15 Best Things to Do in Short Pump, VA

Short Pump, VA
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This interesting suburb of Richmond, Virginia, also gets its name from an interesting source—a short pump under the porch of a tavern.

Located at the crossroads of Three Chopt Road, the Richmond Turnpike, and the Pouncey Tract Road, Short Pump is a steadily growing town with many attractions.

It also belongs to Henrico County.

In 1815, the Revolutionary War veteran Robert Hyde Saunders built the tavern that gave Short Pump its name.

This town has also received several historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Stonewall Jackson, and Earl Cornwallis.

In 1853, the town officially adopted the name Short Pump.

Today, the town has logged continuous growth, thanks to its closeness to Richmond.

One of Short Pump’s many attractions is the Short Pump Town Center, a sprawling open-air shopping center that spans 1,200,000 square feet.

Along with more malls and residences, Short Pump attracts travelers from all over.

Do you want to know more about Short Pump, VA?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:

Shop ‘til You Drop at the Short Pump Town Center

Aerial view of Short Pump Town Center.
Brandon Avram / Shutterstock.com

This sprawling open-air shopping mall is the centerpiece of Short Pump, VA, and the biggest mall in the Richmond area.

It consists of two levels and comprises 140 stores, most of which are upscale retailers.

Since its opening in 2003, the Short Pump Town Center has drawn shoppers from nearby Richmond and other surrounding areas.

Shops at Short Pump Town Center
Ser_Amantio_di_Nicolao, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’d like to grab a meal after a day’s shopping, you can head outside the mall to look for restaurants.

You can walk or drive to these places, which are still on Town Center property.

These restaurants serve everything from Indian cuisine to good old American cooking.

People strolling around at Short Pump Town Center
Ser_Amantio_di_Nicolao, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spend the Day at Short Pump Park

Bring your kids to Short Pump Park and let them play around the fountain, with 18 water jets spraying water at them and their friends.

Likewise, bring your dog to the dog park, divided into two play areas.

The whole dog park spans nearly an acre, sitting inside a six-foot-tall enclosing fence. One of the areas is for small dogs, while the other iss for big ones.

If you just want to walk around, you can follow the nature trail from John Rolfe Parkway and West Broad Village.

Since about 75% of the park is wooded, you won’t go very far from nature.

Go Skating at The Rink at West Broad Village

Another Short Pump main attraction is The Rink at West Broad Village.

It’s a decent-sized family-friendly rink, where you can have a grand old time with your kids and loved ones.

The place also understands that not everyone owns ice skates, so they have over 100 skates available for rent.

It’s no wonder the rink becomes a major draw during the winter.

You can spend the day gliding along the ice.

You can sign up for ice skating lessons if you're a complete newbie.

After skating, you can go shopping at the nearby shops or eat at the restaurants close by.

Roll a Strike at Bowl America Short Pump

Bring your family, friends, and co-workers to the best bowling alley in Short Pump, Bowl America.

It’s available for party rentals, whether for kids or adults.

Likewise, you can stage your corporate team-building activities here.

Test your co-workers’ bowling skills and win your office some bragging rights.

If you just want to hang out with friends over some drinks and games, Bowl America Short Pump has got that handled, too.

Besides bowling, you can go crazy at the arcade or play classic drinking games like beer pong.

They also serve the heft 6-pound Behemoth Burger and the XXL Pretzel when you get hungry.

Then, wash all that food down with their 100 oz. cocktails you can pass around the table.

Have a Laugh at the Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant

If you like stand-up comedy, you’ll love going to the Short Pump Town Center.

The shopping mall hosts the Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant hosts the country’s funniest stand-up comics like Tracy Morgan and Jerry Seinfeld.

They host comics with various styles and approaches.

Besides comedy, the place also serves delicious food to fill your belly while laughing.

For over 30 years, the Funny Bone has provided a stage for the country’s best humorists and the most talented up-and-comers.

The Funny Bone branch in Short Pump is just one of many stages.

Light Up Your Golf Game at Glowgolf

This facility in Short Pump puts a nice little twist on miniature golf by putting in blacklights on the courses.

Playing at Glowgolf will make you feel like you’re playing golf on a bizarre alien planet.

Headquartered in Kansas, Glowgolf has expanded to Short Pump to give residents and tourists new activity options.

All of the games in Glowgolf have blacklights, from mini-golf to laser maze.

Bring your kid here to celebrate their birthday and give them memories they’ll never forget.

Even adults will have a pleasant time amid all of the lights.

Eat Healthy Food at Organic Krush

It’s time to switch to a healthy lifestyle by eating at Organic Krush, one of the premier restaurants in the Short Pump Crossing Shopping Center.

In 2014, the owners, Fran and Michelle, wanted to create a menu that every member of the family would love.

A few years later, people from all over can sample a truly delightful menu of dishes made from organic sources.

Their meat and fish products are from sustainable producers, such as Wild Planet and Verlasso.

Since they are all organic, they are also free of harmful preservatives and chemicals.

You can even mix and match ingredients to make your wrap, salad, rice bowl, and taco.

Of course, you can also try their cold-pressed juices, like celery juice, cucumber juice, and many others.

Other Things to Do Nearby

See the Plants at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Plants at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
laverock / Shutterstock.com

Drive 30 minutes away from Short Pump to reach Henrico County, where you'll see the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

You’ll love this place if you’re an amateur botanist.

