Massanutten: Indoor Water Park

My kids had a blast at the indoor water park, which had a huge climbing and play area, a flow rider, a lazy river, some tube slides, a regular pool, hot tub, and a small children's area. I was really exited that our youngest tried out a slide, all on his own, without any prompting from me. He loved the little kid area with the sprayers and walking around under the play structure. Our oldest loved the play structure and the five slides that came from them. 

In the same building, overlooking the water park is Diamond Jim's arcade. The arcade has typical games and a ticket redemption. Tuesdays from 10-4 there is a $30 all you can play special. 

Some things to know before you go: 

  • The website states that the water is 84 degrees, but we were freezing. I'd bring swim shirts if we went again. 
  • You must bring your own towels. 
  • The water park opens at different times each day, so check online. People began lining up an hour before hand in order to claim a chair. After about an hour there were no chairs left. 
  • No food is allowed in the water park, so you want to eat early. The line for food was insanely long. 
  • You must book your passes in advance. The park sells out regularly. 
  • The park was at half capacity, due to Covid, but if what we had was half capacity, I'd worry about going at full capacity. Try to go on a weekday. 

Massanutten Resort: Skiing with a 5 year old

My dad's life passion was skiing, and when he got sick one thing he made me promise was to teach my kids to ski. I spend more time on a snowboard these days, but I promised my dad that they would ski, so I've let them start there. Massanutten used to have ski school, but with Covid, they have switched to only private lessons.  Lessons last one hour each, and instructors are trained to work with small kids. Lift tickets for ages 5 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. 

I've been skiing at Massanutten since I was three, so it feels like a return home, but every time I go I'm amazed at all of the updates. Currently, Massanutten has five lifts and 18 total runs. The longest run is 0.8 miles, but rumors say they are working on a new run which will be a full mile. 

On the mountain there are several places to eat. The lodge, accessible to everyone, has a restaurant, cafeteria, and grab and go section. Right outside the lodge on the deck is Base Camp. Also at the top of the mountain is a coffee shop. 

Massanutten is located in the blue ridge mountains about 15 minutes from Harrisonburg, Virginia. They frequently blow snow, and they have night skiing on the weekends. Tubing is also super popular. Tickets for everything must be bought in advance, and they do sell out quickly. The views are beautiful, and the mountain is a great place to spend time with family. 

Busch Gardens: Now Open Year Round

Busch Gardens has extended their annual calendar once again to include Winter Weekends, Mardi Gras, and St. Patricks Day. We recently attended the Mardi Gras event and caught the Carnaval Imaginique, a sort of daredevil talent show, and we caught the Mardi Party DJ, who was actually spinning 90's tunes. 

The lines for rides were excellent, but the lines for food were very long. There were several specialty items for the Mardi Gras event, but we were not able to try any. Open for kids is Oscar's Wiggly Worm, Prince Elmo's Spire, Der Autobarn Jr, Flutter-Sputter, Bug-A-Dug, Kinder Karussel, The Little Gliders, Li'l Clydes, Der Roto Baron, plus the playground at Sesame Street Forest of Fun and Land of the Dragons. 

There are other shows, and I'd like to see the Samba Jamboree, but we didn't have time while we were there. The Mardi Gras event goes until February 27th, so get there before time runs out. The next event will be St. Patrick's Day from March 4-27. 

Azalea Inn

Azalea Inn has been a Norfolk staple since 1957. Located close to the airport, the Greek restaurant has everything from traditional Greek entrees to pizza, pasta, and more. We love pairing their pizzas with a Greek salad. 

At the back is an arcade complete with air hockey (my favorite), ski ball (my mom's favorite), and claw machines, ticket winning games, racing games, and more. Trade in your tickets for prizes before you leave. For adults there is a bar side with pool tables and TV's. 

Trolls: Live!

In Norfolk now, Trolls Live! starts when Hug Time is put at risk, and can only be saved by the thing that trolls do best... music. The super bright colors and upbeat music makes this an attention catcher for young kids. Some themes include disagreeing with a friend, teamwork, and problem solving. Kids and parents were up dancing, singing, and clapping throughout the whole show. There was a combination of originals and classic Trolls tunes. I personally thought that the "tap dance" number was awesome. 

As a heads up, there are lights, some strobe effects, as well as a confetti grand finale. The show is 70 minutes long plus a 15 minute intermission. Discounts for military and first responders are available at the box office. Catch tomorrow's show at 6 p.m. Bring your dancing shoes and your sparkle squad!