Harbor Park Norfolk Va
Harbor Park is a 36 acre park that includes a baseball stadium located on Park Avenue on the Elizabeth River in downtown Norfolk. Opened in 1993, the stadium is the home of the Norfolk Tides minor league baseball team and it can seat 12,067 people. There are two decks of seating, a picnic area for private parties, 20 luxury skyboxes, a restaurant with a panoramic view of the playing field, and other concessions selling food and drinks to guests.
In addition to baseball games, the park hosts other events such as concerts, high school football games, and an annual Halloween event called the Haunted Harbor Park.
150 Park Avenue, Norfolk, VA, Phone: 757-622-2222
Go Wild At Virginia Zoo
Meet the residents at Virginia Zoo as you wander around the different enclosures. There are species from all corners of the globe waiting to greet you, including Bornean orangutans, American bison, and Malaysian sun bears.
Feel your spine tingle as the African lions roar and watch in awe as the meerkats stand alert on top of their desert mounds. Dont miss the cute red pandas and the sleepy sloths as they pose for photos.
Free Things To Do In Norfolk Va
Norfolk is a waterfront city in Southeast Virginia and an excellent destination for a budget-friendly getaway.
From outdoor recreation to cultural attractions and more, the city offers plenty of free things to do.
Norfolk is home to various free attractions, sightseeing opportunities, and fun activities for all ages.
It’s a testament that you don’t have to spend a fortune on an exciting and memorable experience.
If you’re ready to experience Norfolk, consider these free things to do in Norfolk, Virginia.
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Mural Tour Of The Neon District
The NEON District, or New Energy of Norfolk, is a neighborhood just north of Downtown that is has created a public art space both visitors and locals enjoy.
There is always something happening in this part of the city, but our favorite thing to do in take a tour of the murals.
Book a tour with Joshua Weinstein from the Norfolk Tour Company. As a local, he not only knows the history of Norfolk, but has seen the NEON District rise in prominence, celebrating local and international artists along the way.
While some murals are commissioned pieces, others are local graffiti artists showing off their skills. Weinstein will tell you why these pieces are so important to the city, to racial justice in America and how the district continues to morph and grow every year.
While you can tour the NEON on your own, a guided tour will really bring this part of the city to life for you and your children. I can not recommend booking a tour while in Norfolk enough.
Best Things To Do In Norfolk Va
Megan Starr This site uses affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Are you planning a trip to Hampton Roads and looking for the best things to do in Norfolk VA? If so, keep reading!
This guide shows you what to do in Norfolk, including historical sights, green spaces, and much more!
Are you planning your trip to Norfolk, VA last minute?
Top Tours/Experiences in Norfolk :
I have to admit, I never gave Norfolk much love growing up. I have no idea why I overlooked it, but I was extremely guilty for doing so. It wasnt until I left Virginia that I started popping by more when I was in the area visiting.
And, my sister now lives there and constantly raves about how cool and dynamic the city is! It is also one of the best day trips from Virginia Beach despite being so close!
This guide showcases some of the best attractions in Norfolk VA for a first-time visitor. I finally was able to get there this summer and tackle some of the cool places in the city!
Let us know your favorite things to do in Norfolk in the comments especially if you can highlight some cool small businesses there! Thanks!
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Norfolk, Virginia is full of many fun and exciting things to do and it isnt just all about the beach. There are museums, parks, and many historical places to visit here, as well, that will keep you occupied and make for a well rounded, exciting holiday. Here are 12 activities that travelers can put on their itineraries, for when they visit this lovely area.
Nauticus is a national maritime museum, located in Norfolks harbor. The museum hosts many different events, to teach kids and adults the history of the American navy, which is the largest in the world. They have interactive experiences that allow people to better understand the duties of the navy and the overall workings of a ship. Its quite fascinating and people can spend all day here if they like.
Otherwise known as the Virginia Zoo, the Virginia Zoological Park is a fantastic place to take those who love animals. Originally opened in 1892, it attracts all kinds of visitors, who come to see the animals in replicas of their naturalistic habitats. It attracts just as many people today as it did back then and there are even more animals, now. A few of these animals include bison, monkeys, lions, giraffes, Watusi cattle, Eurasian Eagle Owls, and different types of reptiles. There is plenty to look at here, and the prices arent as high as other zoos, so its good for the wallet, too!
Relax At Ocean View Beach
Ocean View and East Beach are stunning beaches located in Norfolk, Virginia and both beaches are filled with plenty of exciting activities for people of all ages to do.
Some of the popular activities that people participate in at the beach include kayaking, sailing, fishing, crabbing, swimming, and relaxing. You can also check out the beach parks for live music performances and festivals.
