Virginia’s Kids Trail under Go Blue Ridge Travel receives third grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation with an emphasis on learning thru travel. For the tight-budget family traveler, three trips combining fitness with history and mother nature in the Shenandoah Valley covering the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia.
People from all over the nation flock to the mountains and valleys of Virginia to enjoy the peace and serenity the Blue Ridge Mountains offer. With both the Appalachian Trail , the Harpers Ferry National Park, and the Shenandoah National Park within a one day driving experience, families traveling with Mom, Dad, Nana, and the kids can have an exciting adventure without breaking the bank.
The Kids Trail has awarded in 2016 a third grant of $25,000 to Go Blue Ridge Travel’s Kids Trail community. This year the Kids Trail is developing an educational theme centered on creativity, history, adventure, and wellness. Along with the Kids Trail’s mascot, “Bucket”, three new characters, Shenny, Ridge, and Fungi will be introduced to make a child’s exploration thru the Shenandoah Valley both exciting and challenging.
“Bucket has been so well received by the young folk that there is now a bucket handshake spreading,” said Nancy Craun owner and founder. “There is no better classroom than what Mother Nature provides us outdoors. Our partners in the Kids Trail community are committed to expanding a child’s knowledge of the world one grows up in.”
Here are three free activities with a lodging option to explore in the Shenandoah Valley.
1. Meet furry and feathery friends while hiking:
Discover Virginia’s rich natural heritage from the mountains to the valleys by simply hiking on one of the trails either along the C & O Canal in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia just 60 minutes from Washington, DC. Get up close to a butterfly or throw a rock and watch it ripple along the Potomac or Shenandoah River. HF Adventure offers both tubing and rafting trips as well as one could rent a cabin or a camping spot and pitch a tent. Imagine a world of stars in the night sky listening to the river’s flow and the night creature’s conversations. Explore the town of Harpers Ferry meeting characters from the past. Take a stroll outdoors climbing up to Jefferson’s Rock named after an American President to view birds, beavers, and other animals in natural habitats. Kids particularly enjoy the option of becoming a spy in role-play activities so before coming to Harpers Ferry do a little research about how communication occurred before the world of the phones and internet. What a fun and ecologically friendly way to learn about the plants and animals that thrive in Virginia in a way that is also extremely affordable!
- Price: Get a great deal for the entire family at $17.00 on Certifikid. (a 25% savings)
- Learn more at:
2. Become one with nature as a Junior Park Ranger at Cedar Creek Battlefield:
History and nature go hand in hand when you walk the Cedar Creek Battlefield. Conveniently located 15 minutes outside of Winchester, the tremendously popular Junior Ranger program is available. Promoted by our National park System, the program is a great way to get kids and parents interested and involved in the United States national parks. The Junior Ranger program is designed for children, ages 5-13, who can earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate by completing activities contained within the Junior Ranger booklet. 16 activities take young visitors through exhibits and self-guided walks and tours throughout the park. Once kids complete the appropriate activities for their age group, rangers and park volunteers will issue their badge and certificate. Come by to get your Junior Ranger badge today! With interpretive signs to guide your way, the trail explore the battles that were fought on the bare fields that one looks out at here in the Shenandoah Valley.
- Price: Free
- Learn more at:
3. Grow a green thumb at Sunflower Cottage and the Virginia Herb Festival
Located between Middletown and Front Royal, Virginia is an herb cottage featuring over 120,000 plants. To celebrate the garden season and local resourcing Sunflower Cottage hosts the Virginia Herb Festival on June 11 and 12th. Not only can kids have the fun of rubbing the leaves to name the herb they smell but they can meet chefs who will show them how to add these herbs to any foods and change the taste of an ordinary vegetable or fruit. “Having spent my summers at my grandparents farm, there is nothing more fun than running thru the grass fields. When we were naughty my grandmother would send us to the garden to pick out the larger rocks. I really thought as a kid that the garden grew rocks,” said Nancy Craun, owner and founder of Go Blue Ridge Travel, the parent company of the Kids Trial. Kids will learn that herbs can be for food as well as medicine including the lavender plants that promote relaxation. Wrapping up a fun filled day by visiting the Family Drive In Theater for visit to the past movie experience of the 50’s and 60’s just minutes away. A two day festival, plan to spend the night and enjoy another great day in the valley.
- Price: Free