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Experience Chesterfield in Spring 2017-04-14T16:49:43+00:00

EXPERIENCE
CHESTERFIELD
IN SPRING

Westchester Commons

Spring is a great time to experience Chesterfield County! Here you’ll find suggestions for springtime festivals and events for the whole family, for outdoor hikes to see the May flowers and for soaking up details about county history.

Check out the activities and events

Celebrating the Season

Fun for the Whole Family

Victorian Days

Springtime History in Chesterfield

Rainy Days

Celebrating the Season

Build your own rain barrel this spring! The county’s Department of Environmental Engineering will host two sets of workshops at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, 10300 Courthouse Road.

Workshops will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, and Saturday, June 10. Materials will be provided, and registration is required. Visit chesterfield.gov/rainbarrels to register. The cost for the workshop is $40.

Chesterfield Rain Barrels

Build your own rain barrel to collect water for your garden this spring.

Visit Pocahontas State Park this spring. The park has more than 52 miles of multiuse trails for hikers and mountain bikers, as well as a paved trail for those with disabilities. There’s a 2.5-mile hiking-only trail, as well as 60 miles of double track and 22 miles of single track mountain bike-only trails for all levels.

The park is quickly becoming a destination site for mountain bikers in the Mid-Atlantic region, with the addition of seven miles of bike trails dedicated to beginners and people with adaptive bikes.

Pocahontas-State-Park-Mountain-Biking

Pocahontas has 22 miles of mountain bike-only trails.

Or maybe trees are your thing. Arborists and would-be botanists can spend a few hours at Robious Landing Park, located at 3800 James River Road, on the Tree Identification Trail learning the common trees of Chesterfield County. The trail was developed by the Salisbury Garden Club and Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation.

Along the trail, 27 plant species are identified and visitors with a mobile device and QR code app can scan the code at the trailhead to download a map of the trail. They can also get more information about the trees identified along the trail. Can you find them all?

Tree Identification Trail

Tree identification trail map.

Pickleball enthusiasts: Grab your racket and head to Rockwood Park and enjoy the eight pickleball courts.

Pickleball

Pickleball at Rockwood Park

Fun for the Whole Family

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height! Pack a lunch and bring the entire family to Kite Day on Sunday, April 2, 1-4 p.m., at Clover Hill Athletic Complex, located at 17701 Genito Road. In addition to kite flying, there will be entertainment and other fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. To register for a free kite, call 748-1623, or bring your own.

All Aboard! Community Train Day is set for Saturday, May 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Ettrick-Matoaca Library. Step into your overalls and engineer’s hat while enjoying a family-friendly, event-filled day celebrating trains.

A young girl flies a kite during Kite Day.

Spring into music with a free, family-friendly concert series offered by the Chesterfield County Public Library and the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation. Ensembles, jazz bands, and kids’ music workshops are scheduled throughout the season at libraries around the county. Check out library.chesterfield.gov to see the schedule. In addition, take in acoustic tunes at North Courthouse Road Library throughout the spring as part of the library’s Acoustic Concert Series.

See the butterflies and the bees at the Bumblebee Jamboree June 17 at Maymont Park. This event, in celebration of National Pollinator Week, is offered by Cooperative Extension. Bring the whole family to see inside a bee hive, explore a butterfly safari tent, create crafts and learn what native plants can help pollinators. This event is free, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Make sure to visit the Richmond Metro Zoo, the region’s only zoo, to meet world-famous Kumbali and Kago, a cheetah and canine who are best friends. Kumbali and Kago can be seen during regular zoo hours. Home to over 2,000 animals, the zoo gets you up close and personal with native and exotic animals, including big cats, large deer and primates. Purchase zoo treats and feed the giraffes, camels and barnyard animals.

The zoo offers zip-lining at Treetop Zoofari. Travel tree-to-tree through the forest and above the zoo to get a bird’s eye view of the animals.

Visit the Rockwood Nature Center at Rockwood Park, 3401 Courthouse Road, where you can experience live snake, turtle and honey bee exhibits. Don’t forget to call ahead to reserve a spot for an archery lesson.

Feed and pet the camels at the Richmond Metro Zoo this spring.

Victorian Days

Travel back to the 1800s this spring for the 39th annual Bon Air Victorian Days Celebration. The week-long event highlights a time when Bon Air served as a resort town for Richmonders wanting to escape the city. The Bon Air Library will host an ice cream social as well as lectures and concerts. The week culminates with the Bon Air Historical Society’s Victorian Days Parade & Festival, set for 11 a.m. May 13. The festival follows the parade, which runs from Bon Air Baptist Church to Bon Air Christian Church on Buford Road.

Schedule:

May 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Book Sale – will feature an ice cream social, children’s craft, “Little Women” presented by the Chesterfield Children’s Theatre at noon, and the Victorian Mansion Lego Club from 1-3 p.m.

