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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Freebie Fun in Newport News!

Eight Free and Almost-Free Things to do in the City

Does it seem to you that having a good time is getting more expensive lately? Well, there’s 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!

Discover 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. It’s easy to spend an entire day in this 7,711-acre oasis! Here you can 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 (part of the loop crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park, where you can see the site of George Washington’s headquarters during the American Revolution!) The park also offers canoe and Jon boat rentals starting at $8 an hour, three large playgrounds, an aero-model flying field, disc golf ($4 daily passes), and archery ($3 daily passes). The archery range, located in the campground area, is comprised of 10 lanes, with two designated for crossbows.

Bike Path in Newport News Park

The Mariners’ Museum and Park – Thanks to an endowment, admission to The Mariners’ Museum has been permanently reduced to $1 per person. A newly created series this summer that shouldn’t be overlooked is the USS Monitor Legacy Program, which highlights the history and lasting impact of the USS Monitor through a variety of public events, in partnership with the NOAA Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Catch this series on select Fridays at noon.

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 – even beer and wine are allowed!

Summer Concert Series at Port Warwick

First Fridays in City Center at Oyster Point – If it’s the first Friday of the month, head out to City Center at Oyster Point! Enjoy live music on the Market Stage at Mariners Row, from 5 to 9 p.m. through August, along with delicious local food, adult beverages, and plenty of fun. Don’t miss out … invite your friends, bring some lawn chairs, and make the most of your summer in City Center.

U.S. Army Transportation Museum – Devoted entirely to the history of U.S. Army Transportation, this fascinating 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. Although admission is free, a $2 donation is encouraged.

The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center in Newport News

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. These free, self-guided driving tours make for a history experience like no other.

Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center – Located on the campus of Christopher Newport University, the Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center features a magnificent main gallery for major exhibitions, an interactive art gallery for children, and a gallery for community artists. All exhibitions at the Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center are free and open to the public.

Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center at CNU

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 or visit for additional “free and almost-free” ideas!

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