Page 1


great things to do

As three months of summer vacation loom before you, have no fear of empty calendars and cries of “I’m bored !” in your household. We’ve gathered scores of kidfriendly entertainment options that scoff at the very notion of “lazy days of summer.”


| june 2011

Cool Summer

your children h it w n fu e av h to s 81 way d Harry Kollatz Jr. By Chad Anderson an Krause — — Illustrations by Jon

Events Ships Ahoy! Pirate’s Paradise (290-0305), a free event at Deep Run Park on Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., features treasure hunts, a pirate-ship moonbounce, airbrushed tattoos, and, perhaps best of all, folks in authentic pirate garb singing sea shanties. If you think you can match them, there’s also a pirate costume contest, as well as the “Talk Like a Pirate” competition, both emceed by Blackbeard. STAGE SET As part of summer’s 55th Annual Festival of the Arts at Byrd

HUNT AND SEEK July 8’s Maymont Park Family Scav-

Park, the Ha’ Penny Stage (646-3355) will present free shows all summer,

enger Hunt (358-7166, ext. 324) provides a way to visit

including SPARC’s SummerStarz production of Bugsy Malone Jr. on July 29.

the nooks and crannies of the 100-acre park. It’s recom-

Meanwhile, TheatreIV ( brings the The Little Red Hen

mended for ages 4 and up, and parents must accom-

to the Barksdale at Willow Lawn from July 1-31. Tickets are $14 to $18, with

pany the kids. $10 per group (up to four people). There’s

the option of a $4 post-show lunch where the kids get to meet the cast.

also a downloadable app at

Root for the Home Team Taking kids to a ballgame is usually a good bet for family fun. Here’s the lowdown on some of Richmond’s sports-spectating options for the summer:

Petersburg Generals


Flying Squirrels








6/1 to 8/1 (various dates)

6/3 to 9/1 (various dates)

6/17 to 8/6 (various dates)




$2 to $3







Yes (family bathroom, too)

$3 to $7

$7 to $11

$7 to $12

$10 to $35

Midway games, a sandbox,

Nutzyville (inflatable

Fun Zone with inflatables,

Bounce houses are open

face-paint Fridays, baseball

games, mascot autographs,

Frisbee toss to win a trip to

90 minutes before games.

bingo, free Thunderstix on 6/5

Parker’s pen)

a Manchester United game






| june 2011

nt’d o c s t n e Ev IceCream Sociability cream sprinkled with fun. Henrico Recreation and Parks will hold an event featuring free ice cream at the Walkerton Tavern, 2892 Mountain Road, on June

Science Museum

scooping act June 18 at Spring N 2 Summer (price and time TBA).

Richmond Raiders Indoor Football 6/4 (playoffs possible) $4 Yes $12 to $40 Lady Raiders dance team, plus three sponsor mascots


Richmond ( is brin


our fair city in July and Aug


Building. It’s $7 per person try to register by June 2

(275-5321). Hanover’s June 8 dance (365-7150) is for daughters ages 10 and under, at Shady Grove United Methodist Church. It’s $5 per couple.


At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (340-1400), stories inspired by work in the galleries will be read, followed by short handson activities. It’s free, starting at 10 a.m. at the VMFA’s library. June 24’s event features flower planting, and July 22’s involves creating photos using sunlight.


the stars of the sandbox set

June 17 (ages 4 to 12) at the Bensley Community

of Virginia (smv. org) gets into the

The Children’s Museum of

Chesterfield is holding a father-daughter dance on

Hot weather calls for ice

19, from 4 to 6 p.m. The


Dance With Dad

including Barney on July 9 and Spider-Man on Aug. 13, culminating with a moon-bounce party on Aug. 20. Also worth mentioning is July 13’s free night for children 10 and under with special needs.

Games Go, Speed Racer At G-Force Karts (, “Family Nights” on Wednesday and Thursday allow kids and their parents to go head-to-head on the quarter-mile indoor track. Addiget added tional “Family Nights” usually -kart once school is out. (For more go Page 78.) options, see “Family Links,” on

Top left: photo courtesy Deep Run Park Recreation Center; top right: photo courtesy Science Museum of Virginia; bottom right: photo courtesy



le is head ho n io l This eatures f the f o e n o ark. just ports P S n o s er at Patt

Games cont’d n it’s

Family Links Beating your 10-year-old’s score for 18 holes will always be a special thrill.

