Category: Visitors

2016 Colonial Williamsburg Discount
March 28th, 2017 by RichmondBargains

For the price of one day’s ticket ($40.99 for adults, $20.49 for kids 6-12), Virginia residents can receive full access to Colonial Williamsburg through the end of 2017 through the “Salute to Virginia” offer

Virginia residents, here’s to you!

Explore all the Colonial Williamsburg historic sites and trade shops, including our two art museums, and enjoy the convenience of our complimentary shuttle service through December 31, 2017 at the price of a Single-day Ticket.

Pass must be purchased between March 17-May 31, 2017. Pass expires December 31, 2017. Proof of Virginia residency, such as a Virginia driver’s license, state-issued ID, or utility bill with an accompanying ID card is required. Offer includes active-duty military and dependents stationed in Virginia provided Virginia residency can be verified.

Posted in Visitors Tagged with:

10 08 Westmoreland 056
February 9th, 2017 by RichmondBargains

Our cabin at Westmoreland a few summers ago

Virginia State Parks are offering 20% off weeklong cabin stays this summer:

Book your week-long summer vacation at a Virginia State Park cabin or family lodge (stays must be between June 2 and August 27, 2017) to save 20% off the regular, already discounted, week stay price.

This means you can stay a full week for less than the regular cost of five nights!

What you need to know: You can only get this special discount if you reserve it today through April 25, 2017. This offer is subject to availability and requires a weekly rental between June 2 and August 27, 2017.

Redeem this great offer today by calling 800-933-PARKS and mentioning the Promotion Code 7FOR5IN2017 or by reserving your cabin or lodge online here and using the Promotion Code.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Visitors Tagged with: , ,

July 24th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

My husband Brad and I aren’t big dinner daters – planning a babysitter and bedtime plus the cost of meals (and wine!) tend to deter us on all but the most special occasions

Last week we dropped the boys off with a friend and spent a morning exploring Byrd Park and Cary Street neighborhoods on foot. I have trouble walking and photographing simultaneously, but here are a few pictures from our journey:

footbridge over the Downtown Expressway
downtown expressway footbridge
downtown expressway
boulevard exit sign
uptown community garden
Light of Human Kindness wall at the old GRTC bus depot
light of human kindness wall
rva mural project cary street
sidewalk in Byrd Park
byrd park neighborhood

So taking a walk in a new place isn’t exactly revolutionary, but don’t underestimate it in date value! You get exercise, conversation, and entertainment (all free), and see things about your city you miss when driving. (You still have to arrange childcare, but I’ve found that tends to be easier and/or cheaper during the day) With any luck or a little prior planning, you’ll run across a coffee shop, ice cream parlor, farmer’s market, or other establishment where you can grab a treat, too!

Obviously, walking WITH kids works great too (as long as yours aren’t in the awkward “too big for strollers, too tired for long-distances” stage like ours are). You need a sturdy stroller for non-walkers because city sidewalks tend to be uneven.

What walks do you recommend? What about your favorite cheap date?? (Comment here or on Facebook)

I am contributing this post to Friday Favorites on VirginiaBloggers – read other bloggers favorite posts here!

Posted in Bargain Basics, Visitors

February 27th, 2014 by RichmondBargains

yhl richmond thrift

I have my theories that the Petersiks may have single-handedly (two-handedly? four-handedly? six-hand and four pawsedly?) been the biggest force in putting Richmond on the map in the past few years.

OK, maybe exaggerating, but John & Sherry have definitely brought a positive national spotlight to our city for something besides the Civil War history, and they frequently share their adventures in RVA beyond just the four walls of their home.

To celebrate eight years in this town, Young House Love assembled an itinerary of some of their favorite shopping haunts in Richmond – mostly second-hand and all budget-conscious, as well as accompanying dining suggestions. John even plotted it all on a Google map for us.

The emphasis of the list is places to find deals on home decor and furniture. It’s no secret that DIY ain’t my MO (like, it’s a Big Deal when I hot glue some bottle caps), so I’m always grateful for their expertise, inspiration, and RVA-love. Check it out!

Posted in Bargain Basics, Second Hand, Visitors Tagged with: ,

September 10th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

Virginia Tourism has compiled suggestions of 10 free events and activities around Virginia this fall! (Next month’s Folk Festival makes the list, of course)

Posted in Free & Cheap Events, Visitors Tagged with:

April 16th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

richmond liberty trail sign

Experience Richmond history on foot, thanks to the newly created “Richmond Liberty Trail.” How do you like them apples, Boston?

