Along the eastern coast of southern Virginia, Virginia Beach welcomes tourists from all around the country with its charm. A short distance east of the city of Norfolk, Virginia Beach offers plenty of incredible family-friendly activities. Spend time soaking up the sun, playing in the water, and building sand castles. Then visit renowned museums and the aquarium. Browse through a variety of Virginia Beach vacation rentals, from condos on the beach and family homes in residential neighborhoods, to more isolated cabins close to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge on the southern edge of town. Check out the top 10 fun things to do with kids in Virginia Beach.
1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk
You and the kids will love stretching your legs on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It extends for 59 blocks, and the concrete design makes it a smooth ride if you want to take your bikes for a spin here. Along the boardwalk, you’ll notice some cool street art. Make sure your kids bring their allowances because they’re sure to want souvenirs found in the numerous gift shops that have every manner of beach toy. In the evenings, you’ll see street performers and numerous restaurants along the boardwalk.
2. Old Coast Guard Station Museum
On a rainy afternoon, pack the kids in the car, and take them to the Old Coast Guard Station Museum to learn more about Virginia’s coastal history. Through the many cool exhibits, your kids will learn about the men and women who served in the Coast Guard and the lifeguards who saved lives. They’ll also learn about super storms that hit the area and how these storms shaped the coastline.
3. Virginia Aquarium
No matter how many aquariums you’ve taken the kids to, you’ll find the Virginia Aquarium to be a unique experience. Why? Because this aquarium offers boat trips out onto the ocean to see sea creatures in their natural habitat. Depending on the time of year you vacation, there are three different types of boat tours available. Inside the aquarium, your kids can view the 10,000 sea creatures on display. There are also hands-on exhibits, walking trails, and marshlands to enjoy.
4. Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium
If your children are unafraid of heights and love adventure, then spend an afternoon at Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium. This outdoor area features and multilevel zip line and ropes course, where your kids can fly through the air on a clothes line, taking in the views with the wind whipping through their hair. There is a special area for younger children, and the museum takes many safety measures to ensure your peace of mind.
5. Cape Henry Lighthouse
Run up to the top of the Cape Henry Lighthouse to enjoy its amazing views and learn about its rich history. Built in the 1790s, this lighthouse warned sailors about the approach of land for a century. This was the first federally funded lighthouse, and it helped create businesses that relied on overseas products. From this vantage point, you can see the steel lighthouse that replaced the Cape Henry Lighthouse after a century.
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6. Military Aviation Museum
All kids love getting a closer look at airplanes, and at the Military Aviation Museum, your kids can goggle at the largest collection of World War II war planes that are still capable of flight. For a an additional fee, your kids can take a flight on one of three planes for 15 or 30 minutes. The museum includes five hangers filled with planes. There is a hanger dedicated to the Army, one for the Navy, and one for World War I.
7. False Cape State Park
Take your kids to False Cape State Park to explore nature. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay in the southeast corner of Virginia Beach, this state park offers 9 miles of hiking trails, where you can take in the sights in this thriving ecosystem. Take the tram tour, which leaves from Little Island City Park, to get amazing views and more information on this protected area.
8. Mount Trashmore Park
Let your kids play in a park that’s created above the solid waste and fresh soil by heading to Mount Trashmore Park. This park rises over 60 feet and extends for 800 feet, offering plenty of ways for your kids to play. Any skateboarders in the family will love the section of the park designed for thrills and stunts. Pack a picnic at your vacation rental, and eat in the designated area. Younger kids can enjoy the playground equipment or play a game of volleyball.
9. Norwegian Lady Statue
In 1891, the Dutch ship “Dictator” sank off the coast of Virginia Beach. In the days that followed, the ships wooden figurehead, a woman, floated to shore. Locals displayed the woman at the entrance to the harbor as a memorial for 60 years. In 1962, the city of Moss in Norway created a 9-foot bronze replica statue of the woman and gifted it to Virginia Beach. Moss also created one to display in their town, cementing the bond of these two sister cities. Your kids will love it when you tell them the story, and they’ll also enjoy viewing the statue.
10. Francis Land House
Located in the Rose Hill District, the Francis Land House is a brick home built in the 1600s while Virginia was a colony. This home was owned by the Land family for more than 200 years. Explore the home, and then walk through its gardens. It’s a chance for you and your family to step back in time, and your kids will learn more about the Colonial era while having fun.
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