If you’re looking to spend some quality time with the kids without leaving the area, why not plan a staycation at The Hyatt House in the heart of Short Pump? Located in the Short Pump Town Center mall, The Hyatt House (11800 W. Broad St.) offers amenities like you might have at home…only better. Check-in on a warm Friday evening and splash around in their seasonal infinity pool. Once you’re out of the pool, it’ll be time to feed the little ones. For dinner, Metro Diner (11525 W. Broad St.) is only about a half-mile away and is always a kid favorite. Breakfast is served all day and that includes their delicious pancakes and waffles. Of course, if you don’t feel like having to pile in the car, there are several wonderful restaurants located within the Town Center. While you’re perusing your dining options and the shops, the little ones can take a train ride around the mall. After all the food and fun, and the kids are asleep, the grown-ups can grab a bottle of wine in the 24-hour market in the hotel, then relax, sip on your wine and enjoy all the luxury that one can only find at Hyatt House. For rates, dining ideas and other activity suggestions, visit RichmondWest.House.Hyatt.com.
After a good night’s sleep, the kids will, no doubt, be ready to eat breakfast. Head into the city and check out the Dairy Bar in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition. The Dairy Bar (1602 Roseneath Road) is a Richmond tradition — a place where friends and families have met for more than 70 years to fill their bellies and enjoy company that warms their hearts. Choose from their classic or country-style breakfasts, one of their freshly stuffed omelets or a perfectly made breakfast sandwich. With its proven reputation for good food, the Dairy Bar is sure to please the pickiest of little eaters.
Hope you brought your bathing suits, because it’s time to head over to the Children’s Museum of Richmond (2626 W. Broad St.) The kids can learn through play at one of their many activities and exhibits located within the museum, or they can play in the Backyard (geared towards kids 3 and under). However, the real gem is in the front yard, where youngsters can spend hours learning and having fun with water features including a splash pad. Once they’ve burnt off all their energy and their breakfast, chances are they are going to start whining for lunch. No worries, get em’ all dried off and head across Broad Street to Sabai (2727 W. Broad St.) for a truly unique culinary experience.
Once inside, you will feel as if you have left the country and are in the heart of Thailand, with Thai favorites like moo sam chan and satay gai. The spices and flavors are unique to anything in the area, and the tiki-inspired drinks are sure to make your staycation feel just as tropical as if you were sitting on a beach in Phuket.
Once you have completed your cultural lunch date with the kiddos, head back across Broad to the Science Museum of Virginia (2500 W. Broad St.) to spend the rest of the afternoon filled with more educational fun.
The Science Museum offers amazing science demonstrations and revolving exhibits throughout the year. The kids will not want to miss Going Places, the museum’s new transportation exhibit. “We often take transportation for granted, rarely, if ever, stopping to marvel at the technological advances that allow us to travel half way across the world in a day,” says Jennifer Guild, SMV’s communication and curiosity manager. “Going Places gets families to stop and think about whatever their mode of transportation is and how it impacts their lives, and it shows how enhancements in technology and human ingenuity have improved the way we travel.”
When you’re done exploring the museum and all the exhibits, head over to the museum’s Dome and catch a film on the giant screen. Just like any other movie theater, you can purchase candy, popcorn or soda, and relax while you beat the heat in the air-conditioning. The grown-ups may even be able to sneak in a quick nap while the kids are occupied. Check their website for show times and updates on exhibits.
After all your exploring, you may be thinking that Richmond couldn’t possibly surprise you any more in one day, but on the contrary, you and your family will be pleasantly surprised with your dining experience at The Circuit Arcade Bar (3121 W. Leigh St.). Order a sandwich at the kiosk, and you’ll be called when dinner is ready. The food is not the primary reason folks hangout here. The arcade offers over 50 classic games that are sure to bring out the kid in you, as you teach your little ones all the wonders that an arcade can hold. It’s a fun place where grown-ups and kids alike can meet on some common ground, grab a meal and have a good time. Don’t worry, it won’t get too crazy on your Saturday night out with the kids, as there is a strict curfew. Anyone under 21 must vacate the premises by 9 p.m.
After a good night’s sleep and check-out at the Hyatt House, everyone is probably going to be ready to eat… again. I suggest Lunch.Supper! (1213-15 Summit Ave.) for their amazing brunch, but I would get over there early. Brunch starts at 9 a.m., and like most of the Richmond hotspots, there is often a wait to be seated. All in your party will be pleased with the choices — from chicken and waffles, French toast and breakfast bowls to salads and sandwiches. Kids will enjoy being able to stretch their legs while they wait for brunch in the Urban Roost beer garden, where they can play corn hole or giant Jenga. Check the website for updates on events throughout the season.
Exploring this wonderful city can be a daunting challenge, but it’s worth the effort for both those who are visiting us as well as for the many who call Richmond home.
See more in our staycation series: