21 Best Things to Do in Manassas, VA in 2023

Manassas, VA was famously the site of two of the most significant battles in the Civil War. Today there is much more that this historic city has to offer.  

No matter your interests, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Manassas, VA. The city is home to battlefields, museums, water parks, fine arts, breweries, and much more. 

Manassas is located in Prince William County in Northern Virginia. It is just 37 miles west of Washington, D.C., and 83 miles north of Charlottesville. 

The city is conveniently located near I-66 and Route 29. This makes it a great destination for a fun weekend getaway. 

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21 Best Things to Do in Manassas, VA

Manassas has a wide variety of activities, including distilleries, parks, historic sites, and museums. 

Below are my top recommendations for the best things to do in Manassas, VA. 

1. Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park marks the site of two major Civil War battles that took place in 1861 and 1862. The battles also go by the name Bull Run, which is the name of the river that runs nearby.

The park features many artifacts, artillery, and historical landmarks related to the battles, including cannons, which are fired several times during the day. 

I recommend starting at the Henry Hill Visitor Center. From there, you can get maps and information on daily events from one of the park guides. There is a small museum with artifacts plus an excellent 40-minute film on the battles within the Visitor Center.

If you can, try to catch one of the artillery demonstrations, which includes the firing of period guns and even cannons. These occur several times a day at set times.

Manassas National Battlefield Park is also a major hiking destination. The park is 5,000 acres in size and features over 40 miles of hiking trails, including several loop trails. 

The hikes are generally not too strenuous, though the ground is a little uneven. The trails take you through open fields, which are filled with beautiful wildflowers at certain times of the year. Other parts of the trails travel through wooded areas and by Bull Run.

Some highlights include walking by the Stone House as well as the Stone Bridge. Along the trails, you will also find markers telling you about the history of various locations.

You can also take guided tours of the park, as well as a 20-mile self-guided driving tour. 

The park is one of the major national parks in Virginia. 

2. Bull Run Regional Park

Bull Run Regional Park is located in nearby Centreville, VA. It spans 1,500 acres and includes outdoor activities for the whole family. 

The park has numerous hiking trails, including the Bluebell Trail (1.5 miles) and part of the Occoquan Watertrail (40 miles). 

Forest and stream at Bull Run Regional Park in Manassas, VA

It also includes the trailhead of the 19.7-mile Bull Run Occoquan Trail.

Bull Run is also a great overnight destination. You can rent one of the 9 rustic cabins on-site. The cabins are open year-round and feature electricity, air conditioning, and heating. There are also several campgrounds in the park. 

Bull Run Regional Park even includes a waterpark! Atlantis Waterpark is a great summer destination, featuring a 230-foot open slide, a 170-foot closed slide, and a 500-gallon dumping bucket. 

3. Manassas Historic District

Manassas Historic District is definitely a must-see destination. It is home to many of the best restaurants, boutiques, and historic sites in town. 

Within the historic district, you’ll find the Manassas Museum, the Mayfield and Cannon Branch Earthwork Forts, and Manassas Industrial School. 

Major attractions like Manassas National Battlefield Park and Bull Run Regional Park are also close by.

The historic downtown district regularly hosts special events like the Annual Manassas Jazz Festival and the Northern Virginia Veterans Parade. 

You can also find many cute boutique stores selling antiques, toys, and clothes, as well as the Manassas City Farmer’s Market. 

Lastly, Historic Downtown is home to many eclectic restaurants, including Katerina’s Greek Cuisine, Okra’s Louisiana Bistro, and Vera’s Kitchen. 

4. The Manassas Museum 

The Manassas Museum is one of the best Manassas attractions that you’ll want to visit.

The museum commemorates the rich history of Manassas. The museum includes historical accounts and artifacts from the Civil War, World War II, and beyond. 

The Manassas Museum also teaches visitors about the importance that the railroad has played in the city’s history. 

The museum frequently has special exhibits such as This Was Manassas, which tells first-hand accounts of the history of Manassas through the stories of its inhabitants. 

