Ocean Breeze Waterpark, which offers free parking, embraces the spirit of the sun-drenched Caribbean, inviting families to come and enjoy more than 30 rides, slides, and attractions. Food stands dish up shrimp po' boys, foot-long sub sandwiches, and ice cream, while complimentary sunscreen and a staff of vigilant lifeguards help ensure that families stay safe and comfortable throughout their visit.
Rides and Attractions
|Sea Serpent||Walk the Plank|
|350-foot slide that sends guests in tubes flying around high-banking curves and horizontal loops||Thrilling, pitch-black body slide whose final 50-foot drop ends in a splash|
|Inner tubes swirl around a 30-foot-wide bowl before dropping into the pool below||1,000,000-gallon wave pool sends swells surging from the deep end toward the shore|
|Adventure River||Hook's Lagoon||Each trip around this quarter-mile-long lazy river passes by waterfalls and hopelessly lost icebergs||Multi-level play structure with plenty of opportunities for younger children to climb and clamber|
Julie Fabing Burleson and Suzy Vinson Nettles feel that the kitchen is just another place for kids to flex their creativity. They opened Young Chefs Academy to provide kids aged 3–18 with cooking programs targeted to preschoolers and kindergarteners, elementary schoolers, and older kids ready for trickier techniques and intricate recipes. Regardless of a student’s age, he or she is always taught the pillars of home cooking, including how to be safe in the kitchen, how to properly handle and prepare food, how to bake, and how to talk down an oven that constantly overheats. While participating in the entertaining cooking lessons, kids may not even realize that each class also allows them to practice their math, reading-comprehension, and communication skills.
Anticipation. That's arguably the most heart-pounding thing about Griffon, a towering dive coaster and one of the premiere attractions at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Suspense builds right to the top of its 205-foot hill, which sends riders over a cliff-like 90-degree drop. The coaster hurtles down at 75 miles per hour, before it levels out at a splash zone. Beyond these big-kid rides, Busch Gardens Williamsburg caters to youngsters with its KIDsiderate Attractions, such as the Land of Dragons and Sesame Street Forest of Fun. The latter surrounds little ones in playgrounds and kid-friendly rides, along with chances to meet with Sesame Street characters.
For even more entertainment, Busch Gardens Williamsburg also boasts multiple venues for both indoor and outdoor shows such as Night Beats, a musical review featuring glitzy ghouls. Each area of the park also offers shopping and dining to match its region's theme. The theme park also includes several exhibits where nature lovers can learn about animals such as hedgehogs, macaw parrots, and gray wolves.
In a 2011 interview with the Rocky Mount Telegram, George Millar reveals he has been a facilitating fun for a long time. "Soccer wasn't in existence when we started," he points out, and neither were home video games. Noticing a dearth of places in his hometown where kids and families could safely enjoy themselves, he put his skills as a professional contractor to work. In 10 outdoor batting cages, he installed pitching machines that sling baseballs and softballs from T-ball speeds up to 80 miles per hour. Next, he and his crew of five guys—all of whom are still operating the business today—built an 18-hole mini-golf course modeled after those in Myrtle Beach, designing a path that winds past waterfalls, natural plantings, and tricky bunkers filled with saltwater taffy. An arcade blares with games and the crack of pool balls ricocheting inside, and an elephant-shaped inflatable bounce house bobs with jumpers inside until they come zipping out down its slide.
Shug the grizzly bear didn't always love the spotlight. Before coming to Bear Path Acres Animal Education Center, she was claustrophobic, and accustomed to eating fried chicken instead of a more natural diet of deer. It took months of enrichment and training with the center's owner, Debbie Jeter, to coax Shug out of her shell. Today, however, Shug happily wanders her large enclosure, performing tricks for visitors when the mood strikes her.
Shug is one of many animals at the nonprofit center. Her companions include a tiger, foxes, tortoises, wolves, and even a striped skunk. Though the fauna vary by species, they share a single mission: to educate people on the wonders of wildlife and conservation. Guests can observe the animals during regular hours, or sign up for a twilight tour, during which the nocturnal creatures are more active and less prone to shout "Hey, pipe down!"