Virginia Beach Family Vacation Blog & Daily Deals!

My Virginia Beach Family Vacation Blog is your source for daily deals and breaking news on travel and ticket discounts in Virginia Beach, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Washington, DC, and beyond.

I'll give you the latest deals-- from hotel stays for 1 cent per night, to free admission days at Virginia attractions-- as well as secrets for visiting the top spots for less.

Plus, I'll give you insider reviews of the best restaurants and free or cheap places to visit. 

To keep up-to-date on deals and reviews, sign up for my RSS feed. Go to the box on the top right of this page where it says "Subscribe to this site" and you'll see an orange RSS button. Right click on it and paste the URL into your RSS reader.


That way, you'll get instant notifications whenever I post a new deal or discount that can save you money, like the latest Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens Williamsburg promo code that could save you up to 50% on tickets!




Check out my latest Virginia Beach Family Vacation Blog deals!

Are you on Twitter? You can always check out my latest deal posts and travel news by finding me on Twitter:

@vabeachfundeals

I regularly post or retweet travel-related information, stories and photos (and deals ranging from free Chick-fil-A days and National Pancake Day) on my Twitter feed.

Ready for the latest news, ticket deals, and travel and entertainment advice for southeast Virginia? Look below:

Luray Caverns Discounts & July 4 Event

Luray Caverns discounts are hard to come by, but I've found three ways which do work if you don't want to pay the full $27 admission fee. Find those discounts here.

Also, keep in mind that July 4 is a great time to visit Luray Caverns as the town of Luray is offering their annual celebration that day. The event includes their Independence Day Parade at 10 am which includes free refreshments from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

You can enjoy live music, and then at dusk, they will have a fireworks display at Hawksbill Creek.

Kings Dominion Fireworks and Free Military Admission

Kings Dominion is offering their Star Spangled Celebration of fireworks event to celebrate July 4th. The event will be held at on June 30-July 4.

Enjoy free entertainment from military bands, as well as free fireworks shows after it gets dark (best views from the area near Drop Tower).

During these days, they will also offer free admission to all active and retired military as well as veterans. To get the deal, go to the front gate and present your DD214 or government issued ID. You'll also be able to get discounted tickets for dependents.



50% Off Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach

Groupon is offering 50% off a tour of historic Cape Henry LIghthouse in Virginia Beach.

Thanks to Groupon you'll get two tickets for $9 or four tickets for $16 to this lighthouse which dates to 1792 and gives you breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay.

It's also located at Fort Story, a military base, which boasts beautifully quiet beaches, so you may want to consider bringing a picnic and then enjoying the beach (just don't expect any facilities).

Stay until dusk and you'll probably be treated to the sight of hundreds of ghost crabs scurrying around the beach.

For more info on Cape Henry Lighthouse, click here. And to get this limited time deal go to Groupon and enter "Cape Henry Lighthouse" in the search box.

New Outer Banks Water Park Opens

The Outer Banks has a new attraction with the opening of H2OBX Water Park on Caratoke Highway (Route 158) about three miles from the Wright Memorial Bridge.

The 20-acre park features more than 20 rides, slides and attractions, including an ocean-simulated wave pool, a pirate-themed play structure, and climbing and obstacle swim zones. They also offer private cabanas and food and beverage stands.

Tickets are $44.99 for those 42" or higher and $$44.99 for those under 42". Kids 2 and under are free.

Dare and Currituck County residents get a discount, as do members of the active military and their card-carrying dependents.

For more infomation, check out H2OBX.

$1 Admission at Newport News' Mariners Museum

Wow, what a deal! The Mariners Museum in Newport News just announced that they are offering $1 admission all summer long.

I didn't believe it so I checked their website, but yep, it's true: Adults, kids, seniors, everyone... they all get admission to the museum for just $1 all summer long.

So if you haven't visited the museum, now is the time to go as you'll see when you read my review of the Mariners Museum--including the turret from the USS Monitor, 360 degree movie experience on the Battle of the Ironclads, a life-sized replica of the Monitor, Titanic artifacts and more.

June 24 is a particularly good day to visit since they are offering their free Celebrate the Park event, which features free live music, family crafts and scavenger hunts, nature walks, pet adoption opportunities, as well as food for purchase.

