Norfolk Fun Activities: Explore Exciting Things To Do


Explore a host of fun things to do in Norfolk! From historic landmarks to vibrant events, Norfolk has everything for an exciting journey! Get ready for an adventure-filled journey!

Welcome to Norfolk, an exciting and entertaining city offering something for everyone! Be it history buff, nature lover, or foodie alike – Norfolk has something to offer everyone and here we will explore its various fun things to do so you have an unforgettable time here.

Exploring Norfolk’s Historical Marvels

Norfolk, Virginia is a city with a rich and fascinating history. From its colonial beginnings to its role in the Civil War and beyond, Norfolk has played a major role in shaping the American experience.

Here are a few of Norfolk’s historical marvels that you can explore as Fun Things to Do in Norfolk:

Fort Monroe: 

Fort Monroe is a massive stone fort that was built in the 18th century. It played a key role in the Civil War, and it was also the site where Harriet Tubman escaped slavery. Today, Fort Monroe is a National Monument and Historic Landmark.

Fort Monroe:

The Mariners’ Museum and Park: 

The Mariners’ Museum and Park is a world-renowned maritime museum with a collection of over 30,000 artifacts. The museum is housed in a former naval training station, and it offers visitors a glimpse into the history of the American Navy and the maritime industry.

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The USS Wisconsin:

 The USS Wisconsin is a battleship that was commissioned in 1944. It served in World War II and the Korean War and it is now a museum ship at Nauticus. Visitors can take a guided tour of the ship and learn about its history.

The USS Wisconsin, fun things to do in norfolk

The Old Dominion Book Shop: 

The Old Dominion Book Shop is a historic bookstore that has been in business since 1923. It is housed in a former bank building, and it is known for its wide selection of books, including rare and out-of-print titles.

The Attucks Theatre: 

The Attucks Theatre is a historic theater that was built in 1859. It is the oldest African-American theater in the United States, and it has hosted performances by renowned artists such as Josephine Baker and Ella Fitzgerald.

These are just a few of the many historical marvels that you can explore in Norfolk. With its rich history and beautiful architecture, Norfolk is a city that has something to offer everyone.

In addition to these specific sites, you can also find remnants of Norfolk’s history all over the city. For example, you can see colonial-era buildings in the Ghent neighborhood, and you can see Civil War-era fortifications on the Elizabeth River.

Fun Things to Do in Norfolk for Nature Lovers

Norfolk offers plenty of natural wonders for outdoor enthusiasts to discover, and here are a few Fun Things to Do in Norfolk with the Family:

Exploration of the Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is an expansive network of over 120 lakes and rivers, which make up its waters. Boaters, kayakers, canoeists, and canoeists flock to this scenic paradise, while hikers, bicyclists, and birdwatchers also find plenty of enjoyment here.

Visit Pensthorpe Natural Park now.

Pensthorpe Natural Park is a wildlife conservation center covering more than 400 acres of woodlands, lakes, and meadows. Visitors can observe deer, owls, and birds of prey among other forms of fauna – plus educational trails for all ages to enjoy!

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Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach is one of England’s longest beaches and an ideal place to experience sun, sea, and wildlife. There is something here for everyone at Holkham.

Holkham Beach

The Virginia Zoo

The Virginia Zoo is a 53-acre facility located adjacent to Lafayette Park in Norfolk, Virginia, and home to over 700 animals representing 150 different species from across the globe. Accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) ensures it adheres to high standards for animal care and welfare.

Virginia Zoo

Some of the zoo’s most beloved exhibits include:

  •  Asia – Trail of the Tiger: This exhibit displays tigers, snow leopards, and other Asian animals in naturalistic habitats designed to recreate their native environments.
 Asia - Trail of the Tiger
  • ZooFarm: Visitors can see farm animals up close, including cows, pigs, goats and sheep. Visitors may feed and pet some of these creatures.
  •  Australia Walkabout: This exhibit gives visitors the chance to observe Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas, and wombats in natural settings.

In addition to animal exhibits, the Virginia Zoo also provides educational programs and events designed for visitors of all ages. Visitors can learn about animal conservation, care, the zoo’s mission statement, and beyond! Furthermore, behind-the-scenes tours provide visitors with additional experiences.

The Virginia Zoo offers visitors of all ages an excellent way to learn about animals and their habitats while providing an engaging, enjoyable visit experience.

Other enjoyable things for nature lovers in Norfolk include:

  • Hiking in Thetford Forest and visiting Watatunga Wildlife Reserve
  • Crabbing off of Wells-next-the-Sea quay
  • Exploring Houghton Hall gardens;
  • going on a picnic at Holkham Hall grounds

Unwind and Enjoy Norfolk’s Culinary Delights

Norfolk is an English country known for its vibrant culinary traditions. Offering everything from freshly caught seafood and hearty game dishes, Norfolk provides something delicious for everyone to enjoy – whether Michelin-star meals or simple pub lunches, you are bound to find something suitable in Norfolk.

