Pros: My daughter LOVES rides. There are several areas of the park that has rides for children. My two year old son is little young to enjoy it, but we still have fun.
Cons: The distance for us to drive is over 45 mins. Also a long walk to parking lots and paying for parking. The park itself is very large for a family with young children. We have to do a lot of walking. Sometimes it gets really crowded. So the best times to go is not a weekend or a holiday!
Worth the Money? I think it’s definitely worth going with the family.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? In March, they have a discount where you can get a Water Country pass with a Busch Gardens pass. Sometimes they even have a discounted preschool pass. So look for that. But I actually like Busch Gardens better than Disney. Since it’s so much closer to us and there are less wait time.
2. Colonial Williamsburg
Pros: Very educational. There is a lot to see and people are dressed up. They also have a lot of events going on all year long. Sometimes, they even have a homeschool discount.
Cons: A lot of walking around. The roads are dirt or cobblestone, so it’s hard to walk around with a bulky stroller. There isn’t a lot for preschool kids to climb on and touch. For the price, you might as well go to Jamestown.
Worth the Money? Definitely not worth the money for young children. Every store is a mine field of expensive items!
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? They do have a pretty good price on an Annual Pass. If your kid is 6 or under, then it’s free! So I guess it’s up to you.
Pros: You can walk inside a real Indian home! And you can touch the canoes, the boats, the animal furs! Nearly everything is hands-on. (Except the boring museum on the inside). Jamestown is not as large and we were able to do it in two hours. So it was a good day trip.
Cons: It is far from us, so we would have to bundle with going to other sites around the area, to make it be worth the trouble. It is a little bit of walking, but not too bad.
Worth the Money? I would definitely say so. My kids loves ‘sleeping’ in Pocahontas’ house! They could dress up like a settler too!
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I don’t know if there is one. But I am not sure if we would drive all the way out there multiple times a year.
4. Water Country
Pros: If you bundle the pass with the Busch Gardens when they do the deal in the spring time, then it’s definitely worth going. They have two different areas for preschool/babies. So we just stayed in those areas for two days!
Cons: For older kids (my daughter is a great swimmer for five), there was not very many areas for her. The wave pool and a little slide next to the baby section were the only areas that were her speed. All the adult rides had over a 30 min. wait time! So don’t go during a holiday or a weekend in the summer!
Worth the Money? If you bundle it with the Busch Gardens pass, yes. If you pay separately. Then I don’t know. I heard that OCEAN BREEZE in VA beach is a better bang-for-your-buck.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? Not just for Water Country separately.
5. Virginia Children’s Museum
Pros: It’s only 15 mins from us. The kids LOVE this place. It’s a lot of fun for all ages. Plus, it’s educational. We spend two to three hours inside. And it always wears out my kids. A membership is definitely a great deal. And this place is a great hands-on running around place.
Cons: You have to have a EZ PASS when you cross the bridge and you have to pay for parking boo! Plus, you don’t get to have snacks inside. Too bad they don’t have a play park inside. We would LOVE that.
Worth the Money? It’s only 10.00 a person. So it’s a good price for what you get.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? Membership yearly pass is the way to go! We can get all four of us in all year for 80.00! Plus it includes savings and discounts to other museums in the area!
6. Greenbrier Family Skate Center
Pros: They have a homeschool time once a month that is super cheap. This place is Christian owned and they have several family positive hit skate nights a month. It’s a good place to take a church group.
Cons: It gets really busy fast and not the best place to take a young child that is learning how to skate or take a baby.
Worth the Money? I think it’s good to go as a group rate or with the homeschool day. But to actually go it can get pretty expensive.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I am not sure if they have one of these. But if your kid is really into skating, I think they have a skate team or a frequent pass.
7. Funville (Chesapeake Square Mall)
Pros: It really kept my kids attention for over 2 hours and they wanted to come back. They had a lot of different areas to play with. They had a small ball pit and some ball “guns” that shot soft foam balls! They also had a huge area to run around and climb in. The price was good for what you can do in there. It is located inside the mall, so you can walk around the mall and play in the mall park as well and get snacks from the food court. They do have a punch card, so that’s cool. Plus a homeschool discount.
Cons: It was nine dollars (almsost 10.00 ) per kid. They did have a ½ priced baby area and a 3d ride and bumper cars for an extra cost. But just playing in the main park was worth the money. You technically can’t bring food inside, but the worker was really nice and said we could eat inside.
Worth the Money? I would definitely go again and go to the Wednesday homeschool time.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? They don’t have one currently, but if they did, it would be worth it for me to have an inside activity for the wintertime.
8. Kangaroo Jac’s (Chesapeake)
Pros: It’s only ten minutes from us.
Cons: For the cost (the same cost as Funville) they only have two or three bounce houses that were not ripped up. My little two year old was too scared to do the high stuff. They lost interest after 20 minutes. Which was really disappointing since we paid almost 9.00 a person. Plus you aren’t allowed to bring food in. A lot of moon bounces appeared to be unsafe. There were chords laying everywhere and several nooks and crannies that were exposed in the backs with electrical outlets. There was also some rope hanging down near a slide and I asked them to cut it down because it could strangle my kids!
