Family Activities for Fourth of July

In search of fireworks, refreshments, American fare, and more for July 4th, 2022? So are we! In preparation for the Fourth of July, our family at Bonilla Pet Studio has compiled a list of the top 5 family events to celebrate the fourth of July in Norfolk and Williamsburg. 


Top 5 Fourth of July Events in Norfolk

1. Baseball is truly America’s pastime and what better way to celebrate Independence Day than spending an evening at the ballpark. The Norfolk Tides have games Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night 4th of July weekend. 

Friday, Jul 1, 2022 7:05pm
Saturday, Jul 2, 2022 6:35pm
Sunday, Jul 3, 2022 6:05pm
Cost: General Admission: $14.00
Pet Friendly: No

2. Dance into the 4th of July weekend at the Silent Disco in the Waterside District, Saturday, July 2nd. If you have never experienced a Silent Disco, this is something you should absolutely try. 

JUL 2, 2022 – 8:00 PM
Doors Open at 7:30pm
Waterside District, Norfolk, VA Ages: 21 & Over
Cost: $10.00
Pet Friendly: No

3. Celebrate in style with $5 flights of 5 select wines at Vino Culture Wine Shop. Tastings will be held all weekend at various times. 

Friday, Jul 1, 2022 4pm – 6pm
Saturday, Jul 2, 2022 1pm – 5pm
Sunday, Jul 3, 2022 1pm – 5pm
130 Granby St Suite 100, Norfolk, VA 23510
Cost: $5.00
Pet Friendly: No

4. Hamburgers and hot dogs alongside Norfolk’s waterfront in Towne Point Park? Yes, please.  Festivities, including live music, will be ongoing on the 4th starting at 5 p.m.. The main event, the fireworks, begins at 9:30 pm.

Monday, Jul 4, 2022 5pm – 10pm
Town Point Park
113 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510
Cost: Free
Pet Friendly: Yes (*fireworks can be upsetting to your animals)

5. The best way to watch the spectacular firework show is on the water. Come sail away on the American Rover to view the fireworks in the harbor. 

July 4, 2022, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Duration: 2.5 hours
333 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA 23510
Cost: Adult: $75, Child: $45, Children 3 and under: free
Pet Friendly: No

Top 5 Fourth of July Events in Williamsburg 

1. Celebrate all weekend with brews, music, and food truck fare at Alewerks. Weekend highlight: half-off growlers on Monday, July 4th, and doors open early at noon that day. The complete music and food truck schedule can be found on the website. 

July 1 – 4, 2022, 12pm – 9pm
Alewerks Brewing Company
189B Ewell Rd Williamsburg, VA 23188
Cost: Free
Pet Friendly: Yes

2. A colonial brewery crawl is in the forecast for the Fourth. Check out Saturday’s lineup at the Virginia Beer Company. Live music and food trucks will be on-site starting at 4 p.m..  

Every Saturday. Repeats Weekly, 4pm – 8pm
401 Second Street Williamsburg, VA 23185
Cost: Free
Pet Friendly: Yes

3. Dine like our colonial cousins in celebration of Independence Day at Shields Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. The menu will feature a modernized version of traditional dishes of the past. 

July 4, 2022, 11am – 5pm
422 East Duke of Gloucester Street Williamsburg, VA 23185
Cost: Varies
Pet Friendly: No

4. Colonial Williamsburg has patriotic events starting on July 1st and ending with a firework display on the 4th. Lots of food, fun, and glimpses into colonial life. Experience Independence day where it all started! 

July 1 – 4, 2022, 9am – 10pm
Colonial Williamsburg301 South Nassau Street Williamsburg, VA 23185
Cost: Free
Pet Friendly: Yes (*fireworks can be upsetting to pets)

5. Yorktown has festivities all day long for the 4th starting with a 5K and ending with fireworks over the York River. You can spend your whole day celebrating in one spot in Yorktown. 

July 4, 2022, 8am – 10pm
Historic Yorktown, 331 Water Street Yorktown, VA 23690
Cost: Free
Pet Friendly: Yes (*fireworks can be upsetting to pets)

Tell Us About It!

Let us know what event you attend by tagging us in a photo on Facebook or Instagram. We also LOVE to see pictures of your fur babies celebrating. Send or tag us in a picture of your pet in their best patriotic ‘fit on Instagram or Facebook. Did we miss an event? Send us a message and let us know!

National Pet Month Dog Cat Laying on Grass

May is National Pet Month!

