Getting outdoors and spending some time at a park is a fantastic and inexpensive way to get some exercise and make memories with family and friends. There’s plenty of reasons to go to the park. You might be:
No matter what you’re envisioning for your time at the park, you’re sure to find a perfect fit among the diverse parks of the Warren County park system. Read on for a quick guide to Front Royal’s parks to help plan your next park day in Front Royal.
Eastham Park: Riverside Walks and Dog Play
We’ll start with what’s fast becoming one of Warren County’s most popular parks. Eastham Park boasts a fantastic location on the banks of the Shenandoah River. It’s also conveniently located close to Front Royal’s historic downtown area. If you’re looking for a walk in the park, you’ll love Eastham Park’s riverside walking trail. You’ll also find the Warren County Dog Park here, so if you looking for a place where your pup can play without a leash, you’ve found it! The boat launch area makes this park a top pick for boating enthusiasts and fishing enthusiasts alike.
Other amenities you’ll find here:
Find Everything Park at Front Royal’s Classic Town Parks Complex
Grouped around Bing Crosby Stadium, you’ll find a complex of several connected parks. It’s a great place to plan a gathering, as there are facilities here for everyone to love. Older kids and sports enthusiasts will enjoy the tennis and basketball courts, at the Gertrude E. Miller Park as well as sand volleyball. In the summer, the whole family can enjoy the community swimming pool, or watch at baseball game at Bing Crosby Stadium. At this site, you’ll also find Lions Park, which has extensive playgrounds, including a handicap accessible area. Or stroll over to the Botanical Gardens, where you can enjoy walking among flowers and shrubs, sitting (or fishing!) on the banks of Happy Creek, or letting kids play at the Splash Pad. There’s truly something for everyone in this complex of parks.
Other amenities you’ll find here:
Escape to the Country at Rockland Park
You have to drive a bit further to get to Rockland Park, but if you want to feel like you have plenty of space, you won’t be disappointed. Rockland Park’s most unique attraction is its 18-hole disc golf course. You’ll also find a wooded walking trail to the Shenandoah River and an outdoor fitness center.
Other amenities you’ll find here:
Outdoor Space for the Whole Community at Warren Memorial Hospital
It’s a widely acknowledged fact that spending time exercising in the outdoors is essential for both mental and physical health. The new Warren Memorial Hospital has taken this need for outdoor exercise seriously, with a public walking trailon the hospital campus. Having a loved one in the hospital can be a highly stressful time. Now family and friends of Warren Memorial Hospital’s patients will have a beautiful place to clear their heads and renew their spirits. Patients undergoing rehab can also benefit from the trail, as will hospital staff, and members of the local community at large. With over three miles of wooded trails and two scenic overlooks, the trail is a great addition to the hospital facility, and a boost the health of the whole community!
Skating, Soccer, Strolling, and Great Views at Skyline Soccerplex
Skyline Soccerplex is a town park with expansive athletic fields and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Warren County Skate Park here spells lots of fun for skating, biking, and scootering enthusiasts.
Other amenities you’ll find here:
Play Sports at Chimney Field Park
Sports enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy at Chimney Field Park. Explore the basketball and tennis courts, as well as the softball fields. The rentable picnic shelter makes it a great place to plan your own sports league, or just get together with a few friends for a game and a picnic.
Keep it Simple at Burrell Brooks Jr. Community Park
Burrell Brooks Jr Community Park is small but packed with everything you need. Enjoy basketball, sand volleyball or horseshoes, or let kids explore the playground. Outdoor exercise equipment and a walking trail complete the park. The rentable picnic shelter provides tables for a picnic meal, or a space to plan a fun get together.
Playground Pit Stop at Florence Smith Memorial Playground
If you’re looking for a quick and simple playground stop, check out the Florence Smith Memorial Playground. This small but convenient playground with a picnic shelter available is a great stop for an outing with children.
There’s plenty to choose from in Front Royal’s parks. Use our handy guide to find the park that best fits your needs, and then relax and enjoy fresh air and fun in Front Royal.
