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Day Trippin'

Jun 13, 2024 10:24AM ● By Brandi Centolanza

Looking for some summer fun without the hassle of packing a suitcase or enduring a long car ride or a trip to the airport? Consider visiting one of these locales all within an easy drive of Fredericksburg that offer up plenty of family fun.




Sure, Williamsburg is home to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, but other adventures also await for all you thrill seekers. Go Ape! (

boasts a variety of treetop ziplining experiences for all ages, as well as axe throwing and an outdoor escape room attraction called Forest EscAPE. Go Ape! is located within Freedom Park, which features a botanical garden, picnic area, and hiking and mountain biking trails.


This summer, Go-Karts Plus (, another amusement park in Williamsburg, will open a new elevated go-kart track called Skyline Speedway. The park also has other amusement rides, including bumper cars and bumper boats, as well as a mini golf course, gem panning, a toddler play area, and an arcade.


History buffs, of course, can check out Jamestown Settlement ( or Colonial Williamsburg (, which both offer a variety of summer programming. Families can grab a slice of pizza at Mellow Mushroom in downtown Williamsburg after stepping back in time for a day or head next door to Precarious Beer Hall, where moms and dads can sip a pint while the kids enjoy the hall’s arcade games and pinball machines.




Richmond has plenty of opportunities for families to soak in both flora and fauna this summer. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden ( is home to a plethora of plants and flowers, as well as a children’s garden with a tree house, climbing trees, and a splash pad. Meanwhile, families can also stroll the grounds of historic Maymont Park ( Maymont features several gardens and an arboretum, or visitors can check out animals, which can be found at the nature center, at the farm, or in the wildlife habitats. The wildlife habitats include bison, black bears, elk, bobcats, deer, a red fox, and numerous birds. Richmond also has a zoo ( On a hot summer day, head indoors and check out the exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Richmond ( or the Science Museum of Virginia ( Budding scientists can discover what lies beneath the skin at Body Worlds: The Anatomy of Happiness, a new exhibit that opened at the science museum in May.






Carter Mountain Orchard ( in Charlottesville is a popular destination in the fall for apple picking, but there is plenty of fun to be had in the summer too. Families can pick their own peaches during the summer months. Carter Mountain also has live music and food trucks at sunset on Thursday evenings through September, as well as children’s education programs on Monday and Tuesday mornings that include storytime and a craft. Additionally, Charlottesville is home to another historic attraction, Monticello (, and the children’s museum Virginia Discovery Museum (

Charlottesville is not far from Shenandoah National Park, where families can spend the day outside hiking, picnicking, and admiring the spectacular scenery and wildlife from afar.






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