As the calendar turns to February, thoughts of romance begin to warm the winter air. If you’re planning an evening with a special someone look no further than the Front Royal area! You’ll find that a small town Valentine’s Day is the perfect setting for your romance to blossom. Read on for five tips (plus a bonus!) on celebrating Valentine’s Day (or any romantic occasion) in the Front Royal area. With fine dining, fun activities for couples, special events with local businesses, and wineries aplenty, there’s a way for everyone to keep the romance going (and maybe fall in love with Front Royal, too!)
1. Sample Front Royal’s Fine Dining
Nothing says “I love you” quite like dinner at an elegant table for two. If you’re in search of a traditional dinner date Front Royal’s fine dining eateries are at your disposal. Don’t forget to make a reservation! With Valentine’s weekend being one of the busiest of the year in restaurants, you’ll want to make sure you secure your table well in advance.
Mark your calendar for Saturday February 12 to take advantage of the four course Valentine’s dinner at ViNoVA Mediterranean Bistro. Go here to make your reservation and enjoy four delicious courses, a bottle of wine, and a special dessert cocktail. Eat, drink, and fall in love!
For a local craft brewery in a modern setting with delicious pub food, plan your Valentine’s Dinner at Front Royal’s own Vibrissa Beer. You may even catch a glimpse of Cupid while you eat.
The Element on Main Street is Front Royal’s classic fine dining option. You’ll find gourmet food and the atmosphere to go with it. Or for another fine dining options, lovers of Asian cuisine, should visit Try Thai on Main Street.
2. Explore a Casual Dining Spot that Locals Love
If you’re not in the mood for formal dining, a fun, casual eatery can also be a setting for great date. Today, we’re featuring two old Front Royal favorites where locals have been making great memories for years!
If there’s one restaurant in Front Royal that pizza lovers shouldn’t miss, it’s The Melting Pot! This local favorite has been feeding pizza to Front Royal for over 50 years. Some locals have been making memories here for a lifetime!
For a fun twist on the traditional dinner date, why not try a breakfast date instead? The Apple House is an old Front Royal area favorite that gets you out of town, but doesn’t involve a long drive. Don’t forget to end your meal with one of their famous apple butter donuts! Or come back in the evening for a drink, appetizers, and a sandwich at the Apple House’s newly opened Bushel Pub. With a drink menu full of Virginia wines and Virginia Craft Beers, it’s a great date-spot for lovers of local products.
3. Take a Dance Class
What could be more romantic than enjoying a dance together? If you or your partner have two left feet, don’t worry! Jig ’N’ Jive Dance Studio offers private ballroom and swing dance classes for couples. Have fun together, learn a new skill, and listen to romantic music, all at the same time!
4. Enjoy Special Valentine’s Events with Local Businesses
It’s impossible to enjoy all the Valentine’s fun on one day! That’s why Front Royal’s favorite local businesses have banded together to plan some fun events leading up to the big fourteenth.
The week of February 7-14, take part in the second annual Warren County Chocolate Crawl. Explore Front Royal and receive a special treat or discount at participating businesses.
Bring five receipts from participating businesses to the Visitors Center to enter their I LOVE Main Street $250 Giveaway! The winner will receive $250 in gift cards to all your favorite main street businesses. Stop by the Visitors Center for details.
On February 12, enjoy extra fun on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the I LOVE Main Street event.
February 12th and 13th are also a great days to try out axe throwing with your date! Shenandoah Valley Axe Co. is offering a Valentine’s special that features 1.5 hours of axe throwing as well as coaching and refreshments. Make your reservation today!
If you’re coming into town a week early, no worries! Main Street’s local businesses also have some Valentines-themed fun planned for the “First Friday” weekend of February 4-6.
5. Sip on a Glass of Virginia Wine
There’s something about the experience of sharing a glass of wine that is both memorable and romantic. If you’re in search of a wine date, the Front Royal area has a wealth of amazing local wineries. Rappahannock Cellars, and Fox Meadow Winery are two nearby favorites that combine delectable wines with all the classy winery atmosphere you love.