Even if you’re not, though, you’ll still enjoy looking at the beautiful flowers on display at the facility.

Besides the garden, the place also has a library café, a tea house restaurant, and a conservatory.

Butterfly on a flower at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Siyano Prach / Shutterstock.com

The garden once stood on the “Oughnum” hunting ground of the Powhatan Indians, which the Virginia Governor Patrick Henry bought in 1786.

In 1884, Richmond businessman Lewis Ginter bought the land to house the Lakeside Wheel Club.

However, that club didn’t last long because the bicycling trend died out quickly.

Lily pads on water at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Ryan P Stephans / Shutterstock.com

Ginter’s niece, Grace Arents, bought the unused property in 1897.

She expanded the property and turned it into the Lakeside Sanatorium for Babies in 1912.

Before she died in 1968, at 100 years old, she donated the property to Richmond.

Arents had wanted the city to turn the place into a botanical garden in honor of her uncle.

Bring Your Kids to Twin Hickory Park & Recreation Center

What was once an unusable tract of land has become a top-notch recreation area for people in the Henrico County area, including Short Pump.

This place is the Twin Hickory Park, located at Glen Allen, 13 minutes away from Short Pump.

You can bring your kids and loved ones here to have a relaxing afternoon.

For instance, your kids can run around the two playgrounds or splash around at the interactive water spray area.

You can then walk along two-mile multi-use trails or play with friends at the multi-purpose field.

If you want to take a break or have lunch, you can head inside the 1,900-square-foot building with public restrooms and a picnic shelter.

Let Your Stress Go at The Virginia Axe Company

Ten minutes away from Short Pump lies the nearby Rockville, where you can find The Virginia Axe Company.

The company joins the recently growing trend of ax throwing centers, where people can throw a heavy sharp ax across a distance to hit the bullseye.

The Virginia Axe Company is different because they also offer knife throwing.

They also employ qualified instructors to teach beginners how to hurl an ax (or sport knife) safely and accurately.

The Virginia Axe Company is also open to renting for corporate events, birthday parties, and private lessons.

You’re also welcome if you just want to learn the basics of throwing sports knives and axes.

Their 3,000-square-foot facility has enough room for five throwing pits.

Likewise, the owners have competed in national bladed sports games for years, meaning you’re in safe hands here.

Learn Local history at the Meadow Farm Museum

Beautiful white building at Meadow Farm Museum
Henrico County, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find this unique museum inside Crump Park, at Glen Allen.

Since its opening in 1981, the Meadow Farm Museum has shown visitors a glimpse into the various peoples who’ve called the region home for centuries.

The museum employs historical interpreters willing to share knowledge about the Native Americans and African Americans who worked the land before the Shepperds.

Since the Civil War, the Shepperd family have tilled the land of Meadow Farms.

You can also join the tour of the historic 1810 farmhouse, available throughout the year.

Besides history, the museum also takes care of farm animals to help your immersion into its history.

Many of the gardens have plants showing the variety of species grown on the farm throughout its history.

Beat the Heat at the Cobblestones Water Park

This locally owned water park is a favorite summertime destination for families from Richmond and everywhere else.

Since the 1950s, the Cobblestones Water Park has allowed families to beat the heat at their pools and water amenities.

You don’t even need to go far from Short Pump since the park is in Glen Allen.

Likewise, Cobblestones separates itself from others of its kind because it hosts one of the biggest concrete pools in all of Virginia.

Besides pools, the water park also offers portions of their party deck for private rental.

They also have certified lifeguards on standby, so you can focus on relaxing or having fun.

Get Spooked out of Your Mind at the Red Vein Haunted House

The scariest hybrid haunted attraction in Richmond, Virginia, can be found at the nearby town of Ashland, which is merely 22 minutes away from Short Pump.

In 2016, the Red Vein Army created the Red Vein Haunted House, which has gained enough notoriety to appear in RVA Magazine and Style Weekly.

Truly, this place is where everybody goes to scare them out of their socks.

The attractions in this place include a haunted cornfield and the old witch house, with an ancient evil lurking on the grounds.

It might sound hokey to you, but Red Vein merges truly terrifying scares with immersive sets to put you right where the monsters want you.

Moreover, Red Vein advises you not to bring kids below 13 years old.

It’s that scary.

See the Animals at the General Sheppard Crump Memorial Park

After you explore the museum, head outside and venture into the General Sheppard Crump Memorial Park.

The park hosts thick deciduous forests and woodlands, which are also home to different species of birds.

You might also see some eastern bluebirds perched on the utility lines crossing the property.

Likewise, you might see the parent bluebirds teaching their newly hatched chicks how to fly in the summer.

If you enter the forest, you’ll hear California wrens, pine warblers, and downy woodpeckers warbling and wheezing in the trees above you.

You might also hear some squirrels flitting about on the forest floor.

Go to the park’s western edge to find a pond where Canada geese and mallards hang out.

From time to time, great blue herons even stop by here, visible from the giant footprints they leave on the muddy shoreline.

Final Thoughts

Short Pump is a small town, but its showcase mall helps attract people from nearby towns and cities.

From Short Pump, you can even wander into places like Glen Allen to enjoy their entertainment and activity options.

What are you waiting for?

Book your Short Pump trip today!