October 11, 2009

An Accessible Family Visit to Richmond, VI

Article Summary: Take your family on a weekend trip to Richmond, Virginia. There are many activities that are designed for people of all abilities. You especially want to visit the Children's Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Pack your bags and jump in the car and head to Richmond, Virginia. It will be worth the trip if all you do is visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The entire Botanical Garden is accessible, but the Children's Garden is designed beautifully for children of differing abilities. The designers of the garden used Universal Design principals to create a play environment where every child can participate in the entire experience.

According to the Lewish Ginter website "Diversity is the main theme of this garden – diversity of environments, ecosystems, plants, adaptation and human culture." To ensure that everyone can learn through their own learn styles the staff of the Children's Garden offer self-directed, informal learning and organized education programs.

Here is what you can expect to experience while exploring the 1.5 acre Children's Garden:

1. Climb a 100 year old tree.

2. Visit and play in multiple play houses designed and landscaped from countries around the world.

3. Get wet in the water spray park (during the summer)

4. Learn about farming at the Farm Garden where the produce that is harvested is donated to the local food back.

6. Explore the tunnels, willow forts, and bridges in the Butterfly Meadow.

7. Check out the weird and contrasting plant area and see the multiple textures and growing patterns of plants.

8. Play in the sand area or create a master piece in the arts 'n craft area.

Parents don't need to worry, there are rest areas with shade and water fountains throughout the garden, so they can relax while their children play.

Don't forget about the accessible treehouse!! Everyone regardless of their gross motor ability can now climb to the top of a tree and play in a treehouse From the treehouse you can look out and see dramatic views of the Conservatory, the Rose Belvedere and all of the Children’s Garden. To reach the top of the 13' feet high treehouse you wind and climb a 500-foot ramp winds that starts at the main entrance. As you wind your way up, you can stop play with interactive learning stations.

While in Richmond you can also visit The Science Museum of Virginia which features hundreds of hands-on exhibits on a wide range of science topics. Except for Wonderplace Lab which cannot be altered due to historic status,the entire museum is barrier-free.

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is geared for young children and provides tons of opportunities for play and learning. While it is warm visit their "backyard" and explore nature and get wet. All of the exhibits are wheelchair accessible.

Then, of course, there is King’s Dominion, a theme park for children of all ages. King’s Dominion is open throughout the summer and on weekends through October. For young children there is a waterpark and a place to meet friends like the Rugrats and Scooby Doo.

by Mara Kaplan

Article Source: http://www.upublish.info

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