Virginia: Virginia Beach, Free or Almost Free Family Vacation Fun.
A family beach vacation needs little more than sun, sand and water – all free. Spend long days on the sun-drenched beaches, boogie boarding, building sandcastles and splashing through the waves. Sit on the sand and watch the magical transition of colors as the sun sets; count millions of stars over the Atlantic or listen to music under the stars all free.
Our working menu of free or almost free family fun begins with a three-mile oceanfront boardwalk, free live entertainment, and irresistible beach time attitude. Soak up sun, enjoy the waves, build sandcastles, or play beach volleyball - all for free. Go biking, roller-blading, running, or strolling along the boardwalk – for free. Join nature hikes, gaze at stars, fly kites, play golf, throw horseshoes or shoot hoops – no coins needed. Enjoy free time at the beach.
Public beach choices span more than 14 miles, and most come with absolutely no fees while some assess a nominal parking or camping fee. From swimming, tide pooling, surfing and sailing to beach combing, sandcastles and volleyball, all the traditional beach rituals are available in the Chesapeake Bay area.
The stars are free.
An awesome Spitz 512 star projector towers above the roof of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Planetarium showcasing the ever changing night sky. Free presentations are held every Tuesday evening at 7 O'Clock for the general public. Conducted by skilled astronomers, the themed evenings include interesting facts about the ten brightest stars, galaxy encounters, constellations of the Zodiac and their familiar star groupings as well as the significance of the sky during each season. This is a cool thing to do with kids, but reservations are recommended. The programs change monthly. Make it happen. Call (757) 648-4940 to make reservations. Golf with your family.
Riverfront Golf Club along the banks of the Nansemond River, near the mouth of the James River, encourages family fun on greens and fairways. All but three of the 18 holes are bordered on one side by natural features, whether tidal marshes skirting along its fairways or undulating greens at water's edge - with beach bunkers on three sides. They offer both junior and senior rates any day of the week. Owl's Creek Golf Course a par 62 known for tree-lined fairways, island greens gently rolling terrain is a family friendly course complete with driving range, practice greens, and practice bunkers. Take a kite to the “Mountain”.
When the wind is cooperating, even a novice can fly one from the very top of the "Mountain." Mount Trashmore Park is a 165-acre, six–story high, green mountain created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil. Just seeing the result of the environmental feat is worth the time but the location has plenty for families – all for free. The complex includes picnic shelters, playground areas, basketball court, volleyball areas, parking, vending machines and restrooms as well as marked walking trails, two stocked freshwater lakes for fishing, and a delightful Kids Cove, an innovative playground designed for children using children's ideas and input. Bonus points:
Onsite you’ll find a state-of-the-art TrueRide skate park which includes an extensive street course flowing from an above-ground, seven-foot deep bowl and an impressive 13.5 ft. vertical ramp - free and open to the public. Free fun on Sandbridge at Little Island Park.
Little Island Park is a 144-acre beach park located on the Atlantic Ocean just north of the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. The park has plenty of awesome gently sloping beach space, surfing and areas, swimming a playground for the kids, a fishing pier for the anglers, and a wonderful covered picnic area. Amenities include basketball courts, concessions, restrooms, tennis courts and volleyball courts.
Activities include storytelling, magic shows, live music, puppet shows, and Karaoke for kids. Need to know:
Parking from Memorial Day through Labor Day is $5 for the day. To access the pier the fee of $6 per day per person (April - October) but children ages nine or younger enter for free. Seek what’s naturally free.
Wild and free is easy to be with more than 18,000 acres of state parks and a national wildlife refuge in the area. First Landing State Park, Virginia's most visited state park, offers free monthly educational programs that include hiking, surf fishing, and animal tracking. Bike through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or False Cape State Park, and discover miles of beaches in an ocean-to-freshwater bay habitat, barrier islands, dunes, freshwater marshes, maritime forests, and ponds. For example First Landing offers many various self-guided and guided programs that cover crabbing, junior rangers, beach walks, nature hikes and structured environmental education programs. Within the park you’ll find 20 miles of marked trails suitable to follow on foot or by bicycle. Bonus points:
Trail maps are available from the Trail Center for the self-guided adventures and free trail walks are conducted by interpreters throughout the year.
Stroll through Legends Lane.
Virginia Legends Walk is located at the oceanfront 13th Street Park and honors Virginians who have made significant contributions to the nation and world. Taking a quick stroll through the park is a fun and free thing to do that will keep the kids' attention while exposing them to some big names in our nation's history. Go fishing for free.
Take your fishing pole and tackle box because the spots ready for fishing are many. Virginia Beach is known as the "Striped Bass Capitol of the World," but fishing in the area includes the chance to catch tuna, wahoo, marlin, red drum, and flounder as well. Enjoy both freshwater and saltwater fish from the shore, from one of four fishing piers, or a variety of boats including a kayak. Bonus points:
Fishing is free for those ages 16 and younger or 65 and older. Need to know:
For anyone fishing on a recreational boat, charter boat, head boat, party boat, from a commercial fishing pier, or rental boat which possesses a valid Virginia recreational fishing license covering all people using that boat or pier do not have to buy a fishing license. Free fun at oceanfront festivals and events.
Throughout the year the Beach Street USA calendar is punctuated with worth reasons to show up and have fun. For Beach Music Weekend in May a stage built right on the beach at 30th Street. All performances are free to the public. During the Atlantic Coast Kite Festival it’s all about high-flying kites and fun for families, and participants. There will be kite demonstrations to music (including kite ballets, sports kite flying, and dual and quad line kites), kite building workshops, and kite flying lessons. Hermit crabs in competitions in July prove “Crab is King” at one of the wackiest events on the beach where else? Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion is just like it sounds and explosion of art along two blocks of the Boardwalk. In August FunkFest will feature bands in free concerts on the 24th Street Stage. Food, merchandise, and dance contests will contribute to a festive, “funky” vibe in the park.
Location on the planet.
Anchored in the southeastern corner of the state where Virginia meets the sea, Virginia Beach is four hours southeast of Washington, D.C. by car, and within a day’s drive or less from one-third of the U.S. population. Make it happen.
Virginia Beach entices visitors to "Live the Life" every season of the year and to enjoy the free stuff locals enjoy every day. For more ideas on free or almost free things to do in Virginia Beach, call toll-free 1-800-VA-BEACH (822-3224) or view the expanded list of ideas at www.visitvirginiabeach.com Free or Almost Free Family Fun Planning Details