Spring is nearing and besides cleaning your home, how about taking the family out for an adventure? Virginia has some of the best-themed parks around. So, whether you live here or are planning a road trip, be sure to add one (or all) to your list.
See Also: 5 Fun Things to Do in Hampton Roads
Having been voted as one of the world’s most beautiful theme parks since 1990, we’ll start with Bush Gardens. Amongst other awards, include Cleanest Park and Best Food. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is more than just a garden; it’s an entertaining theme park as well. They’ve frequently been voted in top 10 and top 25 categories of a variety of amusement park votes.
Bush Gardens is conveniently located in Williamsburg, Virginia and is not far from Williamsburg’s historic center. The landscaping alone has people coming from all across the country to see. Some featured roller coasters and rides include:
- InvadR (Opening April 7, 2017)
- Apollo’s Chariot
- Loch Ness Monster
You’ll also find this is an amazingly designed park with what they call KIDsiderate Attractions. You’ll find icons about letting you know which attraction is for young tikes.
There are also show’s you can catch, including All For One, Celtic Fyre, Elmo Rocks!, Mix it Up!, OktoberZest, and Sunny Days Celebration. Bush Gardens has events all year round as well including their Jack Hanna Weekend, Food & Wine Festival, Fireworks Spectacular, Bier Fest, Howl-O-Scream, and Christmas Town.
I love going here and was a season pass holder for about three years. It’s fun to go alone or take the entire family. The best part is this park has something for everyone regardless of your age.
Water Country USA
Also in Williamsburg, you’ll find not too far from Bush Gardens is Water Country USA. And just as the name indicates, this is one of the best water parks in the United States. Another amazing feature of Water Country USA is that it is almost as beautiful as Bush Gardens. The flowerbeds and trees are manicured perfectly! It’s set up with fun 50’s and 60’s themes throughout the park as well.
A few key attractions to check out at Water Country USA include:
- Jet Scream
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Island
- Wild Thang
- H2O UFO
- Kritter Korral
- Hubba Hubba Highway
- Surfer’s Bay Wave Pool
A newly added ride is the Colossal Curl. This is for kids and adults who want to enjoy an amazing funnel water slide ride. You’ll need to climb 108 stairs up the 67.5-foot tower to get ready for this ride. After venturing through the tunnel, you’ll glide through tubes that whisk you up well above the park.
The boys and I enjoy going here during hot days in the summer. It’s the perfect place to spend a couple of hours having fun while also being cool. The tip is to make sure that you go early, however, because they do seem to get to capacity a lot. Thankfully, since they are around the corner from Busch Gardens if they are at capacity you can still explore some water fun over at Busch Gardens.
Not far from Washington DC and just shy of 20 miles north of Richmond, Virginia you’ll run into Kings Dominion. With over 60 attractions there is always something fun and exciting to do. Kids always flock towards Planet Snoopy, which is the largest children’s area in the market and has the most rides that you can enjoy together as a family. This year they are expanding this 14-acre kids area with three new family thrill rides including Kite Eating Tree, Sally’s Sea Plane, and Peanuts 500. Kings Dominion also has some great food and restaurants throughout the park, so you’ll never be hungry.
Grab a cabana at Kings Dominion. You can rest in a shaded environment ranging in sizes from 10’ x 10’ to 25′ x 35′.
A few key places to ensure you visit include their 20-acre water park – Soak City. Also, Delirium is a ride that rotates and swings, much like a pendulum. A few other rides and events to check out include:
- Planet Snoopy
- Flight of Fear
- Great Pumpkin Coaster
- Rebel Yell
- Charlie Brown’s Jungle Journey
- Kings Dominion Clown Band
- Turn It Up!
- Dinosaurs Alive!
I personally look at Kings Dominion as a family park. The only time that I go is with the boys and they have a blast, not to mention that they are out like a light once we get home. It’s a fun way to spend the day. I have been there twice and I still haven’t done everything in the park, so it never gets old.
The best part is Kings Dominion has a Pre-K Pass, which is for kids ages 3-5. It’s basically a free season pass that grants admission for the entirety of the 2017 season! But, you must get one before April 30th.
Splash Down Water Park
Located in Northern Virginia, you and your family must visit Splash Down Water Park. This park contains 13 acres of water slides, lazy rivers, children’s swimming pools, sand, and adventure walks. Being operated by the County’s Parks and Recreation department there is always a host of activities to enjoy. Some include:
- Swim lessons
- Pavilion rentals
- Birthday parties
- Mommy Mondays
- Thursday Splash ‘N Play
So, if you’re in the Virginia area and want to find something to do for the entire family, one of these four above theme parks should be on your list.
What theme park are you planning to take your family to this spring?