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Free and Almost Free Things to do in Newport News

No need to break the bank when exploring Newport News. There are plenty of free and almost free things to do throughout the city this summer. We’ve compiled a list of activities below that you’ll want to make sure are on your itinerary ... just be sure to thank us later for fattening that piggy bank!

$1 Admission to The Mariners’ Museum and Park – Through Labor Day 2018, admission to The Mariners’ Museum has been reduced to $1 per person. Check out the museum’s newest exhibition, called “Answering America’s Call: Newport News in World War I,” which commemorates the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the Great War. Throughout the summer, guests will also enjoy costumed historical interpreters, storytelling, arts and crafts, as well as limited-time viewing of objects not normally on display.

 

$1 Admission to the Peninsula Fine Arts Center – Following in the footsteps of its next-door neighbor, the Peninsula Fine Arts Center is also offering $1 admission through Labor Day. Currently on display is “French Connections,” a collection of works by Marc Chagall (1887-1985) that provides a glimpse into the Avant-guard styles that converged in Paris during the early 20th century. The show complements an interactive art exhibition called “Chagall for Children,” designed to engage youngsters through 15 multi-sensory activities.

Peninsula SPCA & Petting Zoo - If you're an animal lover, this is the place for you. The Peninsula SPCA has a petting zoo full of barnyard animals for you, your family and friends to enjoy. From llamas to goats to turkeys and more, this local favorite will not disappoint. Free for children 2 and under; $3 for kids and adults.

U.S. Army Transportation Museum – Devoted entirely to the history of U.S. Army Transportation, this museum offers a unique glimpse of the importance of logistical support to the Army from colonial days to the present. It’s a must see when visiting Newport News. Free, but donations are accepted and appreciated!

The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center – This restored 1899 residence of the African-American attorney J. Thomas Newsome and his wife Mary, pays homage to his legacy and is one of the timeless historic fixtures in the city. It has become a venue for exhibitions, special events, and other functions and is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. A donation of $2 is suggested for admission.

 

Self-Guided Driving Tours – Newport News’ rich history, which began shortly after the founding of Jamestown, played an important role in establishing the Virginia Colony and ultimately our nation. From the landing at Jamestown in 1607 to the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the 1862 Peninsula Campaign (where the famous Battle of the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor took place), visitors to Newport News can step back in time and learn about our nation’s founding. Our free, self-guided driving tours make for a history experience like no other. For details, click here.

VHS Summer Concert Series at Port Warwick – Enjoy the summer night air on Styron Square listening to the area’s best live music. Bring your own lawn chair, blanket, food, and beverage (beer and wine are allowed). You can also enjoy the music from one of the patios of the following Port Warwick restaurants: Schlesinger’s, Fin Seafood, Thaijindesu Thai & Sushi Bar or Brickhouse Tavern.

Rock the Row Fridays – End your work week on a happy (musical) note. This free Friday night concert series features the top local bands in Coastal Virginia. Enjoy a dance area, corn hole, free children's activities, food vendors, and adult beverage sales.  Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the summer at City Center. Performances are held on the Market Stage at Mariners Row.

Newport News Park – One of the largest city-run parks in the U.S., Newport News Park is nine times bigger than New York’s Central Park! You can test your skills on its 18-hole championship disc golf course; go on an adventurous geo-caching excursion in the woods; walk or jog along one of the 30 miles of trails; or cycle along the 5.3-mile bike path. The park also offers camping, two 18-hole golf courses, archery, fishing, and an aero-model flying field.  During the summer months, take a 40-minute ride through Newport News Park Campground. Complimentary tickets are available at the Campsite Office 30 minutes prior to the rides, which are offered at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Saturdays through September 1. It’s easy to spend an entire day in this 7,711-acre oasis!  

 

With so many things to choose from, you might need some help making a decision! If that’s the case, the best place to start is the Newport News Visitor Center, where you can ask one of our experienced travel counselors for advice. Call us at 757-886-7777 (toll-free at 888-493-7386) or see more things to do in Newport News.

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