Kings Fest Kicks Off Today at Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion's annual Kings Fest event kicks off tonight (June 22-24), featuring Christian artists like Toby Mac, For King and Country, Chris Tomlin, Skillet, Andy Mineo, and many more.

It's a great way to combine world-famous Christian entertainment with a visit to your favorite theme park (park admission is included with your concert ticket).

Remember that Kings Dominion is really two parks in one-- the amusement park, and Soak City, a waterpark-- so this is a great time to visit the park.

You can see the full line up of Christian artists for Kings Fest here. You can purchase tickets for the concerts at Ticketmaster.

Or if you just want to visit the park, make sure you check out my Kings Dominion Ticket Secrets page so you don't pay a penny more than you have to.l

21 Ways to Save Money at Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion likes to change their discount ticket offers from time to time and they've done it again.

So I've updated my Kings Dominion Discounts page to give you the latest deals-- which include 17 ways to get tickets for as little as $29.99.

I've also added several ways to save money on food at the park, as well as maximize your time there so you can make the most of your day.

Here's how to save at Kings Dominion.

How to See Colonial Williamsburg For Free (or On the Cheap)

Yes, you can spend $41 per adult and $21 per child to see Colonial Williamsburg, but if you want to save money, do what the locals do:

See Colonial Williamsburg for free!

It's true. You can see a lot of the Historic Area without paying a dime, as I detail on my "Secrets of a Cheap Colonial Williamsburg Vacation" guide.

I'll also tell you about free local events-- including big screen movies, live music, farmer's markets-- and even when you can see the famous Fife & Drums for free.

I've also got recommendations for two nearby restaurants that locals frequent when they want delicious food and big portions for less, as well as one little-known local attraction that the kids will love and yes, is absolutely free!

Colonial Williamsburg VA Money-Saving Secrets

Colonial Williamsburg VA? How to See the Historic Area Without Paying a Dime...Free Events, Cheap Restaurants, and More Free Fun

Continue reading "Colonial Williamsburg VA Money-Saving Secrets"

How to Save Money on Airport Parking

Thanks to my sister-in-law, I just found something that's always eluded me: A way to get discount parking near Washington Dulles Airport.

Normally, we park at the airport's outdoor, long-term parking lot which costs $10 a day. But now I've found a way to almost cut that cost in half.

By going to airportparkinginc.com, and putting in my travel dates, I was able to secure a rate that instead of about $100 for a week, will cost me a total of $53 (including tax) for the same amount of time.

Located 6 miles from the airport, the service will involve paying up front and using two shuttles instead of one, but for saving me nearly 50%, I'm willing to give it a go!

The service is available at about 25 major US airports including Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, and New York (just to name a few), plus five cruise ports.

For details, go to airportparkinginc.com.


How to Save Money on Museums Worldwide

If you like to travel and visit museums, here's a tip which could literally save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Using two little-known programs, I'll show you how you can buy membership to a museum or science center near you and get into literally hundreds of similar museums for free all year. This even includes many museums overseas!

Here's what you need to know to start saving.

Free or Cheap Movies This Week

With kids out of school, what to do? Here's an idea: Catch a free or cheap (like $1) movie on the big screen.

On my Free Summer Fun page I've detailed six places in the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg areas to see big screen movies for free or only a few bucks.

For example, you can enjoy "Minions" on the big screen for free (with free popcorn too!) at 8 pm tonight in the square of Williamsburg's Prince George Street as part of their summer movie series.

Back Bay Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay Wildlife Refuge: A Don't-Miss Beautiful Refuge Just 18 Miles From Virginia Beach with 300 Species

Continue reading "Back Bay Wildlife Refuge"

How to Get 40% or More Off Gift Cards

Today I was reminded of a way to get gift cards for up to 40% off and realized that at least one of you out there might not be aware of the deal.

Cardcash.com lets you buy discounted gift cards for less than the face amount. For example, they are currently offering Alex & Ani gift cards for nearly 23% off, Starbucks cards for 12.5% off, and Patagonia gift cards for nearly 17% off.

To spell it out, that means you could get $200 worth of Alex & Ani purchases, for example, for about $154!

It's a great way to save on vendors you already frequent or are planning to use...or save on a nice gift card to give to a friend (as long as you tell them they only have 45 days to use the card).

