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Firefly: Charlottesville

 On our latest trip to Snowshoe, as always when we take our boys, we had to stop for a break half way home.  My husband found this awesome restaurant in Charlottesville and it was the perfect stop for us. Firefly advertises as a family-friendly restaurant and game room. One great thing - you can see the games from your table, so you never have to take your eyes off the kids, but you can take a break while you sit and eat for a few. There is an awesome menu with typical bar food as well as tons of vegan options. I ordered the jackfruit wonton nachos, labeled as an appetizer, but a huge amount of food that I couldn't finish in one sitting. The boys got the vegan bites (nuggets) on the kids menu. My husband got a regular burger, and everyone enjoyed their food. 
They are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Friday and brunch or dinner on Saturdays. There is trivia on Tuesday, Bingo on Wednesdays, and Karaoke on Thursdays. There are pinball machines, arcade games, and skeeball for purchase as well as a wide variety of board games that you can play for free at your table. The paid games take quarters or dollars, and there is an ATM on site. There is free parking in a small lot up front and an additional lot in the back. If you're looking for an easy stop on your way out of town through Charlottesville, check them out! 

Apelu Island Cafe

We stopped by Apelu Island Cafe on a whim after the St. Paddy's Day parade in Norfolk last weekend and after passing it a few times and waiting for it to open. We were greeted right away, and we ordered while the kids went over to check out their play area. Small and tucked in where it won't bother anyone, it is a small play area with just enough items to hold the attention of their younger guests. There are some card and table games also for all to enjoy. 
The cafe is owned by four Samoan sisters and offers Polynesian specialties. All of the employees had huge smiles and spoke to everyone around us. The customers were friendly and people held easy conversations. There are both communal seating options as well as independent tables. 
It's a great spot to stop in for a coffee with friends while you play a game, or to get a some work done while your kid plays for a little while. The shop is open seven days a week with hours ranging from 7-5, and is located on East Little Creek Road in the shopping center with Walmart Supercenter. Businesses that welcome in families are my absolute favorite kind to support!  

Jurassic World Live Tour

We spent the rainy Saturday at the Hampton Coliseum for Jurassic World Live Tour. The tour features a brave, smart, and fierce female scientist who uncovers an evil plan and works to save her dinosaur. I loved that this typical male dominated industry had a female lead who saved her male partner. In the STEM world, women still only make up 35% of the industry. I loved this for the girls in the audience. Super powerful. 

The show had some explosives, but nothing too loud or extreme. There was a variety of dinosaurs, and my kids were silent and watching the entire time. 

Summer Camp 2024 Round Up

Believe it or not, summer is around the corner and camps are already filling up. Here's a roundup of some local camps by city: 

Newport News: 



Virginia Beach: 

Multiple Locations:

STEM in Hampton Roads

We all know that kids are sponges, and that they start learning right away. Kids begin learning STEM, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, components early in life. Engaging in STEM activities raises their literacy and mathematics scores later in life. We are lucky in Hampton Roads to be surrounded by hands-on STEM experiences. Checkout some of our favorites:


  • Nauticus: Checkout their toddler STEM time, or take older kids to face problems relating to Norfolk and the world beyond. 

  • Virginia Zoo: Look for the Zootales program and checkout animals from around the globe. 

  • Norfolk Botanical Garden: offers a wide variety of programming for all ages. 

  • Odu Planetarium: Checkout their FREE weekday shows 

Virginia Beach: 

  • Virginia Aquarium: for younger kids, take in the wonder of aquatic ecosystems while older kids solve current problems like sea level rising. 

  • Rudee Tours: See whales migrating off right off of our coast.

  • Game On: Let kids play through technology.

  • Black Cat Escape Room: Problem solve with creative solutions to exit the room of your choice.

  • Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream: Watch ice cream form before your eyes using nitrogen. 

  • Lynnhaven River Now: Follow them for their pop up events for kids. 

  • Tcc: Checkout their FREE planetarium shows. 

  • First Landing State Park: Jump on one of their tours or their classes. 



  • The Play Spot: Visit this next play area to check out their stem play stations for younger kids. 


Newport News: 

  • Virginia Living Museum: Science lovers will love this museum with everything from Virginia's animals to dinosaurs. 

  • Mariner’s Museum: Checkout this museum for only $1 and see how mariners of the past and present use stem.