Posts Tagged ‘Windsor Castle Park’

     How will you celebrate our nation’s independence?  Try these ideas:

  • Get Lost! Be aMAZEd! at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.
  • Visit the Virginia Zoo’s new Asia – Trail of the Tiger.  Be sure to bring your camera!
  • Go kayaking at Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield.
  • Tour the James River Plantations in Charles City County – the heart of Virginia’s history.
  • Join the crowds at Busch Gardens.  Hint:  Get a Fun Card and return all summer.
  • If the Fourth is blazing hot as usual, skip Busch Gardens and head straight to its sister park Water Country USA.
  • Check out the super-awesome laser show at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.
  • Take a Dolphin-Watching Boat Trip arranged by the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach.
  • Stay cool at one of them newfangled moving picture shows during the day.
  • Give Nauticus some love.  Come on, folks – they’ve got some cool stuff there now.  Plus, you know, an ENTIRE BATTLESHIP!!!
  • Think outside the Seven Cities — our nation’s capital is only three and a half hours from here (twelve hours if you’re going by I-64.  Ha ha.  No, really.  It’s horrible.)  Perhaps Nicolas Cage will meet you there to help steal the Declaration of Independence.
  • Philadelphia is five hours from here via the Eastern Shore.  The Declaration is in DC, but Philly has the Liberty Bell.  And cheesesteaks.  And the Rocky Statue.  I can’t believe you require more than that.
  • Choose one of these historic sites and settle in for an epic fireworks display:  Mount Vernon, Yorktown, Williamsburg.


     You could stay home, cook hotdogs on the grill, indulge in potato salad, swim in your neighbor’s pool (when he’s not looking), and hug your dog when the fireworks make him nervous.

     How ever you choose to celebrate – have fun, stay safe, and take plenty of pictures.  ~~  Jen
     Did I leave out any great ideas?  Let me know what you think is the coolest way to spend the Fourth of July in Hampton Roads.  Write about it in the comments section.

[Please note that I have not determined that each and every location mentioned will be open on July 4th or that all programs will be available.  Always check before hitting the road!]
Graphic art courtesy of Web Weaver.

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The Monster Under the Bridge, waiting to be discovered.

     Confession time: I don’t own a dog.
I have plenty of cats, a bird, and a fish, but no dog. So I don’t really know what it’s like to go hiking through a park with a canine companion.
I have seen others do it, so I know the experience runs the gamut from strolling with a pet that seems unaware of any other park visitors, all the way to having one’s arm yanked out of the socket as the dog tries to chase every person, pet, and butterfly it sees.
I’ve often thought it would be nice if state parks featured dog rentals, so that folks like me could have a little company on the trail while the lucky pooches get some exercise and meet new people. Controversial? You decide.

If you’re lucky enough to own a dog and you enjoy walking your dog through the local parks, but the trails always feel the same to you, it may be time to take a closer look and discover the secrets you’ve been strolling past all these years.
It’s time to discover geocaching.

Go to and register for a free account (go ahead and pay for a premium version if you’d like.)

The cutest cache ever!

Type in the zip code of the park you’ll be visiting and search for caches hidden there.
Load the coordinates into your handheld GPS unit (I use a Garmin Nuvi 200) and head out in search of your treasure.
Be sure to bring some dollar-store toys along to exchange with an item from the cache. I use Happy Rocks, bought on a trip to Shenandoah last summer, and Happy Magnets that I made using round magnets and happy face stickers.
When you find the cache, sign the log and update the website so others will know of your success.

You may be wondering if your dog will be any help – any help at all – in locating the caches. Well…it’s doubtful, unless the cache contains a T-bone steak (unlikely.)
The point is, you’re out having fun, exercising with your dog and seeing the park in a whole new way.  Enjoy!


My sister (aka The Lady Contractor) and I team up to look for caches, and we’ve had success at Waller Mill Park in Williamsburg and Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield.

Can't find it on the ground? Try looking up.

Also look for caches hidden in First Landing State Park, York River State Park, and Chippokes Plantation.  Happy hunting!       ~~  Jen

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