Kid-friendly FREE FUN in hampton roads!

Hampton Roads has so much to offer, there's never really any shortage of things to do here if you have children. As a family, we aim to spend 1000 Hours Outside each year, so we've become pretty acquainted with fun, outdoor, and free things to do around here. This list is a little different than other lists floating around because this was made from kids I have surveyed myself and then I'll put my 2 cents in at the end. 

let the kids choose their own adventure!

1.) BEACH DAY! If the weather is nice, we head to the beach! Even if it's cold, we bundle up and head to the beach. We love taking walks along the water, the kids can run and play, and our personal favorite thing to do is search for the perfect shells! Hampton Roads has a ton of beaches and any of them are really great. We love to swim at the bay because it seems like there are always dolphins nearby!

2.) The Vibe District in Virginia Beach. This is one of my personal favorite things to do as well. We love to walk around the colorful Vibe District and take in all of the amazing artwork on display. There's always something new to see or something that catches your eye that you never noticed before. There's a self guided tour you can take by downloading the map on their website here. The walking is free, but we can't resist stopping by Lolly's Creamery for the most delicious ice cream treat! 

3.) The Hermitage Museum and Gardens. I have a love for gorgeous architecture and old homes. I could tour old homes all day long and never tire of it. I guess I have passed down that love to my children as well because they are always game to go explore! The Hermitage has a lovely collection of art and a beautiful outdoor space and gardens. It is a really fantastic way to spend an afternoon outdoors. You can read more about the Hermitage here

4.) There are countless parks in Hampton Roads, which is amazing. I love that this area is so dedicated to outdoor children's play. One park that is a must see is City Park in Portsmouth, Virginia. There's a lot of stuff for older kids to do and there's even a train that runs along the border of the park-it usually only runs in the summer. There's also a boat ramp, a walking area, a smaller playground for little ones, and picnic pavilions. It's a great park right on the banks of the Elizabeth River- gorgeous views too!

5.) Jerrassic Park in Virginia Beach is a free little park with huge dinosaur statues/sculptures! They are so neat and so fun to be around. What's really fantastic about this park is that it is really tucked away and it's never crowded, but there's also an active airfield right beside it, so there is something to look at everywhere you look! It's so whimsical.  Truly a must see for any dino-enthusiast. 

kid in dino costume running at jerassic park in virginia beach, virginia

One of my personal favorite places to visit, although not free (but very affordable! Usually $7??), so I'm not including it in the list, is First Landing State Park. The beach access side is wonderful and super easy to navigate. There's a little shop, restrooms, showers, and a snack bar there too. They have a little hands-on discovery area for kids too that has crabs and fish and lots of education exhibits. It's on the bay, so the waves are minimal. The trail side across the street is breathtaking. They have a marsh with bald cypress trees and Spanish moss with lots of well maintained trails for you to use. The Visitor's Center has a few exhibits as well (with little critter encounters too!), restrooms, and picnic tables. It's an amazing way to spend the day. Hike in the morning, eat lunch, swim and lounge around the beach in the afternoon!

artist painting a mural in the vibe district in virginia beach, virginia

Artist painting a mural at the Vibe District in Virginia Beach, Virginia

What are some of your favorite free things to do in Hampton Roads? I want to hear about it! Maybe you've been somewhere I haven't and I need to check it out! 

Let me know in the comments below. 

Also, if you've got a session on the books with me, be inspired! Let's visit some of the places and explore together! I'm always up for an adventure. 

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