77 Days of Summer

Make the most of your summer with this Richmond bucket list.

Day 1: Sunday, June 21
Root for the home team: See ’em while you still can — that lease on The Diamond runs out in 2016: The Richmond Flying Squirrels play New Britain. Plus, a Father’s Day promotion could land you a free grill spatula. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. squirrelsbaseball.com.

Day 2: Monday, June 22
Buy a burger. Nothing says summer like grilled meat, and here’s your chance to try some of Richmond’s best hamburgers at more than 30 restaurants across town — for $5 each. It’s the kickoff to RVA Burger Week, which runs through June 28. rvaburgerweek.com.

Day 3: Tuesday, June 23
Climb a tree. For 10 years, Riverside Outfitters has been leading tree-climbing excursions along the James River. It will take about 2,500 people into the branches this year, with the help of ropes, belays and climbing assistants. riversideoutfitters.net.

Day 4: Wednesday, June 24
Lick an upscale frozen treat. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts that Richmond’s summer “will be hotter and drier than normal.” Find relief from Paul Cassimus of King of Pops, who says three prime summer flavors are strawberry lemonade, coconut banana orange and pineapple habanero. “In the King of Pops kitchen,” he says, “we call it ‘the sweet heat.’” richmond.kingofpops.net.

Day 5: Thursday, June 25
Party like Poe. Today’s unhappy hour in the Poe Museum’s Enchanted Garden, from 6-9 p.m., features music by Fool’s Errand. The theme is “Hop-Frog,” one of Poe’s tales of murder and revenge, so read up beforehand. poemuseum.org.

Day 6: Friday, June 26
Attend the season finale of Friday Cheers. It’s all about that bass player and his bro, with the Wood Brothers and openers Son Little. Brown’s Island, 6-9:30 p.m., $10. venturerichmond.com.

Day 7: Saturday, June 27
Get cultured. More than 60 of the area’s arts and culture groups come together for the fifth annual Arts & Culture Xpo. It’s free at the Science Museum of Virginia, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. richmondcultureworks.org.

Day 8: Sunday, June 28
Hear a country star. Lee Ann “I Hope You Dance” Womack appears at the restored Beacon Theatre in Hopewell, doors at 6 p.m. thebeacontheatreva.com.

Day 9: Monday, June 29
Take a photo that isn’t a selfie. Bonus points if it’s a real camera. Today is National Camera Day. Post your pic with the hashtag #styleweeklysummer and we may feature it online.

Day 10: Tuesday, June 30
Become one with the bicycle. You ride one and you’ll be watching the races in September. But do you know why it’s made the way it’s made? Find out at the Science Museum of Virginia’s exhibit, “Bikes: Science on Two Wheels,” organized by Carnegie Science Center in cooperation with Bicycle Museum of America. smv.org.

Day 11: Wednesday, July 1
See a big, splashy, classic musical. Read our Style cover story, out today, which takes you behind the scenes of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” playing at Virginia Repertory’s November Theatre. Then see the show, directed by Chase Kniffen and starring Stacey Cabaj and Branch Fields Through Aug. 9. va-rep.org.

Day 12: Thursday, July 2
Get refreshed with a view. Enjoy the city skyline from the deck at Legend Brewing Co., which offers up a seasonal Z Dam Ale to benefit the James River Outdoor Coalition. RVA Growler contributor Hilary Langford describes it as “a subtle, citrusy delight with a creamy mouth feel and surprisingly malty backbone. Orange and lime zest are added to the boil alongside fresh ginger for a complex, but easy-to-drink brew.” legendbrewing.com.

Day 13: Friday, July 3
Get crafty. You’ve heard about the variety of classes at the Visual Arts Center that bring out your creative side, but maybe you want to dip your toes in the water first. First Friday Samplers offer a way to do that. Registration begins at 5 p.m. visarts.org.