With school age kids settled back into the school routine across the country, parents and kids alike might be missing the opportunities for family bonding and shared experiences that the summer brought. The good news is that the beginning of school doesn’t have to mean the end of family adventures. If you let your imagination take off, you’d be surprised at what you can find to do in the Front Royal area between the end of one school day and the beginning of the next. Instead of driving straight home from the school pick up line, head off on an “after school adventure.” A weeknight adventure means you’ll enjoy less crowds, lower rates, and the mid-week break you need to keep you going.
Today’s post is all about finding adventures around Front Royal that fit in those precious hours when you’re off work and your kids are home from school. We’re calling these “after school adventures.” The goal is family fun. We’re not trying to set any world records. So we’ve rounded up some ways you can enjoy a break from your everyday routine, while making sure you’ll be back in time for school the next morning! You may lose a bit of sleep, but you’ll give everyone a needed break, and gain some unforgettable memories. If you’d like to enjoy an after school adventure with your family in the Front Royal area, read on for some ideas of family friendly fun in the Front Royal area.
Overnight After School Adventure Ideas in the Front Royal Area
For kids, nothing says adventure like spending a night away from home. Even camping out in their own back yard can be magical. But if you want to take it to the next level, there’s plenty of scope around Front Royal. You don’t have to go far to find a fun night away where you won’t be spending all your time driving or all your money on accommodations.
A great, family friendly camping options is Elizabeth Furnace Family Campground. The campground is right on the banks of Passage Creek, so you can make dinner over a camp stove while the kids splash in the water or explore the banks. Gather the family for s’mores around the campfire before snuggling up together in your tent. A fifteen minute drive in the morning will bring you right back into Front Royal. An important perk of weeknight camping: you’ll enjoy less crowds, less competition for the best sites, and even cheaper rates at some campgrounds.
If you don’t want to bother with pitching a tent, or if you want a little more comfort than tent camping provides, reserve one of the primitive PATC Cabins in Shenandoah National Park. Though primitive, these cabins do provide four walls around you, a roof over your head, and a bunk to sleep on. Don’t expect running water though! To build up the feeling of adventure, you’ll receive your cabin key in the mail, along with instructions on how to get to the cabin. Range View Cabin is a popular choice near the Front Royal end of Skyline Drive. Older kids will enjoy making the short hike through the woods to arrive at their housing for the night.
After School Adventures that Bring You Home for the Night
You don’t have to spend the night away from home to make it an adventure though. If you need the refreshing sleep you can only get in your own bed, you can still fit in an adventure before bedtime. Consider taking off after school for a short hike and picnic supper before heading home. Not sure where to start hiking? Two local favorites are the Compton Peak Hikes in Shenandoah National Park, or the Buzzard Rock Hike in the George Washington National Forest area. Both of these hikes do involve overlooks and steep climbs, so try to plan your evening so you’ll be back at the trailhead before dark.
If you can’t get out early enough to fit a hike in before dusk, you can have an adventure without going far from your car. How about driving into Shenandoah National Park after nightfall, stopping at an overlook, and making hot chocolate on a camp stove while gazing at the stars? Bring some blankets and enjoy family time under the stars before heading home to sleep in your own bed.
Reward Yourself with Breakfast Out in Front Royal
Whether you actually spent the night in the great outdoors, or simple carved out part of your evening for family time, your adventure does mean you don’t have the time you normally do for your daily chores. Why not complete the family fun by grabbing breakfast out the next morning? With a great selection of coffee shops and diners, Front Royal has you covered for a breakfast the whole family will enjoy. Try L’Dees Pancake House for a classic diner breakfast, or if a coffee shop is more up your alley, try Daily Grind, Happy Creek Coffee, or DL Campus Coffee on Main. Celebrate your break from the everyday, before heading back to work and school refreshed and energized.
If you’re looking to add some excitement to your family’s fall routine, it’s a great time to try an after school adventure. The Front Royal area is the perfect backdrop for your and your kids to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Every fall sees large numbers of visitors heading to the Front Royal area in pursuit of the breathtaking fall foliage vistas. But if you’re seeking nature’s glory splendor in Front Royal this year, make sure you catch the whole show! Mother Nature isn’t done after a day of drinking in the splendor of fall. There’s an equally glorious display about to come: the star-filled night sky.