Did you know that May is National Pet Month! This monthly observance organized by the National Office Of Animal Health (NOAH) and Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) is designed to raise awareness for responsible pet ownership strategies all month long.

Not only is this the perfect month to spend some more quality time with your pet outdoors in the springtime weather, it’s also a great time to cross-off or double-check some pet preparedness items.

gray cat in the arms of veterinarian

When was their last V-E-T appointment?

It is often recommended that fur babies like dogs and cats be taken to see the vet about once a year for a wellness exam. This is a great way to track your pets growth and development early on, and maintains a common appointment to bring up any concerns you might have about your fur baby’s health.

We know your fur baby might not love going to their yearly appointment, but it’s a very important part of their health at all stages of life. (And they normally get extra treats after, so we know they’ll muscle through it!)

Is your pet chipped?

Roughly 8 million pets wind up in shelters each year, and only around 20% of dogs and 2% of cats are reunited with their pet parents afterward. You can drastically increase the likelihood of recovering your fur baby by having them chipped.

The procedure is about as simple as having blood drawn for your pet and is relatively inexpensive. We know you can’t bear to even think about losing your fur baby, but taking this preventative measure will help you bring them home should anything happen outside of your control.

We recommend using this reminder to either double-check that your pet has been microchipped or to schedule an appointment with your vet!

Are they up to date on vaccines?

When was the last time you had your pets vaccinated? Rabies and Bordetella vaccines are often required in our studio for access to our animal handling services! And it’s important to make sure your fur baby stays safe, happy and healthy when playing with other animals.

Normally rabies vaccines are administered every 1 to 3 years after the initial dose, and we encourage every pet parent to set regular reminders for these appointments.

Remember to snuggle and cuddle them!

Once you are sure that all of the necessary pet care is accomplished we absolutely encourage you to spend extra time with your fur baby this month. On the couch, on a walk, or at a nearby park, we know your fur baby will love the extra attention and love.

Preserve Those Memories in Our Studio!

Of course one of the best ways to celebrate this month would be to schedule an appointment at our studio and create some fun memories! We would love to learn more about your fur baby over the phone and schedule your appointment.

The Emotional Benefits Of Having Family Photos Displayed In Your Home:

There are many surprising ways in which family portraits hold importance. Not only to capture and save priceless memories but also to help develop your children’s sense of self and strengthen your family bond. 

Moments Worth Treasuring Endlessly

A photograph speaks a thousand words. From first birthdays to academic accomplishments, and so much more– photographs are how we capture these moments in time and all of the emotions they bring. There are few things that mean more than the ability to look back on memories that helped enormously in shaping your family, for years to come. We may not have time machines, but photography gives us a tool pretty darn close. Life can get a little hairy, pun intended if you have pets, and looking back on these happy moments means a great deal when you are in the midst of its craziness. 

Encourage Better Child Development

Family portraits showcase everyone within it as a whole, a united front without a divide. Looking back upon these moments helps your child see themselves like a puzzle piece within your family, completing those around them and how perfectly they fit in their own unique way. A child’s sense of self is a delicate part of their development, and solidifying their place within your family goes a long way in helping them view themselves positively in the future. Children who grow up in homes full of family portraits, on average, feel more connected to those around them. 

Family Bond

There are so many moments we replay in our minds endlessly and wish we could live in forever. Be it large milestones or simply capturing the smaller things such as your family together, your pets, etc. gives you and your loved ones undoubtedly joyful memories to look back on in the future.  Nothing means more than the ability to reflect on these times for years to comesaving precious moments long passed in a way you can not only feel in your heart but also see and touch. Your family will always have one another and the wackiest,  most memorable, and sweetest moments you all shared.  


For most resources on the importance of family photographs within the home, check out the links below:

3 Reason Family Portrait Photography Is Important

The Surprising Benefits Of Displaying Professional Family Portraits On Your Walls.


If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— schedule a portrait session with us!

5 Things To Keep You & Your Pets Busy While Working From Home:

With so many people working from home and staying home, we understand that while work may keep you pretty darn busy most of the time, boredom will probably hit at some point. Here are 5 relateable (and maybe a tad hysterical) things to do with your pets when you’re stuck at home.

Abigail Brown

1. Movie Nights!

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Once you have gotten all of your work for the day done, there is nothing quite like sitting back and cuddling your pet while watching a great movie. While we may not recommend letting your pup pick what you watch… if you’re into 3-hour loops of squirrels running around, go for it!