May 8, 7-8 p.m.
Hazen Memorial Lecture: Poe’s Richmond Revealed – Join Poe Museum Curator Chris Semtner to explore the Richmond Region in search of clues to the mysteries surrounding Edgar Allen Poe’s childhood, marriage and the inspiration behind some of his greatest literary works.

May 9, 7-8 p.m.
The Secret Language of Flowers and Fans – Learn how both were used to communicate in the Victorian Era.

May 10, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
The Banjo in Victorian America – Listen to musician and historian Carson Hudson as he demonstrates on reproduction instruments the banjo music that appealed to Victorians.

May 11, 3-4 p.m.
The Etiquette of Victorian Dress – Come in period dress, hat or gloves (optional) for a Victorian Tea and lean about the typical day of in the life of upper class families.

May 13, 11 a.m.
Victorian Days Parade and Festival – The parade runs from Bon Air Baptist Church to Bon Air Christian Church on Buford Road, and is followed by the annual festival.

While you’re in the area, take a driving tour to learn about some of the neighborhood’s most iconic homes and public buildings.

Runaway String Band

Douthat House is just one of the beautiful homes you’ll see on your tour of historic Bon Air.

Springtime History in Chesterfield

Step way back into the past – or let the past come to you – with several events planned in conjunction with paranormal investigators Spirited History Investigations. These events are for children aged 8 and older – children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance payment and registration at www.chesterfieldhistory.com is required.

Learn the dark history about two Richmond newspaper editors – who had a rivalry that ended in death and a murder trial. Then tour the historic 1892 jail for a mini paranormal investigation during History of Poisoned Pens and Dueling Pistols on Saturday, June 17, 8-10 p.m. The cost is $15 per person.

You can also investigate the paranormal at Magnolia Grange House Museum on Saturday, April 29, 7-9 p.m. The cost is $10 and the funds are donated to the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia. Or check out Historic Trinity Church for paranormal activity on Saturday, May 20, from 7-9 p.m. for $10 a person. Wear soft-soled shoes, and don’t forget your camera, digital recorder and flashlight!

Take a Heritage Craft Class – for kids or adults! Learn how to write using a quill and ink, what a horn book is and how to make one, and how to marbleize paper during the Quills, Hornbooks and Paper class offered Saturday, March 25, from 2-4 p.m. Adults can learn the fine art of creating elegant wax flowers, as well as how to hand dip and roll beeswax candles during Working with Wax, offered Saturday, April 29, from 2-4 p.m. Both classes will be held at Magnolia Grange, 10020 Iron Bridge Road, and cost $10. Registration is required; call LeeAnne Ball at 748-1498.

Take in a lecture during the Saturday History Program Series, which focuses on a variety of topics like yarn doll day or Virginia Roots music. Call 748-1498 for programs at Magnolia Grange and 768-7311 for programs at the Chesterfield County Museum:

April 1, noon-1 p.m. Virginia Roots Music presented by The Broad Street Ramblers, Magnolia Grange

April 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Centuries of Medicine, Chesterfield County Museum

May 6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Yarn Doll Day, Chesterfield County Museum

June 3, noon-1 p.m. Duvall Family History, Magnolia Grange

June 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The History of Jail and Prison Life, Chesterfield County Museum

And don’t forget to stop by the Chesterfield County Museum to take in the Chesterfield’s Picture Postcard Past exhibit, open through Aug. 31. The cards look back at 20th century Chesterfield County, showing how much has changed and how much is gone but not forgotten. This exhibit is offered in partnership between Old Dominion Postcard Club and the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia and Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation. The museum at 6813 Mimms Loop is open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is a $2 suggested admission. For more information, call the Chesterfield County Museum at 768-7311.

Rainy Days

Don’t let the April showers get you down! There’s a lot to do in Chesterfield when the weather is less than perfect.

Satisfy your need for speed at Thunderbolt Indoor Karting, where you will zip around the track at this all-indoor electric go-kart facility. Race family and friends for 16 laps, and take advantage of weekly specials.

Runaway String Band

Satisfy your need for speed at Thunderbolt Indoor Karting.

Right next door is Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park where kids and their parents can fly high at the 3-D play arena. Free jump, ultimate dodgeball and foam zone provide hours of fun. Don’t forget to print out the waiver online to take with you.

Runaway String Band

Sky Zone indoor trampoline park

For younger kids, a trip to the Children’s Museum of Richmond at Chesterfield is a must! Infants and toddlers will love exploring the Enchanted Forest while their older siblings can take a walk down Main Street where they can use their imagination and play grocer, banker, diner owner and vet. Kids of all ages can create masterpieces in the Art Studio.

