Today we toured the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Va. The museum is located within the Mariner's Museum Park, the largest privately owned park open to the public for free in America. The park has basically all of my sentimental favorite spots in Newport News: the Noland Trail and the Lion's Bridge, a place I showed Sean very early in our relationship. The park is next door to Christopher Newport University, where we met and fell in love, so it's always been a favorite spot for me. But anyway, on to the pictures:
The museum has considerable indoor space, including the Grand Entry Hall and Main Lobby, which includes this grandiose eagle (an awesome space if you worked for the Navy, in my opinion).
But it was the outdoor courtyard that drew me there. The courtyard has a little path winding around it, perfect for an entrance, that leads to a great, secluded spot where you could stash a DJ.
The courtyard, which is completely surrounded and private (read: not accessible to the public, therefore set-up can begin at any time), features a fountain from March through October. Each of the arches is already lined with white lights, as are the trees.
It also features a covered walkway with arches overlooking the courtyard, where people can eat. The events coordinator said the decor is very flexible out there, meaning lights, lanterns, pomanders and more are all possible.
Another view of the courtyard, and its bench.
We obviously need to stew on this a bit, consult our families and such, but I can't say how impressed I was with this spot. It's affordable, customizable, secluded AND offers an indoor option that can be booked the day of the event in case of inclement weather. Sort of amazing.
You can find more information on the Mariner's Museum and facility rentals here.