13 Fun Things to Do in West Virginia with Kids [for 2023]
West Virginia is a beautiful state that with its limitless mountain retreats and quiet small town towns make for a great vacation to remember. This is where families will want to come back again and again to West Virginia to enjoy their vacations, as it is filled with family-friendly activities and adventures.
If you have a hard time deciding how best to enjoy your vacation here with so many great options in West Virginia, don’t worry. We have put together for you a list of fun things to do in West Virginia with kids that you must check out and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
1. Oglebay Good Zoo, Wheeling
Photo by Agnes Horváth on Unsplash
The Oglebay Good Zoo is located within the Oglebay Resort and Conference Center, one of the best family resorts in West Virginia. The zoo is home to more than 50 species of animals, including 20 that are rare or endangered, and you’ll also love the Close Encounter Tour where you get to pet and pet many of the exotic animals.
Kids can enjoy even more fun here like exploring the Discovery Lab and taking a train ride. This zoo is also suitable for youngsters, while children will get to know and learn about the wildlife and environment here.
2. Clay Center, Charleston
Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash
One of the fun things to do in West Virginia with kids is the Clay Center, which celebrates both its art and science. Here, you get to witness world-class art performances, live theater performances are amazing and there is much more you can enjoy here.
You will also find a planetarium in the Clay Center called the Electricsky Theater. The theater presents interesting shows about space and astronomy and is an exciting way for children to learn about our solar system and the universe.
Kids will love the 3-story Avampato Discovery Museum, where kids can participate in non-stop, hands-on fun and lots more for kids to do, like a water play area and learning, and climb the climbing wall.
3. Haddad Riverfront Park, Charleston
Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash
Charleston is one of the best options for enjoying a family vacation in West Virginia, and crowd favorite Haddad Riverfront Park offers a variety of family-friendly activities to enjoy.
This wonderful park is situated on the banks of the Kanawha River, you can enjoy playing in the large playground, and you will also find many walking paths and biking trails. If you like to have a picnic, then here you will also find many green places where you can enjoy the picnic. You can visit the park with kids at any time of the day and teenagers can enjoy the concerts here.
4. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, Elkins
Photo by Sugden Guy sugden on Unsplash
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a wonderful and unique place for families who are looking for fun things to do with their kids in West Virginia. Families are sure to have a ton of fun here, as a ride through the park takes you for scenic mountain vistas to the top of Bald Knob, the third-highest peak in West Virginia. And the other is a short trip to the secluded Whitaker Station where you and your family can enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch while enjoying the beautiful views.
The best thing about the park is that there is no age restriction for the train ride, which means everyone from young children to senior citizens can enjoy this beautiful journey. A train ride is a unique and memorable experience that will keep the whole family entertained.
5. Audra State Park, Buckhannon
Photo by Rahul Dey on Unsplash
If you want to enjoy a nice family vacation in the lap of nature, Audra State Park is a unique and exciting option for you. The Middle Fork River that runs through the park becomes an excellent place for families to splash around and cool off on hot summer days.
At Audra State Park you will also find pools where you can enjoy a family swim, help the kids build a sandcastle, and play games on the sandy beach area. The clear and cool waters of the pool are perfect for a refreshing dip, and the calm currents of the river make it safe for children to play. If you like picnics then this is the place where you can enjoy picnics in the natural environment.
6. Spark! Imagination & Science Center, Morgantown
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash
Spark! The Imagination and Science Center is a great option for families looking for lots of fun and educational exhibits for their kids. This is the place where kids as well as parents enjoy a lot of fun and educational extravaganzas.
Here children will thoroughly enjoy the puppet shows and the dress-up booth allows children to explore their creativity and imagination by trying on different costumes and accessories.
Older children can enjoy a variety of hands-on activities and experiments that are designed to be both fun and educational. The center also offers adventures for children from about 6 months to 10 years old, making it one of the fun things to do in West Virginia with kids.