Runaway String Band

Children’s Museum of Richmond at Chesterfield

Check out these other rainy day options:

Richmond Ice Zone: Lace up your skates and ice skate year round at Richmond Ice Zone. Check the website for public skate times and programs for skaters of all levels.

Peak Experiences: Discover the great indoors at the largest indoor rock climbing center in the U.S. Climbers of all skill levels are challenged by more than 125 top-rope routes, lead-climbing and bouldering. All-day passes and climbing gear rentals are available.

Laser Quest: Combine the fun of hide-and-seek with high-tech tools at Laser Quest. This facility specializes in family fun and is a favorite for team outings and youth group events.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

Backyard Chicken Keeping

Thursday, April 6, 6-8 p.m.

Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road

Are you interested in keeping chickens in your backyard but don’t know where to begin? In this class, learn the basics about keeping chickens, the differences in breeds and a basic understanding of how to provide quality care at home. Cost is $10 per person.


Eppington Plantation Tour

Saturday, April 8, 10-11 a.m.

Eppington Plantation, 14201 Eppes Falls Road

This guided tour will allow participants to learn more about the history of Eppington. Built in 1770 it is one of the oldest plantation homes in the county. Discover the colonial history of the house and the history of the Eppes family who built the house. View agricultural items on display that focus on farm life in the 19th century and learn Thomas Jefferson’s connection to the site. Explore the house and grounds as you visit this unique site. Registration is required; the fee is $8 per person. Geocache program set for 2-4  p.m. for adults and youth 8 and older with an adult; the fee is $10. To register for either program, call 748-1623. 


Historic Point of Rocks Guided Tour

Saturday, April 15, 10 a.m.-noon

Garland Dodd Park, 201 Enon Church Road, Chester

Discover the unique history surrounding this newly acquired historic site. Experience Native American history and learn about one of the earliest naval battles in 1862. Visit Historic Point of Rocks never before open to the public and learn about the Union hospital established here where Clara Barton served and walk the ground where President Lincoln visited in 1864. View federal fortifications and learn why this location played a major role in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. Wear comfortable shoes. Meet in the parking lot at R. Garland Dodd Park. Registration is required at www.chesterfieldhistory.com and the program costs $8 per person.


Desert in Miniature

Saturday, April 15, 1-2:30 p.m.

North Courthouse Road Library, 325 Courthouse Road

Create a cactus terrarium to take home and learn how to maintain a healthy environment for your tiny garden. Registration is required and begins April 1.


Biking: Family Ride Series – Government Center – Evening Ride and History

Wednesday, April 19, 6:30-8 p.m.

Parks Administration Building, 6801 Mimms Loop

Bring your family for a bike ride around the Chesterfield County Government Center after traffic is gone. You can also ride the gravel path through the woods around the complex, and join in for a tour of the original courthouse and county jail. Bring your own bike and helmet. All participants should be comfortable riding on smooth gravel. The cost is $5.


Falling Creek Ironworks Annual Event

Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Falling Creek Ironworks Park, 6407 Jeff Davis Highway

Explore America’s first iron furnace, the 1619-22 ironworks on Falling Creek. Tour guides will lead you through the ruins, and costumed interpreters will be on hand. Children’s activities and Native American dancing are planned. New site improvements at the park will be unveiled.


Spring Peepers Hike

Saturday, April 22, 1-2:30 p.m.

Rockwood Park

Join a guided hike around Rockwood Park looking and listening for these tiny frogs. Bring a flashlight. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5 per person.


Homegoing

Saturday, April 22, 7-8:30 p.m.

Meadowdale Library, 4301 Meadowdale Boulevard

Yaa Gyasi, author of New York Times bestseller “Homegoing,” one of the most talked-about novels of 2016, will speak. Her debut novel moves through histories and geographies as it follows two African half-sisters – one sold into slavery, the other married to a British officer. Registration is required and underway. Call 751-CCPL for more information.


Embrace Your Space

Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

LaPrade Library, 9000 Hull Street Road

Get inspired to refresh your home for spring – learn about renovating furniture, planting beautiful and functional gardens, how to DIY décor and more.


Bermuda Hundred Campaign Van Tour

Saturday, April 29, 1-5 p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

This guided tour will allow participants to visit sites that were crucial during the Bermuda Hundred Campaign of 1864. Discover why this campaign was overshadowed by military engagements elsewhere. Tour includes stops at Dutch Gap, Battery Dantzler, Point of Rocks and Drewry’s Bluff. Transportation provided from Henricus Park. Space is limited. Wear comfortable shoes. Registration is required at www.chesterfieldhistory.com, and the fee is $15 per person.  


Mother’s Day Tea

Wednesday, May 9, 1-3 p.m.

