July 23, 2017

10 Stops to Make on the Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail

petting farm-massanuttenThere are a lot of great things to do with kids in Virginia (though I may be biased given I’ve lived here nearly my entire life). You can visit presidential homesteads, like Mount Vernon and Monticello. You can get outdoors at Natural Bridge and Virginia Beach. You can learn about colonial history in Williamsburg and Jamestown. Now, Go Blue Ridge Travel has created the Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail, a children’s bucket list of must-go places and must-do activities in the region. Among the top picks:

1. Massanutten Resort. Massanutten is a great place to spend the day or a few days (or a week) as a family. We went last February and enjoyed snow tubing, the petting farm, pony rides, ice skating and the indoor waterpark. During the summer, there’s plenty to do in terms of hiking, biking and ziplining.

2. Great Country Farms. Take the kids to Great Country Farms in Bluemont for fruit picking, a barnyard, a jumping pillow, a cow train and wagon rides. They also have a fun corn maze and pumpkin picking in the fall, as well as various harvest festivals throughout the year.

3. Harpers Ferry Adventure Center. Head to Harpers Ferry Adventure Center in Purcellville for tubing, whitewater kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding and ziplining. Certifikid frequently offers discount vouchers on rafting tours, so it’s worth a look on their website before you go.

4. Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. Kids will love the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester. At the museum, you’ll find loads of interactive activities and exhibits spread out across four floors where kids can learn about dinosaurs, good nutrition, science and gardening.

5. Family Drive-In Theatre. Also in Winchester, spend an evening at the Family Drive-In Theatre. Look for family-friendly movies on the main screen during the 7:30 pm showing. It’s a fun way to spend the evening (only open weekends in the fall) as a family.

6. Mt. Crawford Creamery. In Mt. Crawford, it’s a must to visit the Mt. Crawford Creamery. Stop by in the afternoon to watch the cows being milked. You can also see and pet the baby calves. Meanwhile, school groups can tour the dairy barn and learn about milk processing.

7. Wilson’s Wild Animal Park. At Wilson’s Wild Animal Park in Winchester, kids will love visiting with and feeding the deer, goats, llamas and sheep. Stop by during the fall to enjoy the pumpkin patch and hay rides. When the weather is nice, be sure to bring a picnic lunch, too.

8. Bryce Resort. Bryce Resort in Basye is another fabulous four season resort worth exploring as a family. Look for skiing and snow tubing in the winter. In the summer, enjoy summer tubing, ziplines, grass skiing and a bike park. You’ll also find numerous restaurants when you’re ready to take a break to re-fuel.

9. Shenandoah National Park. This time of year, Shenandoah National Park offers prime leaf peeping. Take a drive down Skyline Drive to explore the dramatic colors. It’s also a great place for hiking, birding and camping. And, of course, don’t forget the Junior Ranger Program. 

10. Mackintosh Fruit Farm. In Berryville, it’s a must to make a stop at Mackintosh Fruit Farm for fruit picking. Depending on the season, you’ll find apples, peaches, blueberries and strawberries. They even have pumpkins. Plus, look for special festivals and events throughout the year.

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