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 ten amazing family-friendly spots.
Part of the beautiful Maymont Estate, Maymont Farm is easily one of the best things to do with kids in Richmond. The farm offers hands-on animal encounters and educational content for families to learn about life on a farm. Kids will love getting up close with chickens, pigs, horses, and other farm animals. Also on-site are a 40-acre wildlife habitat with Virginia native species such as black bears and bobcats and the Robins Nature Center, which houses an aquarium and interactive educational exhibits.
Open: Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: $5 suggested admission
King’s Dominion offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family during most of the year. The park has more than 60 rides; Planet Snoopy, a PEANUTS-themed area for younger kids; and an adjacent 20-acre waterpark, Soak City, which has a lazy river, wave pool, and thrilling water slides. Opening in 2022, Jungle X-pedition will offer an immersive jungle experience and Tumbili will be Virginia’s first 4-D spin coaster. Kings Dominion also holds special events throughout the year, including its Grand Carnivale, Halloween Haunt, and WinterFest.
Cost: Daily tickets start from $45 per person. Discounted rates apply for seniors, military personnel, and season pass holders.
Science Museum of Virginia
Located adjacent to the Children’s Museum or Richmond, the Science Museum of Virginia offers 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. The museum also houses the 76-feet Dome theater, the largest screen in Virginia. Many of the museum’s visiting exhibitions and special exhibits provide hands-on experiences that expose kids to STEM activities. One such exhibit is Hot Wheels: Race to Win, which allows visitors to design and build speed machines using diecast cars.
Open: Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: $15.50 for persons 13 and older. Discounted rates for seniors and children under 13. Children two years old and younger can enter for no charge.
Amazing Scavenger Hunt
The Amazing Scavenger Hunt is a smart-phone enabled tour experience designed by Urban Outdoor Adventures as a trivia-based scavenger hunt of the city. This self-paced tour begins in Capital Square and takes participants on an Amazing Race-style adventure through well-known and less-known parts of the city. Participants solve puzzles and answer questions using the clues provided, and it’s a fun way to learn about the city’s history, artistic heritage, and unique communities.
Cost: $39.20 for a party of up to five people
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Recognized as one of the top botanical gardens in the country, the 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. Kids will love the Children’s Garden, which contains WaterPlay, the Klaus Family Tree House, the Jane Quinn Sanders Farm Garden, and the International Village, which has references to world architecture, global cultures, and indigenous plants.
Open: Daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: Cost is $14 for person aged 13 years and older, $11 for seniors, $8 for children between the ages of three and 12, and free for children under three. Garden Members can enter for free.
Metro Richmond Zoo
photo credit: Taylor Andelin
The privately-owned Metro Richmond Zoo is easily one of the top things to do with kids in Richmond. In addition to observing more than 2,000 animals such as giraffes, tigers, and lemurs in a natural setting, families can enjoy the zoo’s playground, carousel, safari train ride, and safari ski lift. In 2012, the zoo opened the Cheetah Conservation Center on 52 adjacent acres of land. The zoo also has conservation projects for African penguins and Diana monkeys.
Open: Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: Entrance for persons 12 years of age and older is $19.75. Seniors pay $18.75. Children between the ages of two and 11 pay $13.75, and children under the age of two are free of charge.
Set on two acres in Scott’s Addition Historic District, Brambly Park is the perfect spot for a casual family outing. This urban winery and restaurant has a heated outdoor pavilion where families can enjoy a great selection of Italian-style appetizers and entrees year-round. The company also offers games ranging from Giant Jenga to cornhole as well as special events such as Trivi-o-ke (trivia followed by karaoke). The restaurant serves a variety of beverages, beers, and wines, some of which it produces in its on-site commercial winery. The company also offers a Wine Club, which features packages containing a collection of three, six, or twelve curated bottles of wine per month.
Open: Daily with variable hours
Cost: Cost of service
Treetop Zoofari Zip Line and Adventure Park
Housed within the grounds of the Metro Richmond Zoo, Treetop Zoofari Zip Line and Adventure Park offers a series of obstacle courses to experience nature in an exciting way. Of the two zip-line courses, the Junior Explorer Course contains 22 challenges and two zip lines, and the Treetop Zoofari course contains 44 challenges and 15 zip lines, including a 600-foot zip line over the zoo’s lake. The complex also has jungle ropes, tight wires, and a Tarzan swing. In addition, the Treetop Zoofari course can be experienced after hours through the Treetop Nights guided tour, which requires a minimum of four participants to book.
Open: Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm (last admission time)
Cost: $55 for the Treetop Zoofari course and $25 for the Junior Explorer Course. Rates are 50 percent off in January and February.
Virginia Capital Trail
Photo Credit: Big Orange Frame
The 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail connects Virginia’s three historic capitals—Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond. Biking this trail will take you past Revolutionary War battlegrounds, riverfronts, bridges, wetlands, rail trails, and notable landmarks. One historic place along the trail is the Charles City County Courthouse, a one-story brick building dating back to 1730. With history around nearly every turn, spending a day on the Capital Trail is a great way to learn more about the state and country’s formative years. Plan your trip using this Virginia Capital Trail interactive map.
Children’s Museum of Richmond
The Children’s Museum of Richmond provides 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, and hospital or ambulance worker. The museum also has an art studio, where kids can draw, paint, and build individual and collaborative projects, and has plans to open a new playground in 2022. In addition to its downtown location, the museum has a satellite location in Chesterfield County.
Open: Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: $9 for adults and children over 12 months of age; $8 for seniors; and free for children under the age of 12 months
Have you visited any of these places in Richmond with your family? Tell us your favorites and other family-friendly spots in the comments below!