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Best activities for preschoolers in West Virginia

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Preschooler play time

It’s not easy to keep a preschooler busy, but being in West Virginia makes it a little bit easier. This state is jam-packed full of activities to keep your preschooler busy, interested and happy. Here are some of our favorite places for you to spend time with your little one.

Heritage Farm Museum

Children's Museum of the Ohio Valley

The Children's Museum of the Ohio Valley is a great place for kids to learn without even knowing it. Everything here is hands-on, from blocks to costumes, puppets, water play and much more. Everything here is made for more than one person, so don't be afraid to dig in, get your hands dirty and play a little!

Location: 100 Main St., Wheeling, West Virginia, 26003
Phone: 304-214-5437
Rates: $2 to $4
Website: http://www.cmovkids.org/default.asp

West Virginia Zoo at Hovatter's Wildlife Zoo

This isn't your average zoo. Bring your preschooler here to see a collection of exotic and native animals on a smaller scale. You'll miss the massive crowds you find at larger zoos, get more individual attention from staff and will likely have the opportunity to feed several of the animals. What preschooler would turn down the chance to feed a goat or ride a camel?

Location: Route 1, Kingwood, West Virginia, 26537
Phone: 304-329-3122
Rates: $8 to $10
Website: http://www.westvirginiazoo.com/index.html

Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia

Once the adults have finished their tour of the adjacent Exhibition Coal Mine, take the preschoolers over to the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia. The exhibits here are always changing, but they're always fun and usually involve hands-on history or science themes. A puzzle room on-site will keep any older kids busy while the little ones play.

Location: 509 Ewart Ave., Beckley, West Virginia, 25801
Phone: 304-252-3764
Rates: $9 to $20
Website: http://www.beckley.org/exhibition_coal_mine/index.html

Farm Heritage Museum and Village

Every preschooler loves all things farm, so you might as well take yours to one! The Farm Heritage Museum and Village is huge. You can spend an afternoon or an entire weekend there. Explore a barn, see a real steam tractor in action, watch a blacksmith work and much more. The petting zoo is a favorite of most kids, but it's only open on Saturdays from May through November. If that's your only destination, you can purchase tickets for just the petting zoo.

Location: 3300 Harvey Road, Huntington, West Virginia, 25704
Phone: 304-522-1244
Rates: $3 to $8, plus additional charges
Website: http://www.heritagefarmmuseum.com/index.html

Ritter Park

Ritter park is a playground unlike any you've ever seen. While you're here, your kids can dig for dinosaurs, explore a castle, ride a mini zip line, play a bongo and watch a water show. You can easily spend a whole afternoon here, or pack a picnic lunch and stay the whole day!

Location: 13th Ave., Huntington, WV 25701
Phone: 304-696-5954
Rates: Free
Website: http://www.ghprd.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18&Itemid=2&lang=en

Good Zoo and Benedum Theater

There's something for the whole family at Ogelbay Resort, but every preschool-aged child is sure to love the Good Zoo. This 30-acre zoo includes a wetland area, an Outback exhibit, a barn filled with farm animals and a hands-on discovery area. Take a train ride to see the whole place for an additional fee. If you're going to be there all day, save some cash and purchase activity bands.

Location: 465 Lodge Drive, Wheeling, West Virginia, 26003
Phone: 800-624-6988
Rates: $6 to $8
Website: http://www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo/index.htm

Image courtesy of Heritage Farm Museum and Village and David Fattaleh
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