Spring has sprung in RVA and we've got tons of awesome outdoor events and festivals to keep you entertained while enjoying the springtime sunshine! Check out a few of the things we have in store for you this April and May in the River City!
A Million Blooms
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
March 31 - June 1, 2018
The Garden’s celebration of spring! A parade of blooms unfurls as the weather warms: daffodils, tulips, peonies, roses and many more. Events throughout the season include Peek-a-Bloom with Peter Rabbit, Mother’s Day Weekend, Spring PlantFest, Butterflies LIVE!, and activities in the Children’s Garden. Want to know what's going to be in bloom each month? In April, you can expect to see daffodils, tulips, and bluebells. In May, peonies, iris, azaleas, and pitcher plants steal the show. In June, lotuses and roses take center stage.
Richmond Flying Squirrels Opening Night
April 13, 2018, 7:05 p.m.
The 2018 baseball season starts in style for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, with dueling fireworks shows and a celebrity appearance from five-time MLB All-Star Fred McGriff! Come out and enjoy the opening night game as the home team takes on the Reading Fightin Phils. The ninth season of Flying Squirrels baseball is gonna be FUNN for the whole family! Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K
Broad Street & Harrison Street (starting line)
April 14, 2018
A pep rally. A block party. A race. No matter what you want to call it, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k has earned its reputation as one of RVA's favorite traditions! Whether you're striving to earn a medal or you just want to come join the party, this fun-filled event is for you! Enjoy block after block of great local music and spirit groups. Revel in the crazy costumes and the lively atmosphere. With 30,000 participants, there's a place for you!
NASCAR RACE WEEKEND
April 20-21, 2018
Don’t miss the chaos at every corner as racing season returns to Richmond Raceway in April. Speed into spring and be part of the action as race weekend kicks off here in RVA! Fire off your Friday on all eight cylinders with the Toyotacare 250 XFS Friday, April 20 as NASCAR’s young guns take on battle-tested veterans around America's Premier Short Track. Then get your tailgate on or hit up the 3-Wide Virginia Craft Beer Fest (or both!) on Saturday, April 21. Shift into high gear as the sun begins to set and you gather with family and friends for the Toyota Owners 400 NCS under the lights. As the track heats up, so does the on-track action! (Could we possibly fit any more racing puns into this paragraph? :)
The Bard's Birthday: A Celebration of Shakespeare
April 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
In honor of Shakespeare's 454th birthday, Agecroft Hall is hosting a full day of free entertainment including dances, songs, sonnets, 17th century games, Renaissance acrobatics, and other merry activities. The man of honor himself will be in attendance for the celebration (well, not really, but you know what we mean), and he will be officially opening Agecroft Hall's new Shakespeare Garden, which features plants mentioned in his plays and sonnets! Outdoor activities are free to the public. House tours will be available for the regular rate.
ICA Grand Opening Block Party
Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU
April 21, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU opens to the public on April 21with a site-wide exhibition, Declaration, and a day-long Block Party showcasing Richmond’s curious-minded culture. The Block Party will showcase artists, makers, and interactive activities, as well as live music, performances, and a food truck court. Held outdoors on the Markel Center grounds, Block Party is free and open to the public. Admission to the ICA is free, but timed tickets will be required for building and exhibition access during opening weekend, April 21–22. After opening, timed tickets will be required for exhibition entry and special events only.
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL
Various locations throughout Richmond
April 23-29, 2018
RIFF, one of the largest international competitive film festivals in the Mid-Atlantic, brings more than 150 cutting edge films to Richmond. The nightly local, national and international music, industry panels, Q&As, red carpet awards, and entertainment mixers usher the spirit of Hollywood into Richmond's Bow Tie Cinemas, various music venues, and the historic Byrd Theatre.
RVA FRENCH FOOD FESTIVAL
1503 MICHAELS ROAD
April 27-28, 2018
The RVA French Food Festival returns for its 10th year, ready to bring French flavor and fun to everyone! Get excited for fabulous French wine, Master Chef Paul Elbling's famous entrees, live entertainment, vendors, and more! Oh, did we mention there will be cream puffs? SO MANY WONDERFUL CREAM PUFFS! Plus croissants, beignets, baguettes, brie, quiche, dessert crepes, and lots of other delectable dishes that will have you ooh la la-ing all weekend! It’s a great family event, and all proceeds benefit the Little Sisters of the Poor in their mission to serve and care for the elderly poor. So go ahead and indulge in the French festivities while also supporting a worthwhile cause.
Beer & Wine Classic at Maymont
Maymont Carriage House Lawn
May 4, 2018, 7:00 - 10:30 p.m.
Raise a glass to celebrate Maymont’s annual Beer & Wine Classic! Enjoy live music from yacht rock cover band Three Sheets to the Wind, food trucks, lawn games and more while sampling some of Virginia’s finest beverages from dozens of local breweries, cideries and wineries. Cheers! Participants must be 21 years old or older. Parking available at the Historic Estate entrance.
