Friday, March 7, 2008

Day tripper...

Looking for something to do with the kids that is new and different? Here are some of our favorite day get-aways:

Gypsy Hill park in Staunton. My all time favorite park to spend a spring (with the little ducks) or summer (when they're running the kiddie trains) or fall day (with the gorgeous Birch and Maple and Evergreens). I love visiting the pond and then playing in the park, complete with climbing wall and standing teeter/totter. I still don't know why Charlottesville doesn't have something similar. You can even take the train over there from May to October (but I haven't heard the official word yet this year)

Scottsville. I believe Scoops went out of business. But I'm pretty sure you can get a scoop of ice-cream at one of the downtown shops!

Maymont Park in Richmond
This is an absolutely gorgeous destination for communing with century old trees or taking an extended walk or feeding the barn animals. ("Barn days" are happening each Sunday from March 30-April 20 and "Herbs Galore" happens at the end of April).

Richmond's Children's Museum (
Gotta love that bigger than life-size mouth and the digestive sounds in stereo!

Richmond's Science Museum
It was too young for our kids last time we went down, but we must return now that they're older.

Richmond's Brave baseball game
I'm partial to kicking back and watching this American pasttime with the kids on a lazy Sunday (just avoid all the plastic bottles and bring your own).

DC Zoo.
Say what you will about some zoos in the US, but this is an amazing resource for understanding and connecting with animals and their ecosystems. Personally, I am more inspired to examine my impact as a human after I spend a few hours in the presence of the newborn elephant, the mommy giraffe, or my new favorite: the large and lazy Hippo (we nicknamed Lumbegga).

Two years ago the national zoo took a leadership role in conservation by drafting the "Conservation Biology Plan." They believe that "the impact of our science can be greatly amplified through professional training in conservation biology and through public education and outreach to inspire others to care for the world’s biological diversity."

So take a car-full of curious to the furthest metro stop, park, and ride the metro in to the Woodley/Park stop, and enjoy. A nice a la carte item: the beautifully diverse, truly American crowd of young and old, every race and religion.

DC Smithsonian museums.
It's hard to take in just one on a day trip, but they are wonderful and FREE (unlike many other similar museums around the world)

Lynchburg's Amazement Square.
Dine in an old train station by the river after you play for a few hours at the four level at this play place geared for kids 6 and under.

Take a day trip and report back to Betty!

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