Kids Top Pick #3 – Family Road to Harrisonburg, Virginia

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Kids Top Pick #3 – Family Road to Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Culinary Trail, Kids Trail, Outdoor Adventure, Shenandoah Valley, Where to Stay

“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.

“It’s better in the Burg!”

Harrisonburg is a Virginia town living and breathing “green”. Nestled in the central part of the Shenandoah Valley in between the Massanutten and the North Mountain ranges, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County provides Mom and Dad and Nana with unsurpassed culinary options, a thriving arts community, endless outdoor adventures, a vibrant downtown and a diverse mix of performances, annual events and festivals. Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University. Two distinctive characteristics of the community are its large international culture population and its strong agricultural base. So what is there to do for the kids.

Bucket has done a little bit or research and pick some great experiences here in the “Burg”.

DAY ONE – Farms, Dairies, History, and Children Museums – The first stop is Back Home on the Farm on Route 42 just northwest of Harrisonburg. Gary and Lynn Hess live on 230 acres of farmland which they open up to families each summer. From a sound garden, barnyard volleyball, and squealing pig races, definitely the most popular activity is the 60’ slide, said Lynne. A surprise is the historic 30 horse Carousel which is not only fun to ride but also offers a pictorial history of Virginia and the United States. Back Home on the Farm is also a full blown nursery offering plants to buy and educational events for the young gardeners to be. August 30th is the opening of the 5 acre Corn Maze.

Have lunch at one of the many downtown restaurants, then it is an easy walk to the Valley Turnpike Museum located in the Hardesty-Higgins House. This is where the kids can become detectives while reliving the history of the settlement of the Shenandoah Valley along old Route 11.

The family can easily walk down to Explore More Discovery Museum. Children can be in a medical emergency environment, a scientist in a lab, or putting on a costume and being on a stage. The museum is full of mini environments of experiences. For the older kids, Peak Paintball offers a total family experience. It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s family friendly. Their fully netted 4,000 square foot arena is ready for action. It doesn’t get much more fun than splattering mom, dad, big brother or sister with paint.

If visiting on Saturday, Art in the Park is a must at the Farmers Market. Finally each day around 4 pm, head out to Mt Crawford Creamery to experience a real dairy barn with cow milking. Harrisonburg offers hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. You can also stay at the Massanutten condos which are great for families and enjoy a night in the mountains.

DAY TWO – Waterpark, Kids Ziplines, and Upick Farms

Massanutten Resort’s Waterpark is a full day of fun offering indoor and outdoor water adventure. Massanutten Waterpark addresses the needs of all ages of the family.  Enjoy a fun filled ride throught the Blue Ridge Rapids which both grandparents and the kids will enjoy. Then climb the stairs to the tube slides and body slides. The park offers both indoors and outdoors water sports. “I suggest before hitting the Waterpark, drive up into the resort.  Take the ski lift up to catch the view and then enjoy a fun filled zip line adventure experience. There is one for just kids which my grandchildren adored because it was ‘FOR KIDS ONLY’. Mom and Dad and older brothers and sisters have to stand back and let them achieve the goal of finishing the adventure course,” said Nancy Craun, owner and founder of Go Blue Ridge Travel.

After a fun day at the Waterpark, plan to visit one of the partners of the agricultural program – Fields of Gold. You can pick fresh produce to take home with you and enjoy a farm to table experience.

The Shenandoah Valley offers something for everyone in the family. Plan your road trip or week’s vacation today. For a list of all family activites in Harrisonburg, click here.