Family Fun in Richmond: Activities for All Ages

family enjoying activities in Richmond

Richmond, Virginia, offers a plethora of family-friendly activities that cater to all ages. Whether you’re exploring the lush gardens of Maymont Park, experiencing the thrill of Kings Dominion, or delving into the interactive exhibits at the Science Museum of Virginia, there’s something for everyone. This guide will help you discover the best spots for family fun in Richmond, ensuring memorable experiences for both kids and adults alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Richmond provides a wide range of activities suitable for families, from outdoor adventures to educational experiences.
  • Maymont Park features a petting zoo, historic mansion tours, and beautiful gardens perfect for family exploration.
  • Kings Dominion offers thrilling roller coasters, a kid-friendly area called Planet Snoopy, and a water park for cooling off.
  • The Science Museum of Virginia includes hands-on exhibits, dome theater shows, and animal encounters that are both fun and educational.
  • Richmond’s diverse dining options ensure that even the pickiest eaters will find something to enjoy, with many kid-friendly and outdoor dining choices.

Exploring Maymont Park

family enjoying a day at Maymont Park in Richmond

Maymont Park is a gem in Richmond, offering a variety of activities for families to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just a fun day out, Maymont has something for everyone.

Adventure at Kings Dominion

family having fun at Kings Dominion theme park

Thrilling Roller Coasters

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, Kings Dominion offers more than 60 rides, including Virginia’s first 4-D spin coaster. Thrill-seekers will love the variety of roller coasters that twist, turn, and loop through the park. Don’t miss out on the special events throughout the year, such as the Grand Carnivale, Halloween Haunt, and WinterFest.

Planet Snoopy for Kids

Planet Snoopy is a PEANUTS-themed area designed especially for younger kids. This section of the park features kid-friendly rides and attractions, making it a perfect spot for family fun. The little ones will enjoy meeting their favorite PEANUTS characters and exploring the various interactive play areas.

WaterWorks Water Park

Adjacent to Kings Dominion is the 20-acre Soak City waterpark. Here, families can cool off in the lazy river, catch some waves in the wave pool, or experience the thrilling water slides. Opening in 2022, Jungle X-pedition will offer an immersive jungle experience, adding even more excitement to your visit.

Kings Dominion offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family during most of the year. From thrilling roller coasters to kid-friendly areas and a massive waterpark, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Interactive Fun at the Science Museum of Virginia

family enjoying interactive exhibits at the Science Museum of Virginia

The Science Museum of Virginia, located adjacent to the Children’s Museum of Richmond, offers a plethora of exciting interactive exhibits and visiting exhibitions. Permanent exhibits include Speed, which contains more than 50 stations showcasing motion, time, science, and technology in various ways. Your family will dig all the hands-on activities available here, making it a perfect spot for a day of learning and fun.

Hands-On Exhibits

The museum’s hands-on exhibits are designed to engage visitors of all ages. From exploring the principles of physics to understanding the wonders of biology, there’s something for everyone. The interactive exhibits ensure that learning is both fun and memorable.

Dome Theater Shows

The museum houses the 76-feet Dome theater, the largest screen in Virginia. Here, you can enjoy immersive shows that take you on a journey through space, under the sea, or even back in time. The Dome theater is a highlight for many visitors, offering a unique cinematic experience.

Eco Lab and Animal Encounters

In the Eco Lab, visitors can learn about various ecosystems and the importance of environmental conservation. The animal encounters provide a chance to get up close with some fascinating creatures, making it a hit with kids and adults alike. The family-friendly nature of these activities ensures that everyone leaves with a greater appreciation for the natural world.

Discovering the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

family enjoying art museum in Richmond

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a treasure trove of artistic wonders and cultural experiences, perfect for a family day out. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for a fun outing, VMFA has something for everyone.

Outdoor Activities Along the Virginia Capital Trail

family biking on Virginia Capital Trail

Biking and Hiking

The 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail offers a scenic and safe route for both biking and hiking enthusiasts. Connecting Virginia’s three historic capitals—Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond—this trail takes you past Revolutionary War battlegrounds, riverfronts, bridges, wetlands, and notable landmarks. Spending a day on the Capital Trail is a great way to learn more about the state and country’s formative years.

