Located just 2 hours from Richmond is Massanutten Resort, a family-friendly destination full of activities and amenities that my family hasn’t experienced anywhere else! Before I break down our entire trip, I must share that we are by no means the most sporty, outdoorsy family ever. We do love being outside, but winter sports are pretty unfamiliar territory and I was just so impressed at how Massanutten provides a range of activities…there’s plenty for everyone – from kids, to novice adults to experts.
I cannot recommend The Regal Vistas enough. These “luxury townhomes” are the perfect fit for a family. We loved turning on the fireplace and playing board games together, making breakfasts in the kitchen and who doesn’t love a whirlpool bathtub?! That tub was the ideal way for me to wind down at the end of our busy days!
The layout of the home gave each of us our space, with 2 large bedrooms and a pull-out couch. And, the convenience of a washer/dryer is unmatched when traveling with kids!
Savings tip: Pack food to cook once you’re at the resort. We ate several meals “at home” during our trip instead of eating out.
Indoor Water Park: My 5 year old, Gus, says this was his absolute favorite part of our trip. Gus could not get enough of the “Massanutten Meltdown” where he rode every slide (all 5!) multiple times and climbed to the top several times.
Rest assured that these slides end in a very small depth of water, and I never felt nervous while my children were swimming and playing. As a parent, I so appreciated the attention to safety, and the many options for all levels of swimmers.
Other highlights: The Blue Ridge Rapids, a lazy river ride where you can just cruise along. (What parent doesn’t like the ride where you can relax?!), The Melting Mogul & Country Cooler were my 9 year old’s favorites. She loved riding these with her Daddy, especially The Melting Mogul which is in the dark! (If your kiddo wants to try these, start with the Country Cooler, as it’s illuminated and much slower.)
Your waterpark ticket is good for the entire day. You can stop and break for lunch back “at home”, or even pack lunch for a car picnic!
Locker rental is $30 for the entire day. Receive a $15 arcade card or $10 cash back when you return the key.
Life jackets are available for small children for FREE.
Snow Tubing: I was hesitant to try skiing/snowboarding with our kids on such a short visit, so we settled on snow tubing. This was truly the best choice and I highly recommend it, as an alternative to skiing with young kids.
While the “hill” may look daunting to little ones, it is totally safe. My kids warmed up to the idea of tubing by riding down with their tubes tied to mine or my husband’s. Once they got the hang of it, they were up for going backwards, and “racing” each other down the hill.
Savings tip: Plan to do this Monday – Friday to save $10/ticket. Snow tubing is $30/1.5 hour session Monday – Friday; $40/1.5 hour session Saturday, Sunday & holidays.
Hopkins Park: This sweet little park is home to trails, a playground, pond, picnic pavilions and a large open field. We played and picnicked here prior to ice skating. It was a great way to get some outdoor time and burn some of the kid’s energy.
Savings tip: There’s no ticket needed to play/picnic at the park. It is completely FREE. Pack a picnic and then enjoy a walk, or playing on the playground.
Ice skating: My children haven’t had much experience with ice skating, so I was (again!) so pleased with Massanutten’s attention to detail and safety – helmets are available ($3/each), and tickets are limited so the rink doesn’t become overly crowded. In our 1 hour skating time, we all found our way around the rink and enjoyed it SO much!
I will admit, I was a bit uneasy when we learned there were no skate-aids to push around until we got used to the ice, but I actually found that without the skate-aids, we became better quicker – out of necessity, really! It was comforting that there were plenty of beginner-level skaters there (don’t worry pros – there were some experienced ice skaters, too!). As with all we experienced in Massanutten, our time at the rink went by so quickly.
Savings tip: Save by ice skating on a weekday ($2 savings); discounts for military and ages 5 & under.
Campfire Grill: From the second we were seated, we felt home here. It’s just so cozy, warm and the staff could not be more accommodating. When you visit, be sure to ask for Melvin, who provides excellent service with top recommendations.
We split the cast iron corn bread as an appetizer – can’t say if it was the honey butter or the actual bread, but you MUST try this! Campfire Grill has a full bar with a variety of signature drinks, including The Wanderer and the Snowflake Mimosa, both were five stars for us! My kids loved the “Kids’ Camp” options: pizza, hot dogs and typical kid’s fare.
Savings tip: Check out the Early Bird specials for savings on entrees.
We stopped by daily for pick me ups and just to sit for a moment in the quiet, calm coffee shop. There are comfy couches, books to read and wi-fi, making Rugged Cup a nice place to relax between activities or before your day gets going.
We liked our meal after tubing, as the atmosphere is casual and we were still in our snow gear. Additionally, food is served quickly, with little wait time – very important after an afternoon on the slopes!
Savings tip: For less money AND more food, split the medium pizza instead of buying pizza by the slice.
Have I convinced you to book your trip yet?! This resort really is one of a kind and created some of the most magical family memories for us. I loved seeing my children go out of their comfort zones (who am I kidding?! I was out of my comfort zone, too!) and be adventurous. T
he entire staff at Massanutten is calming and reassuring; we just felt so safe and cared for while at the resort. As a reminder – it’s only 2 hours away, making this an option for a day trip, weekend, or even longer…trust me you will want to stay longer!
(One last) Savings tip: The Massanutten Rewards Program is FREE. Participants receive 1 point for every dollar spent. You may redeem accumulated points for activities and even lodging at Massanutten, or a 5% rebate on points earned.
Lindsay Garrison loves Richmond and is proud to raise her own family here. As a teacher for 12 years, she learned how to save, budget and stretch every penny. Additionally, she led groups of students to Europe annually, and took great pride in planning affordable, fun-filled trips. She transferred those skills to her daily life and shares them with readers of RVA on the Cheap. Lindsay utilizes RVA on the Cheap to make enriching life experiences accessible to all. Check her instagram: rva.familyfun for more affordable family adventures!