Fun for the family: Summer camps and puttin' places


Puttin’ places
Mini-golf isn’t just for trips to the beach and boardwalk. Charlottesville has two family-owned greens that offer classic summer fun for little putters—and parents, too.

The Putt Putt Fun Center on Rio Road East near Fashion Square Mall has been around for decades, and offers two 18-hole courses. Tickets are $6, with $14 specials on three-game tickets. The course is open from 10am to 11pm seven days a week through the summer.

Your other option is Pirate Pete’s, an all-ages putting green at the Highlands Golf Park on Route 29 in Ruckersville. The 18 holes have nautically themed decor and obstacles. Adult admission is $6, kids pay $5, and toddlers 2 years old or younger get in free. The adjacent driving range offers extra fun for big swingers; the facility is open until 9pm Monday through Friday, and closes at 8pm Saturday and 7pm Sunday.

Both spots offer group rates and can host parties, too.

Summer camp doesn’t have to be just for the kids. More and more camps are offering family camp sessions, so parents and kids can enjoy the quintessential summer experience together.

Camp Friendship and Shenandoah Summer Camp both offer Family Camp sessions, during which groups stay in rustic cabins, eat hearty meals in the dining hall, and participate in guided activities. Families can wander freely from one activity to another at Camp Friendship, and Shenandoah provides a structured schedule, with two or three things to do in each time slot.

Family camp is a great alternative for young children who want to experience summer camp but may not yet be ready for an entire week away on their own. Families can participate in everything from archery and climbing to crafts and outdoor cooking. Just remember: No camp weekend is complete without a campfire and s’mores.

Shenandoah Summer Camp
(Luray, Virginia)

August 10-12 (15 family limit)
$525 for three people,
$125 per additional person

Camp Friendship (Palmyra)
One week: August 20-26
$700 for up to four people
$120 per person for five-12 people
Half week: August 20-23
$700 for up to four people
$130 per person for five-12 people
Weekend: August 24-26
$700 for up to four people
$200 per person for five-12 people