Ahhh, summer time. You’re so excited not to have to deal with the school day rush… and then you go a little bit stir crazy.
Good thing Richmond has all sorts of fun stuff to offer and we’re here to list ’em.
We’ll constantly be adding to the list, so check back often, and if you have any to suggest, please let us know!
A couple of quick links before we get started:
Discounts to family friendly business
Kids Eat Free
Birthday Party Places
Places to go and things to do
All Fired Up –Savvy Saver Discount!
Richmond’s original paint your ceramics studio – also offering fun special summer projects and summer camps for kids. Locations in Carytown, Midlothian and Short Pump.
AMF Summer Unplugged (FREE)
Free bowling for kids 7 days a week through September 2, 2013. And special discounted prices for bowling for 16 and up too! Then enjoy a kid’s combo meal for just $3.29 per person.
Anthem Lemon-Aid (FREE)
July 19th through the 21st – Put the squeeze on childhood cancer! Host a LemonAid stand and raise funds for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Sign up online at www.anthemlemonaid.com. Participation is FREE!
Barnes and Noble’s Summer Offerings and storytime – Check our weekly calendar for times. (FREE)
Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program – It’s free and kids get a free book when they participate!
Barnes & Noble Kids’ Club – Free to join, the Kids Club offers 30% off list price on any one kids’ book for toy for your children. $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff online and in stores. FREE cupcake from cafe for birthdays.
Brickz 4 Kidz
Check their site for classes and programs for preschoolers and older kids that teach architecture, engineering and technology concepts with Lego bricks.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA
Busch Gardens and Water Country are great ways to spend the day. We’ll be having a great time with them all summer long.
Cartwheels and Coffee
Beat the heat with some coffee for you and free play for the kids. There’s a special corner for the littlest ones, and two big play areas for the toddlers and preschoolers. Special events such as Story Time and Move With Me are hosted throughout the week and free with admission to this Carytown play area. ($5 per child, $4 additional child(ren).
Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation (FREE)
Plenty of free activities throughout the summer and some great volunteering opportunities for kids.
The Children’s Theatre of Virginia
Go, Dog. Go! will be running July 11 – August 3, 2014 at the Children’s Theatre at Willow Lawn.
Children’s Museum of Richmond
CMoR has some fun events planned for the kids this summer:
Target Family Night: Visit CMoR for just $1 every third Friday through July from 5:00pm – 7:30 pm.
CMoR’s annual Summer Series program also returns to CMoR Central. All Summer Series events are free with museum admission.
Club Mom at Chesterfield Town Center (FREE)
Bring the kids out to Club Mom on the first Tuesday of every month in the Food Court from 9-11 a.m. for great entertainment for the kids and fun giveaways for the adults. Free breakfast for children 12 years or younger.
Core Kids Academy -Savvy Saver Discount
In addition to classes Core offers special events like kids night out and open gym days.
Farmer’s Markets around the city (FREE)
Support our local farms! Many markets offer free samples, entertainment, and lots of fun for kids and adults. It’s a festive way to spend a couple of hours and check things off your grocery list!
Flying Squirrels’ Squirrel Tail Kids Club (FREE)
Squirrel Tails is the Richmond Flying Squirrels FREE Kids Club for all kids 14 & under! Kids Club members enjoy free Sunday games throughout the season (see website for dates), eat free on Sundays, and receive special giveaways just for being a member!
This Williamsburg adventure park opened Treetop Junior in 2013, a fun-filled experience of canopy exploring, trail blazing and obstacles for all to enjoy. Kids ages 6-12 can negotiate crossings and finish on a high (literally) with two awesome zip lines!
Hanover County Parks and Recreation (FREE)
Hanover County offers free family events throughout the season including Family Movie Nights, Family Fishing Day and the Hanover Tomato Festival, which will be celebrating its 35th year!
Henrico County Parks (FREE)
Great parks like Deep Run Park, Dorey Park, and Three Lakes where there are nature trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and lots more. Crump Park/Meadow Farm Museum has an historic house open for tours at various times throughout the week, and they have animals for the kids to enjoy – they offer lots of outdoor fun with plenty of room to run and play.
Henrico County Parks and Recreation (FREE)
Special summer events including puppet shows, magicians, musicians and theatre troupes are offered at facilities and parks throughout the county, see site for details. And don’t miss the free Open Gym for ages 10 and up. All skill levels are invited to play pickleball—a fun blend of tennis, table tennis, and badminton! The sport is played using a paddle and plastic wiffle ball on a badminton-sized court. Equipment provided. Tuesdays 5:30-8:30 p.m. Moody Middle School Tennis Courts. Mon & Wed 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sandston Recreation Area Tennis Courts.
Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County (FREE)
Fun events for all ages.The recreated 1611 Citie of Henricus, an outdoor living history museum with 12 recreated colonial structures, demonstrates history through “hands-on” encounters with period dressed historical interpreters. Visitors interact with interpreters during which time visitors may be asked to assist with cooking, blacksmithing, planting or harvesting. Visitors may even be asked to join the Militia! Be ready for an exciting and provocative experience in living history! Events all summer.
