Here in the Shenandoah Valley, the winter blahs have set in and finding things to do with families gets a little tricky.
Stuck indoors during the coldest months of the year brings everyone closer together but sometimes a little too close. Planning excursions and outings is definitely necessary to develop positive interactions in any family configuration.
One area to explore is local museums. Scout out which ones are open and highlight children’s activities.
- The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley always includes children’s activities with each exhibit as well as special workshops only for the young.
- The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum is geared toward children and continues to add exhibits that are interactive with a multitude of activities.
Memberships to both of these local offerings is a great idea, especially for grandparents. It costs the admission price to one yearly fee with unlimited visits.
If the weather gives us a short break so outside activities are possible.
- Take advantage of local parks that maintain walking paths — Jim Barnett Park in Winchester, Sherando Park in Stephens City, and Clearbrook Park in northern Frederick County.
- Blandy Experimental Farm at the State Arboretum of Virginia is open year-round and offers a variety of nature trails and paths. All of these are suitable for children and the length can be adjusted to the age.
- Long Branch Plantation in Clarke County welcomes the public to explore the grounds but the house is not open to visitors. Special arrangements can be made to tour the house.
Handley Regional Library continues programs weekdays for younger children and special events on weekends. All activities are free for local residents and those outside Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties pay a small fee for a library card.
Of course, there are the movies with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema offers a range of children’s and adult movies. Watch for special times to take advantage of price breaks. There are indoor activities including roller skating, laster tag, paint ball and indoor bounce houses. Check these sites —- winchesterskate.com, skylinepaintball.com, monkeyjoes.com. And don’t forget the indoor pool at Jim Barnett Park.
The important thing to remember is to have fun as a family or any type of group configuration. Finding activities for various ages can be a challenge but keep in mind the age, level of difficult, and of course, the price.
Feel free to send me any additions to the list.