There is much to do this weekend all around the area.
Happy Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard City Celebration in Downtown Portsmouth on Aug. 4 will feature street festival rides, slides and family fun all day long including special activities at the Naval Shipyard Museum and Lightship Portsmouth. It will close with a concert featuring the Deloreans at High Street Landing Flagpole Stage. The location is High and Water Streets.
At the Virginia Living Museum Fossil Mysteries will allow visitors to explore the amazing world of fossils during a day filled with paleo-themed exhibits, crafts and activities. Find out about some of the extinct creatures that once roamed the earth. Discover how fossils form. Dig into the fossil pit and take home your own real fossil specimen. Museum staff paleontologists will be on hand to answer your fossil questions. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News will have it monthly free admission weekend. This is a chance to experience the current state of the arts with the major exhibition Biennial 2012, featuring 87 artworks from around the corner and around the country. There are games for families to play to enjoy the art. The Hands On For Kids gallery allows kids and parents to create their own works of art.
If you would like to explore the stars then enjoy Mars Family Day on Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Virginia Air and Space Center is your place to be. Families can participate in hands-on activities and participate in science demonstrations that highlight some of the latest NASA technologies and exploration challenges associated with Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and its Curiosity rover. Race rovers, go on a MarsQuest scavenger hunt, design and construct a future Mars outpost, and create an “Egg” Mars Lander that will land safely on the Red Planet. Mars Family Day activities are included in the Center’s regular exhibit admission. If you don’t mind staying up late then on Aug. 5 beginning at 11 p.m., the Virginia Air & Space Center will host a Mars Midnight Madness event that will include an opportunity for guests to follow the NASA TV coverage of the MSL mission in the IMAX Theater. Hands-on activities will include liquid nitrogen demonstrations, stargazing with the Virginia Peninsula Astronomy Club, building rovers with Robotix, programming Lego Mindstorms, Phunky Physics with “Dr. D,” experimenting with the Mars Landing Simulator and more. Viewing in the theater will begin at 1 a.m. and will include commentary by Michelle Munk, deputy project manager of the Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Instrumentation (MEDLI) team, at NASA Langley Research Center.
If a movie is what you want then enjoy Cinema Under the Stars at TowneBank Fountain Park. The 16-foot will show The Big Miracle. In Newport News, Films By The Fountain at City Center will show the Muppets. Movie theme activities begin at 7 p.m. and the film starts at sunset. Free popcorn is available.