Experience Chesterfield in Summer 2017-07-05T12:02:33+00:00


Summer is a great time to experience Chesterfield County! Here you’ll find suggestions for summer concerts and arts events, activities for the whole family, paddling adventures and historic tours to learn more about the county’s history.


Arts, Blooms and Brews in the Summer

Fun for the Whole Family

Summertime History in Chesterfield

Get Outside

Rainy Days


Arts, Blooms and Brews in the Summer

Pocahontas Premieres


The Richmond Symphony returns to Pocahontas State Park for a night the whole family will enjoy on Saturday, June 3, 7 p.m. The gate opens at 6 p.m. The concert is free, but expect to pay a small fee for parking. Concessions will be available.

Information about other entertainment events scheduled this summer at Pocahontas State Park can be found on the DCR website.


Hear from Newberry Award and National Book Award-winning author Louis Sachar, who will share stories of being a noontime supervisor at an elementary school and becoming a bestselling author or more than 25 books for young readers July 15, 7-8 p.m., at the North Courthouse Road Library.

Sachar is best known for “Holes” and “The Wayside School Series.” Register online starting June 17 at www.library.chesterfield.gov.

North Courthouse Road Library

North Courthouse Road Library


The Ettrick-Matoaca Library will host Flora of Virginia. A panel exhibit will focus on Virginia’s native plants from European contact through the present, the representation of plants in science and art, and the history or botanical exploration. The exhibit can be viewed during regular library hours from July 1-29.


The Chester Library will host two art exhibits this summer.

During June and July, you can experience “Eclectic Inspiration” with Dr. Leon Andrews. This exhibit features still life, ethnic scenes, landscapes, seascapes, impressionist, abstracts, watercolors and color pencil vistas.

In August, the Chester Teen Art Club will display a variety of work at the library.


And make sure to check out Chesterfield’s breweries, Steam Bell Beer Works and Extra Billy’s Smokehouse and Brewery.

Steam Bell Beer Works

Steam Bell Beer Works

Steam Bell Beer Works opened last year and founder and head brewer Brad Cooper brews unique versions of age-old recipes at 1717 Oak Lane Boulevard in Midlothian.

Extra Billy’s Smokehouse and Brewery, a Midlothian tradition, serves up barbeque and beers on Alverser Drive.

Fun for the Whole Family


Bring the whole family to the Chesterfield Maker Expo, Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Career and Technical Center located at 10101 Courthouse Road. This family-friendly event includes a variety of makers who will demonstrate or work with you to create everything from robots, printmaking to coding and crafts.


Got Fourth of July plans? Bring the whole family to the free spectacular fireworks display at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds. The gates open at 5 p.m. July 4, and fireworks begin at dark. There will be an activity area for children, food vendors and special entertainment. Come celebrate our country’s independence at this annual event.


Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation and Pocahontas State Park are teaming up to host a free family movie night series at Pocahontas. Grab your chairs, food and blankets and enjoy an evening watching a movie under the stars. Gates open at 6 p.m. Kids can enjoy the Children’s Fun Zone or visit vendors before the movie begins at dusk. Parking is free. No pets or alcohol are allowed.
– Saturday, June 17 – “ET” (rain date Sunday, June 18)
– Saturday July 29 – “Yogi Bear” (rain date Saturday, Aug. 5)


Come out to Meadowdale Library on Saturday, June 3, for the Meadowdale Kids Music Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children will enjoy the diversity of music in the world, including hip hop, rock and roll, classical and a drum circle.


The Chesterfield County Public Library is partnering with the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation to offer free, family-friendly concerts and educational programs during the month of June.

Kid Pan Alley
– Saturday, June 3, Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Come sing and create music. Participants will work together to create and preform an original song.

Chris Campbell’s Music for Kids
– Saturday, June 10, Enon Library, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
– Saturday, June 17, Ettrick-Matoaca Library, 11 a.m.-noon
Enjoy music and comical characters from singer, songwriter and ventriloquist Chris Campbell.

For more family-friendly activities, check out the Experience Chesterfield Family Fun itinerary.

