There is a lot to do in and around Fredericksburg, Virginia. Many tourist activities center on Fredericksburg’s Colonial and Civil war past. These also tend to be outdoors. If your family vacation lands you in town on a foul weather day, all is not lost. I’ve spent many cold and rainy days in Fredericksburg and there are plenty of ways to keep the kids entertained. Here are a few of my favorite kid-friendly inside activities.
One of our wintertime favorites, the Riverside Center Children’s Theatre is an excellent place to spend the morning. They offer kid-friendly shows and bag lunches every Saturday and additional performances on select Tuesdays and Thursdays. The dress code is casual; jeans, T-shirt, and sneakers are recommended. This is a place where children are encouraged to feel comfortable and enjoy the show. Performances start after lunch and they are around 90 minutes in length.
Admission is $16 and includes lunch and the show. Tickets must be reserved in advance.
The Bug Box is a small building but if you are driving by you won’t miss it. Inside they have organized the small space into an insect cornucopia packed full of fun and learning for all ages. Divided up into habits, they have live insects, spiders, crustaceans and amphibians on display in their insect zoo. The gift shop, The Hornets Nest, is full of bug related items. There is also a quiet area to color bug pictures and play Geo Safari or bug themed computer games. I’m just going to say it…the place is crawling with fun.
Admission is $2 per person.
If the school-age kids are climbing the walls and you need a break, Paragon Training Center offers an open gym on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons. Here the little monsters can literally climb the wall in their rock-climbing area, play supervised games, or try out the gymnastics equipment while you go and have a quiet dinner or enjoy a few hours of childfree shopping. They also offer a homeschool open gym from 1-4 on the first and third Friday of the month.
Open Gym Fee $10-$15 per child. Homeschool Open Gym $6 per child.
From a distance the logo for the Fredericksburg Ice Park looks a lot like a tooth. That’s why my children didn’t want to visit when they first opened. Who wants to visit a cold dentist? After explaining that the logo was a polar bear, they were all for it and we had a lot of fun teetering around the rink. Ice-skating is good exercise and a fun way to spend a few hours. I wish we had time to do it more often.
The Fredericksburg Ice Park has public skating seven days a week but times vary so you check the website or call ahead for the schedule. Rink Fees are $5 Monday-Friday morning, $8 Friday night-Sunday. Skate rental is $2.
Tucked on the corner behind a tree and sporting an unusual flag, Hugh Mercer’s Apothecary Shop is a step back in time. Dressed in period attire the assistant will suggest remedies for common ailments and show you the tools of the trade in the back room. If you’re lucky, they’ll have a fresh jar of leeches. Don’t forget to go upstairs and powder your wig when you are done.
Admission $5 adults, $1.50 Children 6-12, No charge for children under 6.
All photos by Sherry Roberts