There’s something about stargazing that’s good for the soul. The sight of thousands of sparkling lights coming from worlds away is one that never gets old. It’s a good reminder of how big the universe is. And how small we are.
And maybe it’s something we’re meant to see. After all, for most of human history, people everywhere enjoyed star filled skies on a regular basis. Today, light pollution has made stargazing difficult for those living in highly populated areas. That’s yet another reason to escape to the Front Royal area this fall so you can enjoy the night sky the way it’s supposed to be.
Stargazing Spots in the Front Royal Area
For those in search of the thrill of gazing at a starlit sky, there are two parks in the Front Royal area that offer particularly outstanding displays.
The first is Shenandoah National Park. Driving on Skyline Drive already makes you feel a bit closer to the sky. But for stargazers there’s still some light pollution from the towns in the valley below. To maximize your night sky viewing, head to one of the park’s top stargazing areas. The Big Meadows area is a sought-after stargazing spot, and the location of Shenandoah National Park’s formal astronomy program, which takes place on select Friday nights through the month of October. The Skyland Amphitheater is another top stargazing spot in the park. Making arrangements for a campsite,cabin, or hotel room in Shenandoah National Park is a great way to enjoy some stargazing without having to make a long trip home at night.
For more tips, see this guide to stargazing in Shenandoah National Park. The guide includes including a list of the top overlooks in the park for stargazing (with the least light pollution interference).
On the other side of Front Royal, another great option is Sky Meadows State Park. Sky Meadows offers such great night sky views, that it’s recently become an officially designated Dark Sky Park. The park typically closes at dusk, but check their schedule of events for the popular Astronomy for Everyone program. For these family friendly events, the park stays open after dark, and you can enjoy a guided stargazing experience. Or if you want a real stargazing adventure, plan on using their primitive hike-in tent camping site and spending a memorable night under the stars.
Five Stargazing Tips
If you’re sold on making stargazing part of your next Front Royal adventure, read on for a few more tips that will help make your experience great!
1.Plan with the moon in mind. The brighter the moon, the less you’ll see of the stars, as the light of the moon can drown out these smaller nights. Stargazing will be best with a new or crescent moon above you.
1.Wait for clear skies. You’ll also want to make sure that there’s minimal cloud coverage blocking your views of the stars. Choose a crisp, clear fall night (and maybe bring a mug of hot chocolate!).
1.Let your eyes get used to the dark. You may not be used to being outside after dark, but your eyes will get there quicker than you think. While it takes several hours for your eyes to completely adjust to darker conditions, major changes take place in your eyes after just ten minutes of darkness, allowing you to see better. To help your eyes adjust, avoid using flashlights or other artificial lights as possible. It’s also helpful to avoid looking at phone screens. If you must use a light, try using one that’s tinted red.
1.Stay safe. If you’re an adventurous spirit in the park after dark, you might be tempted by the idea of a stargazing hike. While hiking at night can be a fun and memorable adventure, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll want to take added safety precautions. Don’t stray from trails at night. You may find it impossible to retrace your steps without light. Also, avoid trails with hazards such as steep drops that could be particularly dangerous in the dark. Be particularly alert for wildlife. And as always, make sure someone knows where you are going, and when you expect to return.
For more stargazing tips, see this article on stargazing in Shenandoah National Park.
There are few sights as captivating as a night sky filled with stars, or as stunning as the Blue Ridge mountains lit up with the colors of fall. Plan to enjoy both this year. A combination leaf-peeping star-gazing trip will leave you filled with awe at nature’s wonders.
Whether it’s relaxing by the pool with a cool drink, enjoying a cookout with friends, or spending time with kids on summer break, we all have our favorite summer activities. But there are certain adventures that scream “summer” like no other! We call them essential summer experiences!
We’ve rounded up a list of nine essential summer experiences that you can enjoy in Front Royal, Virginia. So whether you’re looking for a way to entertain your kids or just yourself, read on! You’ll discover the best of the summer experiences that await you. Give them a try, and you’ll find some new traditions that’ll have you coming back year after year (or maybe multiple times in the same year!).
