Ever felt like you were the last person in on a secret?
My whole family had been to this museum in Newport News before I finally visited it. But I should have known better. After all, it's my father in law's favorite museum (and Dad's never wrong!).
So when I finally went there last year (thanks to a great Groupon deal offering membership to the museum), I thought "What was I waiting for all those years?"
|The bell on the recreated Monitor.|
Even my 3rd-grader loves the museum!
If you love boats, ships, and maritime artifacts, this is the museum for you. Even if such things don't float your boat (yes, a shameful pun on my part!), you'll appreciate the videos, displays, and hands-on, interactive exhibits.
Highlights of the Mariners Museum include:
|Ships, ships everywhere!|
Pros and Cons for Titanic Buffs
There's only one thing I was disappointed about at the museum. Being a real Titanic buff, I wish their Titanic section was bigger. It's quite small and doesn't hold a single artifact original to the ship.
|My kids love the interactive exhibits!|
But they do hold an excellent home school event, "Titanic Day," on April 15th every year to commemorate the anniversary of the Titanic's sinking.
We attended it this year and it was so much fun! They had people in costume, lectures, and hands-on activities like making postcards and fans, and learning how to use a telegraph and "read" Morse code.
Hours: Mondays, Wed–Sat - 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday: Noon-5 pm
The Mariners Museum is closed Tuesdays, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Enjoy free "First Thursdays" and free concerts at the Mariners Museum Summer Concert Series
|Here's what the Monitor looked like in its watery grave.|
For several years, the museum has offered free outdoor concerts near the bank of the museum's Lake Maury every Thursday from 6 pm to 10 pm during June, July, and August.
Now, for 2013, they are also offering "Free 1st Thursdays" during the rest of the year. The first Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, the museum opens for music and activities, plus you can tour a select section of its galleries for free. For details, go to http://www.marinersmuseum.org.
Food, Parking...and don't forget to feed the turtles!
There is ample free parking at the museum. They have a cafeteria where you can buy lunch fare. Or, bring a picnic lunch and eat while you stroll along the banks of Lake Maury.
And don't forget to save some bread to feed the turtle in the water as you go over the bridges!
The Museum's Address: 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606
Phone: (757) 596-2222. Their website is http://www.marinersmuseum.org/.
One of our favorite attractions is just a five minute drive away. The Virginia Living Museum is a fabulous zoo/museum/aquarium all rolled into one. Just a block up the street from the entrance to the museum you'll find a Panera Bread and a Moe's Southwestern restaurant, one of our favorite cheap places to dine.
If you love to shop, a 10-minute drive west will get you to Jefferson Commons, a shopping mall filled with a Kohl's, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Trader Joe's, Five Below, and more.
For a lovely way to end the day, go east to Route 17 and the James River Bridge and you'll find the Crab Shack, where you can dine on fresh seafood (and a mean she-crab soup) as you watch the sunset over the river!
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