Top 5 Things to do in Norfolk with Kids

A young family, consisting of a mother and father and their baby son, sits in a wildflower field. They are wearing neutral outfits. Their son would benefit from a list of things to do with kids in Norfolk.

As parents, we’re always on the hunt for fun things to do with our kids. Because, as much as we wish they would just be happy playing all day with their million and one toys, sometimes they do get bored. Luckily, there are plenty of fun activities in the area to do with kids. This blog post will go over my favorite things to do in Norfolk with kids.


Top 5 Things to do with Kids in Norfolk

From playgrounds to zoos, there are plenty of fun things to do in Norfolk with kids. Some activities require entrance fees, but some are completely free! This gives you great options for a fun day out. Additionally, some of the free options would make for a great new weekly routine! Take a look at the round up of activities below.


Virginia Zoo

Located right downtown on Granby Street, the Virginia Zoo is conveniently located for fun outings! It’s a smaller zoo, making it perfect for families with young children, who may not have the bandwidth for larger zoos (like San Diego). The Virginia Zoo usually has a baby giraffe running around and the lions are always a hit. Another fun activity at the zoo is the petting zoo! Head over there for the chance to pet and brush some goats. The zoo also features a splash pad in the summer months.


Norfolk Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens are another great option for kids! There is always something blooming and growing. This is particularly great for homeschool families as it gives plenty of opportunity for some botanical education. In addition to the gorgeous plant life, the botanical gardens have a couple cool extra features, and they are perfect for kids. They have a sand pit play area, always a hit with kids who like to dig and play. The botanical gardens, like the zoo, have a splash pad for summer water fun. At the holidays, the gardens are decorated with a lights display, walkable and perfect for kids!

Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus

For kids that have an interest in Naval history (or even kids who may just want to know what Daddy or Mommy do for a living) the Wisconsin is a must see! The retired battleship is docked at Nauticus Museum and allows visitors to do a self-guided walking tour of the ship. Explore the deck, and the racks below. There is plenty to see! At the holidays, the ship is decked out in lights and Santa even makes a special visit.


Mermaid Hunt

Did you know that Norfolk is home to at least 130 mermaid statues? In 1999 Mermaids on Parade was launched and the fiberglass statues were auctioned off to local businesses. Each business decorated its statue uniquely to fit their area. You can spot the mermaids all over Norfolk. Quite a few are even within walking distance of each other! For a fun activity, follow this interactive map and see how many you can find!

Public Libraries

While some of the activities above require entrance fees, libraries are free! The public libraries in Norfolk are top notch. Their children’s sections are filled, not only with a wide selection of books, but also with fun toys. Each library is home to a play area often featuring a kitchen, stem toys, and a toddler soft play area. Some of the top recommended libraries for kids in Norfolk are Slover Library, Richard A. Tucker Memorial Library, and the Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch Library. 


Things to do with Kids in Norfolk

If you are looking for fun things to do with kids in Norfolk, you have plenty of options! From time at the botanical gardens to going on a mermaid hunt, you are sure to find an adventure or two. This time with your little is fleeting, so why not get out and enjoy it?


And, if you are in the market for a Norfolk family photographer to help you capture those special memories, I would love to help you out! Bonus? The Botanical Gardens make a great backdrop for a session. You can have an adventure with your kiddos and document those special moments along the way! Reach out today and we can chat about your vision.

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