A Family Guide to Virginia Beach's Best Kid-Friendly Attractions

Discover the joy of family adventures in Virginia Beach, where kid-friendly attractions abound, offering everything from thrilling amusement parks to educational marine adventures.

12/15/20237 min read

A family walking through First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach
A family walking through First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a wonderful destination for families looking for a fun-filled vacation. With its unique charm, outdoor attractions, and indoor activities, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Whether you're exploring the beautiful beaches and parks, visiting museums and interactive learning centers, or indulging in delicious treats, Virginia Beach offers an array of kid-friendly attractions. In this guide, we'll take you through the best places to visit and give you some tips and tricks for planning your trip.

Understanding Virginia Beach's Family Appeal

The Unique Charm of Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is known for its beautiful coastline, with miles of sandy beaches and clear blue waters. The soft sand invites families to build sandcastles, play beach volleyball, or simply relax under the warm sun. The gentle waves provide the perfect opportunity for kids to splash around and enjoy the water. But it's not just the beach that makes this destination special.

The vibrant boardwalk stretches for miles, offering a plethora of activities for families to enjoy. As you stroll along the boardwalk, you'll be greeted by the enticing aromas of freshly made funnel cakes and cotton candy. The sound of laughter fills the air as children ride the colorful carousel or take a spin on the Ferris wheel. Live entertainment, such as street performers and musicians, adds to the lively atmosphere.

Exploring the charming neighborhoods of Virginia Beach is like stepping into a storybook. Quaint houses with white picket fences line the streets, creating a picturesque setting. Local shops and restaurants cater to both kids and adults, offering a variety of unique and delicious treats. From ice cream parlors serving homemade flavors to toy stores filled with the latest gadgets, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Why Virginia Beach is Perfect for Families

Virginia Beach is a family-friendly paradise. The city is home to numerous attractions designed specifically for kids, making it an ideal destination for families. Adventure parks like Ocean Breeze Waterpark and Motor World offer thrilling rides and water slides that will leave kids squealing with delight. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center provides an educational experience, allowing families to learn about marine life through interactive exhibits and live animal encounters.

For those seeking a more laid-back experience, First Landing State Park offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Families can hike along nature trails, have a picnic by the water, or even go kayaking in the calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The park's diverse ecosystem provides a chance to spot wildlife and learn about the local flora and fauna.

One of the reasons why Virginia Beach is a popular choice for families is its commitment to safety and cleanliness. The city takes pride in maintaining its beaches and public spaces, ensuring a worry-free vacation for parents. Lifeguards are stationed along the beach, providing an extra layer of security for families enjoying the water. The city's strict regulations on cleanliness ensure that the beaches remain pristine and inviting for everyone to enjoy.

Exploring Outdoor Attractions for Kids

When it comes to outdoor attractions for kids, Virginia Beach has it all. From stunning beaches to exciting adventure spots, there is something for every young explorer to enjoy.

Beaches and Parks: Nature's Playgrounds

Virginia Beach is famous for its beautiful beaches, and they are the perfect playground for kids. The soft sand is just waiting to be transformed into magnificent sandcastles, and the gentle waves of the ocean invite little ones to splash and swim to their heart's content. Families can also enjoy playing beach games like volleyball or frisbee, creating lasting memories together.

But the fun doesn't stop at the beach. Virginia Beach is also home to several parks and nature preserves that offer endless opportunities for exploration. First Landing State Park is a true gem, with its vast expanse of natural beauty. Kids can embark on exciting hikes, following trails that wind through lush forests and lead to breathtaking views. Biking enthusiasts can pedal their way through designated biking routes, feeling the wind in their hair as they discover hidden corners of the park. And for those who have a keen eye for wildlife, First Landing State Park is a haven. From colorful birds to elusive deer, there are countless creatures to spot and admire.

Adventure and Wildlife Spots

If your kids crave adventure and have a fascination with wildlife, Virginia Beach has plenty to offer. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a must-visit destination. Here, young explorers can dive into the fascinating world of marine life. From playful dolphins to graceful sea turtles, kids can learn about these incredible creatures through interactive exhibits and educational presentations. And for the brave ones, there's even an opportunity to touch stingrays, feeling their smooth and slippery skin beneath their fingertips.

