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:

Norfolk to Offer Bahamas Cruises in 2019

After a one-year absence, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced several 2019 cruise departures from Norfolk. They include 5 and 6-day cruises to the Bahamas, visiting Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport on the Carnival Triumph.

Here are the details and a link to 2019 dates.

And before you take your cruise, be sure to check out these 17 Cruise Essentials and Tips you need to know.

Winter Discounts at Monticello

Now is the cheapest time of the year to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, thanks to lower winter rates.

In addition, you can save even more if you purchase your tickets in advance online. Taken together, these deals let you save up to $8 per adult ticket over buying them at the door in the busy summer season.

I've detailed these and other deals (like the Local Residents' deal) here. You'll also find info on upcoming events and deals-- including one which will make prospective University of Virginia grads really happy.

Kings Dominion 2018 Hours & Operating Schedule

Just a little over two months until Kings Dominion opens for their 2018 season, and they've just posted their hours and operating schedule.

As with the Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2018 schedule and the Water Country USA 2018 schedule, it can get kind of complicated, varying quite a bit by day each and every month of the summer season, as well as for Halloween Haunt.

Opening date is March 25 (Pass Member Preview Day is March 24), so check out the schedule so you can start planning your visit.

(No word on 2018 ticket prices yet-- or details on Winterfest, the park's new holiday-themed event for November and December), so keep checking back.)

50% Off Virginia Flower & Garden Expo

The Virginia Pilot is offering 50% off tickets to the Virginia Flower & Garden Expo on Jan. 26-28.

You'll pay just $5 per ticket instead of the regular price of $10 per ticket (kids 12 and under are free). Plus, the voucher is good for up to six admissions. Order the Virginia Flower & Garden Expo discount ticket online and bring the voucher to the box office at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Find out more on this and other January events in the Hampton Roads area here.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2018 Hours & Operating Schedule


Busch Gardens Williamsburg has published their hours and operating schedule for the 2018 season. As usual, it's pretty complicated, varying quite a bit by day each and every month of the summer season, as well as for Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town.

I've put all the Busch Gardens Williamsburg operating schedule info together in a simple list by month and date. Opening date is March 24, so check it out so you can start planning your spring-- it will be here before you know it.

And here's the 2018 operating schedule and hours for Water Country USA too.

(No word on 2018 ticket prices for either park yet, so keep checking back.)

Whale-Watching Deals in Virginia Beach

Winter is the time of year to see humpback whales at Virginia Beach, as well as dolphins, seals, and other sea creatures.

From mid-December through the beginning of March, you can take advantage of these sea life excursions, including whale watching package deals which can help you turn your excursion into a mini vacation getaway by combining hotel, whale-watching, and even a visit to the Virginia Aquarium.

And don't let the cold, rainy, or snowy weather fool you: This is a great time of year to visit the Virginia Beach or Hampton Roads area as you'll see here on my Indoor Fun page.

Nauticus Admission for Just $7.57

As a winter reward for local residents, Nauticus is again offering admission to residents of the 757 area for just $7.57. The deal is good from Jan. 18 through Feb. 28.

That actually benefits a lot of people, since the 757 area code stretches all the way from Williamsburg south to the southeastern Virginia border, east to Virginia Beach, Chesapeak and Norfolk, and up a good portion of the Eastern Shore up to Chincoteague.

What if you have a cell phone with an out of area number but live in the Hampton Roads area? Just bring in a utility bill to show proof of residence and you'll get the same deal.

Things to Do This Weekend in Hampton Roads

If you're still looking for something to do this weekend in the Hampton Roads area, consider these events:

- Jan. 14 - Hampton Roads International Auto Show - enjoy the last day of the biggest annual auto show in Virginia from noon to 6 pm. (Go to my Winter Fun page for a link to get a discount on admission.)


- Jan. 14 - Southeast Gun & Knife Show - Sunday is the last day to peruse through this annual show at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.


- Jan. 15 National Park Fee-Free Day - One of only a handful of fee-free days for 2018, this day allows you to visit parks like Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield for free that day, saving you $14 per adult!


- Get a Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg stay for just $99 - Use the code RGETAWAY1 when you book a family suite at the lodge to get the deal (cheapest prices are on weekdays).

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion Discount Tickets - Save Up to $28 by Buying Early! 2018 Ticket Prices, Promo Codes, Free Military Days, Fast Lane Passes, Meal and BDay Deals

Continue reading "Kings Dominion "

Shhh! Colonial Williamsburg Virginia Admission Secrets

See Colonial Williamsburg Virginia for free, Virginia Resident & Military Deals, Winter Deals, Busch Gardens Packages, Senior Deals, Places to Eat, and More Ways to Visit on a Dime...

