Family Weekend will be held Oct. 4-6, and many students are excited to see their families for the first time since move-in day. First-year Helene Leichter expressed her excitement and eagerness to see her family and show them around campus. 

“It’ll be so fun to introduce them to my friends and let them in on what life on campus is like,” Leichter said.

Although there are plenty of things to do on campus with your family, there are also many places and activities off-campus that are worth showing. To help relieve the stress of entertaining your family, here are some off-campus things to do that let you relax and explore the beauty of Richmond.

1. Carytown

Carytown is a small downtown area, approximately 15 minutes away from campus. It is a hot spot for University of Richmond students because of its convenient location and diversity of things to do. With restaurants, boutiques and a small-town feel, Carytown is a place that will never get old. 

Sophomore Emma Cannon brought her family here last year during Family Weekend and said that “there are so many fun places to check out. We spent hours in Carytown and never got bored!” 

In addition to boutiques and stores, there are several restaurants that UR students frequently visit. One of the most popular is Mellow Mushroom, a funky and artistic pizza place. Other restaurants to try are Baker's Crust, Citizen Burger Bar, East Coast Provisions and The Daily Kitchen & Bar.

2. Broad Street

Broad Street is a fun location to be on the first Friday of every month. Art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and tons of other places along the street hold open events for the public to walk around and enjoy. 

According to the Facebook event, “The rough center of the action is Adams & Broad St, but there will be events on Broad between Monroe and 7th Streets, and off Broad on Grace, Franklin, Marshall, and Leigh.” 

Take some pictures, do some shopping and enjoy Richmond’s creative and artistic culture with your family. 

3. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a popular weekend spot and would be a beautiful place to bring your family for Family Weekend. The VMFA offers “Highlights” walk-in tours on Fridays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. According to its webpage, the Highlights tour is a walk-in gallery tour featuring focal points of the museum's permanent art collections that usually lasts around 50 minutes. 

Also, the VMFA has happy hour on Friday nights with free half-hour tours at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., where you can bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful museum with your family. 

Sophomore Mike Welch brought his family to the VFMA last year and said it was "a nice place to talk with your family while also getting away from campus for a while." 

4. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is another location in Richmond that offers beautiful views and a place for you to bring your family. Tickets for the garden are $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 3-12 and $11 for adults 55 and older. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has several exhibitions open, including the “Butterflies LIVE!” exhibit, where hundreds of butterflies fly around you and you have the chance to learn all about them. With 50 acres of gardens, dining and shopping, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a must-see for families.

5. Pony Pasture Rapids (James River)

Pony Pasture Rapids is a popular part of the James River that UR students like to travel to on beautiful weekends. 

According to the Pony Pasture webpage: “[p]hotography, painting, people-watching, having an adventure or just getting out to nature are all good excuses to go to Pony Pasture. Many people walk, run or bike along the shoulder of Riverside Drive, which is designated as a Scenic Virginia Byway.” 

Pack some food and a bathing suit and catch up with your family at one of the most picturesque places in Richmond.

Contact lifestyle writer Kaitlin Edwardson at kaitlin.edwardson@richmond.edu.