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19 Things to Look Forward to in Newport News in 2019

Who knew there would be so many exciting events and fun announcements for the New Year? Check out our list of 19 not-to-be-missed things to do and places to see in Newport News during 2019!

  1. 1. 6th Annual Newport News Restaurant Week – Newport News Restaurant Week has begun 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 Jan. 26 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.

  1. 2. New at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center – From February to June, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center will offer “Ngoma Afrika,” an African dance class taught by a trained professional. The class will include some traditional African dance as well as modern Afro-beat moves. Adult classes will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, while classes for all ages will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Each session is only $3. Learn more
  2. 3. New to One City Marathon – Celebrating its 5th anniversary on March 3, the One City Marathon has added a new component this year: a half marathon! As always, there are also options for a Marathon Relay, a Maritime 8K and a Nautical Mile Fun Run. The marathon itself – a Boston Qualifier – covers the entire 26-mile length of the city, with Newport News Park serving as the starting line and Victory Arch acting as the finish line (how fitting!) The races culminate with a community celebration at Victory Landing Park. Learn more
  3. 4. American Adventure The year is 1607 and you have landed on the shores of Virginia and now call it home. Will you survive? Find out by immersing yourself in an educational role-play adventure that asks you to conquer one great challenge: Survive the year as one of the original Jamestown colonists. Take a step back in history to determine if you have what it takes to survive. This traveling exhibit, held to coincide with the 2019 Commemoration American Evolution, is only available through April 21, so experience it at the Virginia Living Museum before it ends!

  1. 5. Historic Garden Week – Join us in Newport News for our May Day on the James Tour, May 1, when flowers and trees will blossom in the mid-century neighborhoods along the city’s stretch of the James River. Homes in these popular neighborhoods will be on tour, as well as the courtyard garden at The Mariners’ Museum. Two homes overlook the historic James, while a koi pond’s tranquil setting and a formal backyard garden are highlights of the other two homes. A “Flowers After Hours” wine-and-cheese reception and a visit to The Mariners’ Museum add to the day’s enjoyment.  Learn more

  1. 6. Shakespeare’s Antony and CleopatraThis must-see version of the Shakespeare classic has only been performed twice before — once in London and once at the Hollywood Bowl. With costumed actors and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, you’ll hear Shakespeare’s lush language in a new way as you discover music that stirs the pulse. Rediscover a Shakespeare classic, enhanced by a long-lost musical score, in the East Coast premiere of a lavish production that has made headlines! May 17 at CNU’s Ferguson Center for the Arts.
  2. 7. $1 Admission to The Mariners’ Museum – The Mariners’ Museum and Park has reduced its admission to a single $1 per person! The reduced admission aims to increase access to quality educational and cultural experiences, reminding visitors that “We are one local, regional, national, and global community connected through the water.” Over the past three summers, The Mariners’ Museum offered guests $1 admission and, as a result, summer visitation increased more than 200 percent. The move to $1 admission for all time allows the Museum to continue serving the community by breaking down barriers, financially and culturally, and allowing more people to enjoy it. Learn more

  1. 8. African Art: Power and Identity – One of two exhibitions running through April at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, this exhibit seeks to address the slave trade and colonialism through the lens of the artistic traditions of African art, made from materials like carved wood and stone, cast metal, model clay, and beads. Includes loans from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Longwood Center for Visual Arts, and multiple private collections. Learn more
  2. 9. New Bike Trails Map – A new online resource will be available for cyclists to find a variety of bike trails in the city. Trails will be separated into three categories: leisure, mountain, and road biking and will include interactive maps, downloadable PDFs, and a brief description of each. Look for updates starting this spring at on our website.