7. Summersville Lake, Summersville
Photo by David Straight on Unsplash
Somersville Lake is where you and your family go to enjoy its pristine waters and plenty of recreational activities. If you want to experience the beauty of Somersville Lake, you can rent a boat. You’ll find several rental companies in the area that offer a variety of boats, from kayaks to speedboats, from where you can take a boat and enjoy swimming, skiing, and tubing on the lake.
The calm waters of the lake make it a wonderful place for beginners to try their hand at water sports. Visiting this amazing lake is one of the fun things to do in West Virginia with kids where kids have tons of fun splashing around and playing in the water, just bring a floaty and enjoy your day.
8. Heritage Farms Museum & Village, Huntington
Photo by Maxime Bhm on Unsplash
Heritage Farm Museum & Village is perfect for families looking for fun things to do in West Virginia with kids. The museum is located on a sprawling property that includes 15 log structures, 7 award-winning museums, and 5 log cabin inns where you can stay overnight.
Here you can take a closer look at the history and culture of the area through exhibits and you will be pleased to know that Heritage Farm has managed to delight guests from around the world for more than 20 years. If you have come here with small children, then surely the small children are going to enjoy themselves a lot here.
9. Lost World Caverns, Lewisburg
Photo by Joshua Sortino on Unsplash
Lost World Caverns, along with breathtaking geological formations and educational opportunities, the caves are a wonderful experience for visitors of all ages. Here you can enjoy a self-guided tour where you and your children can explore the caves at your own pace, taking as much time as you need to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the formations.
As you begin your journey through the caves, you’ll enjoy viewing a variety of spectacular geological formations, including stalactites and stalagmites, as well as other unique rock formations. Let us tell you that this wonderful adventure is very much liked by the youth and it is also one of the fun things to do in West Virginia with kids.
10. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry
Photo by Ashley Hajimirsadeghi on Unsplash
If you really want to take a glimpse into the past, then Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is the place for you. It is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and is also home to a wealth of historic and natural attractions.
This wonderful village is the perfect place for kids young and old to enjoy the many exhibitions and kids will love the quirky shops too. Harpers Ferry is the perfect place for families with children of all ages to enjoy a great vacation, whether you’re looking for a day trip to enjoy or a week-long getaway, Harpers Ferry is a great place to visit the destination.
11. New River Gorge, Glen Jean
Photo by Santiago Segundo Guerrero Vivas on Unsplash
If you are looking for a family vacation that will fill you with a variety of recreational activities, then you can consider the New River Gorge National River Park. The park With over 70,000 acres of forest, the park offers a wide range of recreational activities suitable for everyone.
When visiting New River Gorge National River Park, it’s a good idea to consult with park rangers about activities specifically designed for children, and here teens will enjoy great activities like whitewater rafting. You’ll find a number of organizations in the area that are directed toward ensuring a safe and exciting adventure.
12. Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum
Photo by Darren Bockman on Unsplash
The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum is a wonderful addition to any family trip to West Virginia. This museum located in Wheeling will appeal to both kids and adults alike.
The museum is housed in a beautifully restored Victorian school building and features antique toy and model trains as well as classic cars.
Here children will also enjoy various exhibits and there are also a variety of rooms that children will love, such as a small room full of small toys; a doll room with Barbie dolls; A game room with board games and pinball-type games, and more. It is a great place to relive childhood memories.
13. Dark Skies Park, Grantsville
Photo by Ryan Hutton on Unsplash
This hidden gem is enough for families to experience the beauty of the night sky away from the city lights. You’ll find great stargazing opportunities at Calhoun County Park. Located away from any major cities or light pollution, visitors can see the night sky in all its natural splendor, including the Milky Way and countless other stars and constellations.
You can bring a telescope with you here or just enjoy the view with the naked eye. This park is definitely a great place to enjoy with the family, where you create some lovely memories that will not be forgotten.
1. What is the best time to visit West Virginia with the kids?
The best time to visit West Virginia with kids is during the summer months when the weather is warm and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.
2. Are there any kid-friendly hotels in West Virginia?
Yes, there are many kid-friendly hotels in West Virginia, ranging from budget to luxury.