11 Places To Cool Down In Hampton Roads

From Virginia Beach to Norfolk, from Williamsburg to Portsmouth; here is your go-to guide for beating the heat this weekend in Hampton Roads.


Virginia Beach

Grommet Island – Virginia Beach

Grommet IslandGrommet Island, located at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, is one of the first playgrounds of it’s kind and covers over 15,000 square feet. Not only is it 100% accessible but it also has a wheelchair entrance, sensory boards for children who are autistic and the visually impaired. After a hot romper in the sandbox or pretending to ride the wave with dolphins, cool off in the salty sway of ocean waves.

Hours: N/A

Tickets: FREE Admission

Ocean Breeze Waterpark


Ocean Breeze Waterpark is located just 2 miles from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and has over 30 water slides, a wave pool, a moat and more! Every Friday starting June 17th, stay late for a fun, family dine-in movie!


  • May 28, 2016, 10-7 pm
  • May 29, 2016, 10-6 pm
  • May 30, 2016, 10-6 pm
  • May 31, 2016, 10-5 pm


  • FREE parking, FREE sunscreen & FREE watertubes
  • Height Requirement: Minimum 48″ height requirement
  • Ticket information via OceanBreezeWaterpark.com
  • Regular All-Day Admission
    Ages 10 & Up
     $34.99 Regular All-Day Admission
    Ages 10 & Up
    All-Day Admission Guests
    Ages 3 – 9
    $26.99 All-Day Admission Guests
    Ages 3 – 9
    Children Ages 2 & Under FREE Children Ages 2 & Under  FREE
    Twilight Admission Ages 3 & Up  $19.99 Twilight Rate is only available at the park after 4 pm 


Botanical Gardens – World Of Wonders Children’s Adventure Garden

Wow map


Fountains run from April 1 – October 15, 2016











World of Wonders a.k.a. WOW is an adventure park where your children can learn, imagine, travel, explore, discover and more! The splash zone located in the center of the map (Splash your way around the world!) includes fountains, bubblers, foggers and jet sprays! Shoes are required.

Hours: 9:30am – 6:30pm (April 1 to October 1)

WOW Tickets*:

  • Members Free
  • Adults $12
  • Children & Youth (3-17) $10

*Toddlers 2 and younger are free with parental guidance.

Norfolk Zoo – The Water Plaza

The Water Plaza at the Norfolk Zoo offers fun & excitement for all ages. When you enter the zoo, get your feet wet by splashing around in water jets that sprout up from the ground! It’s also a great cool down after you’re done walking the vast landscape of lions, giraffes, reptiles and more. Never get lost in the 53 acres of wildlife terrain with this handy dandy Interactive Zoo Map.

Hours: Zoo is open daily 10am to 5pm. The Water Plaza closes at 4:45 and during inclement weather.

Zoo Tickets*:

  • Adults                   $14.95
  • Seniors (62+)        $12.95
  • Children (2-11)     $11.95

*Prices do not include military and AAA. For more information visit VirginiaZoo.org.

Norview Splash Pad

Norview Splash Pad

Norview Community Center
Norview Community Center

This interactive splash pad is located at Norview Community Center off of Sewells Point Road in Norfolk. Admission to the splash pad is free and open to the public!

Tickets: FREE

Hours: Mid-June-Labor Day: Daily from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm


YMCA – Great Bridge/Hickory

chesapeake ymca

The YMCA at the Great Bridge / Hickory section of Virginia Beach has a great outdoor swimming pool. If you’re aren’t currently a member you can purchase a day pass.


Local Residents (must provide valid ID indicating local address)

  • Up to three day passes a year!
  • First one is complimentary
  • Second one is $5
  • Third one is $10

YMCA Hours:

  • Monday – Friday 5am – 11pm
  • Saturday 8am – 7pm
  • Sunday 8am – 7pm
  • Pool Hours: 10 am – 1 pm, 4 pm – 7 pm


Williamsburg, Yorktown & James City Co.

Water Country USA

hampton roads

At Water Country USA there is something for everyone! Spend the day on going down Big Daddy Falls (picture above), cruising on Hubba Hubba Highway, taking the youngins’ to Kritter Korral or lounging by the Surfer’s Bay Wave Pool!


  • Age 10+ – $52
  • Age 3 – 9 – $45


  • May 27, 2016, 10 am – 5 pm
  • May 28, 2016, 10 am – 7 pm
  • May 29, 2016, 10 am – 7 pm

*Click here to download the full schedule for 2016.

Busch Gardens

Alpengeist, the Ghost of the Alps

Escape From Pompeii

Busch Gardens located in Williamsburg, VA, is a world-class roller coaster theme park with a European theme of nine villages and six countries to explore! To cool down take a ride down Escape From Pompeii!


  • Single Day Passes
    • Age 10+ – $77.00
    • Age 3 – 9 – $67.00


*Depending on the day you’d like the go, refer to their calendar for hours of operation.

Height Requirement:

Your child may be measured at the height check station located at the Guest Information & Reservation Center in England.

Great Wolf Lodge – Indoor Water Park

great wolf

Not only does Great Wolf Lodge have an indoor water park but it also has lodging for overnight stay and plenty of adult friendly activities. Visit the spa while the kiddos take a ride down River Canyon Run, W0lf Rider Wipeout and more!


For lodging availabilities, check their website. You can choose from standard, themed or premium vacation passes. Present Military ID for up to 30% off your stay.


Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation

hampton roadsHoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation is located in the city of Portsmouth, VA. With over 142 acres, there are plenty of activities for the whole family including bird watching, hiking trails and kayaking excursions! The next family kayaking event is May 28, 2016.

  • May 28, 2016 – Sunset Paddle
  • Take a guided kayak tour along Hoffler Creek as the sun goes down.
  • Tickets: $35 a person for non-members*

*To reserve your tickets call 757-686-8684 or email hofflercreek@hofflercreek.org

Children’s Museum of Virginia

hampton roads

Host a birthday party or visit the Beazley Planetarium at the Children’s Museum of Virginia located in Portsmouth, VA. Now open thru September 11, learn about the Physics Behind The Fun, a new interactive traveling exhibition called Amusement Park Science. Being indoors during the hot summer, while learning and having fun is a great activity for the whole family!

Hours: Open Mondays between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

  • Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday 11 am – 5 pm


  • Adults (18 & up): $11.00
  • Ages 2-17: $10
  • Military and Seniors: $10
  • Children under two Free.

Images and Sources: Grommet Island (VBgov.com), Ocean Breeze Water Park (OceanBreezeWaterPark.com), Botanical Gardens (NorfolkBotanicalGarden.org), Norfolk Zoo (VirginiaZoo.org), Norview Splash Pad (Norfolk.gov), YMCA Great Bridge (YMCAshr.com), Water Country USA (WaterCountryUSA.com), Busch Gardens (BuschGardens.com), Great Wolf Lodge (GreatWolf.com), Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation (HofflerCreek.org), Children’s Museum of Virginia (ChildrensMuseumOfVirginia.com)

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