You don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun in West Virginia, and you don't have to travel far, either. Here where the weather is almost always mild and nature begins just outside your door, there's plenty for the family to do — in own your backyard. Need some ideas? We polled the editorial staff for recommendations.
Go Star Gazing
Whether or not you own a telescope, stargazing can be a fun way to spend an evening together, and West Virginia's night skies are among the most star-spangled in the eastern U.S. Free of the light pollution flooding the skies over nearby Charlotte, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C., the constellations here are bright, and the Milky Way is unforgettable.
Dessert doesn't have to be boring, nor do you have to serve it in a kitchen. Instead, set up a little campfire outside and toast marshmallows. Why not create a kitchen outdoors? — complete with outdoor kitchen cabinets! West Virginia is ideal for outdoor feasting. No matter the time of the year, it's a great way to get everyone together in the fresh air.
Why settle for just toasting marshmallows? West Virginia is ideally suited to backyard camp-outs. So, haul out the tent and sleeping bags, and prepare some great ghost stories to tell. A backyard camp-out is also a great way to introduce young children to woodland camping.
Stage a Scavenger Hunt
Regardless of your age, there's nothing more fun than a scavenger hunt. Staging one can be fun, too. Collect random items from your home and hide them out back. You can make a list of clues to where everything is stowed and offer a small prize to whomever finds the most things.
Throw a Party
If you have the space, it’s time to entertain! Backyard parties are a tradition in West Virginia, and homeowners these days are adding more features to accommodate outdoor entertainment. Gadgets like KitchenAid counter-depth refrigerators make it even easier. Prep inside, then grill and serve outside. Your yard is sure to become the talk of the block.
Play Miniature Golf
For some, miniature golf is even more fun than the real thing. Children love it, and there's no need to find a course when you can build one right behind your house! Create obstacles with ordinary household items, such as cups and boards and children's toys. You can even get more elaborate if you want.
Build a Time Capsule
Schools build time capsules that allow children to record what life was like, and families can do this, too. Have everyone in the family contribute a small item that represents who they are at the moment, and then bury the capsule out back. You can even set a future date on which everyone will gather to dig up the capsule.
Painting can be both fun and relaxing, and it doesn't really matter if you have any artistic talent. All you need is some easels, paper, and paint, plus a little imagination. Be sure to set up a clothesline, as well, for drying your works of art.
Plant a Garden
Planting a garden is another great way to get everyone outside, and it can be great exercise, too. But what's really great about it is that you'll receive something tangible for your efforts. You could plant beautiful flowers or even fruits or vegetables, and watch them grow.
No matter where in West Virginia you live, beautiful birds are there for your enjoyment. To get them to stop behind your home, set up a bird feeder and bird bath. You can even use specific types of food in the feeder to attract certain types of birds.