6. Don’t Forget to Plan Something for the Kids
Not strictly a date idea, but all parents know that the babysitting is an essential aspect of date planning. If you’re planning your night out for Saturday February 12, you’re in luck! Entertain them and let them burn off some energy at Battlegrounds Fitness. They’ll enjoy a night of fun, games, and healthy exercise. Bonus: they should be tired enough to collapse into bed right when you get home, giving you even more quiet time together! All ages from “potty-trained” on up are welcome.
You deserve a night on the town and it helps knowing your kids will be playing and having fun too! That's why Code Ninjas offers Parent's Night Out - definitely a win-win evening for entire families! Drop the kiddos off where they will play games, assemble puzzles, build robotics, and more! Code Ninjas is offering this service on Saturday, February 12th from 6 PM to 9 PM and on Valentine's Day, February 14th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
Once you've had a chance to unwind, swing by to pick them up (please) and hear about all the fun they've had!
Bonus: Take your picture by the LOVE Sign
While you’re out and about town on your date, don’t forget that Front Royal has a great spot for a fun photo shoot. Stop by Front Royal’s LOVE sign (located by the downtown gazebo and Commerce Street by Pavement). It’s the perfect background for taking a memorable picture together. While you’re there, stop by the Visitor Center to claim a special treat just for visitors to the area.
There really are almost unlimited options for romantic outings in the Front Royal area. After all, anything can be romantic when you’re with the love of your life on Valentine’s Day! To get more ideas for a fun activity that you’ll both enjoy, see our posts here and here. It’s easy to fall in love in Front Royal!
The Front Royal area is rightly famous for its outdoor attractions such as the Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, the Shenandoah River, and more. A favorite playground for lovers of all things outdoor adventure, Front Royal definitely sees the most visitors during spring, summer, and fall. But there’s no reason not to keep the adventure going through the winter! Read on for eight reasons why a winter adventure in the Front Royal area can also be a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors. You’ll be packing your (warm) gear and heading out in no time!
1. Nature’s Beauty is Still Stunning in Winter
You have to be a little braver to get out there in the winter, but once you do, you’ll find a world of beauty still awaits you in the Front Royal area. You’ll spot stunning frozen waterfalls on the rock formations that line Skyline Drive. With leaves off the trees and the cold temperatures clearing the air, visibility is better in the winter, too. You’ll enjoy views you can’t see any other time of year. The clear also makes winter the best time of year for stargazing. And there are few better places to enjoy the night sky than in the low-on-light-pollution areas surrounding rural Front Royal.
2. Solitude is Easier to Come By
During the more popular outdoor adventure seasons, it can take some hiking to find a quiet campsite, a secluded trail, or a peaceful lookout. With less adventurers out there, winter can be a great time of year for lovers of solitude to hit the trails. Animals like the peace and quiet, too. You might even have a better chance of some exciting wildlife sightings.
3. It isn’t THAT Cold
Average daytime temperatures in Shenandoah National Park range from 29 to 39 degrees farenheit. So while temperatures do drop in the winter, the Front Royal outdoors can be a more comfortable place to adventure than more frigid regions. Hint: if you’re heading to Shenandoah National Park, remember that in the park can be as much as twenty degrees colder than in the valley below. Plan and pack accordingly!
4. The Front Royal Area is a Great Place for Winter Sports
Winter sports are a great way to have fun, but they can only be enjoyed under certain weather conditions. Make winter a season you’ll look forward to by learning a classic winter sport. The Front Royal area has great locations for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. These lesser-known winter sports will leave you looking forward to next winter!
5. Getting Outdoors in the Winter Boosts Your Mood
It can definitely be harder to get motivated for an outdoor excursion in cold weather. But if winter’s cold and dark has you feeling down, it may be just what you need. Getting outside in the winter might sound depressing, but it’s actually a great way to improve your mood and sense of well-being. You’ll come home from even a short adventure feeling better than when you left.
6. You’ll Enjoy Your Cozy Cabin all the More When It’s Cold Outside
A cabin style Airbnb, especially one with a wood stove or fireplace, can be the perfect setting for the kind of cozy winter vibes that just aren’t around in the summer. Book one of the Front Royal area’s many fantastic Airbnbs, and you’ll enjoy the ultimate cozy place to unwind from your adventure.
