Charles Town is surrounding by natural beauty ready to be explored.

Family Activities Near Charles Town, West Virginia

by Jane Rodda

Named after the brother of the first president, Charles Washington, Charles Town, West Virginia is an historic treasure attracting visitors regularly. It is just a little over an hour's drive from Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, and families can find plenty of things to do in the area around Charles Town. Preservation of many historical buildings along with additional modern attractions nearby makes it a fun place to visit.

Museums and Historical Sites

The Jefferson County Museum is in the heart of the historic downtown district of Charles Town. It offers a wide array of artifacts that span from the early years of the Native Americans up to World War II. Families can see old military uniforms, antique toys, Civil War relics, fine china and silver and much more. Eight miles from Charles Town is Harpers Ferry Historical Park. Harpers Ferry has played a significant role in history including the arrival of the first successful American railroad. Visitors can tour the streets, hike the trails and go on a ranger-guided tour of the town.

Fun Centers

For bowling fun in Charles Town, you can go to Shenandoah Lanes. It has 10 lanes with cosmic bowling and a restaurant. Just 13 miles west of Charles Town in Inwood, you and the family can enjoy JayDee's Family Fun Center. It has a water park complete with slides, splash pads and spray toys, an arcade with dozens of game options, a nature center with hands-on exhibits, a jungle gym, go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages and a mining station. For a fun skating option, 20 miles to the south of Charles Town is the Winchester Skating and Family Fun Center. Along with a large hardwood floor for roller-skating, it has an arcade, pool tables and a snack bar.

Outdoor Adventure

Pony To Go could be an excellent place to spend the day with the family. Located 10 miles from Charles Town in Berryville, it features pony rides, horse rides, a petting zoo and farm tours. It has a program called "Trail Rides on the Ranch," where you can go on a horseback ride, a hayride, tour the farm and see all the animals, and then relax around the bonfire. Harpers Ferry Adventure Center in Harpers Ferry provides a large selection of outdoor activities ideal for families. You can tube, kayak or canoe down the river, go on a fishing trip, zip line through the trees, hike and camp.


Charles Town operates three city parks for your enjoyment. Evitts Run Park features a basketball court, picnic pavilions, playground equipment, fishing areas and lots of open space. Willingham Knolls Park has 66 acres of preserved land with walking trails and bridges for hiking. Jefferson Memorial Park has over 11 acres of space with playgrounds, picnic areas, playing courts, green space and an outdoor public pool. If you have kids who like skateboarding, Charles Town also has a skate park with half-pipes, rails and ramps aimed to please skating enthusiasts.

About the Author

Jane Rodda has been a writer since 2004, with articles featured in "Gameday Magazine" and "Urban Family Magazine." She is also the social media director and lead copywriter for a piano instruction website. Rodda holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with a concentration in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Photo Credits

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