Virginia Beach in Winter: 12 Top Things to Do

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Virginia Beach is one of the top summer vacation destinations in Virginia, but there are still a number of great things to do during the colder winter months! 

As a bonus, Virginia Beach in winter is also much less crowded and much more affordable! This will give you plenty of opportunities to enjoy the area, even when the weather is colder! 

Winter Weather in Virginia Beach

Though Virginia Beach in winter is generally not as cold as other parts of Virginia, it can still get cold. It can even occasionally snow in Virginia Beach! 

The average winter temperatures in Virginia Beach are 32 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. The average snowfall in Virginia Beach is 8.2 inches.  

Virginia Beach in Winter: 12 Top Things to Do

Whether you’re interested in whale-watching, breweries, museums, concerts, or more, Virginia Beach has some great things to do in winter. 

1. Go Whale-Watching

Whale-watching is one of the top things to do in Virginia Beach in the winter. December to February are the primary months for whale-watching in Virginia Beach. 

Humpback whale breaching - one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach in winter.

Numerous whale species, particularly Humpback and fin whales, regularly migrate in the Atlantic Ocean waters right off the coast of Virginia Beach. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are also common.  

Seeing these incredible animals up close in the waters is an unforgettable experience! I have been on many whale-watching trips, and it has often been a highlight of my vacation. 

Humpback whales, in particular, are very curious and playful, and will often swim closer to boats. 

There are many companies in Virginia Beach that offer whale-watching boat tours. 

Ruddee Tours has been offering whale-watching tours for over 40 years. They have several tours available, including a 2-hour whale-watching tour and an epic 13-hour wildlife exploration tour. 

The boats have a full bar, bathrooms, an indoor heated cabin, and a large outdoor viewing deck. 

You can also book a boat tour with the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. The tour lasts 2 to 2.5 hours and is led by a knowledgeable marine educator to help you get even more out of your trip. 

You can read about even more of the best Virginia Beach boat tours

2. Explore the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a great place to learn even more about the amazing marine life in and around Virginia Beach. You can get up close to sharks, rays, sea turtles, seals, a Komodo dragon, and much more.

They also offer whale-watching boat tours, which I highly recommend! 

3. See the Holiday Lights at the Beach

Holiday Lights at the Beach is a holiday tradition that you don’t want to miss in Virginia Beach. It takes place each year from mid-November (right before Thanksgiving) until early January. 

Christmas Lights and Snow

Holiday Lights is a driving tour that occurs on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. You can drive your car down the boardwalk and see the light displays, which feature all of your Christmas favorites like Santa, elves, and a 40-foot tall Christmas tree. 

There are also special nautical-themed light displays that pay homage to Virginia Beach’s rich marine life, including crabs and fish flying overhead. 

The event requires a ticket, which can be purchased online. 

4. Visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse

The Cape Henry Lighthouse is one of the top attractions in Virginia Beach. It’s actually the oldest lighthouse in the U.S. Its construction dates all the way back to the earliest days of the young country back in 1792. 

The lighthouse has since been replaced by a newer version that was built beside it in 1881. However, you can still visit the original Cape Henry Lighthouse and climb to the top.  

5. Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating is one of my favorite winter activities, and the Virginia Beach area has some great options to check out.  

Ice skates

MacArthur on Ice at MacArthur Center is the only outdoor ice skating rink in the Hampton Roads area. The rink is open seasonally each winter and features free skate times, as well as many special events like Magic Snowfall, free Learn to Skate sessions, Skating Santa, and Ice Skating exhibitions. 

For indoor ice skating year-round, check out the Iceland Family Skating Center. They host hockey games and practices, plus public ice skating sessions, and lessons. 

Make sure to check out the schedule online for the public ice skating sessions. 

6. Go to a Performing Arts Show

Winter is a great time to enjoy the performing arts in Virginia Beach. The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has regular concerts throughout the winter. Around the holidays, they also have special performances like Holiday Pops, Holiday Brass, Elf in Concert, and Handel’s Messiah. 

The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts features an eclectic mix of performances ranging from classical, to comedy shows, to jazz, to dance, country and more. 

Virginia Musical Theater specializes in, you guessed it, musical theater! You can check out Broadway shows like The Little Mermaid, Jersey Boys, Evita, and more! 

Little Theater of Virginia Beach is another top performing arts group in the area. They present a mix of theater and musicals, including classics like A Raisin in the Sun and The Importance of Being Earnest. 

7. Visit the Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum is one of the top museums in Virginia Beach. The museum is home to over 70 World War I and World War II aircraft, many of which have been restored to working condition. 

There are American, British, and German aircraft on display, including some very rare aircraft like the de Havilland Mosquito (“The Wooden Wonder.”)

One of the most fascinating parts of the museum is an actual German Luftwaffe Hangar dating back to 1934. It was transported from Cottbus Air Base, in Brandenburg, Germany, and reconstructed in the museum. It even includes original bullet holes from World War II. 

8. Visit the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is another great way to spend a colder winter day in Virginia Beach. 

The museum highlights contemporary works, including paintings, sculpture, mixed media, design, and more. 

Some of their special exhibits have included the beautiful glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly, as well as the works of art students and teachers. 

I always enjoy checking out contemporary artwork and thinking about the way the art is expressing modern life.  

9. Check out the Best Local Breweries 

Virginia Beach is home to many excellent craft breweries, so what better way to escape the cold than to enjoy a great, local craft brew! 


I recommend spending some time exploring the Virginia Beach Beer Trail!

