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“The first time I took a young man out to learn how to fish and he actually caught one, he gave me the same look as if he had just opened a new bike on Christmas Day,” said Captain William Saunders with Rappahannock River Charters.

Capt. Saunders has been offering educational and recreational cruises for adults for many years. He has more than 30 years of experience working on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries as a working watermen. He’s one of many locals in Virginia’s River Realm that think kids should get in on the fun, too! Capt. Saunders recently launched a new Rappahannock River Charters Children’s Fishing Academy.

“We focus on teaching them the art of fishing while keeping nature front and center,” Capt. Saunders said.

Mom, Dad, and grandparents are welcome to climb aboard this kid friendly adventure. Call the Tides Inn Activities Desk at (804) 438-4489 or call Capt. Saunders at (804) 761-2974 to schedule a tour. Capt. Saunders is one of many watermen offering tours of Virginia’s River Realm by boat via Watermen’s Heritage Tours. Each captain expertly covers topics including history, crabbing, bay-to-table food, and more. Learn more and create a custom tour here.

Here are four more kid friendly activities in Virginia’s River Realm:

Deltaville Deltas Baseball Game

Have a home run fan in the family? Make plans to visit the Deltaville Ballpark that hosts the semi-pro Deltas team. Games are held May through July.  Stadium seats are enclosed by crab pot netting for a truly coastal vibe. You’ll find local food favorite Shorty’s Coastal Comfort food truck. Games are just $6 for adults and children under 12 are free! There is a home game every Saturday in July. See the schedule here.

BethPage Miniature Golf and Ice Creamery


If you’d rather play than watch, how about a family game of miniature golf? Bethpage Camp-Resort was Bethpage Dairy after the Civil War, which inspired the unique cow-themed course. Cows located throughout the fun course are designed by renowned sculptor Mark Cline, owner of Enchanted Castle Studios. USA Today named COWTOPIA one of the most unique miniature golf course around the USA. Bet each other on a double scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor from the Ice Creamery, which carries 20 flavors of Hershey’s old fashioned hand dipped ice cream. The miniature golf course and ice creamery are open 10 a.m to 10 p.m. in the summer. Learn more and plan your game here.

Steamboat Era Museum

The Steamboat Era Museum is the place to take the most curious kids.  The interactive museum tells the story of the steamboats and how they altered the lives of everyone along the Chesapeake Bay. The era is brought to life with models, artifacts, and photos. Kids can spin the captain’s wheel, blow whistles, and listen to stories from the past.Plus in the summer, there are always special activities for kids!

Belle Isle State Park

Visit by Belle Isle State Park by boat or by car. The waterfront park is made for the kid who loves the outdoors and the kid in you who still enjoys a long hike, canoe ride or fishing trip. The park features almost 10 miles of trails, most of which are gravel and multi-use. Along the trails, you and your children will find songbirds, small mammals, butterflies, osprey, bald eagles and more.  If your family wants to learn more, check out the list of educational events hosted by the park including Binocular Basics, Power of the Powhatan, and Ask a Ranger. The park also offers guided canoe trips during the summer season. A ramp is available for the motor boaters and cartop launch area for canoes, kayaks and windsails. Plan your outdoor adventure at Belle Isle State Park here.

See more activities for the family in Virginia’s River Realm here.

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.