A family vacation is all about spending time with your loved ones and creating memories to last a lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune to do just that! Sure fancy dinners and adrenaline pumping activities are fun, but there’s plenty to do in Virginia Beach that won’t cost you a much. Here are 3 (mostly) free things you can’t miss out on while on your Sandbridge Vacation.
Concerts at the Boardwalk
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a 3-mile long venue for concerts, restaurants, or just a place to take in the scenery. If you’re visiting during the summer months, there are four different stages that offer free concerts throughout the season. The boardwalk becomes the stage for family-friendly, “Live! On Atlantic” every night between June 15 and August 26, from 7:30pm to 11pm.
Also during the summer season, the annual concert series “Ynot Wednesdays?” is every Wednesday night, June through August, from 5pm to 9pm on the Sandler Center Outdoor Plaza. There are food and beverage options available for purchase, but the music is totally free!
Freebie Bonus: While you’re there, cool off inside the Sandler Center lobby with a free educational tour of the building.
If you’re visiting between January and March, come support local Virginia Beach artists at the Sandler Center’s “Out of the Box” series! Every Thursday this free event welcomes you to enjoy a night of music, food and drinks starting at 7pm.
Visit the State Parks
There are two State Parks near Sandbridge Beach: False Cape State Park and First Landing State Park. If you have a group of nature lovers, you’ll want to make sure you hit both.
Nestled between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this historic park offers beautiful sights and a relaxing, natural setting close to the place Captain John Smith landed in 1607 on his way to establishing the first permanent English settlement. There is no vehicular access to the park, so pack up your backpack with plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent and plan for a full day of exploring the great outdoors hiking through a total of 15.3 miles of self-guided trails.
See all park rates and fees here: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/parkfees
Further north, First Landing State Park is another great place to immerse yourself in the beautiful outdoor atmosphere the coast has to offer. Hike or ride bikes through 19 miles of trails, go fishing (with valid Virginia saltwater fishing license only), or have a family picnic in the picnic area near the main entrance while the kiddos play on the nearby playground!
Parking/Admission: Memorial Day to Labor Day – $3 per car weekdays, $4 per car weekends; buses $15; Rest of year – $2 per car, buses $10; Annual passes $33.
Virginia Beach is full of history and has something cool for everyone in your group!
If you’ve noticed there are a lot of ducks featured in Virginia Beach shops, restaurants and more, you’re not imagining it! The area has a rich history of wildfowl heritage and is passionate about preservation. Come step back in time to learn about the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild, check out the beautiful art, carvings, artifacts, and photos of the area, and visit the Carvers’ Room to see how the famous wood ducks are made at this unique museum.
Gallery Admission is $2.00 per
Children age 16 and younger are free.
The mission of MOCA is “to foster awareness, exploration, and understanding of the significant art of our time.” Exhibitions feature modern paintings, sculptures, photography and other visuals from local as well as internationally acclaimed artists. This is the kind of museum you just have to experience.
The museum offers events and workshops throughout the year for families and kids for a small fee or free with admission. Check out their calendar for all the happenings.
Admission: FREE for members
$6 students/seniors 65+/military*** (must show ID)
*Children 5 & up are students, 4 & under are free.
*FREE Audio tour included with admission. Ipods can be checked out with ID.
FREE admission to active and non-active military and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day
Immerse your family in coastal history at the Surf & Resume Museum! The museum is open year-round and offers events and tours as well as educational field trips to honor and celebrate Virginia Beach’s coastal history and future. Your group will love to experience unique events like the Virginia Beach Ghost Walk to hear about local establishments and their “haunted” pasts.
Admission: $1 Adults
FREE Youth (6 & Under)
$1 Seniors 60+
$1 Active Military
These are just 3 categories of awesome fun stuff you can do in Virginia Beach and let’s face it, we didn’t even mention all the fun you can have right at the beach! If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day, or in between beach trips, we hope these fun free outings will be a hit with the whole family.