Summertime History in Chesterfield


Do you love ice cream? Come learn how ice cream was made in the 1800s at Magnolia Grange on Saturday, July 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tour the museum for a small fee and enjoy delicious ice cream with several toppings to choose from.

Magnolia Grange

Magnolia Grange


Take a tour through Chesterfield’s history this summer. Historic Site Specialist Bryan Truzzie offers several guided tours of Eppington Plantation July 29, and Midlothian Mines June 3 and July 22. These tours are all on Saturdays starting at 10 a.m. Cost is $8 per person. For more historical activities planned for this summer, check out the Parks and Recreation Program Guide.


Also, be sure to check out the summer history lecture series happening at Magnolia Grange and the Chesterfield County Museum. This Saturday series is free and offers a variety of lectures, craft seminars and special events. Magnolia Grange programs are offered from noon-1 p.m. and include DuVall Family Day June 3, tracing the history of baseball in Richmond June 10, Winfree Family Day (July 8) and Cogbill Family Day Aug. 5. Programs at the Chesterfield County Museum run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include the history of jail and prison life June 24, home chores and crafts of the past July 29 and toys and games of the past Aug. 12.


And, check out summer camps! The Diggin’ in History Archaeology Camp, for children 8-14, will be held at the Historic Trinity Church, 10111 Iron Bridge Road. Kids will learn about archaeology and participate in hands-on activities like artifact repair, excavations and more. Three sessions, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. – July 17-21, August 7-11, August 21-25. The cost is $100; register at www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

The Heritage Crafts and Games Summer Camp, for children 8-14, will be held at various sites in the county complex. Kids will learn about period games during the 17th and 18th centuries, and learn how to participate in period crafts and games including calligraphy, butter churning and making clay pots. Sessins will be held July 24-28 and Aug. 14-18, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The cost is $100; register at www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

Do you have a large group interested in going on a history tour? Contact Bryan Truzzie at 804-751-4946 to schedule your custom tour today!

Looking for more history? Be sure to check out the Experience Chesterfield History three-day itinerary for history adventures spanning several centuries.

Get Outside

July is Park and Recreation Month! Get out and enjoy one or several of our great county parks. Try a new sport, visit a new park, walk a new trail or challenge yourself to learn something new. Show us all the cool things you are doing in July that revolve around parks and recreation by using #PlayOnJuly.


Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association presents its 8th Annual Honey Bee Festival on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rockwood Nature Center. This free event proves entertaining and informative for the entire family, whether your interest is in starting your own hive, planting a pollinator friendly landscape, doing something to help the environment or simply purchasing a jar of delicious local honey.

It will include short talks on a wide range of bee-related topics and how to create a bee-friendly yard. Ask questions of expert beekeepers, and see many displays ranging from easy-to-grow native plants to different styles of beehives. Always popular is the honey-extracting demonstration and trying to find the queen bee in the observation hive. After face painting, storytelling and a stop at the activity table, children also can visit the Drone Petting Zoo and pet a fuzzy stinger-free bee! In addition to food trucks, there will be opportunities to purchase local honey, bee-friendly plants and a variety of pollinator related crafts.


The county offers several ways to explore the outdoors this summer. Get on the water with one of the many paddling trips. Paddle through the tidal lagoon at Dutch Gap Conservation Area, float for six miles down the James River, or see an island not many have laid eyes on. Check out the Parks and Recreation Program Guide. For more information on outdoor adventures, contact Mark Battista at 804-318-8735.

Are you interested in stand-up paddle boarding? Black Dog Paddle brings SUP instruction to Chesterfield for a sixth year. Lessons cover all the basics including safety, strokes and balance, as well as a short ECO-tour. All gear is provided: SUP board, paddle, PFD and leash. Instruction times vary at either Dutch Gap or Robious Landing Park. Check page 28 in the Parks and Recreation Program Guide for times.


This summer is your chance to see the majestic symbol of our nation, the bald eagle. Join Capt. Mike Ostrander on his 24-foot pontoon boat for this unique and spectacular experience on the James River. After boarding the boat, watch the sunrise while seeing our nation symbol up close and personal. Tours are from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 22, July 20 and Sept. 19 and take off from the Deep Bottom Boat Landing at 9525 Deep Bottom Road. Minimum age is 15, and the cost is $45. For more information, contact Greg Velzy at 804-748-1124


Pickleball enthusiasts, grab your rackets and head to Rockwood Park to enjoy the eight recently completed pickleball courts.

