Looking at our Kids Bucket List which began on Father’s Day – here is where we are so far –
- Fishing and Golfing with Dad
- Visiting Farms for Fruits from Blackberry pickings to Peach and Apple Festivals
- Experiencing Working with our Pets in Doggie Olympics
- Children’s Museums
- Parades in the Shenandoah Valley including from the big ones ‘Apple Blossom’ to small town ‘4th of July Celebration’.
- Old Time Fun at the Drive In Theater and Roller Rinks
- Civil War Reenactments and Heritage Festivals
- Summer and Fall Musical Festivals
- County Fairs
Before it gets too cold, let’s look at water adventures and having fun with nature in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley. This area is rich with lakes and rivers including the Potomac and Shenandoah. Years ago, water adventures were simple — one took a tire tube and just walked out in the river and floated down. This in my memory was one of the most relaxing adventures you could experience. Today, that adventure has been kicked up several notches. Whether you are visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains close to Shenandoah National Park, Virginia or you are near the famous Harpers Ferry Gap where the Potomac River and Shenandoah River meet in the Harpers Ferry National Park, West Virginia. Either place finds you being offered the traditional tube approach (although these are no longer tire tubes) or a kayak, a canoe, or a rafting white water experience.
For a young person, flat water tubing is a great way to get started and is a great ‘family together experience’. As you grow and become a teenager, white water rafting is a great adventure with Mom and Dad. It is better to do the first time white water rafting in the summer when the rivers are lower and then move up to falls when it can be more of an adventure.
Harpers Ferry Adventures which is actually located in Loudoun County is a ‘one stop adventure stop’ for the Harper Ferry rivers. There is hiking, camping, zip lines, water adventures and more. Kym Grove, marketing director for HF Adventures, said “We see lots of family reunions as well as groups working on team building experiences.” For October, have fun at their fall festival occurring each weekend from wine tasting, food vendors, pumpkin painting, hayrides, Kidz Zip (zip line for children under 60 lbs) , Zip Line Tour, Kayak and Canoeing, Live Blue Grass bands, Petting Zoo, camel and pony rides, face painting, and more. Plus there is the ‘Harpers Scary – Haunted Hay Ride and Zip Line Tour each weekend in October and of course on October 31st.
Right close to the base of Harpers Ferry is a great hiking retreat site called Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. Located on the border of DC’s Wine Country and Wild Wonderful West Virginia, our 900 acre preserve is a special place where nature, history and farming are woven together to reveal the connections between people and the natural world. Come walk our trails, view our historic cabins, watch our birds and butterflies, or make a reservation to camp in our meadows.
The Blue Ridge Center’s valley meadows and heavily-forested mountain slopes are habitat and home to a great diversity of birds. Check out our brochure and see why the Blue Ridge Center is a stop along the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail. This outstanding setting provides a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to learn about and observe birds. You can stop by their office and check out a Birds of the Ridge Daypack. Equipped with the tools of a naturalist, each pack contains binoculars (suitable for children and adults), a field guide, trail map, suggested activities and sketching materials. They highly recommend using the Daypack while strolling along our Birds of a Feather Interpretive Trail.
Join the Blue Ridge Center, American Hiking Society, and Mountain View Farm for a two day Farm Festival and Farm Tour this Saturday and Sunday. Activities include Farm Tours, Nature and historic hikes led by the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, and much more.