This week for summer camp, I have my niece and nephew attending events with us. It will be more of a low-key camp since I will be outnumbered 5 to 1. Usually, Grandma helps rangle my lot, but she is currently preoccupied with more important matters that we may discuss at a later time. To get my mind off of those events, I have decided to dive into writing this weeks blog posts. Everything is easier to handle if we just don’t think and we do!
This week I have deemed zoo week. So, a trip to the Norfolk Zoo was planned. We have been to the Norfolk Zoo several times and always have fun.
Recently the zoo updated its reptile exhibit and it is now open! “This state-of-the-art overhaul of the Virginia Zoo’s reptile building is full of “Defining Moment” opportunities for children and adults alike.” the zoo claims. Also you can follow along with Dara and her journey to becoming a mother. One of the orangutans is expecting!
There is also zoo nights for adults only and member nights if you hold a member’s pass to the zoo. The zoo offers a great gift shop and splash pad as soon as you enter its gates! My kids always have fun playing in the water and it is a great way to beat the summer heat after walking around seeing all of the exhibits.
There are several dining options from The Beastro to the African Village Cafe and the Snack Shack. Plus, there are dippin’ dots that the kids always beg for!
You can take a ride on the Norfolk Southern Express as another way to tour the zoo! Tokens can be purchased and it is $2.00 per rider. Kids under two can ride for free so that is a bonus for us.
The zoo also offers specialized tours. You can learn about animal care, behavior and conservation up close and personal. Chat with a Zoo Keeper who can share information about the animals they care for as only they know. Meet the rhinos, stand tall with giraffes, hang out with a century old tortoise, or encounter wallabies, emus and kangaroos! See a tapir up close, watch a Sun bear train, feed a Red River hog, learn about bison or be lazy with a sloth! All admission prices are included with the tours. You can visit virginiazoo.org for more information.
The Virginia Zoo is located at 3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504
Next we will take a trip to Oak Grove Lake Park in Chesapeake. This park is such a hidden gem with its half lake and half scenic open space. There are 65 acres of forest and wetlands. Picnic tables and benches are scattered along the trail, which provide a mixture of panoramic views of the lake and wildlife. There is a small park for the kids to play and even water access. My kids love splashing around on the shores of the lake. We even sat on the dock and dipped our feet in the refreshing, clear water.
Oak Grove Lake Park is located at 409 Bryon Street, Chesapeake, VA 23320
We will round out that day with a visit to our local public library. The public libraries offer so many programs for the kids to participate in at no cost. There are programs available to every grade level and even the little, little guys! This week we are going to be attending an art class “Paint like Seurat.” Registration for these free classes usually happens the week before. You can visit the website infopeake.org to check the calendar of events for libraries in the Chesapeake area.
Friday was a day to check out the wildlife at the bay. No summer camp is complete without a trip to the beach. We usually go to Chicks Beach off Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. It isn’t always crowded with tourists and the waves from the bay are gentle for the kiddos. Generally we pack a cooler and spend a few hours playing in the surf and sun! Parking can be hit or miss since it is street parking and spaces are limited.
On our days at home, we will hang out by the pool and try our hand at several art projects that have been littering my pinterest board for months. Happy summer!
Thanks for reading.