Thursday, December 15, 2022

Brick by Brick: LEGO Shipbuilding—Back in Person in 2023!

By Laura Lawfer Orr
HRNM Director of Education
Building LEGO ships at HRNM's event in 2020 (Photo by Max Lonzanida, HRNM PAO)

Since February 2012, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum has hosted an annual LEGO Shipbuilding event. For the past two years, that event has been virtual—and now, in February 2023, we will be back in person! We’re excited to welcome back our visitors for another free Lego Shipbuilding event. This will be the 11th year we have offered a LEGO Shipbuilding event, and we’re looking forward to many more.

Some of the fun activities include:
  • LEGO Shipbuilding contest. If you want to participate in this competition, you can either bring a ship from home to submit in the contest, or you can build on-site with our museum-owned LEGOs. This is great for kids—and adults—of all ages! All entries must be submitted by 2pm and winners will be announced by 3:30pm. Prizes are LEGO gift cards. If bringing a ship from home, please complete this registration form before the event.
Contest entry from 2020's event (Photo by Max Lonzanida, HRNM PAO)
  • Build Navy Ships with LEGOs. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum’s staff members have designed 14 Navy ships with LEGOs, all of which are available for you to build on-site using our instructions! The ships are available in easy, medium, hard, and expert difficulty levels. You can view and download some of these instructions on our website.
  • LEGO Ship Displays. Built by professional model-builders, come and see our LEGO ships on display! The Hampton Roads Lego User Group (HARDLUG) will be displaying some of their members’ latest creations.
  • LEGO Robotics. The First LEGO League will be demonstrating some of their creative builds and how their robotics work. See the amazing creations these students make and learn how to use LEGO robotics yourself.
LEGO free play area at the 2020 event (Photo by Max Lonzanida, HRNM PAO)
  • Free-play areas. We’ll have LEGO free play and Duplo free play areas available for fun and creativity! This is where kids can build for the shipbuilding contest, but no contest participation is required to use the free-play areas.
  • LEGO Crafts. Design your own LEGO craft keychain; create a LEGO paper bag puppet; or complete LEGO coloring pages—crafts for all ages!
  • Sensory Room available for those who need a break from the noise of the event.
When: Saturday, February 4, 2023
10am to 4pm

Where: Half Moone Cruise Terminal
1 Waterside Drive
Norfolk, VA 23510

Cost: Free

Registration: Register for free! Registration is recommended for attendees.

Where do I park in downtown Norfolk? Parking is available in the city garages closest to the cruise terminal (Main Street, Plume Street, City Hall Ave.). Parking will cost $5 and will be pay-on-entry. Cash or credit accepted.

Is there food available? We will have several food trucks on-site with snacks and meals available for purchase. Please plan accordingly!

Note: All LEGOs owned by the Hampton Roads Naval Museum must remain at the event.

Questions? Contact Laura via email at

Families work together to build Navy ships with LEGOs (Photo by Max Lonzanida, HRNM PAO)

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