Plus, movie nights at Pizza Bones
May 15, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

72º | 46% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:00 a.m. | Sunset 8:12 p.m.

‘Tis the season to explore
A skyline view of Richmond, VA
The James River is one of Richmond’s most iconic natural landmarks, but it also offers endless ways to spend an afternoon. | Photo by Christopher W. Clarke
Richmond is for paddlers, bikers, runners, walkers, and hikers, but it’s also for birders, climbers, anglers, and other explorers. Whether you’ve only seen the James while driving over bridges or you’re a certified river rat, here are five outdoor activities to try this summer.

📍 Geocaching

Grab your GPS units and get ready to comb the banks of the James — there’s plenty of geocaching by the riverside. There are geocaches hidden all over the River City, just choose your treasure hunt online and start exploring.

🐦 Birding

We’ve written before about what a wonderful city Richmond is for bird lovers. The James River Park System is one of our city’s aviary hotspots. Keep your eyes open especially for herons, owls, ducks, and even bald eagles.

Two birds of prey in flight, seen from below

Birds of prey like raptors, hawks, and osprey can be found along the James River.


Photo via Virginia State Parks

🌿 Plant and wildlife identification

Birds aside, there’s plenty of flightless flora and fauna to be enjoyed along the river. You can spot critters of all kinds along the trails.

If plants are more your thing, Friends of James River Park has resources online to start your plant ID journey. Or, apps like iNaturalist allow you to snap a photo and zero in on an identification in a matter of seconds.

🪨 Climbing

Rock climbing isn’t just for gyms. Though it’s not something you should try without proper training — safety first — there’s a wealth of high-quality bouldering, sport climbing, and even trad climbing on both sides of the river.

If you want to get started, both Peak Experiences and Triangle Rock Club offer skills and safety classes. Pro tip: Both gyms can also help connect you with knowledgeable climbing partners.

A man in a black shirt and beanie attempts (unsuccessfully) to climb a boulder

City Editor David, mere moments before falling off of The Molar (V0), just off the Buttermilk Trail.


Photo by RICtoday

🐟 Fishing

Richmond’s section of the James is an excellent stretch for anglers. Opportunities are omnipresent for fly fishers and bait fishers casting from kayaks, canoes, or right from the shore. In the late spring and early summer, the river runs with bass and shad.

Reminder: Make sure your freshwater fishing license is up-to-date before hauling in your next catch.
Wednesday, May 15
  • Bug Squad | Wednesday, May 15-Sunday, Aug. 25 | 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. | Children’s Museum of Richmond, 2626 W. Broad St., Richmond | $0-$9 | This touring exhibit features talking animatronic members of the Bug Squad, and offers a full sensory experience while providing plenty of active spaces for little ones to play.*
  • Personal Finance 101 – Adult Learning Series | Wednesday, May 15 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Adult Education Center, 1420 N. Parham Rd., Richmond | Free | Join HCPS for a free financial education series for adults of all ages.
  • Weinstein Author Series | Wednesday, May 15 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St., Richmond | Free | Enjoy an evening of poetry with members of the Poetry Society of Virginia in celebration of the group’s centennial anthology.
Thursday, May 16
  • Music on Main | Thursday, May 16 | 5:45-8 p.m. | Main Street Station, 1500 E. Main St., Richmond | Free | Head to the patio for post-work tunes with J Tucker and the Krewe.
  • Book Talk with Jim Downs | Thursday, May 16 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free | The historian will discuss his book, “Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine.”
Friday, May 17
  • Lebanese Food Festival | Friday, May 17-Sunday, May 19 | Times vary | St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church, 4611 Sadler Rd., Glen Allen | Free entry | Come hungry to this classic Richmond fest that also features live music and cultural performances.
  • “Ancient Aliens LIVE” | Friday, May 17 | 6:30 p.m. | The National, 708 E. Broad St., Richmond | $43-$68 | Experience the hit television show through a live experience with Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, William Henry, Nick Pope, and David Childress.
Saturday, May 18
  • “Pete’s Dragon” | Saturday, May 18, Saturday, May 25 | 10 a.m. | The Byrd Theatre, 2908 W. Cary St., Richmond | $5 | Bring the kids for a matinee screening of this Disney film.
  • Paws & Pours | Saturday, May 18 | 12-5 p.m. | Strangeways Brewing, 2277 Dabney Rd., Richmond | Cost of purchase | Celebrate the brewery’s anniversary with Squeeze Em’s Food Truck and raffles benefiting Richmond Animal League — plus, stick around for disco and swing dancing starting at 7 p.m.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • The city budget for fiscal year 2025 has been approved. The ~$3 billion budget has been in the works for months. The final version includes special funds for parks, affordable housing, schools, and more. (VPM)
  • VCU Health is looking to expand its pediatric hospital on Broad Street, which opened last year. The health systems intends to add 40 new beds to the Children’s Tower to better respond to community demand. (Richmond BizSense)
  • Chesterfield is seeking nominations for inductees for the inaugural class of its new Sports Hall of Fame. From now until July 1, submit your picks for the county’s all-time athletic greats. A formal banquet for inductees will be held on Sept. 12.
  • Pizza Bones will begin bi-weekly movie nights this Monday, May 20. The Union Hill pizzeria is kicking things off with a screening of “Back to the Future.” Pro tip: Arrive by 7:30 p.m. and bring your own chair.
  • $20 million. That’s how much Hampden-Sydney College has received from Richmond philanthropic group the Endeavour Legacy Foundation. The school intends to use the grant — the second-largest in school history — to renovate Gilmer Hall, a science building. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • Did you know you could finance your fixer-upper with home equity? You could get up to $50K with a HELOC — calculate your payment.*
  • Cornbread Hemp’s CBD Sleep Gummies are available in two strengths and made with high-quality USDA organic CBD extract. Get 30% off with code CBDSLEEP30.*
Plan your perfect Riverrock experience
People trying kayaks on the James River.
Riverrock brings paddlers of all vessels to the James every year. | Photo via Riverrock
One more thing you can enjoy on the river? Dominion Energy Riverrock — a celebration of outdoor adventure, sports, and music — which returns this weekend.

It seems likely that weather will be rainy and overcast this weekend, but the upside to that is lower temps — it’s looking like mid-70s at the highest. Be sure to pack a rain jacket and either a sealed disposable water bottle or an empty reusable one. Pro tip: Make sure to wear sturdy walking shoes.

Street parking is available, but you’ll have to get there pretty early. Check the website for a full breakdown of event parking.

You can also park across the river and walk to the festival via the T. Pott Bridge, make use of the free bike valet service on the western end of 5th Street, or take GRTC.

See the full schedule of events and start planning your weekend now.
The Buy
Graduation gifts. Celebrate the end of the school year with graduation gifts for the recent grad in your life.
The Wrap
David Lefkowitz.png Today’s edition by:
From the editor
I’ve never had much talent as an angler, but I love fly fishing. My favorite book is Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It,” and while the James isn’t exactly the Blackfoot, I’ll still take any chance I get to reel in a few fish.
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