7. Your Camping Trip Can Be Even More Adventurous
Not for the faint of heart, the inexperienced, or the poorly equipped, winter camping might be the ultimate outdoor adventure. Staying outdoors in the winter with just a tent and a (very warm) sleeping bag is not the right adventure for everyone! But if you’re an experienced adventurer looking to take your camping expertise to the next level, it’ll be an unforgettable experience. If you plan to camp during the winter, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. See here for tips on making a winter camping trip safe and enjoyable.
8. You Can Easily Get the Gear You Need
Having the right clothes and equipment can make all the difference between a day of misery and an exhilarating adventure. That’s never more true than in the winter! Front Royal’s Mountain Trails has you covered for all your outdoor equipment needs. With it’s handy location right in town, it’s a convenient stop on your way out to find adventure.
So keep coming to Front Royal for adventure all winter long! With starry skies brighter than you’ve ever seen, expansive views, new activities to try, and accommodations for everyone, it’s truly a winter wonderland waiting to be discovered.
Five Fun Facts about Front Royal
Situated amidst the glorious splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains, yet within comfortable driving distance from Washington D.C., Front Royal may be best known as the most convenient place for city-dwellers to enjoy a countryside getaway. To outdoors enthusiasts its greatest claim to fame might be its location at the northern entrance of the renowned Shenandoah National Park. But with a rich and accessible history, awesome natural wonders, and the Shenandoah River in the backyard, there’s even more to Front Royal than first meets the eye. Below you’ll find five fun facts about our small town that can make your visit to Front Royal educational and inspiring, as well as relaxing.
Whether you’re a resident, a frequent visitor, or a city-dweller looking to take a break and explore a new town of rural America, read on to discover some lesser known facts about Front Royal that could make your next outing fun for all the family.
1. Front Royal is a Great Place to take a Walk through History
With a history beginning as early as 1788, Front Royal is a town that’s seen a lot of history. As residents and businesses through the ages have left their mark, you’ll find plenty of historic sites to enjoy with just a quick walk around town. Follow the directions on the Front Royal Walking Tour to enjoy an informed look at the many fascinating residences and businesses that surround Front Royal’s charming Main Street. Don’t forget to pick up a coffee to sip on as you stroll around.
2. Front Royal is a Great Place to Explore Inside Historic Buildings
Your adventure through Front Royal’s history doesn’t have to stop on the streets! Two of Front Royal’s most fascinating historic buildings are open to the public. Plan a visit to the Belle Boyd Cottage, the scene of the fascinating story of confederate spy Belle Boyd. Or check out the Balthis House, the oldest surviving structure on Front Royal’s oldest street. For a historic home that doubles as a museum, don’t miss the Ivy Lodge.
3. Front Royal was the Site of a Civil War Battle
With its long history and strategic location on the river and among the mountains, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that Front Royal saw some action during the Civil War. The Battle of Front Royal took place in 1862, and was a significant victory for Stonewall Jackson. Today, history enthusiasts can relive the most exciting moments of this battle, and explore the actual locations where the fighting took place. Follow the Battle of Front Royal Driving Tour to discover the key sites of this moment in history.
4. Front Royal is a Great Place to See Rare Geological Formations
It’s not just about the history. Front Royal’s Skyline Caverns boasts the distinction of being the closest national wonder to the nation’s capital. Plan your tour today and explore the underground marvels of this awesome cavern complex. With a mirror maze and miniature train on site too, it can be a day of fun and inspiration for the whole family.
5. Front Royal is the Canoe Capital of Virginia
This one’s to keep in your back pocket for the warmer months. While Front Royal is most famous for its proximity to Shenandoah National Park, it’s also the home of another natural wonder that’s less talked about, but can be just as fun: the historic Shenandoah River. With a range of easily accessible public boat landings, and several friendly outfitters to help you plan your trip, Front Royal definitely deserves the title: Canoe Capital of Virginia. Come back in the summer for an unforgettable day on the stunning Shenandoah River.
