Must Do Activities for Richmond Families in Spring

Must Do Spring Activities in RichmondNow the weather is warming up and the flowers are exploding with color, it’s time to get outside and smell the roses – literally and figuratively. Richmond offers an incredible wealth of activities and events and we want to make sure that you make the most of them.

The following list offers ideas, suggestions and events that will help you to get your spring off to a great start. And as always, we would love to know if you have any favorite spring traditions, pastimes or must-do events. Tell us how you celebrate spring in the comments below or send us suggestions at cs@richmondmom.com.

15. See “A Million Blooms” at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The flowers are already out in full force in Richmond – and there’s no better place to see them than Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Join Lewis Ginter for “A Million Blooms” from now until June 1 and catch the first glimpses of spring’s finest offerings. In April, you’ll see daffodils, tulips and bluebells in their prime. May promises peonies, irises, azaleas, and more. Then in June, be sure to come back for lotuses, roses, and the ever-blooming Conservatory offerings like orchids, tropical and cacti. And, of course, keep an eye out for the cherry blossoms – they don’t last long, but they’re more than worth the trip.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Open daily: 9am – 5pm
1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23228
(804) 262-9887
contactus@lewisginter.org

14. Take a Stroll Through the Park to See Nature’s Bounty at Its Best

If you’re looking for a free, casual flower-viewing experience in Richmond, you don’t have to go far. Cherry blossoms, redwoods, crape myrtle, dogwoods, daffodils, pansies, azaleas and more will be providing brilliant colors and even better views at many of our local parks – and on our city streets. Here are some of the best places to see flowers this spring while you’re out and about:

Maymont

See what’s blooming in Maymont’s many gardens. Check here to see which flowers and trees will be blooming during the coming weeks and months.

Address:
1700 Hampton Street
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 358-7166

 

Byrd Park

Stroll through Byrd Park, visit one of the park’s three lakes, check out the Carillon and make your way down to Dogwood Dell for unbeatable spring views.

Address:
600 South Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220

 

Monument Avenue

Make your way down Monument Avenue and take a walk through The Fan for tree lined streets, blossom-filled bushes and blooming flowers galore.

Address:
Monument Ave
Richmond, VA 23218

 

13. Beat the Summer Crowds at King’s Dominion

Beat the summer crowds – and the heat – by heading to King’s Dominion now. To kick off the 2017 season, King’s Dominion will be open daily from April 7-16. And right now, you can get a season pass, which includes unlimited park visits for the season and admission to Soak City, for just six payments of $19 each and a FREE Pre-K Pass, which offers free admission to children ages three to five years for the entire 2017 season. Be sure to check out the details here.

King’s Dominion

16000 Theme Park Way
Doswell, VA 23047
(804) 876-5000
Online email form

12. Spring Showers? No Problem! Head to the Museum

All those pretty spring blooms need watering – and that means spring showers. But don’t let a rainy day keep you cooped up in the house. Head to one of Richmond’s many museums and treat yourself and the kids to a day of fun, entertainment and discovery. Here are three great places to start:

Children’s Museum of Richmond

2626 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 474-7062

Visit other locations in Short Pump, Chesterfield and Fredericksburg.

 

Science Museum of Virginia

2500 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 864-1400

 

Virginia Historical Society

On Exhibit Now: Toys of the 50s, 60s and 70s

428 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 358-4901

 

11. Jump Start Your Spring Cleaning With a Yard Sale

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore…no pun intended. But really, spring cleaning can be fun with the right attitude. Enlist the kids and start purging those unworn clothes, outgrown toys and unused odds and ends, then have a yard sale. It’s a great way to get rid of unwanted clutter and make a few dollars, as well. Consider joining in with other families or find an existing school or church group yard sale event. You can even sell your things online. Here are a few online sites where you can learn about group events or advertise your own:

YardSales.net

Find out about community yard sales, specialty sales or let others know about an event you’re planning.

Richmond Online Yard Sale

This Facebook site is nearly 5,000 followers strong and is a great place to sell single items or small batches of things when you don’t want to sacrifice your own front yard to a sale.

Yard Sale Search

Advertise your event by date, location and even upload images of available items.

 

10. Explore the Parks, Trails and Overlooks of the James River Park System

The water might be a bit cold yet, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the James River. And, as you probably know, once summer hits, popular parks along the river will start to get crowded. Take advantage of the quieter spring months to enjoy some of the more popular destinations, or start hunting for new favorites that are off the beaten path. Be sure to visit James River Park Systems for information and updates on parks and trails, then try these well-known – or lesser known – spots to find your favorite.

Pony Pasture

Great for swimming, sunbathing on the rocks and fishing for smallmouth bass. If you’re more adventurous, there is also access to Class II whitewater boating and kayaking. The parking lot offers parking for 150 cars, but gets crowded, so between May and September try to arrive before 11am.