Worth the Money? I would say NO! I wouldn’t want to go back again, unless we were getting paid to go.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I don’t think it would be worth having a membership there.
9. Christmas Town (Busch Gardens)
Pros: It will definitely get your family in the Christmas spirit. Depending on the weather and what time of the year you go, the lines might be really short. But when we went the lines were really long!!! But we still enjoy it. I love to go every year or so.
Cons: The cost is extra and the parking is extra cost. Unless you get an actual season pass. The drive is over an hour for us. So that’s a bummer. Plus it’s gets dark and cold really quickly. So it could be a chance if the weather is nice or not. Plus it’s a lot of walking for my kids.
Worth the Money? I still love to go even though it’s expensive. My daughter is just so into rides.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass?
10. Winter Wonderland (Portsmouth)
Pros: Seeing the Santa was cool, there was no line for that.
Cons: It’s like 3 dollars a person. Plus it’s super small for the price. My kids did it in 15 mins. And the building room was like one little box of blocks and you had to go through the fragile ornament area in the gift shop. Making an ornament in the craft room was cool for me, but my kids lost interest.
Worth the Money? Definitely not worth going as a separate thing. We went because it came free with our children’s museum pass.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? It’s worth getting the children’s museum pass, but not a separate pass.
11. Virginia Zoo
Pros: It’s a great place to see some cool animals. They also have a train ride for an extra fee. My kids loved watching the monkeys. They have a lot of animals that I’ve never heard of too. So that was cool. They also have a huge public park in the front entrance. Plus we could bring snacks and our own stroller In. They had some hands’ on areas too. My kids love to pet the goats!
Cons: It’s expensive if you go separately without a membership. Plus it’s a seasonal place. It’s also a lot a walking, but it keeps my kids attention.
Worth the Money? We fortunately go in free with a special going on with the children’s museum for the month of September, so we went twice! But as a normal thing, I would probably only go once a year.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I definitely wouldn’t get a membership, considering that the weather is so up and down in Virginia!
12. AMF Chesapeake
Pros: It’s a good place to have a small group go.
Cons: It’s hard to bring a 2 year old here. I was scared all the time that he would smash his fingers in the ball machine! Also he could run away really quickly if you aren’t watching!
Worth the Money? I would probably just go with a church group and not young kids. It’s kind of boring for them to wait around for their turn.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? Not for my kids ages.
13. Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Pros: During the summer time, they have a pretty fun splash area. Also, if you have a membership, you can get other people in for free. They have a lot of different areas for kids.
Cons: this place is huge. You have to walk all the way to the back to get to the kids splash park. For the drive and the money, I might as well go to the YMCA for a pool membership.
Worth the Money? I wouldn’t go with my kids more than once a year.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? A membership would not be a good investment for my family. The weather is too fickle!
14. Hunt Club Farm
Pros: There a lot of different events going on all year long, especially during the fall and the spring. They even have a nice sized petting zoo that is entertainment in itself.
Cons: It’s an hour drive for us to get out there and it can get really crowded and expensive if you go with a large group (especially if you do the pony rides, the hay rides and the amusement rides)
Worth the Money? I think it’s good to go once a year. But I wouldn’t go when it’s super crowded.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I don’t know if they have one of these. But it would nice if you lived in VIRGINIA BEACH.
15. Chesapeake Battlefield Blvd. Pumpkin Patch (Seasonal)
Pros: It’s so close to my house. And it looks really impressive from the street.
Cons: It was 15.00 a kid for just the 5 inflatables. The hay ride was an extra 6.00.
So I think for the money, you might as well go to hunt club farm. My kids lost interest after 20 mins.
Worth the Money? We probably won’t go again, unless it’s with a birthday party.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I don’t think this place has one because it’s so seasonal.
16. YMCA Hampton Roads.
Pros: there are over 14 that you can belong to, if you have a membership. There is a lot of programs for kids. My kids just love swimming there! They kids rooms are also fun! The outdoor pool is there favorite thing to do in the summer! We also get a discount there because I am a stay at home mom.
Cons: For homeschool kids, after they turn seven during the day, there isn’t any place to put them if you want to work out. My daughter can still be in the play room so I want to work out. But when she turns 7, she’ll have to stay with me. Their homeschool gym time is Mondays at 1:30, which is during my son’s nap time! So inconvenient! Also, all the activities that my daughter wants to participate in is on Saturdays at 8:00! That is our family time! I wish they had more homeschool sports options for during the week day. It is a monthly membership that can get pretty expensive. So we try to do it EVERY week!
Worth the Money? It’s the worth the money for us. We go swimming every week and my husband uses the weight room once a week too. So we are using it twice a week. If you aren’t going to be there every week than a family membership might be a lot of money!
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? I know a lot of families that just have a membership for the summertime so that their kids can use the pool!
17. Virginia Living Museum
Pros: There was a variety of things to do for all ages! It's like going to a zoo, an aquarium and a children's museum all in one.
Cons: It's all the way in Hampton. But if you go for a weekend trip to visit Jamestown, then it's worth it.
Worth the Money? It definately kept my kid's attention for a long time. It was a good place to see a lot of different animals and sites. It was a lot of walking outside though. But I would go again.
Would it be worth getting a membership/season pass? if i lived closer, I would definately get a season pass!