Oasis Sports Park


15300 Cosby Road,

Golf Park

Chesterfield, 739-6833

10239 Hull Street

COST: $6 adults; $5 under 13*

Road, Midlothian,

PAR: 51


OTHER FUN: Driving range,

COST: Adults $6 ($7

nine-hole par-3 course,

weekends); 6 to 12

batting cages

$5; under 6 $3*

PAR: 50



OTHER FUN: Batting

1675 Ashland Road, 784-1544

Sports Park

cages, driving range,

COST: Adults $6.50; 12 and

12586 Patterson Ave.,


under $5.50*


PAR: 54

COST: $5.50; under 5 $3.50*

Windy Hill

OTHER FUN: Driving range,

PAR: Two par-54 courses

16500 Midlothian

batting cages, air-hockey table

OTHER FUN: Driving range

Turnpike, Midlothian,

(with option of grass tees), bat-


ting cages (hitting into a field)

COST: Adults $8; 12 and

Glen Allen Golf 11000 Washington Highway,

under $6*

Glen Allen, 550-2622


PAR: Two par-36 courses

COST: Adults $7; 12 and under,

7901 Midlothian

OTHER FUN: Batting cages,

seniors 55 and older $5.50*

Turnpike, 272-4373

go-karts, driving range, a

PAR: 42

COST: $7*

nine-hole par-3 golf course and

OTHER FUN: Driving range,

PAR: Three par-36 courses

a regulation nine-hole course

OTHER FUN: Bumper boats,

(par 35)

batting cages

You’re It! Wideheto play

outs too steamy ght ven flashli tag — or e and some lasers tag — add e to the gam black lights st Laser Que and head to ere,, wh (laserques bons r Chris Gib as manage nice It’s always explains, “ out Also check and cool.” serditioned la the air-con on t SkateNati tag arena a . nationplus Plus (skate ron.html). com/lasert


, the Day, June 19 psweetspot. eet Spot (sho

On Father’s Sw

com) will ho

ld a Candy Bl

building com teams of tw

go-kart track, arcade

petition for

o using the

shaped cand

Visit the croquet lawn at Confederate Hills Recreation Center (737-2859) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and equipment’s available for free. If you and your child want tips, go when the Confederate Hills Croquet Club plays — Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. — and they’ll happily share their knowledge.


| june 2011

22, it ’s time

* Call for complete pricing information

will be simul

taneously ru



a Candy Land Five games

Lego -

y. A few days

later, on June





nning, using

boards from

. 1955 to 1986


udio All ceramics st

are des



Fired Up (g

le together

ng peop igned to bri

d Pottery ’s Rosewoo


, the Near


rg -b T ic PAINklong sideenter of Rto their bfurom 10

for Wee l Arts C ts next 3 to 5, slotted ly s a n e e e u J r r s g , a i a a 2 u V s p , 18-2 put side t tists org) oung ar ide-by- 1, July The las S . a ly y . 9 u d n 1 g J o n n i o no June 27 Aug. 15 ppets a t . d a.m 6-10, pu -5 an ting June , Aug. 1 es crea hem. t v 9 25-2 n invol to put h io sess in whic show

pottery. (rosewood

t time

s for the firs

child classe

parent) is offering

RY he PPE Tlasses at(vt isarts. U P O d ec eonING T y-sid hmon

— whether

. Meanwhile

ted or not they’re rela End


s at make-

Y The classe G WITH CLA

ly hts from Ju Monday nig on g in n n er, ru this summ parent-child 95 for each $1 is st co e 15. Th 11 to Aug. erials. ing all mat pair, includ



ODY Parents LING A MEL in





the registr


and Adults

Top left: photo courtesy Patterson Golf Park; top right: photo courtesy All Fired Up; bottom right: Ash Daniel photo


at least 8 ye

n discount.

cent tuitio

ildren also


include Tee

zz/Tap, also

) and Ja Ballet ($95

egister by


. Parents p

a 25 per fee but get

ne 27 to run from Ju

evening. R


ion is $115

older ch r somewhat

Options fo

Boards Breaking arent-child p s y a s g in Noth e cracking a k li s s e rn e togeth with your lf a h in s rd few boa lly, tae kwon fu k n a h T . s d han d town offer n u ro a s io d do stu Bill Kelly of s A . s e s s la family c tae on Do (shield w K e a T ld hit Shie plains, “You x e ) m o .c o d kwon ’t hit each n o d u o y , rd stuff ha nd he should (A .” rd a h r e oth ch his sons tea f o o tw — know er options th O .) io d tu at the s m) ’s ( g n o D e d lu inc ’s (tigercho. o h C r te s a and M class offered a s a ll e w s com), a 01-5812) (5 ty n u o C o by Henric d Aug. 1-24. July 6-25 an

should be

and tuit ion is $25,

old. Registr


g Arts (sw

e Performin

y of th reek Academ


rodigies at

side their p

rd along and keyboa

guitar, viol Swift C


can learn b

d most are

Aug. 12, an


$95. Summ

in the

June 23.