Address:
7310 Riverside Dr.
Richmond VA 23225

 

Pumphouse Park

For those more interested in the views, this park doesn’t offer access to the water, but it does provide plenty of water views, as well as walking paths and an historic Romanesque pumphouse that once served the city.

Address:
1627 Pump House Drive
Richmond VA 23221

 

Pipeline or Trestle Trail

If it’s an amazing view you want, look no further. The Trestle (or Pipeline) Trail offers an up close view of the Pipeline rapids and (in season) Great Blue Herons nesting. There is only parking for seven cars, so be sure to keep that in mind as you’re exploring.

Address:
S. 12th St.
Richmond VA 23219

 

North Bank Trail and Texas Beach

Like the ever-popular Belle Isle (which connects to Texas Beach via a pedestrian bridge to the east), Texas Beach offers sunbathing rocks aplenty. But what makes this hideaway especially great is the sandy beach. To get there, you’ll need to park at the end of Texas Avenue and take the North Bank Trail to the beach. Just remember, there’s only parking for 30 cars!

Address:
1941 Texas Ave.
Richmond VA 23220

9. Stock Up on Fresh Fruits and Veggies at Your Local Farmer’s Market

Spring means that it’s time for farmer’s markets to start gearing back up – and I, for one, can’t wait. Of course, some markets are open year-round, but as the weather warms up the produce will be more plentiful, the activities will be more lively and the local farmers, artisans and vendors will be out in full force. Take a look at few of our favorite local markets here, but be sure to check out Richmond Mom’s Complete Guide to Richmond Area Farmers Markets to find the market closest to you.

South of the James Market

Open Year-Round
Hours: Saturdays, 9am – Noon (Winter hours) / 8am – noon (Summer hours)

Address:
Forest Hill Park
New Kent Ave & 42nd Street
Richmond VA 23225

 

Birdhouse Farmers Market

Open May – November
Hours: Tuesdays, 3pm – 6:30pm

Address:
1507 Grayland Ave
Richmond, VA 23220
birdhousefarmersmarket@gmail.com
(804) 404-3817

 

Lakeside Farmers Market

Open Year-Round
Hours: Saturdays, 9am – noon; Wednesday, all day
Address:
6110 Lakeside Avenue
Henrico, VA  23228

 

8. Go Strawberry Picking!

As wonderful as fresh produce from the farmer’s market is, there’s something even more rewarding when you’ve picked it yourself. With strawberry season predicted to be early this year thanks to a milder than usual winter, picking time is almost here. Check out a few of our suggestion for pick-your-own berries below or visit www.pickyourown.org to see suggestions throughout Virginia.

Pleasant Fields Farm

Hanover
This family-owned farm offers pick-your-own- berries with strawberries starting the first of May, followed by blackberries, blueberries and red raspberries soon after.

Address:
1765 Nelsons Bridge Rd
Hanover, Virginia 23069
(804) 994-2791
pleasantfields@aol.com

 

Gallmeyer Farms – The Berry Patch

Henrico
At Gallmeyer Farms, you can pick all you want with free admission, free parking, a free kids’ play area with games and toys and free hayrides offered daily. Join them for The Strawberry Fields Festival at The Berry Patch from 10am-5pm on May 20.

Address:
3622 Darbytown Court
Richmond VA, 23231
(804) 795-9979

 

Newcastle Bee and Berry Farm

Goochland
This locally owned and operated farm specializes in strawberries, blackberries and raw honey straight from the farm’s hives. Strawberries should be ready for you to pick in May. Be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.

Address:
4900 Broadstreet Road
Louisa, VA 22802
(804) 385-7213
newcastlebeeandberryfarm@gmail.com

 

7. Make Some Sandwiches, Grab the Kids and Head Out for a Picnic

What better way to celebrate the end of a long, cold winter than with the first picnic of the season? And fortunately, spring is the perfect season for picnicking in Richmond. With so many parks, both big and small, it’s never hard to find a pretty patch of green to spread out with some of your favorite lunch time treats. We’ve put together a couple of suggestions depending on the type of experience you’re looking for:

Picnic with A View:

Libby Hill Park

In addition to some of the best views of the city, this park offers trails, benches, picnic tables and grassy hillsides perfect for picnicking.

Address:
2801 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23223
(804) 646-0036

 

Picnic With Some History:

Capitol Square

As our city’s government center, Capitol Square may seem like an auspicious spot to snack on PB&J sandwiches, but with its lush lawns and stunning architecture, it actually makes for a perfect picnic. When you’re done eating, stroll around the grounds or take a tour of the Capitol building.

Address:
1000 Bank Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Get detailed directions here.

 

Picnic With No Prep Work:

Meadow Park

This quiet little park in The Fan district just happens to be across the street from Garnett’s Cafe, a neighborhood favorite featuring an old-fashioned lunch counter with picnic baskets made-to-order. Grab one to go and enjoy a lunch at the park.

