I just bought a house, which spurred everyone in my family to come to visit me. My first reaction was excitement, and then I was hit with a bit of anxiety. What do I do with them? How do I entertain them? It'll be like five days, how will I make them love Richmond -- and me?
To spare you the tiresome activity of planning activities, here are some tips for planning a long weekend for your visitors in Richmond:
1. Plan around a main event.
The major event of my weekend with the parents was the National Beer Expo, because my parents have two hobbies: golf and beer. It's too hot outside, so beer is the only hobby to plan around. With 175+ craft beer selections, I knew my Dad would love his Father's Day present (a ticket to the Expo) and my mom would either die or love it, or perhaps both.
Once you get one major event for the weekend, it's easier to craft smaller, compatible activities around it. Plus, a headlining event gives people a specific reason to come see you, which is more difficult to say no to.
2. Know the food specials.
My parents were coming for an extended weekend, so they were going to be eating out a lot. That's fun and all, but rather expensive, so plan where you eat around daily specials. I use RVA Specials, but my top recommendations are:
$2 burgers on Mondays at Capital Ale House (Downtown and Innsbrook both participate)
3 tacos for $2 on Tuesdays at Curbside, plus $3 rails until 8PM
- 1/2 price sushi on Wednesdays at Carytown Sushi
If you really want to cheat on this one, I've already laid out my perfect week of food in Richmond.
3. Brainstorm a myriad of options.
If you're family is like my family, there's a lot of different opinions of a good time. So my plan to combat this is come up with as many ideas as I can and then let them pick what they want to do. Some evergreen ideas for you are:
- Riverfront Canal Cruise
- Metro Richmond Zoo
- Escape Room
- Food festivals (Folk, bacon, Earth, French, vegetarian, the list could on on endlessly)
- Window shopping in Carytown
- Breweries (Hardywood, Isley, Ardent, Midnight, Lickinghole Creek, Legend, Veil, Strangeways, 7 Hills)
- Byrd Theater
- Concerts (Broadberry, Innsbrook After Hours, National, Coliseum)
- Museums (Poe, Science, Valentine, Holocaust)
- Canal Walk
- Bar Crawl
4. Relax. They're there to see you.
I always stress a bit when I have visitors because I want them to love Richmond as much as I do. But breath and relax. These are my two final takeaways:
- Richmond is wonderful. Even without a plan, people will love it.
- Your guests are there to spend time with you, whether that's watching golf in your new apartment or on a boat floating down the canal.
What's your favorite Richmond activity?