Rainy Da ys

Classes cont’d


eben, the

Chef Christine Wansl chief cook and bottle

washer enplace

of Mise en Place (mise


an Fly You’ll Believe You C anes to n to having plenty of pl tio di ad In . $10 nal itio (vam. classes for an add at, the Aviation Museum k w ga hands-on The school will also rg) also features lots of v.o sm n, hold a parent-child your children’s attentio ep ke ICE CAPADES to n fu Check the websites class on June 19 teractive m flight simulators to in fro of SkateNation Plus m) (Father’s Day). ( explain the principles at th ts bi hi ne ex Zo Ice d on hm and Ric m) There’s even a play area . ht ( ig fl nd hi be for their public iceto keep e d with toys and books ke oc skating schedules. Th st sion, cost is $7.50 per ses ined. for your littler ones enterta fee 50 $2. a th wi, allows

led kids’ into regularly schedu

skate rentals.

as at grumpiness, play are from retail-induced e pit res a ing vid ion to pro r-steamy — days. Mini Mall Rats In addit rs on rainy — or supe dle tod of ts ren pa l option for the malls can be a usefu

Chesterfield Town e Center *

MALL WEBSITE HEIGHT RESTRICTION SHOES HAND SANITIZER FEATURES 42 inches or less Off Yes Tree with slide and tunnel, bridge, giant frog


| june 2011

Regency Squa re

36 inches or less

42 inches or less





Fun-house mirror, tree

Two ladybugs, a turtle,

stump, giant blocks

plus a giant barbell

Short Pump Town Center 42 inches or less Off Yes Fun-house mirrors, a car and a general store

Ston y Point Fashion Pa rk None** Required No 37 jets shooting out water***

* Bonus points: Chesterfield Towne Center’s play areas are accessible starting at 7 a.m. (10 a.m. on Sundays) via the mall entrance near Pearle Vision. ** Parental supervision required *** Believe it or not, the Pop Jet Fountain actually wasn’t built as a children’s play fountain.

Old-School Skating


Strap on some wheels at Skate-


Museums are an obv

land of Richmond (skatelandof


go-to whenever the ski


open up, and Rat Baske

ht of any

is certainly a highlig

seum of

trip to the Science Mu

t we’ve

Virginia (, bu

t for Lab

always had a soft spo

2, across the hall from

the , you’ll

rodent athletes. Inside


spi find snakes, insects, and even Madagascar


cockroaches. If you’re


ffer will

lucky, a museum sta

take one of the snakes

out of

its cage and let you pet

it., with open skates


Saturday and Sunday afternoons

The inflatables at Kangaroo Jac’s

until school lets out in late June


($5, includes skate rental). After

and Monkey Joe’s (monkeyjoes.

that, open skates occur daily. At

com/richmond) allow your kids

Roller Dome (rollerdomeskating.

to work off their energy without

com), open skates are held on

destroying your home (or them-

Saturday ($10 all day, $5 noon to

selves). Also check with Pump

4 p.m., or $7 from 4 to 10 p.m.)

It Up ( and

and Sunday afternoons ($3.50),

G-Force Karts Adventure Zone

with Tuesday to


Friday open skates

htm), which allow drop-in play at

($4) added for

specific times to accommodate

summer. Skate

birthday parties.

rentals are $3, and inline rentals are $5.

Golf That Glows Enjoy miniature golf under a black light at Lunar Mini Golf (, located inside Virginia Center Commons. The holes glow, the balls glow and the obstacles on each hole glow, too. For $8 per player ($6 for 5 and under; free for 2 and under with paid admission), you get up to three rounds.

Virginia Center Commons

Get Soaked 42 inches or less Off Yes Airplane, clubhouse with slide and tunnel

40 ACRES AND A POOL The hipsters are definitely hep to Hadad’s Lake (hadadslake. com), but families are still this spot’s bread and butter. Admission is $12 per person, and Hadad’s opens up for the summer season on Memorial Day Weekend, after which the whole family can enjoy the pools, the rope swing, the sandy beach and more.

Top left: Photo by Ash Daniel; middle right: photo courtesy Science Museum of Virginia







t’d Theme Variations Nothing says summer like rollercoasters and water


slides, and these four


The water -play area

for young

Lewis Gin

er childre

ter Botanic

is open from a.m. to 4:45


1 to 4:45 p

h it opens

Tuesdays, Ju play stays

n at

al Garden

at 9 a.m. ev


ery day. O

h August,



. (If you’re

e garden on

ission is fr

ntil June 13

l 8:30 p.m

a member , try out th when adm

kdays and

eekends u

ne throug

open unti

.m. on wee

p.m. on w

after whic




The City of Richmond (646-1174) operates eight outdoor (and two indoor) pools, and all of them are free. (Just obey the lifeguards.) The outdoor pools are open from midJune through Labor Day, with open- and familyswim hours.


