As soon as school lets out for summer break, the extra time at home—for those who were attending school in person—combined with the absence of constant homework obligations has both parents and kids breathing a sigh of relief and jumping for joy.
But after a few days, without fail, the “I’m bored” comments typically start to surface. We are here to help fill your warm weather months with fun, family-friendly and diverse activities—many of which can be enjoyed in the off-season as well! From historic destinations to breathtaking views, check out these 11 recommendations in our LL Fun Guide.
The Bower Center for the Arts
Join Us for a Summer of Creativity & Fun! Looking for an ARTVENTURE this summer? The Bower Center for the Arts is offering a perfect summer outlet for children and adults to expand their imaginations and artistic talents with a full line up of fun-filled Art Camps and classes beginning in June. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to express your creative spirit!
Visit bowercenter.org for details.
Clayton Nature Center
In 1998, Bedford businessman Boyd Claytor gave his beloved 500-acre Cloverlea Farm to Lynchburg College for the study and appreciation of nature. He envisioned the beauty and wonder of his iconic property to be available to everyone for evermore. Under the steady stewardship of the University of Lynchburg, the Claytor Nature Center is a conservatory of scholarship, the University’s Blue Ridge Mountain campus. But every visitor knows this beautiful sanctuary by their own experience. To many visitors we are a place with premiere breathtaking views of the Peaks of Otter. Others are blessed with lasting memories of joy from their weddings, engagements, celebrations, and holiday gatherings at Cloverlea Farmhouse and Gardens. Photographers and artists render incredible vistas in their media of choice. By day, children and families delight in our natural play area, Otter Space. Hikers and walkers wander over trails, along the Big Otter River, through forests, past ponds and pastures. Local school children engage their minds and senses in experiential outdoor environmental education, nature programs, and summer camps. Birders and other enthusiasts of fauna and flora scan the grasslands and forest for their quarry. By night, community groups of all ages partake of picnics, bonfires, and camping, or cozier overnights in the farmhouse or Eco-Lodge. And the Belk Observatory opens its telescopes to the grandeur of the night skies. Day or night in all seasons, the Claytor Nature Center opens in each of us remembrance of our connection to each other and to the heavens and Earth.
For more information visit www.Lynchburg.edu/claytor.
We are keeping little minds growing and creating through art. Masterpieces will be made on different canvases, ceramics, glass, tiles, or wood, while learning to use a variety of mediums. These consist of but are not limited to acrylic, watercolors, oil pastels, gesso, charcoal and much more. Pack a NUT-FREE lunch with a drink and get ready to create.
Visit imaginationstationstudios.com for more information.
James River Association
Find enjoyment and education on the James River at James River Adventures! Lynchburg’s riverfront outfitter is your gateway to the beautiful scenery and solace of our local waterways. Trip opportunities include kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, tubing, and – new for 2021 – historic batteau rides!
Additionally, James River Adventures will be running outdoor recreation camps during the months of June and July for 4th – 8th graders. Campers will enjoy both water and land-based activities in a fun and collaborative environment!
The best part? By supporting James River Adventures, you’ll be helping to keep the James clean and healthy by supporting the James River Association, the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to protecting the entire James River and connecting people to it.
Find your adventure at www.jamesriveradventures.org!
James River Day School
For a summer filled with adventure and learning, kids can join a summer enrichment course at James River Day School. Designed and taught by James River’s incredible teachers, these classes for rising K-8 students are open to the public. Experiential learning drives these engaging summer programs, making the learning hands-on and fun in topics such as Summer STEAM Challenges, LEGO® WeDo, digital photography, nature, basketball, and Crazy 8s math camp, among others. With a wide range of topics from academics to art and on to athletics, James River has summer fun opportunities sure to excite your child.
Visit www.jamesriverdayschool.org/summer to learn more about what is available and to sign up.
