For more events and activities happening in Portsmouth please visit


10 am - 5 pm

Symbols, Ensigns and Signals

First Weekend - Free Admission

Military uniforms are a form of communication! Find out more about what they can tell you through their symbols, medals, and insignia. How have uniforms changed in the history of the Navy and Coast Guard? See selected uniform-related antiques from the museum collection. Come and find out more about deciphering uniforms through history, and craft an insignia or hat of your own! Free admission as part of our First Saturday programming series.

MAY 14

7 pm

Bill Edwards-Bodmer Lecture: Enemy or Tourist Attraction -
The German Village at the Norfolk Navy Yard during World War I

Free Admission

What would you do if you were an interned sailor in a foreign land on the eve of war? Two shiploads of German sailors found themselves in that very situation in Portsmouth in 1915. Instead of waiting out their internment like prisoners of war, they put their restless energy to use by creating a unique, temporary tourist attraction on the shipyard. Come and learn more about the German Village and this brief, odd chapter in Portsmouth’s history, just prior to America’s entry into World War I.

This lecture is sponsored by the Friends of the Naval Shipyard Museum, and the event is free and open to the public.


10 am - 5 pm

PATRIOT’S DAY! 4th of July Celebration:
World War II Patriotism in Portsmouth

First Weekend - Free Admission

Celebrate American independence 1940s style! Learn about life on the home front in World War II Portsmouth. Sign up to become a W.A.V.E., fly a target kite, or lean how to make a mock apple pie! Live 1940s music throughout the day, plus swing dancing demonstrations and beginners lessons. Sponsored by the Friends of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum in collaboration with the Portsmouth Museums. Free admission to the activities and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and Lightship Portsmouth Museum as part of our First Saturday programming.


AUG 15

10 am - 5 pm

Builder Fest

Join us for a day of creating and building. Visit with hobbyists and professionals to explore the process of building and making. Discover everyday items made by hand as in times past and play with futuristic toys.


OCT 24

Noon - 6 pm

Portsmouth Museum Madness

Join us for a day of hauntingly good fun at the Portsmouth Museums

  • Children's Museum of Virginia
  • Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum
  • Lightship Portsmouth Museum


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