Exploring Norfolk as a Family

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hot-air-balloonsNorfolk Virginia is not just a hop skip and a jump from the sand of Virginia Beach, but is a great family weekend destination. The greater Hampton Roads area is filled with fun, cultural and educational activities that are available for all ages.Although watching the cruise ships come in and out of port is a spectacle and quite entertaining for children, four places stand out as being the best for families and children, offering something for everyone in the entire family.

The Children’s Museum of Virginia
One of the best ways to get to the museum, located in Portsmouth is by ferry. You can pick up the ferry boat right at the Waterside Marketplace and it brings you to Portsmouth and within just a few blocks to the museum.

Inside the museum,  there are two levels of hands on activities that will entertain and educate the entire family. Everything about the museum is well done. Children (and adults) can explore electric and plasma, architecture, and even launch rockets.  There is a train room with a replica of the city with crawl through tunnels where children can see the city and trains from the inside looking out.  Another favorite is the market area where children can shop for groceries and use the cash register to pay.

norfolk-botanical-gardenNorfolk Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens offer not just a beautiful setting to take a walk to see stunning plants and flowers that you wish you could grow in your own yard, but also offers children an activity area with an amazing fountain area. The WOW Children’s Garden has two large areas with fountains large and small, with several other interactive areas that are designed to educate and entertain.  The Discovery Peak area allows you to follow the world’s Trade Route and find plants from different continents. The Plant Safari area includes places for children to tell time with their body on a sundial, and follow a trail through of wetlands, forests, grassland and desert areas.

norfolk-community-beachCommunity Beaches of Norfolk
While many families know of the commercialized beaches of Virginia Beach, the community beaches of Norfolk offer quick access to great views, sand, and surf for families wanting to spend time in the sand without all the traffic, hustle and bustle of a beach town.


TowneBank Fountain Park
The TowneBank Fountain Park is a seasonal attraction located in Town Point Park right on the Norfolk waterfront. From mid April to the end of June, families can partake in lawn games like sac races, hula hoops or splash and get wet in the large water fountain. Families can bring a picnic, use the WiFi, look at the boats docked at the Waterside Marina. Although the view is not quite the same as looking out into the Grand Canal in Venice, the Norfolk waterfront absolutely gives water and boat lovers quite a show with large military battleships and cruise lines coming and going

Elena shares her stories about Live.Do.Grow, one moment at a time at Ciao Mom.

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One Reply to “Exploring Norfolk as a Family”

  1. We are headed to Norfolk to visit family in a few weeks. I am looking forward to checking out the Botanical Gardens and the children’s museum, which was closed for renovations last time we were there.

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