The coastal community of Sandbridge, Virginia lies south of Virginia Beach and sits on the Currituck Banks Peninsula to the north of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. With five miles of unspoiled sandy coastline, this peaceful family-oriented community is ideal for beach-loving families. Book a stay at a vacation rental in Sandbridge, and you’ll never be far from the shore. As some houses and cottages are adjacent to the beach, you can look forward to waking up to wonderful sunrises over the Atlantic. Other properties are situated close to Back Bay, giving convenient access to nature trails. Check out the most exciting kid-friendly activities in Sandbridge.

1. Have Fun at the Beach

Pack up the buckets and spades, pick up a beach umbrella, and head out to claim your place on the sand. Kids of all ages can have hours of fun building sandcastles and running in and out of the waves. With many vacation rentals just a short stroll from the beach, you can leave the car behind, and with some facing directly onto the sand, you don’t even have to shift from the front porch. Simply slather the kids with sunscreen and set them loose while you relax on a swing chair and enjoy the view.

2. Take the Blue Goose Express to Spot Local Wildlife

The Back Bay National Wildlife Reserve runs a series of summer events to introduce families to the local wildlife. Get the kids to look out for osprey, turtles, frogs, snakes, and cute baby seals. The Blue Goose Express, a local non-profit tram, runs tours regularly through the reserve from April through October leaving at nine a.m. each day and returning at one p.m. There are no reservations so arrive early to be sure of your place. There is a charge for tickets. There are also free tram rides on Friday evenings, running from June to early September. Places are limited, but you can reserve seats for these trips in advance.

3. Go Pier Fishing

The Little Island Pier reaches out 400 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and is a great place to introduce the kids to pier fishing. The pier sits within the Little Island District Park with paved parking, restrooms, sheltered picnic tables with grills, and playground areas to keep non-fishing members of the family entertained. There is a fee for parking and a small charge to enter the pier. You also pay to fish, but kids aged nine or under are free if they are accompanied by a paying adult.

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4. Take a Kayaking Tour

Paddle your own kayak on a memorable guided tour with Ocean Rentals. You don’t need any experience. Set out from their on-site kayak and canoe dock through the tributaries of Back Bay and out into the open water of North Bay. With a ratio of one instructor to every four kayaks, you’re in safe hands. If you sign up for a lunchbox tour, you also get a tasty meal as a reward for your exercise.

5. Learn to Surf During a False Cape Expedition

Explore the wild and wonderful False Cape State Park with Surf & Adventure Co., and learn how to surf and stand up paddleboard in the uncrowded surf at the secluded beaches. This exciting day trip includes transportation to and from False Cape, all essential gear, and lunch.

6. Join a Wild Horse Safari

Join Carova Outback Adventures and set off in search of wild horses. This exciting and informative tour leaves from Back Bay in a safari-style vehicle. The accompanying guide teaches you and the kids about the history of these noble horses while also pointing out the shorebirds and other wildlife.

7. Military Aviation Museum

As an escape from the natural world, take a trip to Virginia Beach to visit the Military Aviation Museum. The whole family can enjoy seeing this wonderful collection of restored aircraft from World Wars I and II. Many of the aircraft are still airworthy, so time your visit for the airshow or one of the flight demonstrations for a real treat.

8. Cool Down at Ocean Breeze Water Park

When the weather heats up, head out to Ocean Breeze Waterpark. Featuring more than 30 rides, slides, and other attractions, this family-friendly place offers a fun-filled time. Along with free parking, you get free sunscreen to maximize your time in the sun and free inner tubes. The adventure river is a fabulous 1,000-foot long water tubing experience that travels past waterfalls and through choppy waves. There are also plenty of watery adventures for the smaller kids who can board a pirate ship in Buccaneer Bay, and have endless fun on the South Seas Silly Slides.

9. Have Amazing Adventures at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Mark out a whole day to visit the Virginia Aquarium, as it offers more than 800,000 gallons of water, hands-on exhibits, and other activities to keep everyone entertained. In addition to getting close up to thousands of sea creatures, including rays, sharks, and turtles, you can take a 90-minute excursion out on the ocean to hunt for bottlenose dolphins with the Atlantic Explorer. The Center is also home to the six-story National Geographic 3D Theater for unforgettable experiences for the entire family. Check their website to see what films are showing and reserve your tickets. If you have time and energy left at the end of the day, head to the center’s outdoor adventure park to follow a thrilling aerial trail through zip lines and platforms.

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