Magnolia Grange, 10020 Iron Bridge Road

Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Magnolia Grange for a specialty tea and presentation. Enjoy a period interpretative program. Finger sandwiches, dessert and tea provided. Tours of the house will be offered and the gift shop will be open. Cost is $30 per person. Space is limited; register at 748-1498. 


Heirloom Tomatoes: A Taste of the Past

Wednesday, May 10, 11 a.m.-noon

Chesterfield County Museum, 6813 Mimms Loop

Heirloom tomatoes are colorful, flavorful treasures produced from seeds that are passed down from generation to generation.  Explore the history of the tomato, learn about saving seeds, starting plants from seed, and the best practices for growing your own heirloom tomatoes.  Free and for seniors 50+; register a week in advance at 768-7311. 


Henricus Family Fun Day – Spring in the Colonies

Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

Demonstrations, activities and crafts for the entire family are located at multiple stations throughout the site. Enjoy a concert by the Greater Richmond Children’s Choir! The event is designed for the whole family; activities are ongoing and self-paced. Registration required by May 17 by calling 804-318-8797. Cost is $8 for adults and $10 for children. Henricus patrons $8 per child and $6 for accompanying adult.


Eppington Plantation Tour

Saturday, May 13, 10-11 a.m.

Eppington Plantation, 14201 Eppes Falls Road

This guided tour will allow participants to learn more about the history of Eppington. Built in 1770 it is one of the oldest plantation homes in the county. Discover the colonial history of the house and the history of the Eppes family who built the house. View agricultural items on display that focus on farm life in the 19th century and learn the connection of Thomas Jefferson to the site. Explore the house and grounds as you visit this unique site. Registration is required; the fee is $8 per person. Geocache program set for 2-4  p.m. for adults and youth 8 and older with an adult; the fee is $10. To register for either program, call 748-1623.


Hummingbirds are Coming!

Sunday, May 14, 1-3 p.m.

Rockwood Nature Center, 3401 Courthouse Road

Bring the whole family; create your own hummingbird craft and learn how to attract these tiny birds to your yard. All supplies included for craft. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  The cost is $8.


Bermuda Hundred Campaign Van Tour

Saturday, May 20, 1-5 p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

This guided tour will allow participants to visit sites that were crucial during the Bermuda Hundred Campaign of 1864. Discover why this campaign was overshadowed by military engagements elsewhere. Tour includes stops at Dutch Gap, Battery Dantzler, Point of Rocks and Drewry’s Bluff. Transportation provided from Henricus Park. Space is limited. Wear comfortable shoes. Registration is required at www.chesterfieldhistory.com, and the fee is $15 per person.


Planters Festival

Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Magnolia Grange, 10020 Iron Bridge Road

Experience an afternoon of historical enjoyment as we take a historical look at the past of jobs and crafts of the 19th century. Discover what life was like in Chesterfield on the farm as you encounter living history, period demonstrations, crafters and children’s period activities. For more information call 748-1498 or visit www.chesterfieldhistory.com. Free.


Midlothian Mines Geocache

Saturday, June 3, 2-4 p.m.

Midlothian Mines Park, 13286 North Woolridge Road

Explore the ruins of the Grove Shaft and learn about the coal-mining history of Midlothian as you search for caches while engaged in a scavenger hunt. This program allows participants to participate in a scavenger hunt to uncover clues of this historic site while learning GPS skills. Use our Garmin hand held receivers to hunt for caches and discover the fun you can have. For adults and youth ages 8 and older. Youth must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required; the fee is $10 per person.


What’s in a Name? The Origins of Plant Names

Wednesday, June 7, 11 a.m.-noon

Chesterfield County Museum, 6813 Mimms Loop

Hear the stories behind the origins of common plant names such as granny’s bonnet, forget-me-not, pansy, and Queen Anne’s lace.  Also learn a little about the history of scientific names, which help us to make sense out of the sometimes confusing, but always interesting, world of plant names! Free and for seniors 50+; register a week in advance at 768-7311.


Howlett Line Van Tour

Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

Learn about the Bermuda Hundred Campaign of 1864 by visiting sites that were part of the Confederate line of defenses known as the Howlett Line. Constructed in late May 1864, this defensive position prevented Federal troops from launching further operations and kept the Army of the James entrenched on the peninsula. This tour includes stops at Battery Dantzler, Parker’s Battery, Ware Bottom Church Battlefield, Howlett Line Park and Fort Wead. Transportation provided from Henricus. Space is limited. Bring snacks and drinks. Wear comfortable shoes. Registration is required at www.chesterfieldhistory.com, and the fee is $15 per person.


Bumblebee Jamboree

Saturday, June 17, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Maymont, 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond

Celebrate National Pollinator Week with Chesterfield County and Cooperative Extension. Bring the whole family to see inside a bee hive, explore a butterfly safari tent, create crafts and learn what native plants can help pollinators. This event is free.