Free Things to Do With the Family in the River Realm
Ready to get out of the house and do some exploring? If you aren’t, then the kids are! Good thing out here in the River Realm, there are so many creative and refreshing ways to move your body, breathe in fresh air, and see something new. We can stay busy with the family for days out here. When you head out for some family fun, you don’t always have to open your wallet. Our museums, small towns, marinas and even restaurants have many options to explore and have fun.
A Day at the Museum
The River Realm is a treasure trove of history. Many moments that took place here aren’t in the standard text book, but you can see them up close and personal in our region’s museums. Some of our museums include the Kilmarnock Museum, Deltaville Maritime Museum, Museums of Middlesex, Morattico Waterfront Museum, and Steamboat Era Museum.
Inside each one, you’ll find interactive displays and artifacts about the first settlers, boat building, oysters, and more. Some museums like the Deltaville Maritime Museum, offer outdoor activities, as well. Here you and your family can also take a walk through the Holly Point Nature Park, bring a picnic and play in the Children’s Garden, or fish off the docks. Urbanna has a “Museum in the Streets” element, so you can explore the town’s history on foot.
Go on a LOVE Scavenger Hunt
If there isn’t love infused into your travels, you’re doing it wrong. Take a ride through the River Realm and get a collection of the perfect shots with our LOVE Works signs. Speckled throughout the region are big LOVE signs that celebrate our history, heritage, and natural habitat. Others are located are marinas, parks, and other scenic spots. Get our full blog post about the Love Signs here.
Sitting on the Dock at the Marina
Time slows down on the dock of one of our 22 marinas. Grab fishing poles, a blanket, and some snacks. Settle in to watch fishing boats, pontoons, ski boats, and deadrises crisscross from shore to shore. Drop a line to catch your own fish. The Urbanna Town Marina hosts the Urbanna Cup each Spring, fun little cocktail boat races in Urbanna Creek, that’s free for the whole family! Click here to see a full list of local marinas.
Take Stroll in Town
In our eight small towns, there are so many adorable streets to walk down and explore. Along the way, you can window shop, people watch, see different kinds of public art including our “Instagramable” Watermen Boots, discover parks, and even snag a free snack.
In Kilmarnock, for example, you and the kinds and find the Blues Brothers at the Kilmarnock Brewhaus, “check out” books from free libraries along the streets, and get a shot with Mr. Crabby at Joe Curry Memorial Park.
If you “check-in” on Facebook at Northern Neck Popcorn Bag, you can get a free bag of popcorn!
Enjoy it with the kids at Kilmarnock Town Centre Park, where you can find a splash pad, dog park and more, including regular events at the music on the Half Shell Stage.
Find Your Shoreline
We do beach time a little differently around here. Our river beaches are small, natural, untouched and pristine. There are several in the region. Head out to find a few like one at the end of Mill Creek Road in Hardyville and another beach on Grey’s Point Road at the locally famous Norris bridge. They don’t have restrooms or other amenities, so come prepared! We recommend blankets, snacks, floats and a bucket just for picking up seashells you find on the shore!
Head out to the River Realm Party
We like a good party here. Festivals, concerts, art openings, and farmer’s markets are just a few of our public events that don’t have a ticket fee. At the Music Under the Stars in Urbanna, bring the family out for the live music concert series every 3rd Saturday, May through September.
Check out the Irvington Farmers Market during the first Saturday from May through November. Arts in the Middle brings together 100 fine artists, restaurants, and more to beautiful Hewick Plantation. See a full list of events here.
Take a Ride
Hop on the ferry! The Virginia Department of Transportation runs a free ferry that ports in Lancaster. You and the kids can load up the car and drive right onto the ferry on scenic byway Route 604. The boat will cross the western end of the Corrotoman River. You’ll wind up on a peninsula that is otherwise hard to reach by car from Kilmarnock. There are many fun things to do when you get there that are also free! Head south to Yankee Point Marina or north to Belle Isle State Park for more carefree fun. Before you set out, though, check 511 Virginia for real-time information on the ferry’s status. If you have a pup, ask the ferryman about a biscuit for your furry friend.
Show us your CareFREE Days in the River Realm
Bring the camera! Share your peaceful and wild moments along with your epic catches of the day and LOVE Works poses. Tag us using @virginiasriverrealm and we’ll share your photos of freedom in River Realm.