1. Pandapas Pond. Make an easy loop around the pond and see how many birds, fish, salamanders, snakes and turtles you can spot.
2. Mountain Lake. Stroll the resort grounds, explore the landscape, play at the playground, and go for a short hike. Bald Knob is a great choice for young kids because it is short with a huge payoff. Treetop adventures is also a great way to build confidence and gel as a family while climbing, balancing and zip-lining together. There is a kid’s course and two adult courses, all varying in height and challenge levels.
3. Blacksburg Municipal Park (aka Hand N’ Hand Park aka “Caboose” Park aka the Aquatic Center aka the Skate Park…). Though it goes by many names, this park has one true mission and that is FUN! Make a splash at the indoor pool — which has a shallow graded entry for even the smallest of swimmers, scoot/skate/bike around the bowl, or just run and play at any of three awesome playgrounds.
4. Radford Planetarium. The planetarium presents shows with different themes all week and is the most fascinating way to learn about space outside our planet. While you’re in the area, check out the Museum of the Earth Sciences, too.
5. Sinkland Farms. You definitely want to pay attention to the calendar and bring the family to events like the Sunflower Festival and Pumpkin Festival. The entire fam will make lifelong memories. Delicious food, live music, games and rides (even horseback rides) keep you smiling all day long.
6. Wonder Universe. The exhibits at this children’s museum are brilliant, engaging and downright cool. This is not just a place for kids to play, it is a place for kids to explore how the world works.
7. Paint N’ Fun Ceramics. There is no better way to spend a calm, focused and relaxing afternoon with your child. This place has it covered (literally!), and all you need to do is show up and choose what to paint.
8. Bisset Park. Whether it’s tubing, riding around the new skate park, or just enjoying the playground, this park is the heart and soul of Radford.
9. Heritage Community Park and Natural Area. The walking paths are great, and there are huge hay bales to climb and jump. The designers of the kid’s area really hit it out of the park. Play in a life-sized bird house and write your name on it in chalk! Big place, 169 acres.
10. Price House Nature Center. Offering hands-on activities for kids to learn about all sorts of critters in the natural world, the center is every young child’s dream.
Some of the best places
for kids 11 and up, teens included!
1. Floyd Country Store. This old-timey hangout has live music often, and the Friday Night Jamboree is not to be missed! The Jamboree operates on “Granny’s Rules” – no smoking, no drinking alcohol, no bad language, and you will see people of all ages cutting it up on the dance floor.
2. Crimper’s Climbing. Going stir-crazy on a rainy day? Bring your kids here for an afternoon learning the ropes. Don’t forget to bring chalk!
3. Claytor Lake State Park. Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, hiking or just putting your toes in the sand at the beach area, nothing beats Claytor Lake when it comes to finding the perfect little family getaway.
4. Blacksburg Axe Throwing and Arcade. This place is perfect for older kids to “throw off some steam” and there are a ton of different arcade games. With affordable prices, it’s hard to beat when it comes to bang for your buck.
5. Xtreme Springs. What’s more fun than a trampoline park? I learned to do a front flip here at 40 years old! ‘Nuff said.
6. Gatewood Reservoir. Possibly one of those best-kept secrets in the New River Valley. Camp here or go for a day. Boat rentals, no motors, nice hiking, fishing, kayaking and picnicking.
7. Cox’s Golf Driving Range. This picturesque and laid-back spot is a great place to hit some balls or play a round of mini-golf. Fun games in the lobby area.
8. NRV Superbowl and Arcade. Getting the gang together for a night of bowling is always a good time, especially when you add good food and good music to the mix.
9. Winterfrost Farm or Skyline Stables. An unforgettable way to spend the day, with views of the Pete Dye Golf Course wrapping around the river, super friendly horses, and a jovial and knowledgeable guide who will teach you all about the local flora and fauna.
10. B&B Theatres / Arcade. What an incredible venue. This megaplex has games, bowling, state-of-the-art theatres and some of the best food in town.
Compiled by Emily K. Alberts, who highly recommends checking out these spots, even if you are kid-free! Remember, adulting doesn’t have to mean meeting for drinks. #thinkoutsidethebar♦ End