Maritime Monday, Dollar Admission to the Mariners' Museum

For the first day of Summer Break 2018 we headed over to Newport News to the Mariners' Museum. I went there once in college for a class, but other than that, I knew little about the museum. The museum is doing $1.00 admission for the summer, which you can't beat. Here are some toddler approved highlights, saving the best for last. 

  • The Noland Trail: We started our morning by strolling for a little bit on the Noland Trail. The five mile trail wraps around Lake Maury and has fourteen bridges, lots of benches, port a potties, and lots of parking. There were lots of people out walking or running on the trail. A heads up, while tree roots are clearly marked with bright orange paint, I wouldn't call it the best trail for a regular stroller. Be sure to bring a jogger, backpack, or plan to let your little ones walk. If you're like us and are not walking the whole trek, be sure to see the Lions Bridge. We saw all kinds of birds along with ducks, squirrels, and big turtles. It was kind of like a Snow White fairy tale woodsy feeling.
  • The Model Ships: This was R's favorite room of the museum. It's got lots of model ships (or toot-toot's in our world) and even a demonstration of them in the making. 

  • The Children's Activity Center: This is open at various and hosts tables of legos and lego duplos for kids. The lego sets are ships and pirates, so it's perfect for the museum. Sometimes there are even Jr. Mariners in here, which I think is a cool example of kids being leaders for younger kids. 

  • The Activity Ship: We spent a long time here joined by lots of other kids. You'll notice all of these photos are action photos, because R didn't stop moving once he figured out how to climb up.  The ship lets kids climb up on and go inside of a ship. There is a wheel for them to turn and buckets for them to lift. Outside of the ship there are games of checkers and dominos along with  costumes for kids to wear. 

  • Maritime Monday: Maritime Monday is actually the reason we went. This program is designed for children 18 months-8 years and is free with your admission. (The whole dollar!) The Wednesday program is in Spanish and perfect for bilingual or Spanish speaking kids. The instructor was really engaging. She reviewed vocabulary from the text and asked bigger kids text-to-self connections. She also engaged the younger kids by asking them to make sound effects while she read the story. Afterwards the kids moved over to the tables to complete a craft. 

We did wander around the rest of the museum, and while it does cater to adults, R did enjoy running around in the wide places and looking at some of the boats. We arrived on the property around 8:30 and there was enough there to entertain us until we had to head home for lunch. For a dollar a person all summer, you simply can't beat this deal. I'm officially marking this down as a repeat!