Virginia Beach in the United States is a great vacation destination for families with kids of all ages. The best time to visit is between May and September when there is beach weather. The main attraction, the Oceanfront, is the most desired place for vacationers to visit.
Head further inland, and you will also find family-friendly activities. There are adventures for the entire family to enjoy, from amusement parks and museums to state parks and lighthouses. If you are planning a vacation this summer and wondering what to do, check out the list of popular things to do in Virginia Beach for Families. Just don’t forget to check out this epic list of the best travel toys for toddlers first as you prepare for your trip.
Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?
The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo, Safety Wing, and Travel Insurance Master
Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy. I also use Travel Insurance Master for short trips.
Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies.
#1 – Enjoy the Beautiful Beachfront
Did you know that Virginia Beach holds the Guinness World Record for the longest pleasure beach? That’s 35 long miles of beautiful beachfront for families to enjoy. Besides swimming and sunbathing, there are lots of water activities for families to try out. Most of the establishments will be at the south end of the beach at Rudee Inlet. You can go stand up paddle boarding, parasailing, dolphin cruise, or take charter fishing boats out to sea.
#2 – Explore the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk gives you access to the Atlantic Ocean and restaurants! Enjoy walking, biking, and rollerblading down the boardwalk on a beautiful sunny day. If you have little ones, they’ll enjoy the playground at Grommet Island Park on 2nd Street. Then head over to 24th Street and check out the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum. And don’t forget to grab a selfie with King Neptune on 31st Street! When you get hungry, grab a bite with a waterfront view at one of the many restaurants along the boardwalk!
#3 – ViBE Create District
Located at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the ViBE Creative District was created to promote the area’s local artists and its culture. Found along 18th Street, you will see sculptures, painted parking meters, murals, and sidewalk art. Many businesses have allowed local artists to paint murals on the side of their buildings. If you’re looking for instagramable spots in Virginia Beach, the ViBE Creative District is where you want to take the family.
#4 – Go To the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
One of the top attractions for families in Virginia Beach is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum! Fun and educational for all ages, the Virginia Aquarium has over 800,000 gallons worth of exhibits on display. Head over to the Adventure Park once you’re done learning about marine wildlife! The Virginia Aquarium runs the Adventure Park and offers a ropes course and ziplining adventures. The courses are meant for all ages so that the entire family can join in!
#5 – Visit the Military Aviation Museum
The Military Aviation Museum houses one of the most extensive private collections of WWI and WWII-era military planes in the world! There is a large collection of giant dinosaur sculptures at the museum entrance for the kids to enjoy. They even offer a Jurassic Park scavenger hunt! But once inside, you’ll be amazed by the beautifully restored aircraft the museum houses. They even have airshows and offer plane rides!
#6 – Fly Kites on Top of Mount Trashmore Park
Built in the 60s, Mount Trashmore was the first landfill in the nation to be converted into a park. Today, the park is enjoyed by many families in the area. One of the best things to do at the park is fly a kite on the top of the mountain! There is also a playground and a skate park for the kids to enjoy. There are hiking and biking trails all around the mountain and three lakes popular with those who like to go fishing. Lastly, if you enjoy picnics, there are picnic shelters with grills available for you to use.
#7 – Splash Around at Ocean Breeze Water Park
Virginia Beach is also home to the Ocean Breeze Pater Park. The water park is an excellent alternative to the beach. This is especially true if you’re not the biggest fan of sand! Rent out a cabana and relax while the kids enjoy the park. The park features a giant wave pool, water slides, rides, an adventure river, and the Hook’s Lagoon for the little ones! And if you get hungry, there are plenty of dining options available at the park.
#8 – Go Fast at Motor World
Go-Karting is a thrilling activity that adults and teens can enjoy. Virginia Beach’s Motor World features eleven go-kart tracks and sixteen types of go-karts for you to race! For the little ones, the park offers Kiddie City and bumper boats! The park even has a few amusement rides. Then, take the entire family over to one of their mini-golf courses!
#9 – Hunt Club Petting Farm and TreeWalk Adventure
A family-owned 35-acre farm, Virginia Beach’s Hunt Club farm is a highly-rated family activity. Attractions include a petting zoo, the TreeWalk Adventure, pony rides, and the birdwalk aviary. Hunt Club Farm is especially popular during the holidays when it holds seasonal events. You can pick pumpkins, go easter egg hunting, go on a haunted hayride, and enjoy a holiday market. No matter what time of year you are visiting, be sure to check out Hunt Club Farm’s schedule to see what exciting events are happening!
#10 – Get Outdoors at First Landing State Park
Virginia’s “Most Visited State Park,” First Landing, is a beautiful area along the Chesapeake Bay. If you enjoy hiking through nature, there are ten different trails to take. Birdwatchers are likely to spot ospreys, herons, and egrets.
First Landing State Park has beaches for sunbathing, swimming, boating, or kayaking. The entrance on 64th Street has a boat and kayak launch for the public. Camping at First Landing State Park offers campsites, cabins, and yurts.
#11 – Climb The Cape Henry Lighthouse
Located at the north end of Virginia Beach are two beautiful lighthouses. They are housed on the Fort Story military base but can be visited by the general public. The original lighthouse was built around 1792 and is the fourth oldest lighthouse in the United States. Made of sandstone, visitors can take a guided or self-guided tour into and up the lighthouse. The second newer lighthouse is, unfortunately, not open to the public.
#12 – Spend the Day in Norfolk, VA
If you’re looking to get out of Virginia Beach for the day, consider visiting Norfolk, Virginia. Home to the World’s Largest Naval Base, the city is filled with art, culture, good food, and fun. Check out the Waterside District for a bite to eat along the Elizabeth River, then take the kids out on a river cruise!
There’s the Nauticus maritime museum which houses the U.S.S. Wisconsin battleship, which the public is allowed to explore. Or, if you’re an art lover, check out the Chrysler Museum of Art and Perry Glass Studio—it’s free! Finally, if the kids love animals, they’ll love the Virginia Zoo. There are lots of things to do in Norfolk for families too!
Vacationing in Virginia Beach is a great way to spend your family vacation! There is truly something for everyone to enjoy, from beautiful beach views and water sports to museums and excellent cuisine. Get out to the beach this spring or summer and enjoy all that Virginia Beach has to offer!
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About the Author
Alex Sumuel is the Founder of Wander With Alex, a travel website providing vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, and itineraries. Alex travels to eat, explore, and experience—and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel better.