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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. 

$1 Admission at The Mariners' Museum & Park This museum is filled with fascinating stories, captured in priceless artifacts that celebrate the spirit of the open sea. Designated by Congress as America’s National Maritime Museum, The Mariners’ Museum also is one of the largest and most comprehensive maritime museums in the world.

 

$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 a Toys Exhibition that invites children and the young at heart to "take a trip back in tim...back to when there were no cell phones or video games, and batteries were never included." Experience the amazing craftsmanship of toys on display and appreciate "Toys as Art."

FishingWhether Freshwater or Saltwater, our seven public boat ramps and three modern marinas make getting out on the water in Newport News a breeze. Free Saltwater fishing piers are located at Hilton Pier and King-Lincoln Park as well as Denbigh Park. You can enjoy Freshwater fishing at Lee Hall and Harwood Mills Reservoir. Learn more

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 historical experience like no other. For details, click here.

Explore Bike TrailsIn Newport News, our bike trails range from leisurely to challenging, but there’s one thing they have in common: scenic views. There are six bike trails that fall under the category of recreation, mountain or road biking and are located throughout the City. You can find an interactive map and printable map routes on our bike trails page to start planning your ride today.

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.

Third Thursdays – Wrap up your work week on a happy (musical) note. This free Thursday night concert series features the top local bands in Coastal Virginia. Enjoy a dance area, corn hole, free children's activities, food vendors, and beverage sales.  Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the summer at City Center. Performances are held on the Fountain Way Stage (across from Aroma's).

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!  

 

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