So, you’re coming to Harrisonburg with teenagers in tow. What now? Keeping teens occupied while giving yourself something of the vacation you were so looking forward to can be a challenge. But Harrisonburg offers a variety of shops and entertainment venues that can fill your days with fun and relaxation for everyone. Here are some ideas you can tailor to fit your teens’ interests and perhaps expose them to some new activities.
Outdoor Activities (with some Indoor options)
Harrisonburg is known for its beautiful scenery, and there are plenty of options that can keep the active teen occupied.
Skating: For the winter sports crowd, bundle up and hit the ice! The ice skating rink at LeClub at Massanutten offers skating on the mountain, and Generations Park in Bridgewater offers skating and skate and helmet rentals. Try an evening skate and test out your Olympic moves! If wheels appeal more than blades, check out Funky’s Skate Center here in town. Spin the floor yourself or watch a Rocktown Rollers’ Roller Derby bout where the blockers and the jammers stand out from the pack!
Skateboarding: Skateboard culture is a vital part of the life of Harrisonburg. You might start with a visit to Wonder Skateshop, a unique shop offering skateboarding equipment and accessories as well as vinyl records and skateboard art. Here you can get information on Westover Skate Park and skate culture in the Burg.
Mini Golf: Maybe you’re up for few holes of golf on a sunny day. Head to Mulligan’s Golf Center and Mini Golf for an afternoon of fun on their 18-hole mini course. They also have a driving range where you can try out your long-range skills. Rainy day or too cold for the outdoors? Try Putter-A-Round Mini Golf for an enjoyable indoor experience!
Disc Golf: For a twist on the usual 18 holes, try out Harrisonburg’s municipal Disc Golf course at Westover Park. Players use a Frisbee type of flying disc to negotiate a course of 21 holes. Spend the day in a lovely park while testing out your skills! Fewest throws to the basket wins!
Hiking: Harrisonburg is famous for the amazing hikes in the area. Try out the Skyline Drive and stop at Rip-Rap Trail for a hike with great views and a fun scramble over rocky terrain. Or try the Cliff Trail or Hidden Rocks Trail at Hone Quarry for a free hike closer to town. These, too, have great views with rock faces and cliffs. Take a picnic and enjoy the shelter and facilities.
Downtown Harrisonburg offers a fantastic array of small shops that will appeal to people with many different tastes. From Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair-Trade non-profit importer of clothing, jewelry and housewares, to Walkabout Outfitters, specializing in gear for the outdoor enthusiast, a short stroll through downtown can take quite some time with the many stops your teenagers will want to make. Agora Downtown Market offers several different shops under one roof, selling candles, vintage fashion, and old-time candies as well as a coffee shop. The Yellow Button’s clothing will surely catch your eye, while With Simplicity will delight your senses with their all-natural products ranging from natural care for problem skin to makeup and shaving products. Their knowledgeable staff can make informed suggestions and explain the benefits of their products, and they offer massages, as well! Stop next for a snack at Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn. (Don’t miss their Caramel to Die For! They mean it!) Then on to Meridian Books and Games, housed within Larkin Arts on Court Square, for graphic novels, art books and games. Wander through the galleries to see work from local artists, and you might catch one of the artists at work!
Ready for more snacking? Sit in the sun at Kline’s Dairy Bar, a Harrisonburg institution since 1943, and enjoy their soft-serve concoctions. Check out the Flavor of the Week! Could it be chocolate-peanut butter? Or raspberry cheesecake? Cherry nut? Espresso chip? Or move in the other direction, to Water Street, and enjoy a gelato or pastry at Bella Gelato. Their croissants are fabulous, and they offer a variety of coffees. Right next door is Downtown Books carrying used books and movies of every sort. And Elk Run Mining offers beautiful jewelry crafted from local stones gathered and fashioned by the owner. (Look for his sweet dog napping in the window!) Take home a piece of Harrisonburg! Literally!
Top off your day with a visit to Ruby’s Arcade for wood fired pizza, barbeque or salads. While you’re there, enjoy some duck-pin bowling, foosball or darts. Maybe pool or ping pong are more your thing; they’ve got that, too. And shuffleboard, of course, for the oldsters! If you want a restaurant with an extensive menu to please every possible request, go to Union Station, on the site of the old train depot. They’ve got everything from Carolina Nachos to Candied Walnut and Bleu Cheese Salad to Fried Catfish to Ribeye Steak!
Written by Guest Blogger, Susan V. Facknitz. Susan is a Travel Specialist for Harrisonburg Tourism.