Day 14: Saturday, July 4
Immerse yourself in patriotism. The Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, which brings a special reading of the Declaration of Independence at St. John’s Church. This happens alongside the popular re-enactment of the Second Virginia Convention and Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, which helped ignite the American Revolution. The event is free, but it’s bound to be crowded. First-come, first-served — a democratic process. Starts at 11 a.m. And if you miss it, re-enactments happen throughout the year. historicstjohnschurch.org.

Day 15: Sunday, July 5
Visit a park you’ve never visited on National Hop-a-Park Day (parksandrecreation.richmondgov.com). … Here’s a picnic idea: Garnett’s Café in the Fan will provide you with a picnic basket and blanket when you get something to go. A park’s right across the street. garnettscafe.com.


Day 16: Monday, July 6
Learn more about the struggle after slaves were freed. The Library of Virginia opens its free exhibit, “Remaking Virginia: Transformation through Emancipation” today. lva.virginia.gov.

Day 17: Tuesday, July 7
Look inside a mansion. You’ve visited Maymont, but have you been inside the mansion? A guided tour takes you through the new “A Passion for Nature” exhibit, which offers “a fresh look at the intricacies and wonders of the natural world that have flourished there for 100 years.” maymont.org.

Day 18: Wednesday, July 8
Eat adventurously. Order the sumptuous pig head tamale at Estilo, which comes with butternut squash mole, queso fresco crema, spiced pecans and pickled chilies. estilorichmond.com.

Day 19: Thursday, July 9
Relax with some class. Today’s the kickoff to Summer at CenterStage, a classical recital series from the Richmond Symphony, the University of Richmond School of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University’s music department and CenterStage. Featuring eight casual, one-hour evening concerts. Tonight at 6:30, it’s Fauré: Five Songs, with James Ferree on horn and Richard Becker on piano. richmondsymphony.com.

Day 20: Friday, July 10
Spook yourself out. A new history tour series from Richmond Discoveries and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum tells unique tales. It’s called “Richmond’s Strange Stories,” and runs Fridays through Oct. 30. richmonddiscoveries.com.

Day 21: Saturday, July 11
Get wet. The James River Splash and Dash from Riverside Outfitters adds obstacles to a 5-kilometer trail run with tubing across the James. jrsplashanddash.org.


Day 22: Sunday, July 12
Take in Shakespeare under the stars. Quill Theatre’s Richmond Shakespeare Festival features “Hamlet” at Agecroft Hall and Gardens, at 7:30 p.m. (“Hamlet” runs through Aug. 2.) quilltheatre.org.

Day 23: Monday, July 13
Visit a gallery, get cultured. Find one at Styleweekly.com/galleries.

Day 24: Tuesday, July 14
Bare all. It’s National Nude Day. whitetailresort.org.

Day 25: Wednesday, July 15
Think back on those summer days of your youth. Neil Simon helps you get inspired with a semi-autobiographical story of his own. “Brighton Beach Memoirs” opens at Hanover Tavern (through Aug. 28). hanovertavern.org.

Day 26: Thursday, July 16
Take aim. It’s Date Night at Colonial Shooting Academy. Couples can rent two lanes for the price of one from 5-9 p.m. You can rent or buy everything you need right there — guns, ammo. Even get dinner afterward next door at Mekong. But no guarantees on a love connection. colonialshooting.com.

Day 27: Friday, July 17
Expand your taco experience. The 2015 Capital Ale House National Beer Expo is in town July 16-18, featuring more than 200 craft beers from across the country. There are special events throughout the weekend including tonight, when it’s Style Weekly’s Taco Throwdown. nationalbeerexpo.com.

Day 28: Saturday, July 18
Get sloppy. The Big Muddy Challenge comes to Ashland Berry Farm. A family-friendly, messy time that includes making mud angels. bigmuddychallenge.com.

