Roaming Roanoke: Outdoors

This week’s edition of Roaming Roanoke goes outdoors to get ready for spring weather!

The weather the past few days has been fantastic! It has been so nice to go outside in the sunshine and wear short sleeves! As soon as the weather warmed up and the sun came out, all we wanted to do was go outside and play! We need the vitamin D and it cuts way down on screen time. I know the weather will turn cooler soon, but this tease of spring has us dreaming of all the upcoming fun outdoors! The first day of Spring will be here very soon!

We are so lucky to have so many FREE activities outdoors here in the Roanoke Valley! The ideas are endless but here are some ways to enjoy playing outside if you want to leave your backyard!


There are SO MANY parks with playgrounds and other activities in our area! Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem City, Botetourt County, and more have great options for parks and playgrounds. There are parks geared towards babies and toddlers and others geared towards older children. Some of our favorites include Longwood Park in Salem, Green Hill Park in Roanoke County, and Addy Grace Playground in Botetourt County. These are actually just the ones we have been to the most. There are so many other playgrounds that we haven’t been to yet. Hopefully this spring we will explore some more! If you are looking for a park or playground, all of the local Parks and Recreation departments have extensive websites detailing the sites and directions. 


The Greenway is one of my favorite places EVER to go walking. When my older children are in school, I put my youngest in the stroller, and we walk a few miles on the Ronaoke River Greenway section. My older kids also enjoy riding scooters on it with their friends. We’ve also covered other sections of it in the Roanoke Valley. I have lived in several other places before moving to the Roanoke area, and none have anything as nice as our greenway system! You can stroll by water, stroll next to urban areas, or hike in the mountains. The greenway is stroller friendly, kid-friendly, bike-friendly, dog-friendly, etc. You can find maps and information on the greenways here.


The Roanoke Star is one of our region’s icons! It is located on Mill Mountain and is very easy to access! My oldest child loves going to the Star because it is the highest point in the region and it is just a fun place! You can drive there from downtown Roanoke or the Blue Ridge Parkway or you can hike there. Once there, you can visit the Star, stand at the overlook and see all of our region’s beauty, and even check out yourself on the Star Cam. The Star is not the only thing on Mill Mountain. It has 900 acres of park space! You can visit all of the overlooks, have a picnic, hike or bike any of the popular trails on Mill Mountain, play on the playground, walk through the garden, and so much more! Mill Mountain Zoo is also there (but does cost money). You can find detailed information on Mill Mountain here. 


The warmer weather makes it so much nicer to stroll through any of our downtown areas. Downtown Roanoke has so much to do from shopping, eating, the city market, or visiting any of the museums and businesses there. Since you most likely will not park next to your destination, the weather makes it nice to walk to wherever you need to go, plus check out other places! The possibilities for downtown Roanoke are endless. You can find maps and ideas here

All of these are some great ideas for Spring outdoors! I know this does not cover everything! We are so excited for spring, especially after a winter full of Covid restrictions, so are ready to get outside and play!

If you have an event or place for Roaming Roanoke to visit, please let me know! 

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Angela Evans

Angela Evans is a former tv reporter turned stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Cody have three children. They moved to Virginia in 2018. When she’s not Roaming Roanoke, she is probably drinking sweet tea, reading a book or dancing.
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