The Ocean View Golf Course is another popular venue located close to the beach for those who donât like getting wet. Ocean View is also famous for its delicious restaurants, many of which feature fresh and local food.
Aside from that, however, you can try some authentic Mexican cuisine at Jessyâs Tienda and Taqueria, as well as the dozens of seafood restaurants that will enable you to get a bite to eat right above the water.
History lovers can check out the Ocean View Station Museum to learn more about the unique history of the area. Visiting Ocean View Beach and its surrounding area is one of the best things to do in Norfolk, VA and it is one of the best beaches in VA!
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Swim And Sun At Ocean View Beach
One of the many fun things to do with kids in Norfolk is to spend a fun day at Ocean View Beach. Since the beach faces the Chesapeake Bay, waves are small and just right for little kids. Check the calendar and you may be able to catch a show at Ocean View Beach Park. Or head to the longest free-standing pier in America for lunch or dinner with a spectacular view.
What Is The Best Thing To Do With Kids In Norfolk Virginia
A trip to the Virginia Zoo is at the top of the list. The unique habitat-based layout provides a home to over 700 animals. Walk the paths or ride a train to see pandas, tigers, lions, and the Aruba rattlesnake. Kids will also love the Childrens Museum of Virginia. Families may also enjoy visiting the Nauticus, part of a network of naval museums, which features a fascinating maritime collection.
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Dive Into The Soft Foam Pool At Surge Adventure Park
Get your bounce on as you leap around the trampoline zones at Surge Adventure Park -its one of the most energetic things to do in Norfolk. See how high you can jump and pull off some showstopping tricks.
Take on the infamous Wipeout course and dangle off the trapeze like a true circus performer. Still have energy left? Then challenge yourself to reach the top of the colossal climbing tower if you dare, and finish the day diving into a soft foam pool.
Indoor Games & Activities For Kidsview All
The only thing better than ice skating is indoor ice skating, right? In Norfolk, bring the kids ice skating, rock climbing, or go-karting all in the comfort of the great indoors. Steer clear from the elements with one of the following indoor activities for kids in Norfolk:
- Jump to new heights at Cloud 9 Trampoline Park
- Glide and slide at Chilled Pond Skating, an indoor ice skating rink in Chesapeake
- Summit the walls inside the Virginia Beach Rock Gym in VA Beach
- Test your need for speed inside a go-kart at American Indoor Karting
- Visit the Slover Library during childrens storytime for a free book reading
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Catch A Basketball Game At Chartway Arena
Calling all sports fans! Home to the ODU Monarchs Men and Womens basketball teams, watch a live game courtside at Chartway Arena!
Purchase seasonal tickets if you live in the area, or single-seat tickets are available for travelers passing through and who are keen on catching a basketball game.
During season, and especially when its off-season, the venue transforms from courts to stage, and there are plenty of live acts that you can enjoy here which change weekly/monthly so best to check the online events calendar.
Bands hit the stage, artists on tour utilize this venue, comedians scoop up the laughs front and center, and there are shows dedicated to the little ones featuring their favorite characters from cartoons or television series.
Aw Shucks Raw Bar & Grill
Keep the casual seafood-centric vibe going at AW Shucks Bar & Grill. Located in the cool Ghent neighborhood, the restaurant is part of a great collection of local restaurants, craft breweries, unique shops, and galleries. Check the big board at AW Shucks for the day’s fresh fish and shellfish. We chose the blackened grouper and some of the best fried oysters we’ve ever had. Have a sweet tooth? The rich bread pudding is made with a Krispy Kreme donut base.
AW Shucks has a strong beer list, but we headed to nearby O’Connor Brewing to sample one of nearby several craft breweries. One of Virginia’s first craft breweries, O’Connor has an extensive list of flagship, seasonal, and specialty brews. Wine lovers can head across the street to Mermaid Winery to sample their own Virginia wines and others from around the world.
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Cruise Around A Naval Base On The Victory Rover
Its all aboard the Victory Rover for a tour of one of the worlds busiest seaports, home to the Atlantic Fleet. Enjoy a narrated cruise as you explore the largest naval base in the US.
As you power along the Elizabeth River, keep your eyes peeled for naval vessels. See if you can spy submarines, aircraft carriers, and missile cruisers from your comfortable seats on the open-air deck.
Visit The Chrysler Museum Of Art
There are over 30,000 exhibits at the Chrysler Museum of Art, but we dont suggest you try to see them all! Some pieces date back 5000 years, with ancient Egyptian ceramics and Mayan sculptures stealing the show.
