What You'll Get
Nautical museums provide mankind's only way of learning about boats without spending hours flipping through hefty English-to-Pirate dictionaries. Decipher the secrets of the sea with today's Groupon to Nauticus in Norfolk. Choose between the following options:
• For $26, you get a one-year individual membership to the museum, including year-round admission for one (a $53 value).
• For $66, you get a one-year family membership to the museum, including year-round admission for two adults and up to four children (a $133 value).
Home of the World War II battleship Wisconsin, Nauticus is an interactive science-and-technology center that plunges visitors into all things aquatic. Members can spend a year weighing anchor amid a plethora of educational and hands-on exhibits, in which they can hunt submarines, touch a tornado, and test theories of how starfish respond to name-calling. Aspiring captains can explore the deck of the Wisconsin and the depths of Atlantis during the upcoming exhibition Atlantis! A Labyrinth Adventure ($6 for non-members, $3 for members).
With a Nauticus membership, those pining for knowledge can also find it with admission to more than 300 science museums throughout the country. Members can up their workplace popularity with their 25% discount on guest tickets and relish discounts at a few downtown restaurants, Seven Venues shows, and the café and gift shop at Nauticus.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Aug 22, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 family membership per household. Limit 1 individual membership per person. May buy multiple as gifts. Valid only for option purchased. Must activate by 8/22/11, membership expires 1 year from activation date. New members only. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
Walking across the dock to Nauticus, visitors' eyes are inevitably drawn to the sleeping giant nestled up alongside it: the 850-foot battleship Wisconsin. One of the largest battleships ever built by the United States Navy, its massive, 16-inch guns lent their firepower to WWII, Korea, and Operation Desert Storm. The hulking warship is now retired, its gigantic mass a testament to both its immense power and the strength of the open ocean whose waves it once plied.
This dichotomy between peaceful repose and thundering wrath is fully embraced by Nauticus, immersing visitors in exhibits that explore the ocean and man’s use of it at their most peaceful and destructive. On the Wisconsin, visitors can tour crew messes and officer lounges, getting a taste of naval life. Inside the center, permanent exhibits include Our Mighty Seaport, which delves into Norfolk's busy maritime commerce, with real-time updates on ships sailing past and an observation deck overlooking the port. Turning to nature, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Science on a Sphere exhibit simulates extreme weather conditions on a 6-foot video sphere. In Horseshoe Crab Cove, visitors can pet starfish, crabs, and sea urchins without having to take turns with nearby seagulls.