Complimentary admission was provided for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum for review purposes, opinions are mine.
So… tennis? I am definitely not a big fan or a fan at all to be honest, but heard many good things about the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum located in Newport, Rhode Island. It was within walking distance from our hotel, so we figured… why not give it a try? And so we did! From the outside of the museum, it is hard to imagine what lies within. We discovered a fun little gem that was both interesting and laced with plenty of interesting history to be learned. Once you walk into the main entrance, you get a beautiful view of the grounds. Makes for a wonderful photo opp, don’t you think?
You can experience the museum using a headset to prompt and guide you or you can simply walk through and take in the sites and displays. There were some really great displays and features. One of the most fun was their larger than life tennis ball ceiling display.
The museum chronicles the history of tennis dating way back from the 12th Century! One of my favorite displays was the visual of the evolution of the Racquet in Court Tennis. This gave us a really good understanding of just how rich the sport is and has been for ages. Starting out with a palm and developing into what it looks like today.
Another cool display was this Sugar Daddy jacket and gear that was actually worn by the opponent of Bobbie Riggs in a battle of the sexes tennis match against Billie Jean King back in 1973! (Thanks Tennis Identity for clarifying the details on this) Love that giant Sugar Daddy lollipop, I vaguely remember seeing those back when I was a kid. My son was pretty interested in figuring out if he could get his hands on one, that’s for sure!
I personally enjoyed seeing many of the tennis outfits that were worn by women throughout time. Their collection ranges from Victorian to modern and is pretty impressive. This seriously large statue is made in the likes of Suzanne Lenglen. I had no idea who she was before going to the museum, so it was great to learn about her a bit. Plus the statue is really cool. They also had a presentation on a nearby television screen showing her in this same position during a tournament She is recognized as the “greatest woman tennis player of the first half of the 20th Century”. She was also known for combining ballet movements into her tennis strokes. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate and share the life of a talented woman.
The museum is just one of the many history rich experiences to be had in Newport, Rhode Island. There is a tremendous amount of family fun attractions, museums and sites to see!
The Tennis Hall of Fame is great for the whole family, you can find our more information to plan your visit on their website.
Are you a tennis fan?
Did you realize how rich tennis history is?