7 best free family activities in WV

Adventure abounds in the hills of West Virginia— and lots of it is free!

In West Virginia, families can enjoy plenty of activities that don’t cost a cent.

Here are our favorite free picks:

1. Curious Rock

This bizarre rock formation in Spencer will make you look twice. It rises 20 feet from the forest floor with a square slab on top. At a distance, it looks like a peculiar mushroom.

2. George Washington’s Bathtub

Watch your step! George Washington’s tub in Berkeley Springs is out in the open. The refreshing spring that bubbles to the surface is the same that our first president enjoyed.

3. The Chester Teapot

How big is the world’s largest teapot? Head to Chester, where the 12-foot-high oddity sits. Its past is just as strange; at one point, the supposed inventor of the banana split took a former root beer keg and fashioned it into a concession stand. After several owners and locations, the white-and-red “teapot” settled in West Virginia. Pull over and take some family photos!

3. The Ghostly Town of Thurmond

In the near-abandoned old town of Thurmond, worn 20th-century buildings— like the National Bank of Thurmond— line the streets. You’ll also see a commissary and train station— relics from a time when the C&O Railroad brought life to the town.

4. The Greenbrier Ghost

If you’re driving through Sam Black Church, keep your eyes peeled for one of America’s oddest road signs. The marker records the death of Elva Zona Heaster-Shue, the only ghost whose testimony has ever convicted her own killer. Although the death wasn’t treated as a crime, Shue’s mother said she saw her daughter’s ghost, who claimed her husband had broken her neck. An autopsy eventually confirmed the ghost’s story.

5. The Point Pleasant Mothman

Odds are, your family has never seen a statue like this one. The shiny golden figure on 4th Street is unforgettable with its glowing eyes, large wings and fanged mouth. It’s the creepy 7-foot-tall beast that supposedly stalked the area in 1966. The monster terrified 100 eyewitnesses. The statue stands opposite the Mothman Museum and Research Center.

6. West Virginia’s Swiss Village

Our remote mountains hide plenty of secrets and charms, like the tiny Swiss village of Helvetia, which retains its Old-World character. As you and your family explore the charming alpine town, stop into the Kultur Haus community center to browse the wild creations from their annual Fasnacht, a unique festival where locals burn “Old Man Winter” and wear ornate masks (the best of which make it into the free mask museum!)

7. Grave Creek Mound

Did you know that West Virginia has a massive prehistoric grave site? The Grave Creek Mound stands 69 feet high and is roughly 2,000 years old. Be sure to bring a camera. Visit the Delf Norona Museum for artifacts and displays about prehistoric life in West Virginia.

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This post was last updated on July 24, 2020