Free family-friendly spring and summer activities to do in Central Va.

The West End Mom has a great lineup of freebies as schools start to let out later this month and summer begins.
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 10:07 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Having fun with the family doesn’t have to come at a cost.

The West End Mom has a great lineup of freebies as schools start to let out soon and summer begins.

The Ashland Theater has a monthly toddler takeover, typically on the second Saturday of each month from 10-11 a.m.

“They can walk around the theater, they can dance and move,” said Megan Ariail, The West End Mom. “And the programming has kid-friendly clips like sing-alongs,” including many Disney favorites.

Ariail says you might also consider local sports. Local colleges have NCAA sporting events that are not ticketed, so they’re free.

“You can easily spend $75 - $100 to go to a baseball game. Well, you can swing on over to University of Richmond and check out our Spiders baseball team for free. You can bring up a picnic lunch, you can explore the lake and walk around and you still get that full sporting event experience. Randolph-Macon also has free sporting events.”

Second Baptist Church in the West End off River and Gaskins roads hosts “We Praise,” a free, drop-in movement and music class. There’s no registration required.

“They offer a 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and a 6:15 p.m. (class). So it fits for even working families, our parents that have that typical nine-to-five work schedule,” Ariail said. “Not a lot of places offer activities in the evening, and this one’s free. How cool is that? It’s 45 minutes. And again, you get to meet families with kids who are around your child’s age.”

The Steward School offers a weekly program called Nature Play School. It’s free and is open 3:30-4:30 p.m. between Labor and Memorial Day.

After school, kids can get outside and learn or help with the community garden.

“And while she leads it and talks about it, it’s really open-ended, so the kids can work on their activity at their own space and explore nature at the same time,” said Ariail.

The Bunny Hive is a new hot spot for families and usually comes with a cost.

But every Friday at 3:30 p.m., The West End Mom says there’s a free class called Books n’ Bubbles.

It is capped at 10 families, so sign up if interested.

Home Depot and Lowe’s host monthly free workshops for kids and their families.

“Just know that if you’re going with younger kids, you know, two-year-old parents are going to have to be more hands-on,” said Ariail. “They work with real tools. So like a real hammer, real nails. So you’re the parents going to have to step in to work on that. But the staff at Home Depot has been wonderful. When I’ve taken the kids solo parenting, and they’ve helped me out.”

Finally, don’t forget your local library system. The West End mom says you can find Lego clubs, improv classes, and even zoo or Mad Science partnerships.

Visit for full details on all of these freebies and more!