7 adventures the grandkids will never forget

What better way to spend time with the grandkids than to relive fond memories from your own childhood? These fun activities will entertain all ages.

1. Take a scenic train ride

In the early 20th century, the mighty steam locomotives of Cass Scenic Railroad were used to haul lumber down to the mill in Cass. Today, those same Shay engines pull cars of sightseers up the mountain, past breathtaking overlooks and stopping for passengers to disembark and tour a recreated 1940s logging camp.

Tourists in a man-trip cart entering Beckley Exhibition Mine

2. Tour a real coal mine

The Exhibition Coal Mine in Beckley was once a working drift mine. Although it’s no longer producing coal, you can still ride a mantrip deep below the surface, where veteran coal miners serve as guides to demonstrate how coal was mined. There’s also a period coal camp to explore and, if you have more time to spare, the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is right next door.

3. Take a float trip

Pack the canoe with fishing gear or just enjoy a lazy day on the river. Both the Cheat River Water Trail and the Coal River “Walhonde” Water Trail have plenty of access areas as well as rentals nearby. Or, on those super-hot summer days, grab an inner tube and cool off in the water with the grandkids! The Greenbrier and Shenandoah rivers are popular tubing rivers served by outfitters at the Greenbrier River Campground and River Riders.

Milkshake at The Corner Shop, Bramwell, West Virginia

4. Visit an old-fashioned soda fountain

Griffith & Feil Drug Store and Soda Fountain serves up all kinds of delicious ice cream treats at its restored 1920s soda fountain in Kenova. You can also get burgers, sandwiches, salads and old-fashioned hand-mixed sodas called “phosphates” there. The Corner Shop in historic Bramwell is known for its homemade ice-cream sundaes, shakes and cones, as well as its signature “Johnny Cash” Millionaire Burger.

5. Pick your own berries or pumpkins

Fall is the best time to visit Gritt’s Farm in Buffalo – that’s when the owners set up their annual Fun Farm, with a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, corn mazes and play area. At Orr’s Farm Market in Martinsburg, kids can pick a pint of strawberries or pick their own special pumpkin (depending on the season) as well as get a close-up look of the farm’s herd of bison!

An otter at Oglebay Resort, WV

6. Meet some WV animals

The West Virginia State Wildlife Center houses a collection of native and introduced species — from river otter to black bear — along a 1.25-mile path through the woods. If you time your visit to Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo just right, you might get your picture taken with one of the zoo babies. A train runs through the middle of The Good Zoo at Oglebay Resort, where you can visit with more than 50 species including rare and endangered animals.

7. Play at the museum

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences has several fun interactive exhibits, from the 3-story high Ashton’s Climbing Sculpture to My Town — a miniature version of Charleston where kids can play grownups at the diner, vet clinic, grocery store, bank and more. Trace the history of West Virginia from prehistoric times to present as you travel through the Discovery Rooms at The State Museum of West Virginia.

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This post was last updated on March 1, 2022