Activities in Charlottesville

Select Local Merchants

Virginia Discovery Museum delights kids with interactive exhibits. For example, at a miniature Panera Bread stocked with toy food, tots can don real Panera aprons and take orders. They also pick fruit in an interactive play orchard, and go back in time and play in a log cabin from the 1700?s. For a brush with real nature, they can even observe bee behavior at the museum's enclosed hive.

524 E Main St
Charlottesville,
VA
US

First Colony Winery celebrates the history and heritage of local viniculture by crafting a cellar’s worth of European-style wines. After sampling from their selection of eight ambrosias—including a tropical seyval blanc and full-bodied tannat—amid the exposed wood beams and checkerboard floors of the elegant tasting room, corral a full glass of your favorite varietal and venture onto the covered patio to savor views of sun-soaked hills while gargling the intricate melodies from Dvorak's New World symphony. Guests then go home with a pair of branded souvenir wine glasses with which they can use as drink vessels at home or as miniature hot tubs for over-indulged troll dolls.

1650 Harris Creek Rd
Charlottesville,
VA
US

We are a full-scope ballroom dance studio catering largely to a social dancing clientele in and around Charlottesville. We offer group and private instruction, with opportunities for competition and showdance performance.

2123 Berkmar Drive
Charlottesville,
VA
US

Dancers at Shergold Studio can try out social styles such as merengue, samba, and line dance or strengthen seductive muscles in exotic-fitness dance classes. Friday's Basic Beginner Social Dance classes teach tyros fundamental steps in a smorgasbord of styles such as swing, foxtrot, salsa, or touchdown victory dances. Alternately, attend a Tuesday Beginner Samba class to taste-test the dance's Brazilian flavors, or hone hoedown skills at the Wednesday Beginner Line Dance session. Gyrators age 11–18 can also strut their stuff in specialized teen and preteen classes. Consult the social-dance schedule for more information.

652 Rio Rd W
Charlottesville,
VA
US

Jimmy Crews, Roger Nelson, and Stephanie Tyson grew up on the James River, paddling along its tree-lined banks to find the most scenic spots and best fishing holes. Now the masterminds behind Howardsville Canoe Livery, the trio outfits outdoorsmen for their own explorations by renting tubes, 10’ Perception Pescador kayaks, and 16’ Old Town Camper canoes. Most trips go down the James River, though adventurers can also explore the Rockfish and Tye Rivers when water levels permit. Abundant wildlife roams the banks, including the occasional bald eagle. Though trips are self-guided, one of the livery’s team members can join groups for a guided tour, narrating in the group’s choice of accent about the rivers’ rich history, geography, geology, and fishing spots. Though all trips include shuttle service, staff can also give a lift to those who already own a tube, kayak, or canoe.

292 Logan Rd
Scottsville,
VA
US

Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, evolved with him as he followed his storied career path, from author of the Declaration of Independence to third president of the United States. The home's evolution was quite literal: Jefferson had it constantly redesigned and rebuilt over the course of more than four decades. Today, the neoclassical mansion and its lush gardens, situated on 2,500 acres of Jefferson's plantation, remain perfectly preserved and open to the public. As they tour the premises, visitors learn about Jefferson's role in history, from his early days in Virginia's government to his key role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Along the way, they pick up fun historical factoids, too, such as Jefferson's preferred dinnertime?3 p.m.

931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy.
Charlottesville,
Virginia
US