If you are looking for a fun family activity while the weather is still nice, I highly recommend the Goochland Drive-In Theater. We took the boys there several weeks ago to see Cars 2 and we all had a blast. To begin with, kids 3 and under are free, which worked out well for us. Adults tickets are $7, and many times during the week they drop the price to just $5 or $15 per carload.
We found a space in back near the concession stand and the playground. The playground is enclosed and separated in to an area for babies/toddlers and an area for older kids. It’s a great way to keep the little ones entertained while waiting for the movie to start. We also hit the concession and were pleased to find that nothing on the menu is over $3. There are plenty of picnic tables for you to sit and eat before heading back to your car. Since this was our first visit, we were not as prepared as we could have been. Most of the people there that night brought chairs and set them up in front of their cars. We have made a mental note for next time.
Each night is usually a double-feature with the most child-friendly movie showing first. Now that it is getting darker earlier, I believe the first shown starts around 7:30. I must also note that if and when your car battery dies…they have the means to get you up and running again. Their regular season runs until late October/early November. If you don’t mind the drive out to Goochland, you should definitely put it on your list of things to do. www.goochlanddriveintheater.com
This year we were lucky enough to be offered a membership to one of our local Richmond Va swimming pools. Several of our friends with kids also belong to this pool so we were ecstatic, to say the least. This pool is great for families and seems to have something for everyone. In addition to the pools and playground for the kids, they also have several tennis courts and lots of activities during the summer, including live music.
We just took the boys for the first time last night and we all had a great time. We headed to the baby pool first. It is completely enclosed which comes in handy when you have two 13 month olds that are usually moving in two different directions at all times. The boys headed straight for the water which I am guessing to be about a foot deep. They were very excited to get in and splash around with the other kids under the very watchful eyes of mom and dad. There were lots of pool-provided toys for them to play with as well, so no need to haul a bunch of stuff from home. It wasn’t extremely warm outside but the water felt great. I am certain that is due to the fact that it is so shallow and easily heated by the sun.
After playing in the baby pool for some time we decided to grab the floats and move over to the larger pool. It was a busy night and there were lots of older kids splashing about, but our boys didn’t seem to mind. They enjoyed being pulled around in the safety of their own little flotation devices. I must note that the large pool was also quite warm. I wouldn’t want to take the babies in if it were too cold, so hopefully it will remain at a comfortable temperature for the duration of the summer.
There are plenty of tables and chairs around both of the pool area and lots of families were eating dinner that they either brought from home or had delivered right to the pool. There are also several grills available for everyone’s use. I made a mental note of this for our next visit later this week. Additionally, there is a concession stand which will open in the next week or two.
When we headed back to the baby pool to dry off and gather our things the boys spied the playground just off to the side of the baby pool. It is in its own separate enclosed area. The equipment is definitely for younger kids but I unfortunately forgot to pack shoes for them to wear so we will have to test it out next time. Something for them to look forward to!
Granite Swim Club is located just off of Forest Hill Avenue on the Southside. You can visit their website for more info www.planetgranite.org. If you live on another side of town, I recommend doing a Google search for local pools in that area. Richmond summers are just too hot to go without the use of a swimming pool!
Last week we met some friends at a park that was new to us. It is located in the city at the intersection of Kensington and Thompson, right next to a fire station. It seems like there is something for everyone at this park; soccer, basketball, volleyball and of course the playground itself. I was so excited to see that they have toddler swings. For some reason I have not found many parks near my house that have swings for toddlers. The boys wasted no time getting to the task at hand…exploring.
I love taking them to new places and watching them discover all that it has to offer. This playground has things for different ages and stages of development, which is great for families with lots of children. The bigger kids were climbing and going down the much bigger slides while the smaller kids were enjoying the see-saws, swings and much shorter slides. My guys are still pretty young so they did lots of watching at first and eventually wandered over to the swings. It is so nice to put them in swings that don’t need batteries or a doorway to hang from. They loved it! When they were finished with the swings we wandered over to watch some older kids. Before I knew it, one of my little guys was climbing the stairs to one of the slides for older kids. Not wanting to disappoint, I climbed up behind him and we went down together.
I must say that the most exciting part of our visit to this playground was the train. Since the park is situated overlooking 195, there is a perfect view of the train tracks. As soon as the train was heard all of the kids there at the time ran over to the fence to watch. My two followed the pack not knowing what was going on, but wanting to be part of the crowd. I look forward to the day that I can sit on the bench and watch them play without having to follow so closely behind.
All in all it was a good time for us and a great playground to add to our list. I must also note that there are public restrooms on the premises, and although I did not go in personally, I was told that they should only be used for emergencies. Please visit this link for a little more information about the programs offered for children, teens and adults at the Humphrey Calder Community Center. http://www.richmondgov.com/parks/CommunityCenterHumphreyCalder.aspx