Spring Things

Some safe, outdoor things to do in the coming month.

If ever Richmonders were ready for spring, it would be the year after enduring a pandemic that kept us housebound during what had to be one of the coldest, wettest winters in recent memory.

Now that spring has arrived both officially and unofficially, it’s a fine time to venture out – safely, of course – and remember what it feels like to soak up the city’s vibes. We’re not going to suggest you head indoors, but we’re happy to report there is plenty of interesting outside action going on. Just don’t sleep on getting tickets because in these new times, there’s a guest limit to every event and you don’t want to miss out.

Going on a ghost tour with Haunts of Richmond is equal parts city history lesson, walking tour and reminder that not everybody who died here left town. The Phantoms of Franklin tour takes participants to turn-of-the-century Franklin Street to share the historical back stories that resulted in spirits still inhabiting places such as the Richmond City Library, as well as some of Richmond’s toniest buildings like the Jefferson Hotel and Linden Row. Haunts of Richmond is limiting tours to 15 people, masks must be worn, social distances maintained and no walk-up ticket sales are permitted. You must purchase tickets in advance online.

The Phantoms of Franklin Tour, March 25 or April 3, 8 p.m. hauntsofrichmond.com.

Committed horticulturists as well as budding gardeners will get a much-needed dose of spring air, river views and blooming gardens at Agecroft Hall’s guided garden tours, which delve into history and, for April, the profusion of tulips blooming throughout the grounds. The 45-minute guided tour offers the opportunity to learn about the formal gardens from a different perspective. Visitors will hear about Chief Powhatan’s cloak, King Henry VIII and Mediterranean pirates to learn what they have in common with the Virginia garden and why they’re all part of the story of the 20th-century transformation of Agecroft Hall’s gardens.

Attendees are welcome to stay after the guided tour to explore the tulips and other garden areas on their own. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking on grass, gravel paths and stone walkways. The route also has several stairs.

Guided Garden Tours at Agecroft Hall on April 2,3, 9 and 10, 9:30 a.m. agecrofthall.org.

Now that we’re all cooking at home far more than pre-pandemic, one way to get fresh inspiration is by using new ingredients and a good place to get ideas for novel additions is at the wild edible plant walk in Forest Hill Park. Led by experienced forager Alison Meehan, who, besides appearing on PBS, has been collecting edibles and making herbal remedies for over three decades, the beginner-friendly course teaches participants about the more than 30 edible plants you can find in Virginia. For those seeking a family outing, teens 13 and up are welcome with an adult attendee.

Wild edible plant walk, April 10 at 10 a.m., Forest Hill Park, tracksandroots.com.

If anything makes sense after a year of pandemic restrictions, it’s the concept of silent parties. For the uninitiated, they’re events where people dance to music heard only through the wireless headphones each partygoer wears. What that means is that this is your chance to head to the Farmers Market and dance your ass off as if we weren’t coming off the most bizarre and challenging year ever. Yes, of course you still must wear a mask, but you can rest easy knowing that the headphones are fully sanitized beforehand, and distancing is based on the individual’s comfort level. Tickets must be purchased in advance and allow you to choose from the Silent Party DJ’s live mixes.

Unlocking RVA – the Silent Party, April 10, 8 p.m., 17th Street Market

Still hoping to find a way to welcome spring and do something different after months of the same-old-same-old? Consider brunch on the plaza, an outdoor event with an array of food trucks from which to choose your Sunday repast, a throwback to the days when food truck courts were weekly events. The group meal takes place at Kanawha Plaza, so guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, the better to spread out, dig in and take in the good vibes of a live DJ. Add a little sunshine and you could almost believe life was getting back to normal. Tickets are required for admission and tickets to the VIP section will also be available, at least until it sells out.

Brunch on the plaza, April 18, 11 a.m., Kanawha Plaza, 801 Canal St.


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