Firearms Safety - Concealment Class
Safety is paramount when it comes to firearms. This program meets the state requirements to apply for a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit. This six hour lecture style PowerPoint course is taught by Mark Jervis, current National Rifle Association certified instructor and former instructor for the VA Department of Criminal Justice Services. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the class which can then be taken to the Clerk of Court in the jurisdiction participants reside in to apply for a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit. Some topics included in the day are: Firearms and children, rules of firearms safety, ammunition nomenclature and function, proper safe handling of a handgun malfunction, revolver and semi-automatic handgun nomenclature, and more.
Horseback Riding- Scenic Family Ride
Seated adjacent to the Peaks of Otter and with endless miles of trail, join the equine experts at Reba Farm and enjoy scenic landscapes while learning to ride and work with your horse companion. Participants will learn basic horsemanship skills including mounting, riding technique, and more before setting off on a guided countryside ride. No experience necessary. Must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Transportation, helmets, and tack included. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Horseback Riding Wildlife Excursion
It's time to saddle up and experience the sights sounds of the local wildlife. Create and share homemade treats with some of the critters on a fun filled and scenic horseback trail ride. Following this, enjoy a delicious and hearty cowboy style meal at Reba Farm Inn's Bed and Breakfast. You'll then remount your horse and conclude the day with a ride back to the stables. No experience necessary. Transportation, dinner, helmets and all tack included. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Life on the Home Front - Exploring Bedford, VA
Explore the beauty and history of Bedford! Learn about "life on the home front" during the annual Hunter's Raid Festival, an event that captures and portrays the life of 1864 Appalachian Mountain families. After the festival, we will head towards Sharp Top Mountain, where shuttle busses will take us to the top for a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In fact, Sharp Top was once considered the highest point in Virginia! The view will show the vastness of the Blue Ridge mountains and the landscape that our ancestors fought within. We'll end the day at the Peaks of Otter Lodge, for a generous lunch, complete with your choice of entree, soup and salad bar, dessert and coffee or iced tea. Fee includes escorts, lunch, shuttle bus and van transportation costs.
Mountain Biking-Trail Ride Essentials
Leave the asphalt behind and let us get you in gear for the trails. Learn the basics of mountain biking with an International Mountain Bike Association certified instructor. They will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to get out there on your own. Our guides also provide plenty of information on the best local trails and rides suited for your ability, which is helpful for anyone new to the sport. No experience necessary. Mountain bikes, helmets, and all instruction provided. Course will meet at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor's Center.
Smithsonian Museums and Washington, DC (ages 55+)
View the Hope Diamond in the Natural History museum, Dorothy's Ruby Slippers in the American History Museum or take in the Apollo capsule at the Air and Space Museum. Choose the Smithsonian (or two or three) that you would like to see-they are many to choose from and they are free! No thoughts about where to park-transportation via Abbott bus. Drop off and pick up will be in front of the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum-walking to other sites is independent and tours are self-guided. Many of the monuments are walkable from the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. Price includes transportation. There will be a short stop on the way to Washington, DC and on the way back to Roanoke. Lunch and dinner is not included. Registration Deadline: April 10.
Spring Hollow Exploration
The Spring Hollow Reservoir holds 3.2 billion gallons of water and serves as an important water source, but this protected space also serves as a haven for wildlife and natural beauty. Experience this watershed that is generally closed to the public with our partners from the Western Virginia Water Authority. We will begin with a five mile interpretive hike around the reservoir—including the opportunity to cross over the 990 foot long dam. Afterwards, we will tour the Spring Hollow Water Treatment Facility and learn more about our drinking water’s journey from the Roanoke River to the faucet. Please pack a lunch for the hike and a water bottle. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Experience the Rich History of Lynchburg
Travel to Lynchburg, VA to learn about its incredible civil war history. Your first stop will be at the Old City Cemetery, where an estimated 90% of Lynchburg's enslaved and free African American population is buried along with over 2,200 soliders. Your tour is self-guided throughout the grounds, which boast several museums. These museums include Lynchburg's first hospital, a reconstructed railway station and a chapel and are amist the cemetery's notable rose gardens, which should be in full bloom. Next, you will travel to the Depot Grille for lunch on your own. The restaurant is located in the historic riverfront area and provides a unique lunch experience, since the kitchen is contained within real freight cars! Your last stop is at the Point of Honor House, a beautiful historic home once occupied by Dr. George Cabell, a personal friend of Thomas Jefferson and physician to Patrick Henry. The home has a rich history, complete with stories of civil war spies. Cost includes van transportation, tour tickets and escort fees.
