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Family Fun

Chesapeake Family Activities

"If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good." ~Dr. Seuss

There are so many fun and interesting things to do with kids in Chesapeake, VA. From hiking in stunning green spaces and learning about local history to sliding down a dolphin tunnel slide or discovering the local waterways, there’s truly something for the whole family to enjoy. Explore some of our suggestions below to start building your family-friendly Chesapeake itinerary.

Parks to Play

If your family loves nothing more than spending a day in the great outdoors, be sure to take advantage of all the beautiful parks and trails in Chesapeake.

Start by exploring Chesapeake City Park, a combination of open space for play and pretty pine trees. While you’re there, be sure to check out Fun Forest, a playground situated on several shaded acres of the park. In addition to standard playground features, Fun Forest also includes an older children's play space that facilitates gross motor skill development and contains elements that kids love: a dragon, shaky bridge, dolphin tunnel slide, and many more exciting challenges.

Also be sure to check out the breathtaking Chesapeake Arboretum, which boasts 48 acres of calming green space to enjoy and 3 miles of trails to walk or hike and identify the many tree species.

Waterways to Explore

If your family enjoys time in or near the water, check out the beautiful spaces available for kayaking and canoeing at the lovely Lake Drummond or Northwest River Park. Spend a day paddling around either of these areas for entry-level waters that the little ones can enjoy too. Lake Drummond is located within the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, so exploring the water here also provides the opportunity to take in over 112,000 acres of forested wetlands and abundant wildlife.

At Great Bridge Lock Park, young boat enthusiasts can watch as yachts—some traveling all the way from Maine to Key West—make their way along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Interactive History

Other popular Chesapeake activities include exploring the region’s abundant history. The young history fans in your crew will love to explore Battlefield Park, where they can engage with the history of the Battle of Great Bridge via an interpretive walkway that has informational signs providing details about the battle and waterways visible from the park. The park is the site of the first land battle of the American Revolution in Virginia as well as America’s first victory, so there’s a lot to learn.

You can also take the family out to explore the sites of the Virginia Civil War Trails. There are other trails to choose from, including the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail which takes you close to the oldest operating artificial waterway in America. Explore the other half dozen or so trails that’ll take you to everything from monuments and cemeteries to historic homes and former villages.

Chesapeake's African American Heritage Trail explores the rich history of women and men of African heritage. Visit sites that echo the heroic outcomes of the Revolutionary War and Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and more. Listen to the companion podcast as part of your journey of discovery.

These sites offer educational opportunities and a chance to learn about the historical significance of the Chesapeake region.

So, grab the family and go explore the history of Chesapeake.

Family-Friendly Events and Activities

In addition to all of these year-round family fun activities, there are also many Chesapeake family events hosted throughout the year, like Bergey's Corn Maze in the fall, Paddle For the Border, and the Chesapeake Jubilee in the spring, and KayaXpedition in the summer. Be sure to check the events page to find out what fun events are happening when you’re in town.

And, if it happens to be raining during your trip to Chesapeake, fear not because there are plenty of rainy day activities to keep everyone entertained until blue skies return.

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