1. Float, Float, Float your Tube!
If you’re in the Front Royal area, you won’t want to let the summer go by without at least one adventure on the Shenandoah River! In our book, a river float trip is the number one most relaxing way to beat the heat and enjoy the river in summer. For tube rental, check out one of Front Royal’s own river outfitters, such as Front Royal Outdoors or Skyline Canoe Company. They have everything you’ll need for a river adventure, including shuttle service! And if you’re in search of a slightly more strenuous outing, you’ll find great canoeing options here too. Front Royal isn’t called the Canoe Capital of Virginia for nothing!
2. Wine, Cheese, and a Sumer Breeze
For an elegant summer outing, a picnic at a winery is hard to beat, and Front Royal is fast becoming a wine lover’s dream destination. With scenic wineries all around, the only problem is deciding which one to visit. Fortunately, there are enough weekends in the summer that you’ll have a chance to try them all out! Bring your own picnic and enjoy the finest in Virginia wines, against the stunning backdrop of the Shenandoah Valley.
3. Summer in a Cup or a Cone
An ice cream outing is one of those summer experiences that delights young and old (and everybody in between!). Whether you’re taking a break in the middle of another adventure, or making a weeknight more fun with a quick outing, you can’t really go wrong with ice cream in the summer! Front Royal is home to several winning ice cream stands and parlors. Two top picks: The Apple House in Linden for a rustic country feel, or C & C’s Frozen Treats on Main Street for a small town ice cream vibe!
4. Cool Down in Town!
Make a hot, sweaty day into a memorable moment by cooling off in Front Royal! Kids will love Front Royal’s own Splash Pad at Dr. Paul Seide Memorial Gardens. And if the splash pad doesn’t satisfy the water-lover within, no worries! Front Royal’s community pool is right next door!
5. Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
Hotdogs, sunflower seeds, and a great ballgame. It’s all you need to enjoy a summer evening in an all-American way. Front Royal’s Bing Crosby Stadium is the home of the Front Royal Cardinals, and a great place to enjoy a summer evening of baseball. Check the league schedule here to find a Cardinals home game that works for you.
6. Grill and Chill
Merge two essential summer experiences into one by planning a cookout on the banks of the Shenandoah River. Shenandoah River State Park is the home of an extensive riverside picnic area, with plenty of charcoal grills available! Swim or fish, and then relax with some food hot off the grill. Don’t forget the watermelon!
7. Splash Around on a Swimming Hole Hike
If outdoor adventures and hiking are your passion, give your hobby a fun summer twist by incorporating a swimming hole on your next hike. Overall Run Falls is a favorite waterfall destination in Shenandoah National Park. If you enter the park at Thompson Hollow Trailhead, you can hike towards Overall Run Falls and enjoy the swimming holes and waterfalls along the way. This area of the park is also accessible from the Mathews Arm Area off Skyline Drive, but expect a longer hike before you can cool off in a natural pool!
8. Pick Your Own Farm Fresh Fruit
It wouldn’t be summer without the juices of freshly picked in-season fruit running down your chin! From strawberries to blueberries to peaches, there’s always something to pick in a Front Royal summer! Stribling Orchard and Hartland Orchard are two of our favorite pick-your-own locations in the Front Royal area. Most pick-your-own farms restrict picking to ensure a continuous supply, so be sure call or check social media before you arrive to avoid disappointment! You can also check ahead to find out which fruit is in season.
9. Appaloosa Music Festival
Mark your calendars for August 13-15! You won’t want to miss Front Royal’s own family friendly folk music festival. Popular D.C.-based Scythian Band has been hosting the annual Appaloosa Music Festival in Front Royal since 2014. Find camping, music workshops, local foods, local vendors, and a free kids zone, plus a great lineup of “roots music” bands from all over the U.S. And find it all right here at Front Royal’s own Skyline Ranch Resort! Buy your Appaloosa tickets today to make sure you don’t miss out on this unforgettable music festival!
There’s something to love about every season, but summer might be the one with the most potential for pure outdoor fun! Our essential summer experiences have an edge on making the most of this warm and sunny time of year. So get out there and have fun in the sun in Front Royal, Virginia.
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