15 November 2021

Best Things to Do Indoors in Norfolk, VA

Norfolk is known for its sprawling water views and outdoor activities, but when the weather calls for some indoor fun, these are our top picks.

Eat & Drink

Looking to get cozy during a cold or rainy day? Try some of our favorite comfort food restaurants! Indulge in authentic ramen at Alkaline, grab made-from-scratch soups and rosemary biscuits at The Stockpot Norfolk, warm up with the spices of Indian Chaat street food at Tamarind or take a seat at Grilled Cheese Bistro with one of their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Local Tip: Enhance your grilled cheese with an order of fresh Tomato Bisque. If you’re in Norfolk’s Ocean View neighborhood, be sure to stop by My Mama’s Kitchen for Southern comfort dishes like barbecue-y Mama’s Wings and some of the best cornbread in town.

Located in the South, we know Norfolk can bring some hot and steamy days where there’s nothing better than a light meal and place to cool off. Dig in to creamy gelato at Strawberry Fields, where flavors are made fresh daily using Old World methods, then stop by Mermaid Winery and catch a buzz with a refreshing flight of white wines or COVA Brewing Company for an iced latte. For lunch or dinner, opt for our fresh, local seafood at A.W. Shucks, or meander into the A/C hotspot along the waterfront at Waterside District, where a plethora of foodie options are available with a view of the river.


Discover Norfolk’s maritime history at the Hampton Roads Naval History Museum located inside of Nauticus on the second floor, peruse paintings, dolls and glass art at the Barry Art Museum or explore over 30,000 original works of art that span more than 5,000 years at Chrysler Museum of Art – all venues offer free admission every day. Catch live music at any one of these top venues. Some of our favorites are the NorVA, named the No. 1 Concert Venue in the Country by a Rolling Stones readers’ poll and Smartmouth Brewing Company’s new warehouse entertainment space, where local artists get to shine bright while you enjoy top tier craft beer.

If you’re wanting to get active, try Latitude Climbing and Fitness, where adults can participate in bouldering and yoga while kiddos can tire themselves out in the kid’s corner, or throughout the gym with your supervision. Kick back and relax while watching a Norfolk Admirals hockey game at Scope Arena, or enjoy an Indie film at the NARO Expanded Cinema.


Feeling creative? Make your way to the Chrysler Museum’s Perry Glass Studio for a glass blowing class, or catch a free demonstration every Tues-Sun at Noon. If playing with fire isn’t your thing, paint and decorate your very own Norfolk mermaid at the Mermaid Factory, or get your hands dirty throwing clay at All Hands Pottery. Plant lovers will delight in building their own bouquets or picking up a new plant baby at Horticulture Design Co. Check out their open workshops to create something fun like a tabletop garden or kokedama (Japanese moss ball).


Treat yourself to unique shopping at Selden Market, a historic indoor arcade where you will find a mix of local businesses that specialize in everything from handmade leather goods and jewelry to gourmet waffles and streetwear fashion. Across the street, be sure to check out MacArthur Center mall for brand name stores like Dillard’s and more. MacArthur Center also offers a full movie theatre for your entertainment.

Out toward the Norfolk International Airport you will find the 331,000 square foot IKEA, where you can wander through Swedish home furnishings until your heart’s content. Looking for something a bit more unique? Peruse the aisles of Local Heroes comic book store in the historic Ghent neighborhood, which caters to readers of all ages.

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