5 Things for Families

Obviously, the number one thing you should do with your family this week is celebrate America and what it means to be American, exchange 4th of July gifts, and then fight about who is the best First Lady (Dolley Madison). But when all of that is done, here are some other things you can do.

1. The President’s Photographer: 50 Years Inside the Oval Office

The National Geographic exhibit leaves on July 8th, so don’t miss a chance to see photos taken by presidential photographers during the Kennedy presidency through the Obama years. The exhibit features candid and cool shots from the last half century that only a presidential photographer can catch, including my favorite: a photo of Betty Ford dancing on the Cabinet Room table.

  • Museum hours are 10:00 AM — 5:00 PM Monday through Saturday, and 1:00 PM — 6:00 PM on Sundays
  • Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard
  • Free

2. Richard Scarry’s Busytown

The Children’s Theatre of Virginia presents a musical tour of the Busytown neighborhood. I have recently returned to the world of Busytown for the first time since my own childhood, and I hope that this play answers this question that has been bugging me: What’s the deal with Mr. Frumble? Does someone watch him 24/7 so the entire town doesn’t burn down?

  • Friday, July 5th through Sunday July 28th (see website for showtimes)
  • Virginia Repertory Theatre, Willow Lawn, 1601 Willow Lawn Drive
  • $10 – $16

3. Powhatan State Park Grand Opening

It seems like Powhatan (minus the Walmart, the giant houses, and most of my extended family) should already be considered a nature center, but this weekend marks the opening of Powhatan State Park. Though some amenities are a work-in-progress, the 36th state park has or will have multi-use trails (biking/horses/hiking), a playground, fishing, and wildlife observation areas. The grand opening features music, ribbon cutting, and keynote speech from Gov. McDonnell at 2:00 PM, and the chance to learn more about various historic and cultural organizations.

  • Saturday, July 6th, park opens at 10:00 AM, opening ceremony is at 2:00 PM
  • 4616 Powhatan State Park Road
  • $2 parking fee

4. Maymont Glow Run RVA

For everyone who has ever hoped to be accidentally stuck at Maymont overnight, this is the next best thing! Run or walk the three-mile course with only glow accessories (and the setting sun) lighting the way. The registration fee includes a shirt, glow things, and an after party with snacks and drinks. All proceeds benefit Maymont.

Also benefitting Maymont: my Maymont fan fiction (written in the early 90s) about a young girl named Shelly Derow who is left behind at Maymont during a middle school field trip and has to fight a peacock, learn to communicate with bears, and eat all the candy machine food pellets her $1 in change buys her.

  • Saturday, July 6th, 7:00 – 10:00 PM (race is at 8:00 PM)
  • Maymont, 1700 Hampton Street
  • $20.50 for ages 8-17, $43 for adults, and free for kids 7 and under

5. Festival of the Arts — Hans Christian Andersen

If it seems like there is always something going on at Dogwood Dell lately, that’s because there is. The Festival of the Arts is in full swing, and this summer-long series presented by the city features theater, music, dance, opera, and other entertainment on two stages. This weekend the Ha’Penny Stage, which showcases performances for kids, presents a puppet show of Hans Christian Andersen tales.

  • Sunday July 7th, 4:00 PM
  • Dogwood Dell Ha’Penny Stage, 6000 S. Boulevard
  • Free
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Kelly Gerow

Kelly Gerow lives and writes in Richmond. She probably does other stuff in Richmond, too.

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