Student groups are gearing up to travel and even planning short summer trips, but life changes so fast nowadays, it’s hard to know what’s open and what’s closed!
To aid in your planning, Prince William County in Virginia assembled a list of great student group activities you can do right now. This historic area right outside of Washington, D.C. is filled with things to learn, do and see!
Guided History Tours
Manassas National Battlefield Park. This can be done as a driving or walking tour (walking tour is preferred and driving tour is at the discretion of the guide for safety purposes). Groups may be able to secure a guide in period attire to share what happened on July 1861 during the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, which set the tone for the rest of the Civil War.
Town of Occoquan is located 1 mile from I-95 near Woodbridge. This charming waterfront town has a historic district that’s only 3 blocks by 3 blocks. The Mayor of the town gives driving history tours of how the town went from a thriving industrial town in the 19th century to a quaint shopping destination in a relatively short amount of time. He can also share what it is like to run a small town, allowing a comparison and contrasting opportunity to the D.C. government students are likely already learning about.
Historic Homes, Sites, and Museums
National Museum of the Marine Corps is an iconic landmark of American history as seen through the eyes of Marines! Groups can visit the self-guided galleries, test their aim at the laser-rifle range, and see the incredible “We, The Marines” film. Reservations are required, with limited capacity precautions in place for the safety of guests and staff. Groups can make reservations online here.
Ben Lomond Historic Site. This Civil War hospital is close to Manassas National Battlefield. They can accommodate 7 people inside the home at one time due to social distancing requirements, but they have ample opportunity to rotate the kids through the home to see Civil War soldier graffiti and medical equipment used during the time. You can add a musket firing demo, learn about African American history at the slave quarters, and 19th century cooking with the dairy and smokehouse
Rippon Lodge. This home overlooks the Potomac River and is a quaint interpretation of life during the 1800s. Students can also do outdoor activities such as art and agricultural education. The same guidelines apply here as they do at Ben Lomond with the rotation capacities.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre. This site depicts life in the early 1800s through early 1900s with a historic courthouse, jail, farmhouse, one-room schoolhouse, and church. Groups can rotate through stations among the various buildings, as well as enjoy outdoor learning opportunities.
Uptown Alley. In addition to Uptown’s namesake upscale bowling lanes, they have an arcade, laser tag, and a from-scratch kitchen. This place is HUGE, so a group of 150-200 is a drop in the bucket for them.
ZavaZone. It’s like an American Ninja Warrior style high-ropes course! Lots of fun and surprisingly great exercise. This indoor facility also has a trampoline area.
Head to visitpcw.com to learn more and see great options for group dining!
Photo courtesy of Visit Prince William Virginia.