Richmond VA’s Complete Family Activity Guide

Richmond VA’s Complete Family Activity Guide

Are you looking for fun activities in Richmond VA, for families? Richmond VA is a bustling city with plenty of activities for the entire family to enjoy. From museums and outdoor sports to parks and theater, there’s something for everyone. Discover your favorite Richmond VA attractions and places and get ready for an adventure.

Richmond, VA’s skyline taken from Brown’s Island

Spend the Day at James River Park

If you’re asking yourself about Richmond VA, and what to do, look no further than the James River Park. The 600-plus acre park offers an escape from the city without leaving Richmond. You and your family can easily spend all day here and still miss areas and activities. A popular reason to visit James River Park is for birdwatching. The wildlife will impress anyone, even your teenagers. What can you see here?

  • Bald eagles
  • Bufflehead ducks
  • Osprey
  • Great blue heron
  • Osprey

Do you prefer to be on the water instead of the river’s edge? You can go canoeing, kayaking, and even stand-up paddleboarding along the James River. 

For families that prefer to keep their feet on dry land, the Manchester Climbing Wall is an excellent way to get energy out and experience the granite quarries that were in use during the 1800s. Choose from easy and moderate climbs throughout the area.

Play Laser Tag

Rainy days don’t have to be boring. There are plenty of indoor activities in Richmond VA, for families. One fun option is laser tag. Mission Laser Tag will keep your family busy for an hour or two before grabbing a bite for lunch or dinner. The arena’s open to people ages 5 to over 65. 

Visit the Historic Victorian Maymont Estate

One activity in Richmond VA, for families you can’t miss is the Maymont Estate. The 100-acre historic estate and park offer tons of things to do for people of all ages. Even a stroll along the grounds and through the gardens provides an amazing adventure. The property has four amazing gardens—Italian, Japanese, Specialty, and the Arboretum. 

The specialty Garden contains Marie’s Butterfly Trail, the Carriage House Garden that dates to the 1930s, The Grotto, the Herb Garden, the Maymont Mansion Ornamental Lawn, and a Native Virginia Landscape where the Robins Nature Center sits. Additionally, you can take a peek at Maymont’s Wetland Habitat with a biologically diverse ecosystem. 

Robins Nature Center is 29,000 square feet and the largest water preserve in Central Virginia. It showcases animals from the James River and the Chesapeake Bay. Some of the creatures you’ll see at the nature center include,

  • River otters
  • Turtles
  • Alligators
  • Crabs
  • Snakes

Some of the non-water wildlife you can see at the Maymont Estate are

  • Bobcats
  • Elk
  • Black bears
  • Bison
  • Vultures
  • Red Foxes
  • Sika deer

Check Out Byrd Theatre

Lights, camera, action! Another dry location for rainy days is the historic 1,200-seat Byrd Theatre. The cinema was built in the 1920s and 30s and has remained mostly unchanged since. Additionally, it was named after William Byrd, a co-founder of Richmond. The first movie to grace the screen on Christmas Eve 1928 was Waterfront, a silent film with sound added after. Matinees at the old theatre were 25 cents, and in the evening, patrons paid 50 cents. 

But don’t think the quality of the film you’ll see at the Byrd Theatre is stuck in the 20th century. In 2019, the technology of the theater was fully upgraded to today’s standards. 

You won’t see new releases at the historic theater, but you can catch classics from several eras, such as,

  • GoodFellas
  • Appolo 13
  • ET
  • Trolls World Tour
  • Caddyshack

Be sure to check the calendar because these titles change regularly.  

Take in a Flying Squirrels Baseball Game

Get tickets for a Flying Squirrels baseball game for Richmond VA, things to do involving sports. The Double-A Affiliate is an excellent place to catch fly balls with the kids while eating corndogs and popcorn. Try to get in a game on a promotional giveaway night, so you have something interesting to bring home. 

Experience the American Civil War Museum

This activity in Richmond VA, for families, can keep your crew busy for a day or more with three sites. The Historic Tredegar and White House of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum in nearby Appomattox. 

The first stop is in Downtown Richmond along the James River and covers 30,000 square feet. Here your family can check out the more than 500 artifacts on display. 

Another stop is the White House for the Confederacy, built in 1818 and occupied by Confederate President Jefferson Davis from 1861 to 1865 with his family.

Last, the American Civil War Museum is a little over a mile from the Appomattox Court House Historic National Park, where the Confederates surrendered at the McLean House. Please note the exhibits are regularly changing at the museum. However, this means you can visit several times and still see new shows. Examples of current and past exhibitions include,

  • Greenback America
  • Virginia and the Confederacy
  • Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America
  • Southern Ambitions 
  • Art of the Confederacy
  • Enacting Freedom: Black Virginians in the Age of Emancipation
  • The Confederate Nation
  • House of the Lost Cause

Also, don’t skip Monument Avenue, which showcases many Civil War Statues sculpted over the past 100-plus years. 

Enjoy the Beauty of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

With so much in Richmond VA, for families to do, it’s hard to choose just one outdoor attraction. Along with the James River Park and all the activities at the Maymount Estate, you can also take time to explore the 50-acre Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can enjoy different seasonal flowers and plants. 

The various gardens include a Children’s Garden, Asian Valley, Cherry Tree Walk, and Rose Garden. Do you want to learn more about the species in the gardens? Stop by the Kelley Education Center for learning activities with the kids. 

Need to burn some of that energy? Take the kids to the activity, water, and sand play areas located by Sydnor Lake. You’ll also find water fountains and restrooms here. Are you and your family feeling a little hungry? Don’t worry. You don’t have to leave early! Just grab a drink and bite to eat at the Garden Cafe or Tea House Dining location. The cafe is an excellent place for sandwiches, soup, and salad bowls. Plus, don’t leave without stopping at the giftshop to have something to bring home! 

Also, schedule a visit during the day and night to experience the difference in the wildlife exhibits when the sun’s down. The Dominion Energy Gardenfest of Lights is a beautiful holiday experience you can experience in the late fall as it gets closer to the Christmas season. 

This list is just a tiny taste of the things in Richmond. There are many great adventures for families, and you can also visit other towns nearby, such as Williamsburg, Jamestown, and lots more. One thing we guarantee is that you will never run out of Richmond VA activities and experiences!

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