12330 Jefferson Ave.
Newport News, VA 23602
Phone: (757) 249-0200
Fax: (757) 249-4736
Arts & Museums
Explore the arts at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center (Pfac) with an ever-changing array of exhibitions, programs, events and studio classes. Pfac's mission is to provide a balanced and stimulating program of visual arts, through dynamic exhibitions and educational programs for children and adults. Schedule a tour to learn more about the exhibitions and have a fun, interactive experience. Pfac offers guided tours to groups of 10 or more. Tours encourage guests to actively view and discuss the art. To schedule a tour please call the Education Department at least four weeks in advance of the date your group would like to visit Pfac.
On March 9, 2007, exactly 145 years after the historic clash between the Civil War ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, The Mariners' Museum opened the doors. This premier Civil War attractions holds the USS Monitor Center. This dramatic new 63,500-square-foot facility will enthrall families with exciting exhibits, bring students face-to-face with history, house state-of-the-art conservation labs and offer historians rich resources for research. Explore 125 boats from around the world in the International Small Craft Center. Examine intricately carved figureheads, scrimshaw and other rare examples of folk art. See artifacts pulled from the Titanic. And much more!
The Virginia Living Museum is Hampton Road's own natural history museum. Learn all about the different habitats of Virginia and the animals that live in them, from Chesapeake Bay to swamps and mountains. Kids will love the large aquariums and running around the beautiful gardens. The Touch Tank is an especially popular exhibit where kids can get hands on with different tidepool creatures. The museum also has a planetarium that can be visited for an additional price.
This museum opened in 1959, and has since been dedicated to teaching the public about the evolution of American army vehicles from the colonial era to the present day. Pictures and camcorders are permitted on your visit. Stop by the gift shop on your way out, all proceeds go to help fund the museum. Tours need to be booked at least two weeks in advance to ensure staff availability. Admission is free.
American military history unfolds at the Virginia War Museum. Outstanding collections of personal artifacts, weapons, vehicles, uniforms, posters and much more, trace the development of the U.S. military from 1775 through the present. See a section of the Berlin Wall and a portion of the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp. Galleries include Women at War and Marches Toward Freedom, exploring the roles of women and African-Americans in the military and Visions of War, the museum's outstanding propaganda poster collection.
The Watermen's Museum pays tribute to people who make their living from the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding rivers. A very specific term, "watermen" is only allowed to be used in reference to the Thames River and the Chesapeake Bay. Best known in the past for their aiding of the French and the Americans during the Revolutionary War, watermen are often credited as a key part of the decisive victory that helped to win independence for the United States.
As the Revolution was brewing, General Washington and his Continental Army camped at Yorktown. This re-creation is just a short distance from the original site of the battle that won the American Revolution in 1781. Reenactors at Yorktown demonstrate musket drills, colonial cooking and war-time medical practices. At a model 18th-century farm, you can help weed the garden, spin flax into thread and watch costumed chefs cook in a colonial kitchen adjacent to the farmhouse. In the galleries, children can play in 18th-century clothes and participate in activities like making woodblock rubbings. Artifacts, including those from an excavated British ship, complete this comprehensive view of military life during the American Revolution.
Air Power Park is an open air museum featuring vintage airplanes and space crafts. Spread over 15 acres (6.070 hectare), this park features air and space vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s. Apart from the museum, this park houses a playground for children. This is a must-visit place for the science enthusiasts.
The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center is the restored 1899 residence of the African-American attorney J. Thomas Newsome and his wife Mary Winfield Newsome. Mr. Newsome became a respected attorney, journalist, churchman and civic leader and prospered as part of the post Civil War south's new urban African-American middle class. His elegant Queen Anne residence served as the hub of the local black community from which he led the fight for social justice within Virginia. The house was originally the home of Dr. William R. Granger, one of Newport News' black physicians. Listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register, the National Register of Historic Places and 1992 Recipient of a National Historic Preservation Award.
James Apostle Fields was born a slave in Hanover County, Virginia and found refuge at Fort Monroe during the Civil War in 1862 as "Contraband of War." Mr. Fields was one of the first twenty pupils to graduate from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) in 1871. In 1881, Fields graduated from the School of Law at Howard University. In 1887, Fields served as the Commonwealth's Attorney for Warwick County (now Newport News). In 1889, Fields served in the Virginia General Assembly. In 1908, a team of four doctors pioneered the establishment of the first hospital for blacks in the city. Other than the city's jail infirmary, this institution was the only hospitalization outlet for blacks.
Explore the history of space here at the birthplace of the American space program. Step inside the Apollo 12 Command Module or examine a Martian meteorite. Float in the Space Ball (if you close your eyes, it is almost an outer space ball). When you land, enjoy a film at the Center's IMAX Theater.
One of the oldest museums in the country, Hampton University Museum has a vast collection of historic artifacts and fine arts. There are displays which gives you a glimpse of the University itself. This place is definitely worth visiting if you are in the city.