This February, Virginia Beach Hosts a Winter Wildlife Festival, Polar Plunge, Mid-Atlantic Boat Show, VOW Bridal Show, Dancing Pros Live and Wine by Design

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (February 4, 2015) Virginia Beach’s mild winter temperatures mean travelers can take advantage of the area’s incredible wildlife spotting and whale watching during February. The month also brings a chance to dive into the chilly Atlantic Ocean for a good cause during the Polar Plunge or warm up indoors with MOCA’s Hot Havana Nights, a Valentine’s Day throwback to the 1940s, a boat show, bridal event and more.

WINTER WILDLIFE

Winter is one of the best times of the year to see wildlife in Virginia Beach, and the Winter Wildlife Festival (Feb. 5 –8) will teach visitors how to spot and identify the wildlife that calls the city’s 18,600 acres of parks and refuges home. Take one of the walk-up workshops, such as Black Bears 101 or Harbor Seals in Virginia Beach, or an excursion to learn about bird watching, wildlife photography, the area’s migratory species and more. Visit the exhibitors at the Exhibit Hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center to find out more about conservation and/or volunteering with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Lynnhaven River NOW and Virginia Beach Audubon Society. Now is also the time to book a Rudee Tours Winter Wildlife Tour (Now – March 15) or a Whales & Wildlife: A Virginia Aquarium Sea Adventure excursion (Now – March 31) for the best odds of seeing Humpback and Fin Whales as they migrate south. The Back Bay Wildlife Refuge is also accepting reservations for its popular Winter Tram Tours (Now – March 22) on select Sundays, offering views of the Back Bay and tens of thousands of winter wildfowl, including swans and snow geese that winter in the area.

IN & ON THE WATER

Take an icy plunge for a good cause at the annual Polar Plunge Winter Fest (Feb. 6-7), benefitting the Special Olympics of Virginia. Things kick off Friday with teachers and students teaming up for the Cool School Challenge. Kids 10 years-of-age or younger get their turn on Saturday during the Pee Wee Plunge for a “petite freeze” into a cool kiddie pool. Adults can go ankle deep or all in to brave the frigid Atlantic waters during the official Polar Plunge or lace up for the Plunge 5K. Packages for this weekend are still available! If being on the water is more your thing, set sail or motor over to the 62nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Sports & Boat Show (Feb. 6-8) to get the first glimpse of the newest 2015 boat models and discuss angling, boat improvement, floating docks and boating lifestyle with the pros and other fellow salts. Bring the kids along and groom them to be your First Mate, get their faces painted and learn how to cast a net or tie a fly from local angler clubs.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Step back in time and celebrate Valentine’s Day with a nostalgic evening of aviation at The Military Aviation Museum’s 1940s Hangar Dance (Feb. 14). Bring your main squeeze and come dressed to impress in your zoot suite or favorite vintage dress and jam to that “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” of Company B surrounded by MIG-3s, Hurricanes, Curtiss P-40s, P-51D Mustangs and other WWII aircraft. The romance continues the following weekend at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, when brides-to-be can make some headway on their wedding to-dos at the VOW Bridal Event (Feb. 22). Get ideas from the couture runway fashion show, specialty workshops and meet with over 100 of Hampton Roads’ finest bridal vendors. Attendees also have the chance to win prizes; one lucky couple will receive wedding rings from Madison Jewelers and a Honeymoon package from the Sanderling Resort and Horizon Flight Center. Couples interested in more information on getting married in Virginia Beach can go to www.VisitVirginiaBeach.com/weddings.

DANCING, WINE & DESIGN

For the first time together on stage, the dancers from "Dancing with the Stars" will go head-to-head with the top performers from "So You Think You Can Dance" during Dancing Pros Live (Feb. 23). Contestants from "American Idol" and "The Voice" will sing as the dancers Cha-Cha, Waltz, Tango, Swing and Jitterbug to win the hearts of the audience, voting for their favorite couple using electronic remotes. Unlike the TV shows, there is no waiting until next week for results; the winning couple is announced at the end of the show! Art enthusiasts can also warm up this winter with a HOT Havana night and help support arts education at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA) Wine by Design: Havana Nights (Feb. 27). Sample Cuban-inspired gourmet fare from some of the best regional chefs, award-winning wines, a diverse silent auction and dance the night away to Rumba rhythms! Event proceeds benefit MOCA’s Student Art Start program, which helped nearly 25,000 students last year, providing greatly reduced costs to visiting classrooms and other school groups, as well as free programs for underserved youth. Supporting Wine by Design helps the museum fill an ever-increasing gap created by public school funding cuts and invest in the advancement of innovative, creative thinking young people. To learn more about visiting Virginia Beach this winter, explore the city’s year-round offerings or request a complimentary vacation guide, contact the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau by calling 1-800-VA-BEACH. We have packages to suit your every desire!