History, Food and Natural Beauty for the Whole Family
Richmond holds a fascinating place in the history of the United States, and whether you go for a week or for just a couple of days, you and your kids will find yourself easily wrapped up in the city’s charm. Outdoor activities, historical sites and delicious food possibilities promise you'll never be bored, so start making a list of all you want to experience in this old but thriving spot.
Historic Landmarks: Trolley Tour
Start your visit with a solid overview of all the city has to offer. For parents that want to get a taste of Richmond’s rich history without the kids getting antsy, the RVA Historic Landmarks Trolley (405 N. Third St., Richmond, VA) offers a two-hour tour. Choose your seat aboard the nostalgic wood-seated vehicle as it cruises the cobblestone streets. You’ll pass landmarks that include the Virginia State Capitol, the Civil War Museum and the Federal Reserve Bank.
Tours fill up quickly, so reserve your tickets online beforehand ($35 per person) through the RVA Trolley website.
Botanical Beauty: Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Embrace the magic of nature with the fresh air and beautifully maintained gardens at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (1800 Lakeside Ave., Henrico, VA). The 50 acres of gardens are open year-round, and friendly staff can answer any kind of question your curious children have about the plants on display. Be sure to make a stop at the interactive Children’s Garden, where you can revel in nature while kids explore the treehouse.
Admission to the Gardens is $13 for adults and $8 for children. Children under 3 years of age enter free. Don’t worry about organizing lunch before going; the garden hosts a cafe with plenty of healthy options that appeal to appetites of all sizes.
Back in Time: The Henricus Colony Experience
Get a taste of what it was like to live in 1611 when Virginia was a colony. Many people are familiar with the Jamestown Colony, but the Henricus Colony (251 Henricus Park Road, Chester, VA) is more of a hidden secret known to informed Richmond visitors.
The Henricus Colony is a budget-friendly option for a full-day experience. At $8 for an adult ticket and $6 for kids under 12 (those under 2 enter free), you can spend all day among actors dressed in clothing from the colonial era and watch as your kids live a piece of history. Younger children will love interacting with the farm animals and playing house in a 17th-century kitchen.
Make a day of it. Pack a picnic lunch, find a spot with a view of the beautiful James River and talk about what you’ve learned.
Fun in Nature: Belle Isle
Take advantage of a warm Virginia day and venture to this island in the middle of the city. Walk or bike across the suspension bridge and spend an afternoon picnicking on the shore. Visitors love to explore the paths around the James River and roam around the island. Paths are extensive and appropriate for young children.
Save it for a Rainy Day: Science Museum of Virginia
Richmond is complete with parks and outdoor adventures that you could spend your whole vacation outside. But it's always good to have a solid rainy day plan, and nothing could be better for kids than the Science Museum of Virginia (2500 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA). The 2016 renovation placed special focus on exhibits for kids and families. Animals exhibits, robot displays and even an interactive air hockey exhibit provide lots of hands-on fun for a day filled with learning.