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  • Carrie Cochran

9 Best Dreary Day Adventures in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads can be such an incredible area to explore: the beaches, the Great Dismal swamp, the Chesapeake Bay, the cities, and all the parks you could ask for are at your disposal.

But when the weather is cold or rainy, it can be a little daunting to find something else to do because the area is so geared toward outdoor activities. Of course, some of the city websites have suggestions like roller skating, ice skating, movies, etc., but those activities can get old very quickly.

After many weekends struggling with this problem, I decided to find solutions! And I've gone ahead and compiled my favorites into a list here for you as well! And for many of them, you can get a fantastic Groupon deal to make the activity both fun and budget-friendly. Don't you love a win-win?

Virginia Beach

1. Beach Arcade: If you enjoy arcade games without the expense of Dave & Buster's, check out the Beach Arcade on Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach. While the boardwalk is usually crowded during the sunny summer days, this is a great spot to come in the off-season, especially when no one else wants to be out and about! Although small, the arcade has an awesome selection of games, and through Groupon, you can often get a $50 game card for $22.50. Just keep an eye out for the deal because they have it regularly. The prizes here are also very reasonably priced compared to other arcades, and they have a much better selection than most. It's a great place to kill a few hours with some fun!

Follow the picture below to site or use the link above.

2. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: The Virginia Aquarium is an absolutely incredible learning and viewing experience down by the beachfront. And on a cold and rainy day, you'll enjoy being dry and toasty inside while you view all the cool sea creatures! You can see seals, otters, sharks, turtles, komodo dragons, tomistomas, cobras, and more! There are also two touch pools and plenty of interactive learning exhibits to keep you busy for hours. Tickets start at $24.95 for adults.

3. Escape Room Virginia Beach: Hampton Roads has a lot of escape rooms, but I like the Escape Room VB for their price and emphasis on local-themed rooms. They've had rooms based on Poseidon and the Norfolk Tides before, which I thought was a nice tribute to the area. They also have great prices compared to many of the other escape rooms in town. You can regularly get a Groupon deal for admission for two at $34, and a group of six at only $81, so it's good for double and triple-dates, too! Additionally, if you sign up for their emails, every Tuesday they send a trivia question that you can answer for 50% off your entire booking. I've yet to find another escape room with that kind of emphasis on fun and affordability, so my vote goes to Escape Room Virginia Beach!


1. Glowgolf & Norfolk Premium Outlets: If you haven't been to the new(ish) Norfolk Outlets yet, go check them out! You will have to walk through some open-air areas, but the shop selection is great, and the whole shopping center is just lovely. You'll also find a Glowgolf course here with a laser maze! Two people can play three rounds of golf for just $10.80 (thanks again, Groupon), so it makes for a great little date activity before or after some bargain shopping!

2. Hunter House Victorian Museum: For those who enjoy Victorian-era architecture and history, the Hunter House will be a dream come true. This is one of (if not the only) Victorian houses in existence that has the actual period furnishings inside. Most house museums are comprised of a collaboration of pieces that have been salvaged and restored, but everything in the Hunter House is from the Hunter family. You'll learn a great deal about this well-respected local family and the society they lived in! Tickets are only $5 for two people.

3. Chrysler Museum of Art: If you can't be outside, why not spend a few hours viewing masterpieces through the centuries at the Chrysler Museum of Art? They have everything from interactive galleries to ancient art to contemporary artists like Jackson Pollock. I personally loved the wide variety of not only styles but types of art: pottery, stained glass, paintings, photography, moving media, decorative furniture, and more! The museum is also free to visit! P.S. It makes a great spot for special event photos <3

4. MacArthur Center: The MacArthur Center brings a lot of the best aspects of shopping together into its three-story interior. You'll find stores for every interest, plenty of great food choices, including Johnny Rockets and Texas de Brazil, one of the best Regal theaters in the area, and tons of live events. If you keep an eye on their schedule, you'll find fitness classes, live artist paintings, live music, and even runway shows! There's also a pretty cool playground outside and lots of holiday events. You can easily spend a whole day here, and the day's price limit is your choice!

Newport News

1. Virginia War Museum: Hampton Roads is a huge center for military efforts, and the Virginia War Museum encapsulates much of that history in its large collection of artifacts, weapons, uniforms, military vehicles, and more. The museum covers U.S. military history from 1775 through now in a variety of exhibits and educational programs. The museum also has pieces of the walls from the Berlin Wall and the Dachau Concentration Camp. You'll need to bundle up for a few of the outside exhibits, such as the Holocaust Memorial and large military vehicles and weapons. However, you can see most of the museum indoors, and the outdoor exhibits aren't far away. Admission is $8 per adult.

2. Peninsula Fine Arts Center: The Peninsula Fine Arts Center has a great variety of pieces on display with frequently changing exhibits and shows. Through the end of March, visitors can see The Americas: Indigenous Art of the Ancient and Contemporary and even an exhibit on Native American Quilt Making. The center also offers many different classes for adults and children and a beautiful gallery shop featuring pieces from local and regional artists! Tickets are $7.50, but the museum offers free admission on the first weekend of every month!

Now you have ideas for the next 9 dreary weekends that happen to come to Hampton Roads before the gorgeous summer weather heads our way!

If you enjoyed this post, don't forget to like and share it, and be sure to sign up for free weekly posts with travel tips, itineraries, and destinations!

Happy travels!

For more fun Hampton Roads adventures, visit the Exploring Virginia page!

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