Things To Do With Kids At Smith Mountain Lake

Things To Do With Kids At Smith Mountain Lake

There are so many things to do in and around this beautiful lake! I am so excited to have a lot of it compiled in one place.

Let’s get started.

1) The Ice Cream Boat
Yes, you read that right. Two brothers, Ryan and Travis Burke started this ingenious little “business” when they were teenagers, and they still float the lake today. You’ll hear them before you see them, their music is a happy sound over the water.

Wave them over to get a chilly treat delivered to your boat or dock. (A pool noodle works well!) I wish I had a website or a phone number to give you, but these two seem to just cruise the lake at their leisure. You can check out my blog post for four ways to help you find them! Good luck!

2) Smith Mountain Wake Company
If you have older kids they will no doubt want some “extra” excitement, and these guys have you covered. You can rent wakesurf boards, paddleboards, tubes, kayaks, take lessons in your favorite water sport, and even catch some special water events.

3) Alpacas of Smith Mountain Lake Farm
Visiting an Alpaca farm might not be on your list of things to do on a lake vacation, but why not? Especially when one of the Nation’s most educational Alpaca tours exists right down the road. Also, Alpaca’s are so darn cute! Or is it ugly? I’ll let you decide. :) Either way, this might be the activity you didn’t know you wanted, but ended up loving!

4) Smith Mountain Lake State Park Beach
This is where you can bring a toddler or young kids and have them be entertained safely and happily for hours!  You can drive your boat right up to the dock and dock-side helpers will appear out of nowhere to help you tie up and get out safely. It’s nice to have the help!

There is so much more to this park than the beach. Easy hikes lead you around the lake with stops at little rocky/sandy areas where the kids can play. My children love to stoop and inspect the “sparkly” sand. There are also green areas with picnic tables and benches, and even a large playground. Pack a picnic lunch and make it a day!

5) Spring Valley Farm
Horses! There is just something about horses.  This farm has riding lessons and trail rides through fields and forests. They also have a petting zoo, a camel named Sid, and carriage and wagon rides!

6) Homestead Creamery Farm Market
Did somebody say Ice Cream?  This sweet Country store has you covered! They have gourmet local food, delicious cheeses and ice cream, and just a really great Country feel.

7) Virginia Dare Cruises
The cruises just started back up (early June), so perfect timing! Click on the link to get a glimpse of what this would feel like. Sightseeing while having a delicious lunch sounds like an amazing family day to me. I know my kids would love it!

8) Smith Mountain Lake Dam and Visitor's Center  
The history behind this lake is fascinating, and I think any (older) kid would enjoy learning about it. This is the place to go to hear about SML's history, how electricity is generated, experience hands-on exhibits, and have amazing views over the dam. (And if you don't know the story of how SML came to be, read my bite-sized version of it here.)

9) Harbortown Mini-Golf
Miniature golf isn’t just a beach thing, and Smith Mountain Lake has a few to choose from! This is the one I would take my kids to if they were in the mood for some mini-golf. It’s located right in the Bridgewater Plaza.

Bridgewater Plaza is the hub of all things fun and is located right on the lake. You can dock your boat or drive there, either is very convenient to the lake. It has a coffee shop, ice cream shop, Harbortown Mini-golf, Restaurants, boat rentals, a bungee trampoline, and…. An arcade.

Which leads us to number:

10) Fun-N-Games Arcade
You can take your boat to Bridgewater Marina (the marina is at Bridgewater Plaza) and dock for some arcade fun and then get an ice cream! The arcade is clean and cheerful. I’ve seen some dark cheerless ones before and this is a refreshing change!

The address for Bridgewater Plaza (where both the mini-golf and the arcade can be found) is 16430 Booker T Washington Hwy. Moneta, VA 24121, But again, docking at the Marina and walking to the Plaza is a super fun adventure too!

11) Booker T. Washington Park
There are plenty of reasons to visit this historic landmark. There is a self-guided tour that leads you along Plantation Trail, which is a quarter-mile loop. On this walk you meander through the historic section of the park where you are invited to explore the open buildings. You may also meet chickens, ducks, horses and sheep along the way!

There is also a trail called Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail that is very kid-friendly. It's just 1.5 miles. You can grab a map for these delightful trails at the Visitor's center. This is a wonderful place to visit for young and old, full of so much inspiring and important history!

12) Feed the fish
This seems almost too good to be true. These fish are huge! I think it’s a nice preview for what might be available to catch out in the lake. (One can hope, right?) Buy some popcorn (available at a store right next to this spot,) sit down and watch them swim up to you en masse. Go to the Bridgewater Marina at the docks and ask someone to point you in the right direction.

13) Buffy’s Blueberries
They don’t have a website (that I can find) but that doesn’t make their blueberries any less delicious! Their season goes from the beginning of July to the end of September. I am picturing a fun trip to pick berries, and then blueberry smoothies for the rest of the week! The address is  1085 Capital Hill Rd, Moneta, VA 24121 and I would definitely call them before you head over.
(540) 330-5144

14) Explore Park
This looks like an incredible day of adventure for older kids. It is a bit of a trek from SML, about 45 minutes, but the drive might be worth it for what these guys provide! Treetop Quest is a family adventure for ages four and up, with progressively challenging aerial obstacles! And they have so many more thrilling things to experience as well. It sounds like a great day for the whole family.

15) Pizza Pub at Bridgewater Plaza  
It’s not exactly an activity, but in my family eating pizza counts as “fun!” This is the place to go and once again you’ll find it at Bridgewater Plaza, right off the lake!

16) The Westlake Library!
We LOVE this library. It is very kid friendly with lots of places to lounge and read as the rain pours down outside.
Address: 84 Westlake Rd, Hardy, VA 24101
Phone: (540) 483-3098 ext. 3 (Maybe give them a call before you head over to make sure they are open!)

17) Westlake Cinema
Is there any better way to escape a rainy afternoon than by eating popcorn and watching a movie? We think not! Westlake Cinema is small and comfortable and has all the most current movies. Enjoy!
84 Westlake Rd #117, Hardy, VA 24101

18) Don’t forget the simple joy of fishing! Just the act of baiting a hook will awe and delight most adventure-seekers. You can fish right off the dock of whatever home you are renting!

If you are fishing around the lake, for example from your boat or off a cove, anyone ages 12 and older will need a license. Get ready to reel some in! SML has bass, stripers, muskie, perch, crappie, catfish and sunfish. This sport is so great for kids because they usually don’t care what kind of fish it is, as long as it looks like a fish!

19) Relax. Smith Mountain Lake is an “activity” in and of itself. Just being there will be a delight to every child. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy a cool swim, have a morning stroll and listen to the birds sing their morning songs. Discover, listen, and breathe deeply.