I grew up in Harrisonburg, VA, and let me tell you, it is a fantastic place to be a kid. My memories are filled with trips to Purcell Park to play at “Kids Castle” and tasty ice cream cones at Kline’s Ice Cream. I couldn’t have asked for a better town to grow up in. After a recent trip to Harrisonburg to play the “Bucket’s Buddy Adventure Game”, my twenty-year-old self couldn’t believe all the new things Harrisonburg has to offer for kids that weren’t around in my day.
My first stop was Back Home on the Farm, which is just outside of Harrisonburg, and I definitely felt at home. There are TONS of activities for all ages, and I was enchanted to say the least by their famous “Fairy Gardens” that are filled with the most beautiful butterflies. Kids will go crazy for the pig races, outside games, and the amphitheater where they can star in their own play. You can find lots of tasty treats in the Country Store or take home some beautiful flowers from their expansive greenhouse! My favorite spot was the handcrafted carousal next to the country store, where each horse is painted to represent a different aspect of Virginia history. This farm was truly a delight… I didn’t want to leave! Back Home on the Farm is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am-7pm and offers parties and field trips opportunities!
Next stop was Explore More Discovery Museum, in the heart of downtown Harrisonburg, and this spot is every child’s dream. With so many beautifully executed exhibits, your child will have the opportunity to be anything they want to be… and they won’t even realize they’re learning! Kids will discover different plants in the science lab, the importance of recycling in the mechanic garage, how food can be tasty and healthy in the farmer’s market, and how to shine in the theater! I have never seen as many smiles in one place as I have at Explore More. My favorite exhibit had to be the WHSV TV-3 room, where kids (and adults like me) can experience and see themselves on TV! Explore More has tons of Weekly Programs and Summer Camps and are open Monday-Saturday from 9:30am – 5:00pm.
Mulligan’s Mini Golf, a new mini golf course in Harrisonburg, was my next destination, and man… I don’t think I’ve ever been to a nicer mini-golf course! The newly designed course is super fun with 18 holes that feature awesome water challenges that may have you swimming for your golf ball! Mulligan’s is a great place to spend the day outside and learning a new skill. Their new party pavilion with picnic tables and music is a great place for a birthday party for those kids that looooove playing on the “green.” When you’re done, you can top by the snack bar for a treat or go inside the shop for all your golfing needs! Mini golf is a kids favorite—and Mulligan’s is the real deal!
My last visit before heading back to Winchester, VA was Mt. Crawford Creamery right down the street from Mulligan’s! This family creamery processes and bottles pasteurized, non-homogenized milk from their OWN cows on site, which makes this spot something you won’t see anywhere else! Stop by at 4pm daily to watch their milk the cows and to pet the baby calves… so cute! Their cows have tons of personality, and were even taking selfies with us while we were there. Inside the store, make sure you try a sample of their chocolate milk; it’s to die for! Settled on a beautiful farm, Mt. Crawford Creamery is a fantastic way to get the kids out of the house and show them the simple things in life. Mt. Crawford Creamery is open Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm and Saturday from 9am-5pm.
All of these fantastic venues AND MORE across the Blue Ridge Area are part of Bucket’s Buddy Adventure Game sponsored by Go Blue Ridge Travel and the Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail. This game is full of prizes and educational adventures that will give your child a summer they will always remember. Learn more about the Bucket’s Buddy Adventure game at www.goblueridgetravel.com/bucketsbuddy.
Boy, do I want to be a kid in Harrisonburg, Virginia again…
Thanks to our summer intern – Mandy Fogarty for a great blog.