Picnic Spots

There are numerous picnic spots along the trail where families can relax and enjoy a meal amidst nature. These spots are perfect for taking a break from biking or hiking and soaking in the beautiful surroundings.

Wildlife Watching

The trail is also a haven for wildlife watchers. Keep an eye out for various bird species, deer, and other wildlife as you traverse the trail. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature and observe animals in their natural habitat.

An avid outdoor trail skater, Lyn has enjoyed watching the Capital Trail grow and evolve over the last 9 years; from the early days of skating various sections to now exploring the entire length.

Family Dining in Richmond

family enjoying a meal at a restaurant in Richmond

Richmond offers a delightful array of dining options that cater to families, ensuring that everyone from the youngest to the oldest can enjoy a meal together. Whether you’re looking for a casual bite or a more refined dining experience, the city has something to offer.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Richmond boasts some of the best family restaurants in the region. From classic American diners to international cuisine, there’s a spot for every palate. Don’t miss out on local favorites like Joe’s Inn the Fan and Baker’s Crust Artisan Kitchen, which are known for their welcoming atmosphere and kid-friendly menus.

Outdoor Dining Options

When the weather is nice, outdoor dining can be a great way to enjoy a meal with the family. Many restaurants in Richmond offer patio seating, allowing you to soak in the beautiful surroundings while you dine. Places like L’Opossum and ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque provide excellent outdoor dining experiences that the whole family will love.

Sweet Treats and Dessert Spots

No family meal is complete without a sweet treat to finish it off. Richmond is home to numerous dessert spots that will satisfy any sweet tooth. From ice cream parlors to bakeries, you’ll find plenty of options to indulge in. Be sure to check out The Roosevelt for some of the best desserts in town.

Richmond is undoubtedly “rich” with arts, culture, history, and exciting attractions that bring people from around the state as well as the country. Explore the best of “R-V-A” with your kids by visiting these amazing family-friendly spots.

Historic Adventures at the American Civil War Museum

family enjoying a historic site, American Civil War Museum, Richmond

Interactive Exhibits

Dive into history with the interactive exhibits at the American Civil War Museum. These exhibits bring the past to life, allowing visitors to engage with artifacts and stories from the Civil War era. It’s a national historic landmark that offers a unique, hands-on learning experience for all ages.

Guided Tours

Explore the museum with knowledgeable guides who provide in-depth insights into the Civil War. The guided tours are perfect for families looking to understand the complexities of this pivotal period in American history. Don’t miss the chance to visit the White House of the Confederacy, located just steps away from the museum.

Family Programs

The museum offers a variety of family programs designed to educate and entertain. From storytelling sessions to craft workshops, there’s something for everyone. These programs are a great way to make history fun and accessible for younger visitors.

The American Civil War Museum in downtown Richmond’s historic district is a must-visit for families interested in history. Its engaging exhibits and programs make it a standout destination for educational family fun.

Relaxing at Belle Isle

family having fun at Belle Isle in Richmond

Hiking Trails

Belle Isle offers a variety of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, you’ll find the perfect trail to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The trails provide stunning views of the James River and the surrounding landscape, making it a great spot for family fun in Richmond.

Rock Climbing

For the more adventurous families, Belle Isle features several rock climbing spots. These areas are perfect for both beginners and experienced climbers. Safety is a priority, so make sure to bring the necessary gear and follow all guidelines. Rock climbing at Belle Isle is a thrilling way to experience the great outdoors and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Riverside Picnics

One of the best ways to relax at Belle Isle is by having a riverside picnic. There are numerous picnic spots along the river where you can enjoy a meal while taking in the beautiful scenery. Pack a basket with your favorite snacks and enjoy a peaceful day by the water. It’s an ideal way to unwind and spend quality time with family and friends.

Belle Isle is a gem in the heart of Richmond, offering a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re hiking, climbing, or picnicking, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

Exploring the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Children’s Garden

The Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a paradise for kids. It features WaterPlay, the Klaus Family Tree House, and a variety of interactive exhibits. Storytime in the Garden is a popular event held every Friday and Saturday morning, where children can enjoy stories about plants and nature, followed by a fun craft activity.

