A vacation for you, a vacation for the kids.

[ 0 ] June 14, 2018 |

The Roanoke Star and Overlook

Looking for kid-friendly things to do during the summer months can be a challenge if you are also trying to find something that adults also want to indulge in especially if you are not looking for the beach scene.  A recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Roanoke, Virginia opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.  With Baby French estimated to arrive in 2018, things for kids to do on vacation has instantaneously become a top priority.  I fell in love with the possibilities that did not include sandy feet and water wings after visiting the Blue Ridge region (though I love a good beach…).  How do the adults and kids meet in the middle around these parts?  Check it out:

  1. The Center in the Square located in downtown Roanoke, VA is an oasis in the city if you ask me. I LOVE this place.  The seven-story non-profit cultural center houses several spaces for the kids (and adults will get a kick out of these spots too) including Kids Square, a Pinball Museum and the Science Museum of Western VirginiaKids Square is perhaps my favorite of the three because of its simulated Roanoke, VA just for kids.  The square houses a simulation of businesses in the Roanoke area and allows kids the opportunity to take a hands on approach to adulting.  A bank, new station, hospital, dentist office, beauty salon and gas station all give the effect of a real town for kids only.  I would have spent days and nights in a place like this as a child.  The Harrison Museum of African American Culture explores African American history in the Roanoke area and was one of my favorite stops on the journey through downtown Roanoke.  It gives visitors a snapshot into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American history in D.C.  Definitely add to the list if you a history buff.

    The Harrison Museum of African American Culture

    Kids Square

    Kids Square

    Kids Square

    Kids Square

    Kids Square

    Science Museum of Western Virginia

    Science Museum of Western Virginia

    Pinball Museum

  1. Hiking through the Blue Ridge Mountains is a must if you like the outdoors. The kids will love it and you will to with all the photographic opportunities in this region.  The Roanoke Star and Overlook should not be missed with the family.  It gives a birds eye view of the city and is the symbol of the city.  Weighing 10,000 pounds and standing 88 feet tall, you will want to see this up-close though you can catch a view of it from anywhere in the city at night as it shines bright.

    Virginia Museum of Transportation

    Virginia Museum of Transportation

    Virginia Museum of Transportation

    Virginia Museum of Transportation

    Virginia Museum of Transportation

  2. If your kids are into locomotives, the Virginia Museum of Transportation will make their whole day. Filled with kid friendly touch and see exhibits, the museum collection includes everything from vintage automotives and aviation to locomotives and other rail cars.  I felt like a kid again climbing in and out of the trains and airplane models.
  3. For older children, there are fun performances at the Shaftman Performance Hall (where I experienced my first bluegrass concert with The Steeldrivers), the Grandin Theater for the movies and Mill Mountain Theatre for plays (I saw Chorus Line here, loved it!).
  4. With tons of quirky bakeries and shops, there is no shortage of kid-friendly and adult eating. Who doesn’t love a good biscuit??  Well the Blue Ridge region has plenty of them being made daily.  You…and the kids…will love them.

Now for the person that is going to do the packing for this vacay…*goes in the corner to hide*…

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Category: Food.Fun.Stuff., Travels, VA

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Washington, DC and North Carolina. All three places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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