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Monday, February 18, 2019

Family Fun at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk

The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia
A few months ago we spent the weekend down in Virginia Beach enjoying an end-of-summer vacation. We spent 5 days and 4 nights exploring the Virginia Beach area and having some family fun. When our family travels we enjoy visiting zoos, wildlife parks, and aquariums, so we had to take a little trip up to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. The drive took us approximately an hour from Virginia Beach, however, if you're driving down from south central Pennsylvania, it will take you approximately 5-6 hours to get there.

The Virginia Zoo was founded in 1901 and is spread out on 52 beautifully landscaped acres with over 500 animals calling it home. During your visit you'll see giraffes, zebras, ostrich, kangaroos, lions, bald eagles, black bears, beavers, cheetahs, bison, emu, wallaby's, prairie dogs, elephants, flamingos, tigers, snakes and more!
The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia

If you've never visited before, I highly recommend that you visit the Virginia Zoo's website and print out a copy of the zoo map to take along with you. It will show you where all of the exhibits are, the suggested routes to take, marked places to grab something to eat and of course...where you can find all of the public bathrooms. Not interested in printing out a map? Don't worry, you'll find them located at the entrance gate too! I highly suggest you grab one when entering the park.

Within the zoo you'll find the "ZooFarm" which is their hands-on petting zoo. Children love petting and feeding the animals. Throughout the year you'll find the zoo hosting a variety of different children's educational programs, which allows the kids to get up close & personal with some of their favorite animals. I'm all about "hands on" learning when it comes to kids!
The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia

We have two grandchildren (ages 3 years and 9 years) and one of their highlights from our trip was their ride on the popular Zoo Train. You will have to pay a separate fee to ride the ZooTrain, but the kids loved it. The entire ride lasts for approximately 20 minutes as the train takes you around a lot of the areas within the zoo. The train is handicap-accessible and fun for both kids & adults.

When visiting the zoo I recommend that you wear comfortable walking shoes (you'll be doing a lot of walking) and dress seasonably appropriate. Like most places, you'll be spending the majority of your visit outdoors. There are places within the zoo where you can sit down for a rest, grab a bite to eat, etc. If you're looking to pick up some souvenirs & gifts, you'll find those in the gift shop located near the entrance gate to the zoo.
The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia

The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, Virginia

This was our third visit in the past 6 years to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk and every time we visit, it gets better and better. We enjoy visiting in the spring or early fall months when the zoo isn't quite as busy. In other words, during their "off peak" months. When planning you're visit, I recommend spending a minimum of 3 hours at the zoo. You'll want to experience as much as you can during your visit.

You can learn more about the Virginia Zoo by visiting their official website online. You can purchase tickets on the web or pay your admission price at the zoo. You can connect with them on social media by hooking up with them on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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