Day 29: Sunday, July 19
Celebrate National Ice Cream Day. You probably have your own special spot. But here are four ideas: 1) A chocolate banana peanut butter milkshake from the Dairy Bar, dairybarrestaurant.com. 2) A baklava sundae from Sweet 95, sweet95.com. 3) A scoop of s’mores from Gelati Celesti, gelatiicecream.com. 4) Mint chip from Bev’s Homemade Ice Cream, bevsicecream.com.


Day 30: Monday, July 20
Get inside Jefferson’s head. You haven’t seen the newly restored State Capitol? Guided tours run Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. virginiacapitol.gov.

Day 31: Tuesday, July 21
Get centered. Richmond Hill offers a spiritual experience called Listening to the Silence the third Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is included. Cell phones are banned. $20. richmondhillva.org.

Day 32: Wednesday, July 22
Laugh out loud. The Triangle Players bring “Psycho Beach Party” to life with tonight’s opening, running through Aug. 15. Set in Malibu Beach around 1962, the story promises “bikini babes, surfer hunks and Gidget goes nuts!” Directed by Penny Ayn Maas. rtriangle.org.

Day 33: Thursday, July 23
Enjoy folk among the flowers. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Thursday evening summer series features Exebelle and the Rusted Cavalcade. Wine and beer are available. And, appropriately enough with today being National Hot Dog Day, leashed pets are allowed for this particular night, called Fidos After 5. lewisginter.org.

Day 34: Friday, July 24
Reclaim your youth. TheatreLab explores the lives of five young radicals, asking: “Are they a destructive power in a pretty package, or are they simply addicted to consumption and dysfunction, conducting orgies of cheap wine and non-ideas?” Sex, drugs, guns and deep questions — and some promised laughs — combine for opening night of “The Altruists,” directed by K.B. Saine, through Aug. 8 at the Basement. With McLean Jesse, Chandler Hubbard, Evan Nasteff, Morgan Meadows and Joshua Gutierrez. theatrelabrva.org.

Day 35: Saturday, July 25
Watch some homemade movies. You may have heard of the 48 Hour Film Project. Teams compete to make short films in a two-day time limit. That happened July 17-19, and now begins two days of premiere screenings at the Byrd Theatre. 48hourfilm.com/en/richmond.

Day 36: Sunday, July 26
Pull for the underdog. You’ve read the book, you’ve seen the movie. Now the Stephen King novel is “Carrie the Musical.” Will you get splattered like a Gallagher show? Who knows? But you can see the 5th Wall Theatre production starring Brittany D. Simmons today at 4, at RVA Event Space, 1 E. Fourth St. (Runs July 9-Aug. 8). 5thwalltheatre.org.

Day 37: Monday, July 27
Sing karaoke. Your options are many, though hours vary. Here are a bunch of places where it’s happening tonight: Fan Noodle Bar, L’s Place Café, Penny Lane Pub, the Halligan Bar in Short Pump, 25 Watt, Buddy’s Place, Cary Street Café, Caddy’s in the South Side and Lakeside Tavern. And don’t sign up for a slow country ballad, OK? Let’s keep things upbeat, shall we?

Day 38: Tuesday, July 28
Gaze at body art. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts exhibit, “Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition,” showcases the work of seven modern tattooists who draw their inspiration from the Japanese traditions of flesh art, calligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking. Organized by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. vmfa.museum.

Day 39: Wednesday, July 29
Order a new fish. Try the fried tripe at Rancho T, the restaurant from Tuffy Stone, Ed Vasaio and chef Aaron Cross. We can’t guarantee it’ll be there. But it’s a special that runs on a regular basis. Check the chalkboard. ranchot.com.

Day 40: Thursday, July 30
Go out for dinner and a show. It was a hit last year, and it’s back again. “The Dixie Swim Club” opens tonight, and runs through Aug. 29 at Swift Creek Mill Theatre. The story follows five women who became friends as college swim-team members and “set aside a long weekend every August to recharge those relationships.” Tip: Spend $17 bucks more for your ticket and enjoy a lovely dining experience before the show in the historic Swift Creek Mill. swiftcreekmill.com.

