Five Fun Things to Do in Chesapeake, VA When Visiting

There’s something about Chesapeake that’s uniquely Virginian. Rolling fields, deepwater canals, and wide open spaces make it one of Coastal Virginia’s most charming towns. Real estate in the area is perennially hot – there’s always a gorgeous new home coming to market. Whether you’re new to Chesapeake or just swinging through town for a visit, there is no shortage of exciting ways to spend your time. As you plan your trip to Chesapeake, factor these fun things to do into your itinerary:

1 . Go Kayaking in the Great Dismal Swamp

There are few places in America as unspoiled as the Great Dismal Swamp. The wildlife refuge and state park is well known amongst locals but rarely visited. The swamp’s history is long and fascinating – Native Americans have called the area home before European settlers landed in the region. During the early years of modern American history, the swamp served as a sanctuary for slaves who managed to escape their captors. 

Today, the Great Dismal Swamp makes for excellent kayaking. The diversity of nature is a true sight to behold. While you can certainly hike your way through, kayaking provides a unique perspective on truly untouched parts of the Commonwealth. Be sure to leave nothing but your footprints to help keep this gorgeous corner of the region as pristine as possible.

2. Catch a Flick at Cinema Cafe

Movie buffs, rejoice! Cinema Cafe is the perfect place to cool off and grab a bite to eat while watching new releases and old favorites. A real local’s joint, Cinema Cafe has served the region for more than two decades. The theater shows first-run movies as well as classic animated films kids love. It’s the ideal destination for the whole family on a hot summer’s day.

The food is the thing that makes Cinema Cafe stand out amongst other theaters in the area. Popcorn and soda are a given, but bring your appetite for full meals like My Big Fat Greek Gyro and the Wild Wild Southwest Bowl. Their margaritas are especially delicious – we’re big fans of the Sunset Blvd., which combines pineapple juice, coconut rum, and grenadine with traditional marg ingredients for a truly tropical concoction. 

3. Meet Some Furry Friends

There are more than 83,000 farm operations in Chesapeake alone. If you’re hoping to cozy up to some barnyard friends, this is the place to do it! Mount Pleasant Farms is home to one of Chesapeake’s best petting zoos. Bring the kids to meet and feed goats, chickens, and sheep – they even offer pony rides! After playing with farm animals, head over to the playground for even more fun.

Mount Pleasant Farms isn’t just for kids, though. Adults can enjoy pick-your-own peaches, stock up on farm fresh ingredients, and enjoy delicious baked goods. Whether you’re a child or just a child at heart, there’s no denying how much fun can be had at Mount Pleasant!

4. Play Disc Golf at Northwest River Park

The Northwest River is one of Chesapeake’s most scenic locations. It’s the ideal spot for a picnic with your sweetie. Or, if you have kids, the playground here is second to none. There’s also a fantastic mini golf range as well as a disc golf course. Fun isn’t hard to find at Northwest River Park!

Mini golf will run each player about $3 each. Disc golf is $2 per person. Be sure to bring your own set of discs, or purchase a new set at the ranger station. The wooded course offers challenges for both new and experienced players alike. It’s a great way to get outside and explore all that Chesapeake has to offer. 

5. Go Ice Skating at Chilled Ponds

On a hot summer’s day, sometimes the ice rink is the only place to find relief. Recognized as one of the top ice sports complexes in the state, Chilled Ponds has room for all your favorite ice rink activities. Come for free skating – it’s the perfect date activity. There’s also a figure skating club for those looking to get into the sport. Ice hockey is also a popular option at Chilled Ponds. You can even sign up to play broomball, a game similar to hockey that’s easier for beginners to learn. Birthday parties are also a popular option at this neighborhood rink.

More Opportunities for Fun in Chesapeake

No matter how you enjoy spending your free time, Chesapeake is an ideal destination for the whole family. Whether you prefer the untouched beauty of the great outdoors or want to indulge in the latest movie releases, there’s no shortage of fun options in this town. Be sure to follow Explore CoVA for more updates about things to do in Chesapeake. We’ll bring you the latest events and the recommendations you need to really embrace all this beautiful city has to offer!

Chelsea DeAngio
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I'm Chelsea, a freelance writer and Norfolk native. While I'm currently based in North Carolina, I can never stay away from CoVA for long! I take a weekend warrior approach to my frequent visits, packing in as much beach time and restaurant hopping as I can.