A true hidden gem in central Newport News, we are proud to host a collection of venues for any taste and occasion. An elegant courtyard, a lake-side overlook, a private banquet room, and a beautiful hill on the beach are only a small part of what our incredibly versatile site has to offer.
Shake up your guests’ curiosities with access to our changing galleries or a tour through our award-winning USS Monitor Center. Enjoy calm spring nights under the stars outside, or a steady snowfall through a wall of windows inside.
Let us help you find the ideal environment for your event, for 20 to 2,000 guests, from sophisticated to whimsical, you’re sure to find the perfect space among our unique and striking settings.
Download our event brochure here:
Event Packet as of September 2016 (PDF)
Within our Museum and Park are elegant, naturally beautiful spaces for outdoor ceremonies and versatile indoor spaces for any reception. We are fortunate enough to boast incredible waterfront views and architecturally stunning rooms on one site, with more than enough options for any theme or tradition.
We are proud to host numerous retirements, pinning, commissioning, and other honorary ceremonies for the men and women that continue to serve and protect our city, state, and country. Our rich military history is only enhanced by their presence and we are ever grateful for the chance to hold these events.
Our private banquet space and outdoor courtyard are a great setting for any daytime workshop or lecture, while our Grand Entry Hall and Main Lobby make any awards night or banquet stand out. Audio/visual capabilities transform each space into an extension of your business, seamlessly integrating your company meeting with our historic collection.
By far we are most fortunate to be nested within the great outdoors! Each of our vast fields can be easily transformed into a daytime festival, afternoon kickball tournament, and more. Get in touch with nature while celebrating life’s biggest moments with family and friends alike.
No occasion is too small to celebrate in a historic way! Bring your Ring Dance, Bat Mitzvah, Vow Renewal, or Fundraiser to us and be astounded at how we can enhance your celebration. An unforgettable memory is waiting for you and yours here at The Mariners’ Museum & Park.
A copy of the Policies & Procedures document must be signed and submitted with your deposit. PDFs are included below for your convenience.
The Mariners’ Museum is a private, not-for-profit institution, which interprets its collection for the education and enjoyment of the public. Its building and collection are unique, and their protection is the primary responsibility of the Museum staff. The use of the Museum’s facilities is made available under specific conditions outlined below for the purpose of making the Museum and its programs more widely recognized among the community.
The following policies govern the use of the facility:
Smoking is prohibited in all areas of the Museum.
Food and drink are restricted to designated areas within the rental space.
Use of the facility must be consistent with the goals of the Museum. Prior to the event, The Museum must approve aspects such as furniture arrangements, decorations, entertainment, and vendor services. The Museum also reserves the right to approve invitations or event flyers. Only under certain circumstances may events be advertised or opened to the public; prior approval from the Special Events Department is required for such events.
Our staff members do not operate as event planners/coordinators. As a courtesy, we offer names and contact information of our preferred caterers, florists, music services, event planners and other vendors.
Reservations, Booking, and Payment
In order to best serve everyone, reservations for event spaces cannot be created without a completed Event Information Form and thereafter cannot be held for more than 2 weeks without a signed contract, this signed document, security deposit, and reservation deposit. Credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, and American Express) and personal checks are accepted for payment. Upon receipt of these items the event date will be confirmed.
All fees relating to the event must be paid in a timely manner, as noted in the contract. Final payment must be received thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled event date. If the final payment is not received on time, we will not permit the event to take place and any previous payment and security deposits are forfeited. Deposits and payments are transferable to a rescheduled date if agreed upon by the Special Events Department and as needed.
The security deposit will be refunded by check, mailed to the address provided in the Event Information Form, following the event, once all payments have been received and the client has adhered to these polices stated herein.
Museum event space fees reserve the event space for a four-hour event time, as noted on the event rental contract. Two additional hours are given for set-up preceding the event and one hour for clean-up following the event. Additional time must be paid for in advance, or will be billed if day-of event times are exceeded. All Museum invoices must be paid within fifteen (15) days of receipt.
The Museum’s Department of Protection Services is the final authority in all Museum safety and security matters. This includes safety matters such as noise control, blocking exits, pathways, etc. In addition, the Department of Protection Services has the right to terminate the consumption of alcoholic beverages of one or all of the event guests if they determine that there is a threat to the safety and security of the Museum, its collection, and its guests. The Director of Protection Services must approve any outside security or parking entities in conjunction with an event. This must be coordinated at least fourteen (14) days prior to the event.