Day 41: Friday, July 31
Let your hair down. The country’s best Dead cover band, Dark Star Orchestra, starts a two-night run at the amphitheater on the grounds of Pocahontas State Park. Feel the spirit of Jerry Garcia rustling through the trees. pocahontaslive.com.

Day 42: Saturday, Aug. 1
Visit Highland Park for music and merriment. The St. Elizabeth Jazz and Food Festival “blends traditional and contemporary jazz with delicious soulful cuisine in a Christian, family oriented atmosphere.” Runs noon to 7:30 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, at Second Avenue and Victor Street. steliz3c.com.

Day 43: Sunday, Aug. 2
Learn a new way to watch football. The 2015 Electric Football World Championships and Convention closes out its weekend in Richmond (things started Friday). This is a game, an art form, an obsession. Style contributor Chris Bopst also is host of the Electric Football Game Art Show at ADA Gallery, running through Sept. 15. tudorgames.com.

Day 44: Monday, Aug. 3
Skip work. You know how people get hit by those “bad summer allergies.”

Day 45: Tuesday, Aug. 4
Show support. National Night Out is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.” Sit out on your deck, meet the neighbors, chat with police, keep the porch lights on. natw.org.


Day 46: Wednesday, Aug. 5
Get dinner at a food truck. Food Truck Court comes to Emmanuel Episcopal Church in North Side, at 1214 Wilmer Ave., from 5:30-8:30 p.m. growrva.com.

Day 47: Thursday, Aug. 6
Learn about the Lovings. Virginia Tech history professor Peter Wallenstein delivers a Banner Lecture at the Virginia Historical Society about the Virginia couple at the center of a landmark interracial marriage case: “The Quest for Loving: Race, Sex and the Freedom to Marry,” noon-1 p.m. vahistorical.org.


Day 48: Friday, Aug. 7
Get an autograph from RGIII. Or Kirk Cousins. Really, who knows which one will be more valuable. But it should be fun to watch one of the three days of joint practices with the Washington Redskins and the Houston Texans at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. redskins.com.

Day 49: Saturday, Aug. 8
Nourish your soul. The Richmond Jazz Festival, which also continues into Sunday, opens its doors at Maymont at 11 a.m. Single-day passes and weekend admission tickets are available. Artists on this day include Jazz Funk Soul with Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp and Chuck Loeb, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Thelonious Monk III, David Sanborn and New Edition. jazzatmaymont.com.

Day 50: Sunday, Aug. 9
Spit seeds — courteously. The 32nd annual Carytown Watermelon Festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with more than 100,000 people expected. Vendors, musicians and lots of watermelon. carytownrva.com.

Day 51: Monday, Aug. 10
Make a s’more. It’s National S’mores Day. Or if you want to skip the hassle, head to Shyndigz for Grown Up S’mores: “Airy chocolate mousse with a graham cracker crust with a boozy kick.” shyndigz.com.

Day 52: Tuesday, Aug. 11
Join the kingdom. The Society for Creative Anachronism holds Fighter Practice and Arts and Sciences Night at Battery Park Christian Church, 4201 Brook Road, at 7 p.m. You may not know what you’re stepping into — and we don’t quite know either. But if nothing else, you can watch the fun. sca.org.

Day 53: Wednesday, Aug. 12
Get airborne. Over animals. The Metro Richmond Zoo’s new Treetop Zoofari attraction offers as many as 42 challenges and 16 zip lines. When you’re done, go say hi to the new baby orangutan. treetopzoofari.com.

Day 54: Thursday, Aug. 13
Be chauffeured. The Richmond Brewery Tours start at Capital Ale House downtown and whisk you away to a selection of local breweries. They don’t take you home, though. So make sure you have a plan. richmondbrewerytours.com.