The museum also stewards important historic sites throughout Manassas, including the Liberia House, Annaburg, and Manassas Industrial School.

Please note that the museum is closed for renovations for part of 2023, though it is still hosting some programs. 

5. Ben Lomond Historic Site

Ben Lomond Historic Site marks the location of a home that dates back to 1832. The house served as a hospital during the Civil War. 

Ben Lomond Historic Site - one of the best things to do in Manassas, VA

The home was also marked by graffiti when it was overtaken by Federal troops. The graffiti has been preserved and even marks what is known as the Northern Virginia Civil War Graffiti Trail. 

Visitors can take guided and self-guided tours of the home to learn more about its rich history. The home is filled with many historic artifacts and furniture. There are even sound and smell effects throughout the rooms of the house, to give visitors a a truly immersive experience.

One of the highlights is a room that was used for surgeries during the Civil War. The tour guides will even give you a detailed demonstration and show you the tools that were used by doctors to treat the wounded during the war.

There are several structures that you can explore around the grounds as well, including the Slave Quarters, a Smokehouse, and a Dairy House.

One of the other memorable features of the site is the extensive Rose Garden on the grounds behind the house. It is actually one of the largest rose garden collections in the region. 

6. KO Distilling

If you’re interested in spirits, you’re not going to want to miss a stop at KO Distilling! They specialize in making whiskeys and gins using locally-sourced ingredients. 

Their products include Bare Knuckle Whiskeys, Battle Standard 142 Gins, and premium Distiller’s Reserve Bottled-in-Bond Whiskeys.

The distillery offers guided tours of its production facility and barrel room, where you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse to learn how spirits are made.  

You can also enjoy a glass of whiskey, gin, or a specialty cocktail in their lovely tasting room. 

7. Liberia House Historic Site

Liberia House is another one of the top sites to visit in Manassas. The home dates all the way back to 1825. It was once visited by Abraham Lincoln. It is just a short drive from historic downtown Manassas. 

During the Civil War, the home was used as a Confederate headquarters. After the war, it served as a dairy farm and family home. 

Today, visitors can tour the home and see exhibits commemorating those who were enslaved there. There is also a wall outside with the signatures of Civil War soldiers. 

The home is a gorgeous destination for hosting special events.  You can also walk around the lovely grounds and gardens or enjoy a picnic. 

8. Manassas Railroad Depot

Built in 1914, the Manassas Railroad Depot is another historic landmark in Manassas. It also serves as the home to the Manassas Visitor’s Center, which is open 7 days a week. 

The depot is a working train station, with multiple stops each day by both Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter trains. This makes it a great way to get to Manassas from other parts of Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.!

9. Hylton Performing Arts Center

Hylton Performing Arts Center is your destination for fine arts in Manassas! 

The venue features a wide variety of performances throughout the year, ranging from classical music to ballets to plays and musicals, and much more. 

The performing arts center is the home of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Manassas Chorale, and Manassas Ballet Theatre. 

You can find a schedule of upcoming events online. 

10. Heritage Brewing Co.

For beer lovers, Heritage Brewing Co. is a perfect destination for your next trip to Manassas. The brewery was founded by veteran brothers. Its mission is to create bold and flavorful beers. 

Some of their beers on hand include Honey Ginger Ale, Amber Ale, Baltic Porter, Belgian Spiced Ale, North German Pilsner, and Scotch Ale. 

The brewery also hosts regular events like Karaoke, Open Mic Night, and Trivia Night. They also have food trucks on-site on select days. You can find a full schedule of upcoming events online. 

11. Freedom Museum

The Freedom Museum commemorates local veterans as well as those who supported the home front. The museum is located in historic downtown Manassas. 

The museum features guided tours conducted by local veteran guides. You can reach out to the museum to schedule a tour. You can also visit and take a self-guided tour. 

One of the main missions of the Freedom Museum is to tell the stories of local veterans. They also host regular events like guest lectures, panel discussions, and award and memorial ceremonies. 

12. ARTFactory

The ARTFactory is another important historic landmark in Manassas. The distinct brick building was once the home of the Hopkins Candy Factory, which dates back to 1908. 