2. The classic “Butt Nudge”

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This is a particularly fun one! For those who work from home, most necessary items should be at your immediate disposal.

Here’s what you need…

Step 1.

Get to work on your computer. Type your heart out and get into your work groove.

Step 2.

You will need a feline in the house. The sound of you working diligently will beckon your cat closer, and closer until they are eventually sitting right near your face–nudging you for attention.

Step 3.

For the next stage, you simply refuse to give them the total attention they desire. Then soon enough “PLOP” there will be a big furry friend walking across your keyboard, or sitting upon it!

Step 4.

Last but certainly not least… To fully execute the butt nudge, you then push their rear off of your electronic device in horror as you realize how many buttons they managed to push. Bonus Points if it starts a chase around the house, exercise!

3. Playing fetch

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Although this may seem fairly simple, it can be extremely beneficial for a pup who normally goes for frequent walks or may be feeling a little cooped up. If you have a backyard suitable for doing so, consider giving them extra playtime. Animals can go a bit stir crazy like us, so giving them ways to get their energy out goes a long way in keeping them happy and healthy.


4. In-depth talks

Get to know your pets a little better. There are so many questions to ask!

Such as:

“Do you like your new food?”

“What do you think of the bows I bought you?”

“Have you ever had a breakup that left a lasting impression on you, Queen FluffyKins?”

“What is your least favorite color?”

You may be surprised by how much you never knew about your furry friend!

(Talking pets not guaranteed) 


5.Self-care days

Take some time for you and your pet. It is normal to feel stressed or worried. Giving yourself, and they too, some extra tender love and care– can help ease the weight on your shoulders. Bath them and groom their hair, they’ll be feeling like their best self. In turn, do things that make you happy! Be it watching movies, reading a book, calling a friend or so many other things– take some time to care for yourself. We’re sure your furry friends will be there every step of the way with their love and support ready to be shared.


 If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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6 Helpful Tips For When You’re Having Trouble Bonding With A Pet:

Building relationships can take a bit of effort, with humans and animals alike. If you just can’t seem to connect to your or someone else’s pet, don’t worry! Personalities vary greatly and some can take more time than others to “click” with one another. Here are helpful tips to help you bond with a new pet, a pet you’ve never seemed to see eye to eye with, or the pet of a loved one.

Abigail Brown

Understanding Possible Trauma

Humans and animals both hold onto memories and the impressions those memories have made on their psyche, for long amounts of time. No trauma looks the same, and it is not uncommon for some animals to take a long amount of time to trust humans. Abuse towards animals can be both emotional and physical. Below are resources to help you better understand how to offer support to an animal who has been abused in the past, and how to identify signs that your pet may have experienced trauma in the past.

7 Red Flags That Your Dog May Have Been Abused

Adopting a Pet with a History of Abuse: What You Should Know 

Positive Reinforcement

One great way to show an animal that you notice them behaving positively, and to show that you care for them, is positive reinforcement. This can be achieved by giving your pet a treat when they listen to a command, playing with them/offering physical affection to keep them engaged, and by verbally praising them.

Set Up A “Safe Space” For Your Pet

This is a fun way to help an animal become more comfortable within your home and with those around them. Set up a pet bed for them in a quiet part of the house, make sure it is large enough for their body to lay on comfortably. This safe area should be set up with access to food, water, litter box, etc. It can be helpful to wash a new pet bed with detergents used in your household, so it smells more familiar to them. Additionally, think about adding toys and a blanket to help it become even cozier. To solidify the fact that it is their space, consider giving your pet treats and affection when they are first introduced to their new space– to let them know they are safe and cared for when there. You giving them access to an area of safety helps them not only feel comfortable in the house they are in… but also with you, the human, who gave that sense of security to them.

More tips on setting up a safe place for your pet:

How to Set Up a Safe Space for Your Dog

How to Create a Safe Room for Your Cat

Training Classes

Many pet-related businesses offer training classes that work with dogs and their owners. Going through training classes with your pup has similar results to that of team-building exercises for humans. It aids a sense of teamwork to strengthen and evolve between owner and pet, as well as helping your pup become more familiar with listening to your commands.

One-On-One Time

Never underestimate the power of a little bonding time. Even if you and the pet you are wishing to bond with are not directly interacting, going about your daily routine with them near you can help greatly. It both makes them feel a part of your everyday life, and you a part of theirs.  This establishes a routine for the owners and pets involved and is a large step towards coexisting with ease.

