Originally built in the 1760s, the 645-acre Belvedere Plantation hosts the yearly Harvest Festival each October, filling weekends with family-fun attractions ranging from pumpkin patches to hayrides. Eight acres of cornfield are sculpted into a NASA-themed maze, inspiring brave farmstronauts to venture into uncharted territory. Adrenaline pumps through the veins of onlookers observing pig races, while turbo-charged pedal tractors thrill speed seekers. A double slide stretches out to 100 feet, whisking human missiles through space and time, as amiable goats, chickens, pigs, and turkeys look on with a been-there, done-that nonchalance.
In 2009, The New York Times named The Camel Richmond's "premier venue" for "up-and-coming Southern rock and bluegrass bands, acoustic singer-songwriters, and jazz and funk musicians." So far, nothing's changed: The Camel still hosts local and nationally touring acts such as Ben Kweller and James McCartney, who, unlike his father, has never toured with a band named after icky bugs. But even though it's lauded for providing live music seven nights a week, The Camel makes a space for all art, including occasional film screenings.
Like its entertainment lineup, The Camel's cuisine is an eclectic mix of American flavors. The culinary team, lead by executive chef Xavier Beverly, whips up gourmet vegan risottos, grills fresh seafood, and tops flatbreads with spinach, mushrooms, and hummus. But they also keep things casual with finger foods such as the popular sausage stars and housemade beef burgers crowned with horseradish mayo. Served until 2 a.m. nightly, each dish can be paired with local or craft beers, which fill the 28 taps lining The Camel's exposed brick wall.
The Camel is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.
Located in the historic Shockoe Bottom district, longtime venue Hat Factory plays host to an extensive variety of live entertainment. For 13 days in October, the club morphs into Fear Factory, a ghoulishly gleeful haunted house spotlighting themed events every night. Scare-seekers may glimpse the spirit of clown Thurman "Laughing Man" Ray, whose undeadness adds a chilling layer to a seemingly innocent profession. The eerie extravaganza commences on Tuesday, October 19 with a special Halloween edition of the club's popular RVAlution with Dave Nada, a study in social interaction co-chaired by live performers and professional DJs. The Massacre-ade Ball on Saturday, October 30 provides the perfect excuse to wear that plainclothes police officer costume you've been storing all these years. The visually inclined can experience the spine-tingling Fear Factory teaser video here.
The Barksdale Theatre puts on professional productions with the intimate and historic Hanover Tavern. Dan Goggin’s Nunsense details the fundraising efforts of the little sisters of Hoboken, who need cash to bury fallen sisters poisoned by the convent cook. This screwball comedy has been outfitted with new jokes, new lyrics, a brand-new song, and a snazzy new bouffant hairdo for the Hanover Tavern stage. Check the schedule for show times. As musical theater is a dish best served alongside edible dishes, reservations for brunch and dinner in the Tavern’s old dining rooms are available separately and offered prior to performances.
With its snaking, soaring caves, Shenandoah Caverns has amazed visitors since its opening to the public in 1922. Rushing waters and violent earthquakes formed the the caverns, which have given it a unique geology and mesmerizing crystalline structures. In an hour-long tour, you'll weave you past intricate formations, such as "breakfast bacon" limestone, a unique phenomenon that was once featured in National Geographic, and the rainbow lake, with its reflective purple, pink, and red hues and leprechaun colony. The caverns are kept at a comfortable 56 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, and elevators and easy-to-traverse terrain make the area accessible to people of any age or physical ability.