Great Wolf Lodge Covid Update

We first visited Great Wolf Lodge when RT was just a toddler and although we were just there for the day, we loved it.  I've linked a whole post on all the details about the resort. That was pre-Covid, so when we planned out trip for this fall I was nervous of how it would impact our experience. Here's what changes have been made and what to expect. 
First, masks are worn everywhere but the in the pool and while eating. Chairs and couches have been removed from the lobby. There are seats in the water park and fabric disinfectant all around to spray before you sit. For the dance parties and story times, each family sits in a square on the floor which is cleaned between activity. No cleaning services are offered within your room during your stay. Because they are short staffed, the lazy river closes from time to time, and the area with the basketball hoops and lillipads is also closed. 
We stayed two nights, and during that time we bowled, danced, ate ice cream, listened to a story, did arts and crafts, had dance parties, played tons of arcade games, and of course... spent so much time in the water park. The service was outstanding; every employee went out of their way to make us feel comfortable.We got really lucky; September is a slow time for them so the place wasn't crowded at all. We really enjoyed our stay. EDIT: There is a current GWL Groupon, linked here! 

Family Build-A-Boat & Regatta Workshop

Last Saturday morning at Nauticus, our family tested our ability to build a boat using reusable material, and I was actually surprised by how well we did! Our boat did end up taking water, but it wasn't all the way under and RT finished the laps without getting fully soaked. We entered Nauticus at 9:00 and got started with a lesson on the progression of boat technology and materials. We then used clay to create different shape boats to test the buoyancy of each. From there, everyone was given tickets to "buy" our materials. The hardest part, and the part that caused some arguing, was designing the boat itself. Once we had our design, we were able to race the clock to create our boat. 
Each team had a rower whose job was to get in the boat and row for the time trials. All rowers had to wear a life jacket, and a Nauticus staff member was in the water with them, although the water was only about three feet deep. The cost of $15 for members and $30 for nonmembers also included general admission to the museum afterwards. 
The workshop was a great way to increase our stem education through the design process as well as forced us to work together as a family. Such a great way to get our kids away from screens and learning kinetically. This activity is one that they use in their summer camps, and RT says that now he is ready for camp! We did bring our toddler with us. He was able to participate in the marble activities, but I did take him out into the museum for a break while the boys designed the boat. Once we started actually building the boat, all was well and he even stripped his shirt off, thinking he would be getting in himself! Nauticus plans to do this event again, but it is limited to 25 participants, so register quickly! To be noticed of the dates, follow their Facebook or join the mailing list!

Hampton:Our Favorite Places

Hampton is across the tunnel for us, but we like to make the trip because we find new things to explore. There is lots of history, beautiful nature, and tasty treats. Be sure to grab breakfast at Mango Mangeaux, and head to The Grey Goose for lunch and a cupcake! 

Here are our top picks for Hampton:

We love, love, love this gem. Always free and always a great time. 

Another freebie, Air Power Park has an outdoor and indoor part. Have kids run around and checkout the air crafts. 

Of course the Air and Space Science Center is on the list. With a name change, new exhibits, and a renovated Imax theater, this museum is one to hit if you're in Hampton. Catch a movie, included in your ticket price. 

Sandy Bottom is a great place to spend some time in nature. Here's the details. 

No trip to Hampton is complete without riding the carousel. It is so affordable and a fun stop for kids. 

The Hampton History Museum is good for kids who are interested in Native American life. There is a replica of a Longhouse. The museum is small, but the two floors include information from the time of the Powhatans to modern boating techniques. I wasn't aware of the ties to crabbing that Hampton had, or that the entire city had once burnt down. (There is a picture of those cupcakes I mentioned too!) 

Find adventure on the perfect toddler length "hike" at Grandview Nature Preserve. The name says it all.

Stop into this coffee shop and grab a drink while your kids snack on an ice cream cone and play with the toys. 

This is a traveling show, but a version of it comes to Hampton every year. Perfect for train loves young and old. 

We look forward to spending more time in Hampton! Have a favorite that's not on this list? Let me know so we can check it out! 

