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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.”

74

| 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 (theatreivrichmond.org) 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 maymont.org/scvngr.

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

Richmond

Flying Squirrels

Kickers

Richmond

Revolution

generals.petersburgsports.com

squirrelsbaseball.com

richmondkickers.com

richmondrevolution.com

Baseball

Baseball

Soccer

Football

6/1 to 8/1 (various dates)

6/3 to 9/1 (various dates)

6/17 to 8/6 (various dates)

6/11

PRICE OF A HOT DOG

$2

$2 to $3

$3

$2.50

CHANGING TABLES?

Yes

Yes

No

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

WEBSITE SPORT HOME GAMES

TICKET PRICES DISTRACTIONS/PROMOTIONS

MASCOT

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Richmond

| 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

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

ging

Richmond (c-mor.org) is brin

ust,

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.

ARTFUL INSPIRATIONS

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.

to

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

SPECIAL FRIENDS

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 (gforcekarts.com), “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 gforcekarts.com

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77


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

Rockwood

15300 Cosby Road,

Golf Park

Chesterfield, 739-6833

10239 Hull Street

COST: $6 adults; $5 under 13*

Road, Midlothian,

PAR: 51

276-3765

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

Bogeys

Patterson

OTHER FUN: Batting

1675 Ashland Road, 784-1544

Sports Park

cages, driving range,

COST: Adults $6.50; 12 and

12586 Patterson Ave.,

paintball

under $5.50*

784-4544

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-

794-0010

ting cages (hitting into a field)

COST: Adults $8; 12 and

Glen Allen Golf 11000 Washington Highway,

under $6*

Glen Allen, 550-2622

Putt-Putt

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, t.com), 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

AND SATISFYING DELICIOUS

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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.

78

| june 2011

22, it ’s time

* Call for complete pricing information

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

ars

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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 (dongs.co 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

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richmondmagazine.com

|

79


Rainy Da ys

Classes cont’d

CULINARY KIDS

eben, the

Chef Christine Wansl chief cook and bottle

washer enplace

of Mise en Place (mise

parents

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). (skatenationplus.co 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 (richmondicezone.co 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

shockoe.com), 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

chesterfieldcenter.com 42 inches or less Off Yes Tree with slide and tunnel, bridge, giant frog

80

| june 2011

Regency Squa re

chesterfieldcenter.com

shopregencysqmall.com

36 inches or less

42 inches or less

Off

Off

Yes

Yes

Fun-house mirror, tree

Two ladybugs, a turtle,

stump, giant blocks

plus a giant barbell

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

Ston y Point Fashion Pa rk shopstonypoint.com 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

CREEPY CRAWLIES

Strap on some wheels at Skate-

ious

Museums are an obv

land of Richmond (skatelandof

es

go-to whenever the ski

tball

open up, and Rat Baske

ht of any

is certainly a highlig

seum of

trip to the Science Mu

t we’ve

Virginia (smv.org), bu

t for Lab

always had a soft spo

2, across the hall from

the , you’ll

rodent athletes. Inside

ders

spi find snakes, insects, and even Madagascar

hissing

cockroaches. If you’re

really

ffer will

lucky, a museum sta

take one of the snakes

out of

its cage and let you pet

it.

richmond.com), with open skates

GOTTA BOUNCE

Saturday and Sunday afternoons

The inflatables at Kangaroo Jac’s

until school lets out in late June

(kangaroojacs.com/richmond)

($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 (pumpitupparty.com) and

and Sunday afternoons ($3.50),

G-Force Karts Adventure Zone

with Tuesday to

(gforcekarts.com/adventurezone.

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 (glowminigolf.com), 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

simon.com 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

richmondmagazine.com

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81


Get

Soa

ked

con

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

SPRINKLER

slides, and these four

S IN THE GA

The water -play area

for young

Lewis Gin

er childre

ter Botanic

is open from a.m. to 4:45

(lewisginte

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,

n

water

. (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

r.org)

.m. on wee

p.m. on w

after whic

COOL OFF

RDEN

9

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.

not

July 4,

amusement parks deliver.

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

ee.)

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.

82

| jmuanye 22001111

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

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

WEBSITE

watercountryusa.com

greatwolf.com/williamsburg

kingsdominion.com

buschgardens.com/bgw

COST

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

Start at $295 per night**

$58 ($35 under 48 inches)*

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

FUNNEL CAKE

$5

$5

$7

Plain $5; One topping $5.50

SKEE BALL

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

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

NEW ATTRACTION

LITTLE KIDS’ AREA COOL SHOW

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.

Outdoors

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 berryfarm.com) 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

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83


 cool summer cont’d from p. 83

Outdoors cont’d

GO FISH In addition to its angling camps for kids, Virginia Fishing Adventures (virginiafishingadventures.com) 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.

OARS IN THE WATER

Many of the paddling programs available through Chesterfield County’s Parks and Recreation department (chesterfieldoutdoor programs.com/trips) 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 (goochlanddriveintheater.com) 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 (riversideoutfitters.net). This is all-ages fun, for ages 6 and up, says president and co-owner Matt Perry. “We can Get free app at gettag.mobi 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. richmondmagazine.com

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128

Cool Fun  

81 ways to have fun with your children

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