Fridays in May and June
Celebrating its 34th season, Venture Richmond's premier outdoor concert series, Friday Cheers, presented by Bell’s Brewery, returns to Brown's Island on May 4. With a stellar line-up of bands you won't want to miss, at one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor venues, Richmond’s longest-running concert series features breakout bands, national acts and RVA's hometown talent.
Taste of Virginia Festival
May 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20
Virginia is for Lovers! Whether you love food, wine, beer or coasters, the return of Kings Dominion's Taste of Virginia food festival is sure to delight! Experience a culinary journey through the commonwealth with recipes inspired by the various regions of Virginia served up with some of the best local craft beers around. Enjoy all of this home-grown deliciousness while grooving to the sounds of live local bands and enjoying the thrills of the rides and coasters. It's a Virginia food festival like no other! Come explore all that Taste of Virginia has to offer Fridays - Sundays May 4 - 20. Your taste buds will thank you!
HenROCKus at Henricus: Bands & Brews on the James River Bluff
Henricus Historical Park
May 5, 2018, 2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Bring your lawn chairs, enjoy a brew (or two!) from Steam Bell Beer Works, rock out to local bands, and enjoy the outstanding views of the mighty James River, all while supporting educational programming at Henricus Historical Park. Tap your toes to "country that rocks" from the Pat Russell Band, kick it 80's style with Chinese Fire Drill, and witness the stage debut of Ventura Boulevard, Richmond’s newest Tom Petty cover band.
¿QUÉ PASA? FESTIVAL OF VIRGINIA
Along the Canal Walk
May 5, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
The annual ¿Qué Pasa? Festival highlights the food, music, and art of Virginia’s Latin American communities. Bursts of live Latin music and performances along the Canal Walk will make you want to join in and dance! Savor scrumptious Latin-flavored food and beverages, enjoy dazzling arts and crafts, and keep the little ones entertained with children's activities during the 15th annual ¿Qué Pasa? celebration. Did we mention that there will also be free canal boat rides?! New this year: The festival is hoping to break a Guinness world record for the "Largest Display of Piñatas" so you won't want to miss that festive display!
UNCORKED HALF MARATHON & 5K
New Kent Winery
May 5, 2018
Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and discover the nearby Virginia countryside as you run, unwind, and uncork an experience all about you! New Kent Winery serves as the perfect backdrop for a race more focused on pampering than pacing, whether you choose the half or the 5k. As soon as you cross the finish line, the lesson in luxury begins! Treat yourself to a post-race massage, deluxe brunch package, and, of course, award-winning wine--hey, you’ve earned it!
A TASTE OF NEW KENT
May 5, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
New Kent is the place for wine lovers to be on May 5th! The 10th annual A Taste of New Kent wine festival celebrates a wide selection of wines from a variety of vineyards across the Commonwealth. At a new location this year, you can still expect to have the same delightful time as in previous years! Wine tastings are included in the event ticket, and beer and food will be available for purchase. Enjoy live music performed by SLAPNATION, plus arts & crafts vendors, and more. Rain or shine, there will be wine!
ARTS IN THE PARK
May 5-6, 2018
The 47th Annual Arts in the Park show and sale will be held at the Carillon in Byrd Park on May 5th and 6th. Arts in the Park is a nationally-rated, juried art show which offers attendees the opportunity to see and purchase fine and original art produced by top-quality artists and craftspeople from Virginia and throughout the U.S. More than 450 artists from around the country will gather to display everything from fine art paintings and jewelry to woodwork, weavings, ceramics, glass, home and garden accessories, and more.
DOMINION Energy RIVERROCK
May 18-20, 2018
What better way to celebrate the Richmond riverfront than at the nation’s largest outdoor sports and music festival?! Dominion Energy Riverrock, organized by Sports Backers and Venture Richmond, brings athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. The musical line up this year is fantastic, with The Wood Brothers and The Marcus King Band headlining, plus plenty of other talented musicians to entertain you all weekend long! From music to mud pits, bikes to beer, SUPs to pups, and climbing to kayaks, it’s uniquely RVA! Rock the day and night away, watch professional athletes thrill the crowd, and maybe even get a little dirty yourself.
STRAWBERRY AND WINE FESTIVAL
HANOVER VEGETABLE FARM
May 19-20, 2018
You’ll find more than just strawberries and wine at the Third Annual Strawberry and Wine Festival at Hanover Vegetable Farm in Ashland! Enjoy live music, food trucks, a beer garden, local vendors, and kids’ activities, in addition to plenty of juicy red berries and wine (obviously)! Delight in the spring weather, good music, and wine tastings from twelve local wineries. Wonderful festival fun is in store for the whole family! Plus, the first 500 attendees (21 and over) through the gate each day receive a free tote bag!
We hope to see you in RVA soon! And if you want even more ideas for things to do while you're here, check out our Calendar of Events. Happy spring travels!
(Cover photo credit: Matthew Huntley, Instagram: @floridaman1985)