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20 Things to Look Forward to in Newport News in 2020

The start of a new decade is bringing all sorts of fun events and important observances to the city. Make it count by marking your calendar for these 20 not-to-be-missed things to do and places to see in Newport News during 2020:

  1. 1. Cheers to a New Year
  2. We’re kicking off the new year with a Toast the Coast: Beer, Wine & Shine Trail grand-prize giveaway! We’ve got a lot of great swag to part with – and not just Toast the Coast We’ve got T-shirts, growlers, hats, and more from your favorite breweries and distilleries in Coastal Virginia, so we’re putting it all in one huge, overloaded gift basket and we’re giving it away to one lucky winner! Visit the website for details.
  1. 2. 7th Annual Newport News Restaurant Week
  2. Newport News Restaurant Week returns in 2020 with a new twist! For the first time since it started in 2014, the event will feature BREAKFAST! As in previous years, diners will also have their choice of a two-course lunch for $10 or $15, with three-course dinner options at $20 or $30 during the two weeks of Restaurant Week, Jan. 11-25. Visit the website for a list of participating restaurants.
  3. 3. The Year of the Dinosaur!
  4. The Virginia Living Museum will kick off the New Year with TINY TITANS: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, on display from Jan. 18 through May 3. This hands-on exhibition offers an astounding array of authentic dinosaur eggs and nests collected from all over the globe. It also features an original “Baby Louie” model of a nearly complete skeleton of a hatchling dinosaur, discovered in 1993. Learn more
  5. 4. Black History Month
  6. Through programs, living history, lectures, and hands-on activities for children and adults, The Mariners’ Museum will celebrate African-American history and culture every Saturday during the month of February. Learn more
  7. 5. Little Shop of Horrors
  8. The horrifyingly hilarious cult classic is coming to the Ella Fitzgerald Theater at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Feb. 7-22. This musical centers around the meek floral assistant Seymour, his co-worker crush Audrey, and a foul-mouthed carnivorous plant named Audrey II. By the time Seymour realizes Audrey II’s evil intentions, it may be too late! Learn more
  9. 6. History Bites
  10. A food-tasting event of HISTORIC proportions! The top restaurants, caterers, and culinary schools in Coastal Virginia will prepare their best interpretations of 19th-century dishes at this fan-favorite event, to be held March 7 at The Mariners’ Museum. Learn more
  11. 7. New Brewery
  12. Opening in Downtown Newport News this spring is Coastal Fermentory. It will be located at 206 23rd Street, near Ironclad Distillery. Initially, the new brewery will feature a taproom and outdoor seating, with a patio to be added later. The establishment will start with a half-dozen beers on tap, followed by 10 to 12 rotating brews. Learn more
  13. 8. Okinawa: 75 Years Later
  14. On April 4, The Mariners’ Museum will commemorate 75 years since the Battle of Okinawa, a ferocious battle that marked the end of World War II and claimed the lives of more than 200,000 local residents, as well as Japanese and American military personnel. Learn more
  15. 9. Historic Garden Week
  16. On Wednesday, April 22, celebrate the Garden Club of Virginia’s centennial with a walk down Mennonite memory lane. Four homes with connections to the Newport News Mennonite community will be on tour. Two homes are still owned by Mennonite families and two others overlook the Warwick River. All stops are part of the original 1,200 acres purchased by D.Z Yoder and I.D. Hertzler in 1897. Providence Mennonite Church will serve as the location for the popular marketplace and “Flowers After Hours.” Learn more
  17. 10. Celebrate the Park
  18. Celebrate The Mariners’ Museum Park and the Noland Trail with family games, interactive environmental displays and demonstrations, make-and-take crafts, and much more on April 25 on the front lawn of The Mariners’ Museum. Learn more
  19. 11. May Day Fun
  20. The 1884 Warwick Courthouse at 14421 Old Courthouse Way will celebrate spring with an ice cream social, vintage cars, costumed interpreters and other fun on Friday, May. 1. During the festivities, attendees will re-create a panoramic photo of the Warwick Courthouse in days of yore, when it was the epicenter of Denbigh. For information about this and other free events that are offered on a regular basis at the Warwick Courthouse, call 757-525-7372. Ask about “The Lions of Dan” in March, “Meeting Marye Bucke” in April, “Titanic Revisited” in June, and “Memories of Denbigh” in August.
  21. 12. LoveNNRocks
  22. We’re spreading our love of Newport News, one rock at a time! Dozens of painted rocks have been hidden throughout the city. If you find one, share it on Facebook at LoveNNRocks, and then re-hide it anywhere you want! If you’re lucky enough to find one of our grand-prize rocks or a special-event “themed” rock, bring it to the Newport News Visitor Center to receive a prize. Keep an eye on LoveNNRocks' Facebook page for updates!
  23. 13. Grease
  24. Meet Rydell High’s senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby socks and pedal pushers. In this performance, May 7-16, at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, head “greaser” Danny Zuko and the new girl, Sandy, form an unforgettable summer romance. Enjoy a classic show that features the soundtrack of a generation, with songs like “Greased Lightning,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” “Alone at the Drive-In Movie,” and, of course, “Summer Nights.” Learn more
  25. 14. Happy Birthday, Beethoven!
  26. An emotional farewell, a brilliant first, and a momentous birthday celebration – all in one spectacular concert! Marking her final season as music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, conductor JoAnn Falletta will lead the orchestra, soloists and the Virginia Symphony Chorus in Beethoven's soaring 9th Symphony. As an added treat, pianist Olga Kern will perform Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. It’s all part of the worldwide celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday. 8 p.m. May 15 at the Ferguson Center for the Arts. Learn more
  27. 15. Jurassic Giants
  28. In the summer of 2020, the Virginia Living Museum will transition from the smallest of dinosaurs to the tallest with the spitting, roaring, stomping, animatronic dinos from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Jurassic Giants, on display from May 23 through Sept. 7, will be an indoor-and-outdoor exhibit featuring the largest dinosaur the museum has ever exhibited, called the Giganotosaurus. Learn more
  29. 16. Iconic Art
  30. Artists who enter Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center’s First Juried Exhibition will be tasked with creating a piece that is inspired by the theme of the season: Iconic Art. Their creative interpretations will be judged, with the winners receiving cash prizes. This is the first juried exhibition to ever be held in the Newport News Community Gallery at Downing-Gross. Learn more
  31. 17. Workshops Inspired by Nature
  32. The Mariners’ Museum offers family-friendly workshops that teach you how to make beautiful creations using natural resources from its park. Topics for the workshops, held on the first Saturday of each month, include the art of hammered flowers, nature-relief tie dying, printing with leaves, and pine-needle pendants. Learn more
  1. 18. Toys Ahoy!
  2. Toys Ahoy! is a fun exhibit at The Mariners’ Museum that will delight both the young and the young at heart. More than 100 different items are on display, such as children’s books and games, in addition to all the toys! Come explore your childhood again and delight in this wonderful exhibit as we take you down memory lane. Learn more
  1. 19. Self-Guided Walking Trail
  2. Did you know that the quarter-mile nature trail at Endview Plantation is home to a number of native plants and trees, some used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes? A few non-native examples can be found along the trail as well, such as Chinese privet, introduced in the United States in 1852. At least 23 identifiable species of birds also call the trail their home. Learn more
  3. 20. Dinosaur Discovery Trail Grows!
  4. In the fall of 2020, new static dinosaurs and play areas will be added to the permanent outdoor trail at the Virginia Living Museum. Learn more

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