Home Depot Kids Workshops (FREE)
FREE hands-on workshops designed for children ages 5 – 12 offered the 1st Saturday of every month at area Home Depot stores between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This museum of 17th century Virginia history explores America’s first permanent English colony. See the replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607. Other highlights include the colonists’ fort and Powhatan village. Kids will enjoy this fun tour of the “old days” – be sure and take a picnic to enjoy right by the waterside. See site for admission details.
James River Park (FREE)
Enjoy hiking, canoeing, biking, picnicking, birdwatching, photography, and many more activities – create your own fun!
Jump around on over 8,000 square feet of connected, world-class trampolines. Our trampoline field features over 50 trampolines, the famous angled wall trampolines and a series of launching decks of different heights. Open jump time slots on Friday and Saturday book up fast! Please call 2-4 days in advance to pre-purchase your ticket and reserve your flight time. Special jump time pricing for ages 6 & under! $8.00 per child and one accompanying adult jumps free. Check site for days and times.
For inflatable play, visit Kangaroo Jac’s, where walk-in play is always available for kids with a little extra energy. Available every day of the week, no need to call ahead. For a flat fee, stay and play all day! Visit site for fees and locations.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Lewis Ginter has several different offerings for kids this summer, including Garden Explorations where kids and adults can enjoy story time and a fun-filled adventure while exploring different areas of the garden, the Summer Survival Series which combines outdoor adventure, teamwork and nature awareness to teach families basic survival skills for the outdoors, Drop In and Dig, the Garden Art Studio and of course the water play area. See website for full schedules and fees.
Local Library activities and reading programs (FREE)
Check our calendars for local storytimes, also check your nearest library for some good free fun!
Chesterfield County Public Library
Richmond Public Library
Henrico County Public Library
Pamumkey Regional Library System, serving Hanover, Goochland, King & Queen and King William
New Kent Heritage Public Library
Petersburg Public Library System
Lowes Build and Grow Kids Clinics (FREE)
This free clinic is available at select stores on various Saturdays at 10am. Build a wooden project and get a free apron, goggles, patch and more. Check site for details and to register.
Maymont Park (FREE, donations warmly accepted)
Lots of fun, outdoor activities, a petting zoo, trails, and more. Visits are free or have a recommended fee of $2-$5. The Children’s Farm Barn is a major attraction and hit with the young ones. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it!
Metro Richmond Zoo
Home to over 1,500 animals representing 148 species from around the world, the Metro Richmond Zoo offers a variety of optional experiences that will make your visit memorable. Visit a herd of giraffe up close and let these gentle giants eat right out of your hand! Hop aboard the Safari Train and take a fifteen minute ride into the African Savannah. Get up close and personal with free-ranging animals while receiving a guided tour. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day!
Mommy & Me (and Daddies Too!) at The Shops at Willow Lawn (FREE)
This FREE monthly event features fun entertainment (which this summer will be provided by the Diggity Dudes and Rocknoceros!), giveaways and interactive crafts for the kids, and lots of helpful information about area kids’ services for parents. Richmondmom.com is thrilled to be a part of this fun event each month!
National Battlefield Park (FREE)
Richmond was the scene of a number of battles during the Civil War, and National Battlefield Park encompasses 13 separate sites with four visitor centers along an 80 mile route through the City of Richmond, and Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield counties. Park admission is free. Visitor centers at Tredegar Iron Works (fee), Chimborazo and Cold Harbor are open daily. Visitor centers at Glendale and Fort Harrison are open daily June through August.
Pocahontas State Park (FREE)
Just 20 miles from downtown Richmond, Pocahontas offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping cabins, hiking, and interpretive and environmental education programs. The Aquatic Center offers seasonal water-based activities for the entire family. The park itself is free but there are parking fees.
Pottery Barn Book Club (FREE)
Stop by the store for story time every Tuesday from 11 – 11:30 a.m. (check with store near you to verify actual times). Members receive special Book Club Passport and special gift if they attend 5 times. And don’t forget the PBK Summer Reading Challenge! From now through August 26th, read all the award-winning books on one of our recommended lists and qualify for fun prizes.
Regency Square Mall Kids World (FREE)
The first Thursday of every month Kids World meets at the Fit & Fun Play Area for a fun activity or craft. Moms will enjoy special discounts, free samples and more!
The Richmond SPCA is a great place for kids to learn the enjoyment of cats and dogs. Volunteer opportunities are available as well for high school students
Rockwood Nature Center (FREE)
Visit the Center’s live snake, turtle, and honeybee exhibits to learn more about the plants and animals that live in the fields, forests, pond, and marshes of Rockwood Park. Take an archery lesson, join a nature club, learn about geocaching, follow a letterboxing trail, learn map and compass navigation, and much more! Call 804.674.1629 with questions. Location: Rockwood Park, 3401 Courthouse Road (804) 674-1629. Summer Hours: (June 12-Sept. 2) Tuesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Romp n’ Roll -Savvy Saver Discount
in addition to classes, Romp ‘n Roll offers special one time events like Kids Night Out, stay tuned to our calendar for special events.
Science Museum of Virginia –Savvy Saver Discount!!
