Kids Just Want to Have Fun

Add to trip
  • 3

    Days

  • 10

    Activities

  • 5

    Locations

  • 46

    Travel Miles

For this jolly journey, you can stay in a 6 bedroom lodge, at the cool cabins, or camp at Natural Tunnel State Park. The first point of exploration must be the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”  At 850 feet long and as tall as a 10-story building, the tunnel was naturally carved through a limestone ridge over thousands of years.  But the chairlift ride to the floor of the gorge is the real treat!  The park also offers a great learning experience at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse, cave and hiking tours, hayrides, a water park with a 100-foot slide, and is the originator of the Canorkel tour.

  • Day 1 Explore nature's wonder

    For this jolly journey, you can stay in a 6 bedroom lodge, at the cool cabins, or camp at Natural Tunnel State Park. The first point of exploration must be the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”  At 850 feet long and as tall as a 10-story building, the tunnel was naturally carved through a limestone ridge over thousands of years.  But the chairlift ride to the floor of the gorge is the real treat!  The park also offers a great learning experience at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse, cave and hiking tours, hayrides, a water park with a 100-foot slide, and is the originator of the Canorkel tour.

  • Day 2 Get your "ZOO" on!

    The adventure continues with an amazing trip to Creation Kingdom Zoo.  With a cast of creatures that rivals any metro zoo, Creation Kingdom allows visitors to get very close and personal with the animals in a super safe environment.  Kids can even pet some of the animals.  In addition to Bella, the white Bengal tiger, visitors to the zoo can also see leopards, bears, camels, giraffes, spider monkeys, camels, wildebeest, a red kangaroo, Surri alpaca, zebras, elands, emu, kookaburra, and llamas, just to name a few. Grab some good grub at Teddy’s in Nickelsville when you’re in the neighborhood. For a bonus adventure in the fall, the Punkin Patch features a Farm Petting Zoo, Hayrides, Corn Maze and Saturday night music jams.

    You can treat yourself to peach cobbler and traditional music at Allen Hicks’ Friday Night Jam or head up the road toward Coeburn through the Jefferson National Forest, for a hike along the spectacular Guest River Gorge.  This scenic wonder is a rails to trails path following cliffs formed eons ago, through an old railroad tunnel, bridges using the remaining railroad trestles, waterfalls, and rock outcroppings.

    To lay down your sleepy head after a fun-filled day, choose from a number of hotels in nearby Norton or the new lodging offerings in St. Paul.  If you’re headed to Norton, you may still have time to hit the Central Drive-In Theater and give your kids a memorable experience from your own childhood!

  • Day 3 Choose your own adventure

    If you choose Norton for Day Three, outdoor adventures abound!  Explore Flag Rock and get a bird’s eye view of the City of Norton.  Further up the mountain into the Jefferson National Forest, you can ELEVATE your heart rate at 4,223 feet above sea level at the High Knob Observation Tower where you can see 5 neighboring states on a clear day.  Don’t forget your camera!

    These recreation areas provide fantastic family fun by hiking, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, and Sasquatch watching.  The Flag Rock Recreational Area is an official Bigfoot sanctuary.  Visit Home Hardware in downtown Norton, the official Bigfoot HQ and celebrate the legend during Woodbooger Weekend in October.  Pathfinders in Norton also rents canoes, kayaks, bikes and fishing gear to ensure an awesome adventure.

    Nearby Big Stone Gap (soon to be made famous by a feature film starring Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, and Patrick Wilson) has great offerings for family fun.  The Southwest VA Museum State Park and the Harry Meador Coal Museum have great exhibits and programming that showcase life in the Gap through the years. The Greenbelt encircles the town and winds along the peaceful Powell River, right by Bullitt Park, which is another family fun spot.  Check out BSG’s literary history at the June Tolliver House and John Fox Jr. Museum.  If you’re visiting from June thru August, watching the Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama is a must!

    Now, if you wake up in St Paul, your options include getting wet, staying dry, or playing in the mud.  St Paul has several hiking trails connected to town for families to explore.  A skateboard park and Frisbee disc golf course also provide free entertainment.  But if you can’t resist the clear, cool waters of the world-famous Clinch River, head down to the caboose and rent tubes, kayaks, or canoes for your water adventure.  There is also an app that can entertain you with music and knowledge as you float down the most biodiverse river on the continent.

    For those who prefer mountain climbing courtesy of 4 wheels, the Mountain View ATV Trails are calling you.  Bring your own ATV, rent one, or book a guided excursion and the whole family can experience nature from a new perspective.  There are plenty of spots up there for those mud-lovers.  Bring a picnic lunch or drive your machine right downtown to eat and gas up.  St Paul is ATV friendly.

    Nighttime activities:  For traditional music, Lay’s Hardware jams on Thursday nights, The Country Cabin has concerts on Saturdays, and Ma & Pa’s just outside of St Paul has a variety of different activities and music during the week, not to mention good home-cookin’ and ice cream!

Pin It on Pinterest