Address:
401 N. Meadow Street
Richmond, VA 23220

 

6. See the Flying Squirrels at The Diamond

In case you’re new to the area (or have been living in a cave), The Richmond Flying Squirrels are our local Minor League baseball team – and watching them play is decidedly one of the city’s favorite pastimes. With an April 6 opening night victory, this season promises to be a good one. Be sure to check the schedule for upcoming games and events or get your tickets here.

Flying Squirrels

The Diamond
3001 N Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23230

5. Discover the Virginia Capital Trail

Opened in 2015, the Virginia Capital Trail connects Virginia’s colonial capital of Williamsburg to the present day capital in Richmond. The trail parallels the Scenic Route 5 corridor and offers glimpses of the countless sites and landscapes that shaped Virginia’s history over the last 400 years. With 52 miles of dedicated, paved trails, it’s perfect for walking, biking, or running with the whole family on a sunny spring day.

Visit the interactive trail map to find entrance points near you, picnic spots, bike rentals, and much more.

 

4. Get on the water

With lakes, ponds and rivers throughout Richmond and the Greater Richmond area, there’s no excuse not to make the most of it. If you’re not ready to swim quite yet, then head out in a canoe, on a paddleboard or in a kayak. Or if you’d prefer a milder form of being on the water, try a river cruise through the city.

Riverside Outfitters

Guided rafting, kayaking and paddleboard trips available with kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals starting at $15/hour.

Address:
6836 Old Westham Road
Richmond, VA 23225
(804) 560-0068

 

Kayak Richmond, LLC

Kayak Richmond offers lessons, guided trips and water sports (including canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding) during the regular season. They are closed for the winter, but will open soon and have started taking reservations for classes and group outings. Contact them here for more information.    

Address:
2005 Huguenot Road
Bon Air, VA 23235
(804) 272-9500

 

Venture Richmond Canal Cruises

Take a leisurely, guided boat ride down the James River and Kanawha Canal along Richmond’s historic Canal Walk.

Address:
139 Virginia St
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 649-2800

3. See Animals Up Close and Personal

Richmond offers a number of places to see, pet and even feed animals of all shapes and sizes. From the gentle giants (giraffes, that is) at the Metro Richmond Zoo to baby lambs and goats at Maymont’s Children’s Farm, spring is the perfect time to make new furry friends. Or visit Three Lakes Nature Center to see all of your aquatic favorites like turtles, snakes, salamanders and fish.

Metro Richmond Zoo

8300 Beaver Bridge Road
Moseley, VA 23120
(804) 739-5666

Maymont Children’s Farm

1000 Westover Road
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 358-7166

Three Lakes Park and Nature Center

400 Sausiluta Drive
Richmond, VA 23227
(804) 652-1470

 

2. Feed the Birds With Do-It-Yourself Bird Feeders

Birds are one of the first and, in my opinion, best signs of spring. While some birds brave out the cold winter months in Richmond, there are many that only make their return once the weather has gotten warmer. There are many easy, fun bird feeders that you can make with your kids to welcome our feathered friends back to Richmond. Check out our suggestions below, or find ideas of your own!

Tin Can Bird Feeder
These feeders are easy, fun and a great way to get your kids involved. Simply decorate empty food cans (just make sure there are no sharp edges), small paint cans or coffee cans with your favorite colors of paint. Glue a small wooden dowel the to front edge to make a stand for the birds, then fill the cans with bird seed and hang them with ribbons from your porch or a tree branch. See the full tutorial from Mom Endeavors here.

Soda Bottle and Wooden Spoons Bird Feeder
All you need for this easy feeder is an empty soda bottle and a couple of wooden spoons. Simply cut corresponding holes on either side of the bottle (about 2 inches from the base) so that the stem of the first spoon can go in one side and out of the other. Make sure the side that has the mouth of the spoon is slightly larger so that the seed can spill out onto the spoon. Repeat these steps closer to the top of the bottle with the second spoon, then fill the bottle with seed, screw the lid back on and hang your feeder with floral wire or ribbon from a tree. See the full tutorial from Here Comes The Sun here. 

Teacup Bird Feeders
These adorable feeders are incredibly easy to make. Using a strong glue made for ceramics, attach a small tea cup to a saucer. Next, glue the saucer to a large wooden dowel or yard stake (preferably with a flat top so the saucer will sit flush). Once the glue dries, fill the cups with seeds or water (for a bird bath) and stick them in your yard. Find fun cups and saucers at Goodwill or other vintage/thrift stores to keep your costs down. See the full tutorial from Rockie’s Crafts here.

 

1. Get Outside! Blow Bubbles, Fly a Kite or Just Enjoy the Sunshine!

This spring, take time to sit and do simple things – like blowing bubbles with the kids on the back porch. Or relive some of your own favorite childhood memories with your kids as you fly kites, go fishing or just lay on your backs and find shapes in the clouds. No matter what you decide to do this spring, just make sure you enjoy it. It will be gone before you know it!