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. (If you're interested in our 1000 Hour Outside Challenge and adventures, you can read more about them 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.
Kids Choice for Fun, Free Things to do in Hampton Roads
One of my personal favorite places to visit, although not free (but very affordable!), 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!
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.
If you love content like this, consider subscribing to my monthly newsletter. Every month, I find local events/festivals and compile a few of them into a section of my newsletter called "Happenings in Hampton Roads". You can subscribe here!
Deborahnica is a newly trained doula, who as of the time of this interview is still awaiting full certification (through DONA International) as a doula and is needing certification births to complete her training. She is also CPR certified and Infant CPR certified.
She is kind, energetic, and passionate about mothers and babies. She saw a need in the community for compassionate and holistic minded birth supporters and has worked tirelessly to attain her certifications while also serving in the United States Air Force. She even earned the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. She also earned the Levitow Award at her Airman Leadership School.
She would really like to work in Michigan with mothers needing extra support and to serve lower income areas. She wants to empower women by giving them gentle support, knowledge, and helping them as they transition into motherhood.
She says what separates her from others is her compassion. I can tell you, from talking to her and having coffee with her, she is so incredibly excited to start working in the field. My gut tells me that she just wants to make a difference in the world.
Deborahnica also mentioned that she will be certified as a full spectrum doula, meaning that she will be able to support families through all stages of pregnancy including birth, postpartum, miscarriage, or adoption.
If you were to ask my personal opinion, I think having a doula, especially a post partum doula, would be an invaluable service.
To get in touch with Deb, you can contact her by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is a part of my Community Spotlight series, where I interview and photograph various services and small business owners that support new mothers and families in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
Have a business you'd like to recommend? Contact me here and nominate them!
It's been a long time since I have been this excited about a local business. I'll tell you one thing though, The Juniper House and Restorative Physical Therapy (read more about Restorative Physical Therapy in this blog!) have me pumped to live in Chesapeake!
The Juniper House is an absolutely brilliant concept brought to life by two women who saw a need in the community for women's health and wellness, particularly in the postpartum period.
As a woman and mother of three myself, I can attest that the postpartum period can be isolating. No one talks about the health challenges you will face postpartum. Mental health is only just now becoming "okay" to talk about (and really, we've got a long way to go there) and there are millions of books written on what to expect when you are pregnant. But what about the 4th trimester? What about postpartum? What about the mother?
That's where The Juniper House comes in.
This is a safe place for mothers.
What is The Juniper House?
The Juniper House is warm and welcoming- it is a calming space. It feels good to be there. This is a place of self care.
Things you can find within their walls:
-Pelvic Floor Therapy
-Prenatal + Postnatal Massage
-Post Partum Support
-Doula Services (birth + postpartum)
-Facials + Waxing
And a new offering, free mommy and me playgroups. They are creating a community for mothers and helping women to find their tribe. Truly, this is such important work.
There was a time when I was a new mother and a place just like this helped me find my way and find my tribe. Those were some of the most beautiful years of my life.
I met Meg and Tina, owners of The Juniper House, and they graciously allowed me to tour their beautiful, thoughtful space. Every corner invites you to relax and be at ease. I instantly felt relaxed as we spoke about their calling to create this place and their vision for their business. We spoke freely about our bodies and our struggles (and triumphs) in motherhood and how important it was to trust our intuition and to listen to our bodies.
Please visit The Juniper House's website here to learn more information about them, their business, and what they offer.
You can find more about Tina here and more about Meg here.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.