Ah, middle school, that sweet spot of school that holds the perfect mix of education, socialization, and self-characterization. These things are all achieved in various ways throughout the middle school years, one of our favorites being through travel. Students are always eager to get out of the classroom and into different fun learning opportunities, especially when those opportunities happen to take place in a city such as Virginia Beach.
Virginia Beach is the perfect place to take your middle school class as the entire city is a living history lesson and culture-filled beach oasis, what many people label as a "kid-friendly beach town". We think Virginia Beach is the best place in America to take your middle school class this year, from its world-class educational and historic attractions to its marine life learning opportunities and other chances for good ole fashioned fun around every corner! Here are a few of our favorite spots:
Virginia Aquarium: The Virginia Aquarium is located right off of the Rudee Inlet and is the perfect spot for finding marine life diversity. Here at this spectacular aquarium you will explore tanks of over 800,000 gallons full of vibrant animal life, the entire complex considered to be one of the best aquariums and animal habitats in the entire country. Enjoy plenty of fun hands-on exhibits, nature paths, and marshland adventures, as well as the always fun Adventure Park, a zip-liner's paradise. Children will love the Smokey the Bear interaction and Mermaid Mondays and everyone will enjoy the Sea Adventures, National Geographic 3D Theater, and food and shopping opportunities!
Virginia Beach Oceanfront: Really enjoy your time at Virginia Beach doing just as the name suggests: heading to the beach! Virginia Beach offers several different uniquely gorgeous beach front areas, from the historic and calm waters of Chesapeake Bay, the perfect place for some sand volleyball or history lessons about the First Landing State Park, to the secluded five miles of pristine beach dotted with sand dunes and sea oats. The entire city’s boardwalk is three miles long and allows you to bike, hike, or leisurely stroll your way from Croatan Beach to North End Beach, soaking in sun, sand, and some of the best oceanfront views in the state all along the way!
Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures: This fun option is perfect for your group, a history lesson, cruise, and entertainment stop all in one! You and your class will board the Lost Pearl, a replica Spanish Galleon Ship and take part in various on-board shanties, shows, and shenanigans that show you what it was like to be a pirate! Learn the culture and history of the area’s colorful past as you sail the "Seven Seas of Virginia Beach" and snack on some pirate grub, you may even spot a few dolphins along the way!
Cape Henry Lighthouse: Cape Henry Lighthouse is the perfect destination for both you and your class because it is an integral part of the state and country’s history and therefore provides a great lesson opportunity. It also offers a fun and challenging tower climb and rewarding ocean and state views from the top. This 157 foot cast and wrought iron maritime guider was the first federally funded lighthouse in all of America, and stands as the oldest today, plus it offers a fun gift shop and observation deck.
Busch Gardens - Williamsburg: Busch Gardens is always a great option for students, an amazing amusement park filled with European culture and endless science and energy lessons. This 383-acre theme park is actually located about 60 miles northwest of Virginia Beach, but makes for a great day trip. This forested park boasts a European theme, rides, coasters, shows, dining, and even river and rail attractions! Don’t worry about some of the rides being too adventurous for the others, Busch Gardens offers every level of adventure from the kid-appropriate Little Gliders to the massive and scream-inducing Griffon!
Atlantic Fun Park: This is the perfect spot for you and your middle school class to enjoy the very best of Virginia Beach, both views and entertainment wise. This small and culture-filled seasonal amusement center will allow you to explore 16 rides, a go-kart track, and a handful of classic Midway Games. Enjoy the views from the Ferris Wheel, scream your head off on the Slingshot, or melt into your seat on the Gravitron. Fill up on adrenaline and delicious carnival-style food, two things middle schoolers tend to love!