Just for Kids
Day One - Yes, Virginia, there is a Keswick:
Pull through the gates of Keswick Estate and exhale a sigh of relief... you have arrived! As the porter helps you with your bags, step inside the Great Hall and enjoy a family beverage of hot chocolate, lemonade or cider, depending on the weather.
While you grown-ups touch base with the Front Desk, the kids will be invited to select their arrival gifts and receive their Keswick Kids Passports. No doubt, on the way to your room, they'll jump right into page 12's suggested Scavenger Hunt, and soon feel perfectly at home.
Once acclimated and settled in, make the easy decision to meander over to the pool of your choice. Keswick offers two great family facilities - the indoor/outdoor Club Pool and the outdoor Pavilion Pool.
Look, Ma, No Pans! - after traveling, exploring and making a splash at the pool, everyone will be ready for a feast. One great thing about being on vacation, of course, is that you don't have to cook or even drive to enjoy a great meal. Step over to the Palmer Room Restaurant (Arnold Palmer of course), just steps away from the Hall. Peruse the menu, and find delectable selections for everyone. Whether you choose to dine indoors or out, enjoy a deliciously relaxing family meal.
Step right up… Crispy Critters here - after dinner, take a stroll back to the Hall and stop off at the terrace of Villa Crawford to roast a marshmallow or two. See the Front Desk to claim your own personal, extra-long roasting stick and a few pillowy, soon-to-be crispy, marshmallows.
Day Two - Thomas Jefferson:
Rise and Dine - whether it's oatmeal, French Toast or Eggs Benedict, there really is no better breakfast than a Fossett's Breakfast. And, if you're a bread connoisseur, you simply must ask for a side of sourdough toast... definitely a treat to remember.
TJ's Play and Learn - help the kids discover just how much fun learning can be. Cart them over to nearby Monticello, home of our nations' third president, and they will quickly learn that TJ was, of course, also our first Secretary of State, the founder of UVa, and one of the nation's most ingenious founding fathers, credited with over 282 fascinating inventions. Allow plenty of time at the Visitor Center which, complete with a Bouncing Castle and Climbing Wall, will prepare young minds for the wealth of knowledge that awaits.
Hail the Ol' Lunch Pail - it's a fact that learning makes us hungry, so take those raging appetites right down the road to Michie Tavern (pronounced Mickey), circa 1612. A lodge of our nation's forefathers, the tavern was originally a much-anticipated roadside stop on the way to Orange VA, and Washington DC. If its current fare of fried chicken, grilled steaks, lots of good vegetables and more is any indication of the original offerings, it's no wonder our forefathers were such hearty stock.
UVa - remember the Rotunda? Your Monticello docent undoubtedly pointed it out, off in the distance, at the conclusion of your tour. To explore Jefferson's trademark dome inside and out (a must, of course), pile the kiddos into the car and make the quick drive into Charlottesville for one of UVa's comprehensive and upbeat daily tours including the Lawn and the Rotunda.
A Decadent Demise - following your trek around the grounds (it is not a campus, of course), be sure to migrate to The Corner for your choice of afternoon treats. One college-life staple is Arches, where you can join the locals in a Death by Chocolate frozen yogurt. If you're in the market for area memorabilia, The Corner's eclectic collection of shops will fit the bill.
Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah! - if your family includes sports enthusiasts, it's guaranteed that a UVa game will top their list of favorites. Depending on the season, spend a few memorable hours cheering on a game of soccer, lacrosse, basketball or baseball. There's no better way to get into the local culture.
Not your Daddy's TV Dinner - after an action-packed day, create your own "Family Dine-In Night" with Fossett's amazing Room Service Menu. Thanks to our version of the TV dinner – delivered with your movie picks from our library of classic - a hotel room will never feel more like home!
Make it a Malted... Waffle that is - continue your love affair with Fossett's hearty and scrumptious morning fare. If your Polyface Farms were Sunny Side Up yesterday, perhaps you'll opt for Benedicte today. On the other hand, our trademark Malted Waffle, all dressed up in candied walnuts, fresh berries and Vermont maple syrup, is a choice to be reckoned with.
Birds of a Feather explore together - for fitness or leisure, explore a bit of our 600-acre Keswick Estate, via our system of off-road nature trails. Enjoy the views pedestrian style, or, for those who want to move just a little faster, ask the Front Desk about the bikes available for the whole family to enjoy on the designated bike trails, or out and about the Estate. And since Keswick Hall is a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 2002, keep a watchful eye for a stunning variety of our feathered friends.
Pedestrian Mall meets Busy Ball Wall - head back into the City (you know it's not a "town", right?) to spend a little time at Charlottesville's Downtown Pedestrian Mall... a great place to shop, eat, linger and check out the works of local artists. Your little tikes will have a blast exploring Charlottesville's Children's Museum - The Discovery Center – which houses a variety of unchanging favorite interactive exhibits (like the Busy Ball Wall), as well as an area of alternating themes (like The Amazing Heart and Lungs), so that young minds can continually explore something new.
Java Grounds at the Spray Ground - if Keswick's 600 acres only whets your appetite for the great outdoors, load up and head out to one of Charlottesville's many well-kempt parks and trails, with interesting stops in between. If you're headed to Greenleaf Park, for example, be sure to stop by Shenandoah Joe's, a local favorite where you can pick up some of the best locally roasted coffee - to savor while the kids rollick in the park's new Spray Ground.