Nitro Circus

Extreme sports took over Harbor Park this weekend with the Nitro Circus. They have performed on America's Got Talent and have brought their tour 'Good, Bad, & Rad' across North America. Nitro Circus began in 2003 with Travis Pastrana and his friends selling homemade DVD's and it has now grown to a worldwide tour.

We love things like this because it exposes the kids to a world they don't normally see. Our oldest has been pumped to learn how to ride his bike without training wheels, and this was a great way to celebrate that. In fact, he told us that he is ready to build a ramp and start doing jumps himself! 

Places to See Animals in Hampton Roads

We are lucky enough in Hampton Roads to have lots of places to see animals. Here is a round up of a few places to check out. 

  • The Virginia Zoo: See animals from North America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Take a train ride and check out the Virginia Zoo Live stage to get up close and personal with animals. Tickets are $17.95 for adults and $14.95 for ages 2-11. Train tickets are $3.00 each. 
  • VA Aquarium: Check out animals from land and sea at the Virginia Aquarium. Head there on a Wednesday for educational programing and crafts. Be advised, only one of the two buildings is currently open. Admission is $24.95 for adults and $19.99 for children 3-11. 

  • Bluebird Gap Farm: One of our favorites! Located in Hampton, Bluebird Gap Farm has farm animals, but it also has a playground and garden. Pack a lunch and spend the whole day. Admission is free. 
  • Bergey's Breadbasket: Grab an ice cream at Bergey's, then head to the petting zoo in the back. You'll see kittens, sheep, pigs, cows, rabbits, reptiles, goats, and more. Play in the sandpit and let the kids shoot hoops or ride pedal cars. Fee: $3 per person. For an extra fee you can feed a calf.

  •  Mount Pleasant: Next to Bergey's is Mount Pleasant Farm. Stop in to let the kids play on the wooden train and tractor or climb on the huge tires. Stroll through the back and see horses, goats, sheep, and more. Check out the store for some of their local produce, or time your visit during a U-Pick time. Admission is free. 
  • Virginia Living Museum: A gem located in Newport News, The Virginia Living Museum has all types of plants and animals from all of the regions of Virginia. An additional bonus is that they have a dinosaur exhibit. 
  • Nauticus: Check out underwater animals at Norfolk's Nauticus. Nauticus is a maritime discovery center that allows visitors to do everything from exploring the inside of a ship, to walking on a real battleship. Nauticus has sharks, hermit crabs, eels, and an exhibit built around the Chesapeake Bay.   Admission is $15.95 for adults and $11.50 for children ages 4-12. 
  • Hunt Club Farm: Hunt Club Farm is Virginia Beach's only petting farm. More than just a petting farm, children can ride ponies, play on the TreeWalk Adventure, and feed birds at the BirdWalk Aviary. Admission is $15 per person ages 2 and up. 
  • B&L Farm Market: I love stopping at the B&L Farm Market because they are one of the only places around where I have found tomato jam. The boys love to stop because they like to see the goats, chickens, and pigs on the property. It's a win for us both! Visit these animals for free.
  • Rudee Flipper: During the warm months, check out the Rudee Flipper for dolphin watching, but during the winter, book a tour to see the migration of whales happening right along our coast. This was one of the coolest trips we have ever taken! Trips range for $25-35, but there is a discount code on our page! 
  • Historic Greenbrier Farms: Pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, and more can all be found at Historic Greenbrier Farms. Visit the farm on a morning and explore, then let the kids get out their energy on their free bounce houses. Stroll through the garden shop and snag fresh produce from the farm stand. Admission is free. 

  • Hickory Ridge Farm: Everybody loves a free play area, and Hickory Ridge always has one. Sit in the shade while the kids play, then walk them over to visit their farm animals. Visit the farm store and pick some produce or a grab bag for a variety of options. 
  • Dock Dogs: If you love pets, check out local chain Care A Lot's Dock Dogs. Full of dogs in a jumping competition, there are also adoptable pets galore. In addition to the competition visitors can watch a show of dog tricks and a pet costume contest. Admission is free. 

A Little Bit Further: 
  • North Carolina Museum of Life and Science:  My oldest has said he would like to visit this museum "100 times!" Check out all of the plants and animals living in North Carolina, along with so many cool and interactive science exhibits. This museum also has one of the coolest hidden in the forest playgrounds. 
  • The Robins Nature Center is located in Richmond about 90 miles from the center of Hampton Roads. A small but mighty center allows visitors to see aquatic animals from the James River system. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children. 
  • Maymont: The Barry Robins Nature Center is located on the Maymont property. Also on the 100 acre estate is both a wildlife farm and a petting zoo. Admission is free, but they ask you to make a donation. 
  • Science Museum of Virginia: The Science Museum of Virginia is an all around cool museum, but the third floor is dedicated to animal exhibits. Check out reptiles, fish, and rodents there. On the second floor don't miss the bee exhibit, which goes outside and supports real bees in Richmond. When you arrive, check the board and see what shows are happening that day, and try to catch a Rat Basketball Game. Admission is $16.00 for adults, $13.50 for kids 6-12, and $10.00 for ages 3-5. 
  • OBX Aquarium:  If you're vacationing in the OBX, check out their aquarium and see exhibits about the seven rivers tied to the Albemarle.  Wander through wetlands, learn about sea turtles, and be amazed by jellyfish.  Learn about the U.S.S. Monitor and the sharks that live in the Atlantic ocean. Use your Virginia Zoo membership for half off. Admission is $12.95 per person, and $10.95 for kids 3-12. 

4 Places for Plane Lovers in Hampton Roads

My guys love all things that move, and we love seeing planes around town.  Here are four places in Hampton Roads that you can see planes! 

  • Military Aviation Museum: Located in the Pungo region of Virginia Beach, this museum has the one of the largest collections of WWI and WWII planes in the world. A dream for any plane lover! 
  • NBG Airplane Overlook: This perfect for a picnic spot is one of our favorites inside Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Be sure to check the airport's website and you can see where the planes are coming and going. 
  • Air and Space Science Center: This is the best place on the list for actual play. Checkout the downstairs play area, and then head up to go inside an actual airplane and jump in the cockpit.