Norfolk offers wonderful learning experiences

08/23/2010  | 
teaching through travel

Located conveniently along the Mid-Atlantic coast between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, Norfolk, VA is the ideal destination for action-packed and affordable, educational tours. With an abundance of outdoor activities, historical and cultural attractions, this seaport city offers exciting choices for new learning.

Let your students become researchers discovering the wonders of African wildlife at Norfolk’s Virginia Zoological Park.  Students will learn how to do an observation by practicing in a classroom and then venturing out into the African exhibit.  Learners will also discover how animal populations interact in the wild or in a captive situation. Newly constructed is the Norfolk Southern Express.  Three cars can accommodate up to 66 passengers – adults and children.  The ride includes live narration from the train engineer about the Zoo and its collection of plants and animals.

Students get to explore the nautical, naval and natural power of the sea at Nauticus, Norfolk’s interactive maritime museum.  This enormous waterside science and technology center boasts over 150 interactive exhibits.  Also located at Nauticus are the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the historic Battleship Wisconsin, the largest battleship ever constructed by the U.S. Navy!  This spectacular vessel also doubles as a venue for student performances.  If you prefer to spend evenings indoors, student & teachers can party the night away inside Nauticus.  This package includes a DJ and pizza party! Dance to upbeat music, tour the exhibits inside, visit the aquarium and watch the Living Sea movie in a large screen theater.

For more nautical fun, students may climb aboard one of several harbor cruises including a learning adventure on the topsail schooner, American Rover, a tour of the world’s largest naval base aboard the Victory Rover or one of the Spirit of Norfolk’s Kids Discovery cruises.

Consider visiting one of our outdoor classrooms while in Norfolk.  With Norfolk’s mild climate students can discover nature at the World of Wonders – the largest children’s adventure garden on the East Coast and one of over 20 themed gardens featured at Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  Before leaving, grab a kayak and tour the garden by water!  Enjoy the thousands of camellias, hydrangeas and roses fresh in bloom.

As the cultural heart of the Commonwealth, Norfolk is home to the Virginia Symphony, Virginia Opera, Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Ballet Theater and Virginia Chorale.  Norfolk offers everything from live theatre and comedy shows to nationally recognized ballet and opera performances. 

For a change of pace, stroll through 5,000 years of art history at the Chrysler Museum of Art, home to Walter P. Chrysler Jr.’s world-class collection of more than 30,000 works of art.  In addition to its envied collections, the Chrysler abounds with exciting concerts, theatrical performances, children’s programs such as Animals in Art.  This tour introduces young learners to great works of art by searching through our collection for images of animals.  Animals in Art with Live Animals is another program where students explore the theme of animals in the Museum’s collection and meet live animals and their trainers from the Virginia Zoo.

An evening walk along the cobblestone streets of the historic Freemason district and downtown Norfolk is a great opportunity to learn about Norfolk’s very own Sea Legends & Tales on a special Nauticus walk.

For more information on Norfolk attractions or student programs, please contact 800-368-3097 or go to
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