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Virginia Fine Arts Museum

Open 365 days a year, the Virginia Fine Arts Museum is free and has over 6,000 years of art. We spent a little over an hour at the museum, but we only visited two sections. The Museum is situated into geographical sections. We focused on the Ancient Art section in the Mediterranean, which has Pre-Dynastic Egyptian, Green, and Roman art, and some art from Western Asia. This section perfectly lines up with the Virginia third grade SOLs, for those with kids that age.

We also visited the children's exhibit, where they had hands on activities for the kids to interact with, and comfortable chairs for the adults to sit and watch. You'll want to be sure to walk around the outside of the museum, because the gardens around it are beautiful. There are stairs with fountains to climb and explore. There are also tables outside perfect for picnicking. 

There is a parking garage for the museum for $6 per day. We found free street parking right around the corner. It's a great indoor stop to cool off on a hot day or to get indoors when it's raining. I love taking small trips to art museums with kids because it teaches them museum etiquette in small doses that they can handle. Check it out the next time you're in Richmond, and checkout our index for other things to do in the city. 


Amtrak is a great way to travel with kids. Several times during the year they offer a deal where kids are free or half price with the purchase of an adult ticket. The train is a great option for families because you can play cards or let kids color while traveling. While there are sometimes delays, they are less common than sitting in tunnel traffic, and you can sit back and relax rather than suffer from stress. 

Our Amtrak line runs from the Norfolk station to Petersburg, Richmond, Washington D.C., New York, Hartford, and then Boston. The boys took the train with their grandmother and aunt to Richmond (Staples Mill station) and I drove our car to meet them so that we would be able to travel around Richmond with child car seats. This took about 2 hours. (On this trip we visited the Science Museum of Virginia, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, and The Virginia Fine Arts Museum.) My oldest has always loved trains, but this was his first time riding a real one. He loved it and keeps asking me to travel that way again! 

Lewis Ginter

You don't want to miss out on Richmond's Lewis Ginter gardens, with or without kids. We spent almost the entire day walking around checking out the gardens, cooling off in the splash pad, climbing 100 year old trees, digging in the sand, and looking for animals on the tree trail. The highlight for us in the children's garden was the huge treehouse which tons of kids were climbing on. 

The gardens are open every day from 9 to five, but they stay open late on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 9 pm. If you need to cool off there is a cafe, tea house, and a library with toys located on the property. On Thursday and Friday mornings at 10:00 there is a free story time. The library also has a lovely reading room which is a great spot for older parents or grandparents to rest while waiting for the younger ones.
If you have a Norfolk Botanical Gardens membership, you can get into Lewis Ginter using the reciprocity program. If not, adults are $20 and kids 4-12 are $10. Kids under 3 are free. There is a discount for military and first responders. The garden is free for everyone every Juneteenth, Fourth of July, and September 2nd for their Community Day. 

The Slime Lab

Located inside Lynnhaven Mall near J.C. Penney, the Slime Lab provides a place for kids to create slime that keeps parents' kitchen tables free of mess. Inside the lab you'll get lab coats to keep your clothes clean and choose one of five types of slime to create. Once you make your slime, you'll have the choice of adding glitter, foam beads, charms, and even a scent. 

We were in the lab for about an hour and a half to create four different types of slime, but others came in and made theirs in about 45 minutes. Packages begin at $12.95 per person. Three and up is the preferred age for children to play with slime. 
The Slime Lab offers birthday parties, private events, and field trips. 


Superheroes Ice Cream

Sometimes a four year old's love of ice cream turns into a family business. When four year old Brantley decided that his family should open up a superhero themed shop, his family got on board. Now, right outside of Lynnhaven Mall, ice cream and super hero enthusiasts can visit the store and try flavors like The Hulk's Underwear (milk chocolate chip with double stuff milk Oreos), Donkey Kong's Breakfast (Vanilla Ice Cream with banana pudding and fudge), along with classic favorites. 
After you grab your ice cream, stay and play the seven free video games on site. Superheroes has a monthly membership that allows members to get a free scoop with each visit and free use of their party room, which can accommodate 12 people at a time.