From bugs to space and what’s inside human bodies … explore our world at the Science Museum of Virginia. The IMAX & Planetarium is the biggest in Virginia and puts the audience in the middle of all the action. Be sure to check out BOOST. This summer there will be Monsters at the Museum (check our calendar for updates on special events). If you haven’t seen it yet, the new Dome is pretty spectacular.
Short Pump Pals Club (FREE)
Pals Club members enjoy discounts to participating stores and extra-special birthday treats! And don’t miss the Short Pump Pals Clubhouse Meetings the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 11:00am in the Food Court for fun activities and entertainment.
Each Friday during the summer, Spirited Art teams up with Bricks 4 Kids or All Fired Up to offer Kids Fun Fridays. Each Friday from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm kids ages 5 and up can unleash their inner artist! Fee is $35 per class, visit site for details.
Stony Point Fashion Park (FREE)
Bring the kids in their bathing suits and let them go crazy in the outdoor fountain. Also, check out the live music Thursday – Sunday afternoons, through September 1st.
This adorable candy and soda shop located in West Broad Village hosts Candy Bingo Nights and book clubs throughout the year. Check out their site throughout the summer for event information.
The Nature Exhibit at Three Lakes Park (FREE)
Free to the public and fun for all ages, the exhibits in the Nature Center will introduce visitors to the plant and animal life native to the area and wildlife living in the wetlands and woodlands of the park. Summer hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m.
Virginia Center Commons Mall Family Fun Carnival (FREE)
Virginia Center Commons kicks off the summer with the Simon Kidgits Club’s Summer Carnival on Saturday, June 28 from Noon – 2:00 p.m. Beat the heat with tons of indoor activities including a bounce house, fun games and much more! Snack on popcorn and sweet treats and enter to win great prizes throughout the day! Entry is free for Kidgits members, $5 for non-Kidgits members.
Not a Kidgits member? It’s only $5 for an annual membership! Visit Simon Guest Services or www.simonkidgitsclub.com for more information.
Virginia Historical Society (FREE)
In addition to its ongoing entertaining and educational exhibitions, beginning Wednesday, August 1st, through Friday, August 31, the VHS will offer families the opportunity to participate in educator-led programs, craft activities, and group readings of historically-themed books. All programs are free and open to the public. Check our calendar for Stories at the Museum dates.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (FREE)
Admission to permanent collection galleries is always free. Different events and programs all summer so click here for details and don’t miss the delicious cafe while you’re there.
Bow Tie Cinemas Movieland 17 at Boulevard Square (FREE)
Free kids summer film series, every Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from June 25th through August 21st. Doors open at 9am, show starts at 10am. Seating is limited to theater capacity, tickets issues on a first come, first served basis. See site for movie details.
The Byrd offers lots of low-cost, family friendly movies all summer long for $1.99. Check the website for information.
Cinema Classics at the Henrico Theatre in Highland Springs
Enjoy popular kids’ movies Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer at Henrico Theatre in Highland Springs. Tickets are only $1 per person and can be purchased at the door. For more information call: 328-4491.
Nowhere else in RVA can you experience a good ol’ drive-in movie. And nowhere else can you take a whole family to the movies and spend so little! Tickets are $8.00 for adults and kids 12 and up, $3.50 for kids 4-11. All snack bar items are priced $3.75 and under. Movies offered are all new/current release, see site for schedule.
Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express
Moviegoers of all ages can climb aboard the Summer Movie Express to enjoy a great selection of films. During this 9-week festival, participating Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres will offer selected G or PG rated movies for only a dollar on Tuesday and/or Wednesday mornings at 10:00. A portion of proceeds from the Summer Movie Express will be donated to the Will Rogers Institute. Check site for participating theatres and times.
Dogwood Dell (FREE)
Concerts in the amphitheater all summer long; Visit website for information.
Forest Hill Music in the Park (FREE)
Free evening summer concerts, see site for dates and schedule of bands.
A Richmond favorite, each Friday from 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at Brown’s Island. Tickets are $5 to $10 depending on the show, children under 12 are free. Season passes available. See site for band lineup and more information.
Henrico Concert Band and Henrico Community Band In The Park (FREE)
For all ages. The Henrico Concert Band and Henrico Community Band will each perform a series of three outdoor concerts. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and spend a casual evening in the park listening to your favorite band music! In case of inclement weather, the concerts may be cancelled. There will be no rain dates. Information: 501-5859.
Jammin’ on the James (FREE)
This free concert series on the grounds of the Wilton House Museum is great fun for all ages. Bring a picnic dinner and a lawn chair for family-friendly music on the scenic terrace overlooking the James River. Enjoy complimentary walk-through tours of Wilton as well as face-painting, games, and crafts for kids.
Summer Sounds at Stony Point Fashion Park (FREE)
Performance Times Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm – 8 pm, Sundays, 1pm – 5pm
With A Special Performance on Friday, July 4 from 1 pm – 5 pm
Labor Day – Monday, September 1 from 1pm – 5pm
All performances are located in front of Sur La Table near the Panera Bread Entrance.
Weather permitting. Bands subject to change.