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Just 20 minutes south of King’s Creek is the Virginia Living Museum, where science meets imagination! Visit the VLM today to learn all about plants and animals that are native to Virginia, plus changing exhibits, and a permanent exhibit that features life-size dinosaur replicas. The museum is open from 9-5 daily. Currently, some exhibits are closed in order to maintain the safety of visitors, but the following exhibits are ready to explore!
Changing Exhibits Gallery
Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies*
*For your safety, this exhibit has undergone changes to reflect the CDC’s best practices for social distancing. All artifacts are now behind glass, hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the exhibit, and one-way pathways direct visitors safely through the gallery.
This totally unique dino exhibit is open through September 7, and, in our opinion, is an absolute must if you have kids in your family who are into dinosaurs. Get up close to authentic dinosaur eggs and nests from all over the world that belong to the major plant and meat-eating dinosaurs. Your kids will love the cute babies and fun dinosaur facts about how mothers cared for their young. One of the central features of the exhibit is a presentation about Baby Louie, a discovery made in 1993 of a nearly complete and intact dinosaur embryo skeleton!
An elevated boardwalk floats over Deer Park Lake, winding through woods and wetlands and showcasing many animals in their native Virginia habitats. See the endangered red wolf, beavers hard at work, river otters, bald eagles, vultures, bobcats, deer, wild turkeys, skunks and opossums, gray foxes, red foxes, and coyotes. Stations along the boardwalk help explain the importance of wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and highlight different species of native wetland plants.
You can also see fish, turtles, bullfrogs and many different kinds of majestic birds in a 5,500-square-foot coastal plain aviary. Observe pelicans, herons, egres, ducks, and more!
Dinosaur Discovery Trail
This extraordinary permanent outdoor exhibit has undergone some changes in offerings to reflect best practices for limiting the spread of COVID-19. Build zones, dig pits, and play areas are restricted for now, but visitors can still enjoy the walking trails dotted with species of dinosaurs!
This popular exhibit showcases 16 species of the incredible animals that ruled our earth for more than 150 million years. Walk on footpaths to see realistic one-third to full size dinosaur replicas from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (think Allosaurus, T. rex, Velociraptor, Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and much more!). You can even take a photo with a baby T. rex, gaze in wonder at a half-size T. rex, and climb on a sleeping 12-foot long Ankylosaurus or an 8-foot long Titanosaur femur!
On special Saturdays throughout the fall, go on a 15-minute walk with a giant T. rex!
September 21 @ 1 p.m.
October 26 @ 1 p.m.
November 16 @ 1 p.m.
December 21 @ 1 p.m.
You can also find baby dinosaurs and dinosaur eggs, nests, and fossils throughout the exhibit.
In its gardens and exhibit plantings, the Virginia Living Museum displays the most extensive collection of native plants in Virginia. If you love to garden or simply love to look at plants, you will love the museum’s butterfly garden, Virginia garden, teaching garden, the conservation garden and the ozon garden!
If you’re not able to get to the museum just now, here are some video activities and age-specific activities you could try with your family to get out of the house and change things up!