It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here are some great Virginia Beach holiday activities from VB Basics Editor Tessa Duquette.
Virginia Beach Holiday Activities
The holiday season is upon us whether you like it or not.
And I like it. A lot!
Admit it, you’re right there with me – listening to Christmas music in the car, singing it out loud in the shower. Maybe you’re even driving past that one wild house in your neighborhood, who’s had their entire lawn lit up for at least a month. I bet your tree is up already, your advent calendar is in use. And if you’re celebrating Hanukkah, candles are burning bright.
Since there isn’t much that can be done about slowing down the holidays approaching, here are a few fun holiday activities to make this one the best yet with your family.
Start a new tradition of bundling up and heading out into the darkness to see some pretty cool festive light displays around Hampton Roads.
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk remains one of our favorite places to go – all year round in fact. We’re often at the beach surfing, biking along the bike path, doing the monkey bars at the pirate ship playground on 11th Street, or running the boardwalk. This time of year there’s a magical vibe with the Holiday Lights Merry Mile. You can pay to drive through the lights, or if you’re by the beach at dusk, right before it’s shut down to allow for access by car – you can check out the awesome display. Something about the bright, festive sea life floating over the sand makes me happy to be living at the beach. It’s one of my favorite holiday activities!
Can you believe I’ve lived in Hampton Roads for almost 10 years now, and have never done Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Annual Dominion Garden of Lights?! I’m actually embarrassed to admit that. But it’s true. As we are members of the NBG this year – walking through the garden of lights is high on my “to-do” list. It’s a magical 2-mile stretch of the garden transformed into a winter wonderland. The gardens are naturally spectacular, so I can only imagine what it will look like covered with lights.
The Merriest Street in Virginia Beach
An annual must-do is walking along 43rd Street at the North End and admiring the most festive street in Virginia Beach. Even Scrooge would crack a smile here. You can tell how much love and time goes into the decorations at each house. Drive down the street OR park and walk, which is really the best way to see everything. Choose your favorite lights/house – and be sure to wander down the brick path that runs North and South. It’s almost like you’re in a neighborhood at the North Pole. I can only imagine that’s how Santa Claus feels on a daily basis at home.
Hit the Ice
Ice skating is my jam! Instead of skiing as a child in Vermont, I took years and years of figure skating lessons. My backward crossovers are still ON POINT. Last year was the first time that we went as a family to the MacArthur Center Ice Rink. We had a blast! After a few slips and slides, and scooting along the wall, my boys got the hang of it and started to have some fun.
There’s a new ice rink located at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market that we plan on checking out this year too. Sounds like it’s a great place for beginners to start! You can even grab local produce at the Farmers Market while you’re out there. Thinking more about all this ice skating we’ll be doing, I might even add a pair of ice skates on my holiday wish list. Because, why not?
Take a Hike
We love walking through First Landing State Park this time of year. It’s almost like you’re walking through a daytime display of Christmas lights, only this is nature, so even better, right? It’s definitely one of the best holiday activities!
Bundle everyone up, pack a bunch of snacks, and hit the trails. Even if you wander down the Cape Henry trail, you’ll find an entire color scheme of leaves in the trees and along the path. You’ll also find acorns and pinecones. With berries along the path – and Spanish moss hanging from the trees, you can pretend you’re in a winter wonderland (minus the snow – for now).
Last year I attended my very first cookie exchange. I had no idea what to expect! I actually had to google “cookie exchange” so that I was completely clear on what it entailed. The general idea is that you and your friends bake and bring A LOT of cookies to someone’s house. Then you all exchange a few cookies with each other, bringing home a nice selection for all to enjoy. Win, win right? Sure! Even non-bakers should give this a try sometime.
Holiday Activities for the Whole Family
There are so many ways to spend time together as a family, whether you’re watching the lights, or having a Christmas dance party.
If you’re stumped on extra ideas, be sure to check out FamilyApp is a great way to find fun activities, and share your memories with the people who matter most. What are your favorite holiday activities?