Hidden among Virginia’s lush Appalachian Mountains lies the lesser-known gem of Massanutten. This small community is built around a ski resort that offers all-season fun and plenty of family-friendly activities. Explore and enjoy easy access to the Shenandoah Valley by booking a stay at one of many unforgettable Massanutten vacation rentals. Here are some of the most popular kid-friendly activities to do in Massanutten and the surrounding area.
1. Soar Through the Trees
The Massanutten Resort is home to an extensive adventure course, including zip lines and ropes courses. The Mega Zip is a high-speed downhill zip line that’s designed to give you a rush of adrenaline, while the canopy tour is a longer course of zip lines and ropes that let you explore the treetops. This activity is better for slightly older kids, and both options have a minimum weight limit of 70 pounds. However, there are smaller courses available for younger children.
2. Play at the Water Park
No matter what time of year you visit Massanutten, you can enjoy summer fun at the resort’s massive water park. In any season, ride the slides and float along the lazy river in the indoor section. There’s even an endless wave where you can practice your surfing moves. During the summer, there’s an outdoor section that features an exciting head-first water slide and a wave pool. The park also has an arcade and other activities in case your kids need a break from swimming.
3. Ride a Bike
Massanutten is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, so there are plenty of trails to explore by bicycle. Shenandoah National Park is nearby for some more rugged terrain and difficult trails. For an easier time, Massanutten Resort has well-maintained trails, and you can ride the ski lift up to the top of the peak so that you don’t have to fight your way uphill. A vacation rental makes it easy to bring your own bikes and store them in the garage between uses, or you can rent them for the day from the resort.
4. Learn about Science
For some hands-on, educational fun, visit the Explore More Discovery Museum in nearby Harrisonburg. This innovative museum lets kids of all ages build with blocks and wood, learn about anatomy and the human body, and explore the natural world. There’s a special area for children under the age of three, so they don’t feel left out.
5. Stroll Through Stunning Gardens
While you’re in Harrisonburg, stop in at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, which is located on the grounds of James Madison University. This free public garden has a self-guided audio tour to help you learn more about the flora and fauna in the area, and you may be lucky enough to catch an educational lecture or tour. It’s also a great area for birdwatching, as many local species nest and feed in the gardens.
6. See Farm Animals Up Close
Virginia is in the heart of horse country, and there are plenty of local stables that offer guided trail rides through the mountains and forests. Woodstone Meadows Stable is one of the most popular options. It also features a petting farm where kids can pet and feed farm animals such as pigs and goats, as well as short pony rides for children who are too young to go on a full guided ride.
7. Explore Underground
The area surrounding Massanutten is home to numerous cave systems, and several offer family-friendly tours that even small children can enjoy. Luray Caverns, a US National Landmark, is one of the most popular options. It’s famous for its unique Great Stalacpipe Organ, which taps naturally occurring stalactites to create musical tones. Endless Caverns is another popular commercial limestone cave in the area.
8. Wander Through the Forest
There’s plenty of room to hike and explore on foot around Massanutten. In addition to more than thirty miles of trails on the resort property, you can use your vacation rental as a base to explore Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you’re hiking with smaller children, stop in at the ranger station when you enter the park to ask about family-friendly trails.
9. See the Nation’s Capitol
Massanutten is only a little over two hours from Washington, DC, so many people plan a quick day trip to the capitol. Take one of the many guided tour options to make sure you see all the sights or plan your own itinerary. Due to the long drive and large amounts of walking involved, this may be a better option for older kids.
10. Ski or Snowboard
If you’re visiting during the winter, Massanutten is a great place for the whole family to ski together. There are numerous affordable classes for all ages and skill levels, so you can learn to control your descent and ski safely. The slopes and chairlifts are designed with kids and beginners in mind, although there are trickier runs available for more experienced skiers as well.
11. Visit Historic Civil War Sites
History buffs love this area thanks to its numerous Civil War historical sites. New Market State Historical Park in nearby New Market is an easily accessible option that includes an actual battlefield and a Civil War museum. You can also find private guided Civil War tours that take you around the county and show you multiple important sites.
Ready to go? Check out these amazing Massanuten vacation rentals on Tripping.com.