Butterfly Exhibit

The Butterfly Exhibit is a must-see attraction, showcasing a stunning array of butterflies in a beautiful, enclosed environment. Visitors can learn about the life cycle of butterflies and even witness them emerging from their chrysalises. This exhibit is a favorite among families and offers a unique opportunity to get up close with these delicate creatures.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden hosts a variety of seasonal events and festivals throughout the year. From the dazzling Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights in the winter to the vibrant Spring PlantFest, there’s always something exciting happening. These events provide a wonderful way to experience the garden’s beauty in different seasons and create lasting memories with your family.

Recognized as one of the top botanical gardens in the country, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of the most photographed and iconic places in the city. The garden offers 50 acres of themed gardens, including the Rose Garden, the Cherry Tree Walk, and a healing garden as well as a beautiful Conservatory.

Fun at the Children’s Museum of Richmond

family having fun at a children's museum in Richmond

Interactive Play Areas

The Children’s Museum of Richmond offers a variety of early-learning exhibits and experiences geared toward children under nine years of age. Kids can ride the carousel, climb the living tree house, and practice being a teacher, mechanic, or hospital worker. It’s a place where imagination knows no bounds.

Educational Programs

The museum hosts numerous educational programs, including Sensory Friendly Nights and CultureFest Fridays. These programs are designed to be inclusive and engaging for all children, making learning fun and interactive.

Special Events and Workshops

Throughout the year, the museum organizes special events and workshops that cater to different interests and age groups. From art studio sessions where kids can draw, paint, and build projects, to themed events that celebrate various cultures, there’s always something exciting happening at the museum.

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is a must-visit for families looking to explore Richmond’s vibrant art scene with their little ones.

Enjoying Richmond’s Riverfront Canal Walk

family enjoying Richmond Riverfront Canal Walk

The Riverfront Canal Walk in Richmond is a delightful blend of history, nature, and urban charm. Strolling along the canal offers a unique perspective of the city’s past and present, making it a perfect family outing.

Boat Tours

One of the highlights of the Canal Walk is the Riverfront Canal Cruises. These scenic boat tours provide an educational excursion where you can learn about the history of the Kanawha Canal while enjoying the sights and sounds of Richmond’s wildlife and nature. The Canal Cruise season operates from April through November, making it a must-do activity during these months.

Historical Markers

As you walk along the canal, you’ll encounter numerous historical markers that tell the story of Richmond’s rich history. From the significance of the James River to the architectural evolution of the city, these markers provide a fascinating glimpse into the past. It’s a great way to combine a leisurely walk with a bit of education.

Public Art Displays

The Canal Walk is also home to a variety of public art displays. These artworks add a vibrant touch to the area and make for great photo opportunities. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for a beautiful backdrop for family photos, the public art along the Canal Walk won’t disappoint.

The Riverfront Canal Walk is a perfect blend of leisure and learning, offering something for everyone in the family. Don’t miss out on this unique Richmond experience!


Richmond truly offers a treasure trove of activities that cater to families of all sizes and ages. From the excitement of outdoor adventures and interactive museums to the charm of kid-friendly restaurants and unique local attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Richmond promises unforgettable memories and endless fun. So pack your bags, gather the family, and get ready to explore all the wonderful experiences that await you in this vibrant city. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the operating hours for Maymont Park?

Maymont Park is open daily from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The hours for specific attractions within the park, such as the Nature Center and Mansion, may vary.

Are there height restrictions for the roller coasters at Kings Dominion?

Yes, Kings Dominion has height restrictions for certain rides. It’s best to check their official website for specific requirements for each ride.

Is there an admission fee for the Science Museum of Virginia?

Yes, there is an admission fee for the Science Museum of Virginia. Ticket prices vary based on age and membership status. Check their official website for current pricing.

Can we bring our own food to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts?

Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. However, there are dining options available within the museum.

Are pets allowed on the Virginia Capital Trail?

Yes, pets are allowed on the Virginia Capital Trail, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Pet owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

What family-friendly dining options are available in Richmond?

Richmond offers a variety of family-friendly dining options, including kid-friendly restaurants, outdoor dining spots, and dessert shops. Some popular choices include Bottoms Up Pizza and Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Do we need to book tickets in advance for the American Civil War Museum?

It is recommended to book tickets in advance for the American Civil War Museum, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and avoid long wait times.

Is Belle Isle suitable for young children?

Yes, Belle Isle is suitable for young children. It offers easy hiking trails, picnic spots, and areas for kids to explore safely.

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