9 Budget Friendly Activities In Virginia Beach

beach activities, Virginia Beach, vacation ideas

As a single mother budgeting has become second nature to me. This year I will be spending a few days in Virginia Beach with my grandchildren instead of taking them to Myrtle Beach as we normally do.  Before I leave for vacation, I search for things to do to ensure we don’t get bored and find activities within my budget.  Unfortunately, many families think they can’t afford a vacation because they have to fund every activity for the entire week. Not true!

There’s more to Virginia Beach than the Atlantic Ocean and miles of sand.  So, the key is to research free and budget friendly things for the family to do before you leave for vacation or your get away. Make a list of Virginia Beach activities and discuss them with your family. If it’s something they aren’t interested in, you still have time to do additional research before you arrive.  I searched the Hampton Roads area, which  includes Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Williamsburg and Hampton. There’s something for everybody.  Here’s  9 of my favorite Virginia Beach activities:


1. Naval Station Norfolk 
– See the world’s largest naval base. The base houses 75 ships and 134 aircraft  carriers, cruisers, destroyers, large amphibious ships, submarines, supply ships, airplanes and helicopters. In addition, the tour includes historic homes in the Jamestown, VA area.


2.  Beach Street USA Entertainment – Next, you can find laser and light shows to interactive adventures based on a theme or popular movies. You could be required to unravel a murder mystery, play other games or compete in contests. Also, they have nights where you dress up as characters from movies or watch a movie on the beach. Check out the site for activities of for day.

                                                       photo from Virginia Legends 

3.  Virginia Beach Legend Walk – Free tour of Virginians who have made significant contributions to the country and/or world. Some of the inductee are Arthur Ashe, Patsy Cline, Katie Couric, Ella Fitzgerald, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson to name a few.  Great way to get a family conversation going on the inductees.








4.  Virginia Beach Amusement Park – The Hurricane, Skycraper, Music Express and Comic Storm are a few rides that you will discover on the boardwalk. Great entertainment for the entire family, and the park offers all day wrist bands too.

 

                                                                                                                 photo from Mt. Trashmore

5.  Mt. Trashmore Park –  Also, a 165 acre park that has 11 picnic shelters of various sizes, 2 volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, playgrounds, a skate park, restrooms, outdoor fitness stations, concessions and fishing awaits you. If you have a driver’s license or other photo ID you can check out badminton equipment, a football, frisbee, horseshoes, volleyball and net, wheelchairs and more.  So, it’s a great way to spend the day away from the beach and enjoy free activities along with a picnic.


                                                                      photo from Jungle Golf 


6.  Jungle Golf  – So, if you love miniature golf check out this 18 hole golf course with an air conditioned snack bar.

                                                                                                              Photo from Ocean Breeze Water Park


7.   Ocean Breeze Water Park  –  Fortunately, the park has over 30 rides, slides, and attractions.  Additionally, it is located approximately 10 minutes from the Virginia Beach ocean front. Parking, sunscreen and inner tubes are free. Trams are also available to help you breeze your way into the park.  Be sure to put this on your list.

 

fireworks, 4th of july


8.  Firework Display –  The firework display is awesome.  The fact that is ocean front makes it even better. So, be sure to check the schedule for dates and times.




9.  Hunt Club Farm – Last, Virginia Beach has plenty of ocean and sand. But, it also has a Petting Zoo and Pony Rides at Hunt Club Farm. They have chickens that are friendly enough to pickup, llamas, goats, peacocks, turkeys and many other animals.  They also offer pony rides, a playground area and shaded tables to enjoy a snack. The farm also sells homemade jams, jellies, soaps, candles and more.  So, be sure to grab a few souvenirs while you’re there.

Finally, the fireworks displays are truly spectacular over the ocean.  Be sure to add this to your Virginia Beach activities.  Additionally, my grandchildren love the petting zoo and pony rides at Hunt Club Farm. The Ocean Breeze Water Park is  a great way to spend the day too.  Adults and kids can enjoy Beach Street USA entertainment.  Most importantly, you can find something for everyone on my Virginia Beach activities list without breaking the bank.

Virginia Beach Parade of Lights


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Virginia Beach Parade of Lights

Live in the Hampton Roads area?  If you do, please add the Virginia Beach Parade of Lights to your list holiday activities.  I’ve decided to make it annual trip for my family, it’s such a wonderful sight to see.   It’s a great family outing if you’re in the area and want to entertain the children for an hour or two.  They have more than 250 animated light displays and 100,000 plus visitors to view them annually.  




                                      parade of lights



It’s the only time of year that cars are allowed on the boardwalk.  You can order hot chocolate, popcorn and hot dogs for your trip or bring your own goodies to munch on while you watch the show.  Each car is provided a free CD of holiday music to get you in the mood as you cruise.  You can drive at your own pace and hop out for a picture or two.  The Parade of Lights is sponsored by McDonald’s.  Approximately 30,000 cars make the trip each year. There are displays to be enjoyed by everybody.  Drive slowly, you’ll find displays on both sides and in front of you. 



                                       things to do in Virginia Beach





You can find fish jumping out of the ocean, dinosaurs, Santa, soldiers and the list goes on.  I look forward to seeing these great displays, but most importantly I look forward to seeing my grandchildren in awe of the lights.  Isn’t that what Christmas is about?  The excitement and the looks on little faces.  We’ll be taking Zarriah for the first time this year.  She’s enjoying the lights on the Christmas tree, I’m sure she will enjoy the displays as well.  I’m getting excited myself.  I love bringing joy to my grandchildren.   





The lights will be on display until Wednesday, January 01, 2014.  The event has been named American Bus Association’s “Top 100 Events in North America”!  Our family likes to go on Christmas Eve if we have Santa’s cookies baked.  Otherwise, we head out Christmas evening.  Mark your calendar this year.  Your kids will love it.    


Hunt Club Farm Christmas Displays

 

 

Hunt Club Christmas Displays

The holiday season officially starts for my family Thanksgiving Day.  The tree goes up and we’re planning holiday activities.  My daughter lives in Virginia Beach, VA.  A mile down the road is Hunt Club Farm.  They sit on 23 acres and cater to children all year.  Each year we take the grandchildren to see the Christmas displays.  Their displays are amazing.  They are full of automated elves, soldiers, reindeer and everything else you can image.  It’s a child’s delight.  Here are some of the displays from last season: 

 

Virginia Beach Hunt Club farm

 

It’s a great place for photo opportunities as you can see.  My granddaughter is not into picture taking for some reason.  She doesn’t like to cooperate for the camera, so I’m hoping I can get a few good shots.  This is my grandson last year in front of their Christmas tree.  Amazing how much he has grown in a year.  Precious I might add. 

 

If the weather is nice we move on to the Petting Zoo.  This is Mr. Llama.  He was on display last year.  The great thing about the Petting Zoo is you never know what animals you will come across.  The have great displays there too.  Last year they had an adorable little building that housed Santa.  Xavier was a little shy, but he gave Santa his wish list.  

 

We end our trip at the fire pit roasting hot dogs and making S’mores.  They have a stand that sells the hot dogs and buns and everything needed for the S’mores.  The roasters come with the package.  You can pick up hot chocolate or apple cider to wash it down.  If you live in the Hampton Roads area, plan a trip.  It’s a great way to start the holiday season and makes great memories for the kids.