For a more hands-on experience with nature, families can head to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This expansive refuge is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Kids can hop into a kayak and paddle through serene waters, exploring hidden channels and marveling at the diverse ecosystem that surrounds them. Hiking trails offer a chance to immerse oneself in nature, with each step revealing new wonders. And for those who appreciate the beauty of birds, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a birdwatcher's dream. With over 300 species of birds, including majestic bald eagles and vibrant migratory birds, there is always something to see and admire.

So, whether your kids prefer building sandcastles on the beach or embarking on thrilling adventures in nature, Virginia Beach has it all. With its stunning beaches, diverse parks, and exciting wildlife spots, this coastal city is a haven for young explorers.

kids exploring the interactive exhibits at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
kids exploring the interactive exhibits at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Indoor Attractions: Fun Doesn't Stop When it Rains

When the rain starts pouring down in Virginia Beach, don't worry, because the fun doesn't have to stop! There are plenty of exciting indoor attractions to explore and enjoy. Whether you're looking for educational experiences or thrilling adventures, Virginia Beach has it all.

Museums and Interactive Learning Centers

One of the best ways to spend a rainy day in Virginia Beach is by visiting the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. This museum is not only a haven for art enthusiasts, but it also offers interactive exhibits and workshops designed to engage and inspire children of all ages. From hands-on art projects to immersive installations, kids can unleash their creativity and explore the world of contemporary art.

If you're looking for a place where learning meets fun, the Children's Museum of Virginia is the perfect destination. This interactive museum is filled with hands-on exhibits that encourage children to explore, discover, and learn through play. From a mini town where kids can role-play different professions to a science lab where they can conduct experiments, this museum offers endless opportunities for educational fun.

Indoor Play Areas and Amusement Centers

When the weather doesn't cooperate, Virginia Beach has a wide range of indoor play areas and amusement centers to keep the kids entertained and active. Let them bounce off their energy at a trampoline park, where they can jump, flip, and soar through the air. Challenge their friends to an exhilarating game of laser tag in a state-of-the-art arena, where they can strategize, duck, and dodge their way to victory.

If your family loves water adventures, Ocean Breeze Waterpark is the place to be. This indoor waterpark offers a thrilling escape from the rain with its exciting water slides, lazy rivers, and splash pads. Let the kids make a splash as they zip down twisting slides or float along the lazy river. With its tropical atmosphere and endless water fun, Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a guaranteed hit for the whole family.

So, don't let a little rain dampen your spirits. Virginia Beach has a plethora of indoor attractions that will keep the fun going, rain or shine. From museums that spark creativity to play areas that ignite imagination, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Embrace the rainy days and make unforgettable memories with your family in Virginia Beach.

two kids eating at a beachfront eatery in virginia beach
two kids eating at a beachfront eatery in virginia beach

Dining with Kids in Virginia Beach

Family-Friendly Restaurants and Cafes

When it comes to dining with kids in Virginia Beach, there are plenty of options available. Many restaurants and cafes offer children's menus and have play areas or outdoor spaces for little ones to enjoy. The Beach Bully BBQ is a popular spot for families, serving up delicious barbeque favorites in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

Treats and Sweets: Best Ice Cream Parlors

No family vacation is complete without indulging in some sweet treats. Virginia Beach is home to several fantastic ice cream parlors where you can satisfy your cravings. Be sure to visit the famous Sugar Shack Donuts and Coffee for their mouthwatering donuts and heavenly ice cream flavors.

Planning Your Visit: Tips and Tricks

Best Time to Visit Virginia Beach with Kids

The best time to visit Virginia Beach with kids is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the ocean is perfect for swimming. However, if you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting in the spring or fall when the weather is still pleasant. Keep in mind that peak tourist season is from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so plan accordingly.

Essential Items to Pack for a Family Trip

When packing for your trip to Virginia Beach, there are a few essential items that you won't want to forget. Sunscreen is a must, as the sun can be quite strong, even on cloudy days. Don't forget to pack beach towels, swimwear, and beach toys for the little ones. It's also a good idea to bring reusable water bottles and snacks for those long days exploring the attractions.

In conclusion, Virginia Beach is a fantastic destination for a family vacation. From its unique charm to its wide range of kid-friendly attractions, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're exploring the beautiful beaches and parks, visiting museums and interactive learning centers, or indulging in delicious treats, Virginia Beach promises a memorable experience for the whole family. Start planning your trip today and create lifelong memories with your loved ones!