16 Things to Do in Virginia With Kids

Updated On November 7, 2023

Welcome to Virginia, where kids have enough to keep everyone entertained.

Whether you want to explore a dinosaur trail or go to a museum made for children, VA, one of the first colonies, offers plenty.

Search for seashells at Virginia Beach, ride one of the many roller coasters, or travel back to another world in Virginia.

Here are more than a dozen places to visit and things to do in Virginia with kids.

Things to Do in Virginia With Kids

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach

Visit the World’s Longest Pleasure Beach

Virginia Beach is among the most well-kept family beaches on the Eastern Coast.

You are north enough where the sun is not as scalding as in Florida.

Yet you can still enjoy the surf along a long, sandy white stretch of beach, unlike rocky New England.

Take a weekend to Virginia Beach, rent beach cruisers, dine at a local seafood shop, and let the kids have a ball. 

Virginia Aquarium
Virginia Aquarium

Splash Around With Whales and Sharks

At the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, you can go on a boat tour and view a real aviary filled with birds.

There is an IMAX theater to help pull together the animal experiences with more background information.

Located in Virginia Beach, you can include a trip to the aquarium as part of your beach trip.

The marine science center provides ample hands-on time with sea creatures that will keep your kids engaged.

Virginia Safari Park
Virginia Safari Park

Set Off on a Wildlife Safari

At Virginia Safari Park, explore a wildlife jungle and nature reserve in the interestingly named Natural Bridge, VA.

The safari features a drive-thru park with free-roaming animals.

Along the way, there is a petting zoo where you can safely feed and touch the pets in pens.

There are 180 acres at the Virginia Safari Park, allowing you plenty of time to see animals.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

See Airplanes, Helicopters, and Rockets

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center has thousands of planes, uniforms, and other pieces of history to delight all ages of aviators and space enthusiasts.

You and your kids can spend hours seeing super cool aircraft, from the high-speed Concorde jet to the Space Shuttle Discovery.

The museum also has a 3D IMAX theater where you can cap off the day with a flick about flight.

Children’s Museum of Richmond
Children’s Museum of Richmond

Explore the Children’s Museum of Richmond

Get your kids moving and exploring indoors at the Children’s Museum of Richmond.

Tons of interactive exhibits help encourage healthy play habits.

Learn about the animals and culture around Virginia and in the US at this friendly playscape made especially for younger children.

As a parent or caregiver, this safe indoor environment will give you a change from the free-roaming outdoors.

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum

Tour the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum

Plan a visit to the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Old Town on Cork Street in Winchester, VA.

This museum features more than 19,000 square feet of indoor space.

Let your kids run wild among the 13 exhibits.

They also host weekly programs for kids ages one to 12, such as sock skating and sensory-friendly experiences. 

Dinosaur Kingdom II.
Dinosaur Kingdom II.

Walk With Aliens in Natural Bridge at Dinosaur Kingdom II

Natural Bridge is a town in Virginia where you can see the strangest of characters.

From colonial pioneers to dinosaurs, there are exciting works of art at Dinosaur Kingdom II.

A reenactment of the Civil War, where Union soldiers are attacked by dinosaurs, along with aliens on elephants, is presented along a walking trail.

This is an outdoor experience that is suitable for children of school age.

The statues are lifelike in fighting motions, and you do not want to frighten toddlers.

Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion

Ride Crazy Roller Coasters at Kings Dominion

Located in Doswell, Virginia, on Theme Park Way, Kings Dominion is a massive complex of two amusement parks in one.

Choose from Soak City, where your kids will have a blast on the waterslides, while Planet Snoopy is great for toddlers.

Kings Dominion also has several roller coasters that will thrill the older ones. 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Find More Coasters at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg has more than 420 acres of fun and excitement.

This amusement park, operated by SeaWorld Parks, is named for the Anheuser-Busch beer brand.

The park is in James City County, near the historic town of Williamsburg.

Spend the day riding roller coasters, catch a few shows, and maybe enjoy a beer.

Water Country USA
Water Country USA

Get Wet and Wild at Water Country USA

In Water Country USA, splash your kids until they are silly in Virginia’s largest water park.

This water park is in the same vicinity as Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

While at Water Country USA, score major thrills with the kids as you soar down water slides.

Activities at the water park are the H2O UFO water play area, Hubba Hubba Highway with its lazy river, and Surfer’s Bay wave pool. 

