Many people would rank winter as their least favorite season, and with cold temperatures, shorter hours of daylight, and long stretches of time cooped up at home, it’s not hard to see why. It may take more effort to get everyone out the door, but winter can still be a great time for family adventures and creating memories with your kids. Read on for five ideas for keeping winter fun around Front Royal with your kids this year. You’ll find suggestions for kids of all ages, and ideas for outdoor and indoor activities you can enjoy in the winter.
1. Go on a Winter Outdoor Adventure
Getting outside can be less appealing in the winter than any other time of year. But if it’s not too cold, an outdoor adventure can be the boost everyone needs. In fact, getting outdoors in the winter has been proven to help combat seasonal depression. An adventure when it’s chilly leaves a great sense of accomplishment. Older kids will enjoy less crowded hiking conditions and the stark beauty of the winter landscape at some of the Front Royal area’s fantastic hikingl ocations like Shenandoah National Park. For little kids, a less demanding walk will still be an adventure. Try heading to Eastham Park for a walk along the stroller-friendly riverside trail. Little ones can enjoy the playgrounds here too. Kids will be having so much fun they’ll for get to feel cold.
2. Enjoy a Winter Sport Together
If it’s snowy, the Front Royal area is a great location for bigger kids to try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Don’t be deterred if you’ve never tried these sports yourself. Snowshoeing is not that much harder than walking, and kids will be tickled at the idea of learning something new alongside an adult they love. Sledding is a favorite winter pastime for kids of all ages and adults too. Front Royal’s Skyline Middle School has a sledding hill that’s a local favorite. Walking back up the hill is a great way to get a work out in.
3. Go on a Hot Chocolate Run
Add some warm and sugary fun to your kid’s winter day by grabbing a hot chocolate together at one of Front Royal’s fantastic coffee shops. DL Campus Coffee on Main and The Daily Grind are two local favorites on Main Street. Or head about a block further to find Manor Line’s Back 40. You’ll find friendly and welcoming environments at all. Manor Line’s Back 40 has board games available, as well as a designated kids area with toys for little ones.
4. Learn New Skills Indoors
If it’s really too cold and wintry to be outside for long, there’s lots to do indoors in Front Royal, and some fantastic opportunities for kids to pick up new skills. Head to Explore Art and Clay for a chance to paint your own pottery. Check out Code Ninjas if your kids are interested in learning about computers and coding skills. Or for exercise and indoor fun wrapped into one, head to Battlegrounds Fitness. Kids can enjoy moving around and getting active while avoiding winter weather conditions.
5. Play Games at Home or in Town!
Playing a game as a family is a great way to enjoy some time with your kids in the winter. If you’re looking for a new game in Front Royal, head to Play Favorites and pick out something to bring home from a fantastic range of games and toys. Make your family game night even more fun by playing a game while you’re still out and about. Play Favorites has a game room where you can try out many of the games in the store, as well as check out some arcade games. Or grab your hot chocolate at Manor Line’s Back 40, and enjoy one of their stash of board games while you’re there.
If winter weather is turning “cozy” into “cabin fever,” don’t feel like you have to stay cooped up at home! Front Royal is a great place to enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor winter activities. Say goodbye to those cold weather blues and come cheer up in Front Royal this winter!
With schools out and warm temperatures, summer is the time of year when many Americans plan to travel and enjoy vacation. But in 2022 with gas prices hitting record highs, taking a trip to a distant destination will be more expensive than ever before. If gas prices are giving you pause, don’t give up on the idea of a vacation just yet! It’s time to start seeing travel limitations as an opportunity! A local vacation can be just as fun as one that involves long-distance travel, and if you’re near the Front Royal area, you have the perfect destination right on your doorstep. Whether you’re a resident of the D.C. Metro area, or hail from even closer to Front Royal, give our amazing small town a look. You’ll discover that Front Royal is packed with all the ingredients it takes to make for a great vacation. Bonus: with travel time cut down you’ll have even more time to spend relaxing and enjoying yourself.
