A long holiday weekend stretches ahead, offering many opportunities for families to spend time together. Although we won't enjoy last weekend's 70 degree temperatures, we will see sunshine and seasonal temperatures all weekend.
If you want to join the million plus people at the swearing-in ceremony or the parade, you don't need tickets to attend. However, you need to be prepared to wait in long lines and stand outdoors in cold temperatures for hours. Use of the Metro to get around the city is advised.
If you would rather avoid the crowds, here are 10 ways to keep your family busy this weekend in Lynchburg and Central Virginia.
Visit one of Lynchburg's parks. Miller Park, the city's oldest park, offers playgrounds, a walking path, basketball court, and picnic areas. There are also baseball fields, which are used from spring through fall by Lynchburg Little League.
Riverside Park is the city's most popular park and includes the Alpine Trail, the first hiking trail in Lynchburg. You can also check out the new Play Core playground, located beside Sprayground at the park, play tennis, or visit the transportation displays.
Peaks View Park offers tennis and basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields, walking, hiking, and mountain biking trails, playgrounds, and a disc golf course. There are also many smaller parks located around the city.
Visit the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College. The museum is open from 1-5 p.m. daily except Mondays. Admission is free for all ages. This is a great way to introduce your child to the world of art.
Ride bikes at Percival's Island Natural Area. Trees line both sides of the paved path but you can walk down steps to the edge of the James River. You can also see views of the river as you cross the bridge to Amherst County.
The Museum of the Confederacy in Appomattox is offering a fee-free day on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Watch 19th Century game tournaments throughout the day. Brunswick Stew and other foods will be served.
Come to St. Thomas More Church, 3015 Roundelay Road, for the Hearts & Hands for Haiti book, yard and bake sale. The annual event helps raise money for Our Lady of the Nativity Church and school in Savanette, Haiti. The event will be held from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday.
Visit the Bedford Museum to see the train exhibit, located on the top floor. Your kids will love watching the trains go around the tracks. There's a special Thomas the Train display the kids can run themselves. The museum, located at 201 E. Main Street, is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
Come to Lynchburg Museum to see the newest exhibit about the Civil War. On Monday, the museum will offer free admission from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Bring the kids to the Amherst County Museum on Sunday at 2 p.m. to learn about Brightwell's Mill. Ricky Brightwell will be on hand to share the story of his family's mill and to talk about the ongoing restoration of the historic mill. The event is free and open to the public.
Attend a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration on Monday. Amazement Square will be open from 1-5 p.m. with special hands-on activities. There's also a community celebration at Snidow Chapel at Lynchburg College on Monday night, starting at 6 p.m.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a National Day of Service. In Virginia State Parks, there are special events planned to allow the community to get involved in trail and road clean-ups, site improvements and more. Check with your favorite park for hours and details.
If you're out early in the morning, beware of black ice on the roads. Some streets still have wet patches, which will freeze in the cold overnight temperatures. If you're planning to walk or run early in the morning, pay special attention to icy spots.
Check out the article links below for more activities and attractions in the Lynchburg area. Pick one, pick two, or pick a few and enjoy the long holiday weekend.