Kids love to be outside. That’s a given. However, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate, and rain has a way of ruining even the most carefully considered plans. The good news is that there is no shortage of activities in Richmond to keep the whole family entertained on soggy days. Whether your kids are into science, art, or just need to burn off some energy, there are fantastic indoor options for every need.
There’s no reason a little bit of rain should keep your family stuck inside or ruin your weekend. Whether you have little kids or big ones, there are activities to match every age level. So, shake off that cabin fever, put on some rainboots, and check out any of these five awesome picks.
When we selected our five favorite rainy day activities, we made sure each one offered:
- Enclosed/indoor spaces.
- Kid-friendly activities.
- Open 7 days a week.
Each of these options offers a place to keep a family entertained on even the stormiest day. There’s also at least one option for every age and developmental level, from toddler to teenager.
Check out our picks and if you’ve got any great indoor ideas of your own, let us know! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your favorite places to take the family on a rainy day.
Richmond may be an average-sized city, but it boasts a world-class art museum in the VMFA. If you have an infant who can be strapped into a carrier or older kids who understand the “no touching the art” rule, this is a great place to while away a wet afternoon. In addition to the exhibits, there’s also a fantastic café and garden. And the best part? General admission to the museum is free.
Why we love it:
Kids tend to be surrounded by noise, chatter, and constant auditory stimulation. The VMFA is a wonderful way to expose them to a peaceful, quiet world full of stunning visual art. Take advantage of a rainy day and let your kids wander around some masterpieces. Even if they don’t “get” what they see or act bored, all that beauty will find a way into their souls. And you can always reward them for good behavior with a treat in the Best Café. There are also tons of kid-centered programs and classes, from infant art classes to teen fashion courses. And make sure to check out their extensive list of summer camps for ages 5 through 17. Just make sure to book early, because they fill up fast!
Location: 200 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220
Cost: General admission is free. Program fees and details can be found here.
If you have kids 13 and older and want to get them excited about physical fitness, this indoor rock climbing center is a great way to spend a rainy morning. And if you’re looking for a bonding moment with your kids, dangling from a rock-climbing wall together may be just the ticket. First-time climbers are encouraged, and an experienced staff member will be able to assist your family the entire time. Reservations are needed Monday-Friday, but walk-ins are welcome on weekends.
Why we love it:
Besides being a great way to burn off some rainy-day energy and learn something totally new, it’s just plain fun. This is also the kind of activity that gets grownups off the couch and lets them play right alongside their children. It’s easy to sit back and let our children try new things, but going outside of our own comfort zones, especially as a family, is a wonderful way to encourage curiosity and a healthy sense of exploration. In addition to their day passes, Peak Experience also offers classes as well as special youth programs. And if your family discovers a hidden love of climbing, you can also join as members.
Richmond: 1375 Overbrook Rd., Richmond, VA 23220
Midlothian: 11421 Polo Cir, Midlothian, VA 23113
Cost: $20/per person for the sampler package for first-time climbers. Day passes for experienced climbers are available starting at $19/person. Membership information can be found here.
3. Jumpology and Sky Zone Trampoline Parks
There are few better ways to break up a gloomy day than to bounce on a giant trampoline. While it’s obvious that kids will love these indoor trampoline parks, you might be surprised by how much fun you have as an adult. Jumpology and Sky Zone both offer open freestyle “jump time” as well as tons of special activities and programs. So, even if you haven’t jumped on a trampoline since the 1980s, don’t be afraid to bring the whole family and check one of these places out. Just make sure to stretch first.
Why we love it:
Both of these spots offer so much more than just giant trampoline arenas (although really, a giant trampoline arena is worth the trip alone). At Jumpology, your family can participate in a ninja obstacle course, extreme dodgeball, or go for a ride on a trapeze. There’s also a Kid Jump for children 6 and under (with no bigger kids present) and family nights on Mondays from 6-9pm where the whole tribe can jump for an hour for $45. At Sky Zone, you can enjoy a sky ladder, sky slam, a foam zone, designated toddler jump times, and quieter sensory hours for those with special needs.
Jumpology: 10087 Brook Road, Glen Allen, 23059
Sky Zone: 1345 Carmia Way, Richmond, 23235
Jumpology: Ages 7 and over: $14/60 minutes. Ages 6 and under: $11/60 minutes. Required grip socks are available for $3.
Sky Zone: General admission starts at $15/60 minutes. Toddler time is $8/60 minutes (one parent jumps free).
This longtime Richmond favorite is the mecca of indoor play spaces. There are four locations and visitors can either pay by the day or purchase annual memberships. Once inside, your kiddos will be endlessly entertained by exhibits like a play mechanic shop and diner, book nooks, and arts and craft rooms. On rainy days, there are few better spaces to bring toddlers or preschool age kids.
Why we love it:
There’s a reason the Children’s Museum has been a Richmond tradition for decades. While the pretend grocery store may have changed to a Wegman’s, the opportunities for unbridled fun and learning remain the same. If you’ve been stuck inside all day, this is the ideal place to unleash a toddler, because it’s safe, contained, and designed specifically for kids. In addition to the regular hours, there are also summer camps, family nights, and special events. There are even specific nights designated for families with children 15 years old and younger who have challenges or disabilities. The only challenge about the Children’s Museum is finding a way to get your kids to leave.
Downtown: 2626 West Broad Street, Richmond, 23220
Short Pump: 11800 West Broad St., Richmond, 23233
Fredericksburg: 1275 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Fredericksburg, 22401
Chesterfield: 6629 Lake Harbour Dr., Midlothian, 23112
Cost: $9 for children and adult daily admission, children under 1 are free. Family memberships are $140 annually.
This long-standing RVA institution is rightfully beloved by both kids and adults. Set in a gorgeous old train station, the soaring architectural beauty is jam-packed with educational and interactive exhibits and programs. Between the IMAX Dome theater, the rotating special exhibits (currently featuring Body Worlds: Animals Inside Out, through Sept. 3), and the permanent exhibits focused on topics like space, health, speed, and technology, it would be easy to spend not just a day, but an entire rainy weekend here.
Why we love it:
This is one of the few places that manages to appeal to both kids and grownups in almost equal measure. Fitness-minded adults will love the Boost exhibit, which lets you test out and measure your athletic prowess in everything from bench pressing to tightrope walking. Nature lovers can sit back and enjoy a gorgeous IMAX film in the Dome theater. School-aged kids will lose it over the Speed exhibit, where they can play air hockey against a robot or test out the speed of their fastball. There’s even a special room for children 5 and under, where they can explore and satisfy their own scientific curiosity. And if all that isn’t enough, there are interactive programs and labs, as well as a café that offers kid-friendly options and an adult-friendly espresso bar.
Location: 2500 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
Cost: Adult general admission starts at $15, Youth 6-12 starts at $13.50, Preschool age 3-5 starts at $10. Additional fees for special exhibits and dome. Family memberships are available starting at $130.
To see more amazing activities, venues, and resources for the Richmond area, be sure to visit our Best of Richmond series.