“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.
“Thanks to Stephen French – Winner of the First Annual Shenandoah Valley Kids Trail Video Contest “
Family Road Trip #2 – Shenandoah County, Virginia
Shenandoah County is unique in that not one town of the six towns in the county dominates. It truly represents the rural country lifestyle of the Shenandoah Valley. Located on Interstate 81 and historic Route 11 between the cities of Winchester and Harrisonburg, the county towns are Strasburg, TomsBrook, Woodstock, Edinburg, Mt. Jackson, and New Market. One can take the greenway and Route 7 or Interstate 66 to easily connect to the county.
Ask anyone who grew up in Shenandoah County about their fondest memories as a child and you’re likely to hear stories of exploring the great outdoors, favorite childhood foods, interesting museum tours or learn about the role agriculture has played in their lives growing up.
Build your own memories in Shenandoah County with a visit to some of the county’s favorite kid-friendly destinations!
DAY ONE – State Parks, Parades, Caverns
Lose yourself in the nearly 85,000 acres of National Forest that comprise Shenandoah County and are filled with hiking, biking and OHV trails. And there’s no better view of the valley and the seven bends of the Shenandoah River than from the Wood-stock Water Tower, located just east of Woodstock, VA.
Beat the heat by tubing or kayaking down the Shenandoah River. Explore your wild side while horseback riding at Fort Valley Ranch which features guided rides through the George Wash-ington National Forest. Cool off at the new splash pad at the W.O. Riley Park in Woodstock. enjoy live con-certs under the stars at the outdoor summer concert series, Woodstock ROCS.
Perhaps farms are of interest. Kiss a llama at Posey Thisisit Llama Farm in Toms Brook, VA. This family run llama farm is open year round by appointment and offers tours of the farm and the opportunity to meet and feed over 30 llamas. Owner Joyce Hall will leave you entertained and more knowledgeable about the species than you ever though possible! There are also markets available and U-pick farms in the county.
Plan a full half day at Shenandoah Caverns Family of Attractions . One begins at ‘Main Street of Yesteryear” with a tour of the miniature window displays of the large department stores like Macy’s in New York city. Then down the stairs or take the elevator into the caverns for a unique hike thru rock formations including the view the famous ba-con formations. Lunch can be had at the 50’s cafe. When the kids walk into American Celebration on Parade, a normal reaction is “So Cool!”. A unique museum celebrating America’s love of parades, floats from the Macy’s, Rose, Philadelphia, and Presidential Inaugural parades are retired here. Children will be delighted at the animated characters on the huge floats. A visit to the Yellow Barn will highlight the agricultural history of the valley.
Spending the night in Woodstock at the Holiday Inn Express . One could also book a cabin or condo at Bryce Resort. enjoy live con-certs under the stars at the outdoor summer concert series, Woodstock ROCS or attend the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival at Orkney Springs next to Bryce Resort.
DAY TWO – History, War, Lakes, Zip-lining and Bike Parks – Start the day by passing by one of the few covered bridges left in the United States on Route 11. If Civil War is of interest, then a visit to the New Market Battlefield Museum. Then it is on to Bryce Resort . Well-known as a ski resort, summer finds the ski lift taking one to the top of the mountain to enjoy the view or take a mountain bike down one of the five trails availability based on your ability at the new Bryce Mountain Bike Park.
A great place for outdoor adventure, there is zip-lining, summer tubing, and grass skiing. One surprise at Bryce are the small airplanes that land there any time of the day. There are also helicopter rides that can be planned. Looking for a way to cool off than it is Bryce’s Lake Laura . For a small fee, one can spend the entire summer day lounging on the grassy beach while the kids swim and play on tranquil Lake Laura. For rent are canoes, paddle boats and paddle boards, just waiting for a great day spent on and in the water. If in the mood for a hike, enjoy the three mile nature/hiking trail with scenic views around Lake Laura.
It will be hard to leav e this resort, so change your trip from a two day to a three day or week with a vacation rental and enjoy a night in the mountains.
Thanks to Shenandoah County Tourism for their contributions to the blog.