Read on for six reasons we love the idea of a local vacation in the Front Royal area! Soon you’ll be wondering why you ever took the trouble of travelling far away for a vacation!
1. Front Royal has Fantastic Lodging and Dining
It wouldn’t feel like a vacation without the chance to relax and enjoy comfortable accommodations and delicious food. If a local vacation has you saving money on travel expenses, you may have a little left in the budget to enjoy some extra luxuries in the lodging and dining departments.
In the Front Royal area, you can find truly unique lodging options for a memorable and comfortable stay. Check out the John Pope Cabin at Walnut Hill Farm and Estate, or Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast for fantastic lodging you won’t forget. Explore the rolling farmland that surrounds Rolling River Holidays’ stunning vacation homes. Or plan on some hot tub relaxation by booking a cabin with Hot Tub Heaven. See here for a fuller list of Front Royal’s lodging options including hotels, cozy cabins, and more.
Gourmet meals area also easy to find in Front Royal. The Element is Front Royal’s classic option for fine dining. Check out Vibrissa Beer or Pavemint Taphouse for local craft beer and delicious food. Or head to neighboring Flint Hill to enjoy other upscale options.
2. Outdoor Adventures Aplenty Await in Front Royal
With its location conveniently close to Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah River, Front Royal is perhaps best known as a destination for lovers of outdoor adventure. Adventure awaits whichever way you turn in Front Royal. Plan a hike or backpacking trip in the National Park, explore rock climbing, or plan out a whole week of outdoor fun with canoeing in the Shenandoah River, hiking, biking, and more all easily accessible from Front Royal.
3. Front Royal has Lots for History Buffs
It’s a lesser known claim to fame, but the Shenandoah Valley (Front Royal included) was the scene of some key battles of the Civil War. The Front Royal area retains a strong sense of history to this day. Explore at your own pace with the Battle of Front Royal Civil Driving Tour, or check Front Royal’s events page for Civil War talks, tours, and more. If you’re staying in Front Royal, you’ll also be within reach of Civil War Battlefields at New Market, Cedar Creek, and Antietam.
4. Find the Fun at Front Royal’s Events
Keep your local Front Royal vacation exciting by attending some special events. Front Royal has a busy events calendar, and you’ll find there’s a lot going on. Relax at Fox Meadow Winery with their Sunset in the Vineyard events, or head to Shenandoah Valley Golf Club on a Friday Night for Fire Pit Fridays. Take in a Front Royal Cardinals home baseball game for more fun. If you’re here mid-July, don’t miss the Valley Baseball League All-Star Game on July 17. Plan your visit for the first week of August and enjoy some honest country fun at the Warren County Fair.
5. Front Royal is Camping Out Heaven
Some like a little luxury in vacation accommodations, for others it’s more refreshing (and affordable) to take it back to the basics with a camping trip. Some long-lasting family memories can be made around the campfire, and it’s a great way to unplug a little more and help the whole family enjoy being together. With fantastic scenery and lots of parks nearby, Front Royal has great camping options, from riverside to mountain top and more. Check them out here.
6. Front Royal is Fun for all the Family
If you’re bringing kids you’ll want to make sure you plan some fun for them, too. From a fun splash pad for little ones to kayaking, horseback riding, and hiking fun for older ages, there’s plenty kids will love about Front Royal. Skyline Caverns is a great family attraction, and Front Royal’s delicious ice cream shops can provide the perfect sweet ending to any family adventure. See here for more ideas on keeping kids happy and entertained around Front Royal.
Don’t let gas prices ruin your summer plans this year! Plan a local vacation, and discover all the fun you can have without having to log lots of miles. With convenient proximity to the D.C. Metro area, a rustic feel that makes it seem like you’re worlds away, and loads of fun and adventure waiting for you to enjoy, Front Royal is the ideal destination for a local vacation. Bonus: you may even discover a nearby attraction that you’ll be able to return to again and again over the coming year.