The building was acquired by the city of Manassas in the 1990s and underwent an extensive renovation. 

The ARTFactory is now home to an art gallery, a theater performance space, dance classes, art classes, summer camps, and more. 

13. Manassas Mall

Manassas Mall is your number-one shopping destination in Manassas! The mall has over 80 stores, including Macy’s, American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker, and Walmart. 

There are also numerous restaurants and fast food places at the mall, including IHOP, Subway, McDonald’s, and Breaker’s Korean Grill & Barbeque. 

The mall is a great entertainment destination too. Kids will have a blast at Billy Beez, which is a massive 25,000-square-foot play zone with multiple slides, sports courts, arcade games, party rooms, and more. 

Manassas Mall even has its own bowling alley: Uptown Alley.  

The mall is also home to the Autobahn Indoor Speedways and Events, which you can learn about on this list. 

14. Autobahn Indoor Speedways and Events

If you’re looking for high-adrenaline fun, then you’ll want to check out the Autobahn Indoor Speedways and Events. They have multiple locations throughout the U.S., including locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Florida. 

The indoor speedway features state-of-the-art, Italian-made electric Go-Karts that go up to 50 mph. You just need to drop in and start racing. You can go solo or with a group. 

They also have special junior electric karts designed for kids aged 8 and older. 

The Autobahn Indoor Speedways and Events also feature axe throwing where you can experience the old European tradition of competitive axe throwing. 

You can either book a public axe throwing where you compete with other teams or a private axe-throwing reservation for groups of 6 or more. 

What Is There to Do in Manassas for Kids?

There are plenty of fun things to do in Manassas, VA that are perfect for kids! From water parks to paint rooms to trampolines, you’ll find a great activity for the whole family!

Atlantis Water Park - one of the best water parks in Manassas, VA

15. Splash Down Waterpark

Splash Down Waterpark is the perfect way to spend a warm day with the kids. It also has the distinction of being the largest waterpark in Northern Virginia!

The water park has four-story Pipeline Tower slides, a lily pad, and a log walk, as well as Cannonball slides and Tropical Twister slides.

For a quieter experience, you can also chill with a ride down the lazy river. 

The park features much more too, including the Big Kahuna Beach, sand volleyball, tennis courts, a playground, concession areas, and pavilions. 

You can learn about even more great water parks in and near Manassas, VA!

16. Signal Bay Waterpark

Signal Bay Waterpark is another great waterpark destination in Manassas. It is located in Signal Hill Park.

The water park is 27,000 square feet in size and has a leisure and activity pool, lazy river, water cannons, and slides.

There is also a concession stand at the park. 

17. Cafe Pottery and the Splatter Paint Room

The Cafe Pottery and the Splatter Pain Room is another great place for kids of all ages. It’s conveniently located in the Manassas Mall. 

The Splatter Paint Rooms give you a chance to wear a full-body protective suit and goggles and then splatter paint in a room. It’s a fun way to make a big mess!

They also feature pottery classes where you can learn to make your own pottery. You can also take a pottery painting class where you can paint the pottery you made in the class or paint a pre-made pottery item. 

18. Skate n’ Fun Zone

Skate n’ Fun Zone is where you can travel back in time and go roller skating and play arcade games! The roller skating rink has fun laser lights and a computerized DJ system. They also have games to play while skating. 

Kids can also have fun playing laser tag in the Lazer Zone, which features fog, obstacles, twists, and turns, while you compete against other teams. 

For younger children and toddlers, the indoor Play Zone is another place where kids can have a great time. 

Skate n’ Fun Zone is also a great destination to celebrate birthday parties for kids and adults alike. 

19. Vertical Rock Climbing and Fitness Center

The Vertical Rock Climbing and Fitness Center is a unique spot for indoor rock climbing! It’s a great activity for all ages! No experience is needed and they provide all of the equipment, including helmets and harnesses. 

Rock climbing is a great physical workout, and it’s also a great way to build coordination, strength, team building, and self-esteem. 

