Outdoor activities for a Richmond winter

Soak up some sun without freezing solid.

A view of the Richmond skyline, including a water tower and a smokestack, as seen from Libby Hill park in Church Hill

Libby Hill Park’s proximity to Riverbend Coffee makes it a great option for a morning stroll.


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The next few weeks will comprise some of the shortest days of the year. The freezing temps of the early mornings and late evenings mean that, for anyone trying to get outside, the abridged daylight available is all the more important.

Looking for new ways to get your daily dose of vitamin D? Look no further.

Early mornings

If you’re prepared to bundle up and brave the cold before work, then you’ve got plenty of options. Grab a cup of Lamplighter coffee and take a stroll through Byrd Park, or take a Riverbend latte on a downhill (and then, eventually, uphill) stroll to Great Shiplock’s Capital trailhead.

This is also a wonderful time of year for sunrise-lovers. If you can make it to the Belle Isle Suspension Bridge or Chimborazo Park by ~6:45 a.m., you’ll be rewarded with a River City sunrise any outdoor enthusiast will envy.

Those are just our suggestions. Explore other coffee + park combinations.

The Richmond city skyline above the river at sunrise.

The Richmond city skyline above the river at sunrise.

Lunch breaks

For anyone who specifically wants sunshine, or those just seeking the most hospitable temperatures winter has to offer, a mid-day outing is likely your best bet. Quick lunch break-length options include a ride or walk around Bryan Park, Hollywood Cemetery, or Forest Hill Park.

If you’d rather spend your lunch break on, well, lunch, then swing by a restaurant with outdoor seating.

The conservatory at Lewis Ginter, decorated with colored lights.

GardenFest continues nightly through early January.

Photo by RICtoday

After dark

If you can’t get out in the daylight, but you’re still craving fresh air, then you’ve still got options — just bring a coat.

Night-time activities include seasonal experiences like Lewis Ginter’s GardenFest of Lights or go shopping at one of Richmond’s holiday markets. If you’re looking for dinner but the lack of sun has made it too cold for comfort, then maybe a heated patio is your best bet.