For more ideas on how to spend your summer outdoors, check out the Experience Chesterfield Outdoor Adventure itinerary.

Rainy Days

Summer thunderstorms can pop up unexpectedly, but there’s still 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.

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.

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.

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.

Discover the great indoors at the largest indoor rock-climbing center in the U.S. at Peak Experiences. 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.


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.

Henricus Militia Muster

Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m.-5p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

Join us for a day of 17th century military training, including marching and fighting with body armor and muskets. Powhatan Indian interpreters will also demonstrate how native tactics and weaponry adapted against the colonists. Those in attendance can train as an English musketeer or Native warrior.

Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Henricus patrons are 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.

Geology “Rock Hounds” Tour

Friday, June 9, 10 a.m.-noon

Midlothian Mines Park, 13286 North Woolridge Road

This tour will allow visitors to experience the history of the county’s only coal mine park and discover the geological formations that exist. Learn about the development of coal and discover fossil deposits. Pre-registration required; the fee is $8 per person. Call 748-1623 and request Course 32179.

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.

Paranormal Program: History of Poisoned Pens and Dueling Pistols

Saturday, June 17, 8-10 p.m.

Historic 1892 Jail, 6819 Mimms Loop

Join Spirited History as they share the fascinating and dark history about two rival Richmond newspaper editors. At the end of the night, go into the Historic 1892 Jail for a mini paranormal investigation.

Cost is $15 per person; register at www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

Trades of Antiquity Weekend

Saturday, June 24

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

Join Henricus Historical Park and the South East Virginia Primitive Skills Group for a weekend of historic skills. See demonstrations of life skills and trades from the pre-contact and Colonial eras in Virginia such as flint knapping, fire starting, wood turning, broom weaving, soap making, trapping and blacksmithing.

Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Henricus patrons are free.

History of Point of Rocks

Friday, June 30, 10 a.m.-noon

  1. Garland Dodd Park, 201 Enon Church Road

This tour will take visitors from the trailhead at the Playground leading down to Ashton Creek Marsh to view federal fortifications and remnants of a tramway to deliver supplies then return to the parking area. We then will discover the history of Historic Point of Rocks by touring the site and walking out to the bluff overlooking the Appomattox. Pre-registration required; the fee is $8 per person. Call 748-1623 and request Course 32181.

Remembering the Old Days

Wednesday, July 12, 11 a.m.-noon

Chesterfield County Museum, 6813 Mimms Loop

See photographs and authentic items from the museum’s General Store to recall “the good old days.”

Historic Point of Rocks Guided Tour

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

  1. Garland Dodd Park, 201 Enon Church Road

Experience Native American history and learn about one of the earliest navel battles in 1862. Visit Historic Point of Rocks, rarely open to the public, and learn about the Union hospital where Clara Barton served and walk the ground where President Lincoln visited in 1865. Wear comfortable shoes. Registration is required at www.chesterfieldhistory.com, and the fee is $8 per person.

Colonial Crimes and Punishment

Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Road

See the systems of criminal punishments enacted by the English colonists and Powhatan Indians. Visitors will have the opportunity to be participants in both trails and punishments.

Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Henricus patrons are free.

Paranormal Workshop: Haunting Tales from Historic Sites

Saturday, July 29, 7-9 p.m.

Magnolia Grange House Museum, 10020 Iron Bridge Road

Join LeeAnne Ball, director of Spirited History, as she delves into the case files of historic haunted locations. She will share supernatural encounters, recordings and video clips of the group’s most terrifying and intriguing cases. At the end, investigate the house museum yourself with Spirited History. The cost is $10 per person; register at www.chesterfieldhistory.com.

Fun with Yarn! Children’s Program

Wednesday, Aug. 2, 11 a.m.-noon

Chesterfield County Museum, 6813 Mimms Loop

Learn about yarn, make a yarn doll and other activities. For ages 7 and up; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required one week in advance at 768-7311.