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Things To Do With Kids in Charlottesville

Rolling hills, historic statues, and the stately University of Virginia campus are all highlights of this Virginia city. Two U.S. presidents called Charlottesville home, and families are able to tour Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and James Monroe’s Highland estate to see how they lived. Charlottesville visitors can expect to find apple-picking, amusement parks, and art galleries around every corner. Here are the best ways to enjoy a family vacation near Charlottesville.

Can’t-miss activities near Charlottesville include thrilling roller coasters and beautifully preserved historic sites. Enjoy all that this colonial town has to offer by exploring the following popular attractions:

  • Bring the family to Muse Paintbar and create group painting together
  • Book a tour of James Monroe’s Highland estate to see how Americans lived in the early 19th century
  • Ride the roller coasters or visit the kids coasters at Kings Dominion amusement park
  • Find out whether you have what it takes for international espionage at the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C.
  • Put your way through a rocket ship, a dinosaur, and a castle with a game of minigolf at Glowgolf

There is fun to be explored around every wooded bend in this city. Browse local vendors at the farmers market and then picnic on the grass while the kids play nearby. Try these relaxing family-friendly activities in Charlottesville:

  • Browse fresh produce and local vendors at the City Market Farmers Market
  • Dine with the family at Michie’s Tavern, where kids under 6 eat free
  • Wander the orchards for fresh peaches at Chiles Peach Orchard
  • Fly down the waterslide at Massanutten Resort Pool
  • Spend a night picnicing on the grass while enjoying live music at Horton Vineyards

Charlottesville makes for an affordable vacation destination with its many picturesque monuments, museums, and local wildlife. Here are a few of the most notable ways to enjoy this Virginia city for an affordable price:

  • Shop until you drop while you explore the Downtown Walking Mall
  • Ride the merry-go-round at Forest Hills Park
  • Visit Bees and Trees Farm to sample local honey and shop for fresh angus beef
  • Celebrate the trees in bloom at the Dogwood Festival if you visit during the Spring
  • Assist with a carpentry project at the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center

Young adventurers will find plenty to discover in Charlottesville. Between day camps, basketball tournaments, and outdoor fun, young toddlers and teens will both enjoy their time here. Try these kid-friendly activities:

  • Learn how to ride horses in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Oakland Heights Farm
  • Allow the kids to run free and play with others at The Little Gym
  • Play basketball during family hours or swim at the waterpark at ACAC Fitness & Wellness Adventure
  • Listen to a thrilling story during storytime at Jefferson-Madison Regional Library

If a group outing is on the schedule, try exploring one of Charlottesville’s many parks or swimming at the aquatic center. Here are great ways to explore the city with a group:

  • Visit the UVA Corner Petting Zoo on the lawn at the University of Virginia
  • Explore 14 acres of grassy hillside at Greenleaf Park
  • Bring the group for a swim at Onesty Family Aquatic Center at Meade Park
  • Compete for 1st place on the track at Fastrax go-karting, mini-golf, and batting cages
  • Share the popcorn while watching a blockbuster at Goochland Drive-In Theater

Charlottesville practically exists to show families how to have a good time while learning something new. Visit one of the city’s many museums and discover Virginia’s rich history, past, and present. Check out these educational activities for kids:

  • Visit the Griffin Discovery Room inside Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for hands-on exhibits of his inventions
  • Explore the Amazing Airways exhibit at the Virginia Discovery Museum to learn how airflow works
  • Spend a night learning about the stars with Dark Skies Bright Kids
  • Check out the inflatable jumpers or paint a masterpiece at BOUNCE Play-n-Create
  • Explore the caboose of a train and learn how a railroad functions at the Durbin Greenbrier Valley Railroad

Strap on some protective gear and ready the blowtorches! This city offers kids the chance to make their own glass figurines and fire their own pottery, amongst other maker-oriented classes. Browse creative activities and performing arts classes in Charlottesville below:

  • See how glass masterpieces are made at the Glass Palette
  • Paint your own pottery at Lazy Daisy Ceramics
  • Learn the essentials of drawing with a kids class at McGuffey Arts Center
  • Felt your own stuffed animal at Magpie Knits
  • Attend a drop-in class at New City Arts and Crafts to learn about drawing and painting

On rainy days, head to the toy shop or pretend the sun is shining at the indoor water park. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy Charlottesville indoors:

  • Explore the water fortress inside the Massanutten Indoor Waterpark before flying down the waterslide
  • Discover exciting new games and toys at Shenanigans Toy Store
  • Split into teams and compete against one another AMF Kegler’s Bowling Lanes
  • Glide across the ice at Main St. Arena Skating
  • Ascend to the top of the wall inside Rocky Top Climbing Gym