With local farms in full swing, grapes starting to weigh down the vines, and pick your own farms all over the map, summer in Virginia is a time of plenty. It’s a great time to enjoy some fresh, local produce, and heading to a rural area like Front Royal definitely brings you closer to where your food is coming from. Discover Front Royal is will be featuring our local foods throughout the season, with tips on where to find them and how to enjoy them.
Today we’re giving you the run down on two fantastic local products, as well as a recipe to combine them for a delicious summer drink to enjoy on a balmy summer evening. Read on to discover Front Royal’s strawberries, wine, and Strawberry Sangria!
Finding Local Strawberries around Front Royal
In the category of popular, early summer produce, strawberries are high on the list. Fun to pick, delicious to eat, and at the center of countless summer dishes and desserts, strawberries are a summer staple. They also boast numerous health benefits including vitamin C and antioxidants. Strawberries are available in grocery stores all year round, but did you know that food grown in your local area and freshly picked in season has been shown to boast greater nutritional value than food shipped from far away? It tastes better too! Taking advantage of some locally grown strawberries this summer is fun and healthy at the same time!
Wondering where to find farm fresh strawberries? Head to Front Royal! Picking your own is lots of fun for all the family and you can do it here. In the Front Royal area, strawberry picking season can start as early as mid-May, and typically continues through June. Hartland Orchard/Green Truck Farms and Hollin Farms are popular locations for pick your own strawberries. Farming and weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check ahead and make sure picking is available before heading to the farm. Don’t have time to pick? At Hartland, you can purchase strawberries pre-picked for your convenience.
Sip on Virginia Wines
Strawberries taste great with another outstanding product of the Front Royal area: wine! Many wines pair well with strawberries. If you head to one of Front Royal’s wineries for a strawberry picnic, the staff can help you pick out the perfect bottle.
Why not make a day of it, with strawberry picking in the morning followed by a relaxing afternoon at a local winery? If you’re planning on picking at Hartland Orchard or Hollin Farms, Arterra Wines is an amazing winery option close by. Here you’ll find unique wines created with no additives. Even the yeasts used to ferment the wine are those naturally occurring on the grape skins. If you’re sensitive to some of the additives typically found in wines, or if you’re simply looking to clean up your diet (while still enjoying wine!), this winery is a must-visit!
Valley View Farm (though not a winery) is another convenient option for berry pickers where you can enjoy locally produced wines in a beautiful setting. Or check out Aspen Dale Winery for another amazing winery close by. With beautiful, extensive grounds to explore, it’s a great place for the whole family to relax and enjoy a picnic.
See a more extensive list of the Front Royal area’s wineries here.
Bring it Home and Enjoy Strawberry Sangria
Enjoying Front Royal’s fantastic local fare doesn’t have to stop when you get home. Bring a bottle of wine (or a few!) and some strawberries home and combine them to make a classic summer drink: Strawberry Sangria! Recipes for this summer favorite can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but this one’s a good place to start. Featuring just wine, strawberries, and a few other simple ingredients, it’s a sangria recipe that’s easy to make with primarily Front Royal-sourced ingredients! Plan ahead and chill overnight for best results. Enjoying this refreshing summer beverage is a great way to experience a taste of the Shenandoah Valley!
A wine and strawberries day in Front Royal Virginia is a perfect way to experience local produce and summer in the Shenandoah Valley all at once. Enjoy the fruits of the season and the stunning countryside, and leave with a tasty treat to enjoy at home.
The hot days of summer have many of us looking for opportunities to swim. There’s nothing more refreshing in the middle of the summer’s heat than having the chance to splash around and cool off in the water. Swimming also has great health and fitness benefits. It’s a low impact way to exercise that’s still toning for the whole body. If you’re looking for a place to swim around Front Royal this summer, read on! With multiple local pools open to the public, great access options for the Shenandoah River, and several beautiful natural swimming holes in the area, Front Royal is a great place to swim. Check out our guide to Front Royal swimming and pack your swimsuits and towels for a memorable and refreshing swimming adventure.