A Taste of Charlottesville, VA
Take a break from the week to enjoy beautiful Charlottesville, VA. Your entire day is planned from start to finish, so all you have to do is kick up your heels and enjoy the ride! Our first stop will be for lunch at Michie Tavern. Here you will enjoy a generous lunch buffet of traditional, southern comfort food presented in a rustic 18th century manner. The Tavern also has a gift shop and general store for you to browse after your meal. After lunch, we will head to Carter Mountain Orchards, one of the highest points in Charlottesville. At the orchard, enjoy walking the beautiful grounds and experiencing the wonderful scenery. You can pick peaches, shop in the fruit market, taste apple cider donuts or homemade peach ice cream - the choice is yours! After spending time in the orchard, we will head to First Colony Winery, where you will get to experience some of Charlottesville's renowned wine country. Our group will have a private tasting room upstairs for you to enjoy the scenery of charming Old World gardens, in a peaceful atmosphere. An interesting feature of the property is the thatched room, built to resemble a 17th century northern European country farm building. Made entirely of imported Turkish water reed, the roof provides a unique feature to enjoy while at the winery. Fee includes lunch buffet, wine tasting, escorts, water and bus transportation. Please note: breakfast biscuits not included.
Have you ever been interested in winemaking? Or learning about how to wine is made? In this one day workshop, we will take a trip to Blue Ridge Home brewing to get private lessons on winemaking!
You will learn about how to prepare the wine, learn about the fermentation process and how to properly bottle and store your wine. You will try wines made by the owners and will provide complimentary food. Must be 21 years of age by date of workshop.
Instructors: Chris and Fran Arthur of Blue Ridge Hydroponics & Home Brewing.
Horsemanship Spring Break
Whether you are a tenderfoot or old cowhand, this three day program is a perfect opportunity to learn and experience real horsemanship. Participants will be mentored by leading equine experts in working with a large herd (including multiple breeds), feeding, grooming, tacking, and of course LOTS of riding. Transportation, meals, snacks, and all riding equipment provided. Please bring a water bottle. Must wear pants and closed-toe shoes to ride. Instruction provided by Reba Farm. Drop-off is from 7:45-8:00 AM and pick-up is from 6:00-6:15 PM at the Green Ridge.
Horsemanship for Active Adults
Horses are not just for the young, but for the young at heart! No matter your age, we have the right techniques, the right horses, and years of horsemanship expertise and knowledge. Choose the experience that’s right for you! Whether you're eager to saddle-up and get on the trail or would like to learn more about horse handling, grooming, and feeding, it's all possible! Conclude the day with a cowboy-style meal served at the barn. Meal, equipment, and transportation included in the fee. Must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.
Skydiving- Tandem Jump
Ready to live life at 120 MPH? Join us for an adrenalin-filled experience with the professionals at No Limits Skydiving, where their focus is on the first-time jumper. From the pre-jump training and orientation all the way to the drop zone, they've got you covered. Transportation to and from their facilities in Victoria, VA is provided. All participants will receive a pre-jump letter to help prepare for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
SUP is quickly becoming a favorite river activity for anyone who wants a fun and new way to play on the water. Start the experience with an on-land lesson taught by a certified paddleboard instructor followed by time in the water to practice and hone your paddling skills. Top off the practice sessions with a trip on the river to get a true SUP experience. Must able to swim. Classes designed for beginners. All equipment, gear, and instruction included. Group will meet at The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.