Loving Them Anyway

Not to sound similar to the final stage of grief, but a level of acceptance is important in some cases. Not every animal is the same, and sometimes, pets will only bond to one human–if any. Unfortunately, that one human isn’t always you. It could be a spouse, family member, or friend that they finally connect to. In this case, it is very important to accept this fact and love them anyway. Just because they are not bonded to you, does not mean they don’t care for you in their own special way. Show them love, and take care of them. You never know, that bridge could be built in the future when you least expect it.

 If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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How To Ease A New Pet Into Your Home:

   Adding a new pet into the mix is undeniably exciting and fun. However, like any transition, it can be a learning process at the same time. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when integrating a new furry family member into your home. 

By Abigail Brown

Be patient and calm

  A new pet is bound to be at least a little nervous when brought into a new environment, more so when there are other pets in the home that they are meeting for the first time. Take it slow and don’t rush them to interact with one another. A great way to help ease this is to have a separate location for your new pet to stay, so they can have some alone time to get used to the house– and slowly interact over time. 

Build a routine

  If your new pet will be the only animal in your home, get a routine set up for their feeding, walking, playtime, etc. to help them get familiar and feel comfortable within your home. If there are other animals in the home and your new friend is separated from them initially, utilize the same schedule for them that you normally use with your other pets. This will ease their transition into sharing feeding time, walks, and attention with another animal.


-Feed at 8 am


-Playtime at 12 pm


-Walk 2 pm

-Dinner 3 pm

-Walk before bedtime

Celebrate the good behavior of any pets within the home

A good way to help your new friend adjust to your household rules is to reward both them and any other pets in the home for things they do well–or for listening particularly well. Even small moments such as coming when told being positively enforced can help greatly. This is especially helpful if you already have an animal integrated within your home who follows directions, as it will encourage your new pet to follow their example. Rewarding all animals in the home whenever possible, rather than only your new animal, helps keep their forming bond in the best shape possible while not causing competition to arise. 

Quality time 

  Get to know your new pet, try your best to bring a new animal friend into your home when your schedule will allow you the time to get to know them. Spend as much time with your new fur baby as possible, and their adjustment into your home will go a lot smoother. This quality time will also help build the bond between pet and pet parent.  

If you would like to capture the bond you and your pet share in a way you can cherish forever— Click the button below to look into our artwork options.

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Pets Help Mental and Physical Health!

Pets Help Mental and Physical Health!

Most of us have seen the dogs on duty with service vests at the supermarket as we quickly educate our human children why they cannot go up and pet the “pretty puppy.” These dogs help people with a wide array of challenges from blindness to anxiety, but your pet does not need to be a trained service animal to have health benefits for you and your family. In fact, even the scruffiest-looking doggo or sassiest cat adopted from a local shelter can have enormous health benefits to all the humans in your home.

They Lower Blood Pressure

Let’s get to the heart of the matter and discuss how amazing pets are for your cardiovascular health. First off, dog owners are more likely to get activity playing or walking their canine buddies promoting heart healthy activity levels. Furthermore, dogs, cats, and just about any pet will lower your blood pressure by lowering your stress levels.

Pets Improve Mental Health

Better yet, pets have been found to help fight depression, improve self-esteem, and battle loneliness! These benefits are not limited to service pets either. In fact, Mr. Mittens, or your Naked Guinea Pig can improve your mental health without any specialized training at all! Their love, silly antics, and companionship do the trick!

They Improve Human Relationships

Going beyond a cute puppy being a “chick-magnet”, pets have shown to improve relationships humans have with other humans. Pet owners tend to be nicer and are even considered to be more attractive to other pet owners. Furthermore, those in relationships with pets benefit from lowered stress levels causing increased patience and overall happiness with their human relationships.

Pets are amazing creatures that find their way into our hearts. They provide us with unconditional love (yes, even that disdainful kitty loves you deep down!), and a lifetime of memories. The value people place on their pets is absolutely founded when we consider all of the numerous benefits these creatures have on our lives.

Sarrah Isenhour is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales at Bonilla Pet Photography. She loves her four finicky feline fur babies and one precocious pooch. Celebrating the bond pet parents have with their pets is her passion, and she actively works with other pet parents to capture their bonds through arranging pet portraits.


Contact Us

Pet Photography in Norfolk & Williamsburg, Virginia

300 Monticello Ave,
Norfolk, VA. 23510
Suite 144B.

1430 High St.,
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Suite 1107.

Weekends by Appointment Only.

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