Hitting the Pool in Front Royal
Memorial Day Weekend often signals the beginning of outdoor pool season. In the Front Royal area it’s time to get ready for some serious swimming with two beautiful outdoor pools open to the public that the whole family is sure to enjoy.
Front Royal’s most centrally located pool is the Claude A. Stokes Community Pool in town. See here for details of opening hours, as well as information on lap swimming, open swim, and swimming lessons. With a 25 meter lanes, a diving board, water slide, and wading pools for kids, Claude A. Stokes Community Pool is a great feature of every Front Royal summer. Its convenient location in the Gertrude E. Miller Park complex makes it easy to combine swimming with playground time or your choice of an extensive range of park activities.
It’s about a fifteen minute drive from central Front Royal to the Northern Virginia 4-H Center. Here you’ll find another stunning outdoor pool in a scenic location. Open to the public Thursdays-Sundays, you can enjoy a relaxing swim while taking in views of the Shenandoah Valley’s hills and trees. Check the website for updates on swimming lessons offered here too.
Swim the Shenandoah River
A pool day is always fun, but there’s something especially thrilling about swimming or wading in a natural body of water. With the Shenandoah River flowing right through town, Front Royal has great access options for those who want to cool off with some river swimming/wading. Bonus: no pool fees!
Eastham Park is one of Front Royal’s most popular river access points. With a riverside walking trail, picnic area, athletic fields, and playground, it’s a great place to make a day of your trip to the park. Access the river from the public boat launch for wading and river swimming fun.
Another local favorite is Morgan’s Ford Boat Landing. It’s a great spot to launch or end a river trip, as well as to wade, swim, or relax in the calming waters of the Shenandoah River.
River access is also available at Shenandoah River State Park. Enjoy a picnic or grill-out at the extensive riverside picnic area. Kids and adults will enjoy cooling off in the river before or after!
Front Royal’s Swimming Holes
For a more adventurous take on swimming, escape even deeper into the countryside by exploring the Front Royal area’s more removed natural swimming holes. There are treasures here you’ll want to check out! Several are so spectacular they made this list of best swimming holes in the D.C. metro area. Combine a hike with some swimming hole fun for the ultimate summertime outdoor adventure!
For a family favorite that can be accessed without a lot of hiking, try the Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area in the George Washington National Forest. With several great hikes in the area, this is a swimming hole that can be combined with hiking or simply enjoyed without venturing too far from your car. Buzzard Rock swimming hole is another great option nearby that can be accessed after a fun hike. Find it below Buzzard Rock cliffs.
Shenandoah National Park is a top attraction for outdoors enthusiasts headed to Front Royal, and it has its share of swimming holes too. Overall Falls is among the most popular trails for water lovers. Access the park from the Thompson Hollow Trailhead to arrive at swimming holes after just a short hike, or for a longer and more challenging hike, drive along Skyline Drive to Mathew’s Arm Area and head down the mountain from there.
Five miles south of Front Royal, find another fantastic swimming hole at Gooney Creek Campground. Book a tent or RV campsite to enjoy a stay right on the banks of Gooney Creek, or pay the $5 day visitor fee and enjoy a relaxing day on the banks of the creek with picnicking and swimming for the whole family.
There’s nothing that can ruin a fun summer adventure like getting injured. While swimming is a great way to relax and have fun, it does carry risks. Swimming in a swimming hole or river requires extra care. If you head out into Front Royal’s outdoors to swim this summer keep in mind especially the following precautions:
Front Royal in the summer is a great place to swim. Whether you’re looking for a day at the pool or a refreshing outdoor adventure, or a riverside picnic, you can find it in the Front Royal area. You won’t need to worry about summer’s heat when a fun way to cool off is always right around the corner.
Discover Front Royal