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:

Amazon Prime Freebie and Amazon Prime Day Deals

You may have heard that Amazon Prime Day is July 16, but you might not know that the online giant is offering a freebie this week for Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods.

Now through July 17, make a purchase of $10 or more at Whole Foods, show them your Amazon Prime code or mobile number and you'll a $10 Amazon Prime credit which you can use on Amazon purchases between 12 am PT on Monday, July 16 through 11:59 pm PT on Wednesday, July 18.

The website Cnet.com has done a great job of highlighting some of the most anticipated Amazon Prime Day deals if you want to check them out here.

Luray Caverns Discounts

Summer is a fabulous time to visit Luray Caverns, the largest and most popular caverns in Eastern America.

Here are just a few reasons why:

- The caverns are 54 degrees year round, perfect on a hot day.
- Their stalacpipe organ is the largest musical instrument in the world.
- The caverns feature cathedral sized rooms with ceilings up to 10 stories high, plus rare stalactite formations and lakes.
- They have a challenging ropes course and garden maze, perfect for burning off energy.
- For more air-conditioned entertainment, their Car and Carriage Museum is included in admission.
- Kids will love to pan for gems in their Gem Sluice mining station.
- Their Toy Town Junction, an antique toy train set, is included in your admission to the Caverns.
- They offer two places to eat: The fast food Stalactite Cafe, and the restaurant-style Heartpine Cafe near the Luray Valley Museum.

One thing a visit to the Caverns is not is inexpensive, and there are very few discounts other than the ones I've listed here, so be sure to check them out before you visit.

Kings Dominion & Soak City for Just $29.99

Paramounts Kings Dominion is offering tickets for just $29.99 now through July 31 when you take advantage of their "Summer Splash" deal. This is one of the lowest prices of the season, and between that and the hot weather (remember, admission includes their waterpark, Soak City) this is a great time to visit.

One even better reason to go this Saturday, July 14, is that the park is hosting its annual Joyfest, a Christian music event featuring Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, and Tasha Cobbs. (The cheapest lawn tickets for Joyfest are currently $59, but the good news is that that includes admission to Kings Dominion and Soak City.)

If those deals don't work for you, I have nearly 10 other ways for you to save on admission at the park.

Park to Park Bicycle Tour July 14

It's not too late for bikers to participate in the Park to Park Bicycle Tour on July 14 in the Jamestown/Williamsburg area.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the event will start near the James City County Marina, moving on to Chickahominy Riverfront Park, Veterans Park, Freedom Park, the Virginia Capital Trail, and other locations. In addition, participants will also be able to cool off at Chickahominy Riverfront Park's pool.

There are several routes, including a 50-mile trek, a 30-mile trip, a 15-mile ride, and a short family ride. The admission fee, which ranges from $10-$20, includes lunch, and participants can register on the day of the event. Helmets are required. To register in advance, go to the event's website.

Looking for somewhere cheap to pig out after burning off all those calories? Check out my favorite cheap Williamsburg eateries.

Free Virginia Zoo Admission Swap

Want to double your money while having fun in Hampton Roads?

Try this BOGO museum admission deal: During the month of July, purchase admission to either the Virginia Zoo or the Virginia MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Arts) and you'll get a free admission to the museum.

It's part of a summer-long admission swap the Virginia Zoo is having with other area museums, including the Heritage Museum, the Children's Museum of Virginia, Nauticus, and the Mariners Museum. Here are the details on the other months' deals.

While at the Virginia Zoo, don't miss their new additions, including Sofie, their newest orangutan, who was born on July 6.

Speaking of the Mariners Museum, don't miss their $1 summer admission deal.

Water Country USA for $25!

Now here's a true bargain: You can get mid-week admission to Water Country USA with this limited-time Groupon deal.

That's 58% off the regular ticket price, and their only stipulation is that you must visit Monday-Friday (no weekends). This is by far the best deal I've seen in some time, but as with all Groupon deals, it can end at any time.

