10 Things to Do in Downtown Norfolk Before Summer is Over!

We all want to squeeze out every last drop of fun before summer comes to an end. Here are some tips and ideas to put on your end of summer bucket list.

1. Enjoy the Last Festival of the Summer in Town Point Park – The Waterfront Jazz Festival

What: Outdoor Jazz Festival where you can relax on a warm summer evening and listen to the sounds of top national smooth R&B recording artists, including Sheila E and Brian McKnight. Pack a picnic or purchase food and beverages on site.

When: August 23 & 24 from 5pm-11pm

Cost: $30 single day general admission. VIP and reserved seating is also available.

2. Summer Nights Are for Ballpark Lights – Take in a Norfolk Tides Game

What: Don’t miss the opportunity to cheer on our Triple-A farm team for the Baltimore Orioles, the Norfolk Tides. And there are fun promotional nights like Military Mondays, Happy Hour Tuesday, Bark in the Park and post-game fireworks. Consider riding The Tide light rail to the park for added convenience and fun.

When: Click here for the full schedule and promotional calendar.

Cost: Varies. They have individual game tickets, group packages, and promotional offers. Click here to find a ticket option that works best for you.

3. Summer Fun Thursdays at MacArthur Center

What:  MacArthur Center will ignite kids' imaginations with entertainment, music, science, and storytelling. Early birds who check in will also enjoy free treats and giveaways. Events range from magic and music to soap bubble science, balloon art, character photo ops and more.

When: Every Thursday in August. Registration begins at 11:30am with each day's event starting at 1pm.

Cost: Free

4. TowneBank Fountain Park

What: TowneBank Fountain Park is located alongside the Waterside Marina. It features an interactive fountain with 28 water jets shooting water up to 12 feet into the air and is illuminated at night. With lots of comfortable seating and lawn games, it’s a great place to pack a picnic and spend an afternoon or evening having fun and taking in the sights of the Elizabeth River.

When: Open 8am to sunset daily.

Cost: Free

5. Elizabeth River Trail

What: Explore Norfolk’s iconic waterfront on this 10.5 mile urban trail. Follow along with the map to discover the 11 sections that make the trail a one-of-a-kind experience. Bike or walk Norfolk’s best views and historic sites. Download a map here.

When: Anytime

Cost: Free

6. Two Waterfronts, One Evening

What: Enjoy both sides of the water and plan a progressive happy hour or dinner. Start off at Waterside District with an appetizer, a fresh made orange crush, and a game of ping pong. Then hop on the Elizabeth River Ferry to Portsmouth and stroll around three centuries of historic neighborhoods and grab a bite and a beverage at Fish and Slips, a restaurant that features a raw bar on the water, or at any of Old Towne Portsmouth's other delicious restaurants.

When: Anytime, check the ferry schedule here.

Cost: Varies. Adult single trip on ferry is $2 and children under 18 are free.

7. Talk to Astronauts in Space

What: Slover Library will be the host site for a live downlink event from the International Space Station during a 20-minute time period when astronauts can communicate live with Earth.  

When: August 9 from noon-2pm.

Cost: Free

8. Take a NEON Mural Tour

What: Join Norfolk Tour Company for an evening in the NEON District that combines a walking tour of the neighborhood’s public art with local businesses and events to bring you the best NEON has to offer in arts, culture and entertainment. Wear comfortable shoes. You can even bring your dog!

When: August 16 from 7pm-8:30pm.

Cost: Free

9. American Rover Hands On Sailing Adventure

What: Get on board the American Rover for a fun and educational experience for the whole family. As you cruise along the Elizabeth River, you will get the chance to set the sails, steer the ship, and see everything that goes into sailing a ship. There is even an knot tying station.

When: August 8 and August 15 at 11am

Cost: $12 per person. Children under 3 are free.

10. Grab a Slice – or Two – of Summer at Rustic Tart

What: The Rustic Tart is a downtown favorite. With ever changing seasonal features like banana pudding ice cream, cherry galette and peach piecasso pie, you are sure to find the perfect treat that tastes like summer before we are all overtaken by pumpkin spice everything.

When: Anytime

Cost: Varies