July 4,

amusement parks deliver.

Sliding Into Summer The 38,000-square-foot pool at Cobblestones Park (cobblestonespark. com) is surrounded by


a sandy beach, and its water slides include the 100-foot Python. (The park also has a lake for catch-and-release fishing.) Cobblestones opens on weekends starting May 28 and daily starting on June 20. Admission is $10 for

Cruising the Lake An ocean c ruise may n ot be on yo agenda, bu ur t you can s till cruise a Byrd Park’s round Fountain L ake via its boats, at a pedal cost of $12 for 30 minu (646-5733). tes Then treat your co-ca to a cool tr ptain eat in near by Carytow Bev’s or Sw n. eetFrog are options.


| jmuanye 22001111

Top: photo courtesy Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden; top right: photo courtesy Water Country USA; bottom right: photo courtesy

ages 2 to 11, $12 for ages 12 and up, and free for grandparents with a paying grandchild.

Water Country USA

Great Wolf Lodge

Kings Dominion



$47 ($40, ages 3 to 9)*

Start at $295 per night**

$58 ($35 under 48 inches)*

$64 ($54, ages 3 to 9)*





Plain $5; One topping $5.50






Vanish Point, a

Compass Quest and

Snoopy’s Starlight

Mäch Tower,

75-foot drop slide

Scooops Kid Spa expansion

Spectacular fireworks

240-foot drop

Cow-A-Bunga splash zone

Cub Paw Pool

Planet Snoopy

Sesame Street Forest of Fun

High-dive, trapeze and

Animatronic Clock

Charlie Brown’s

Pet Shenanigans

trampoline AQUABATICS!

Tower show

Pirate Adventure



Busch Gardens

* Single-day ticket price. Check websites for complete pricing and discount information. ** Overnight stay required to access water park. Sleeps up to 6.


SPLASHING AROUND The Aquatic Recreation Center at Pocahontas State Park (796-4255) has water features designed for children, with two 15-foot slides and sprinklers galore. It’s $5 for ages 3 to 12 on weekdays, $7 on weekends; 13 and up, it’s $6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends. After Memorial Day, there are boat rentals: Kayaks and

Berry Fun The blueberries at Sw ift Creek Berry Farm (sw iftcreek come into their own sometime in late June to early July, after which you can pick your own for $2.09 a pound. And might we suggest a reading of the Robert McCloskey classic Blueberries for Sal beforehand?

| cool summ er cont’d on p. 129 

canoes are $8 an hour, pedal and rowboats are $6.

Above: Photo by Bill Crabtree, Jr. courtesy Department of Conservation and Recreation



 cool summer cont’d from p. 83

Outdoors cont’d

GO FISH In addition to its angling camps for kids, Virginia Fishing Adventures ( holds clinics where families can learn together. “We go to the easiest spots available,” says director Tee Clarkson. Their programs on June 12 and July 17, 9 a.m. to noon, are $25 per person. Meanwhile, Hanover County’s free Family Fishing Day on June 4, 8 a.m. to noon, lets you fish the pond at Courthouse Park with a provided rod.


Many of the paddling programs available through Chesterfield County’s Parks and Recreation department (chesterfieldoutdoor take place in the Dutch Gap Conservation Area. The Friday Family Kayak Tours are open to parents and kids above age 7, on June 24 and Aug. 5. It’s $13 per person, with kayaks, lifejackets and guidance provided.

Summer Reeling Double-feature admission at the Goochland Drive-In ( is $7, and kids 4 to 11 are $3. Films like Cars 2 will have pre-show concerts from Richmond’s own Diggity Dudes, and kids can also enjoy the playground until the movie starts. Also worth a try is Henrico’s Under the Stars Summer Family Film series (501-5121).

Top left: photo courtesy Virgina Fishing Adventures; right: Ash Daniel photo

The High Way Climb a tree, speed along a zip line or negotiate a high-ropes course with Riverside Outfitters ( This is all-ages fun, for ages 6 and up, says president and co-owner Matt Perry. “We can Get free app at adjust the difficulty by See pg. 14 for info participant,” he explains. A single activity is $150 for up to five people, or $225 for two activities for up to 10. (The zip line’s always $225.) Most of the equipment is portable, so depending on your backyard, they can also bring the fun to you.



Cool Fun  

81 ways to have fun with your children

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you