Plan Your Waynesboro Spring Break
With all the snow covering the ground and keeping the kids out of school, it’s hard to believe that spring break is only a few weeks away! Don’t let screens take over that precious time off. Here’s our list of family-friendly attractions so you can start making plans to keep the kiddos occupied with fun, educational, and outdoor activities.
Heritage Museum and Plumb House
Take a break from the textbooks and learn the specifics of area history by spending an afternoon at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum. The museum features permanent and rotating displays of maps, photographs, artifacts, furniture, textiles, a gift shop, and more. Located in a restored 1908 bank building with a bank vault exhibit, the collections cover a range of times and subjects like Waynesboro history, Basic City, Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, the railroad, and the rise and fall of Waynesboro industry. The same organization also operates the Plumb House Museum in the oldest surviving log building in town, dating back to the early 1800s and filled with artifacts from the Civil War and local Native Americans.
Walter Russell was an artist, musician, architect, and author who wrote new-age texts and lived near Waynesboro in Swannanoa Palace during the 1950s and 1960s. The Russell Museum in downtown Waynesboro now displays Russell’s scientific drawings and paintings, including illustrations of the “World’s 12 Most Beautiful Children,” completed for Ladies Home Journal in 1902. The museum also has recordings of Russell’s music, lectures, and an extensive collection of his sculpture. Along with the collections, the museum offers classes and speaking events.
Historic Stops in Nearby Staunton
Staunton’s Frontier Culture Museum helps visitors understand how past residents of the Shenandoah Valley lived and worked. History lessons will come to life as visitors encounter historically accurate exhibits and hands-on experiences. Costumed interpreters demonstrate farming, cooking, and other household jobs and answer questions from the homes and farms of Native Americans, Africans, English, Irish, and Germans.
Tour historic buildings and gardens to learn about the life and presidency of Woodrow Wilson at the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library. Exhibits include artifacts from Wilson’s life, his Pierce-Arrow limousine, WWI trench warfare, and the history of the enslaved people who worked at the site.
Head over the mountain to Monticello to learn about Thomas Jefferson and Virginia history. Tour Jefferson’s house, an architectural masterpiece that he built and rebuilt over 40 years as well as his gardens, which were both ornamental and useful for food and science. You’ll also learn about Jefferson’s writing of the Declaration of Independence, the founding of UVA, and the history of the enslaved people who lived and worked at Monticello.
More Fun Beyond the Museums
Fishing in the South River
Spend some quiet time together when your family goes fishing on the South River, one of only two urban trout fisheries in the state. The section from Ridgeview Park to Basic Park makes up the 4-mile Waynesboro Water Trail, where you’ll find several access points to the river as well as a fishing deck in Constitution Park. Anglers can hope to catch small-mouth and rock bass, redbreast sunfish, rainbow and brown trout, and fallfish. Visit South River Fly Shop for gear, fishing tips, and guide services.
Putt-Putt at Waynesboro Golf and Games
Better start practicing your putts for your family’s big golf competition at Waynesboro Golf and Games. Grab some snacks and play an exciting 18-hole round of putt-putt on the mini-golf course, where you’ll maneuver around interesting landscaping and unique obstacles. You can also practice your short game or play foot (soccer) golf on the par 3 course. Don’t own your own clubs? Rental clubs are available.
Because of the soft limestone and dolostone making up much of the Shenandoah Valley’s bedrock, the area is veined with caverns. Grand Caverns was discovered in 1804 and has been open to the public since 1806. It’s actually the oldest commercial “show cave” in the country. Visitors can take a 70-minute walking tour or opt to get dirty on one of the extensive rugged tours. Extend your visit by planning an easy family bike ride on the flat and scenic trails connecting Grand Caverns Park with nearby Mountain View Park.
Take an Easy Family Bike Ride
The paved, flat South River Greenway Trail is ideal for emerging bikers to hone their pedaling skills. At just over a mile long, the scenery varies from natural river to industrial views. Educational signs along the way provide historical and scientific information as well as places to rest little legs. There’s parking at both ends, portable toilets, and a bike repair station. For a bigger challenge and more history, families can hike or bike the 4.5-mile out-and-back Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail. Bring a flashlight because this former railroad tunnel delves underneath Afton Mountain and is nearly a mile long!
We hope this has given you some ideas for keeping everyone busy and entertained during spring break season. It will be here before we know it, so start planning now!