Playing with blocks or watching movies at home can grow tiring when museums and recreation facilities are right in the neighborhood. If playing dress-up or building forts of blankets and pillows is no longer cutting it, have no fear, Mom; Henrico County in Virginia offers several indoor and outdoor recreation activities for kids. Pack the sunscreen and prepare for a fun day in the neighborhood.
Say hello to Three Lakes Park and Nature Center (no website; 400 Sausiluta Dr.; Richmond; 804-262-5055), located about 8 miles northeast of Henrico County. Three Lakes Park and Nature Center is home to a 50,000-gallon aquarium and several hands-on museum exhibits. While the museum is open year-round, its hours vary by season. If your schedule is busy, you can also drop your tyke off to participate in hiking or learn about natural wonders for a fee. Alternatively, pack the kids up for a trip to Meadow Farm Museum (no website; 3400 Mountain Rd.; Glen Allen; 804-501-2130). This historic farmhouse is open year-round and features costumed actors who demonstrate life in the 1860s South. Depending on the season, your tykes might make corn-husk dolls or learn about Thanksgiving traditions.
After a while, even the kids may yearn for a trip to the great outdoors. Lace up your tot's skates and take a trip to Laurel Skate Park (no website; 10301 Hungary Spring Rd.; Richmond), which features 6,700 square feet of space with ramps and rails. Admission is free and all skaters and bicyclists must wear protective gear. If Dad is eager for a golf game, you can also pack up the family for a trip to Glen Allen Golf (glenallengolf.com). In addition to regular golf, Glen Allen Golf offers mini golf, a driving range and batting cages.
On snowy or rainy days, going outdoors to play may mean more trouble than it's worth. Instead, take the kids to SkateNation Plus (skatenationplus.com) in Glen Allen to enjoy indoor skating or a few rounds of laser tag. The less adventurous can take a stroll through the historic Walkerton Tavern (no website; 2892 Mountain Rd.; Glen Allen; 804-261-6898). Built in the 1820s, Walkerton Tavern may have served as a field hospital during the Civil War. Tots can play with non-electric toys or investigate to learn more about Walkerton Tavern's history. Walkerton Tavern holds new events throughout the year.
Is it one of those laid-back days? Take a trip to Henrico Theatre (no website; 305 E. Nine Mile Rd.; Highland Springs; 804-328-4491) for some passive downtime. In addition to screening movies, Henrico Theatre also hosts plays, concerts and other performances. You can also take your tot for a stroll around the Dabbs House Museum (no website; 3812 Nine Mile Rd.; Richmond; 804-652-3406), located about 10 miles outside of Henrico County. Dabbs House Museum features exhibit galleries chronicling its history as Robert E. Lee's headquarters during the Civil War, as well as a gift shop.