What a trip! Make the most of your spring break with these easy jaunts


Discovery Ridge Adventure Center. Photo: Wintergreen Resort Discovery Ridge Adventure Center. Photo: Wintergreen Resort

It might be too costly to plan an entire week’s vacation for your family over spring break, but might we suggest fitting in a few day trips? At less than four hours of round-trip travel time, you can make your way there and back and still be home in time for dinner. Which is a totally different problem, but you’re on your own with that. We can’t do all the work!

Virginia Living Museum
Newport News, Virginia
Travel time: 2 hours
The VLM combines a wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and aquarium, and showcases more than 245 different species. If you visit on a Friday, catch the alligator feeding around lunchtime. Become a member and you’ll get special access to caves, swamps, and fossil banks of Virginia.

Dinosaur Land
White Post, Virginia
Travel time: 2 hours
Admission: $4 for ages 2-10, $5 for ages 11 and up
In the dino biz since 1962, this popular park off Stonewall Jackson Highway is home to more than 30 life-size replicas of prehistoric creatures. Get your picture taken in the mouth of a 60′ shark, or palling around with a heavily horned styracosaurus.

Luray Zoo
Luray, Virginia
Travel time: 1.5 hours
Admission: $5 for ages 3-12, $10 for ages 13 and up
Boasting Virginia’s largest collection of cold-blooded reptiles (think snakes and lizards), the Luray Zoo doubles as a rescue facility for neglected, abused, confiscated, and retired animals like exotic cats, monkeys, and llamas. The privately owned facility houses more than 250 animals. While you’re in the Valley, stop by the caverns and have a mitey good time. (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.)

Buchanan, Virginia
Travel time: 1.5 hours
Admission: $7 for children, students, seniors, and military; $8 for adults
Billed as “the ultimate blacklight experience,” Glow-A-Rama in southwest Virginia is nonstop fun in the form of 18-hole mini golf, a blacklight arcade, and “Scaryville” haunted house. Everything—literally—glows: the golf balls, golf clubs, scorecards, all the holes, the artwork on the walls and panels. Our advice? Don’t wear white!

Discovery Ridge Adventure Center
Wintergreen, Virginia
Travel time: 45 minutes
Admission varies depending on activity
Zip zip hooray! The big draw here is the Nelson resort’s 900′ zip line. But you’ll also find a climbing wall, fun park (with a teepee!), and a bungee trampoline, which can get jumpers more than 25′ in the air.