  1. 10. New Brewery – Twisted Knot Brewing Co., a 2,000 sq. ft. space on Canon Blvd., will house a small micro-brewery and tasting room. With a one-barrel system, the brewery will make beers primarily for on-site and take-home consumption. The establishment is currently in the building and licensing phase, with plans to open this spring. Learn more

  1. 11. 3 Barrels 3 Cities Fashioned after the hugely popular 4 Taps 4 Cities challenge, 3 Barrels 3 Cities will debut in the spring so you can experience distilleries in Newport News, Hampton, and Smithfield and receive some cool Toast the Coast gear in return! While enjoying the Toast the Coast Trail, please remember to drink responsibly! Learn more
  2. 12. New Italian Eatery – Gallina Grasso Italian Kitchen – also affectionately known as “Fat Hen” – has opened in City Center in the space that formerly housed Travinia restaurant. The menu is primarily Italian, with some Mediterranean influences. Diners have the option of eating indoors or on the patio with its heaters and fire pits. Learn more
  3. 13. Feathers and Fur at the Peninsula SPCA – The Peninsula SPCA & Petting Zoo has tweaked its name and is now called the Peninsula SPCA & Barnyard to better reflect the chickens, goats, lambs, alpacas and other barnyard animals available for visitors to pet and feed. Recently, the SPCA added a walk-in aviary with hundreds of parakeets, along with a rabbit run for a handful of bunnies waiting to be held. Admission is $3. Food to feed the animals is an additional $1. Learn more

  1. 14. Cajun Seafood comes to City Center – Fresh Cajun-style seafood dishes and “create-your-own” poke bowls are now available at Mr. Boil, a new fast-casual restaurant at 704 Mariners Row. Customers can also choose shellfish – from crawfish and crab legs to lobster – for customizable seafood boils. Learn more
  2. 15. “Friendly Hours” at The Mariners’ Museum – The Mariners’ Museum now offers “Friendly Hours” for visitors who need a tailored museum experience, such as guests with mobility, cognitive, or physical challenges who would like to experience the Museum in a less crowded environment with reduced sound and lighting. “Friendly Hours” will be held for two hours before the Museum opens to the public, from 9 to 11 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month. Space is limited, so advanced registration is requested. Learn more
  3. 16. Newly renovated resort – Kiln Creek Golf Club and Resort has completed a renovation of its clubhouse and its boutique hotel: THE LODGE at Kiln Creek. As the leisure and recreational hub of the Virginia Peninsula, Kiln Creek Golf Club and Resort includes an 18-hole golf course, an outdoor saltwater pool, tennis courts, a golf shop, a new fitness facility, and a new restaurant called Nest Kitchen & Bar that provides in-house catering. Learn more

  1. 17. Virginia Living Museum added to state trail – The Virginia Living Museum has joined Luray Caverns, Natural Bridge State Park and 22 others as one of the newest stops of the Virginia Cave and Karst Trail. With more than a dozen stops, the trail gives visitors the opportunity to learn about and appreciate caves and karst features. On the lower level of the Virginia Living Museum, visitors can explore a simulated limestone cave and the creatures that dwell in them, including the Slimy Salamander, Cave Salamander, Pack Rat, Cave Crickets, Mexican Blind Cavefish and Black Rat Snake. Learn more
  2. 18. Toys Ahoy! – Opening in November 2019, Toys Ahoy will be a new and fun exhibit at The Mariners’ Museum, with more than 200 different toys and games on display. The collection will include wood and paper battleships, board games, card games, puzzles, motorized miniature engines and other historic toys and collectibles from years gone by. Included are opportunities to learn and hear amazing facts and stories from toy collectors and designers. Explore your childhood again and delight in this wonderful exhibit as you walk down memory lane! Learn more
  3. 19. Beyond Tet: The Vietnam War 1968-1970 – In honor of the Golden Anniversary of the Vietnam War, this new exhibit at the Virginia War Museum examines two critical war years through artifacts, uniforms and photographs. Highlighting the stories of troops in the conflict, the exhibit contains significant artifacts never previously displayed at the museum, including Admiral John S. McCain's uniform, special forces uniforms and equipment, as well as items relating to the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Vietnamese and allied contingents. On display through Sept. 7, 2020, at the Virginia War Museum.

With all of these exciting things ahead of us, we're sure it's going to be a great year in Newport News this 2019. Come and see us as you travel through Coastal Virginia and experience the gems of our city for yourself! 

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