Who knew there would be so many cool events and important observances during our next trip around the sun? Check out our list of 18 not-to-be-missed things to do and places to see in Newport News during the New Year!
1. 5th Annual Newport News Restaurant Week
- Newport News Restaurant Week is here and that means you need to get a game plan together. Just follow these five simple steps:
Step 1: Set a date between now and Feb. 3 for lunch, dinner, or both.
Step 2: Click here for a list of participating restaurants to see which ones tickle your taste buds.
Step 3: Invite family, friends and co-workers to join you.
Step 4: Remember to ask for the “Restaurant Week” menu, as most establishments will also offer their regular menu items.
Step 5: Enjoy your meal … and when paying your bill, please remember that tax and tips are not included.
2. Boathouse Live
- A new venue for live music has opened in the old Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in City Center. Called Boathouse Live, its owners wanted to pay homage to the original Boathouse, a Norfolk concert venue dating back to the 1980s. With the capacity to handle 1,000 concert-goers, Boathouse Live serves pub fare, cocktails, wine, and craft beers. The music is presented on a specially designed stage, with care being taken to provide all patrons with a great view of the show. Learn more
3. A new do-it-yourself studio
- A wooden sign workshop, called Board & Brush Creative Studio, is opening in City Center at Oyster Point in early February. Call some friends and book a class for a fun project – without having to buy all your own supplies and making a mess at your house! Learn more
4. Upcoming Events at Downing-Gross
- A new concert series, brought to you in part by 3Sixty Management, has begun at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center with artists like Masego, Taylor McFerrin, and Chantae Cann. Also, mark your calendars for Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Live, which will be presented on the Ella Fitzgerald Theater stage 8-24. Learn more
5. Art of Asia
- This exhibition combines photographs, sculpture, textiles, terracotta, paintings and more to showcase the rich history and cultural diversity of the continent of Asia, from China to India and beyond! Art of Asia will be on display through March 25 at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center. Learn more
6. Celebrating Pearl Bailey
- Did you know that Pearl Bailey was born in Newport News on March 29, 1918? An entertainer with great success in television, film and the Broadway stage, Bailey was a Tony and Emmy award winner. Throughout the year, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center will celebrate Pearl Bailey’s centennial and her contributions to the performing arts and humanitarian causes, specifically with the Pearl Bailey Hidden Gems Dance Series, the Hidden Gems Photography Exhibition and Pearl at 100. Learn more
- March 19 – Pearl Bailey’s Hidden Gems Dance Series: Pearl
- March 29 – Pearl at 100, starring Nina Brewton
- April 1-30 – Hidden Gems Photography Exhibition
- May 18 – Pearl Bailey’s Hidden Gems Dance Series: Emerald
- July 20 – Pearl Bailey’s Hidden Gems Dance Series: Sapphire
7. Non-stop Flights to Myrtle Beach
- Elite Airways is launching non-stop service between Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Myrtle Beach, beginning April 6. The twice-weekly flights, on Fridays and Mondays, will start at $129 each way. Elite Airways, founded in 2006, is a pet-friendly airline that provides passengers with their first checked bag free, on-board snacks, and no ticketing change fees. Learn more
8. Arachnids on Display
- This is not your typical “bug” exhibit. Visitors to the Virginia Living Museum through April 10 are invited to experience these creatures in a fun, meaningful way and develop a new appreciation of these eight-legged marvels! Experience live arachnid displays, learn the importance of arachnids in music, literature and film, enjoy a live animal show for an up-close and personal meet-and-greet and more! Learn more
9. Celebrating Bernstein
- The Virginia Arts Festival is joining the worldwide celebration of “Leonard Bernstein at 100” with a Bernstein Celebration concert on April 13 at the Ferguson Center for the Arts. JoAnn Falletta will conduct the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, joined by the Virginia Chorale, Todd Rosenlieb Dance, violinist Robert McDuffie and clarinetist Jon Manasse in a performance of some of Bernstein’s most moving and memorable music. Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie, will narrate the evening and share stories of her father. Learn more
10. Toast the Coast pocket guide