More modern offerings include glass-blown pumpkins and paintings by Henri Matisse. Pop into the Perry Glass Studio while youre there and watch the experts at work. You can have a go yourself at the workshops.
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Take On The Rides At Atlantic Fun Park
Feel the thrills as you get flung about on the mighty Gravitron and the Flipping Action Arm at Atlantic Fun Park. Brave souls should hang on tight while swinging in the Sea Dragon Ship before zooming at top speed around the go-karting track.
Younger adventurers will love riding the Flying Elephants and taking a spin on the giant Ferris wheel. Keep energy levels topped up with pizza and fries.
Perfect Your Backswing During Golf Time
If youre already missing out on your golf time, not to worry when in Norfolk as there are some great courses to enjoy playtime at.
Built between 1929 and 1930, Ocean View Golf Course has been a long-standing favorite, boasting 18 holes, with the option to play half the course at nine holes. Carts and clubs are available to rent.
Originally built in 1927 sporting Donald Ross-design, and with an upgrade by golfing architect Tom Clark in 1989, Sewells Point Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course with a Par 71, and they offer golf lessons by a PGA pro!
Established by a former PGA playing professional, Bide-A-Wee Golf Course is a public course and is open all year around. Expect fast greens, varying tee boxes to suit different play levels and a few challenging holes!
Wow, talk about a unique setup Topgolf is unlike any golf ranges around! Incorporating the idea of games with technology and golfing, this is what you get! Instead of a golf course with a certain amount of holes, there are individual bays that players/groups book out. From the range, take your shot and aim for the gigantic outfield targets.
Using special high-tech balls that can score themselves, you dont need to be a professional or even an experienced player to enjoy this one!
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Discover The Art Collection At Hermitage Museum & Gardens
The Hermitage Museum & Gardens is an art museum and garden in Norfolk.
This museum offers a variety of art and nature exhibits that are sure to please any art enthusiast.
The museum is home to an extensive collection of American and European Art and various local and regional works.
The museum also features a variety of interactive exhibits, as well as a garden filled with native plants and trees.
Special art programs for kids also make this museum a great family activity.
The Hermitage Museum & Gardens is worth checking out if you want something to do with the family.
Norfolk Getaway: Fantastic Things To Do In Norfolk Va
Plan a fun getaway with our guide to fantastic things to do in Norfolk VA, a cool city with interesting neighborhoods, dining, drink, art, and more. This unique city makes the best of 144 miles of shoreline and you’ll find great Norfolk attractions both on and near the water.
Beyond the waterfront, explore walkable Norfolk neighborhoods packed with history, art, food, and drink. Virginia Beach gets more of the attention, but Norfolk has a fun and diverse collection of activities for every age and interest. It’s a popular destination for families, but also makes an excellent friend or couples getaway.
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Grab Cocktails Wine Or Craft Beers From The Best Bars
Looking for a hotspot to grab a round of drinks to end off a great day, or night?
Choose from more than 100 beers on tap at Grain Norfolk! Plus, the vistas over the Elizabeth River add the cherry. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available.
For insatiable craft cocktails head to Press 626. Also a wine bar, join them on Sundays for a supper party and wine tasting!
A funky martini and tapas bar is what to expect from Crackers, and if you are feeling peckish after all them cocktails, their menu is seasonal.
As the first proper craft beer bar in Norfolk, The Birch has made a name for itself thanks to its delicious selections of brews. Order from between 21 crafts, and they also have cider and mead on tap.
Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and run, Gershwins on Granby is where to arrive for cocktails and live music like the sounds of sweet jazz or pianist playing melodic tunes.
Enjoy A Concert By The Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Listening to a performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will be one of your trip highlights. They put on over 100 concerts every year, so theres a good chance that youll be able to see them in action.
The repertoire is delightfully fluid, with the music of Star Wars and Harry Potter rubbing shoulders with concertos by Vivaldi or Tchaikovsky. Venues include Virginia Beach, Chrysler Hall, and the Sandler Center.
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Hit The Playground And Skate Park
If your kids need some running-around time, head over to Mount Trashmore Park. The parks expansive Kids Cove playground is over 26,000 square feet. The skate park has a seven-foot-deep bowl and a 14-foot ramp that is 40-feet wide. A multi-use path encircles the park and has 10 fitness stations spread out along the path so you can stop and do a little extra work out. The top of Mount Trashmore is also a popular kite-flying destination. The park lends out, for free, badminton equipment, corn hole boards and bags, horseshoes, volleyballs and nets, footballs and Frisbees. And yes, the mountain is made out of trash, but its all been upcycled into a beautiful park.