Day 55: Friday, Aug. 14
Up the ante on your beach trip. One way: Try scuba diving in the warm, clear, almost-tropical waters of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. You’ll need to prepare with diver’s training and certification. Then you can get up close to fascinating maritime history in the waters off Cape Hatteras, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. Scores of shipwrecks were victims of notoriously temperamental weather; others are war sinkings. You could see the Dixie Arrow, a 468-foot-long tanker, which was torpedoed in 1942 by a German U-Boat. Hitler was trying to choke of the flow of war supplies from the Gulf Coast to northeastern industrial areas. After the vessel was hit, sailor Oscar G. Chappell was burned alive while struggling to keep the floating flames from harming sailors who’d abandoned ship. Capt. Dave Sommer (Dive Hatteras, 703-818-1850) charters his 42-foot Lions Paw from Hatteras Village. David Farrow of Ghost Fleet (252-423-0451) takes divers from Wanchese and Oregon Inlet not far from Nags Head. He prowls wrecks north of Hatteras, where the water is colder and murkier.


Day 56: Saturday, Aug. 15
Celebrate Gwar. Richmond’s alien heavy metal band marks its 30th anniversary during this year’s three-day Gwar-B-Q (Aug. 14-16) at Hadad’s Lake. There are two pre-parties, but the main event is Saturday at the lake, 7900 Osborne Turnpike, featuring 20 bands filling three stages — including Clutch, Goatwhore, the Descendents and the Dickies. gwarbq.com.

Day 57: Sunday, Aug. 16
Make someone laugh — or at least try. It’s National Tell a Joke Day. Here are joke-telling tips from the folks at the Coalition Theater:
1. Research for hours.
2. Analyze data analytics.
3. Talk eloquently about your latest bowel movement. — Beau Cribbs

1. Tell it one time.
2. Tell it a second time.
3. Tell it a third time.
— Zane Adickes

1. Find a tweet that has been retweeted or favorited over 500 times.
2. Copy the words of the tweet and paste them into a word document and hit “save.”
3. Wait two weeks and put those words into one of your own tweets and post that on your Twitter feed.
— Nick Leveski

1. They key to good communication is brevity.
— Matt Micou

Day 58: Monday, Aug. 17
Scavenge for a treat. NPR called it America’s forgotten fruit. From about mid-August to October, papaws — they’re pronounced paw paws — are ripe, and you can pick them off the trees along the James River Park System. They’re soft and taste sort of like peachy bananas.

Day 59: Tuesday, Aug. 18
Synchronize with strangers. Go line dancing at Club Midway, 7514 Lee Davis Road. The fun starts at 7. calabash-seafood.com.


Day 60: Wednesday, Aug. 19
Harmonize with the Beach Boys. They’re playing Innsbrook After Hours, the outdoor concert series that’s celebrating its 30th year. innsbrookafterhours.com.

Day 61: Thursday, Aug. 20
Bowl a strike. Try the two-story funhouse of Uptown Alley, where you can step up your game in style. And tonight at 7, you’ll find live acoustic music during Uptown Alley Unplugged. uptownalleyrichmond.com.

Day 62: Friday, Aug. 21
Rock while you shop. Short Pump Town Center isn’t all about running up your Visa bill. Its summer concert series features food trucks, wine tastings and free music. Tonight it’s Sister Hazel, with an opening set by 2010 “American Idol” winner Lee Dewyze. shortpumpmall.com.


Day 63: Saturday, Aug. 22
Bike under the stars. The Anthem Moonlight Ride offers 17-mile and 8-mile courses, with home base at the Sports Backers Stadium. There’s music, food and camaraderie with bikers of all ages. sportsbackers.org.

Day 64: Sunday, Aug. 23
Train yourself. What, you haven’t visited the Richmond Railroad Museum? This summer it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its opening (the official kick-off was July 18). Check it out today from 1-4 p.m. at 102 Hull St. (On Saturdays, it’s open 11 a.m. to 4.) odcnrhs.org.

