11 year old son LOVED this. Went on a Wednesday evening and it was a BOGO day. 13 yr daughter wasn't so interested but she is not the athletic one in the family. I participated for a while but could not keep up. Had an arcade, tv's, ping pong and were installing indoor batting cages. Will definitely go back!
The Virginia War Museum houses the nation’s largest collection of war relics where one can learn about American military history from 1775 to the present. Provided are exhibits of weaponry, vehicles, uniforms, insignia and more. Museum galleries include Women at War and Marches Toward Freedom, as well as a propaganda poster collection. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
If you wish to hike before or after visiting the Mariners' Museum, this is the place. The five-mile Noland Trail takes one all the way around Lake Maury. Along the way, keep an eye out for aquatic turtles, birds, small mammals, and other wildlife. The part along the James River offers scenic views. With 550 acres, this park has a lot to see. You can rent paddle boats, and even a house boat (see the website for more details). A great place to get some exercise and stretch your legs following a long car ride.
This is the foremost, must-see attraction in Newport News. It has so many fine galleries and exhibits that selecting only five photos was tough. There is enough here for several hours.
The most historic attraction is the USS Monitor. During the Civil War, the Confederate Navy confiscated a warship being built in Virginia, named the Merrimac, and renamed it the CSS Virginia. They radically changed the design, making it an ironclad steamship. The Virginia threatened the Union blockade. In response, the Union introduced the new ironclad USS Monitor. In 1862, the two ironclads fought a long but inconclusive gun battle in the bay, just off Hampton. Neither could sink the other (the technology of armor had outpaced that of the guns). While strategically indecisive, this fight changed naval warfare forever.
Later, the Monitor sank in a storm--being much more battle-worthy than seaworthy. Its remains were recovered in 1973. They are being slowly restored, inside a climate-controlled chamber. One can observe the process, and see artifacts recovered from the ship.
Don't miss the Chesapeake Gallery, full of models and memorabilia of life on the Chesapeake Bay. Check out the collection of steamship models in the Great Hall of Steam, and the ship model collection in the Crabtree Gallery. Learn about the voyages of discovery and colonization in the Age of Exploration gallery. Also, visit the Nelson Touch gallery to learn about Lord Nelson, Britain's greatest hero.
There is also a gallery with a full-sized model of the CSS Virginia being modified as an ironclad, with part of a conventional sailing frigate for comparison. You can go inside a model of the USS Monitor, too.
If you are in the Newport News area and have even the slightest interest in American history then you owe it to yourself to stop into the Mariner's Museum.
It is a fine collection of all the ingenuity that has gone into making America one of the top maritime nations in the world. There are ever-changing exhibits that range from artist renditions of great sea battles to pieces of the Monitor that have been recovered; from gold dubloons from the swashbuckling pirate days to examples of the flora and fauna that live at the bottom of the ocean; there are artifacts and instruments preserved from many vessels that were sunk in the nearby waters.
They have exhibits about the local sea industries around Chesapeake Bay and about the Merchant Marines along the whole eastern seaboard.
The admission is about $10 and it will cost you about two hours of browsing time and a couple rolls of film.
This is a very well laid out museum with a lot of exhibts that you can have a hands on experience with. Such as how to tie diffrent nautical knots. There is a small craft building dedicated to small crafts from all over the world. In another building you can watch while they actually build a boat. While they had one in the works no one was actually working on it while we were there. One very interesting part of the museum that was worth the wait to hear the tour on was the August F. Crabtree miniture ships exhibit. These minitures follow ship building throughout the years and the details are amazing. Its hard to believe one gentleman carved all of these by hand. There are tiny figurines on some of the ships and they have amazing detail. Each figure has all the tiny details carved into it such as eyes, nose,
mouth etc. Another interesting area of the museum was the lighthouse lens from the Cape Charles lighthouse. Beautiful! They also have an amazing collection of figureheads from ships long gone. 92 are to be found inside. One of the most elegant is the figurehead from the USS Lancaster. Carved by an american carver named John Haley Bellamy in 1880. It has a wingspan of 18 feet and weighs in at 3,200 pounds. Hard to believe one man did this wonderful piece of art. The Age of Exploration exhibit is another fascinating area with rare books, illustrations, maps,and other artifacts that teach us. Many artifacts from the USS Moniter can also be found here. In March of 2007 another permanent exhibit will open. It will be called the USS Moniter Center and will be one of the premier Civil War attractions in the country if all goes according to plan. Do check out the website for more up to date information.
Museum Hours are 10am to 5pm everyday of the year except for they are closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. A great big thank you to VT member fredw for taking us here!
This was one of my objectives for this trip and one reason I wanted to stay in the Norfolk area. I remember going back in the early 60s with my parents and young toddlers, but Bob says he never has been.
We saw the new exhibit on the Chesapeake (which was new since my time), the conservation tanks with the guns and gun carriages from the Monitor (also new), and the August F. Crabtree miniature ship models (which are presented like jewels with magnifying glasses so you could really see the detail) which I remembered from before, the paintings, and the International Small Craft Center - a whole building with representative small boats from various nations. This latter exhibit used to be outside in a shed like the boats at the Solomons museum.
We saw the 6 minute movie on the Monitor recovery at 4, but did not get to see the longer movie because they didn't tell us that the longer movie was on the half hour instead of the hour and half hour like it said in the literature.
Hours Daily (Monday – Sunday): 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
• Discounts are available for AAA, active-duty military, and persons ages sixty-five and above.
$6 Children ages six to seventeen
Free for children five and under