Here are a few of the culinary delights Norfolk has to offer:

Cromer crab:

Cromer crab is one of the most beloved seafood in Norfolk, known for its sweet and delicate flavor. You can enjoy Cromer crab in various forms – dressed simply with mayonnaise or placed into salads and sandwiches for maximum enjoyment!

Cromer crab:


Mussels are another delicious seafood choice popularly eaten throughout Norfolk. Available from autumn through early spring, mussels can be found on many restaurant and pub menus as they come into season – often served in a creamy white wine herb sauce.


Norfolk Black Turkeys

Norfolk Black Turkeys are native to Norfolk County, and known for their dark meat and distinctive flavor. While traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas holidays, they can also be enjoyed throughout the year.

Norfolk is famous for its seafood and game dishes, but also for its cheeses and mustards.

Norfolk Blue Cheese:

Norfolk Blue Cheese is a delicious blue cheese made with pasteurized cow’s milk that boasts mild sweetness with its delicious mild flavor profile. Norfolk Blue Cheese can be used as part of salads, sandwiches, or desserts to elevate any meal or dish!

Norfolk Blue Cheese:

Norwich Mustard:

 Norwich Mustard is an iconic English mustard made with brown mustard seeds, vinegar, and spices to create its rich and pungent flavor that adds some heat to food such as sandwiches, burgers, and sausages. It can also be found on many menus of its own accord!

Norfolk offers numerous outstanding restaurants and pubs for those looking to experience its culinary treats.

Below are just a few suggestions:

  • The Neptune Inn, Hunstanton: This award-winning restaurant offers an exquisite tasting menu of modern British cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Morston Hall: Morston Hall’s Michelin-star restaurant showcases Norfolk’s finest produce in innovative dishes designed to impress.
  • Eric’s Pizza in Thornham provides delicious wood-fired pizzas made with fresh local ingredients and offers them at reasonable prices.
  • Wells Crab House of Wells Next the Sea: This seafood restaurant is known for serving fresh crab dishes such as dressed crab, crab sandwiches, and crab cakes.

Fun Things to Do in Norfolk with the Family

Norfolk is an idyllic destination for family outings, offering activities suitable for children of all ages. No matter their age, Norfolk boasts attractions that will ensure everyone has fun – here are a few ideas for Fun Things to Do in Norfolk with the Family:

Norfolk Children’s Museum

Families should visit this interactive wonderland designed to educate and entertain young ones while making learning fun! With exhibits and play areas designed specifically to educate and engage them, learning at this museum becomes an enjoyable adventure!

Norfolk Children's Museum

Hunt Club Farm

Hunt Club Farm is an ideal destination for families looking to experience nature and animals first-hand. Offering petting zoos and pony rides, children can get up close with various friendly creatures while exploring nature at its finest.

Nauticus: The National Maritime Center

Nauticus Museum of Maritime History & All Things Nautical offers interactive exhibits designed to engage both young and older minds alike. Don’t miss this fun adventure!

Children of all ages will delight in playing on simulators, touch pools, and exploring displays about ships and the ocean. Not to be outdone is the breathtaking battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) docked nearby allowing visitors to step into living history!

National Maritime Center

 Elizabeth River Trail 

If your family loves outdoor activities and stunning scenery, taking a walk or bike ride along the Elizabeth River Trail may be just what the doctor ordered. Offering stunning views of rivers, bridges, and lush greenery along its length – making this ideal for family adventures!

Norfolk’s Virginia Zoo

Step into an adventure at Norfolk’s Virginia Zoo for a thrilling family trip! Home to over 1,800 animals from all around the globe, it offers both educational and entertaining experiences for visitors of all ages.

Norfolk is an inviting city that welcomes families, offering plenty of engaging activities to suit all interests and hobbies. Be it exploring science’s marvels, experiencing nature, or encountering exotic wildlife – Norfolk will give every member of your family a memorable experience that won’t soon be forgotten!


Conclusion – Norfolk, Virginia offers plenty of exciting things for visitors of all kinds to do and see, catering to history buffs, nature enthusiasts, culinary aficionados, and families alike. Plunge into history at Fort Monroe and The Mariners’ Museum, two significant landmarks that helped shape American history. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring Norfolk Broads or strolling Holkham Beach – or all three!

Culinary delights are abundant, featuring Cromer crab, mussels, Norfolk Black Turkey, Norfolk Blue Cheese, and Norwich Mustard. Norfolk also provides many educational adventures such as its Children’s Museum, Hunt Club Farm Nauticus, or Virginia Zoo for families to experience educational adventures while creating unforgettable memories – welcoming all with its blend of history, nature, cuisine, and family-focused fun for everyone to enjoy!

FAQs-Fun Things to Do in Norfolk

What are the best outdoor activities in Norfolk? 

Explore the scenic Elizabeth River Trail or immerse yourself in the beauty of the Norfolk Botanical Garden. These outdoor gems provide a rejuvenating experience in nature.

Are there free things to do in Norfolk? 

Yes, Norfolk offers several free attractions such as exploring the scenic Norfolk Harbor and strolling through the artsy Ghent District.

Where can I find the best seafood in Norfolk? 

For the freshest seafood, head to Waterside District or any waterfront restaurant for a delectable seafood dining experience.

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