8 INDOOR Play Areas in Hampton Roads

Fall weather is coming! Here are some indoor places to get out and play. 
01. The Pink Roller- Located in Norfolk's Military Circle Mall, the Pink Roller is an indoor play area for ages 8 and under. I'd say that this area is best for babies-preschoolers. The Pink Roller does not have food options, but is located very close to the food court.
02. MacArthur Center- Also in Norfolk, MacArthur's play area is the best of all of Hampton Road's local malls. For just the price of parking, kids can play in this awesome space. It is fenced in and there is a guard keeping an extra watchful eye. There is a height limit, and kids cannot wear shoes. This is located in the food court, with lots of food options.
03. Funville- Funville has recently made some changes to make their space more toddler friendly. The are the biggest indoor playground on this list and your kids will come out seriously tired, but they are also the most expensive. Plan to be here a while. There is a separate toddler section which has a discounted price. They have a full cafe on site, but food can take a while to get. There are two Hampton Road's locations, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
04. FunZone- Located inside the Virginia Beach Field House, Fun Zone is an indoor playground which has $5.00 day passes. (It used to be $3)  Call ahead on weekends to make sure there isn't a birthday party that has the space rented.
05. Haygood Skating Center- A new discovery of mine, you can pay for just the play area, There is a cafe and small scale bowling on site too.  

06. Polkadot Play, Virginia Beach's latest play area is perfect for young kids. This sensory gym offers classes, drop off times, and free play. 

07. The Tot Lot is located in Lynnhaven Mall. Another freebie. I don't love that there is no guard, but I love being here on a weekday when school is back in session for bigger kids. 

08. Also without a guard, but Pembroke Mall's play area has a special place in my heart because I swear playing there helped to encourage RT to walk. 

If you're still looking for more options, check out our indoor tab. There are lots of places in our area for kids to play, learn, move, and get their energy out! 

Fall Family Festivals in Hampton Roads

With Rosh Hashanah this week, fall is officially here! During fall in Hampton Roads there is so much to do, eat, see, and so many places to play. Enjoy! 


Beach Music Weekend- Sept. 10-12 

Taco Fest- Sept. 11 12-8 (kids under ten free) 

Hampton Roads Pride Fest- Sept. 12 12-4

A Taste of Suffolk Downtown Street Festival - Sept. 11, 11-5

Growl Fest at the Virginia Zoo- Sept. 11 5-9 

Isle of Wight County Fair- Sept. 16-12

Mt. Pleasant Christian School Fall Fest- Sept. 17-19 9-5

Apple Extravaganza- Sept. 18, 10 am

The Great Food Truck Festival- Sept. 18, 11-6

Chubby's Pumpkin Festival: Sept. 22- Oct. 31 

Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend- Sept. 24-26 

Epps Farm Supply Fall Fest- Sept. 25 8-3

Virginia State Fair- Sept 24-Oct. 3

Hunt Club Farm Harvest- Sept. 25-Oct. 31 10-6

Greek Fest (drive thru)- Sept. 30-Oct. 2 10:30-7


Virginia Beach KOA Fall Festival- Oct. 1-3

Chubby's Pumpkin Festival: Sept. 22- Oct. 31 

Virginia Children's Festival- Oct. 2 10-3

Great American Food Festival- Oct. 6 3-7

Suffolk Peanut Fest- Oct. 8-10 10am-11pm 

Bluebird Gap Farm Fall Festival-Oct. 17-18 10-5

MOCA Family Fest- Oct. 17 10:00

Neon Festival- Oct 21-22

Newport News Fall Greek Festival- Oct. 21-22 11-9

Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show- Oct 22-24 10-5

First Baptist of Suffolk's Fall Festival Trunk or Treat- Oct. 29 6-8 

City Center Fall Festival- Oct. 30 12-6

Ambassadors for Christ's Fall Fest- Oct. 30 6-9


Lynnhaven River Now Fall Festival- Nov. 6 

Oyster and South Festival at Greenbrier Farms- Nov. 20