Summer fun in full swing

By Madeline Otten

Sun-kissed relaxation, vacation and fun. These are just some words that come to mind when someone says “summer.” The school year is finally out for Fluvanna County and parents are searching for plans to fill their kids’ empty days. Teens and young adults are itching to get out of the house to savor sunlight and the older community can finally spend time outdoors instead of cooped up from cold weather.

Luckily, Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation (FCPR), Lake Monticello Owners’ Association, the library and more are prepped and ready to go for the summer season with activities for community members to enjoy.

First and foremost the Lake Monticello pool season started May 25. The pool is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Not to mention the beaches surrounding the lake are opened all year long, so do not forget to grab your chairs and floats to unwind on beach and relax in the water.

As far as activities go, FCPR has 10 planned weeks of summer fun for kids ages 6-13. The program started May 28 and will last until Aug. 2. Each week is themed differently and includes trips to places all over Virginia, such as theme parks like Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and Kings Dominion, trips for explorers to Natural Bridge, the Virginia Safari Park and Monticello, and days spent at Virginia museums. Registrer at

In addition to the summer day camp program, FCPR is teaming up with sport clinics and camps for volleyball, basketball, tennis and horseback riding. Nicole Hackenberg and staff, which includes former and current Fluvanna County High School All-District and All-State players as well as Division I, II and III college players, will host volleyball camps for beginners and intermediates in June at the Carysbrook Gym. Youth basketball camp with a non-competitive environment will begin in July for kids ages 5-12. Camp Friendship will host tennis camp for ages 8-16 for all skill levels from June through August and finally, the Equus Springs Farm will share a love for horses through riding lessons, horse care, feeding and much more with day camp starting in July.

The fun does not stop there. The Empowered Players of Fluvanna is offering a free summer program for kids and teens to join them at the Carysbrook Performing Arts Center. The Young Empowered Players camp (ages 5-13) will work on the performances of The Jungle Book starting June 17. Then Improv-A-Thon (ages 8-14), Direct 4U (Grades 9+), and the Summer Show Spectacular (ages 14+) will take place in July.

Be sure to check out the county library for summer fun each day. Mondays at 2 p.m. the library will show movies June 3 through Aug. 5. On Tuesdays the Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners join together to teach those who are curious about nature about subjects ranging from the solar system to survival skills to plants in space. Wednesday mornings at 11 a.m. the library will have a new host in the months of June and July. For more activities throughout the summer, check the library’s website at or give them a ring at 434-589-1400.

For those not quite kids and not quite young adults, Fluvanna welcomes all tweens age 12-15 to gather at the Lake Monticello Clubhouse for game nights with pizza and popcorn on June 15 and July 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. Board games like Catan, Monopoly and Risk are just some of the games tweens can play to compete with their friends. Do not miss out on the door prizes and raffle.

As for adult activities, ages 18-plus can relax on a leisurely float down the Rivanna River while Brian Coffield, local historian and boatman, guides them along the Rivanna River History Float. On the last Sunday of each month, participants will stop and visit historic sites and structures that were once an integral part of commercial navigation on the Rivanna in the 18thand 19thcenturies.

Continuing the water theme, on Aug. 3 eight participants can learn the basics of kayaking, paddling and safety afloat with an intro to kayaking class. The class will be held in the evening from 6-8:30 p.m. and meet at Beach 4 in Lake Monticello.

In addition to nature activities, explore Pleasant Grove with the Virginia Master Naturalists. They’ll lead monthly hikes on the second Saturday of each month. If solo hiking is more your style, follow one of the 23 trails at Pleasant Grove covering over 20 miles. Remember to share the trail with horses, bikers and hikers.

On a hot summer day consider floating down the James River with Reeling Rafting.  This four-mile float lets you sit back and relax while the water does the work.  You can also bring a cooler to float along beside you, so pack extra water and snacks for the potential two- to four-hour float.

Scottsville also has its 34thannual James River Batteau Festival June 19 from 4-8 p.m. In 1985 historians and enthusiasts decided to keep the memory alive of the flat wooden cargo vessels that travel from Lynchburg to Maiden’s Landing in Powhatan. The event will have music and food while onlookers watching the batteaux arrive at Scottsville’s Landing.

And don’t forget about Lake Monticello’s Fourth of July celebration held at the Main Beach and pool area. In previous years there was a 5K Spirit Run, a sand sculpture contests, horseshoe tournament, pool games, the lake swim and a boat parade. Celebrate the country’s independence with your friends and neighbors. At dusk, people gather on the water, at the marina, and on the beach to watch the fireworks show.

Are you upset that you missed the carnival in early May at Pleasant Grove? Don’t be. Fluvanna County’s 6thannual county fair Aug. 14-17 will host similar carnival rides, live music, food vendors and much more.

And if you are ever in Charlottesville, have an adventure by exploring the night sky at the McCormick Observatory. It is open on the first and third Friday nights of every month from 9-11 p.m. During the day enjoy Charlottesville’s four spray grounds located at Forrest Hills Park, Greenleaf Park, Belmont Park and Tonsler Park.

If the heat is too much, stay indoors and head to Regal Stonefield and IMAX in Charlottesville. The theater is participating in the 2019 Regal Summer Movie Express from June to September, in which kids’ movie tickets are reduced to $1.

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