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7 Free Things To Do With The Family

Free Things To Do With The Kids in Virginia's River Realm

School is out for the summer, and the kids are ready to explore! Virginia’s River Realm is the perfect family vacation destination with plenty of fun activities for all ages. Let the kids get out and enjoy some fresh, salt air with plenty of fun & FREE activities you can do as a family!

Spend Some Time At Our Museums

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 MuseumDeltaville Maritime Museum Museums of Middlesex, Morattico Waterfront Museum, and Steamboat Era MuseumInside 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.

Weekend Getaway to Deltaville, Virginia

Watch The Tide Roll In From The Dock

Time slows down on the dock of one of our 22 marinas. Bring some 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, or grab some string and bait and go crabbing. 

Click here to see a full list of local marinas.

Take the kids fishing in Virginia's River Realm

Take A Stroll Through Our Small Towns

In our 8 Great 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 Urbanna for example, you and the kids can soak in some history with the Museum In The Streets interactive walking history tour.

And if you “check-in” on Facebook at Northern Neck Popcorn Bag in Kilmarnock, you can get a free bag of popcorn!


Visit The Splash Pad At Town Centre Park

Enjoy some quality time with the kids and beat the heat 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. 

The kids can burn off some energy while they splash about the Waterwork Splash Pad, a very popular feature of the park that is open 7 days a week from 10AM to 8PM!

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 Wharf 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!

Take A Ride On A Ferry

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.

Merry Point Ferry in Lively, Virginia

Capture & Share Your Favorite careFREE Moments!

With every river bend and wind in the road, we’re sure you and your travel buddies captured memories of the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the River Realm. After your adventures are done, check out your photos and share the best with us! We hope more people like you can enjoy the calming and enchanting spirit of the River Realm. Tag us using @virginiasriverrealm and we’ll share your photos.

Discover Your Perfect River Realm Adventure!

Are you the type that loves an outdoor adventure? Or are you looking to spend quality time with your loved ones splashing along our shorelines?

Discover your perfect path for exploring the wonders of Virginia’s River Realm.