Day 65: Monday, Aug. 24
Eat a sandwich. Last year, hungry diners trekked all over town for $5 deals on delicious stuff made all the better by being tucked inside bread. RVA Sandwich Week kicks off today. Find a list of participating restaurants and more details at rvasandwichweek.com.

Day 66: Tuesday, Aug. 25
Have some bluegrass with your beer. Garden Grove Brewing Co. in Carytown holds Bluegrass Jam, an open jam session, on Tuesday nights from 7-10. gardengrovebrewing.com.

Day 67: Wednesday, Aug. 26
Express yourself. Lyricist Lab holds an interactive open-mic showcase called Soul Position from 8-11 p.m. at Rumors Boutique. Watch the spoken-word performances or try to let out your inner poet in front of an audience. facebook.com/soulplab.

Day 68: Thursday, Aug. 27
Prepare for the big race. The Valentine opens its exhibit, “In Gear: Richmond Cycles” tonight, which explores cycling in Richmond from the 19th century till today. Extended hours till 8 p.m. thevalentine.org.

Day 69: Friday, Aug. 28
Get the blues. The River City Blues Society’s Blues and Brews series features Martha and Triple Threat at the Camel from 5-8 p.m. Free. rivercityblues.org.


Day 70: Saturday, Aug. 29
Try Mrs. Yoder’s new strawberry doughnut. It might be your last chance, unless all the strawberries are gone by now. The enormously popular glazed doughnut is turned onto a plate, with a mound of strawberries and whipped cream on top. And if those are gone, take whatever comes out of that truck. Find your pastry nirvana at South of the James Farmers’ Market and explore while you’re there. From 8 a.m. to noon at Forest Hill Park. growrva.com.

Day 71: Sunday, Aug. 30
Browse for your last summer read. A good option is Carytown’s Chop Suey Books. Why? Because yesterday was National Chop Suey Day, and that’s some kind of sign. chopsueybooks.com.

Day 72: Monday, Aug. 31
This summer’s been all about you. So volunteer. Hands on Greater Richmond lets you search for opportunities online. Here’s just one for this day: Work at Lewis Botantical Garden’s one-third acre Community Kitchen Garden, which supplies fresh produce to FeedMore. handsonrva.org.

Day 73: Tuesday, Sept. 1
Toast the agave. You can try a tequila off your typical list at Casa Del Barco. Choose one of the rare selections and sip outside by the canal. Summer has slipped away, so take your time. casadelbarco.com.


Day 74: Wednesday, Sept. 2
Get lost. How recently have you driven around town — and not just to work and back, or to the same grocery store or dry cleaner? Stop tracing the same old routes. Get in the car, turn off the GPS, pretend you’re a tourist — and go. Cruise down new streets and through undiscovered neighborhoods. Keep your eyes open for areas you’ve never stopped to notice.

Day 75: Thursday, Sept. 3
Escape — or at least try. We can’t tell you much, and you probably don’t want to know beforehand anyway. But a new kind of brain game being billed as Richmond’s first and only escape room offers group, team-building and perhaps a kind of creepy date scenario. You have to solve the puzzle to make it out. Themed rooms include the Mind Trap Room, Plato’s Cave, Seven Deadly Sins and the Steampunk STEM Room. It’s in the Village Shopping Center, so if we don’t hear from you, we’ll know where to look. escaperoomrva.com.

Day 76: Friday, Sept. 4
Walk the walk. It’s a classic downtown experience: First Fridays, generally from 5-9 p.m., featuring galleries, restaurants and other participants welcoming the crowds to the Broad Street Arts and Cultural District. rvafirstfridays.com.

Day 77: Saturday, Sept. 5
Rest in peace. It’s been a long summer. End it at the famous Hollywood Cemetery. One way to explore it is with a guide, and the Valentine’s walking tour from 2-4 p.m. focuses on the Women of Hollywood. You’ll learn how women played a role in the cemetery’s life, and visit the gravesites of the accomplished women who don’t always get their due. thevalentine.org.


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