The Museum provides the use of round, banquet, café, and hi-top tables and padded folding chairs for events at no additional cost. Museum staff provides set-up of all museum-provided event equipment consistent with an agreeable layout. The client is responsible for the coordination of all rental and decorative items to include drop-off, pick-up, set-up and tear-down. In most cases, our approved caterers can assist with this process. The Museum is not available to store items for any event prior to 9:00 AM the day of the event. Furthermore, all rental items must be picked up the first business day following the event.
Confetti, glitter, birdseed, rice, smoke, and fog are not permitted. Live flame candles are not permitted inside the Museum under any circumstances. In addition, nails, staples, tape, or any adhesives may not be used to attach items to the Museum’s walls, ceilings, etc. All permanent Museum signage must remain in place, unharmed and visible.
Flowers and greenery must be supplied or acquired from professional florists. Natural cut materials are prohibited in the Museum. Cut flowers or floral decorations must be removed from the building within 24 hours of the event. Any plant items left behind will be disposed of and any incurred fees are not the responsibility of the Museum. Plant and flower materials must not touch gallery walls or any collection object. Potted plants are prohibited in the galleries.
All directional signage for the event and in the parking lots is the responsibility of the client. Signage must be removed following the event. Please be sure to include directions on your invitations as to where your guests should enter, park, etc. The client may wish to arrange for parking attendants depending on the type and size of the event, but this must be coordinated with the Museum’s Protection Services in advance.
All events must have a walk-through scheduled at least thirty (30) days prior to the event to finalize details. The event sponsor is responsible for coordinating date and time options for the walk-through along with the client’s caterer and the Museum’s event staff to ensure your event space is available to view and can be reserved for the meeting. During this time the group will discuss the final attendee numbers to the best of their ability, furniture needs and layout, event timeline, etc.
Food and Beverage
All food and beverages served must be supplied by the client’s choice of caterer from the Museum’s Approved Caterers Listing. This does not include ceremonial cakes or cupcakes which may be obtained from any vendor of the client’s choice. Arrangements for the event, including set up, scheduling of delivery, and removal of rental items must be approved during the walk-through with Museum staff.
Cooking in the galleries is prohibited. An alcoholic beverage license is required for events serving alcohol. The client is responsible for obtaining the license only if the caterer is not serving the alcohol. A copy of the license must be given to the Museum at the walk-through for the event. Alcohol may not be delivered more than one day prior to the event. A last call must be announced forty-five (45) minutes prior to the end of the event and all alcohol service must end thirty (30) minutes prior to the end of your event time. This means bar/catering staff must stop serving all guests, no exceptions. Clean up and removal of all trash, decorations, and floral arrangements is the responsibility of the client and/or client’s vendors. The Museum’s trash containers must be left empty. The Museum dumpster may be used for trash disposal. In an effort to be environmentally friendly, The Museum also has recycling containers located next to dumpsters.
All deliveries and staff involved in the event must report to the Museum’s security office, located at the Business Entrance, upon arrival. We are not responsible for coordinating on-site delivery with vendors for rental items. It is the responsibility of the client to inform each contractor/vendor which Museum staff member to contact, what to bring, where to drop-off, and when they are supposed to pick up their items.
The Museum will not be responsible for gifts, personal property, or any equipment or supplies belonging to the client’s party or other vendors. All deliveries must be picked up and removed in coordination with The Mariners’ Museum event staff. Many times this must be done the same day. The Museum event staff will work with you to ensure deliveries from contractors are scheduled for an appropriate window of time.
Your photographer, videographer, and deejay may arrive during the set-up of your event in the event space you have reserved. You may set-up a time to visit the Museum for portraits prior to your event date. There are some areas of the Museum where photography is not permitted, check with the Photography & Licensing staff at (757) 591-7354 on where these areas are located. The Mariners’ Museum event staff would love the opportunity to view photos/video taken during your event whenever possible!
The Mariners’ Museum is happy to share our park with you. In turn we appreciate your awareness of the importance of helping us preserve and protect the natural environment by observing the following policies:
Failure to follow rules listed above may result in forfeiture of all or part of the reservation deposit.
The Mariners’ Museum & Park is thrilled to be considered for your upcoming event. For your convenience, we have listed below some frequently asked questions and general rental information for our facility and park grounds.
Being a Museum with many priceless artifacts, only battery operated candles are allowed in our indoor event spaces. Additionally, decorations must be free-standing and cannot be attached to ceilings, walls, or paintings. Please see our Policies & Procedures agreements for a complete account of all restrictions.
It all starts with your space. If you’re unfamiliar with our site you’re encouraged to schedule a complimentary rental tour to view our venues. Once you know the space you’d like to rent we will need the event information to begin drafting your agreements.