Buffalo Mountain Ziplines
Buffalo Mountain Ziplines

Zipline at Buffalo Mountain Ziplines

See the Blue Ridge Mountains from a new horizon with a professional ziplining adventure.

Buffalo Mountain Ziplines is in Floyd, VA, where you can even zipline at night.

Special offers include nighttime and full-moon ziplining.

Climb above the ground 150 feet and zipline for 2,000 feet.

In 2022, Buffalo Mountain Ziplines was voted a Traveler’s Choice experience. 

Luray Caverns
Luray Caverns

Duck Underground at Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns are the most extensive cave system in the Eastern US.

Along with an otherworldly underground cave tour, set your kid’s imagination wild with the Toy Town Junction onsite.

The caverns are also part of the Shenandoah Heritage Village and Carriage Caravan Museum.

There is so much to do at the Luray Caverns, with its rooms that are ten stories tall.

Wear rubber or hard-bottomed shoes like hiking boots in the wet and wild caves.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Hike at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Turn your attention to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Reserve and Assateague Lighthouse for more outdoor adventures.

Both of these are situated on the beach coast of Virginia and offer a wilder take on the state’s flora and fauna.

The wildlife refuge was established in 1943 for migratory birds and Chincoteague ponies in its dunes and marshes.

Explore the beach and the history with your children in a visit to the reserve and lighthouse, which is open to the public for a limited time each summer.

Virginia Zoo
Virginia Zoo

Look at Lions at the Virginia Zoo

From an African pancake tortoise to a laughing kookaburra, hundreds of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and plants exist at the Virginia Zoo.

Screaming hairy armadillos, sailfin dragons, and the Virginia possum are all living at the zoo and waiting for you and your kids to come and see them.

What are you waiting for?

A zoo tour and a few exhibits will make your children feel like they have gone to a tropical paradise. 

Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg

Travel Back in Time at Colonial Williamsburg

As someone living or visiting Virginia, you must take your children to see Colonial Williamsburg.

This is the world’s largest living history museum, where every day is life hundreds of years ago.

Watch displays, learn how life can go without video games, and play games like kids did in the revolution days.

See how people lived when the United States was first formed.

You can watch George Washington and his soldiers marching through the dirt streets, preparing for the Revolutionary War, while colonial mothers tend to the housework and child-rearing.

Historic Jamestowne
Historic Jamestowne

Hang Around Archeologists at Historic Jamestowne

One of the best historical reenactments of the American Revolution era happens in Virginia in historic Jamestowne.

See the world-famous Pocahontas Statue at the last remaining settlement of the colonial Americas.

The ruins have become a major archeological dig open to the public.

Historic Jamestowne is being unearthed in the onsite project called Jamestown Rediscovery.

I am not sure why they spell Jamestown/Jamestowne differently.

This may be due to the different periods of Jamestown, VA. 

Virginia Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Virginia Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it True in Virginia, Children and Teens Cannot Swear?

It is true that in Virginia, you cannot “profane swear” in public, which means to say a bad word.

Visiting Virginia will be an eye-opener for children and teens curious about curse words.

If caught swearing in public and charged by the law, you can be assigned a Class 4 misdemeanor and up to $250 in fines.

By the way, the law was set in place in 1792, and the original amount of the fine was only 83 cents.

The inability to swear in VA is a great civic lesson to learn with your kids–especially if anyone in the group likes to use profanity.

What is the Biggest City in Virginia?

Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state and offers a substantial beach area to roam.

Virginia Beach is nearly 500 square miles, including 38 miles of coastline.

Virginia Beach’s proper beach is 35 miles long, setting a world record as the longest pleasure beach.

There are two other beaches in Virginia Beach, the city.

These include Chesapeake Bay Beach and Sandbridge Beach.

What Do You Call a Person From Virginia?

A Virginian is a person who is born in Virginia or calls the state their home.

If you are from West Virginia, you might also be called someone who lives in the Appalachians.

This refers to the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway and the Appalachian Mountain Range that extends across the state.

What is the Strange Name for Virginia?

Surprise, surprise, they often call Virginia the “Mother of Presidents” because so many US presidents have been born in the state.

Four of the first five US presidents were born in Virginia, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and later Woodrow Wilson.

You may also hear VA called the Old Dominion state.

This is based on the plantation culture that exploded in Virginia after the American Revolution and native tribes were removed from their homelands.

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