LCA Theatre Camp
The LCA Theatre Camp will meet for two full weeks from July 5 through July 16. This comprehensive theatre camp is open to students who will be entering the second through the ninth grades. Campers will attend sessions in the areas of makeup, costuming, choreography, musical theatre, improvisation, characterization, acting and theatre. Each child will have the opportunity to take part in a Camp Cabaret or One Act production, where they will memorize lines and demonstrate their skills on the final day of the theatre camp. At the end of camp, various awards will be presented to campers who have distinguished themselves in various areas.
For more information or to register go to payit.nelnet.net/form/UcmOBqFr.
For additional information, email Ray Jones at LcaTheaterDepatment@gmail.com.
Lynchburg Parks & Recreation
The City of Lynchburg Department of Parks and Recreation offers a variety of services and activities to residents and visitors. We maintain 17 parks, which offer organized and open areas for recreation, enjoying a picnic, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and children’s play. Over 40 miles of our trails wind through Lynchburg and are suited for a variety of activities.
For more information visit lynchburgparksandrec.com.
Natural Bridge Zoo
Natural Bridge Zoo is the wildest place in the state of Virginia, full of fun and excitement for any age and allows you to get up close and personal with a wide variety of rare and endangered animals. Stare into the eyes of a huge white tiger, feed a giraffe, hug a llama, have a pararkeet land on your hand in parakeet landing. Experience an elephant ride by looking at the world from a different view point while feeling the gait of the elephants walk (offered scheduled days and time).
See a wide variety of beautiful birds, colorful goats, monkeys, deer, mountain lions and many more. Spend a wonderful day at the Natural Bridge Zoo creating lasting memories with the whole family.
Visit naturalbridgezoo.com for more information.
Patrick Henry’s Red Hill
Patrick Henry’s Red Hill is the final home and burial place of Founding Father, American Revolution hero, and five-time Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry. Visitors can tour Patrick Henry’s reconstructed home, kitchen, and blacksmith shop, as well as his original law office and family gravesite along with other structures. This summer, come walk numerous trails around the property, pack a picnic lunch to eat outside, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of over 1,000 of Patrick Henry’s original acres.
Red Hill is open year-round but offers special events throughout the warmer months including an Independence Day Celebration, Lantern Tours, Star-Gazing Nights, and Living History Days. Plan your visit to Patrick Henry’s Red Hill, a place he called “the garden spot of the world,” this summer!
Visit redhill.org for more information.
Putt-Putt Fun Center Lynchburg
Every summer has its own story. We hope you’ll choose to make lasting family memories at Putt-Putt Fun Center™ where cool activities abound for all ages to enjoy!
Feel the Breeze
Jump into the driver’s seat and zoom around our track for a rush of pure adrenaline. We have karts for single riders, as well as karts that can accommodate a parent and child.
A cool splash on a water ride is a great way to beat the summer heat. Battle it out with friends during a whirling, twirling and wet ride on
our bumper boats equipped with water cannons.
Escape the heat and challenge friends to a game of laser tag. Guaranteeing nonstop excitement, our laser tag arena is the only two-story arena in Lynchburg. With neon lights and dark colors, our arena is the place to escape sunburn and see who really the ultimate champion is.
Our arcade is the place where “cool” kids hang and parents come to “cool” off. Test your gaming skills with all sorts of arcade games from classic air hockey to our Typhoon Roller Coaster simulator. After you’ve won all the points you can, turn them in at the redemption counter for awesome prizes.
Loop the 18
Our two 18-hole Putt-Putt® Golf courses are the perfect way for the family to stay active, on their feet, and soak in the Vitamin D. You may even get lucky and ace your shot on our skill-based par 2 courses!
Visit PuttPutt.com/Lynchburg to start the fun!
The YMCA of Central Virginia is committed to providing access to life-changing programs to everyone in our community. We offer a variety of inclusive programs, classes, and services. We bring people together to develop strong, positive relationships, healthy habits, and lasting memories. From summer camp to senior activities – we are your mission-driven community-focused non-profit, committed to building a better us. Visit ymcacva.org for more information.