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Battleship Wisconsin

The Battleship Wisconsin has been at Nauticus for as long as I can remember, but I have to admit that I had never been on it until last weekend. The Wisconsin is one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the United States. The ship was launched in 1943 and served in WWII, the Korean War, and Desert Storm in addition to training hundreds of sailors. 
Admission onto the ship is included in the regular Nauticus admission or can be purchased for $11 per adult and $9 per child. Kids 3 and under are free. Be sure to check out the hallway before going out to the ship. There is a movie beforehand and several informational reads on the way out. 
Besides having some beautiful views of downtown Norfolk, the deck of the Wisconsin has a wonderful breeze and great views over the water. We were able to see cruise ships, sailboats, cargo ships, and a helicopter, all to the delight of my four year old.

If you haven't already, check out the Adventures On Deck program that Nauticus is offering. These are add ons to the Wisconsin ticket which are available for purchase for groups to do in small settings while socially distancing.

Nauticus: Adventure's On Deck

Nauticus has come up with some creative small group, social distance approved offerings for guests to enjoy.  I think the prices are really reasonable and the options varied for different ages. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. You must purchase a general admission ticket, which lets you enter the Battleship Wisconsin. You have four additional adventures you can purchase:
  • Sail Away Boat Excursion- Have a skipper take your group of four on a sailboat. -$50 per boat
  • Top of the World Battleship Tour-You get to explore the uppermost exterior command centers. $10 per adult or child
  • Behind the Scenes Aquarium Tour- This is the tour we took! $40 per group of 5
  • Underwater Robotics Challenge Course- Test your skills on this underwater challenge. $30 per group of 6. This looks really cool for elementary-middle school kids.
Our tour included a guided tour through Nauticus' aquariums in addition to their lab. Although we couldn't photograph, we saw some of their baby animals including sharks and how they mix, filter, and clean their tanks. 
On the tour you're able to touch animals from the touch tank. Fun fact: because there are ten hermit crabs, they put a little jewel on their backs to tell them apart. Masks are required, and there are hand sanitizing stations set up throughout! Also, Nauticus has a full restaurant and bar set up on the deck outside. Had we not had a ticking time bomb on our hands we would have stayed a drink! 

At Last Pass: NorfolkVB

Norfolk and Virginia Beach have teamed up to bring us the At Last Pass. This free downloadable pass has coupons and discounts for more than 60 businesses as a response to the need for "staycations" in our area right now. Just because we are social distancing doesn't mean we can't take advantage of some of what our area has to offer and support our local businesses! Included in the pass are things for adults, such as discounts at local breweries and for families like boat rides and the adventure park. Also included are no cost options such as free stickers for posting photos from spots around town. Check it out and download the pass for free here. We used our pass yesterday for 10% off at the Chrysler Museum gift shop, which is open with reservations (Wonder Studio is closed), and always free!

Once you download it, share some of your pictures and benefits on our facebook group. We're always eager to see what you find and enjoy. And look for us at these great places in the 757.

Unknown Outcome: The Hermitage Museum

With everything going on in our world right now, it's hard to not think about the human impact on the environment. Once the world shut down, we saw pollution go down. Italy's waterways were clear. Mexico's air quality improved. Worldwide we saw animals exploring new places. Here in Hampton Roads, climate change, sea level rise, and water pollution are problems that directly affect us. The new exhibit at the Hermitage, Unknown Outcome illlustrates these issues by local artists.
Admission into the museum is free through the rest of 2020, which includes Unknown Outcome until October 2nd. If you've never been to the Hermitage, check out our original post on it here.  I love walking around there because I feel like I'm in a story book. There are bridges, trails, arches, and fountains to explore.

Botanical Gardens: Flamazing Flamingos

Topiary flamingos have flocked to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Topiaries are trees or bushes that have been cut into shapes. The flamingos have been built into six different poses, filled with pink begonias. They have to be watered by hand, fertilized weekly, and trimmed every three weeks.
There are 70 flamingos spread throughout the Nato Vista, Friendship Pond and around the Perennial Garden, which have been "adopted" and named by the community. Be on the lookout for adult topiary classes and children's programing about plant life cycles and care.
And to end, the funniest part of our trip was that we had a bird who literally stalked us. I shooed him off  the stroller twice, and he came back, went into the cup holder and stole the entire package of graham crackers! While the baby was sitting in the stroller!