Commonwealth Brewing Company is a great spot for craft beer and excellent wood-fired pizza! They feature some creative beers like the tropical Wapatoolie, with pineapple and mango; plus a wide selection of Belgian Strong Dark Ale; American Lager; Imperial Stout; and much more. 

They have a light, industrial tasting room for cold nights, and a beer garden when the weather is nicer. 

New Realm Brewing Company is another excellent option with ample seating room both inside and outside. 

Some of their beers on tap include a Hazy IPA, Vienna Lager, Cider, and Oaxaca Choca. 

You can also find an interesting and extensive food menu to go along with your beer of choice. Some of the dishes include Poke Nachos, Cheddar Crusted Mac n Cheese, She Crab Soup, and the ultimate Wagyu Burger. 

For dessert, indulge in some Campfire S’mores with Chocolate Mousse, Graham Cracker, Hazelnut Croquant, and Strawberries! There’s nothing better than s’mores when the weather’s cold!

10. Enjoy the Local Coffee Shops

One of my favorite winter activities is to get cozy with a hot cup of coffee, and luckily Virginia Beach has no shortage of fun coffee shops to check out! 

Fathom Coffee on Virginia Beach

Some of my top recommendations are Virginia Beach Coffee Co., which is located right on the beach; Roast Rider, which is a popular shop with a cool indoor vibe; and the cleverly titled Pourfavor Coffee Shop, which offers coffee flights. This gives you a chance to try out multiple coffee options! 

You can learn more about all of my favorite Virginia Beach coffee shops

11. Check Out Virginia Beach Wineries

Visiting local wineries is one of my favorite warm-weather activities, but you can still enjoy many wineries year-round! 

Wine bottles and Christmas tree from Mermaid Winery - one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach in winter.
Source: Mermaid Winery

There are a number of great wineries nearby in the Chesapeake region. Spend some time exploring the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail, which features 10 member wineries that are all located in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Wine Region.

Virginia Beach Winery is a popular destination in the area. They offer affordable $5 wine tastings and an assortment of creative wines like Tropical Cyclone, Revolutionary Raspberry, and Son of a Peach. 

Mermaid Winery is another great pick. They have two locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The winery is a great place for both wine and food. 

They feature an extensive menu with dishes like Ahi Tuna, Beet Salad, Chicken Pasta, Atlantic Salmon, Shrimp & Grits, and Bison Burger. 

Among their wines, you can find classics like Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, as well as more creative options like Peach, Raspberry wine, and Dragonfruit wine

Mermaid Winery also hosts a number of fun holiday-themed special events, like Holiday Drag Brunch!

12. Go Indoor Skydiving at iFLY

For you daredevils out there, I recommend checking out Indoor Skydiving at iFLY. Because it’s indoors, you can do it all year round, no matter what the weather is like outside! 

The indoor skydiving experience at iFLY simulates the experience of actual skydiving through the use of state-of-the-art wind tunnels. It’s designed for almost all ages (3 to 103) and ability levels. 

When you book a flight, you’ll go through an orientation, get your special flight suit and helmet, and then jump in the wind tunnel for your skydiving adventure! 

iFLY is a great experience for birthday parties, team-building events, and other special occasions. 

The experience is popular and wins rave reviews from those who’ve experienced it. 

👉 Click here to book your skydiving experience with iFLY! 👈

Where to Stay in Virginia Beach in Winter

If you’re looking for a place to stay on your next vacation in Virginia Beach, VA, then check out some of my top recommendations below!

Hyatt Place Virginia Beach Town Center

Hyatt Place has a great location near the boardwalk and beach, and it has great amenities like a pool and fitness center. Breakfast is also included.

🛏️ Book your stay at the Hyatt Place Virginia Beach Town Center by clicking here! 🛏️

Coastal Hotel & Suites Virginia Beach – Oceanfront

Coastal Hotel & Suites is right next to the boardwalk and ocean. Some of the top amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, and a great breakfast.

🛏️ Book your stay at the Coastal Hotel & Suites by clicking here! 🛏️

FAQs about Virginia Beach in Winter

Before planning your next trip to Virginia Beach in winter, here are some more information.  

What is Virginia Beach like in winter? 

Virginia Beach in winter is generally cold, with occasional rain and even some snow. It is also much less crowded and more affordable to visit than during the peak summer vacation months. 

Is Virginia Beach good in winter?

Yes, Virginia Beach is good in winter. It’s less crowded and more affordable than going during the peak summer months, and there are still lots of great activities, including whale-watching, going to museums, and going to local craft breweries and wineries. 

Does Virginia Beach get cold in the winter? 

Yes, Virginia Beach does get cold in the winter. The average winter temperatures are 32 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Does it snow in Virginia Beach, VA

Yes, it does snow in Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach gets an average of 8.2 inches of snow each year. 

Conclusion: Virginia Beach in Winter

Despite the colder weather, there is still plenty to do in Virginia Beach in winter! 

You can go n an epic whale-watching trip, check out the excellent museums in town, hang out in one of the top breweries, or take in a performance arts show! 

Learn about even more great things to do in Virginia Beach!

Check out the best day trips from Virginia Beach

Building and gardens at Colonial Williamsburg

Go on an epic boat tour near Virginia Beach


Swim with dolphins at Virginia Beach

Rudee Dolphin Tours - one of the best ways to swim with dolphins in Virginia Beach

Explore the best coffee shops in Virginia Beach

Fathom Coffee on Virginia Beach

Go to the best wineries near Virginia Beach