- As a way to introduce you to our newly developed Toast the Coast: Beer, Wine & Shine Trail, Newport News Tourism invites you to get or download a Toast the Coast pocket guide and participate in its 4 Taps 4 Cities! Simply experience one brewery in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Smithfield, ask each brewery to stamp your entry form, and then submit the form to our Visitor Center to receive your very own Toast the Coast beer-opening koozie. Visit 10 breweries and you will receive both a koozie and a Toast the Coast T-Shirt. Please remember to drink responsibly! Learn more
11. National Train Day Celebration
- Now in its fifth year, this free event is hosted by the Friends of the Lee Hall Depot and promotes an appreciation and awareness of America’s railroad heritage. It includes train fun for kids of all ages with operational model layouts of all scales, costumed characters, a ride-able train, door prizes and historical displays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 12 at the Denbigh Community Center. New elements this year include musical entertainment, LEGO stations, selfie opportunities, an enhanced children’s area with crafts, and engaging hands-on activities. All Aboard! Learn more
12. Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center
- A new hotel, called the Holiday Inn Newport News at City Center, will open in the spring of 2018 on the site of what used to be the Omni Newport News Hotel. The property’s 183 guestrooms and 11,000 square feet of meeting space have been fully restored by its new owner, LTD Hospitality Group. This full-service hotel will feature an on-site restaurant, business center, 10 separate meeting rooms, and a state-of-the-art theater. Learn more
13. 100th Anniversary of Hilton Village
- Historic Hilton Village, a neighborhood built to provide wartime housing for workers at Newport News Shipbuilding, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. Activities include historic lectures, exhibits, concerts, theatrical and musical productions; a spring garden tour; a porch art tour; “A Taste of Hilton” restaurant week; a 4th of July parade on Main Street; Memorial and Armistice Day remembrances at the Victory Arch; a fall festival; and a holiday tree lighting and caroling. The neighborhood will host its Centennial Grand Celebration in July 2018. Learn more
14. Groundbreaking for new arts center
- Plans are now underway for the construction of a new Peninsula Fine Arts Center (Pfac) on the grounds of Christopher Newport University. Construction will begin in July 2018 and should be completed in 2020. The three-story building will include gallery and programming space for Pfac, as well as lecture halls, classrooms, studios, labs, and a TV production studio for CNU’s fine arts students and professors.
15. ARRRtober Festival: Trails, Ales, and Pirate Tales
- The first-ever ARRRtober Festival will take place 14 at The Mariners’ Museum & Park. The event, held in partnership between Flat-Out Events and The Mariners’ Museum, will start with a marathon and relay on the Noland Trail and be followed by a family-friendly festival of live music, a pirate costume contest, storytelling, craft beer tastings, food trucks, and more. Learn more
16. New Public Art
- A new sculpture will be installed in the fall of 2018 in Newport News Park. Created in Italy by Sicilian sculptor Girolamo Ciulla, it is called Man and Crocodile and draws on Egyptian mythology. Around the sculpture will be two crocodile sculpture benches for park visitors to rest and take in the sculpture. Learn more
17. Huntington House
- A new bed & breakfast has opened in the city’s North End Historic District – a 22-block, early 20th-century neighborhood developed primarily between 1900 and 1935. Called Huntington House, the property is also available as a venue for special events and meetings. 5200 Huntington Ave., Newport News, VA 23607. Learn more
18. A New Garden at Endview Plantation
- A medicinal garden replicating natural herbs that were commonly used in 19th -century medical practices before the advent of modern pharmaceuticals has been planted at Endview Plantation. The herbs are the same types that Dr. Curtis – a physician who resided at Endview Plantation from 1858 until his death in 1881 – would have used in his medical practice. A corresponding brochure to the garden is available inside the visitor entrance. A newly expanded site brochure that provides information on natural and historic features of Endview Plantation is also now available. Learn more
We hope this list gets you excited about this new year and all there is to do in our city. For more information, see a full list of Things to Do in Newport News!