Summer bucket list for families in Virginia

Check out this list of 30 items that you and your families can do this summer.
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 4:34 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Are you struggling to come up with some fun ideas to keep the family busy?

Let us freshen up your bucket list for summer. We teamed up with the West End Mom for up to 30 summer “must-dos” in Virginia. Be sure to check out the full list HERE.

Plus, she’s revealing all the best hacks to have the most fun and save money.

Why not put a sunflower festival on your list? The Alvis Farms Sunflower Festival is in Manakin Sabot at the end of July and beginning of August.

“I like this for families, not just because it’s beautiful for pictures,” said Megan Ariail, The West End Mom. “And you can get family pictures taken there and cut your own flowers, but they make it into a festival atmosphere.”

You can also touch farm equipment and animals, and take part in water activities. Plus, you can talk to real farmers and see how things grow.

Next on the list, visit an adventure or sports park, such as Patterson Golf Park, which has miniature golf.

“Make sure you check Groupon because right now they have a deal that for a family four-pack you can play a round of putt putt for $12, which is a great deal, a budget-friendly option for families this summer,” said Ariail.

The West End Mom says Swaders Sports Park in Prince George has laser tag, an arcade, and an indoor play area for younger kids.

“This sports park is huge. It has an indoor area which has laser tag your arcade, an indoor play area for younger kids,” said Ariail. “It’s just so much fun and they have a cafe in there. So if you’re trying to beat the heat, you can play inside or you can venture outside to do their putt putt. They also have a batting cage and they have awesome go karts.”

Windy Hill in Midlothian also has miniature golf and go-karts.

“You just might not play by the rules. And then they have go-karts and children as young as five can drive their go-karts because they have a slower mode,” said Megan. “So if you’ve got someone who needs a thrill, you can head over there to Windy Hill Sports and the kids can drive go-karts. They also have a snack bar and a wonderful little patio where you can enjoy treats like ice cream and watch the golfers at the driving range.”

Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion are great day trips within an hour or so of Richmond.

Both parks offer a preschool pass, meaning your younger kids can get in free.

“So if you’ve got a child 3 to 5, you need to register right now because then they don’t have to pay admission all year,” said Ariail.

Another summer option is to go see an outdoor movie at West Broad Village or the Goochland Drive-in.

“West Broad Village is having an outdoor summer movie series ‘Movies Under the Stars,’” said Ariail. “This is a free event for families. It’s all outdoors. They have four dates scheduled, two in July, two in August.”

If you prefer inside, here’s a great deal: CineBistro at Stony Point Fashion Center is bringing back its summer movie series for kids.

“This means that children 12 and under can grab a movie ticket for $1.99, very affordable,” said Ariail.

Regal Cinemas is also offering a $2 movie deal this summer.

Ariail says the James River is full of fun. She encourages families to get down to the river and check out the kayakers and rock climbers. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch.

Going to an aquarium is really fun, but “I do have a mom hack to get you a free visit to an aquarium,” said Ariail. “I take my kids to Cabela’s and Bass Pro because they have giant fish tanks and they offer fish feedings at 12:00 three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.”

Even more options include:

Click here for the full list of 30 activities. Check out more hacks that go along with them by following The West End Mom on Instagram.

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