    The Richmond Liberty Trail is a walking route that connects many of downtown Richmond’s historic sites, attractions and neighborhoods, including 15 national historic landmarks. This 6.2 mile (10K) trail is temporarily marked with a logo painted on the sidewalk [thanks to volunteer efforts earlier this month!]. Ultimately, the trail will be marked with more sophisticated, permanent markers akin to those that will soon mark the Richmond Slave Trail. Where the Richmond Liberty Trail meets corners or other locations where direction is needed, supplementary arrows indicate in which direction to walk.

    There is no beginning or end to the Richmond Liberty Trail. It is a self-guided, continuous loop intended for visitors and residents who want to experience portions of Richmond’s nationally significant history on foot. Participants are encouraged to walk portions of the route based on their interests. For instance, in Shockoe, the Richmond Liberty Trail connects with the Richmond Slave Trail and the Virginia Capital Trail.

    Trail Highlights

      Lumpkin’s Slave Jail Site
      African Burial Ground
      Capitol Square
      Valentine Richmond History Center in Court End
      Museum and White House of the Confederacy
      Maggie L. Walker Historic Site in Jackson Ward
      St. John’s Church in Church Hill
      The Canals, Canal Walk and Browns Island
      Historic Tredegar
      The Christopher Newport Cross
      The Holocaust Museum of Virginia
      The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

    For more information contact Bill Martin, Valentine Richmond History Center, 804.649.0711 x340, or Lesley Bruno, Greater Richmond Chamber, 804.783.9328.

    Richmond Liberty Trail website

Posted in Bargain Basics, Visitors Tagged with: ,

March 25th, 2013 by RichmondBargains

colonial williamsburg coupon

In its “Salute to VA Residents,” Colonial Williamsburg is offering Virginians the opportunity to purchase a Single-day Ticket that grants admission for the remainder of the year.

(So $41.95 gets you an adult pass valid through December 31; youth 6-12 are $20.95; under 6 free)

Enjoy the Revolutionary City in bloom this spring and return later this year to take advantage of new art exhibitions, lectures in the Colonial Williamsburg Speaker Series, or experience our Grand Illumination celebration. With an exciting lineup of seasonal events for 2013 and exclusive discounts on carriage rides, tours, and evening experiences, you’ll have the perfect excuse to come see what’s new in America’s birthplace.

Tickets are available for purchase online here.

Offer available to all Virginia residents until May 31, 2013, including active-duty military stationed in Virginia. Proof of residency and/or eligibility required. This pass is nontransferable and expires December 31, 2013. No other offers or discounts apply.

I’m not sure if you have to visit at least once by May 31, or just purchase by May 31. Regular price of an annual pass is $63.95 for adults. If you only want to visit for one day, it might be worth waiting on another Groupon offer to show up.

Posted in Coupons, Visitors Tagged with: , ,

December 5th, 2012 by RichmondBargains

megabus richmond discount

Low-cost bus service Megabus is offering 200,000 free seats again this winter, for travel on select routes and times from January 9 to February 28th, 2012. Use promo code TRYMEGABUS to check for the free fares – try a few dates if your first choice doesn’t have an option, and book ASAP before they are all reserved! There is a $.50 reservation fee.

Megabus offers low cost daily shuttle service between Richmond and the cities of Washington DC, Hampton, Philadelphia, New York, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham and Baltimore. The Richmond terminal is at Main Street Station downtown. Buses come equipped with free Wi-Fi and power outlets.

Posted in Free & Cheap Events, Visitors Tagged with: ,

November 24th, 2012 by RichmondBargains

colonial williamsburg passes

Through Cyber Monday, Colonial Williamsburg is offering a discount on annual passes: Buy one, get one free!

Adult annual passes are $61.95, kids 6-12 are $32.50. The passes are valid for one year from date of purchase. Go here to buy.

For each Annual Pass you purchase, you can get a second one free.

Savor each moment of the holiday season with friends and family in the Revolutionary City. Take in the natural decorations and enjoy festive, timeless Christmas events.

As a pass member, return whenever you like. Get to know the stories of the residents in the Revolutionary City, explore the museums at your leisure, and enjoy all the exciting events coming in 2013.

Posted in Free & Cheap Events, Visitors Tagged with: , ,

June 6th, 2012 by RichmondBargains

great wolf lodge water bucket

After hearing about fun times from many friends, I finally got to check the resort out for myself last month. Along for the ride were my four-year-old, my ten-month-old, and my mom.

GWL is located an hour’s drive or less down I-64. Its main attraction is the huge indoor waterpark, for which lodge guests receive free passes.

