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Low-Key Outings for Kids in Charlottesville, VA

Your sibling is in the hospital. One of your grown-ups is gone most of the day. You're staying in an unfamiliar house and in a community you don't know. Life is topsy-turvy. It's a lot to handle as a kid.

Many of our LilyPads Housing guests bring children with them. As you can imagine, it is often challenging for families to make the hospital time feel enjoyable for the non-hospitalized siblings.

We've curated a list of local, low-key activities that can be enjoyed by families during their sibling's stay at UVA Children's Hospital. Our hope is that this list will help shake up the monotony siblings may feel during their family’s stay.

Virginia Discovery Museum

Located on the Downtown Mall, the VADM is a favorite location for kids ages 0-8! The VADM offers exploratory, immersive, imaginative play experiences for visitors. LilyPads Housing guest families receive free admittance!


While a it's a bit outside of Charlottesville, Wildrock is an incredible outdoor playscape where children and families can reinvigorate themselves by connecting with nature. Wildrock is located in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Crozet, VA.

LilyPads Housing guest families can make a free reservation to visit and play.

Scrappy Elephant

This adorable creative re-use shop not only offers affordable craft supplies and workshops, but the Scrappy Elephant has an awesome studio that families can reserve. For a small fee, bring your little ones to the studio for an hour of craft time, with access to all their supplies...and no need to worry about cleaning up! They do it for you!

Cville Art Bar

Neighboring the Scrappy Elephant is the Cville Art Bar. They offer drop-in crafts and a menu of tasty treats. Stop in to make some art or enjoy their splatter room.

Jefferson Madison Regional Library System

Charlottesville is part of an incredible library system that has many in-person locations. The Central and Gordan Avenue library locations are likely closest to you if you're staying near UVA. All branches hold free events for families and have an amazing collection of children's books. The librarians are some of the friendliest around and often have crafts or activities available for the children.

Rivanna Walking Trail

Getting fresh air and moving your bodies will be restorative during your child's hospital stay. Spend some time strolling one of the many sections of the Rivanna Walking Trail.

Park System

Charlottesville, VA also boasts a wonderful park system, full of playgrounds and walking trails (and spray parks in the summer!). Riverview, Belmont, Meade, and McGuffy are closest to UVA Hospital. All are free to visit.

IX Art Park

Located near UVA hospital is the IX Art Park. On Saturdays, you'll find our bustling Farmer's Market at this location. They also have the Looking Glass, an immersive art experience that will ignite your child's imagination.

Pikasso Swig

Another great craft bar, offering hundreds of projects and tasty treats.

Carter Mountain

A central Virginian favorite, folks from all over the state like to make outings to Carter Mountain for pick-your-own fruit adventures. Carter Mountain offers PYO apples in the fall and peaches in the spring. It's a short, easy trip from UVA hospital and can bring a lot of refreshing fun. Please note that Carter Mountain can be particularly busy in the fall, especially on weekends.

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