5 Things for Families

Richmond in August is in panic-mode. There is so much to do and so little time before school starts. Quick: see art, stay outside after dark, get sick on fried food, do something nice with the whole family, do something scary with maybe not the whole family. Weekdays and weekends will still happen after Labor Day, but it just won’t be the same.

1. Chesterfield County Fair

I lived in Midlothian (which is the “downtown” of Chesterfield County) for a decade, so I felt as if I could talk about Chesterfield with some authority. But I was not aware of the scale of the county fair. I thought it would just be some beat up trucks driving in mud while a weird-looking guy with long, stringy hair juggled near some cows. I am wrong. It’s been happening for 100 years. The fair has Midway rides, scholarships, BENGAL TIGERS. It’s a huge thing. Don’t ask me anything else about Chesterfield County. I can’t even stand behind that Midlothian/downtown thing I just wrote.

  • Friday, August 23th – Saturday, August 31st
  • Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, 10300 Courthouse Road
  • Daily admission: $3-$8 (children under 5 are free)

2. When I Was a Child: Toys and Playtime

“When I Was a Child” is a juried all-media art show and auction (art and classic toys) to benefit the arts program at Blackwell Elementary School. Play games and enjoy refreshments while viewing the pieces in the show.

  • Friday, August 23rd • 7:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Art Works, 320 Hull Street
  • Free

3. Who’s Awake? A Family Night Hike

Hike through the grounds of Maymont and learn more about the animals that are active at night (owls, skunks, older goats who stay up too late because they are burning through the entire first season of Orange is the New Black).

  • Friday, August 23rd • 7:30 – 9:30 PM
  • Maymont, 1800 Hampton Street
  • $6-8

4. Haunts of Richmond

Something about Richmond in August wigs me out. It’s wet, dark, and everything is hidden by incredibly fast-growing crape myrtle branches. And so many spiders. It just feels like a decades-old, unsolved murder outside (you know, that old feeling). As I declare August the scariest month, I suggest you try out one of the several spooky/historical tours offered by Haunts of Richmond. The tours include Church Hill, Franklin Street, and Shockoe Bottom routes. I would go into more detail about the tours, but after I finish writing this I have to take my dog outside, and I don’t want to imagine that every noise I hear is a Civil War soldier hobbling toward me with a tin can and bindle about to ask if I have seen his fiancée (because she is sitting in the tree behind me).

  • Thursday – Saturday • 9:00 PM (ongoing)
  • Location depends on tour
  • $10-$16

5. Gone to the Birds: Purple Martin Festival

This was rescheduled from earlier in the month because there weren’t enough birds yet, so hopefully the purple martins aren’t as thrown by the unseasonable weather as we are and will still swarm around the Farmers Market for our enjoyment. Take in some bird watching, buy some bird things, and talk to bird vendors and organizations.

  • Saturday, August 24th • 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • 17th St. Farmers Market, 100 N. 17th Street
  • Free

Photo by: vladeb

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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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