12 Fun Things to Do in Charlottesville with Kids

Charlottesville is renowned for its pleasant temperature, high-quality vegetables, excellent wine, rich history, and stunning scenery.

It is the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, two of America’s founding fathers, and is now known as the “Napa of the East Coast.”

Excellent dining options are abundant here.

It’s pretty cool.

But that’s not all.

Charlottesville may seem like a great vacation spot for young folks, but families will find much to do there.

Now things start to get exciting.

Are you prepared to plan the activities for your next family vacation?

Explore the city of Charlottesville right now and see all it has to offer.

  1. Monticello

Driving time from Charlottesville’s downtown to Thomas Jefferson’s magnificent Monticello is just 9 minutes.

Inherited from his father at age 26, America’s future young president began planning the inheritance.

Tourists and locals alike now consider touring the 5,000-acre mansion one of the city’s top recommendations for fun with the kids.

Why Your Family Should Go

Have you ever pondered the opulent lifestyles of world leaders like the President?

The Monticello is your chance to find out!

Young people significantly benefit from a trip to Monticello since it provides them with an interactive learning experience about the third president of the United States.

What to Do with Kids

Experience the splendor of Thomas Jefferson’s grand home by taking a tour.

The trips are relatively fast-paced, so even young children can keep up.

If you’re looking for something entertaining to do with your kids, consider the Family Scavenger Hunt.

When you exit, you and your loved ones can take in the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding your home.

Recommended Ages

It doesn’t matter how old you are. Monticello welcomes you.

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  1. University of Virginia

After conceptualizing the University of Virginia (UVA) in 1810, Thomas Jefferson officially founded it in 1819.

The 1,682-acre academy is recognized as a national historic landmark, a UNESCO world heritage site, and the most beautiful school campus in America.

Why Your Family Should Go

The renowned University of Virginia is one of the top places in Charlottesville to take children because it has won many awards.

The university is steeped in history and is also aesthetically pleasing.

Allow your loved ones to tour the campus and learn more about the institution’s rich history.

What to Do with Kids

Bringing your children to the University of Virginia is a great way to spend a free day in Charlottesville.

Teens and adults alike can benefit from being shown around UVA by guides who are both entertaining and well-versed in the history of the place.

However, the school grounds and gardens adjacent to the student housing will be a hit with children.

Then, on the way home, stop by “The Corner” behind the University and pick up some frozen yogurt from Arch for the kids.

Recommended Ages

Anyone of any age is invited to visit the University of Virginia.

  1. Carter Mountain Orchard

The 200-acre Carter Mountain Orchard opened in 1974 and welcomed visitors for seasonal fruit picking of its fresh, delectable fruit.

The country store and bakery sell delicious treats created with the farm’s fruits and vegetables and carry a variety of specialized foods.

Why Your Family Should Go

The Carter Mountain fruit farm is located just minutes from Monticello and directly behind Michie Tavern.

The orchard is full of apple blossoms in the spring and ripe peaches and nectarines in a rainbow of colors in the summer.

The plantation is covered in pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn in the fall.

Plan a trip to the Virginia countryside and stop by Carter Mountain Orchard anytime between mid-April and the end of the year.

What to Do with Kids

Are you trying to find local kid-friendly activities?

Bring the kids out for a day of fruit picking at Carter Mountain Orchard.

Don’t miss out on the fresh peach cider doughnuts, creamy ice cream, and cool cider slushies if you intend to visit throughout the summer.

There is a weekly party every Thursday night at the orchard, with tasty eats, drinks, and tunes.

Bring some food, and get ready to let loose and have a good time.

Recommended Ages

Everyone, from toddlers to senior citizens, is welcome to visit Carter Mountain Orchard and sample some of its delectable fruit and vegetables.

  1. Historic Downtown Mall

Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall lies right in the middle of the city.

It was East Main Street before it was remodeled into a pedestrian mall in 1976.

Restored and repaired buildings complement the mall’s red brick-paved pedestrian area.

About 120 businesses and 30 restaurants, including numerous outdoor cafes, are located on the Downtown Mall, spread out among the historic buildings that line the original Main Street.

Parking garages and lots are close, and a free trolley runs between the Downtown Mall and the University of Virginia along West Main Street, making a trip downtown convenient for tourists of all ages.

Why Your Family Should Go

The Historic Downtown Mall is a must-see on any visit to Charlottesville.

Stroll the eight blocks of the outdoor mall with the family and take in the rural atmosphere.

