At Home Learning, Family, Kids, Toddler, Travel

51 Outdoor Activities for Your Toddler in Hampton Roads

I recently came across an article that recommends 4-6 hours of unrestricted outdoor play for kids. While we already make outdoor time a priority in our house, I had no idea of the physical evidence behind the simple act. I started reading “Balanced and Barefoot” by Angela J. Hanscom and found myself with a wealth of knowledge that turned into motivation to get my kids outside even more. What stuck with me are that beyond helping children’s five senses to develop, outdoor play encourages our other senses, too. By the way, I had no idea we had more senses than the five I learned about in elementary school, but the other two big ones are Proprioception and Vestibular. In simple terms, Proprioception refers to our sense of body awareness and Vestibular refers to our balance and body movements. As a mother and personal trainer, the idea of nurturing these senses in my children really made sense, and it should for you, too. Our city of Virginia Beach, and the surrounding Hampton Roads area in general,  is really made for young families like ours. I compiled a list of some of our favorites (and ones we have yet to try) to give your family more opportunities to develop all seven senses, too.

  1. Find exotic animals at Norfolk Zoo.
  2. Play in the shady Fun Forest at Chesapeake City Park.
  3. Go for a hike at First Landing State Park.
  4. Pet some animals at the Newport News SPCA Barnyard.
  5. Enjoy “Toddler Trek,” a free-with-entry program at the Virginia Aquarium.
  6. Play in the sand at Grommet Island Park, and it is handicap accessible.
  7. Beach it up at Chic’s Beach.
  8. Throw those kids in a stroller and sign up for a 5k Race.
  9. Enjoy drinks at Back Bay Farmhouse while your kids play in the woods.
  10. In Hampton, check out Bluebird Gap Farm for animals and playground.
  11. Air Power Park shares airplane history and has a playground.
  12. Hunt Club Farm offers a market, petting zoo, and bird sanctuary and often hosts events.
  13. Learn about the military at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum.
  14. The Mt. Trashmore YMCA has an outdoor pool and splash pad.
  15. Speaking of, Mt. Trashmore is one of the busiest and best parks around.
  16. Rent paddle boards or canoes at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake.
  17. Picks strawberries at Cullipher Farms and play with the farm toys.
  18. Go camping at the Virginia Beach KOA.
  19. Enjoy a day at Red Wing Park with two playgrounds, cherry blossoms and a dog park.
  20. Learn about trees at the Chesapeake Arboretum.
  21. Explore the deck of the Battleship Wisconsin at the Nauticus in Norfolk.
  22. Make a splash at Ocean Breeze.
  23. Find dinosaurs at Jerrassic Park at the Virginia Beach Aviation Museum.
  24. Hike the nature trail at Indian River Park in Chesapeake.
  25. Play at the carnival or explore the year-round shops at the Virginia Beach Farmer’s Market.
  26. Sign up for Tinkergarten.
  27. Ride go carts at Motor World.
  28. Play outdoor connect four or corn hole at New Realm Brewery.
  29. Play Putt-Putt at Pirate’s Paradise Mini-Golf.
  30. Explore at Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge.
  31. Fish at Stumpy Lake.
  32. Newport New’s Huntington Park has a beach, fishing pier, gardens, tennis, and museums.
  33. Spot dolphins on a Kayak Nature Tour.
  34. Walk the path at Norfolk Botanical Gardens, or bring your swimsuit for the splash pad.
  35. Explore the Children’s Gardens and Dinosaur Trail at the Virginia Living Museum.
  36. Have a picnic at Town Point Park in Norfolk, or play in the water spray jets or enjoy a festival there.
  37. Take a risk at the Outdoor Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium.
  38. Ride a pony at Triple R Ranch.
  39. Lots of fun activities available at Newport News Park.
  40. Watch a game at Harbor Park Baseball Field.
  41. Baa like sheep at Gum Tree Farm.
  42. Shop outside at the Norfolk Premium Outlets where the kids can release some energy at the play area.
  43. Hampton’s Sandy Nature Bottom Park boasts a plethora of outdoor activities, even a Naturedoption program.
  44. Portsmouth has the Westbury Splash Park.
  45. Pick veggies at a Community Garden.
  46. Hike and find animals at Noland Trail in Newport News.
  47. Rent a family bike for ride on the Boardwalk.
  48. Explore the oriental gardens at the Pagoda in Norfolk.
  49. Find treasure on a Pirate Cruise.
  50. Spot some wildlife at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
  51. Visit the Oceana Stables to ride a pony.

Did I miss any? Comment below your favorite places to take your kids to enjoy the great outdoors!

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