They even have kid’s camps available, including Spring Break Camp, Summer Camp, and Winter Break Camp.

Along with Rock Climbing, they also offer fitness classes, including yoga and pilates, as well as Slacklining, which involves balancing on suspended ropes. 

Vertical Rock Climbing and Fitness Center has locations in both Manassas and Tysons. 

20. The Magic Putting Place

For a fun family game of Miniature Golf, you’ll definitely want to check out The Magic Putting Place!

They have two 18-hole golf courses: The Magic Castle Course and The Windmill Course. 

The courses are fun but not too challenging, and the landscaping, which includes ponds, fountains, and windmills, is very cute. 

One of the major features of The Magic Castle Course is that it has, you guessed it, a magic castle right in the middle of the course!

If you get hungry during or after a game, you can stop by the 19th Hole Snack Bar for drinks and snacks. 

The courses are also open for games at nighttime. 

21. Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone Trampoline Park is another great spot for kids. They have trampolines galore where you can do freestyle jumping.

You can also find attractions like Skyslam, which mixes basketball and trampolines for the ultimate slam dunk contest. 

There’s also Ultimate Dodgeball (with trampolines!) as well as the Foam Zone, where kids can try more stunts and jumps in a safe foam environment. 

As you can imagine, Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a great spot for birthday parties as well!

Visiting Manassas, VA FAQ

Learn even more about Manassas before heading to the historic city. Below are some common questions related to Manassas, VA. 

What is Manassas, VA known for?

Manassas, VA is best known as the site of two of the most significant battles in the Civil War. Manassas National Battlefield Park marks the site of the battles and is one of the major attractions in the area. 

Is Manassas, VA a good area?

Manassas, VA is generally a good area. It is a little more affordable than other areas closer to Washington, D.C., particularly compared to nearby Fairfax County and Loudoun County. 

Manassas has a good mix of history, culture, retail, and dining options available. The VRE train station in Manassas makes it more convenient to travel to D.C. without the hassle of dealing with traffic. 

What is the best place to live in Manassas?

The best places to live in Manassas are generally found in Old Town Manassas, Manassas Park, Bull Run, Sudley, and Westchester. 

Old Town Manassas will give you easy access to many of the main attractions, shops, and dining that the town has to offer. 

Manassas Park is a more residential area located close to parks like Bull Run Regional Park. 

Bull Run is located close to Manassas Battlefield National Park, which will give you easy access to miles of historic sites and hiking trails. 

Sudley is close to both Bull Run Regional Park and Manassas Battlefield National Park, and it is a great destination for nature lovers. 

Westchester is a more rural area that is a great choice for those looking for more land. 

Where to Stay in Manassas, VA

Manassas has a number of great hotels with top amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, and free breakfast. Many of the hotels are also pet-friendly. Below are some of my top picks. 

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham

La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham is a great budget hotel option conveniently located close to Historic Downtown Manassas. 

Manassas National Battlefield Park is only 5 miles from the hotel. 

The hotel features an outdoor pool and fitness center. La Quinta is also pet-friendly. 

🛏️ Book your stay at the La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham by clicking here! 🛏️

Hampton Inn Manassas

Hampton Inn Manassas earns great reviews for its amenities, like an outdoor pool, fitness center, and free breakfast. 

It’s also conveniently located right next to Manassas National Battlefield Park and Bull Run Regional Park. 

🛏️ Book your stay at the Hampton Inn Manassas by clicking here! 🛏️

Tru By Hilton

Tru By Hilton is another great hotel option. It features fun and colorful decor. The hotel gets high marks for its great breakfast.

Tru also has a fitness center and it is pet-friendly. 

🛏️ Book your stay at the Tru By Hilton by clicking here! 🛏️

Conclusion: 21 Best Things to Do in Manassas Va in 2023

As you can see, Manassas, VA has a wide variety of activities for the whole family! Whether you’re interested in history, art, parks, breweries, or distilleries, you’ll find a great way to discover this historic city.

Learn about even more great things to do near Manassas, VA!

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