Escape D.C. for a Family-Friendly Weekend - Shenandoah Valley
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Escape D.C. for a Family-Friendly Weekend

Guide Featured By: Eat Well Explore Often

Explore More Discovery Museum

150 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA, USA

Magpie Diner

85 West Gay Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, USA

Escape the hustle and bustle of D.C. for fresh air, unique outdoor experiences, and plenty of family activities in the Shenandoah Valley.

From hands-on learning to kid-friendly restaurants, we’ve compiled our recommendations for a fun-filled kid-friendly itinerary through Harrisonburg and Page County that is sure to produce some great family memories. 

Guide Featured By: Eat Well Explore Often

“Most people think of Harrisonburg VA as a college town, but there is so much to do for families. The kids had the BEST time. I would highly recommend a visit to Harrisonburg, VA with kids. Harrisonburg, VA is only about two hours away from the D.C. metro area, making it the perfect spot for a weekend trip. Below, check out our top recommendations for a two-day Shenandoah Valley trip exploring Luray Caverns and Harrisonburg, VA with kids.”


Visit their site and read more from their stay in the “What To Do In Harrisonburg, VA Guide”

Day 1: Harrisonburg, VA

Explore More Discovery Museum Entry

Start the morning with a trip to Explore More Discovery Museum – a children’s learning museum with plenty of interactive and multi-sensory exhibits that makes for a fun educational opportunity for kids. With exciting stations like a farmer’s market, construction zones, a TV studio and medical centers to explore, you can expect the whole family to have fun. (Be sure to visit the Makerspace for ages 8+)


Magpie Diner Exterior


After an exciting morning at the museum, head just a 3 minute walk away to Magpie Diner (recently opened!) for a delicious lunch and a modern take on diner cuisine – from salads, sandwiches, to all-day breakfast (kids-friendly options included). Fresh bread and pastries are made daily at the neighboring Magpie Bakery and coffee is freshly brewed from beans roasted in the adjacent Chestnut Ridge Coffee Roasters.  There is even an outdoor patio!



If a local brewery is more your family’s speed, head to Restless Moons Brewing, just a 0.4 mile walk from the heart of downtown. With plenty of outdoor space and several food trucks to choose from, this spot is great for families that want options. 


Explore Downtown Harrisonburg by downloading the free TRAIPSE app. Enjoy self-guided tours or enjoy the scavenger hunt feature and solve puzzles as you go. From historical information to art murals the tours are sure to be a hit with all ages. 


Explore More Discovery Museum Entry
Back Home on the Farm Corn Maze Lookout
Photo Courtesy of Lynne Hess


After lunch, check out one of Harrisonburg’s most loved family-friendly spots 10 minutes from downtown. 


Back Home on the Farm is a real working farm that also offers a huge variety of 30+ kid-friendly activities for a great time out together with the family.  


From visiting farm animals, exploring their Enchanted Garden, taking a ride on the kids’ zipline, wagon rides, cow milking, daily butterfly releases, and more, there are plenty of activities for kids to look forward to! 


Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza at Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza


For dinner, head downtown to one of Harrisonburg’s most popular pizza restaurants, Bella Luna Wood Fired Pizza. Choose from their range of thin-crust Neapolitan-inspired pizzas made with 100% organic flour, gluten-free options, or build your own – perfect for picky eaters! 


When you’re done, don’t forget to check out their gelato shop directly across the street, Bella Gelato & Pastries, for yummy gelato in freshly made waffle cones, desserts, and more. 


Still have energy to burn check out A Dream Come True Playground, Harrisonburg’s one-of-a-kind community playground sure to help children burn off all that extra energy.


As the day comes to an end, check in to the all-new Tru by Hilton hotel just 10 minutes from downtown. This hotel is spacious and perfect for an overnight stay with the family and offers free breakfast, a fitness center, a business center, and more. 



If you’re looking for a more private lodging experience for your family, check out private cottages at By The Side of the Road Getaway Lodging only minutes from downtown. A great option to relax and unwind in peace for the night. 

Day 2: Luray/Page County

Escape D C For A Family Friendly Weekend
“Wishing Well” At Luray Caverns

After a restful sleep, check out Black Sheep Coffee for great local coffee made from freshly roasted beans, teas for non-coffee drinkers, healthy cold-pressed juices, breakfast wraps, sandwiches, quiches, and baked goods!


Ready for a one-of-a-kind experience your kids will never forget? En route back to D.C., check out the stunning natural formations of Luray Caverns. There are 10-story-high naturally formed caverns, stunning stone sculptures, underground lakes, and more. Every ticket to Luray Caverns comes with complimentary access to attractions like:



West Main Market Exterior
Photo Courtesy of West Main Market


Before heading back home, check out some of these great nearby restaurants for the perfect way to end your trip: 

  • For Virginia BBQ lovers, check out Triple Crown BBQ. Their smoky sampler is a great choice for those who want a little bit of everything.
  • West Main Market is perfect for any family on the go. This full-service Delicatessen offering cold and hot sandwiches, cold cuts, and fresh salads.


For more experiences in Harrisonburg, Page County, or the surrounding areas, check out, and

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