Remember to bring $16 for parking, plus some granola bars or other snacks since the food there can get kind of pricey. The deal is good for up to 10 tickets, and can be used on a weekday through Sept. 3.

And don't forget to check the Water Country USA hours before your visit.

50% Off Busch Gardens Williamsburg Fun Cards

Groupon is offering 50% off a Fun Card-- good for unlimited visits all season-- to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

This is a good one, folks, likely the best Fun Card deal you'll find all season. But act fast, because sometimes Groupon deals like this only last a few days or a week. (And remember, Fun Cards don't include parking. You can save $2 (you'll pay $18 per day instead of $20) if you purchase your parking in advance online.)

For more Busch Gardens deals, click here.




Cool Activities for Hot Weather

Virginia is currently in the grip of some really hot weather, with heat indexes in the 100's for much of the state. But if you don't have the option of hanging at the beach or by a pool all day, what can you do to keep the kids occupied?

AMF Bowling is offering a $10 deal on July 4, which includes two straight hours of bowling (in blissful air conditioning, I might add) for just $10 per person.

Another option is to consider some of the indoor activities I've outlined here (yes, I know it's called "Rainy Day activities," but the principal is the same: indoor fun!).

This is also a great time to visit Water Country USA or Kings Dominion's water park, Soak City. Or, another option is Virginia Beach's own Ocean Breeze Water Park.

Fourth of July Events in Virginia

Fourth of July Events in Virginia, including Free Fireworks, Music, Entertainment at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and more.

Continue reading "Fourth of July Events in Virginia"

Ocean Breeze Water Park is Wet and Wild!

Ocean Breeze Water Park - $2 Off Deal and Tickets for as Little as $19.99 at Virginia Beach's Hottest & Coolest Water Park! Twilight Ticket Deals, Meal Deals, Tips and More

Continue reading "Ocean Breeze Water Park is Wet and Wild!"

New TSA Regulations Affecting Carry-Ons

A new TSA regulation designed to detect powder which may be used for explosive devices will start affecting carry-ons starting on June 30. Specifically, those flying into the US from foreign airports will be affected. The rule means that you may have to start treating powdered items the same way we've treating liquids while flying.

Here are the details, plus other TSA rules you should consider before flying.

8 Ways to Save on Gas This Summer

I just updated my Cheap Gas page to reflect a new app which could save you up to 18 cents per gallon (maybe more) on gas.

Best of all, it's a free app and you'll get actual cash back.

The Get Upside app is really simple to use. It alerts you to stations in your area which are offering deals ranging from 3 cents gallon to 18 cents per gallon. You pay as usual, upload the receipt to the app, and your savings build up until they reach the cash back level you choose. You can even save more by referring friends.

There are some limitations, and Get Upside is not available in all areas, but I'm happy with it so far.

Here are the details, plus 7 more ways to save at the pump this summer.

Today Only: $49 Airfare Sale

Today only, Alaska Airlines is offering a fall airfare sale featuring fares as low as $49 one way. The deal is good on flights throughout the US and Mexico.

Here's the fine print: The best deals are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays Sept. 12-Dec. 19. You'll need to book by 11:59 p.m. PT tonight for the best deals.

The cheapest deal is from Las Vegas to or from Los Angeles ($49), but you can also snag cross country deals like $159 fares from New York to or from San Francisco.

To get the deal, go to alaskaair.com.

Kings Dominion Independence Day Events

Kings Dominion is offering not one day, but five days of Fourth of July events. From June 30-July 4, they'll be offering fireworks shows each night, along with special all-you-can-eat BBQ, and special performances each day by military bands.

(Your best fireworks viewing spots are probably the Eiffel Tower and Drop Tower.)

In addition, the park will be honoring members of the military with free admission for retired and active duty military and discounted admission for dependents (June 30 through July 8).

On July 4, they are offering a special admission/meal combo deal. For $64.95 ($56.99 for juniors), you'll get admission plus a meal which includes BBQ Beans, Potato Salad, Pasta Salad, Cubed Watermelon, Corn Bread, Potato Chips, Nestle Ice Cream novelties, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coca-Cola Beverages (no meat, apparently, so be prepared for that). If you've already purchased discount tickets using these Kings Dominion deals and promo codes you can also purchase the meals separately. Pass holders get a 10% discount on the meals.