If the winter months ahead are bringing you down, why not plan a family visit to Front Royal? There’s history waiting to be uncovered, caverns ready to be explored, and our fantastic hotels and eateries are eager to keep you well fed and comfortable. There’s never been a better time to discover Front Royal!
With the holidays over and a brand New Year getting started, there can be something refreshing about getting back into the normal routine of life. But after the whirlwind and excitement of the holidays, January can also feel a bit… dull… There’s no need to get down in the dumps in Front Royal, though. Of course, Front Royal is a great location for enjoying the great outdoors even in winter. But if the thought of going outside in the cold just makes you more depressed, fear not! There’s lots of indoor fun to be found in our town too.
Today we’ve rounded up our top ten fun activities you can enjoy in Front Royal, all without venturing into winter’s cold! So read on for some ideas for keeping life interesting this winter. You could even ward of the January blues by picking four and planning a fun outing for each week of the month. That way you’ll still have plenty to look forward to.
1. Get your Gaming Fix at Fireball Arcade
Head to Front Royal’s Main Street and immerse yourself in the world of a retro arcade at Fireball Arcade. There’s no more counting quarters here! All games are on freeplay, so pay your entry fee and enjoy them all for as long as you want. It’s a great way to plan a change of scene that the whole family can enjoy!
2. Go to the Movies
Cross Main Street and lift your spirits with some classic entertainment at Front Royal’s Royal Cinemas. Find friendly service, great movies, and everything you’d expect at a small town movie theater. Popcorn is a must!
3. Sculpt and Paint Your Own Pottery
Whether you’re a practiced sculptor or someone who rarely looks at a paintbrush, using the creative side of your brain is always a refreshing change of pace. At Front Royal’s Explore Art and Clay, you get all of the fun and none of the clean up! Drop in alone or with friends to purchase and paint one of their wide selection of unfinished clay pieces such as plates, mugs, and statuettes. They’ll give your masterpiece a professional finish in their kiln. Or attend a clay workshop if pottery is more up your alley.
4. Throw an Axe
Get your blood pumping and the fun flowing by throwing some axes at Shenandoah Valley Axe Co. Enjoy this brand new trendy sport, hone your aim, and enjoy a fun menu of drinks and snacks.
5. Mac’s Roller Rink
Roller skating is another great way to get moving without getting cold in the winter! If you want to break a sweat roller skating, look no further than Mac’s Roller Rink. Stop in on the weekend to enjoy everything you’d expect to find at a small-town America roller skating rink! Round out the outing with Melting Pot Pizza before or after!
6. Winter Wine Tasting
When you think of wine tasting, you might imagine a vineyard in summer, but winter is a great season for wine tasting too. Get cozy at one of Front Royal’s wineries and enjoy some delicious Virginia Wines.
7. Discover (and make!) Beer History
While we’re on the subject of alcoholic beverages, we mustn’t forget another indoor Front Royal favorite, the Virginia Beer Museum. There’s plenty to see and drink here! Explore the history of Virginia Beer, and then relax with a drink yourself. You can add to your own personal beer history!
8. Get Cozy at the Library
Winter is a great time to curl up with a book, and Front Royal’s Samuels Public Library is a local treasure that can be a wonderful change of scene and a place to expand your horizons. Spend a morning in the cozy reading areas, sign up for the winter reading challenge, or check out the range of fun events planned.
9. Get your Kids into Coding
Coding is a skill that will help kids get ahead in today’s tech-driven world. And in Front Royal, they can have fun and learn about it at the same time. If your kids are getting cabin fever, bring them to Code Ninjas after school or on a weekend and let them take off! Be sure to check out the Parent’s Night Out. You can drop the kids off and go on to find some fun of your own!
10. Buy and Play Games and Toys!
Play Favorites is a toy shop like no other, and great addition to Front Royal’s shopping scene. This exciting toy shop stocks a wide range of toys, games and puzzles, and features a fun arcade/game room where you can try out a variety of their most fun products. Come by to shop or play! It’s another great option for indoor fun in Front Royal.
With games to play, wine to sip, axes to throw, and much more, there’s plenty of indoor fun to help keep the cold months going by in Front Royal. Make your plans today and see how much fun winter can be in a friendly, happening town!
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