Five Fun Things to do in Richmond, VA with Kids
Many travelers driving along I-95 pass through Richmond, Virginia without even casting a second glance to this state capital. In truth, though, this city known for its unique neighborhoods is a historical and cultural gem that is worthy of a family trip. The question of course is what are fun things to do in Richmond, VA with kids?
One weekend my daughter and I had the chance to explore many of the main attractions that Richmond has to offer. Two days exploring Richmond with Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa/Short Pump as home base was a good amount of time to get acquainted with the city, but not enough to see everything.
1. Visit the Science Museum of Virginia
The museum that my daughter was most excited about was the Science Museum of Virginia. Having visited other science museums like the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia or the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth, we are not strangers to interactive and hands-on museums.
What we loved about the Science Museum of Virginia were the smaller crowds and the highly engaging exhibits like the forensic science exhibit, where children learn about forensics as they play the role of a detective to solve a crime. Another exhibit that we both enjoyed was the Boost exhibit where you learn about health related to your body and your mind through activity and experiments. (There is even an app that accompanies the exhibit.)
2. Get artsy at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The one museum that we did not have time to experience ourselves was the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. This free museum hosts many special exhibits that attract art lovers of all ages and interests and also houses permanent exhibits like the Tale of Russian Culture and Egyptomania. The museum offers activity guides for children for some exhibits fostering a more interactive experience for budding artists.
On select Saturdays each month, the museum offers a Kids Discovery program for ages 6-9 where children will learn hands-on techniques and artistic insights from museum educators.
3. Take a walk along the Canal Walk
The historic and scenic Canal Walk follows the banks of the James River as a place to play and learn outdoors. There are countless attractions within steps of the canal walk and directly along the canal. You’ll find many fun things to do, from the Civil War Center to canal cruises and street art to the 1865 exhibit that narrates the three days in April 1865 when Richmond fell to the Union Army after four years of Civil War. Depending on the season, the Canal Walk area is a great place to go around midday with children to have a picnic while still exploring and learning.
4. Tour the historic Maymont Estate
Although children may not be particularly interested in the varieties and species of plants and flowers, they will enjoy all that the Maymont estate and gardens have to offer. We visited on an afternoon where there was a wedding which kept us out of the Italian garden area, but the 100 acres is considered by many to be a landmark and living classroom. We absolutely will be returning to Maymont the next time we are in Richmond to find the river otters at the Nature Center.
5. Get political at the State Capitol
The Virginia State Capitol is home to the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest legislature in the Western Hemisphere. We explored the Capitol grounds, which features statues of many notable individuals (and create wonderful photographic moments for children to pose with). Children might want to explore the Visitor’s Guide before arriving for background knowledge and history of all there is to see at the Capitol.
Explore these cities near Richmond, too:
- Read about family vacations to Washington, D.C.
- Find fun things to do in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.
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