If you would like to reserve an indoor venue, we require a finalized contract, signed Policies & Procedures agreement, refundable security deposit, and 50% of your rental fee to hold your event. If your event is within 30 days of a finalized contract, the aforementioned and 100% of your fee is due to hold your event. All park venues are reserved by supplying signed agreements, Beautification Fee, and 100% of the rental fee.
You are free to reschedule your event with no additional costs due up to 60 days prior to your original event date. Availability is subject to the space being under contract for alternate dates.
Your security deposit and any rental fees paid will be refunded if we receive written notice of your event cancellation no less than 90 days prior to your event date. If we do not receive this notice and your event is cancelled you will forfeit 50% of the rental fee.
Facility rentals require a security deposit, refundable depending upon any damages sustained to Museum property or additional services rendered. Park rentals require a non-refundable Park Beautification Fee that is applied in an effort to preserve our Park. The Mariners’ Museum & Park is a privately owned and maintained institution that receives no federal, state, or city funding. Please let us know if you are interested in donating your security deposit as a tax deductible gift to our annual fund in an effort to enhance our venues.
Facility event start times vary by the space rented; all facility events must end by 11:00 p.m. Park event times vary by length of rental.
Facility events include the use of Museum furniture, listed below. No Museum furniture is provided for Park events.
Coat racks, easels, yard sign stakes, and other various items are also available. Please discuss any and all needs with the Facility Rental Coordinator.
Museum staff will set up and break down all Museum provided furniture at no additional cost. Set up and break down of anything not provided by the Museum falls under the responsibility of the rental client.
The Museum and some Park areas provide free self-parking to all event participants.
For directions to the Museum, click here.
All ceremonial cake or cupcakes may be obtained from any vendor. All food and beverages for facility events must be provided by a caterer from the Museum’s Approved Caterers List. Park events may provide their own food and beverages.
You are free to utilize services from any event rental, musical entertainment, transportation service, etc. All vendors are subject to Protection Services approval.
Yes. If the alcohol is not being served by the approved caterer, it is the clients’ responsibility to provide proper ABC licensing at least (15) days prior to the event in order to insure the service provider.
Proper licensing can be obtained at http://www.abc.virginia.gov/licensing/banquet.htm
We require Event Liability Insurance naming The Mariners’ Museum & Park as an additional insured on the policy, available through any insurance company, for all Museum and Park events. Proper coverage amounts can be found in your rental contract.
Daytime event guests are always welcome to enjoy the Museum free of charge. In the evening the USS Monitor Center, The Museum Main Loop, or both can be left accessible to guests during your event for an additional fee. Docent guided tours are also available upon request based on scheduling.
Unless requested and based upon staff availability, the gift shop is not normally open for after-hours events.
The Mariners’ Museum was a dream come true for our wedding. The staff was amazing and everything that was said was promised. Everyone was impressed by what The Mariners’ Museum had to offer and I would recommend them to anyone.
Anonymous 2013 Wedding Client
This year for our annual client event, we decided to try The Mariners’ Museum. We were pleasantly surprised. The entire process was quick and professionally handled. The entire staff was friendly and more than happy to make sure all our needs were addressed. We chose the Huntington & Anna Room. It was spacious, clean, and very roomy for our clients with a great view of the courtyard. It was completely equipped for audio/video which we utilized as well. All of our guests enjoyed having the privilege to tour the museum at their leisure as well. Thank you Mariners’ Museum…it was wonderful!
Dee Burcher | Marketing and Development Director
Old Point Trust
My experience with The Mariners’ Museum was excellent from start to finish. The Rental Coordinator was nothing but accommodating, patient, and helpful in every way, as was the entire staff. The initial site visit was very informative and they were willing to let me manipulate the meeting space and offered any assistance to make my meeting a success. The attendees loved the location and spent most of their lunch break touring the museum, commenting on how large and spectacular the exhibits were. The Rental Coordinator was always available to assist with any minor technical difficulties or any other questions we had. The event space was clean, organized, and fit our group perfectly. I would definitely recommend using The Mariners’ Museum for any event or meeting. It’s a great way to get people out of the office and into a refreshing, unique atmosphere.
Jessie Stadler | Corporate Meeting & Event Planner
Travel Department, Ferguson Enterprises, a Wolseley Co.
Thank you very much for the special care and professional service you provided for our wedding. You made us both feel comfortable during the planning, wedding and reception. It turned out beautiful.
We would like to thank you and The Mariners’ Museum for helping us plan our wedding. The beautiful garden setting and the elegant banquet room definitely added to making our day memorable.