perfect for strollers, scooters or bikes. We love walking the path around the lake (lots of turtles & ducks). We enjoy playing in The Greek Theater (paved path, but huge hill to go up). The newest part of campus we have been exploring is the Gamble Mills Eco-Corridor. It's a .6 mile trail with nature views. If school is in session, definitely visit The Passport Cafe in the Weinstein International Center for gelato!
2. Meadow Farm at Crump Park: Crump Park has a huge playground, nature trails, lots of green space, and historic Meadow Farm. Meadow Farm has sheep, turkeys, chickens, cows and more. This historic farm is the perfect place for a picnic or for children to run around. A regular stroller worked on the paths leading up to the farm, but you will need a jogging stroller for the nature trails. RF&P Park is also located in this park - don't miss the four restored train cars! I love this park because it is easy to handle with two children 22 months apart (baby & a toddler), the walking is much easier than Maymont, and there's so many options: a playground, trails, the farm, animals and restored trained (at RF&P).
3. Preschool & Church Playgrounds: With a toddler (and then 2 under 2), preschool playgrounds are a necessity. Why? Because they are all fenced in! They are also less crowded than park playgrounds. In fact, we are usually the only people there (even when we weren't in a pandemic). We have tried so many, and they are perfect to drop-in on afternoons and weekends in between naps or errands. The only downside to preschool/church playgrounds is that they are off limits during the preschool day or Vacation Bible School.