For information on more upcoming events at the park, including their new Coaster Campout (where you can camp in the park), see my Kings Dominion Events page.

Water Country USA Ticket Deals

Water Country USA Ticket Deals - Save $30 with this deal, plus promo codes, 2-Park Deals, Military, First Responder, and College Student Discounts, and Where to Find Discount Ticket Coupons...

Continue reading "Water Country USA Ticket Deals"

Tips for Keeping Money Safe While Traveling

What are the best ways to keep your money safe while traveling?

There's nothing worse than being robbed while traveling. I'll never forget the day my friend had her wallet stolen on the subway in New York right in front of me. She did all the right things (keeping her wallet in her zippered purse, keeping her hand on the closed zipper, and having her purse strapped cross-wise over her chest), but the guy still got her wallet.

How did he do it?

Crammed right next to her on the packed subway train (and right across from me) he cut into the side of her leather purse using a really sharp boxcutter and just slipped the wallet out of her purse.. Yeah, she felt some jostling from him, but on a packed subway train, who wasn't being jostled? She didn't realize it was gone until an hour later.

So what can you do to keep your money safe (or maybe I should say, safer) when traveling? Here are some tips for minimizing your chances of getting robbed, plus tips for protecting your credit cards and minimizing foreign transaction fees.

Carry Money Traveling Tips

Best Ways to Carry Money Traveling - Best Credit Cards, Anti-Theft Tips & Tricks, Avoiding Foreign Transaction Fees, Buying Currency, and more

Continue reading "Carry Money Traveling Tips"

Free Outdoor Classes at REI

Here's a free source for outdoor classes you might not be aware of.

Outdoor retailer REI offers monthly classes-- many of them free--to the general public. For example, their Virginia stores are offering these upcoming free events:

- Gourmet camp cooking
- Hiking the Appalachian Trail (food & equipment)
- Shenandoah National Park
- Bike maintenance basics
- Car camping basics
- Camping with your dog
- Making the ultimate cup of camp coffee

The classes are offered at a variety of locations throughout the state, such as Washington DC, Tyson's Corner, Glen Allen, and Fairfax.

For details, go to REI. And for more summer freebies, click here.

Williamsburg's Free Summer Breeze Concert Series

Once again, Williamsburg is offering their free Summer Breeze Concert Series now through Sept. 19.

Located on the lawn of the art museums of Colonial Williamsburg, the concerts take place each Wednesday from 6 pm to 9 pm. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the free music from these artists:

June 20 - Bobby Blackhat Band
June 27 - Jacob Vanko Band
July 4 - USAF Band and the Brasswind Band (fireworks follow at 9:20 pm)
July 11 - Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Cha's
July 18 - Buddha Council
July 25 - Chisman Creek
Aug. 1 - The Grey Riders
Aug. 8 - English Channel
Aug. 15 - Party Fins
Aug. 22 - Air Force Rhythm in Blue
Aug. 29 - Brandon Bower Band
Sept. 5 - Raw Beets
Sept. 12 - BJ Griffon and the Galaxy Groove
Sept. 19 - 504 Supreme & Two Tone Honeys

There are a surprising number of free or cheap things to do in the Williamsburg area, including how to see much of the Historic Area for free. Here are a few ways to see this wonderful area on the cheap:

- Secrets of a Cheap Colonial Williamsburg Vacation
- Our Favorite Cheap Williamsburg Restaurants
- Best Williamsburg Attractions
- Colonial Williamsburg Admission Secrets


How to Visit Museums for Free

How would you like free admission to hundreds of museums worldwide?

Seriously, who wouldn't?

It's not as possible as you might think. Fact is, buying a membership at one museum may well get you free admission to dozens of other museums in your state-- or even museums across the country or worldwide.