You can also sell gift cards you don't want, and Cardcash.com will give you money back or you can use it for another gift card. Shipping is free, so what you see is the out the door price.

TIP: Consider checking coupon code sites like Retailmenot.com before you place your order to see if they have an active coupon code.

Two similar sites I'm less familiar with but which you might want to consider include Raise.com and Giftcardgranny.com.

Food and Father's Day Freebies This Weekend

Don't forget to nab these freebies this weekend:

- Get a free Sunshine Smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe on June 16, 2-7 pm, when you wear flip flops
- Check out these places Dad can eat free on June 18 (thanks to Money.com)
- Enjoy some free family fun with Dad at Bass Pro Shops on June 17-18, which will feature free activities like a catch and release pond
- Enjoy free stuff (like Father's Day related crafts and printable cards, free photos, discounted movie tickets, and more with these deals compiled by the Couponproject.com.

Free Admission at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Plan something different for Father's Day by taking Dad to get free admission at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest mansion and grounds on June 18.

Little-known compared to Jefferson's Monticello estate, Poplar Forest has the distinction of being America's first octagonal home, as well as Jeffersons' "secret hideaway" where he fled from the British.

You'll learn all the surprising details-- including how the house almost fell into ruin-- on the guided tour, as well as use of the grounds and outbuildings.

Here's what you need to know about Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, as well as information on their special Independence Day event.

Looking for a Williamsburg Campground?

Looking for a Williamsburg Campground? Current Deals Near Busch Gardens & Colonial Williamsburg, Plus a Campground With Free Shuttle Service to the Sights...

Continue reading "Looking for a Williamsburg Campground?"

17 Travel & Cruise Essentials

Don't leave on your trip or cruise without reading my just-posted "17 Travel & Cruise Essentials" guide.

After traveling to 43 different countries-- and being on numerous cruises-- I put together this list of these must-pack items-- such of which might surprise you.

These are the essential items which can save you money (up to $300-- see Cruise Essential #15), maximize space in your luggage, enhance your excursion experiences, and make your trip more enjoyable.

You'll find my 17 Travel and Cruise Essentials here.

Kings Dominion for Just $19.99

Here's deal to jump on: Kings Dominion pass holders can get up to six tickets for friends for just $19.99 each, thanks to their Father's Day Bring-a-Friend deal.

If you are a pass holder, now is a great time to contact your friends to offer them the deal. If you're not a pass holder, you may want to contact a friend who is and see if they're going on Sunday and would be willing to bring you along.

Yep, that's the only catch: Tickets are only good this Sunday, June 18, and you must have a valid pass holder with you on the day of your visit.

For more ways to get KIngs Dominion discounts, click here.

Keep in mind that June 17-18 is also Kings Fest, its third annual family-friendly event which takes place in the Planet Snoopy section of the park, and features crafts, and family-friendly activities and shows at no extra charge.

Don't miss Brickfest Live, a Lego experience which runs all day and features, a Lego derby competition, plenty of building opportunities, and their Brick Pit full of Legos.

For more upcoming events, go to my Kings Dominion events page .

Busch Garden Coupon Codes

Busch Garden Coupon Codes: 7 Current Deals & Promo Codes - 2-Park Summer Flex Deal, Military, Teacher, First Responder, and College Student Discounts, and more ways to save at the park.

Continue reading "Busch Garden Coupon Codes"

How to Get Freebies and Deals

With a little more time on my hands this summer, I decided to create a page devoted to how to get freebies and deals-- hence my new Get Freebies page.

I've focused the page on the word "free" to show you how to get these deals:

- free samples and movies
- free travel deals or discounts
- free meals
- free admission to museums/attractions
- how to get freebies if you're a teacher, member of the military, a senior, or a first responder
- free summer fun...and more

To kick off the new page, here's a free you can use this week:

- Get a free Sunshine Smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe on June 16, 2-7 pm, when you wear flip flops!

Save 50% On Virginia Attractions

Just in time for summer fun, Groupon is offering up to 50% off admission to a number of attractions you may not have visited before.

For a limited time, Groupon is offering these deals:

- 50% off admission to Ashlawn-Highland, James Monroe's home near Charlottesville
- 50% off admission to Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach
- Up to 35% off a DC Explorer Pass, which will gets you reduced rates at Washington DC attractions like the International Spy Museum and Madame Tussaud's.
- 35% to 48% off Richmond tours, including a Segway tour, a Trolley tour, and a brewery tour.

