Virginia comes into 2020 swinging with one event after another. See why this state is for lovers, and then some, with this busy calendar of family fun and new attractions.
History and Culture
When you want a little history lesson while on vacation, Virginia can help. While Fairfax County celebrates the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passing and there’s more women’s history than your kids may know, there will be plenty to see and do throughout the year with an educational twist.
Opening March 2020, Stonewall Jackson House Museum welcomes a new orientation center, featuring artifacts owned by the Jackson family and previously never before seen by the general public.
Once a D.C. prison, Workhouse Arts Center will open a Lucy Burns Museum in May. The new museum will primarily focus on the National Women’s Party’s efforts to win the right to vote, as the building once held incarcerated members of the party.
Another piece of women’s history coming to the area in August, the new Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will host a dedication ceremony at Occoquan Regional Park. Stroll through the 1.6-acre national memorial, including replicas of the White House gates and a tranquil meditation garden. This site hosts events throughout the year, including a production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Jan. 17.
For a little something (almost) everyone in the family may know a bit about — country music. According to Ken Burns, Bristol, Virginia, is the birthplace of country music and, by the looks of the 2020 music lineup, it’s difficult to argue.
A local favorite, Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary in Southwest Virginia May 20–23, or plan a visit in June for the 10th anniversary of HoustonFest in Galax. Bring the kids in July for the 20th anniversary of FloydFest, or plan ahead for the 85th anniversary of the Galax Fiddlers’ Convention in August. Just in time for fall foliage and brisk hikes, bring the family for the 20th anniversary of Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion in September. Whichever festival speaks to your crew, expect a sense of down-home, folk-music fun.
Celebrate the anticipated Sessions Hotel opening on State Street in Bristol this spring with a visit to Southern Craft BBQ Restaurant. This space offers indoor/outdoor musical performances and calendar events along with comfort food, drinks and a rooftop space.
Visiting Virginia without spending some time in the stunning natural beauty of Shenandoah County would be a crying shame. Bring the family for a scenic hike, nature walk or cold-weather camping trip and unwind after a long day of outdoor adventuring at Sage Bird Ciderworks, opening in March in Harrisonburg. Adult children and parents, expect fruit-forward beverages crafted from locally sourced produce.
Speaking of Activity …
Opening Jan. 18, Horizons Edge Sports & Event Campus is a great place for the athletes in your crew to run off some energy. Some 90,000 square feet includes multiple basketball courts, volleyball courts, a family entertainment center and a multipurpose indoor/outdoor soccer field.
Watch some of the best BMX riders in the country show off at The BMX Blue Ridge Nationals in Lexington Jan. 24–26, or get out on the trails yourself on foot. Opening mid-2020, The Trails at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is set to be the largest outdoor art exhibit in Virginia; with more than three miles of trails, your family will have their nature walk cut out for them.
If all else fails, or if you find you have more time and energy, Shenandoah National Park is a true beauty worth your family’s time.
It’s not too early to plan holiday family travel, and those bound for the Grand Canyon region might want to consider booking tickets now for Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel’s popular Polar Express. Tickets are going fast!
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Family travelers spending time in Riviera Maya, Mexico, cannot miss Xel-Há, a park offering an extensive list of activities, all surrounded by the pure natural beauty of the region. The beginning of fall marks the perfect time to visit the park, with more than 20 unique experiences.
Qatar may not seem like your typical wintertime family travel destination. After all, you won’t find many snow-capped peaks or ski resorts in the world’s desert nations, but the country’s newest winter attraction will make sure you have so much fun you won’t even think about snow. From roller coasters and merry-go-rounds to cotton candy and ice cream, there will be something for everyone at this nightly, winter-themed entertainment park.
Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.