The weekend is coming and your kids are tired of being stuck indoors. Or maybe you’re tired of them being cooped up with too many hours of technology and gaming systems. Let’s solve that conundrum with a variety of ideas, including indoor water parks, museums, and winter sport destinations, to spark the family fun you’re after.
Dive in to Indoor Waterparks
Waterparks. Yes, you read that correctly. Water. Parks. There are two indoor waterparks in Virginia that are perfect for a wintry Saturday or an entire weekend away.
Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg
photo credit: Joseph Leute
Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg is 67,000 square feet of splashing good times. How does a four-story treehouse, 1,000 gallon tipping bucket, four pools, eight slides, two giant hot tubs, and a wave pool sound? Stay the night and enjoy the waterpark all you want; passes are included. Arrive early to maximize your park fun time!
Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville
Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville has a 50,000 gallon centerpiece called The Flow Rider – an indoor surfing attraction with a five-foot incline. In addition, an adventure river, eight slides, a frog pond for little swimmers, water cannons, and a giant tipping bucket make this a fun place for any age to hang out. An overnight stay is not required.
Explore Virginia Museums
Bring your family to Virginia museums to learn, explore, and get creative while having lots of fun!
Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond
At the Richmond Science Museum of Virginia, you can discover all the wonders of the universe in one place. Check the museum’s iMax theater schedule for a list of entertaining yet educational films.
Children’s Museum of Richmond, Richmond
The Children’s Museum of Richmond is a great places to escape and let the kids get hands-on in a fun learning environment.
The Virginia Discovery Museum, Charlottesville
The Virginia Discovery Museum in Charlottesville is a great place to take younger children to learn and develop a healthy sense of curiosity. There is even a transplanted house from the 1700s that gives kids insight into the lives of the first Virginia settlers.
Amazement Square, Lynchburg
Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children’s Museum in downtown Lynchburg fosters creativity and learning for both children and adults through hands-on activities. The “Amazement Tower” structure connects all the exhibits and is the tallest indoor, interactive climbing structure in America.
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach
Photo Credit: Steven McBride
For an experience that both adults and children can enjoy, make plans to visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach. There are even two touch pools where you can reach in to feel horseshoe crabs stingrays, sea stars, and other water creatures.
Goof Off at Indoor Entertainment Parks
Kids’ indoor amusement opportunities have exponentially grown in Virginia in the past decade. Now there’s laser tag, bounce warehouses, indoor karting, and trampoline parks!
Skyline Laser Tag, Winchester
Skyline Laser Tag in Winchester offers a huge indoor warehouse laser tag field, video games, and cornhole to keep kids and adults of every age playing for hours on end. Bundle the kids up to join in on an outdoor paintball game.
Peak Experiences Indoor Rock Climbing Center, Richmond
Peak Experiences Indoor Rock Climbing Center is located in Richmond and is the largest indoor rock climbing facility on the East Coast. Beginners can take introductory classes and children of every age learn the basics of rope typing and climbing skills from the staff at Peak Experiences. This huge indoor climbing location has over 100 climbing routes for climbers of every experience level.
Panther Family Laser Tag, Sterling
Come to Panther Family Laser Tag in Sterling for a revolutionary style of Capture the Flag. Kids can strategize with a team for a competitive game of laser tag, explore the arcade arena, or play a one-on-one game of air hockey.
G-Force Karts, Richmond
Richmond’s G-Force Karts has plenty of indoor entertainment options that are an absolute blast all year round. Kids can hone their skills at Laser tag, or Archery tag, the latest competitive game at G-Force Karts. And don’t forget about the go-karts! G-Force Karts has karts made for kids 8-15 years of age and a two-seater options so the younger kids can ride along with a more experienced driver.
The Playroom, Chester
Take your kids to The Playroom in Chester for all-day fun! There is a play area for toddlers, inflatables for children of every age to bounce around in, and 14-foot slides for the thrill-seekers. Imagination stations also encourage creativity and thoughtful play.
Rebounderz in Sterling is an indoor trampoline arena where kids can get out all that extra energy in a safe indoor environment. There is a trampoline basketball arena, dodgeball trampoline court, and an open jump stadium where they can practice their special moves.
Rebounderz, Newport News
In addition to the dodgeball, basketball, and open jump areas, the Rebounderz in Newport News has a jumping foam pit and a high tower where the bravest kids test their nerves of steel. See if you have what it takes to be a Ninja Warrior champion on their obstacle course, which has three levels of course difficulty and a “warped wall” for those that like a challenge.
iFly, Virginia Beach
If you have ever wanted to try skydiving, iFly in Virginia Beach is a great place to start. The indoor wind tunnel lets flyers from age three to 103 experience the thrill of skydiving in a safe, contained zone.
“Putter” Around Town
Indoor putt-putt courses allow families to play a little golf no matter how bad the weather is.
King Neptune’s Mini Golf, Virginia Beach
Play a round of putt-putt with the family at King Neptune’s Mini Golf in Virginia Beach, an indoor blacklight mini golf course where the cups, balls, and artwork all glow in the dark!
Get Involved in Winter Sports
Winter sports improve coordination and keep kids active during the freezing winter months. Whether your family enjoys skiing, snowboarding, or just likes to have fun tubing down the mountain, these resorts offer plenty of family fun in the snow.
Winter Resorts, Various Locations
photo credit: Sam Dean, @sdeanphotos
Finally, the obvious places for families to play in winter are Virginia’s four mountain resorts – Bryce, Massanutten, The Omni Homestead, and Wintergreen. Each has its own personality and special offerings (snowtubing, anyone?), so check out Winter Sports for the details on each.
Have a great suggestion for family activities during the winter season? Please let us know what you and your family do for fun during the coldest months of the year.
It would be super cool if families could buy a family pass to visit a variety of museums in their geographic area. For example, $250 per person would get you one visit to the Virginia Aquarium, The Natural Living Museum. Air and Space, and the Children’s Museum. I know these are all owned by different entities but it may help to broaden the exposure.
Look into the North Carolina Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Reciprocity program. You can get 50% discount on admission to the VLM, Virginia Zoo, aquarium.
Planning a trip to Virginia. This is very helpful.
I need a family fun summer vacation in Md, Va or Dc
Look good For a summer weekend in Winner