From the backyard to the backcountry, there is more to outdoor cooking than hotdogs over the fire and dehydrated food from a bag. Join us at Camp Roanoke for a cooking adventure as we teach you how easy it can be to cook delicious and healthy meals outdoors! This class will cover multiple types of camping stoves, dutch oven cooking, and cooking directly over a fire. With 500 nights camped and 6000 miles hiked in the last eight years, Outdoor Educator Susan Powell has fed many a happy camper. She will surely be able to pass along some edible tidbits for the aspiring outdoor chef. All cooking supplies and food are included. Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Spring Wildflower Hike
Enjoy a leisurely hike with a naturalist at one of the best spots in the valley to see spring wildflowers. We will see what is blooming along the hiking trails of Green Hill Park as we talk about these unique flowers and the habitats that support them. Recommended items include: sturdy shoes, warm clothing, snacks and a water bottle. Pre-registration is required.
Frog Calling Night Hike
Join us at Explore Park for a short talk about the habits and habitats of the frogs who call Explore Park home. Following the brief discussion, a naturalist will lead you on a night hike to listen for the frog’s diverse calls. Recommended items include: sturdy shoes, warm clothing, flashlight and a water bottle. Pre-registration is required.
All About Pollinators
Bees, butterflies, and birds, oh my! Join us at Explore Park for a hike with our naturalist as we learn about native pollinators. After the hike, with the help of our Master Gardeners we will learn how we can create pollinator friendly gardens and attract these wonderful visitors to our own backyards! Please bring water and wear closed-toe shoes. No strollers, please. Pre-registration is required.
Father's Day Pun Hike
Is your refrigerator running? If so, then you might want to catch it! Invite Yoda out for dinner at your own risk. You will have to pay for his meal since he's always a little short! Come join us for a short walk with puns or Dad jokes galore. Bring your family, friends, or even jokes you have absorbed to explore trails and the cultural association of patriarchs with puns. (Psst, covering Dad's registraion fee might serve well as a last-minute Father's Day gift). All ages Welcome, children must be accompnaied by an adult.
Spring Blooms at Happy Hollow Gardens
Spring blooms in our area are not to be missed, and Happy Hollow Gardens is a wonderful place to enjoy them! Take a guided hike with our naturalist at this hidden gem of Roanoke County. We will leisurely hike and enjoy the beautiful Azaleas and other blooming plants while talking about the woodland habitat. Please bring water and wear closed-toe shoes. No strollers, please. Pre-registration is required.
School's Out, Budding Naturalist
Have a budding outdoors enthusiast or nature explorer on your hands? Send them outside to find amphibious friends including salamanders and aquatic insects. Bring water shoes and a change of clothes for games and trail exploration after creek fun.
Introduction to Our Starry Skies
Learn the basics of night sky viewing with the guidance of members of the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society. This family friendly program will include a talk in the Visitor Center introducing the night sky as well as tips for viewing stars, and even how to use a telescope. Following the talk, we will head out to view the stars! Participants are welcome to bring their own telescopes. Pre-registration is required.
Enjoy a stroll through Green Hill Park with a naturalist, bug nets, and aquatic nets to catch all kinds of creepy crawlies. Learn how insects survive Virginia winters and support a healthy ecosystem during spring months. From the mouths of hungry fish to buds of peonies, these friends, not foes, are sure to fascinate all. Please bring a water bottle. All ages welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult.
A Salute To Trees
A salute to trees in honor of Arbor day! Adopt a tree and then learn all about it; study the structure, how it functions, and the benefits the tree provides. Participants will make a tree booklet, complete with bark rubbings and leaf prints from their adopted tree, as well as a tree "cookie" necklace. Pre-registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Course will meet at Journey's End Parking Lot.
Plants and Pollinators
Plants and animals depend on pollinators for their very lives. Who are these super heroes and how do they save the world every day? Take a walk, look close at plants and discover these amazing creartures. Participants will get to make a super hero pollinator model to take home. Group will meet at Explore Park's Journey's End parking lot.
