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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Aug 17

End the Summer with a “Staycation” in Newport News

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 10:18 AM by Daniel Kvaternik

With the end of summer comes the beginning of the school year. Free yourself of all the back-to-school chaos by planning a quick and easy “staycation” right here in Newport News to finish out your
summer strong! Relax in the comfort of your home while visiting various attractions in your own backyard. To help get the planning started, we’ve gathered a list of possible ideas for the entire family.
8-17 staycation blog

Like Hayrides? If so, you’ll love the 40-minute ride through Newport News Park Campground. Complimentary tickets are available at the Campsite Office, 13564 Jefferson Ave., 30 minutes prior to the rides, which are offered at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 2.

Like Movies? Combine dinner with a movie at Cinemark City Center 12, which opened as Paragon Theaters in May 2014. Not only does this complex have reclining leather seats with tray tables and footrests, but it also has two restaurants attached, from which you can bring food and beverage (including beer, wine and cocktails) into the theaters. Regal Kiln Creek Theater has 20 screens featuring new release films, plush stadium seating, and a concession stand with all the essential movie munchies.

Like Crafting? The Starving Artist Studio in Port Warwick is a paint-your-own pottery studio where all supplies are provided. All you need to bring is your imagination! Other ways to unleash your inner artist include Wine and Design, a sip and paint studio in City Center, and the AR Workshop, a wood and canvas decor and do-it-yourself workshop, in Port Warwick.

Like Skating? The Peninsula Family Skating Center has a large hardwood floor and a rink for beginners. Their calendar is chock full of fun events like “Old School Jams,” plus they have a DJ who plays all the latest music and takes requests. Mekos Skate Park is an indoor skateboard park that is also open to BMX bicyclists – a fun place for those who have mastered the art of defying gravity!

Like Games? Newport News is home to many indoor games – a great way to spend the day when the weather doesn’t cooperate with your plans to be outside! No need to break out the umbrella when you’re at BreakOut Games, TagTime Laser Tag, both located in DW Center at 14346 Warwick Blvd., or at The Lock In at City Center at Oyster Point. There’s also LazerRush in Kiln Creek and Peninsula Billiards in Warwick Shopping Center.  

Like Jumping?  If so, you will enjoy Rebounderz, an arena-style trampoline with rebounding floors and angled walls. This indoor trampoline has 10,054 sq. ft., allowing families of all sizes to bounce around together. The Bounce House is an inflatable playground where kids kick off their shoes and are encouraged to “bounce off the walls!” 

Like Racing? Speed Club Center is a 50,000 square-foot indoor “playground” in Newport New, located at 14346 Warwick Blvd. in what is now DW Center. It features European-style indoor go-carts that can reach speeds of up to 50 mph, a mini bowling alley, bumper cars, and arcade games..

On a Budget? Consider purchasing a One City Pass, which admits you to seven Newport News attractions for one low price! The pass is good for one year from the date of purchase and offers one-time admission to The Mariners’ Museum/USS Monitor Center, Virginia Living Museum, Virginia War Museum, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion, Peninsula Fine Arts Center and the Peninsula SPCA’s Petting Zoo. Buy your One City Pass inside the Newport News Visitor Center at 13560 Jefferson Ave.

Prefer FREE or Almost FREE? The Peninsula Fine Arts Center offers free admission the first weekend of each month. The Mariners’ Museum/USS Monitor Center is running a $1 admission special through Sept. 4. And while you’re out exploring the city, don’t forget these free attractions where donations are accepted and very much appreciated: The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center, James A. Fields House, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, the U.S. Army Transportation Museum, and each of the city’s 30 parks.

Like FREE Music? Free outdoor concerts are held weekly throughout the summer in Port Warwick from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday nights and in City Center from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday nights. You can also catch the TRADOC Band on the Mariners Row Market Stage in City Center on select Wednesday nights in August and September. Click here for that schedule.

Like Fresh Air? At Newport News Park, one of the largest city-run parks in the U.S., 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. With 7,711 acres, Newport News Park is nine times bigger than New York’s Central Park!

Looking for Some After-Dinner Fun? – Check out the Peninsula Community Theatre in historic Hilton Village. Established in the early 1950s, this cozy little place – housed in a 1930s Art Deco-style movie theater – gives local talent an outlet to hone their artistic skills. At the Virginia Living Museum, you can “Stay Late ‘til 8” on Thursdays through Aug. 31. While there, check out the very cool works of art located in the Conservation Garden, called “Nature Connects: Art with LEGO BRICKS.” Among the 16 sculptures, you’ll see a 6’ hummingbird hovering over a trumpet flower, a deer family made from 84,000 bricks, a giant tortoise, and a 7’ dragonfly.

The best place to start your “staycation” is the Newport News Visitor Center, where you can ask one of the experienced travel counselors to help you re-discover your own backyard!Give them a call at 757-886-7777 (toll-free at 888-493-7386) or visit for additional “staycation” ideas!