Family Activities in Virginia Beach, VA
Want to learn a little bit about all that life that has been swimming around under you during your vacation? Aquariums are always a big family hit and the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is no exception. In addition to typical aquarium attractions, the center also has several premium experiences sure to entice all family members. Sign up for a Behind the Scenes tour (cost varies depending on the tour you choose), take advantage of the boat excursions including the popular dolphin watching tour, or even splash around with some harbor seals (the Virginia Aquarium is the only place in the United States that you can get in the water with these animals!). If that’s not enough, the aquarium also has an IMAX theatre, which shows both topical documentaries (some in 3D!) and popular new release movies.
At 9000 acres, Back Bay is home to a huge variety of animals, including many endangered species like loggerhead sea turtles. Regular visitors to Back Bay will suggest that you get to the park as early in the morning as possible (the park opens at dawn) to insure that you see the most wildlife, including the elusive pack of wild horses. Be sure to bring enough drinking water with you because there isn't anywhere to purchase or fill up your bottle. Insider Tip -- there is a $5 per car entrance fee, but it is waived if you arrive before 8am.
Offering easy access to the Chesapeake Bay and its fine beaches, camping, and 20 miles of biking and hiking trails, First Landing is Virginia’s most visited state park. Families can choose different options to utilize all the park has to offer—a day trip will set you back $5 for a parking pass, or you can stay overnight in a tent, or even for an entire week in one of the rentable cabins (prices vary by season and type, so check the park’s website for more details). Visitors rave about the clean bathrooms and the playground that is tucked in the woods next to the Visitors Center. If you're looking to visit the Virginia Beach area but want to avoid the tourist scene, First Landing is the place for you.
Looking for a family escape from the sand, but not the water? Ocean Breeze Waterpark is the perfect place for your family to spend a day. Located just 2 miles south of the oceanfront hotels, Ocean Breeze just completed a multi-million dollar renovation. Families with toddlers will love the brand new Hook’s Lagoon play and spray area, while older children and teens will be entertained by the 16 other waterslides or by frolicking in the one-million gallon Runaway Bay wave pool. For an added treat, you can rent a poolside cabana for the day and lounge away.
Hunt Club Farm is a favorite affordable family activity in Virginia Beach. Younger kids especially love 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!