When you take the time to look carefully, you will see the sculptural elegance in a simple stick or the delicacy of an insect nibbled leaf. Take a walk and collect items from nature that catch your artistic eye, then create a unique piece of art. Colorful small stones, pods and weeds will add to the beauty. Instructor will provide cord, adhesive, small cutting tools, and a few fresh plant parts collected off site. This workshop is approrpriate for families and adults. Group will meet at Explore Park's Journey's End parking lot.
Introduction to Fly Fishing
This workshop will compare traditional fly fishing to the Tenkara Japanese rods and methods. Topics will include casting, locating fish, and a mini fly tying demo. Participants will also get an introduction to aquatic insect life cycles, macro-invertebrates and the importance of water quality. This workshop is presented by Dr. Kevin Kelleher, Author of "Tenkara: Radically Simple Fly Fishing" and a park naturalist. Please bring a valid fishing license. Pre-registration is required. Course will meet at Journey's End Parking Lot.
Join us as we visit the Birthplace of Country music Museum. The talents and repertoires of Southwest Virginia musicians will be on display. The musicians proved to be a deep musical well for the nation’s growing recording industry. Few other parts of the country produced so much commercially recorded rural music in the pre-World War Two era. Still, only a handful of Southwest Virginia performers saw real fame or money. Most were simply hometown stars, playing music locally and living average lives. After visiting the museum we will head to downtown Bristol where on half of the road it is Virginia and the other half is Tennessee for a tour of the town. Concluding our day you will be on your own at Bristol’s old fashioned Blackbird Bakery. Price includes biscuit, transportation, admission to the Museum, Lunch at Burger Bar and escorts.
Mother's Day Kayaking
I LOVE YOU MOM! Show her you really care and bring her on a fun and leisurely kayaking trip on the nearby James River. After orientation with your sit-on-top kayak and paddling instruction, you're heading down river. Along the way enjoy quality family time in a beautiful setting with breaks and time for lunch. Each participant gets an individual sit-on-top kayak. No experience necessary. Please bring a lunch and water bottle. Must be able to swim. Transportation, guides, and all equipment provided. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Rugrat Ramblers Race
A running series for kids of all abilities, from toddlers to teen and everyone in between, we'll have an age group specific race just for you. Toddler Trot 50 yard crawl, 3-4 year old 1/4 mile, 5-7 year old 1/2 mile and 8-13 years 1 mile race. Prizes will be awarded to each age group winner and prizes for overall series winners. Register with us for the Explore park race, or contact Franklin County Parks and Recreation to register for the entire series!
Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Hoppiness
Ready to try new breweries, make new friends and eat good food? Then you're ready to pursue hoppiness! Join us for a brewery tour of some of the Shenandoah Valley's most popular breweries. First, we will stop at 7 Arrows Brewing, where you will get a private tour of their facility. Enjoy a flight of their favorite beers before heading to lunch, on your own, at Clementine, an eclectic American eatery in historic downtown Harrisonburg. After lunch, we will continue the tour to Brothers Craft Brewing to try their flight and enjoy their facility, a renovated soda bottling plant. We will finish up with Pale Fire Brewing, a renovated ice house, where you will get a private tour and special merchandise discounts. Fee includes all flights of beer at each brewery, water, snacks, bus transportation and escorts. Must be 21 years of age by date of the trip.
Blue Ridge Folklife Festival
A 43 year old tradition, the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is for lovers of everything from mule jumpers, to musicians, to antique tractors. We will spend the day at Ferrum College, enjoying everything that makes up the roots of the Blue Ridge area. Considered the largest regional event of its kind in Virginia, the festival features performers, artisans, foods and unique activities that you won’t find at typical festivals. According to the New York Times, the festival is "thoroughly authentic"! Fee includes ticket to festival, water, van transportation and escorts. Lunch is on your own at the festival.
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