Summer is the best time of year to get out and enjoy the renowned West Virginia wilderness right here at home, but there are so many things to do near Charleston, indoors and out! While the kids are home this summer, take the time to get out and explore by trying some of these great activities:
At the junction of the Elk and Kanawha rivers is Magic Island, a riverfront park featuring a playground, open areas for sports or frisbee, and beach volleyball courts. The park also boasts a recently installed splash pad with fountains and water sculptures, perfect for splashy fun in the summer sun.
Cato Park on Charleston’s west side is a great place for a family day. There are things for everyone to do outside thanks to a nine-hole golf course, archery range, hiking trails, soccer fields and the city’s largest public pool. Take the kids out for a hike or some golfing, and then take a nice relaxing dip in the pool – this park is a wonderful place to enjoy the summer weather.
Kanawha State Forest
West Virginia is know for its beautiful wilderness, and hiking is known for being great for families! Teach the kids about the natural world (and wear them out) on the Spotted Salamander trail, which is paved and perfect for strollers. You can also take a guided tour with a naturalist who can teach your family about what you see around you. Multiple playgrounds and picnic areas equipped with grills make it possible to enjoy a picnic and a hike for the perfect day “in the wild”.
Little Beaver State Park
The Little Beaver State Park has created new campsites, a bathhouse, and a laundry facility and now offers some of the newest camping amenities in the state. This park offers extensive hiking and biking trails in addition to boating and fishing on Little Beaver Lake – a great place to take the family camping and fishing for a weekend!
Haddad Riverfront Park
The Haddad Riverfront Park is right at the heart of downtown Charleston, on the Kanawha River. This 25,000 seat amphitheater presents festivals, special events, and live music throughout the year. Check out their schedule to find out if your family’s favorite event or musical guest will be visiting and have a fun night out on the river!
West Virginia State Museum
Keeping those brains working while the kids are home from school is tricky in the summer, and this is a great time to get some first-hand learning done at the State Museum. This free museum gives kids a chance to interact with exhibits and artifacts that explain facts and history about where we live to all ages.
Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia
Take the family to the Clay Center and spend time in the Discovery Museum. Two floors of activities allow kids to learn while getting really hands -on. Kids can have fun learning about bodies, water, music, or they can pretend to be a firefighter or drive a car. There is also a planetarium and theater that offers movies and presentations to help us understand our world.
Children’s Theater of Charleston
Another great way to get kids to interact and engage their brains can be found at the Children’s Theater. This community theater has been putting on family friendly performances since the 1930s. They provide excellent entertainment for all ages, and they keep those kids thinking during the long summer break.
For a long weekend, the hour and a half drive to Summerville Lake is a perfect place to take the family to really enjoy the West Virginia wilderness. This 28000-acre lake provides the ideal place to go boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking. Cliffs rise from the beautiful lake water to create a breathtaking scene, and you can camp at Battle Run Campground right next to the water. A truly enchanting camping adventure.
West Virginia Power Baseball
Take the family to the Appalachian Power Park, conveniently near downtown, and check out the city’s minor league baseball team. From April to September, you can enjoy the intimate experience of a minor league game with a team affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With so many things to do and so many ways to enjoy the summer, your family is sure to find an activity they want to try, no matter what the weather. Get out there and enjoy West Virginia!