Baby's Day Out in Virginia Beach, VA
Hunt Club Farm is a favorite affordable family activity in Virginia Beach. Even the youngest tots will enjoy the petting farm where they get the chance to be up close and personal with goats, turkeys, peacocks and guinea hens. There are also pony rides and chances to meet other farm animals, including a miniature cow! Parents will love spending time in the market, filled with flowers in the Spring and pumpkins in the Fall. Before you hit the road to go home, let the kids get their energy out in the play area and they are sure to nap on the way home - full of fresh air and fun! While the farm is fun year-round, their Fall, holiday, and Easter extravaganzas provide even more fun for kids (and adults!).
With exhibits featuring giraffes, elephants, reptiles, monkeys and many more unique animals, the Virginia Zoo is a lot of fun to explore. The very popular Trail of the Tiger exhibit opened in 2011 and allows guests an up-close glimpse of tigers and other Asian animals. Aside from the animals, the little will be especially excited to take a ride on the train. There is a small extra charge for a ride ($2), but the train chugs along all through the zoo’s exhibits and is usually the highlight of a visit. If visiting in the summer, children of all ages will have a hard time leaving the entrance where the zoo’s fountains offer a fun and refreshing playground for the kids to run through and cool down (you probably want to pack a swim suit or change of clothes for the experience.
Don’t judge…this park built on what used to be a landfill is a Virginia Beach landmark, probably because its height is very exciting in a city that exists at sea level. Many are attracted to the mountain top for kite-flying, picnicking, and the chance to roll down the hill (the highlight of any visit). The park is more than just a mountain of former trash, though. There is a 1.45 mile walking trail, picnic shelters, skateboard ramps, and volleyball courts. The park is also home to Kids Cove, a 26,000 square foot children’s play space that just underwent a total renovation. Kids Cove is comprised of three play areas built on rubber play surfaces and includes slides, swings, climbing surfaces, and more guaranteed to keep your family entertained. As much fun as Kids Cove is, though, a typical day there is jam-packed with kids, so if you want a tamer experience, check out the smaller playground on the other side of the park instead.
Babies are constantly exploring their world and there is no better place to do that than the Children’s Museum of Virginia where they will have the chance to interact with (and learn from) the 15 hands-on exhibits. Some popular features include the Bubbles exhibit where children can create life-sized bubbles around themselves, the Farm to Foodmart exhibit where children can “shop” at their own grocery store, and the Sounds Around exhibit where children can make their own music on things such as trashcans, hubcaps, and wrenches. The museum even features a Tot Yard where youngsters under 3 have their own special, safe place to explore complete with their own toys, library area, and exploration areas. When you’re done with the museum, enjoy walking around downtown Portsmouth or take the ferry over to downtown Norfolk (fares run just $1.50).
Grommet Island Park is the vision of a Virginia Beach dad, whose son was an avid surfer until he was diagnosed with ALS at 35. Confined to a wheelchair, the family was frustrated that their son and father could no longer access the sand and waves he had loved for so many years. They proposed building a handicap-accessible park and playground (the first of its kind in the US), and the city of Virginia Beach and many sponsors ran with the idea. The result is a beautiful, bright, and fun beachfront playground built right on the sand at 1st Street. Children will enjoy playing on the slides, monkey bars, surfboards, and dolphins while adults will enjoy the view from one of the many benches.