First things first, of course, I had to find a great deal on a room…

How to get a discount on Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg rooms:

    – Request a Savvy Saver card from and use the code RICH230A to save 20% on best available room rates and spa services. (Restrictions may apply in peak periods)

    RichmondMom also sometimes gets blocks of rooms at a discount for specific dates, which is how I got our premium suite for $149.99. The lowest price I’ve seen is $139.99 a night for the basic suites.

    – Sign up for Great Wolf Lodge emails to receive notification of the periodic 48-Hour Sales, when you can purchase rooms at a discount

    – Check the Great Wolf Lodge Deals page for current discount package options

    – Ask about discounts for military, AAA, etc.

    – Not surprisingly, the cheapest rates are usually offered Sunday through Thursday nights

Overall, we had a blast. My oldest was fascinated by all the furniture and decor made from rough-hewn logs.

My favorite feature was actually our waterpark pass bracelets that doubled to scan as our room key! Oh-so-stylish and no worries about losing them:

great wolf lodge wristband

My second-favorite was that, since the waterpark is indoors, I didn’t have to hassle with sunscreen!

Apparently simplification and convenience are my top priorities these days 🙂

Most of our free time was devoted to waterpark shenanigans. There are over a dozen sections/slides to the giant indoor park, which is kept a balmy 84 degrees. My uber-cautious four-year-old didn’t venture beyond the kiddie (Whooping Hollow) and wave (Beaver Tail Pond) pools this visit. He developed a paranoia about the huge water bucket that dumps 1,000 gallons of water in the central play area periodically; when her heard the warning dings, he would freeze wherever he was and cover his ears. Despite his misgivings, he did, however, thouroughly enjoy himself!

Saving at the resort, and random tips

Bring your own food! The rooms all come with a mini fridge and microwave. They do not, however, have any plates, utensils, or other cooking equipment (I ended up slicing bananas with my trusty mini Swiss Army knife). Dining prices at Great Wolf are high, though not highway robbery.

There are a number of restaurants just around the corner, including Sonic (Go for the half-price drink happy hour from 2-4pm every day!), IHOP, Burger King, Subway, and Chick-fil-A. If you need to pick up anything, there’s a Walmart as well. Or if you continue down Rochambeau Drive past Great Wolf Lodge, you’ll reach the delicious Pierce’s Pitt BBQ!

Pack a separate bag with your swim gear. You can start using the waterpark at 1pm on the day you arrive, and all day the day you check out, but you might not be allowed into your room until 4pm and have to check out by 11am. If your swim stuff is separate, you can head straight for the pool and change in the changing rooms. (I only saw three changing/shower stalls in the women’s area, however, which seemed insufficient)

Lockers are available to rent for $10 a day. We skipped the rental, and I just shoved my keys in our swim bag. Everyone leaves their clothes and towels on a table/surrounding chairs (It’s a good idea to claim a prime spot early in the day!)

You don’t need to bring towels – they are provided at the entrance to the waterpark (and are extremely scratchy I might add. No temptation to pilfer them)

DO bring warm cover-ups, like a zip-up sweatshirt, for the air-conditioned walk back to your room.

If you have older kids, anticipate a some pricey extras. Thankfully, my four-year-old was blissfully oblivious to all the alluring things for sale, but elementary age and older will certainly realize that there is a kids spa, mini golf, a big arcade, and game involving wands. As someone who enjoyed the computer game Myst as a kid, I thought the MagiQuest game looked like a fun activity down the road when my son is older. You have to buy a wand (I didn’t check the price, but I think they are $20 or $25) and pay $10 for a game.

“Suite” just means it has a fridge. As a mom with little ones who need their naps in peace, this is one of my pet peeves about hotels that advertise suites. To me, a suite has a separate bedroom with a door, but most hotels disagree with my definition, making it difficult to book rooms because the descriptions are often unclear.

(Great Wolf Lodge calls this a Queen Sofa Suite)
queen sofa suite.

I greatly appreciate the floorplans and room views included on the website, so at least I know what I’m getting. The reason I finally booked a stay was that RichmondMom had a bargain for premium suites – $149.99 for rooms that were $389 (!) at full price. I snapped up a Grizzly Bear Suite, which is HUGE, with two separate bedrooms and big living space.
great wolf lodge grizzly bear suite

It was more than ample for the two boys, my mom, and I, and could sleep six in comfort. The only thing I would change is I wish it came with a bigger table and more than two chairs. Oh, and a better balcony view (future home of a car dealership):

great wolf lodge view

The biggest recommendation for the resort was the fact that everywhere I looked, people were having a great time. Great Wolf Lodge definitely knows what it’s doing!

What are your tips for great stays at Great Wolf Lodge (saving money or in general)?

Posted in Visitors Tagged with: , , , ,