As a bonus, a free trolley service runs between the Downtown Mall and the University of Virginia, making it simple for families to make two separate journeys.

What to Do with Kids

Children will have a great time exploring the many sweets and toy businesses that line the Downtown Mall.

This shopping center has two movie theaters, an ice rink, street performances, a wide variety of food options, and much more.

The mall also features numerous high-quality cinemas where you may take your children to see a movie or play.

Recommended Ages

The Historic Downtown Mall in Charlottesville is an excellent place for people of all ages to spend the day.

  1. Rivanna River Company

Gabe and Sonya Silver, a local Charlottesville couple, established the first paddlesports outfitting business in 2015.

The company’s mission is to provide enjoyable trips for outdoor enthusiasts while teaching them the skills they need to enjoy the beautiful waters of the Rivanna safely.

Why Your Family Should Go

Any weekend plans as of yet?

It’s highly recommended that you dip in the Rivanna River while in Charlottesville.

From its source 46 miles downstream, the Rivanna meanders through a pristine wilderness that is likely to captivate your senses and renew your spirit.

What to Do with Kids

In search of a teen-friendly activity?

Give them a rush with a rapid descent on the Rivanna.

Learn the ecology and history of the Rivanna River as you navigate its rapids and steep ledges.

Recommended Ages

Paddling through the Rivanna is recommended for teenagers to adults.

However, everyone who wants to go on a downriver excursion must be at least six years old.

Parents know their children best and are in the best position to determine whether or not they should join the paddling excursion.

  1. Virginia Discovery Museum

The Virginia Discovery Museum opened its doors to the public in 1981 as a traveling exhibit. Since then, it has provided local youngsters with engaging and informative hands-on exhibits.

In 1990, the museum moved to its current location on the historic mall in the heart of downtown Charlottesville.

Why Your Family Should Go

The Virginia Discovery Museum is a fantastic option for families looking for things to do in Charlottesville with children.

The museum’s interactive exhibits and galleries will make learning entertaining for your kids.

Observe them as they explore spaces recreated to look exactly like the real world, stimulating their imagination and encouraging intellectual growth.

What to Do with Kids

Bring the kids to the Discovery Farm to see how food is grown and delivered.

The game’s goals are to instill an appreciation for farming and the natural world and understand the breadth of food produced from a single plot of land.

Recommended Ages

Children as young as neonates and as old as eight should enjoy a visit to the Virginia Discovery Museum.

  1. Unlocked History Escape Rooms

While Phil and Miracle Riese were traveling in Europe in 2010, the idea to turn their escape room experience into a business came to them.

The thrilling escape rooms at Unlocked History present players with a mystery they must unravel by sifting through various puzzles, riddles, hints, and clues.

The escape room, which opened in May 2018, places players in the role of the “primary character,” allowing them to decide how to proceed.

Why Your Family Should Go

Visiting Unlocked History Escape Rooms in Charlottesville is one of the most original and enjoyable activities to do with kids in the city.

Wake up the brain cells by solving secrets hidden in the city’s literary and historical past.

Your kids may improve their problem-solving, reasoning, and teamwork skills while having fun playing a game.

What to Do with Kids

Take the youngsters to the “The British Are Coming” escape room.

The Thomas Jefferson-centered adventure game is appropriate for kids of all ages.

See Thomas Jefferson and his family make it through the Revolutionary War unscathed, and you might be able to help them evade the British.

Recommended Ages

All ages can enjoy the “British Are Coming” escape room. However, the “Raven” room is best left to those 13 and up owing to its frightening undertones.

  1. Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is one of Charlottesville’s many gems; it stretches over almost 100 miles and features a wide variety of natural wonders, including roaring waterfalls, expansive meadows of wildflowers, astounding panoramas, and quiet woodland hollows.

About 200,000 acres of protected land can be found only 75 miles from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C.

Why Your Family Should Go

Shenandoah National Park, literal heaven on Earth, is a must-see for any family visiting Charlottesville.

Are there any adrenaline-filled bodies in your family?

They must see Old Rag Mountain, the most well-known attraction in the park.

Anyone can feel like they’re on top of the world after participating in the thrilling rock climbing and taking in the breathtaking vistas.

What to Do with Kids

Looking for family-friendly activities in Charlottesville?

There’s a simple solution to that.

Get them out to Shenandoah.

Outdoor pursuits like hiking, biking, birdwatching, fishing, and horseback riding are available for kids.

