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We recently visited H2Obx, and I have to say I am so, so excited to share that it is the most family friendly water park I've taken my kids to. I know it is a small thing, but I hate paying to park, and H2Obx not only has free parking, but it is a super short walk to the entrance. The whole park is themed around the Outer Banks, with rides like Wild Horse Run and Queen Anne's Revenge and pirate ships to climb. 
We opted to go on a cloudy day, and there was no crowd. We easily found seats under the largest umbrella I've ever seen for our entire party. We set our stuff at Sand Pail Beach, where we left it all day. The park is easily walkable. Here there are slides for babies and children, water features to play in, and even swings. Some of the rides we could go down together which was great for kids like little R who have never been to a water park before. 
From there we headed to Calico Jack's Cove, a water playground with buckets dumping water, water cannons, geysers, nets to climb up and slides to splash down. Calico Jack's sits right behind Twin Tides, a smaller version of Cat 5, H2Obx's wave pool. Lifejackets are required for kids, but provided. 
We eventually found our way to Deep Six Adventure Lagoon, obstacle courses that RT was able to do without issues, but we hilariously struggled on. There are three challenges, the Lilly Pads, a floating course, and a rock climbing through a waterfall wall. From there head to Teach's Tides Adventure River, over 1,000 feet of lazy river with two entrances and exits. 
Our group of five had lunch for around $40.00. That included a beer from the park, which was particularly familiar. Our own local O'connors brews a lager specifically for the park. Ask for an H2OBX four sure to snag one. Food is not allowed in the park, but they do allow reentry. We were particularly thankful for this during nap time when one person took little R home while the rest of us stayed. There are lots of showers and lockers. Each guest can bring in one unopened bottle of water or an empty reusable water bottle to be filled up inside the park. Another option is to grab a refillable mug for $9.99, with $.99 refills.  This can be used all season. 
We took a risk going on a cloudy day, but there is a policy in place. If the park has to close for 90 minutes, guests are issued a return visit voucher. Guests can rent a cabana, which were beautiful and some even had a t.v. Ages 2 and under are free. For a single day ticket, under 42 inches is $26.99, and over 42" is $36.99. Not bad for 10:00 -6:00. There is a discount for seniors and military, and twilight passes for just the afternoon. If you're going to be in the OBX for a while, the 8 day Vacation Pass for $39.99 might be your best option, or buy a family 4 pack for $29.99 each. Best of all, use code Toddlin for a discount! 

Going Places! Nauticus

Here for the summer, Nauticus' newest exhibit, Going Places, offers visitors an interactive look at planes, trains, ships, and more. Ride a hovercraft, steer a boat, race bikes, fly a plane, drive a drone, check luggage for suspicious packages and more.
Going Places gives visitors a behind the scene look at the technology that goes into our transportation. You are challenged to get all of the luggage to the right spot at the airport, plan traffic lights for the most efficient flow, and map out train routes to pick up the most passengers. (We spent 30 minutes making the trains crash instead. The boys laughed hysterically.) 
The exhibit opens tomorrow with 17 interactive stations, , and it will be here until October 10th. We love that the Nauticus family pass is only $99, making it the cheapest around Tidewater. Inside the museum are fish tanks, shark exhibits, hermit crabs, and a children's area. Kids can fish with magnetic poles, pretend play in boats, or challenge one another to giant battleship. The membership includes access to the battleship Wisconsin  and access to the Summer Nights events, open till 8 this summer on June 17th, July 22nd, and  August 19th. 

The Children's Museum REOPENS!

Big news! The Children's Museum of Virginia, located in Portsmouth, has reopened. The museum is open for two timed sessions a day, where tickets must be bought in advance. The sessions are Wednesday through Sunday 9:00-11:45 and 1:15-4:00. Each session has one planetarium show.

I felt very comfortable with all the safety steps they are taking. Cleaning was happening continuously during our trip.  Masks and social distancing are recommended. There are limits for how many families can be at each exhibit, and the grocery store exhibit is still closed. The current traveling exhibit is Some Assembly Required, put on by Build A Bear Workshop, and it will be on display until September 12th. 

Washed Ashore: Botanical Gardens

Following the theme of Nauticus' Planet or Plastic Exhibit, Botanical Gardens now presents Washed Ashore: Art to Save The Sea. Artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi created the art from thrown out plastics and trash that were littering beaches and oceans. In an effort to help educate the public, Angela hopes that viewers will learn about the 300 million pounds of plastic produced globally, and that less than ten percent is actually recycled. 

In each of the 15 pieces, check for the scavenger hunt of materials used. Be sure to check out the custom made eagle just for this exhibit. Washed Ashore opens officially today, and  it will be here all summer. 

The Friday Five v. 19

It's Friday! Exciting news, the Children's Museum reopens this weekend to members, the Air and Space Museum has a new dinosaur movie, and we have tons to do on our daily calendar. 

In the meantime, here are find reads to hold you over. Enjoy! 

7-Year-old Girl Obsessed With Space Will Become the First Kid to Send an Item to the Moon

25 Of The Funniest Tweets About Cats And Dogs This Week (May 29-June 4)

Kids Leave The Most Hilarious Notes, And We Can’t Stop Laughing

The strange and lonely transformation of first-time mothers in the pandemic

Mom reunites with doctors who saved her and unborn son (but have the tissues)