Continue reading "Shhh! Colonial Williamsburg Virginia Admission Secrets"

Virginia Beach Winter Getaway Deals

Sure, it's cold, but there is one major benefit to winter in Virginia Beach, and it's that you can score some real hotel deals for getaways.

Some examples:

- La Quinta Inn & Suites Virginia Beach (located just a block from the beach) is offering weekdays stays for as little as $69 per night weekdays and $85 per night weekends (double occupancy).

You'll have the beach to yourself for long, quiet walks, can enjoy local restaurants like Il Waterman's and Tautogs, enjoy some winter whale watching or a visit to the Virginia Aquarium, or do some serious shopping at Town Center or the Lynnhaven Mall.


- Book 3 Nights, Get the 4th Free at Sandbridge - Siebert Realty is offering this deal on bookings through March 22. Use the code "4for3" when booking. Go to Siebert Realty for details.


- Colonial Williamsburg for 30% off - Visit during the winter and you'll save 30% off spring and summer admission prices. Here are details on winter ticket prices, as well as local resident, military, veteran, and homeschool deals.

Virginia Beach Restaurant Week!

Virginia Beach Restaurant Week - Feb. 19-25 - Let's You Sample Two and Three Course Meals for As Little As $10!

Continue reading "Virginia Beach Restaurant Week!"

New Travel and Entertainment Deals to Warm Your Heart

If you're feeling cold (pretty much anywhere on the East Coast right now), here are some deals that might warm you up:

- Southwest Airlines sale: the airline is offering winter/spring "Sale-ebrate" deal with discounts on flights when you book through Jan. 25.


- JetBlue deal for veterans: Vets get 5% of with two free checked bags - good any day.
- Free Redbox rental: Just text "PUSH" to 727272. Or get a buy-one-get-one free when you use the code RWNH8AVZ.
- Vacation rental deals at Sandbridge: Save 10%-30% on beach rentals through Jan. 30 with Siebert Realty.
- National Parks Fee-Free day Jan. 15: Get free admission to nearly 120 national parks on Jan. 15. (And keep an eye out for these additional fee-free days this year.)
- 1,000 free photo prints with FreePrints app - spend that extra time at home by ordering free 4x6 prints (up to 85 each month) when you download the FreePrints app.

And finally, if you want a good "pig out" deal, IHOP is offering all-you-can-eat pancakes for $3.99, now through Feb. 12. Limit one deal per person per day.

Here are ways to get lots of other freebies and deals.

Get More Income for 33% Less

Want to make a change for 2018?

Start a second stream of income that makes money even while you sleep?

If you've ever thought of starting a website about your passion, you have until Jan. 5 to do it for a third less. SiteSell (full disclosure: It's the web-building service I've used to have a successful, money-making travel website since 2006) is offering 33% off when you purchase a site by Jan. 5.

SBI! Holiday Special

Even at full price, SiteSell is a bargain. It's the one thing that I learned could do all this for me:

--make me serious money without costing me an arm and a leg in start-up fees.
--be something that I could do from home so I wouldn't sacrifice my family.
--challenge me intellectually (no stuffing envelopes, thank you!).
-- be something that I would truly love and have fun doing (c'mon, isn't life too short to hate your work?).

I can't say enough about SiteSell. Find out more about Site Sell now.

The Virginia Beach Polar Plunge!

The Virginia Beach Polar Plunge (Do it If You Dare!) Feb 2-3, and Help the Special Olympics - Video, Registration, 4K and More...

Continue reading "The Virginia Beach Polar Plunge!"

2018 National Park Fee-Free Days

If you want to visit 300 or so national parks without paying admission fees, you can still do so in 2018. But you'll be able to do it considerably less.

In part to close a $70 million annual operating shortfall, the National Parks Service announced that the number of fee-free days are declining from 10 to 4 in 2018.

In addition, admission fees are going up across the board, meaning that you'll pay more when you do pay fees.

On the other hand, there are still four groups which can get free admission year-round.

Here's the latest on 2018 fee-free days and other ways to get free admission, plus an overview of 2018 admission fees.

Is the VMFA's "Terracotta Warrior" Exhibit Worth the Fee?

Last week, I posted that teachers could get free admission to the "Terracotta Army" special exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts now through March 11.

I told you that in addition, teachers can also purchase tickets for family members at half price, and that I was looking forward to saving my family $50 on the admission fee.

The good news is that the discount was even greater than I expected, so we paid just $20 for our family of four.

The bad news is that the exhibit itself is really a let-down. Why?

For details, as well as my update on why my trick for getting free parking at the museum has some new drawbacks, check out my Virginia Museum of Fine Arts page.

Winter Whale Watching Deals in Virginia Beach...Here's How!

Winter Whale Watching Deals in Virginia Beach...Package Deals Including Hotel, Excursion, Virginia Aquarium & IMAX Tix and More.

Continue reading "Winter Whale Watching Deals in Virginia Beach...Here's How!"

