An Afternoon of Fun in Richmond, VA
The capital city of Richmond, VA, in the center of the state where I-95 and I-64 converge, is a metro area with a ton of opportunities for fun-filled afternoons. We spent 10 months living here and have picked three of our favorite spots in Richmond that together make for one special day, plus a bonus for any overtaxed parents at the end of the day. 😉
Maymont Farm and Gardens
If the weather permits, we suggest you start your day at Maymont – a 100-acre estate on the banks of the James River in the middle of Richmond. Donated to the city by a wealthy couple, the Victorian mansion is a wonderful place for a tour, but we’ve found the Children’s Farm, the wildlife exhibits and the Japanese Gardens to be our favorite spots on the property. Early in the morning there’s lots of activity in the barn and farm areas. Pet the sheep, feed the chickens and watch the free-ranging peacocks display for the peahens. Make sure to wear your walking shoes – some of the paths are steep. Admission is free; donations suggested.
Mellow Mushroom in Carytown
Mellow Mushroom is a regional pizza chain with a local presence in the shopping district of Carytown near Byrd Park, Maymont, the Fan and Museum districts in downtown Richmond. Known for fantastic pizza, we were happy to learn that they have a gluten-free menu and stopped in for lunch during a day trip to Richmond. We enjoyed a couple of pepperoni pizzas with just about the perfect crust – even the GF version! Funky art on the walls was a visual delight and our wait staff was delightful. This is an easy <10 minute drive from either Maymont or the Science Museum, but parking can be a bear at any time along Cary Street so plan accordingly.
Science Museum of Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia is located in the old Broad Street train station just west of downtown Richmond, VA. The museum (directly next door to the Children’s Museum of Richmond) has ample parking and features an IMAX theater, live science exhibits, astronomy programming in The Dome and many specialized educational events and activities on a regular basis. Thanks to our $100 membership at the Science Museum of Virginia, we are members of the ASTC Passport Program which allows us free admission to over 300 science and technology centers worldwide. Otherwise, admission is free for under 4 and active duty military, $10 for kids 4-12 and seniors 60+ and $11 for 13 and up.
Center of the Universe Brewing Company
Technically in Ashland, VA, just north of the city of Richmond off of I-95, we found this little gem of a brewery while staying at the AmeriCamps campground next door. This brew pub serves up drafts and neighborhood pub atmosphere in pretty much the middle of nowhere – an otherwise industrial area off the side of a busy highway. But oh, do they do it well. Play a game of giant Jenga, lounge around the beer garden or have a sit at the bar. There’s no nosh served at Center of the Universe per se, but there are often food trucks parked out front with an agreement with COU. Don’t forget to bring your growler for a fill-up!