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Posts Tagged ‘Goochland’

Last night my family and I visited the Goochland Drive in Movie Theater.  It was such a great experience I decided to make it my post today.  The theater is located on 10 acres just off I64 in Hadensville.  Don’t be fooled (like I was), the theater is about 20 minutes past the I64/288 intersection so leave enough time for the drive.  Movies start at dusk (which is around 8pm these days) and every night is a double feature.  All of these movies are first run which is great.  The screen is ginormous of course, at 80-by-40-feet.   The audio is great and comes directly through your radio.  The ticket booth will tell you which station to tune in to.  The owners go above and beyond to make sure your experience is fantastic, and it shows!   

The lot holds 400 cars and really, there aren’t any bad spots.  Larger vehicles need to park in the last row and on the ends, but the ticket booth will direct you.  Much was made about picking the perfect spot for our car, but when my kids had to go to the restroom in the middle of the movie, I noticed plenty of people spread out on blankets in the back next to the concession stand with a perfect view.  You are allowed to open your liftgate, but it can’t be raised above the top of your car. If your liftgate won’t cooperate, the staff has twine and will help you tie it down to the right level.  Tip:  The screen angles just enough to the left that if you can get one, a spot to the left of the screen is probably better.  We sat to the right though and it wasn’t too bad!  If you don’t have a car with a lift gate, you can also bring chairs and blankets and sit in front of your car.  Just roll down your windows and turn the radio up loud.  We did this and it was wonderful to sit under the stars.  Just be sure to bring bug spray!     

The gates open at 6pm and the first movie doesn’t start until 8pm.  The gates close, however, 30 minutes after the first movie starts, so you can’t plan on showing up only for the second show.  Although at first glance this may seem inconvenient, having a lot of cars showing up and kicking up rocks and dust while everyone else is already settled would have been much more of an inconvenience.  If you have little ones and you aren’t lucky enough to have them fall asleep so you can stay for the second show, you are allowed to leave during intermission.  Tip:  If you have young kids, bring them in their pajamas!  We saw plenty of people do this and regretted not thinking of it.  Your kids WILL fall asleep on the ride home and that way you don’t have to wake them up. 

If you show up early, there is plenty of time for picnicking.  You aren’t allowed to bring your own food and drink, but there is a lot to choose from at the concession stand.  There are hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos, french fries, and of course, the Gooch Dog (a hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese and a special sauce).  There are the standard movie snacks as well:  popcorn, candy, and drinks.  Finally there are the old time American traditions including sno cones and soft pretzels (which are delicious by the way!)  The best part about the concession stand is that nothing costs more than $3.50.  No, that is not a typo.  In an effort to make the drive in affordable for family outings, the owners made an effort to keep costs down.  A bucket of popcorn which usually costs $8 at the theater is only $3.50 here.  Tip:  Go for the bucket.  The small is even smaller up close and lets face it, the kids are going to end up spilling half of it anyway!  There are several picnic tables and spots for blankets as well.   If you aren’t planning to come early and picnic, leave time to stand in the concession lines, they do get long, but really no longer than at a regular theater. 

Once you are done eating, there are two playgrounds for the kids to run off steam.  One area is for 3 and under which is great because the main playground is a mad house.  Standard playground fare keeps the kids busy and active. 

When the movie is about to start, the lights will blink to tell people to get back to their cars.  You don’t need to run, there is a short cartoon segment before the actual show starts.  I found it hard to keep the kids still through this, but its a good time to get organized.  If you are stuck in the concession line (like I was) a very polite boy with a flashlight will walk you to your car (he even helped me find mine!).  Don’t worry about draining your car battery during the show either, the staff will even come out and give you a jump if you need one after the show.   

Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids 4-11, ages 3 and under are free.  They take mastercard/visa at the ticketbooth and the concession stand.  There is absolutely no smoking or drinking.  This is strictly enforced but really, makes for a more pleasant experience anyway.  No pets are allowed either, although there are supposed to be some pet nights coming up so stay tuned.  The only downside, if I have to find one, is that they don’t have a schedule for future movies.  So if you like to plan in advance, you are out of luck.  They usually release the schedule mid-week, and just for the upcoming weekend.  However, if you are fan on their Facebook page, you sometimes find out earlier.  Next weekend, April 24-26, they will be playing Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Last Song.  Shows are held Friday-Sunday evenings, although they did weekday shows during Spring Break.   

The idea for the drive in was conceived several years ago by John & Kristina Heidel.  They have done a wonderful job.  I even saw them mingling through the crowds making sure everyone was having a great time.   All in all we had a fantastic time.  We will definitely coming back with and without the kids!

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Spring is in the air in Richmond!  The sun is out until almost 8pm, the daffodils are up, the trees are blooming, and the weather is warm (finally)!  So I was excited to find something that focused on Spring and something I knew absolutely nothing about! 

Tuckahoe Plantation is located at 12601 River Rd.  Richmond, Va, approximately 7 miles outside of Richmond.  I have lived here for many years and never even knew it existed.  But as I did some more research, I found a lot of very interesting information.   Tuckahoe Plantation was founded by the Randolph Family, one of the most prominent families in colonial times.  Its construction was finished in 1740 and is known as having one of the most complete 18th century plantation layouts in North America.  William Randolph, the grandson of William & Mary Randolph was responsible for building the mansion that stands there today.  By 1745, William and his wife had both died unexpectedly, leaving their 4 children orphaned.  In his will, William asked for Peter & Jane Jefferson (Jane was his cousin) to care for his children.  They moved to Tuckahoe Plantation bringing their son, Thomas Jefferson (our future president) with them.  Thomas Jefferson spent his childhood at Tuckahoe and went to school in the one-room schoolhouse until 1752, when it was determined that the youngest Randolph child could run the plantation on his own (he was 12).  The plantation became a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1969. 

Today, the plantation is privately owned, but is generously open to the public.  The current owners live upstairs and have the first floor and grounds open to the public.  

Saturday, March 27  is Daffodil Day at Tuckahoe Plantation, an annual event.  Guided garden tours focusing on the early Spring landscape will be given at the top of every hour from 9am-4pm.  The daffodil rows of Tuckahoe will be in full bloom, with many old varieties dating back to at least 125 years old.  The cost is $5/person.   The house and grounds will also be open during garden week in April and again in December for the Christmas Tour. 

When there is not an event planned, the grounds are open for self-guided tours daily.  House tours are by appointment only.  Tuckahoe Plantation is also a functioning farm that currently provides its neighbors and local establishments with flowers, herbs, and vegetables.  This spring they will be selling at the Goochland Farmer’s market.  In addition to produce, the farm raises grass-fed beef and pastured poultry.  The plantation also has horse stables that are now open to horse-owners who wish to stall or pasture-board their horses. 

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