Hampton Roads is a wonderful place to live and visit. The area is comprised of seven cities, close in proximity, yet distinctly different. If you’re planning to vacation in the area or are already living nearby, here’s a few things to do with kids in Norfolk to help keep your little ones busy this summer.
One of our favorite spots to visit is Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Explore the grounds including the lovely Japanese Garden, Wildflower Meadow and Butterfly Garden. Afterwards, kids will have a blast at the WOW Children’s Garden. This area is dedicated to kids and families and includes a splash area- so pack sunscreen, bathing suits and towels.
Another attraction you don’t want to miss is the Virginia Zoo. The zoo has been undergoing expansion for years and now houses extensive Asian and African habitats. You should be able to explore all the exhibits in a few hours, so consider packing a picnic lunch and eating at Lafayette Park right next door!
Visit Nauticus to “explore the naval, economic, and nautical power of the sea.” The exhibits include Secrets of the Deep, Shark Experience, activities related to the Battleship Wisconsin, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and many more. There are also changing exhibits and a large HD screen to watch The Last Reef and The Ultimate Wave.
*There is no charge to visit the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, but there is a fee for Nauticus exhibits.
While visiting Nauticus, make a starboard turn (for landlubbers, that’s make a right) and you’ll run smack dab into one of the US Navy’s largest battleships, the Battleship Wisconsin. Portions of the interior can now be viewed as part of your Nauticus admission.
Ride The Tide. No, I’m not taking about waves. The Tide is Norfolk’s public light rail system that serves 11 stations in Norfolk starting from Eastern Virginia Medical College and ending at Newtown Road near Virginia Beach. If you’re kids aren’t used to riding a tram, this is a new adventure that often delights kids of all ages.
Explore Norfolk on the water by sailing with American Rover Sailing Cruises. There are two options – the Harbor Tour or Sunset Cruise. Kids will likely prefer the Harbor Tour as the cruise takes place during the day. This is something my kids haven’t experienced, but we’ve heard great things about the cruise.
Willoughby-Baylor House is home to the Norfolk History Museum. Built in 1794, it’s a great way to teach kids a bit of local history.
The Chrysler Museum of Art is home to approximately 30,000 objects including European and American painting and sculpture and glass art demonstrations. Admission and parking is FREE!
Head over to the Ocean View Fishing Pier on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Let the kids fish or just stroll along the pier taking in the scenery. Rod rentals are available for those without fishing gear & a tackle shop is on site to purchase bait. There is a fee to fish or $1 fee to walk the pier.
Take a tour of Norfolk Naval Base and let kids see aircraft carriers, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, just to name a few. Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base, so it’s the perfect chance to let kids learn about our Military.
Norfolk, VA boosts many fun experiences to break up those everyday summer routines and give kids a little bit of education – even when they don’t realize they are learning. You might also like things to do with kids in Virginia Beach or things to do with kids in Williamsburg for more staycation ideas!
What other ideas for things to do with kids in Norfolk, VA can you share?
Need more ideas for Staycations in the US? Check the list of states below:
A – D
Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous
F – I
Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida — LaToyaEdwards.net
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss
K – P
Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High
R – W
Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That
Photo Credit: Jennifer Carr Photography. All images used with permission.