Then, after a long day of exploring, choose a scenic area in the Big Meadows to enjoy a picnic dinner and relax before coming home.

Recommended Ages

Visitors of all ages can find something to do and see in Shenandoah National Park.

  1. Michie Tavern

The renowned Michie Tavern may be found only a half-mile away from Monticello.

The Southern Midday Fare restaurant is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Its servers dress in period garb to give diners “a taste of the 18th century.”

Visitors are given an authentic taste of southern hospitality as they are treated to mouthwatering southern cuisine.

Why Your Family Should Go

Enjoy a traditional 18th-century lunch buffet with your loved ones, complete with hickory-smoked pork barbecue, southern fried chicken, stewed tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and more.

The Michie Tavern Biscuits are not to be missed, either.

What to Do with Kids

After lunch, you and the kids can explore the four specialty shops surrounding the pub.

Look about the Blacksmith’s Shop, the Artisan’s Shop, the Tavern Shop, and the General Store.

Pick up a keepsake to recall your fantastic meal at Michie Tavern.

Recommended Ages

The Michie Tavern is an all-ages establishment.

  1. Massanutten Indoor Water Park

Massanutten Water Park’s 4-story dome may be seen from Adventure Drive.

There are water slides, pools, water forts, and a lazy river to float down.

FlowRider, the state’s first and largest surf simulator, can be found at this water park.

Why Your Family Should Go

Massanutten Indoor Water Park has many great activities for kids of all ages.

The Massanutten Meltdown is the show’s main attraction and will appeal to young people of both sexes.

This gigantic water park features a tipping bucket, five water slides, and a waterfall.

On its three platforms, children may play and splash for hours.

What to Do with Kids

A trip to Massanutten Water Park is an excellent option if you’re looking for activities to do in Charlottesville with toddlers.

Please bring your infants and toddlers to the Frog Pond.

Swings, sprinklers, and a frog’s tongue that leads to a pool about 12 inches deep are sure to be big hits with the neighborhood’s youngest residents.

Recommended Ages

Massanutten Indoor Water Park pools are open to families with children of all ages.

  1. Bodo’s Bagels

Founded in 1988 by Brian Fox, Bodo’s Bagels is a chain of three bagel stores in Charlottesville that claims to serve “genuine New York water bagels.”

The bagels at Bodo’s are baked continuously throughout the day to guarantee that each one is still warm and fresh when it reaches the client.

All three stores, located on Emmet Street, Preston Avenue, and The Corner, sell boiled bagels before being baked from scratch.

Why Your Family Should Go

For Charlottesville natives, Bodo’s is a must-have.

Its three chains may collectively provide daily nourishment for around six thousand people.

Obtain some delicious bagels, as the locals do.

The music played at Bodo stores is integral to the store culture.

Fox, the chain’s original owner, selected each of the 1,600 songs currently being played on a continuous loop.

Bagels aside, Bodo’s is a must-visit for any fan of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, or Van Morrison.

What to Do with Kids

Just get some bagels like everyone else.

Pick from options like basic, sesame, poppy, or onion.

You can choose from several types of cream cheese, including essential, Neufchâtel, flavored, and Lox Spread.

Their menu provides limitless custom bagel options.

Find out which of your order permutations works best by trying a few.

Recommended Ages

Customers of all ages are welcome at Bodo’s Bagels.

  1. Charlottesville City Market

Every Saturday from 7 AM to 12 PM (April through December), local farmers, food sellers, crafters, and artisans gather at the Charlottesville City Market to sell their wares to the public.

You can buy everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to grass-fed beef to freshly baked goodies at the market.

Why Your Family Should Go

Imagine this: it’s a Saturday morning, and you and your family are on the hunt for some inexpensive entertainment.

Visit the City Market in Charlottesville with the kids and see what treats you can get for the whole family.

Visit local farms and eateries while on vacation in Charlottesville to get an authentic taste of the city.

In addition, this is an excellent chance for kids to try new foods and develop a more discerning palate.

What to Do with Kids

You and your family are visiting Charlottesville and need ideas for things to do.

Enjoy some fresh fruit pies and scones made with all-natural ingredients at Family Pies and Ties at the farmer’s market.

In addition, Gaona Granola is the place to go for delicious granola bars when you’re in a pinch and need something to feed your children.

Recommended Ages

Charlottesville’s City Market welcomes visitors of all ages and is a great place to take the kids.

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