Sure, in Virginia’s Blue Ridge we’re known for our bustling outdoor farmers markets, miles of hiking & biking trails and beautiful mountain overlooks. But let’s face it…it’s cold outside!
As winter temperatures settle in and the thermometer dips to new lows, try out these seven very fun, very indoor activities.
1. Launching Pad Trampoline Park & Family Center
The name says it all! The Launching Pad Trampoline Park & Family Center in Salem is just as much fun for daring kids of all ages, as it is for adventurous adults looking for some indoor fun! Bounce off the walls, the floor and just about anything else you can think of inside the 33,600+ square foot indoor entertainment facility. While trampolines are the highlight, there’s even more fun to be had.
From bumper cars to an arcade, Launching Pad Trampoline Park & Family Center features fun for the entire family. And for the truly daring don’t miss the Launch Tower, a 13.5 foot free-fall platform. There’s one in every group ready to take the leap!
2. River Rock Climbing Gym
Virginia’s Blue Ridge is filled with thousands of acres of beautiful bouldering opportunities, but when you start to lose grip because of numbing extremities, it’s time to move the fun inside and conquer the region’s finest indoor climbing routes at the River Rock Climbing Gym. Featuring more than 8,500 square feet of roped climbing and bouldering opportunities, the River Rock Climbing Gym boasts all the exhilarating fun of rock climbing, minus the freezing temperatures and whipping winter wind.
Professionally trained and certified staff keeps the fun safe for all ages and abilities. Expert climbers can feel free to bring their own equipment, while first-timers will find the gym’s full range of rental gear conveniently priced.
Perfect for first dates, family fun nights or just a great workout, the River Rock Climbing Gym will challenge and entertain all winter long. Belay on!
3. Green Ridge Recreation Center
Virginia’s Blue Ridge watering holes have long been frozen over, but don’t put away your bathing suit just yet! The Green Ridge Recreation Center’s indoor pool maintains an 84 degree indoor alternative that creates the perfect escape from winter’s chill. Splash, slide and swim inside the indoor aquatics area, all under the watchful eye of certified lifeguards.
Of course, if you want to be the most popular person on your block this winter, why not throw an Indoor Pool Party for 40 of your closest friends? By far the most popular rental option available at Green Ridge, the two-hour party consists of one hour in the party room and one hour in the indoor pool where party goers can enjoy the sprayground, current river, vortex, the 15 foot spiral water slide, a leisure pool and the spa. Just don’t forget to towel off before heading back outside!
4. Center in the Square
If you want to fill an entire day with a variety of family fun indoor activity, recently renovated Center in the Square located in the heart of downtown Roanoke is the place for you. The unique seven-story facility houses a number of arts and cultural non-profit organizations which feature a wide range of activities, exhibits and events.
Aquariums, various museums, live performances and educational activities are always on the schedule at Center in the Square. Whether it’s the latest interactive exhibit from the Science Museum of Western Virginia or a performance inside Mill Mountain Theatre that interests you, there is truly something for everyone inside Roanoke’s Center in the Square.
5. Jefferson Center
Outdoor concerts are fun in the summer, but when winter settles in and you want to experience an unforgettable night inside a first-class performance venue, Jefferson Center has exactly what you are looking for. Well known for culturally rich performances and arts education programs, Jefferson Center is a non-profit performing arts center that brings world class art to Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
From Wynton Marsalis to Buddy Guy, Esperanza Spalding to Tedeschi Trucks, Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Performance Hall delivers unforgettable arts experiences to Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Originally built in 1924 as Jefferson High School, Jefferson Center was saved from demolition in the early 1990s and transformed into the performing arts center enjoyed today. That rich history is the ideal backdrop to enjoy a winter performance from local groups like the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra or iconic voices like Sharon Jones.
6. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
Crisp winter days are perfect for enjoying warm indoor galleries featuring the work of renowned, emerging and regional artists inside the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University. With three interconnected galleries totaling approximately 4,000 square feet of exhibition space, the museum has presented more than 100 exhibitions with supplementary programs including tours, lectures, workshops, gallery talks, and classroom instruction since opening in 2004.
Named in honor of its founder and benefactor, Eleanor Delaney “Siddy” Wilson graduated from Hollins in 1930 with a degree in chemistry and went on to become an accomplished Broadway actress. Siddy’s desire was that her beloved Hollins have a world-class art museum and because of that aspiration, Virginia’s Blue Ridge enjoys impactful exhibits and enriching educational programs all year long.
7. Craft Breweries
Rounding out our list of Virginia’s Blue Ridge indoor winter must do activities is visiting the local craft breweries in the region. The tasting rooms at places like Parkway Brewing Company, Three Notch'd Brewing Company, and Chaos Mountain Brewing are great spots to enjoy some craft brews while staying warm. Parkway Brewing Company in Salem even has a great indoor fireplace where you can find a cozy spot!
Click here for more sample itineraries for your next visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge and subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to keep up with exciting new features and upcoming events!