Virginia will bring history to life for your kids (and you, too) with a myriad of associations involving America's first heroes -- Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Patrick Henry among them. Walking through old houses can bring on a case of the fidgets, but children are likely to be entertained by the living history demonstrations at Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center, and the Frontier Culture Museum at Staunton.

Theme parks offer thrills and chills, not to mention food, fun, and entertainment, at Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Water Country USA.

Virginia's family favorite is the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, where computers, exhibits, touch-tanks, and the museum's waterside setting help people of all ages understand the marine environment. Nearby in Norfolk, the NAUTICUS has interactive and "virtual adventures" featuring make-believe U.S. Navy ships. Across the harbor in Hampton, kids can see spaceships and watch IMAX movies at the Virginia Air & Space Center. They also will get a kick out of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in the Hunt Country of northern Virginia, where the National Air and Space Museum displays 200 planes, 135 spacecraft, and the spaceship model that starred in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Roanoke's Virginia Museum of Transportation, with its playground full of railroad cars, will keep the young and young-at-heart occupied. Richmond's Children's Museum and the Science Museum of Virginia offer activities and "touch me" exhibits.

It's not a museum, but after reading the story of Misty of Chincoteague, kids will adore a chance to ride a pony and see the action themselves at the wild ponies' swim across Assateague Channel.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.