Fun Free Things to Do in Norfolk

Sometimes you just want to have a little fun without spending a lot of money. Norfolk has plenty of ways to have a great time for less than a dime. Here are a few great ideas:

 

Festivals, Concerts and Outdoor Shows

Year-Round

From early spring through mid-winter, Norfolk plays host to a wealth of premier festivals and special events, providing entertaining, culturally enriched experiences for individuals and families alike. Many of these "signature" events are free and open to the public, drawing thousands of visitors annually to our historic waterfront city.

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The MacArthur Memorial

Free Admission - Open Tuesday - Sunday

The MacArthur Memorial is dedicated to the life and legacy of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. The Memorial also pays tribute to the millions of Americans who served during the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The three-building complex on a tree-lined square consists of a museum (formerly the Norfolk City Hall and Courthouse), a research center and a visitor center with exhibits and special presentations.

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The Chrysler Museum of Art

Free General Admission

Considered one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, The Chrysler Museum of Art features a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. In addition to growing collections, especially of American art, contemporary glass, and 21st-century works, The Chrysler mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs and events each season

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Chrysler Museum Glass Studio

Free daily demonstrations Tuesdays through Sundays at Noon

In 2011, the Chrysler opened a full-service glass studio adjacent to the Museum. This state-of-the-art facility features a 560-pound capacity glass furnace, a full hot shop, a flameworking studio, nine annealing ovens and a coldworking shop.

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The Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Free Admission - Open Tuesday - Sunday

Presenting more than two centuries of naval activity in and around the great harbors of the region, The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is one of ten officially operated by U.S. Navy Museums and the Naval History and Heritage Command. Located inside the Nauticus building on the Norfolk waterfront, the facility showcases over 50 exhibits including a priceless collection of naval ship models, nineteenth century naval artwork and underwater archaeological finds from the American Civil War.

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Historic Fort Norfolk

Free Admission - Open Monday – Friday & Sundays June – September

In 1794 Congress authorized President George Washington to build a series of fortifications along the "Maritime Frontier" to protect 19 American harbors. Fort Norfolk, originally built of earthen walls with wooden and some brick supports, is the last remaining of those 18th century defenses. Fort Norfolk is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM for self-guided tours around the outside of the buildings within the fort. The Norfolk Historical Society conducts guided tours of the fort on Sundays from 12:00 - 4:00 PM from mid-June to the last Sunday in September.

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Armed Forces Memorial

Free and Open to the Public

Stroll through history at the Armed Forces Memorial. Bronze letters are scattered throughout the park. Each letter is taken from original writings sent home by a solider at war. The Armed Forced Memorial is located on the Norfolk waterfront near Town Point Park and Nauticus.

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Historic Homes of Norfolk

Free Admission - Open Saturday & Sunday, 12 - 5 p.m.

Two historic homes in Norfolk are open for visitors. Completed in 1794, Willoughby-Baylor House presents a fascinating mix of art and artifacts. The oldest Jewish home in America, the Moses Myers House offers a glimpse of the life of an early 19th century merchant family.

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Norfolk Police & Fire Rescue Museum

Admission is Free, Schedule Varies

 

Ocean View Station Museum

Free Admission

Located at the Pretlow Library, the Ocean View Station Museum houses a collection of images, memorabilia and oral histories documenting past times in the beaches, neighborhoods and commercial districts of Ocean View.

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Self-Guided Tours of Norfolk History

Norfolk, Virginia is rich with historic attractions, world-class museums, and offers unique and fun shopping and dining adventures, all within walking distance or a short car or train ride through the downtown waterfront. Experience the amazing story of Virginia's Underground Railroad Network through an online, interactive visual and audio tour. Explore historic sites within the city, including the Customs House where the city was surrendered during the Civil War. Follow the Cannonball Trail through 400 years of Norfolk and American History. And more.

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