“Picking the Top Summer Bucket List Experiences for Families in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia – New Series #KidsFunSummer2014”
ShenandoahValleyKidsTrail.com is a new Mobile site which makes planning a family trip to the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains easy. Launched by Go Blue Ridge Travel , the trail spotlights experiences that children from tots to tweens should have before turning eighteen offering adventure, history, and just plain fun.
Family Road Trip #1 – Winchester, Virginia
Winchester is a town full of history of the American Revolution and Civil War. With the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, this summer and fall offers driving tours and events for the history buff. Located at the northern tip of Interstate 81 next to West Virginia, Winchester is an easy drive out from the Washington DC and Baltimore areas.
DAY ONE – Nature, Farming, and Bears – Leaving DC and heading out the toll road to Loudoun County, one’s first stop will be the Oatlands Plantation to explore fields, streams, forests and gardens. Check out Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail guide on preparing for a hike . Bring one’s naturalist journal and meet bugs, birds, flowers and more! Don’t forget the camera so the kids can capture that special butterfly.
After lunch continue the adventure west on Route 7. Your next stop is Great Country Farms . Not only can the kids pick the fruit of the week, but they can visit the barnyard with the farm animals, the cow pie putt putt, and Jumping Pillow (for Kids only). The weekend of July 19th, Great Country Farms is celebrating ‘Butterflies and Blackberries’. Then it is off to Bears Den just minutes away. Bears Den is owned by the Appalachian Conservancy and is another great hiking adventure.
Spend the night at The George Washington Hotel with a swim in the Roman inspired pool. Completed in 1924, the historic Wyndham hotel offers old-world charm, but don’t worry, the hotel is not old fashioned. Here you’ll have every modern convenience a traveler could want. In fact, the hotel was fully restored in 2008 after a thoughtful $30 million renovation.
Wrap up the evening up at the Family Drive In for movie night under the stars. Great affordable family entertainment, the Family Drive In Theater offers the latest double feature movies with two screen options. Great food at the concession stand. Note – get there early and bring some family games to play together like Monopoly.
DAY TWO – Dinosaurs, Wild Animals, and Indians – The next morning begin the day at the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum . The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum has just moved into their new three story facilities in Winchester, Virginia close to the Old Downtown Mall. Catch a large life-size dinosaur Ticeratops on the first floor. The second floor called the ‘Explorer Floor’ with its massive windows contains the infamous apple crate display from the old museum capturing the industry that made this valley known so many years ago. There is also a water conservation area for the Potomac River Conservation Program.
However perhaps the biggest surprise is on the rooftop floor where one can view out over the rooftops of Winchester. “The museum ignites ignites creativity, sparks curiosity, and inspires learning in people of all ages by providing a rich variety of interactive hands on exhibits and programs which focus on the sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the arts,” said Mary Braun, Executive Director.
Then it is off to Wilson’s Wild Animal Kingdom . A delightful place to have a picnic. From lions, to camels, to lemurs, the wild animal park gives children a one on one with animals. Sitting on twenty five acre with a gravel walk way almost a mile long, you may purchase animal food to feed the deer,goats ,llamas ,and sheep. The site is mainly shaded so you will not bake in the sun.
Just around the corner plan to wrap up your day at one of the oldest family attractions in the valley – Dinosaur Land . Learn about the plant eaters and the carnivores of the past. Open for over 50 years, it is truly a step back into the pre-historic times.
Heading back to the city or living here in the valley, Go Blue Ridge Travel will spotlight the Shenandoah County as your next road trip plan followed by a trip to Harrisonburg, Virginia. We welcome your comments of secrets you know about that are great for family fun!