To get these deals, go to Groupon but act fast, as most expire on June 11. (If these deals don't come up immediately, use Groupon's Search bar or look under "Things to do.")

Don't forget that I have more ways to save you money on these pages:

- Discount travel deals
- Free/cheap things to do
- Free sumer fun

Berkeley Plantation is Worth the Drive

I recently made a repeat visit to Berkeley Plantation (thanks to Groupon, which let me buy two admissions for the price of one!).

It had been probably 20 years since I'd visited, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is still so worth that apparent "drive to nowhere."

With witty costumed interpreters leading you on a self-guided tour, a bevy of fascinating stories and historical tidbits, beautiful grounds overlooking the river, and a movie and artifacts to see, Berkeley-- along with nearby Shirley Plantation-- is a fascinating peek into the past.

I've given you lots of details on the tour here (although not a lot of photos-- I'll explain why, to my embarassment!) and a recommendation for a fabulous place (a former polo grounds!) nearby to eat lunch or sample some local wines.

Colonial Williamsburg Summer Package Deals

Colonial Williamsburg is offering several package deals which are worth taking a look at if you're considering visiting the Historic Area this summer.

They include their Summer Bounce Package, which combines lodging, accomomodations, and tickets to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA.

If you want to visit all the local historical sites, consider their Historic Triangle Package, which combines lodging and tickets to the Historic Area with admission tickets to Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Battlefield, and Yorktown Victory Center.

If you have kids 12 and under, you can save big bucks with their Kids Stay, Play and Eat Free Package, while if you're looking for something romantic for just the two of you, consider their Southern Elegance Package at the historic Williamsburg Inn, or their Spa or Golf packages.

For details on these packages, as well as tips and tricks for getting discount tickets or even how to see much of the Historic Area for free, go to my Colonial Williamsburg page.

And for the latest Busch Gardens Williamsburg discount ticket deals, click here.

Norfolk Harborfest Sails in June 9-11

The 41st annual Norfolk Harborfest sails into view in Norfolk June 9-11.

One of the biggest Virginia Beach area events, this maritime extravaganza features a marine parade of tall ships, as well as chances for kids to play "pirate" for a day and enjoy crafts and family-friendly activities, and for adults to enjoy delicacies such as fried Twinkies and funnel cakes.

For hours and details, click here.

Recent Articles

  1. Luray Caverns Discounts & July 4 Event

    Jun 23, 17 08:36 PM

    Luray Caverns discounts are hard to come by, but I've found three ways which do work if you don't want to pay the full $27 admission fee. Find those discounts here. Also, keep in mind that July 4 is a…

    Read More

  2. Kings Dominion Fireworks and Free Military Admission

    Jun 23, 17 08:15 PM

    Kings Dominion is offering their Star Spangled Celebration of fireworks event to celebrate July 4th. The event will be held at on June 30-July 4. Enjoy free entertainment from military bands, as well…

    Read More

  3. 50% Off Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach

    Jun 23, 17 05:18 PM

    Groupon is offering 50% off a tour of historic Cape Henry LIghthouse in Virginia Beach. Thanks to Groupon you'll get two tickets for $9 or four tickets for $16 to this lighthouse which dates to 1792 a…

    Read More

Recent Articles

  1. Luray Caverns Discounts & July 4 Event

    Jun 23, 17 08:36 PM

    Luray Caverns discounts are hard to come by, but I've found three ways which do work if you don't want to pay the full $27 admission fee. Find those discounts here. Also, keep in mind that July 4 is a…

    Read More

  2. Kings Dominion Fireworks and Free Military Admission

    Jun 23, 17 08:15 PM

    Kings Dominion is offering their Star Spangled Celebration of fireworks event to celebrate July 4th. The event will be held at on June 30-July 4. Enjoy free entertainment from military bands, as well…

    Read More

  3. 50% Off Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach

    Jun 23, 17 05:18 PM

    Groupon is offering 50% off a tour of historic Cape Henry LIghthouse in Virginia Beach. Thanks to Groupon you'll get two tickets for $9 or four tickets for $16 to this lighthouse which dates to 1792 a…

    Read More

Daily Deals & Discounts!