Planning some family fun in the Shenandoah Valley for Memorial Day weekend? Try some of these activities.
Harpers Ferry Adventure Center
Located at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, Harpers Ferry Adventure Center features tubing, rafting, and kayaking. Looking for a laid-back day? Try flat water tubing on the Shenandoah – perfect for family fun. More adventurous souls can try whitewater tubing on the Potomac.
In the mood to paddle? With Class I-III rapids, a half-day rafting trip is great for beginners. Trips include a guide, personal flotation device and helmet, and transportation. Children must be at least 5 years old and weigh 50 pounds. If you’re in good shape and ready for a new challenge, try kayaking in one of the Center’s Duckies and paddle both the Shenandoah and Potomac. Children must be at least 10 years old and accompanied by an adult to kayak.
HFAC offers more than just water-based excursions. Take to the air and fly through the treetops on zip lines and complete your aerial excursion with a 100 foot sky bridge. There’s also a rope course with elevations of 10 to 40 feet and a series of 50 elements, testing your balance AND your nerves.
Skyline Paintball & Laser Tag
Choose your weapon! If paintball’s your thing, check out the Strasburg location where Skyline has hosted players since 1991. This outdoor facility is open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays and has group package pricing. Feeling more like Star Wars? Then head over to their Winchester location for some laser tag. Open Thursday – Sunday, you’ll find great deals on Friday night and Sunday evening – $10 if you purchase your ticket online.
Family Fun at Virginia State Parks
Virginia boasts 38 state parks and the Shenandoah Valley is home to three of them. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or an overnight stay, these three beauties have a wide variety of activities.
Shenandoah River: With 1600 acres and five miles of scenic shoreline, this park provides views of Massanutten Mountain and Shenandoah National Park. Set up for a picnic by the river, launch your canoe, enjoy 24 miles of trails, and book a stay in one of the campsites or cabins. And be sure to check out the new zip line.
Sky Meadows: East of I-81 near Delaplane, you’ll find this 1800 acre park is a step back in time. Located on the rolling pastures of a historic farm that captures life from Colonial through post-Civil War periods, the park hosts nature and history programs year-round. You’ll find hiking, picnicking, fishing and primitive camping. Want to get out and ride? Sky Meadows offers nine miles of bike trails and 10.5 miles of bridle trails (BYOH – bring your own horse).
Seven Bends: This 1000 acre park near Woodstock is currently under construction, but visitors are welcome for daytime explorations on the cleared logging trails. Located in the “seven bends” of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, this park will provide access to the water once facilities are completed.
The Strasburg Museum
Did you know the town of Strasburg has a nickname? It was once known as “Pot Town” because of the local pottery manufacturing. The building that houses The Strasburg Museum was previously a manufacturing center then later converted into a railroad depot.
Located at 440 King Street, this National Historic Landmark preserves the rich heritage of the area. Along with an extensive collection of antique Strasburg pottery, exhibits include Native American artifacts, Colonial and Civil War articles, a railway caboose and even a whiskey still.
The museum is open daily and is a great family fun for young history buffs. And the price is family-friendly too. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $1.00 for teens and only 50 cents for children.
Mt. Crawford Creamery/Smiley’s Ice Cream
Children know milk comes from cows, but how many know how the milk gets from the cow to the bottle? Learn more about the process at Mt. Crawford Creamery on Old Bridgewater Road and then visit their store for the best milk in the Valley. Guided and self-guided tours are available – just check the farm’s website for details. You can visit the milking parlor and then spend time with the calves. If you’re there around 3pm, you’ll even get to help feed them. After visiting the farm, head over to Smiley’s Ice Cream for a delicious treat made with Mt. Crawford Creamery’s milk. Love the ice cream? Their mobile ice cream parlor can bring the goodness to you for your next party.