Give Blood, Get Free Admission to Virginia Aquarium

Here's a (relatively) easy way to save $25 and get free admission to the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach: give blood.

Give blood on Dec. 28 at the aquarium's blood drive with the American Red Cross and you'll get free admission, plus a long-sleeve t-shirt (while supplies last). You can find details here.

The drive will take place from 9:30 and to 3 pm that day and it's a great way to visit a fabulous aquarium while benefiting your community.

Free Admission to "Terracotta Army" Exhibit

Finally, it pays to be a teacher.

Teachers can get free admission to the "Terracotta Army" special exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts now through March 11. Virginia teachers need only show an ID badge at the admissions desk to get the deal.

In addition, teachers can also purchase tickets for family members at half price.

As a teacher planning to visit the exhibit next week, I'm thrilled that what would cost my family of four $80 (admission to the exhibit is $20 per person) will only cost us $30.

"Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China" features 130 works of art, drawn from the collections of 14 art museums and archaeological institutes in China. The highlight of the exhibit is figures from an underground army of nearly 8,000 life-size terracotta figures which were buried to lead Qin Shihuang into the afterlife.

For a full review of the museum, including how to save $3 on parking, see my VMFA page.

Free Paw Pass at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg

Book a stay at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg at their best available rate and get a free Paw Pass, a $79.99 value.

Use the code PAWPASS and you'll get a free Paw Pass which gives you the following:

- One MagiQuest game and wand or wand topper
- One Creation Station animal
- One Clubhouse Crew Adventure
- One pair of Great Wolf Lodge goggles
- One game of bowling at Ten Paw Alley
- One Glitz Glitter Tattoo and photo
- One Leather Treaty wristband and candy cup
- One $5 Paw Points game card

You must book by Jan. 4 and stay by Feb. 15 to get the deal. For details, go to Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg.

Even if you miss this deal, you may still be able to get 30% off a two-day stay at Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg for select groups.

Ugly Sweater = Free Krispy Kreme Donuts

Nope, it's not a typo.

Wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater to Krispy Kreme donuts tomorrow (Dec. 15) and you'll get a free dozen original glazed donuts when you purchase a dozen of any type of donuts.

See-- knew that ugly sweater was good for something...

Read This Before Visiting Busch Gardens Christmas Town

With Busch Gardens Christmas Town switching to a daily operating schedule this Friday, I've got some must-read tips you need to read before your visit.

I'll tell you:


- Tips for saving money on tickets and food (including an active promo code)
- Best places to view the lights
- Best places to warm up
- Must-buys

You'll find them all here on my Christmas Town page.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town Promo Code

Well, the good news is that there is finally a valid 2017 promo code for Busch Gardens Christmas Town.

The bad news is that it may not be the best deal for you.

Short answer: It's complicated, as I've detailed here on my Christmas Town page. You'll get the whole scoop, plus info on new shows, operating days and hours, and tips for what to see on your visit.

Lewis Ginter GardenFest of Lights

Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - Discount Admission & BOGO Deals to this Holiday Tradition Featuring a Half Million Twinkling Lights

Continue reading "Lewis Ginter GardenFest of Lights"

Recent Articles

  1. Norfolk to Offer Bahamas Cruises in 2019

    Jan 19, 18 01:04 PM

    After a one-year absence, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced several 2019 cruise departures from Norfolk. They include 5 and 6-day cruises to the Bahamas, visiting Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport…

    Read More

  2. Winter Discounts at Monticello

    Jan 19, 18 12:28 PM

    Now is the cheapest time of the year to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, thanks to lower winter rates. In addition, you can save even more if you purchase your tickets in advance online. Taken tog…

    Read More

  3. Kings Dominion 2018 Hours & Operating Schedule

    Jan 18, 18 11:29 AM

    Just a little over two months until Kings Dominion opens for their 2018 season, and they've just posted their hours and operating schedule. As with the Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2018 schedule and the…

    Read More

Recent Articles

  1. Norfolk to Offer Bahamas Cruises in 2019

    Jan 19, 18 01:04 PM

    After a one-year absence, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced several 2019 cruise departures from Norfolk. They include 5 and 6-day cruises to the Bahamas, visiting Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Freeport…

    Read More

  2. Winter Discounts at Monticello

    Jan 19, 18 12:28 PM

    Now is the cheapest time of the year to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, thanks to lower winter rates. In addition, you can save even more if you purchase your tickets in advance online. Taken tog…

    Read More

  3. Kings Dominion 2018 Hours & Operating Schedule

    Jan 18, 18 11:29 AM

    Just a little over two months until Kings Dominion opens for their 2018 season, and they've just posted their hours and operating schedule. As with the Busch Gardens Williamsburg 2018 schedule and the…

    Read More

Daily Deals & Discounts!