Get outside and explore Richmond with these kid-friendly ideas that even you will enjoy this spring break!Spring break is just around the corner. But if you’re a parent with young children, spring break may sound just a tad formidable, since you'll soon be tasked with coming up with fun and entertaining activities to keep your kids from driving you crazy! Going to the local park and watching PBS Kids can get real old, real fast, so here are some fun outside activities you can do around Richmond that are guaranteed to entertain you just as much as your kiddos! Voted as one of the nation’s best botanical gardens by USA Today, Lewis Ginter makes for a wonderful spring outing that both you and your kids will enjoy. The Butterflies Live! Exhibit begins on April 6, and if you haven’t been before, it's definitely worth your time! In this indoor exhibit, hundreds of tropical butterflies flutter around as you learn all about their life cycles. When you’re not being surrounded by colorful butterflies, take in the beauty of nearly 50 acres of floral garden scenery, which includes a garden built specifically for kids. If you’re trying to instill a love of the outdoors in your kids, this is the way to do it. While the James River Park System is rather large, the two most kid-friendly spots are Belle Isle and Pony Pasture. Both areas are easily accessible, relatively clean, and always lively. The best time to go is during the week to avoid the weekend madness. If it’s warm enough, hanging out on the river rocks is fun, given that your kids are old enough to handle not falling into the water. If it’s chillier, simply hiking around and exploring nature will satisfy any young adventurer.
This tried and true spot is a classic for a reason. Maymont Park is right in the middle of the city, but upon entering, you feel as if you're far from any urban life. The wildlife exhibits are always impressive (Maymont is the only place in the city you can see bears, bison, and bobcats all in the same place), and the Maymont farm is a guaranteed good time. Bring some quarters for the animal feed machine, and let your kids have at it. There are goats, sheep, pigs, cows, and other farm animals, and most are ok to pet. Besides having a variety of things to do and see, Maymont is free (there is a $5 suggested donation), and you can easily spend an entire day there. And just as an added bonus, Maymont is having what they call “Spring Break Week” April 1-8, where they host a long list of family-friendly events and activities. I’m not sure if this qualifies as “outdoorsy,” but when the weather is nice, there’s nothing I like to do more than take a stroll down Cary Street. There are plenty of kid-friendly stops to check out, such as World of Mirth, BBGB Books, Bev’s Ice Cream, and Rocket Fizz (candy store that also sells uniquely flavored sodas). At the very end of Cary Street is Cartwheels and Coffee, a coffee shop/indoor playground that hosts events every weekday morning at 10 a.m. Check out their website for more for more on their weekly events. What fun things are you planning to do with your kids this spring break? Let us know in the comments below!