There are two great programs which make this deal possible:

- The ACM Reciprocal Program (for children's museums)
- The ASTC Program (for science museums)

Click on the links to learn how these programs work, and how we were able to get a family membership at one Virginia museum which then gave us free admission to other museums in Virginia, as well as museums in California and Bermuda.

Nearly 60% Off Busch Gardens & Water Country USA Pass

Groupon is offering 58% off a three-day pass to both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA.

This is a good one, folks. You'll be able to visit both parks over a three-day period for just $50 instead of the usual $120. It doesn't get much better than that. You'll be able to visit the parks three days over 7 consecutive calendar days.

By like all Groupon deals, this could end any moment, so Act fast to check out this 58% off Groupon deal.




Summer Events at Virginia Beach & Beyond

Check out Summer Events at Virginia Beach & Beyond, from Free Fireworks & Family Adventures, to Sandstock & Busch Gardens' Glory in the Gardens...

Continue reading "Summer Events at Virginia Beach & Beyond"

Last Day to Activate Kings Dominion Pre-School Pass

Today (June 17) is the last day to activate all Kings Dominion Pre-School Passes.

If you didn't already register to get the free pass for your pre-schooler, it's too late, but you still need to activate it by coming to the park. Remember that your child must be present and you must bring an original or copy of their birth certificate or a travel passport.

What about the rest of the family?

Don't worry: I have a total of 12 active deals and/or promo codes which can get you into the park for as little as $21. Here are the deals.

New Fathers Day Freebies for 2018

I've just added a few additions to my Father's Day freebies list for 2018. It includes a great bowling deal good for the whole family, a free movie, and $1 admission at a local museum, plus a fun way to make a day of it with a family picnic.

And remember, if your dad is military or a veteran, why not take him to Busch Gardens this weekend and take advantage of their deal for military members?

Food Freebies for June 13

If you saw my Father's Day freebies post yesterday, you're already aware of some food freebies and deals this week. But I found some more freebies which are good today only:

- Taco Bell - From 2 pm to 6 pm today only, get a free Doritos Locos Taco at participating locations - nor purchase necessary.
- Krispy Kreme - Buy one dozen original glazed donuts, get another for $1 - ends today
- Auntie Annie's - BOGO free pretzels and Cinnabon class rolls - ends June 18.
- Baskin Robbins - Free scoop with app purchase - ends soon.

Maybe you can treat Dad to an early treat?

Recent Articles

  1. Amazon Prime Freebie and Amazon Prime Day Deals

    Jul 12, 18 03:35 PM

    You may have heard that Amazon Prime Day is July 16, but you might not know that the online giant is offering a freebie this week for Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods. Now through July 17…

    Read More

  2. Luray Caverns Discounts

    Jul 10, 18 03:27 PM

    Summer is a fabulous time to visit Luray Caverns, the largest and most popular caverns in Eastern America. Here are just a few reasons why: - The caverns are 54 degrees year round, perfect on a hot da…

    Read More

  3. Kings Dominion & Soak City for Just $29.99

    Jul 10, 18 02:48 PM

    Paramounts Kings Dominion is offering tickets for just $29.99 now through July 31 when you take advantage of their "Summer Splash" deal. This is one of the lowest prices of the season, and between tha…

    Read More

Recent Articles

  1. Amazon Prime Freebie and Amazon Prime Day Deals

    Jul 12, 18 03:35 PM

    You may have heard that Amazon Prime Day is July 16, but you might not know that the online giant is offering a freebie this week for Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods. Now through July 17…

    Read More

  2. Luray Caverns Discounts

    Jul 10, 18 03:27 PM

    Summer is a fabulous time to visit Luray Caverns, the largest and most popular caverns in Eastern America. Here are just a few reasons why: - The caverns are 54 degrees year round, perfect on a hot da…

    Read More

  3. Kings Dominion & Soak City for Just $29.99

    Jul 10, 18 02:48 PM

    Paramounts Kings Dominion is offering tickets for just $29.99 now through July 31 when you take advantage of their "Summer Splash" deal. This is one of the lowest prices of the season, and between tha…

    Read More

Daily Deals & Discounts!