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Top 3 Free Things to Do Near Newport News, VA


Summer’s almost over, but there are still plenty of great ways to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. If you’re looking for something fun and free to do nearby, the Newport News area has plenty of options. See our list of things to do near your new home at Alta Citizen to make plans for your next adventure!

Sandy Bottom Nature Park

If you want to hit the trails, see some nature, or pack a picnic, Sandy Bottom Nature Park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. This 456-acre environmental education and wildlife management facility is home to 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, a huge indoor nature center, and numerous picnic shelters and tables to choose from. Whether you’re exploring Sandy Bottom Lake, the surrounding wetland marshes, or the shady forest for a cool break from the sun, this natural wonderland has something for everyone. Even more amazing – the park actually used to be a dump site, but in 1992, the city began planning how to turn the land back into wetlands, reclaiming the land to create the nature preserve we enjoy today. 

Bluebird Gap Farm

For an outing that people of all ages can enjoy, check out Bluebird Gap Farm, a little oasis just a short drive from Alta Citizen. Spend a day there and see all the usual farm animals, like cows, pigs, and chickens, as well as some you might not expect, like birds of prey, alpacas, and tortoises. Kids will love the playground, and adults can enjoy a relaxing trail hike. When it’s time to eat, find shade in the newly built picnic pavilion. There’s even a Master Gardener’s Display Garden and Arboretum for plant-lovers. For an afternoon of nature and play, all for free, you can’t beat this local farm.

Huntington Park

When you want to make a day of it, Huntington Park has plenty of activities to entertain the whole family, whether you need to keep the kids busy or just want to get outside. This 60-acre park is located right on the James River, and offers beach access with lifeguards present and concessions for sale all summer. This beach is the perfect place to catch some rays when you don’t feel like making the trek to the coast. If you’d rather spend the day exploring, the park is home to the Huntington Park Rose Garden and the Virginia War Museum. You’ll also find the longest fishing pier on the East Coast, as well as a children’s fishing pier for anglers of all ages. And, of course, Fort Fun, the 14,000-square-foot playground overlooking the James River, is sure to keep kids happy for hours. 

No matter how you’re soaking up the last weeks of summer, there’s plenty to do close to home at Alta Citizen without breaking the bank. For more ideas of places to enjoy in Newport News, VA, check out our blog.

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